I see the dog in your signature is QAA? Did you buy him "finished"?
Define what you mean by challenge... I think I know,, but the venue you are discussing doesnt require a Line to a blind,, but rather absolute "progress" towards it...
How do you keep a dog "ON LINE" if you are running a blind across a river with current that drifts the dog downstream?
Member these tests replicate a "Hunt"
A river dog is a very different animal compared to many...
At least, I wouldn't expect to.
They put the blind where they put the blind for a reason. The stuff that exists between where you send the dog from, and where the blind is planted, is there for a reason. It's a test.
You also can't just line the dog 10 degrees downwind, kick it off, and let it handle itself to the blind once it gets a nose full of it.
Now that said, what does this mean to you?Quote:
Lining the blind is not required. The Finished Hunting Retriever should demonstrate the ability to take an initial line toward the blind and a willingness and ability to respond to the commands from the Handler. The Finished Hunting Retriever must stay under control and pick up the bird quickly and efficiently. The judge will not require the retriever to run a predefined route or channel.
They don't Judge the line for the sake of the line.
It's not ABOUT the line.
It's about what the dog's line says about the dog being under control.
It ain't no thang, to just let a dog go where it wants to go.
That's not a demonstration of control.
That's not taking a test.
If you are taking a test, you can't leave all the answer blocks blank. That's what it means, when you don't "challenge the line".
Never judged a HRC made two HRCH finished dogs. Great people, excellent hunters, march in place in this area anyway with cookie cutter tests, go bird long, two shorter birds, blind through the marks. Then there is the minute bird hits the ground dog can be sent, no immediate inspection of birds by judges, hang em up, carry away when your done talk to dog entire time, move dog around , ready, silent throws, shoot from the line, short distances, no flyers, etc, etc.
I have run AKC field trials, AKC Hunt tests, HRC hunt tests, titled dogs at highest level in all three venues. I have never trained except with field trial set-ups for all venues including wearing white coats. Oh yeah my dogs are all hunted. It's the same old, same old, different venues, different standards, different window-dressing, apples/oranges, different titles, train with what you feel comfortable in and have fun! It's all about the dogs.