I sent you a PM your box is full!!
Challenge the blind, but in seasoned you do have a larger degree of what challenge is. Realistically what the judges want to see in seasoned is you maintaining control and that you and your dog are working together. If you show teamwork and maintain control, even if it's not perfect, even if the line-casts are somewhat ugly, you have a much better chance of succeeding than letting the dog run back basically self-employed until you attempt large casts at the end.
Judges do not want to see a dog line a blind, it tells them nothing about control-tractablity except that a dog can carry a line. They'd much prefer to see that a dog will stop and work with you, they want to see you be proactive and keep your dog out of trouble. To some degree they even want to see you struggle and if you can recover, which is why most season level blinds have intentional pit-falls in them that will draw-tempt your dog somewhere wrong, just so the judges can watch you recover. If you maintained tight control from the beginning, this is much easier. Where-as if you wait to handle, you might have a large struggle before or even if you can get control. The way I look at a seasoned blind is did the handler at least try to challenge the blind, did they show me that the dog will indeed handle when needed or did they just show me a dog can run haphazardly back, making me question whether the dog is capable of stopping on a whistle or willing to take a cast. Visually the second dogs, let the dog run, few whistles, handle only at the end appears better, but to the judges the handler-dog team that has multiple whistles yet attempted to maintain a direct line to the bird, and never let the dog get out of control throughout the blind has the better blind as the dog has illustrated the control and team-work that were actually being tested.
It works!!!! I used Evans program and everyones advise, " be doing solid level work at the next higher level beore testing." Results, 11 straight passes to HRCH and an another finished pass to boot. Forget about time ! Dont rush! Enjoy the dog.
Thanks for the replies. To answer a few questions/statements. I have seen Senior dogs in AKC run blinds. Is there a difference in blinds between AKC and HRC? I belong to a club with excellent dogs that I watch all the time on training days (I am most always throwing ducks so I don't always get to see dogs being handled from the handlers perspective). I have been following Evans program with great results, could not be happier. Love to train and completely believe in the statements supporting this rather than testing and not being ready. I believe my dog is doing well and yes we are running some cold blinds. Last year at this time, there was no way she could pass a junior test(holding and dropping issues). By April, she was ready. I have the same feeling this year. She may not be ready now, but by April we hope to be.
Just so everyone understands,
HRC Seasoned blind distance is 60 yrds
don't make the mistake of running short blinds in training
Make sure you have the dog solid on pile work, and the "T"and "TT"
And Swim by
The mistakes I made running a very talented dog way to early.
there is a bunch of excitement in hrc tests.
make sure the dog is very steady.There will be big swings between the bird stations.Do NOT listen to advice that the dog can reposition. Make sure the dog sits.
have him prepared for long blinds showing good controll.
Run long blinds in training,after you have prepared the dog with necessary pile work, Swim by , ect . Teach the dog to Handel.follow him out on early blinds, and teach the dog to cast.
When you can stay at the line, and confidently run 150 yrd blinds with little corrections, you are ready.
You won't have to sweat that 60 yrd seasoned blind,the dog will prolly come very close to lining it.
The dog will sit at the line and not move. Makes it soooooo much less stressful for you the handler.
Look towards you big picture, instead of the instant gratification of a 3.00 ribbon.
You have a ton of time to run tests. They can be very fun, if you take the care to prepare the dog.