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Thread: First Time Hunt Test

  1. #31
    Senior Member sunnydee's Avatar
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    I have posted this before but for you I will post it once again. This was our very first junior hunt test when my dog Sunny was just a year old. I was so nervous that when one of the judges said nine which was the cue to release my dog I said nine instead of her name. The picture quality isn’t very good, I think my brother was as nervous as I was. We are now running in Field Trials with the BIG dogs but I still enjoy looking at this video. Best of luck to you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1cHW6r9qZQ
    Terry C.

    You can't win if you don't play, every dog has his day

    Sunny Dee Light MH QAA (Sunny)
    Sunny's Black Gold Texas Tea, Derby Dog (Crude)

  2. #32
    Senior Member HuntinDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Cajun View Post
    I am also new to the hunt test scene and will be running a junior HT this weekend. I have a question......Once at the line and dog on leash or holding the collar, you signal the judges for the bird, you are still holding the collar or leash? Is this ok or is this considered touching the dog? Or can you hold the leash/collar until the judges release you to send your dog?
    You will be holding your dog's collar (if you are smart). You take the leash off and put it in your pocket after you get to the line. Holding the dog's collar does not constitute touching the dog as holding the dog's collar is expressly allowed in Junior.

    Quote Originally Posted by brushtop12 View Post
    No this will be his first pass and first time ever in that environment (and me too) That's another question - how many times does he have to pass to get his JH title?
    It takes 4 Junior passes. That is why when you said your dog was running for the title this weekend I thought he had run before. Unless the club is running a quadruple Junior (never heard of one doing that, but it could happen I guess) your dog isn't running for the title this weekend. Does your pro think the dog is ready?

    Most of the Junior failures I've seen have been one or more of the following:

    1) Dog has never fetched a real bird (yes, really).
    2) Dog has never fetched a live bird (yes, really) as the flyer may not be dead and may even run or swim from your dog, quacking and flapping their wings. Some dogs who haven't been properly exposed (in other words are not prepared) don't know how to handle that.
    3) Dog has never or rarely been in the water (yes, really).
    4) Dog is not force fetched and will not deliver to hand.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    ---------------------------------------------
    HRCH "Boomer" MH
    UH HR "Hunter" SH (RIP)

    "When you go to a test or a trial, your dog should be underwhelmed." ~ Evan Graham

    "It is unreasonable to expect a dog to be more precise than you are." ~ Rex Carr

    "You own what you condone." ~ Mike Lardy

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Spann View Post
    Ok, here is the down and dirty on what to expect:

    Train the evening before the test, the same as you always do. Fido will do awesome while training and you will go to bed feeling optimistic and probably get very little sleep (kinda like a kid on Christmas eve).

    Wake up early and double check your list to make sure you have everything: dog, dog food, water, folding chair, leash, whistle, duck call, etc.

    Arrive at HT and check in, then proceed to your flight.

    Attend handler's meeting and watch test-dog.

    Make sure you check in with the marshall and know your dog number.

    Air Fido at least 3-4 dogs before you run. Notice how Fido seems to have a little more pep in his step!

    When you hear the marshall call your name to "get ready" proceed to the first holding blind (this is sometimes the side of a truck) and notice how Fido is sniffing where all of the other dogs before you have travelled down the same path. Also notice how Fido is becoming even more energetic and appears to be suffering from an immediate onset of partial hearing loss.

    Proceed to the holding blind. Notice how Fido has decided that he doesn't want to sit patiently and wait his turn but much prefers to pull on the leash in an attempt to look under, around or over the holding blind.

    Proceed to the line. Notice how Fido now prefers to lead the way as if he knows where you want him to go and especially notice that he does this on TWO LEGS!

    Arrive at the line and tell the judges your number. Make Fido sit so that he can mark the bird. Notice that Fido has forgotten the command "sit".

    Signal when you are ready, Fido has been ready.

    When the judges say "dog" release Fido and hope for the best!

    Hopefully Fido will retrieve the duck and deliver to hand just like he has been taught and done so many times before. Notice that Fido likes to air a second time when he has a crowd watching.

    After the last retrieve get Fido on lead and back to the truck. Note sometimes this resembles a steer wrestling competition.

    Good luck.

    Lonnie Spann
    Lonnie I never saw or got to meet you at first hunt test ever this year. You must have been hiding in the bushes taking notes on how my dog and I acted

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntinDawg View Post
    You will be holding your dog's collar (if you are smart). You take the leash off and put it in your pocket after you get to the line. Holding the dog's collar does not constitute touching the dog as holding the dog's collar is expressly allowed in Junior.



    It takes 4 Junior passes. That is why when you said your dog was running for the title this weekend I thought he had run before. Unless the club is running a quadruple Junior (never heard of one doing that, but it could happen I guess) your dog isn't running for the title this weekend. Does your pro think the dog is ready?

