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Page 42.

cont. from page 41 the same side when taking the bird from the dog.

always make sure the gun is pointed in a safe direc- tion and never points at a person or dog!

the mark all the way from the line to the fall. more often than not, some factor such as a cover, a ditch, depression, mound or side hill will cause the dog to momentarily loose site of the mark forcing the dog to

require the area of the fall.

When your poodle returns with the bird you should stand looking directly facing the next bird. give the sit command and take the bird with the hand on the opposite side from the dog. Thus if the dog is on your right, take the bird with you left hand moving the bird across your body and place it on your left hip out of site of the dog.

The gun should be in your right hand acting as a bar- rier for the dog. do not touch your dog until you have taken the bird! motion to the judge to take the bird from your left hand by simply holding it out from your body and they will take the bird.

move the gun under your left arm if the dog is on the right and take hold of the dog’s collar with your right hand and attach the lead if you are using one.

Water Water can be a real obstacle for the dogs.

it is es-

sential that your dog be able to retrieve his marks in the water.

usually Junior tests position the dog very close to and perpendicular to the waters edge. dogs naturally will square obstacles such as hills, ditches, roads, and wa- ter and must be conditioned to take an angled line, a line not close to 90 degrees.

The water at Crop-les farms in maryland is excel- lent technical water and a dream for most experienced trainers with many points, islands and alcoves. Junior dogs will probably have a clear view of marks and will not have to force through cover or navigate water haz- ards.

Take a moment to allow both you and your poodle to settle before calling for the second bird. it is a safe bet you will see decoys both on land and in the water. make sure your poodle does not shy away from or try and retrieve them. decoys are held in place by cords tied to small lead weights of a few ounces touching the bottom of the water. dogs will often need to swim through a set and sometimes get caught up in an anchor cord, no big deal but first time dogs may be spooked and panic. distance make sure your dog is comfortable retrieving to 120 yards on land. Too often you see first time dogs leave the line, go out 35 or 40 yards and break down and start hunting. They are conditioned to this distance, as that is about the maximum their owners can throw a bumper. Many first time Junior dogs have not had very much exposure to water and thus are not very confident. The more you expose your poodle to water the more com- fortable and confident they will become. handlers new to hunt tests usually sit their dog, throw a bumper, dokken or ball and then send the dog for the mark. in essence you are conditioning the dog to go a relatively short distance directly away from the trainer and line. at the Junior level you are not likely to see a mark thrown directly away from the line but rather a right-to-left or left-to-right and perhaps angled slight- ly back. The WC and WCX Certificates in addition to the aKC hunt Tests, the 2008 Specialty will again play host to the PCA Working Certificate and Working Certificate Excellent tests on Sunday, april 20. Ted finley and barry fry will judge this year’s WC and WCX certificates. The Poodle Club of america, inc. allows any regis- tered Poodle over six months of age which meets the performance requirements to receive the Working Certificate and the Working Certificate Excellent. Cover expose your dog to as great a variety of cover as pos- sible. in all likelihood, the cover your dog works in at a hunt test will bear no resemblance to the clear area you have been throwing bumpers, dokkens or balls in. The purposes of these Certificates are to test the natu- cont. on page 43 you should not expect your poodle to be able to see The Poodle Papers /Winter Edition

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