Regulations for the Spring Test - Derby

March 18, 1989

I. Purpose of the Test

(1) The Derby is a breed test along with a natural ability test. It is used to determine the young dog’s natural inclinations in the most important field categories and to assess the breeding values of the young dog’s parents.

(2) This test serves its purpose best when on one hand the training and preparation of the young dog are sufficiently advanced that its natural abilities have been developed and can be evaluated, but on the other hand, the handler’s influence does not overly cover or mask the young dog’s natural ability. From past experience, testing on the first spring field, best shows the dog’s natural abilities regarding the acuity of nose, finding ability, a smart, systematic scent-orientated and keen search, as well as pointing and relocating feathered game.

(3) The Derby training will be most successful when the young dog’s passion for hare and their tracks has been sufficiently restrained during winter and early spring, so that its attention can be focused on game birds when they start pairing in spring before nesting. Therefore, Derby does not require work on the hare’s track. However, upon occasion shown manner of hunting and very good work on a hare track are to be documented.

(4) Requirements for testing a young dog are large fields, containing sufficient game birds.

(5) The parent’s breeding values are easier to recognise by testing as many littermates as possible.

(6) Clubs and judges must be equally concerned with setting high, but reasonable standards for the young dog’s work in order to ensure the significance of the awarded Derby prizes and that the Derby test remains a valuable breeding instrument.

II. Organization of Test


The spring breed test – Derby- may only be held in the spring. Execution is the club’s task.


(1) All DKs born after October 1st of the year before last are admitted. They must be registered in the German Shorthair Breedbook (Zuchtbuch DK) or in another FCI acknowledged breed book.

(2) If more than 3 dogs over the age of 15 months are present, they should be tested together in one group.

(3) Pointing dogs of other breeds will also be admitted, provided their pedigreee was issued by an organization that belongs to the FCI.


(1) One judge’s group should test no more then 6 dogs per test day.

(2) The test director may grant an exception of up to 8 dogs if the test fields present the opportunity for adequate game bird contact.

III. Execution of Test

In General

(1) Each dog is tested individually in all categories, and must be given several opportunities to verify its abilities. All relevant details are recorded in the report.

(2) Afterwards, the dogs selected by the judges may be tested in braces, in order to determine under the most equal circumstances possible which dog best knows how to use its nose and therefore finds more game faster. The distance between the two dogs is not to be so wide-ranged that the judging group would have to split up.

Test Categories

(1) The main emphasis of the spring breed test –Derby- is the determination of nose quality, fluid, persistent, and systematic search, finding game quickly, staunch pointing, and good co-operation. Also, the determination of solid, level behaviour and maturity is very important.

(2) The following will be tested:





(3) The following will be observed and rated:

Desire to work


In evaluating the natural ability of the Derby dog, it is essential to consider the youth and lack of experience of the dog, as well as any obvious beneficial or detrimental influence of the handler on his/her dog.


(4) In general, the nose quality can only be indirectly determined by precise observation of a multitude of signs. Therefore, the evaluation requires great knowledge and experience on behalf of the judges in order to properly assess the respective circumstances such as vegetation, wind conditions, etc. The working manner of a dog with a fine nose is marked by the use of its nose. These dogs lean into the wind with their noses, briefly mark game or birds scent, find quickly, mark scent from afar and point game confidently. A horizontal rather than vertical head position signifies a good manner of nose use and a rating of the quality of nose may be inferred from such observation.


(5) The search should be brisk, methodically, steady and persistent but never at a headlong pace, unconcentrated, erratic and sight dominated. The manner of search should be emphasize by the use of the nose and the desire to find game. The search will also be more highly rated the more it is adapted to the terrain and wind conditions. The use of a good search pattern, correct turning into the wind and purposeful use of cover are as important for the evaluation as a tempo adapted to the terrain and a fluid, ground covering gait with great stamina. The style of the search allows conclusions as to the character, the calmness and the well balanced personality of the dog.


(6) The dog should indicate having found tightly holding game birds by pointing or lying down. Short marking is not sufficient. Only pointing of game is rated as pointing. “Very good” pointing is, among other things, demonstrated by the dog, which points staunchly or relocates running, not visible game without significant influence. Repeated, convincing points without game is a sign of insecure pointing and must be rated as a fault. Chasing fleeing game birds is not rated as fault during the Derby. Pointing may be evaluated on furred game in case of insufficient game birds.


(7) The manner of co-operation is demonstrated by how well the dog can be directed in the field, by the collaboration with its handler, and in the dog’s readiness to voluntarily be of service to him/her.

Desire to work and obedience:

(8) The desire and the obedience of a dog must be determined through careful observation during the entire test and must be considered when using discretionary freedom (Ermessensfreiheit) in assigning the predicate.


(9) In contrast to co-operation, obedience is a form of direct submission, brought about by training. The handler in a one-way communication demands obedience from the dog. In Derby, the required obedience entails that the dog responds willingly to the handler’s command or whistle, returns to the handler when called and can easily leashed, as long as it is not currently distracted by the presence of game or scent.

Desire to work:

(10) The desire to work is demonstrated in the ambition and enthusiasm with which the dog performs the required tasks.

Evaluation of faults and gun sensitivity:

(1) The following is considered a fault:

1. Intentional avoidance of game (blinking).

2. Repeated, convincing point without game present.

3. Flushing of feathered game without prior marking, or overrunning game, if both are caused by

insufficient nose quality.

4. Repeated, long lasting hare chasing, whereby the dog withdraws itself from the testing procedure in the main categories of field work on game birds.

5. After the marking of scent from afar, and due to incomplete training, flushing of game can often be used to evaluate nose quality.

(2) To determine possible gun-shyness or gun-sensitivity, at least 2 shots must be fired during each dog’s search, within at least 20 seconds of each other, from a distance not exceeding shot-gun range. See § 11, (5), (7) and (8) of the General Regulations.

Rabbit Track:

(1) If a dog intentionally or unintentionally shows very good work in tracking a hare unseen by him, this will be recorded with the Andreas Star (*). This performance, however, does not influence the general evaluation.

(2) A claim to work on the hare track does not exist.

(3) The only criterion for judgement is the willingness to track and the tracking reliability demonstrated. Manner of hunting (loudness) will be recorded.

IV. Prize Assignment


(1) A prize I, II or III will be awarded.

(2) In order to qualify for a Prize I, the dog’s performance in the categories of Nose, Search and Pointing must be rated as “very good” and in the category of co-operation as “good”. For a prize II all performances must have been at least “good” and for Prize III at least satisfactory. Hence, the following minimum scores are required in each prize category

Test categories:

 Prize I

 Prize II

 Prize III

















(3) Dogs will not be ranked within categories.

(4) Dogs which successfully pass a Derby in their first year (breeding year) receive the notation (J) for "youth" behind the assigned Prize category (e.g.. D1(J)).

These regulations were approved by the Main Convention of the DKV on March 18, 1989. They became effective on January 1, 1990.


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