Above are the monthly MOM documents from Jan Schafberg as well as Josef Westermann’s article from the September issue of Der Jagdgebrauchshund. We are all in the midst of the testing and hunting seasons, and probably have little time to think about much of anything else, but here are a few additional bullet points for your information and future attention:
On September 14th I was invited to participate in a 2 ½ hour video conference of the JGHV Landesverbände, formerly known as JKV (Jagdkynologische Vereinigungen). Much of the discussion and presentations focused on German issues (African swine fever, ability to test with the live duck, state utility tests (Brauchbarkeitsprüfungen), state acceptance of dogs without papers and not recognized as hunting dogs by the JGHV, the possibility of state recognition of non-JGHV judges for the state utility tests, etc.), but here are a few takeaways for our North American clubs:
- The fall testing season has begun with all of the large breed tests (Hegewald, Kleemann, Schorlemmer, etc.) cancelled and the emphasis on the normal fall tests and Corona test (until November 15th). Our German colleagues will be very busy with testing. It was also noted that the Corona 2020 VJP replacement test was really an “emergency solution”, and this kind of exception will not become the rule in our testing. The normal testing rhythm will continue to be spring and fall breed tests (VJP, HZP/Derby/Solms) and utility tests (VGP, VPS).
- The JGHV is currently wrestling with possible solutions for the Annual General Meeting in Fulda scheduled for Sunday, March 21, 2021. The traditional host hotel, the Maritim, is required to limit the number of people who can gather in one room, so all manner of options are being explored to insure that the AGM will be held in 2021. One solution in limiting the number of participants would be for the member clubs to send delegates to the meeting. In addition, each breed club is exploring options for their Annual Meetings. KlM will, for example, meet in Billerbeck on the weekend before the JGHV AGM in Fulda (or possibly another location). But here too, the KlM meeting may be limited to board members and selected delegates. For those of us in North America, the first task is restoring air travel between the USA and Germany/Europe.
- In addition to the customary Ongoing Education Seminars for Verbandsrichter and Apprentices, the JGHV will now be organizing more seminars on practical training and handling topics (puppy training, blood tracking, the trained retrieve, canine genetics, etc.). One successful seminar focused on how to send your dog to retrieve, whether on land or water. Here is the YouTube link if you’d like to take a look: https://youtu.be/7dZ9vj8c0xo. Perhaps our clubs could work together on organizing seminars like this in 2021.
- Seminars for Apprentices and Verbandsrichter (judges): Our German colleagues are taking steps to create seminar presentations with uniform and consistent content, so that all of our judges are receiving the same training and ongoing education. I have been in touch with Josef Westermann about these presentations and will try to make them available in English as soon as possible. Mark Heuer shared recently that his Introduction to the JGHV seminar material dates back to the early 2000’s so this will be a priority.
- Finally, in terms of “takeaways” from the video conference, I suggest—perhaps after the testing and hunting seasons—that we take stock of our US alternative to the German JKVs (or now Landesverbände), namely, the three person Committee, which originally consisted of two elected Chairpersons, Lynda Krull and Rob Engelking, and a German-speaking liaison, a task that I have fulfilled in the past months. As you know, Lynda is no longer a Chairperson, and Rob has had a series of serious health issues which have prevented him from being more active with the “Committee”. I will be happy to continue as the German-speaking liaison, but I think we would all profit by reviving and revitalizing the model that the North American member clubs voted to create.
With regard to the last bullet point, we should continue to strengthen our cooperation with each other as breed and testing clubs on issues like the following:
- Coordinating the creation, printing and distribution of judges’ booklets for the JGHV tests, as well as the production of English language VZPO and VGPO.
- Creating uniform, consistent presentations for our judge and apprentice seminars.
- Supporting each other in finding judges for our tests, as well as helping handlers find tests.
- Working together on organizing practical training seminars, especially for our first-time handlers.
- Sharing feedback with each other on unique situations from our testing practice. I can usually get response from Josef Westermann within 24 hours on difficult testing situations or where any kind of clarification of the test regulations is required.
I look forward to your feedback on any of the points above, or you may have other topics that require our attention. For this monthly email, I’m copying in both Chairpersons and DOT/DJDs.
All the best in the testing season and Waidmannsheil!