New AKC Titles
I had a person at an AKC Retriever hunt test ask me about Gumbo's titles and what they meant. Many folks don't understand the new "cross over" titles, so I'll explain them as best I can.
Once, AKC allowed only Retrievers to run in Retriever hunt tests and only Spaniels to run in AKC Spaniel hunt tests. Several years ago, this changed. Now, two Spaniel breeds (American Water Spaniel and Boykin Spaniel) and several pointing breeds (Vizula's, German Wire Hair's, Barbets are a few) are eligible to run in AKC Retriever hunt tests. The titles earned by these "cross overs" are:
JHR = Junior Hunter Retriever
SHR = Senior Hunter Retriever
MHR = Master Hunter Retriever
Recently, AKC allowed several Retrievers (Irish Water Spaniels, Flat Coat Retrievers, Curly Coat Retrievers, Labrodor Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers) and Airdales to participate in AKC Spaniel hunt tests. The titles these "cross overs" earn are:
JHU = Junior Hunter Upland
SHU = Senior Hunter Upland
MHU = Master Hunter Upland
To muddy the title waters even more, AKC is awarding an "advanced" title in the Spaniel hunt tests for a dog that earns five passes past the required number for a title in a particular level and has an average passing score of 8. An example of this is Gumbo's MHA (Master Hunter Advanced).
can you explain what a spaniel test is extactly and what sort of requirments it takes to get say a SHU. id love to do some upland test with my lab. thanks
Here's a tread that was just recently posted by Barb Gibson concerning her retriever running a spaniel test.
To get a Senior Hunter Upland, the dog must flush 2 birds (almost always chukars) and retrieve at least one. Next, there is a 30 yard hunt dead, which is kind of like a very "unstructured" blind. Finally, the dog must do a simple water retrieve of 40 yards. The dog must be line steady for the water mark.
The most emphasis is put on the flushing portion of the test. The judges want to see the dog quarter and cover the field nicely with a minimum amount of handling or encouragement.
now on a flush does the dog need to be steady to shot? or steady period i guess? i read what eric posted and some say you need to and seems like others dont mention it really, Speaking of quartering whats a good way or a simple way to teach this, with past dogs weve let them work how they work, ive never been into the games before but im going to now
There are 3 levels of testing in Spaniel tests; Junior, Senior, Master. Junior is not required to be steady to anything (flush or water mark), Senior is not required to be steady to flush, but must be steady at the water, Master must be steady everywhere (flush and water mark).
Most dogs will quarter somewhat naturally when released to hunt. I use a drill called "shakey bird" to fine tune quartering. You need two "gunners" (each with a dead bird) and a handler with his dog between them. Drill starts by one of the gunners shaking his bird with "hey, hey, hey" and the handler releasing the dog toward that gunner. When the dog reaches that gunner he quits shaking and puts his bird behing him, the other gunner then starts "hey heying", and handler blows "toot-toot" for a turn whistle, so the dog goes after his bird. This game of keep away continues for several quarters down the field. Finally, one of the gunners throws his bird for the dog to retrieve as his reward. Usually, only a few times with this drill and the dog will "get it".
Hope this helps.
BTW, the degree or "polishness" of quartering expected by the judges differs from breed to breed according to the breeds (written) working standard. Springers and Cockers will often perform a windshield wiper quartering pattern while other breeds (our AWS for example) will loosely quarter while hunting the birdy looking areas. Most Retrievers will not be expected to windshield wiper quarter either as long as they do a good job of hunting the cover for the level they're entered in.
Also, depending on the wind, many dogs will "vertically quarter", ie, go out and quarter back into the wind. This comes with experience.
Wow...the AKC couldn't come up with their own title abreviations that they had to take them from other retriever games? Talk about muddying the waters. MHR is the Master Hunting Retriever title for NAHRA. SHR is a HRC title, is it not? As far as the upland goes, its nice to see that the AKC is following NAHRA and HRC again, but at least they got there...;)
Originally Posted by David McCracken
If you have never ran a Spaniel hunt test you should go watch one. They are a ton of fun...
The dogs love them. Doggie crack I call them!
Originally Posted by Gun_Dog2002