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Thread: just wondering why more young dogs are not being entered

  1. #51
    Senior Member Labs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly Burns View Post
    Raise the standard and button down the judging. Make it mean something to achieve.
    You mean so the judges can get Monday morning quarterbacked on RTF because someone didn't get a ribbon or a decoy got moved in their test??
    The dog will always prove you wrong

  2. #52
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I don't see enough bang for the buck in JH or SH; a SH only takes away one test in MH. If your doing it for line-time cool but if you fail, you could theoretically pay $$ for one series, one bird, one whatever, then your on your way home (why would you stay unless there's another test the next day) (thus you don't stay for the BBQ, and you don't enjoy the entire experience). This possibility makes traveling for anything but a back to back JH or SH, not-cost effective. Used to do it to see where a dog was, but I can do that in HRC or NAHRA, for a lower fee, have more fun, and my points count for the dogs higher titles. If I fail the dog still gets the entire test for the $$ if I choose (they've even done this in a few of the lower NAHRA stakes I've ran). People don't like driving paying gas, expense and entry, without a guarantee on their money (I'm not talking a guaranteed pass, but a guarantee on the complete experience). Also because EE keeps track of your records for AKC, it's out there for anyone to track, where-as in the other tests it's untraceable (except to the owner). Thus It makes more since to test your wings in another venue, then keep your record straight in AKC, might as well just go straight MH (5MH tests is more cost-effective than 5SH &4MH) .

    Want to keep the JH & SH people around and get them hooked, easy when you have a low entries in a stake in JH/SH, don't do call-backs, or do them and then give everyone the opportunity to run the other series after those who are still playing. As a Judge sit a bit, perhaps be happy, and not in a hurry, why do we need to be done early? everyone's already booked the whole day. Give them a little feed-back on their dogs (no need to keep books). There's no rule saying you can't, and it keeps handlers there for the raffle & BBQ, keeps them interacting, shows them that they are important and not just entries/$$ so the club can host a MH test. When people feel improtant, not just a check, and they have a good time, often times they come back .
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 07-21-2014 at 03:14 PM.
    "They's Just DAWGS"
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  3. #53
    Senior Member Swampcollie's Avatar
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    There are two major reasons why numbers are down in JH and SH.

    The first is the economy. There is plain and simply less disposable income in most homes than there was 10 years ago.

    The second is a larger problem, a cultural shift in the under thirty folks. Their interests do not lie in do-it-yourself projects like dog training. If they want a well trained dog they are much more likely to hire somebody to train the dog for them rather than undertaking the process themselves. More than half the dogs in the Junior test I judged yesterday were trained and handled by Professional Trainers.

  4. #54
    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shaver View Post
    Doesn't make sense to me. Why should running more lower stakes make it easier to achieve a title at the upper stake? Kinda cheapens the meaning of the upper level title. I think a dog should have to achieve a certain percentage of passes to get a title not just a certain amount of passes. Why should a dog that passes 6 out of 20 tests get the same title as a dog that passes 6 out of 6?
    It has nothing to do with making it easier to title.
    It has everything to do with giving the people that aspire to title their dogs at the top levels, some sort of incentive to run at the lower levels first.

    With HRC, the incentive is there.
    With AKC, it isn't.
    Considering the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity". -Unknown

  5. #55
    Senior Member Sundown49 aka Otey B's Avatar
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    Shawn I remember that test very well. No rush and time for judges to interact with handlers ,especially newbies,. I think of that test every time I see a post of yours.........job well done my friend.
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  6. #56
    Senior Member Jerry Beil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    It has nothing to do with making it easier to title.
    It has everything to do with giving the people that aspire to title their dogs at the top levels, some sort of incentive to run at the lower levels first.

    With HRC, the incentive is there.
    With AKC, it isn't.
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  7. #57
    Member Trent Goree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swampcollie View Post
    There are two major reasons why numbers are down in JH and SH.

    The first is the economy. There is plain and simply less disposable income in most homes than there was 10 years ago.

    The second is a larger problem, a cultural shift in the under thirty folks. Their interests do not lie in do-it-yourself projects like dog training. If they want a well trained dog they are much more likely to hire somebody to train the dog for them rather than undertaking the process themselves. More than half the dogs in the Junior test I judged yesterday were trained and handled by Professional Trainers.
    As a person who has been involved with dogs for 10 years and being being 31 years old, I think the second problem you present is sweeping generalization that couldn't be more false. 1/2 of the people that were in the retriever club when I joined were, just like me, still in college. And all trained their own dog. In fact, I only know one person under 30 that has ever sent their dog to a pro. Most of the folks under 30 don't have enough disposable income to be able to pay a pro. Throw in a couple kids with day care/ pre-school expenses and a lot can't afford a well bred dog and training equipment, thus they have to join clubs and partners.

