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*”The Judges shall score the dogs on (a) their natu- ral abilities, including their marking (memory), Style, Perseverance/courage/hunting and (b) to relatively greater degrees in Senior and master hunting Tests, their Trainability as evidenced in steadiness, control, response and delivery.

getting Started If you are going to enter a Hunt Test for the first time, it is advisable to start your training now. Probably the best way to become involved and to learn the ropes,” is to contact your local aKC retriever Club. most clubs have training days at the beginning of the hunt Test season so this is the perfect time to get out there and try.

from the standpoint of a breeder or a person consid- ering a breeding, natural abilities are of great impor- tance while abilities acquired through training are of relatively less importance.

a Judge must keep in mind the fact that he is evalu- ating numerically, a defined set of abilities and not judging a dog in relation to the performances or merits of the other dogs entered. a dog’s abilities are scored against an established standard.”

*from regulations & guidelines for aKC® hunting Tests for retrievers

Junior hunting Tests dogs shall be tested on four single marks, two on land and two on water. dogs shall be steady but may be brought to the line on leash with a flat buckle collar. dogs may be restrained gently with a slipcord, or held gently by the flat buckle collar until sent to retrieve. english slip leads, prong, choke and pinch-type collars are prohibited. leashes, including short tabs, shall be removed before dogs are run.

Senior hunting Tests dogs shall be tested in minimum of four hunting sit- uations that shall include one land blind, one water blind (that may be run as a double bind on land and water), one double land mark, and one double water mark. There shall be at least one diversion shot and at least one of the hunting situations should include a walk-up.

master hunting Tests Dogs shall be tested in a minimum of five hunting situ- ations as follows: multiple land marks, multiple water marks, multiple marks on water and land, a land blind and a water blind (at least one that shall be a double blind in any combination). There shall be at least three series. at least one of the series shall include a walk- up, diversion birds and/or diversion shots.

Clubs across the country can be located on the aKC Web site. On the site, first search for Retriever Hunt Tests, then click Club Search. most clubs provide group-training sessions. a place where you can prac- tice with your dog on live birds in a simulated hunt Test situation.

The first Time Junior hunter

at the line it is good practice to try and walk to the line looking directly at the first mark. When you are at the line and sit your dog, give your dog a chance to settle and look out at the test grounds.

if you watch your dog you will see them look at each bird location. When they show they have recognized where the birds are coming from and you are ready, signal the judges you are ready. Take your time and do not hurry.

When the first bird is out make sure you wait for the judge to release the dog before you send your dog! if you send your dog before the judge releases the dog you are out!!

When you are training it is a good idea to silently count to 5 before you send the dog on a mark, this conditions the dog to a delay between seeing the mark and going.

in Junior stakes you will have the dog on a lead or hold them by the collar, even so, if you are leaning forward which you probably will be the dog can easily pull you off the line if they are conditioned to go as soon as they see the bird.

in hunt tests you will hold an empty gun or facsimile. in general you might consider holding the gun on the opposite side as the dog when you are sending and on

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The Poodle Papers /Winter Edition

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