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Thread: Junior/Started Test

  1. #11
    Senior Member Matt McKenzie's Avatar
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    Another perspective on this. Although to most of us here, a Junior title is "entry level", to compared to the vast majority of retrievers out there, a dog that is steady, that will mark and retrieve live flyers on land and water and deliver to hand every time is a very highly trained dog.

    To the original question, a Junior or started title doesn't "prove" anything to me, but one reason I used to enjoy judging started tests is that it lets you see more of the "raw material" in a pup. Watching a young dog run a started or junior test tells me a lot about the dog's natural instincts and abilities.
    Matt McKenzie

    "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it." Henry Ford

  2. #12
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    I don't think it "proves" anything, but I think the same could be said about a lot of titles. IMO, hunt test titles themselves mean little in terms of what the dog is made of, but the process of earning those titles will tell a lot to the person/people working with that dog and watching that dog regularly.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Swack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McKenzie View Post
    Another perspective on this. Although to most of us here, a Junior title is "entry level", to compared to the vast majority of retrievers out there, a dog that is steady, that will mark and retrieve live flyers on land and water and deliver to hand every time is a very highly trained dog.

    To the original question, a Junior or started title doesn't "prove" anything to me, but one reason I used to enjoy judging started tests is that it lets you see more of the "raw material" in a pup. Watching a young dog run a started or junior test tells me a lot about the dog's natural instincts and abilities.
    Matt,

    I agree that when compared to the total retriever population, a dog with a JH or SHR title is above average in its level of training.

    I emboldened your statements above because I think natural instincts and abilities are what we should be evaluating in tests and trials. When you breed to a dog you get his genes, not his training.

    Swack
    Jeff Swackhamer

  4. #14
    Senior Member Red retrievers's Avatar
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    Ours is a breeding training kennel and we title all of our dogs. We run them in the Junior, mainly for the test environment. I find it important that a dog experience that, even though we train with a group IMO you can't totally recreate the test environment on training night. I've found that the entry cost of a junior is worth the experience. We do carry our boys and girls beyond JH.

    As for the importance of titles a dog has earned, in looking for Studs to use we always look back at the pedigree for titles. The pedigree doesn't need to be loaded with higher levels in the hunt test/field trial games as we also look for talent and something between the ears. But we maintain girls that are extremely birdy, smart, hard driving, and trainable. So IMO titles are important.
    Dan Boerboon

    The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do nothing about them. Albert Einstein

    Those without dreams won't go the extra mile

  5. #15
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I don't do the JH-SHR unless, I have a friend or newbie who wants to run them and needs to get some line time, but even then I prefer the SHR as the handler-dog is assured full line time, regardless of what might've happened earlier. Most people don't put on a JH-SHR if they know they are going to go higher; however when a newbie puts on a JH-SHR on their first dog, themselves; they are about the happiest person in the world, which IMO is the whole point of titles.

    I like HRC tests; I usually go for my finished dogs; however as I'm already there if I have a dog that is at SHR level at the time; I'll usually throw them in (day of if they're still taking entries, (yes I'm one of those people ). The pups can get a bit of line time, and it helps the club. Usually when I'm at the next test they're ready for seasoned and I'll throw them in that (same way, day of ). Still I enjoy running seasoned; it's a pretty awesome & chaotic test (usually more fun than Finished, you just never know what might happen with that level of dog), and it gives me a gauge on where a dog is-what needs work (in a test setting)before making the jump up. SHR & HR points continue on to HRCH so there's really no downside in running the lower stakes, to get the dog's feet wet.