    Most of the Junior failures I've seen have been one or more of the following:

    1) Dog has never fetched a real bird (yes, really).
    2) Dog has never fetched a live bird (yes, really) as the flyer may not be dead and may even run or swim from your dog, quacking and flapping their wings. Some dogs who haven't been properly exposed (in other words are not prepared) don't know how to handle that.
    3) Dog has never or rarely been in the water (yes, really).
    4) Dog is not force fetched and will not deliver to hand.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    He has fetched fresh killed birds - doves and ducks, but none live. (I guess that means if he screws up i'll have an excuse!) and he has been in the water since "Water Introduction" when he was 7 weeks old- he loves it, and miraculously really from day 1 he has swam like a real dog instead of splashing like he's trying not to drown. And yes, though it did not come easy- he has been force fetched.

    So this test is a 2 day test and he will have to run both days, if he passes both days does that count as 2 passes or just 1?

  5. #35
    Senior Member HuntinDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brushtop12 View Post
    He has fetched fresh killed birds - doves and ducks, but none live. (I guess that means if he screws up i'll have an excuse!) and he has been in the water since "Water Introduction" when he was 7 weeks old- he loves it, and miraculously really from day 1 he has swam like a real dog instead of splashing like he's trying not to drown. And yes, though it did not come easy- he has been force fetched.

    So this test is a 2 day test and he will have to run both days, if he passes both days does that count as 2 passes or just 1?
    Sounds pretty good. His delivery to hand is reliable?

    Each test stands on his own. It is 2 tests so it will be 2 passes or 1 pass & 1 fail, etc.

    As far as live birds go you have 2 options IMO:

    1) Don't worry about it and hope you either don't get a shot flyer who is still lively after being shot or hope that your dog doesn't have a problem with it. Some dogs love cripples instantaneously while others need some exposure. My current dog didn't seem to know what to do with a live bird but once he figured it out all was well.

    2) Get yourself a live duck and zip tie it's wings or clip the flight feathers and get your dog conditioned to it now. You have time if there is a supply of live birds nearby. If you live close to your pro and he has live birds on hand this shouldn't be a big deal. You just zip tie the wings, let your dog retrieve it a couple of times, give an ear pinch if he doesn't want to and once he is happily fetching the live duck you take off the zip tie and throw him back in your pro's flyer pen. Like I said for some dogs their first cripple just really excites them and it is no issue at all. For others they just aren't sure what to do. A few are even fearful. I've had one that loved it from the first exposure and one that had to learn to love it.

    Either way, good luck and don't stress out too much about it. You can't control whether you get a flyer that is shot stone cold dead or whether it will take your dog on a merry chase. Usually the judges will instruct the gunners to shoot the bird again if it's head pops up when it hits the ground or water but it isn't always possible due to distance and the direction of the necessary shot (safety).
    ---------------------------------------------
    HRCH "Boomer" MH
    UH HR "Hunter" SH (RIP)

    "When you go to a test or a trial, your dog should be underwhelmed." ~ Evan Graham

    "It is unreasonable to expect a dog to be more precise than you are." ~ Rex Carr

    "You own what you condone." ~ Mike Lardy

  6. #36
    Senior Member Splash_em's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brushtop12 View Post
    It will be the test in Greensboro, AL on Oct. 25th and 26th
    Find your marshal that morning. He'll be a really handsome fella by the name of Richard Gravely.

    Remind me again of your name and this thread and I'll make sure you have an opportunity to watch a few dogs run and can answer any questions or concerns that you might have. If you are really lucky, I might even hand you the clipboard and let you keep up with the running order to calm your nerves.
    Richard Gravely

  7. #37
    Senior Member Lonnie Spann's Avatar
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    Steve,
    I know that the story sounded familiar, however, it was from my own personal experiences, maybe Jimmy was watching and taking notes.

    Skinny,
    i love watching the JH tests just for the pure enjoyment and the relief that I get knowing that I'm not currently running a dog at that level.

    Lonnie
    DISCLAIMER: The above post is the opinionated and biased view of your's truly, Lonnie Spann, and is in no way intended to reflect the opinions or views of the unfortunate individuals named below who just happen to be doomed with guilt by association.

    Member of CAHRC and North AL HRC. I train with AND AM FRIENDS WITH: Fishduck, Laidback, Splash_Em, RF2, Drake2014, Claimsadj, Hooked on Quackers, RookieTrainer and Roseberry.

    HRCH Spann's Quacker Jack "Jack" 500 Pt. Club (New & IMPROVED jacket).

  8. #38

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    Lonnie,

    I loved the story it makes me feel better about last weekend and gave me a good laugh and put things in perspective

  9. #39
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    Remember this is for fun. Don't lose your temper, and don't voice displeasure with the judges or marshals if something goes wrong. The dogs will act different at a hunt test. They can sense what's going on just like we can. Gunfire, new smells, dogs barking, etc can make things a little crazy. If your dog passes with flying colors enjoy the test and smile. If he runs around like an idiot, smile, laugh, and enjoy the test. There are plenty of MH dogs that have done the same thing...mine included. So don't sweat it if things don't go according to plan, they seldom do.

    Be sure to introduce yourself to folks and compliment other handlers. It's a great time to meet other people who live around you and train with their dogs. Just be mindful if they are getting ready to go to the holding blind, etc. lots of great folks at these events. Have fun, relax, and enjoy the test. There are way bigger things in life to get worked up over.

  10. #40
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    And make sure to air yourself before going to the line...

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