The Endurance Test shall determine the ability of the dog to withstand a certain degree of physical strain without showing any signs of undue stress or lack of constitution. Such a test can consist of a gaiting performance of some lengthy duration, which is known to place an increasing load on the physical structure and temperament characteristics f the dog. The effortless accomplishment of such a test shall be evidence of the physical fitness of the dog.
In general, the Endurance Trial consists of:
Obedience test, a 12 mile run (consisting of 3 legs separated by rest periods with vet check) followed by the same obedience test. The dog must exhibit the same willingness to work for its owner before and after the extended exercise period. The test will include 3 legs of 4 miles. Prior to the commencement of the 12 mile run, a short obedience test shall be conducted. At the completion of the 12 mile run, and after the final 15 minute rest period, the same obedience test will be repeated. At the completion of the first leg there will be a rest period of 15 minutes, for 20 minutes after the second leg then 15 minutes after the final leg. Toward the end of each rest period, a vet check will be performed. Reprimands shall not under any circumstances, be used during the trial period. A reprimand means either physical or verbal.
The Obedience Test
The obedience test is to be conducted in groups of 4 (or lower). The test is to consist of:
Heeling forward a short distance followed by a right about turn, continued heeling a short distance coming to a halt (the dog does not have to sit). Short recall –on or off lead. The standard of the obedience work after the gaiting must be similar to that before the gaiting. If the dog is off lead prior to the run, it must perform off- lead after the run. Also – the same handler must perform the obedience test before and after the run. The judge should keep in mind that this is a test of the dog’s willingness to work and to obey the handler and NOT an obedience trial.
The dog and handler are to proceed in a single file. The dog is permitted to pull slightly. Continued lagging by incur a disqualification. The distance is to be completed in 2 hours and 35 minutes (including the 2 intermediate breaks, but excluding the final rest period). Note: Average gaiting speed is 6 miles per hour. The dog may stop to relieve itself, but must, make up for the test time and regain their position in the line. During the rest period, the dog may move freely and relax.
There shall be 4 veterinary checks. One before the first obedience test. The veterinarian will examine each dog and determine the general fitness/muscle tone/ standing heart rate/ condition of the pads etc to ensure that the dog is fit to compete. Second after the first leg. Third after the second leg and fourth after the third leg prior to the final (second) obedience test. The second, third and fourth veterinary check can have data collected by a member of the veterinary assistant team. The examination will include: body temperature (by rectal thermometer), standing heart rate and condition of the pads. Any dog showing any undue stress, badly worn pads and/or temperatures over 40* C during the rest break shall be eliminated by the chief veterinarian or the judge. A dog will have failed the test if the dog lacks the physical condition or shows sign of undue stress or tiredness, or fails to compete the distance within the allotted time or fails to complete the obedience exercise.
The judge shall be guided by the veterinarian’s opinion of the fitness of any dog to commence or continue gaiting. The judge will either pass or fail each entrant. The decision of the judge is final.
The Endurance trial is open to any purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback (as confirmed by AKC or other foreign registry number, ILP number, AKC litter number). Purebred ridgeless are permitted to compete. The test is open for any dog over the age of 24 months (to the day of the month). Dogs over 7 years are advised to be examined by their veterinarian prior to the event. The dogs run at the consent of their owners. Note: Bitches in season or in whelp are not permitted to compete.
The dog must wear a fixed collar. No neck (choke) chains, slip collars or spiked collars are allowed. The leash must be long enough (approximate 6 foot) and held in either hand so that the dog may adjust its movement to that the handler. The dog shall gait on either the right or left-hand side of the depending on what is easiest for the dog and handler. The dog may have multiple handlers during the run. It is expected that change of handlers will occur during the rest periods (unless in the case of emergency, where a change of handler must occur with minimal disturbance to the other competitors). The handler may either jog or ride a bicycle (provided the required speed is maintained). Motor-cycles, cars or golf carts are not permitted. The handler is to wear a catalogue number on their back.
The test shall be carried out over three varying surfaces (asphalt – grass – dirt track – unsealed roads – concrete paths such that the total distance is 12 miles in total.