    I don't enjoy AKC nearly as much; seems like all your doing is working and waiting. I've had grumpy people tell me that you shouldn't be smiling-laughing at a AKC test . I just can't see running 4 JH tests (many with 50 dogs), nor 4 SH tests, just to take away 1 MH test; (so $$$ wise) AKC tests just run 6 MH's

    Original question; No title really means anything to me, it's something people do because they enjoy the sport, enjoy their dogs and they enjoy seeing what their dog can do. However there are (NFC-NAFC-MNH-Grand-dog) I wouldn't take a pup out; and untitled dogs, who have never seen a test that I would; It's the character of the dog that's important me, but I'm probably in the minority
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 04-08-2014 at 02:01 PM.
    "They's Just DAWGS"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"
    "I train dogs, Not papers"

    GMRH HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast) Rip. July-2014
    MHR HRCH Lakota MH (most importantly Upland/Duck Enthusiast)
    HR Storm.. the Pup (Beginning Upland & Waterfowl Enthusiast)

  6. #16

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    I plan on doing the hunt tests, starting with the JH & started as a barometer to let me know how I am doing as a trainer. I believe everything the dog does is a reflection of the owner / handler. Hopefully we will go beyond to more senior levels.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Dave Farrar's Avatar
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    Borrowed from another forum:

    Why title a dog?

    Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain in record and in memory for as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard.

    And though the dog itself doesn't know or care that its achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.

    A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.

    And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that, in the end, your faith was justified.

    A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

    And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of pride in one small set of initials after the name.

    A title earned is nothing less than love and respect, given and received, and permanently recorded.

    -Sandra Mowery


    My dog just earned his JH last month. I didn't get him to run tests, but I went to watch one and decided my pup can do that. We ran a test in August and bombed out. It showed me what I needed to work on. He went 4/4 this spring. On the 4th one, you couldn't have slapped the smile off my face. We will run senior tests next spring and hopefully masters after that...
    DUCKDAWG'S MAC'S MAGICAL MR. OCTOBER JH -- Reggie

  8. #18
    Senior Member Chuck Ward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Farrar View Post
    Borrowed from another forum:

    Why title a dog?

    Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain in record and in memory for as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard.

    And though the dog itself doesn't know or care that its achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.

    A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.

    And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that, in the end, your faith was justified.

    A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

    And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of pride in one small set of initials after the name.

    A title earned is nothing less than love and respect, given and received, and permanently recorded.

    -Sandra Mowery


    My dog just earned his JH last month. I didn't get him to run tests, but I went to watch one and decided my pup can do that. We ran a test in August and bombed out. It showed me what I needed to work on. He went 4/4 this spring. On the 4th one, you couldn't have slapped the smile off my face. We will run senior tests next spring and hopefully masters after that...
    Thank you for posting this. I've seen it before and believe the last line in your quote says it all! My dogs love the "game" and love to play, I love my dogs and so we play!

  9. #19
    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy91 View Post
    ... During this I began to wonder does getting a junior or started title really "prove" anything?..........
    For breeding selection, it is pretty much worthless for all but conformation breedings.

    What the lower level titles do serve a valuable purpose for, is that they give new trainers a standard to meet. A standard that while easily achievable, is still a standard that can't be "adjusted" so that bad behavior can be excused away.

    It's Human nature to train on the dog's strengths, and ignore the weaknesses.
    There are lots and lots of "excellent hunters" that have tons of time afield and in the blind.

    But, they will go to the grave with a handful of behavior problems that the owner never learns to resolve.
    Problems that would keep the dog from earning any level of HT title.
    Considering the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity". -Unknown

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    For breeding selection, it is pretty much worthless for all but conformation breedings.

    What the lower level titles do serve a valuable purpose for, is that they give new trainers a standard to meet. A standard that while easily achievable, is still a standard that can't be "adjusted" so that bad behavior can be excused away.

    It's Human nature to train on the dog's strengths, and ignore the weaknesses.
    There are lots and lots of "excellent hunters" that have tons of time afield and in the blind.

    But, they will go to the grave with a handful of behavior problems that the owner never learns to resolve.
    Problems that would keep the dog from earning any level of HT title.
    Copterdoc,
    We actually talked about the titles being on the pedigree yesterday. As some others have said, I will always choose puppy character and demeanor over titles while choosing a pup, but I guess having a few higher titles wouldn't hurt.

    I would like to thank everyone for their responses to this thread and all of the other threads I have posted. During my short time here at RTF you have all greatly contributed to my training (either by answering my questions, or by posting to other threads of my interest). This information is invaluable to my pup and myself, and I can't wait to get started in this hunt test game. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to meet some of you in the future.
    God Bless
    -Corey

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