a brief look at the history of bird dog field trials

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A Brief Look at the History of Bird Dog Field Trials

A Brief Look at the History of Bird Dog Field Trials Jeffery Fraser

IntroductionA retired information systems executive with a history of establishing multiple successful companies, Jeffery Scott Fraser spends his retirement managing the Tsaina Lodge in Valdez, Alaska. Jeffery S. Fraser enjoys participating in outdoor activities in his spare time that include engaging in bird dog field challenges, which encourage competition between hunting dogs.

Field trials originated in England in 1866 with the purpose of encouraging competition and improving the skill of participating canines. The first field trial in America occurred approximately eight years later in 1874, and the event established a trend that continues to this day.

Bird Dog Field TrialsAmerican Kennel Club contributor Dr. Nicholas Rowe played a significant role in the early development of field trials in the U.S. and formed the managing entity for U.S. trials under the name American Fields in 1881. During this time, field trials only accepted pointing breeds, otherwise known as bird dogs. Accepted breeds included English pointers, droppers, and Irish, Gordon, and Native setters.

Modern day field trials consist of four components based on the characteristics of the breeds involved in the test. Components include pointing, flushing, retrieving breeds, and scenting and trailing hounds.


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