What is a gundog scurry?

Hannah Aldridge


March 17, 2022

There are three main gundog competitions that working dog handlers tend to participate in. You may have heard of tests and trials, but have you heard of a scurry? These are often the perfect way to introduce your dog to gundog competitions, and we have put together some helpful tips on how you can get involved…

What happens at a scurry?

Scurries are based on a dog’s ability to retrieve and are usually run at country shows and game fairs. They are the easiest and most straight forward competition to get involved in, with it usually just being a matter of turning up, paying a small fee (typically between £1 – £2, which often goes to charity), and then taking part.

They are usually run in the following format:

  1. A blank shot is fired from a starting pistol.
  2. The dog is sent to retrieve the dummy (a timer is started once they cross over the line).
  3. The timer is stopped once they cross the line again.
  4. The fastest dog wins!

It really is as simple as that! You may also find that the types of scurries vary amongst the following:

  • A straight, marked retrieve.
  • Two marked retrieves to be picked one at a time.
  • One or more blind retrieves hidden behind cover.
  • A retrieve over hay bales.

Who can enter a scurry?

Anyone can enter! Whether your dog is an experienced gundog or a complete novice, anyone can take part.

Some people have even found that they are a great way to get your dog into shooting if you have had no previous experience.

What is the next level up from a scurry?

Working Tests would be the next follow on from a Scurry, followed by a Field Trial. These are more serious competitions that require a lot more training and practice, you can learn more about these here.

Show us how you get on

Will you be looking to enter a scurry this year? We’d love to see your photos – don’t forget to tag @skinnersfieldandtrial and use #borntobeoutdoors.

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