    When I got into the dog world, I was very blessed to have very experience handlers and trainers in East Texas that wanted to share their time and knowledge with a rookie like me. Those men and women, along with a handful of judges, are what made me want to continue to pursue the hunt tests. AWESOME PEOPLE. In my continued pursuit, I found what they had really been teaching me and why the majority of us play this game; the bond that truly represents a man and his best friend.

    We all know how much time and money it takes to train a dog to properly compete in hunt test or field trials. I remember how frustrating it was not to know people who would let me use their land, not to have enough money to buy training equipment or videos and not having the knowledge to make sure I wasn't "messing" my dog up. But I wanted to learn and would throw birds, plant blinds, load wingers, etc. all day just to make sure I would get invited back. Thankfully, I did.

    By the time I had the knowledge and was making enough money to buy those things and new the people that would let me use their ground, I was working 40,50, 60 hours a week and didn't have the time I had when I was in college...Then I had a kid...then another one...

    My point to this is, we've got to make sure that we're doing our fair share of recruiting and getting the word out to folks that can move our hobby/sport in the right direction. Make sure we go out of the way to welcome the folks at the Junior/Senior level and see how we can help. This is a tough sport to get youth involved in and keep them involved because if the parent isn't involved and will allow dogs, then the kid is just SOL. Plus how many kids do we know that would rather spend the weekend with a bunch of adults and dogs instead of their friends at a baseball or basketball tournament...or chasing girls/boys?

    A wise man once told me, "So you want to get into retrievers, huh? You might want to look into cocaine. It's a cheaper habit and for the most part, the women are hotter."

    I don't think we can pinpoint why the numbers are down. I know when I was running junior and senior tests, I wouldn't even consider running a test unless they had double junior/senior tests offered. I'm not going to wake up at 4 a.m. and drive 4 hours one way, spend $60 to enter and $200 in fuel for one $3.50 ribbon, but I would for two... I got the same thrill training 10 minutes from the house. The real thrill for me was cold December and January mornings...

    The junior and senior level tests were great for my experience as a handler. I'm convinced my dog never failed a test; I'm the one that failed. He could do the work, but I was the one that crapped the bed. That being said, I don't know that I'd run those levels again with my second dog that is now 15 weeks old. I'm much more confident in my ability as a trainer and handler now than I was then. I don't know that I see the benefit in it for us at this point.
    Trent


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  8. #58
    Senior Member winger's Avatar
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    I'd run more junior and seasoned test if I could get my dog in master test w/o having to sit at midnight praying I click the button fast enough. I'm not traveling for junior or senior test alone

  9. #59
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golddogs View Post
    I don't agree with the statement " raise the standard ". I believe it more accurate to state set the test to the standard and judge to it. For some, a Jr title may be all they can work for at this time and it must mean something. Those who dismiss the Jr and Sr titles are, IMO, a big part of the problem.

    As to lower #'s: in our area, MN,WI, we have tests every weekend beginning in May and as such a big selection for handlers to choose from thus causing some tests #'s to be lower in the Jr-Sr levels. When I began in 2001, there were a lot of open weekends with no tests running and as such,, much larger #'s in Jr and Sr. Our club always had 2 flights of Juniors running each day with 30 plus per flight and many times Seniors as well.

    Add to the higher costs of everything, people are waiting till the dogs are better trained before entering with the hope they pass.

    Still see a bright future for the Jr and Sr Regards
    You took the words out of my mouth. What should be done is to raise the quality of the judging pool.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

  10. #60
    Senior Member Good Dogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Samios View Post
    Does anyone know the history of why the hunt test program permits skipping the Junior and Senior levels and entering directly at the Master level? In Obedience, Rally, and Agility, a dog must have the lower title prior to running at a higher level.
    Can't say "why" but it's always been that way since the very first HRC/AKC days. Same as FTs. No requirement to go through derby or Q stakes before running an Open. Changing, unlikely as it would be, would not IMO be beneficial. Some experienced folks skip the lower stakes. I ran my pup in JR just for the fun of it and to give him some trial time as a youngster but don't plan to run Senior.
    For folks just getting started, or who don't have the confidence, the lower stakes are a good learning opportunity.
    The key, as has been noted, is in getting new folks engaged in the game. We were fortunate as our local club spent a lot of time with training days, club picnic "trials" and often just fun games with the dogs. The more experienced members went out of their way for newbies, even to the point of giving up their own training time to mentor others.
    That was the point of my earlier post and one that others have made. But it's worth repeating. The key to getting new folks involved, whatever the level, is clubs providing that opportunity.

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