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Thread: Ht dogs in the gallery???

  1. #1
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    Default Ht dogs in the gallery???

    I attended an AKC Hunt Test this past weekend and had been called back to run my dog in the water series during the junior stakes. Upon return of my dog with the bird from the first mark thrown to water, he did have a delivery issue. As is known, dogs must deliver to hand in Junior stakes, but are not required to heel and sit to deliver. I require my dog to heel then sit to deliver. For some reason (not clear) he came to heel, sat and then spit the bird before I gave him the release command. The bird was quite water logged and several commands to fetch and hold met with him picking the bird back uo and spitting it before I could grab the bird. The wind direction was blowing from the gallery toward the line where I had been working my retriever. My male dog who is 10 months old left the line and sucked over to the gallery where a handler and her female dog that had already ran water were sitting. The two dogs interacted (not aggressively) and I was able to recall my dog back and made two more attempts to have him pick up th duck, but all concentration had been disrupted by this point. Completely frustrated, I said to the judges, "we are out", and pulled my dog. Needless to say, I was not pleased. This was the second day of a two day HT. My dog had breezed through the land and water series on day one, and had performed very well during the land series on day two.

    I am a huge advocate of "good sportsmanship" and very much struggled internally as to whether or not to approach the judges in voicing my dismay. Other handlers had approached me and were saying "that NEVER should have happened or been tolerated". This is far from my first time handling dogs in hunt tests (both AKC and HRC) and I have never participated in one where dogs were allowed to sit in the gallery while other dogs were being handled on the line??? At one point, there were uo to three dogs in the gallery during the judging of the series. During this weekends test, I saw judges admonish people in the gallery for talking loudly, and I saw one woman warned that she would need to put on clothing of more subtle coloration so as not to distract dogs being handled (and that should happen), yet dogs were allowed to sit in the gallery, that being tolerated as not distractive???

    I waited until the water series had finished and asked to approach the judges to "air my concerns". I started by explaining that I was not expecting any personal resolution specific to the failure of my dog, noting that there had been delivery issues that I was displeased with in his performance. I did explain that I thought it was grossly unfair to allow dogs to be sitting in the gallery while other handlers were still running dogs in a series (perhaps even more so during Junior stakes, the dogs generally being more prone to potential distractions). I explained that I felt in NEVER should have been tolerated and one judge said that she was not aware that there had been a dog in the gallery. I explained that during the series there had at one point been up to three dogs in the gallery. The judges then went on to point out that my dogs initial dropping of the bird was unrelated to the dog in the gallery, and I concurred with them on that. I still contended that it should not have happened and wanted it addressed so that it did not happen at future tests. I also noted that judges are there to judge dogs at the line and should not need to be distracted with control of the immediate venue of the series, in fact, the Marshalls should have never allowed that to happen on their watch!

    It was quite apparent that other handlers were not pleased with the entire situation and I believe the handler that had brought the offending dog into the gallery was aware of the general lack of courtesy in doing so as well, in fact, her dog titled. After awards were distributed, I went up to that handler and congatulated her on the title earned by her dog. I thought she might reciprocate with an apology for the faux pas, yet no apology came forth??? I then offered to help the host of the test if they needed help picking up equipment before starting my 300 plus mile journey home (lots of time to think). My question to any who care to comment, am I being unreasonable to expect there to be NO toleration of any dogs in the gallery??? Is there anything that specifically prohibits this practice within AKC HT regulations??? If not, is this something that should be considered going forward? Also, have other handlers witnessed this at other tests? I have attended and worked at a number of test venues and this is a first for me. As stated from the start, this is not about my dog and I failing this test, rather, it is about a fair playing field for ALL handlers and their dogs.

    Sincere concern,
    Irishwhistler

  2. #2
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    One question. What are you going to do when there is an honor dog at your side? I agree, a bunch of unruly dogs barking and leaping about in the gallery would be something for the Marshall to straighten out. But the judges absolutely do not need to be concerning themselves with what goes on behind them. If the particular dog in question was not acting up or interfering, then i don't see it as being out of line. I PERSONALLY would not have one of my dogs in the gallery, as I like to give all competitors their very best shot at dealing with the test only, but in fact if a dog can not do his work without being distracted by others around him, he may not be quite ready for the test? Think about it after you have a chance to cool down. How many real life hunting scenarios can you imagine where there will be no distractions for your dog by other people or dogs? I really don't mean to be preachy, there has been many a time that I lashed out at the test or some other outside event that caused my dog to fail. On later reflection, I realized the issues were with me and my dog because ultimately, shit happens. At tests, in the field and in life! Suck it up and go train!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
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  3. #3
    Senior Member John Kelder's Avatar
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    The gallery can be a pretty sociable place . And to have handlers coming off line and stop at the gallery and chat about the test just ran is very common . If the other dog was on lead and not vocalizing ,I don't think any rules are being broken .And many folks bring out the new pup(on lead) to socialize and get used to the environment of their new career .And back when training aids were books , I remember reading about how keeping your dog under control was so important ,because you will be dropped if your dog decides to visit the gallery and hit up Johnny for a piece of that ham sandwich .And as many will testify , you didn't get a ribbon , but you did get experience. That your dog left the line and didn't respond to your commands of fetch and heel is the first concern .Which , IMO does make it about you and your dog . And that you don't mention any one else having the same issue further narrows down the problem .Sounds like your dog just needs a little experience given the good work he did up to that point . Wishing you continued success !
    SEMPER FI . FROM MY COLD , DEAD HANDS .

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  4. #4
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    Irishwhistler,never heard of a rule prohibiting dogs in the gallery but it is quite common. Spectators with their cockapoos etc. I once saw a family working the gallery trying to sell a litter of puppies. Let it go.Get back to the root of the problem so that never happens again. Good luck to you Guy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2tall View Post
    One question. What are you going to do when there is an honor dog at your side? I agree, a bunch of unruly dogs barking and leaping about in the gallery would be something for the Marshall to straighten out. But the judges absolutely do not need to be concerning themselves with what goes on behind them. If the particular dog in question was not acting up or interfering, then i don't see it as being out of line. I PERSONALLY would not have one of my dogs in the gallery, as I like to give all competitors their very best shot at dealing with the test only, but in fact if a dog can not do his work without being distracted by others around him, he may not be quite ready for the test?

    Think about it after you have a chance to cool down. How many real life hunting scenarios can you imagine where there will be no distractions for your dog by other people or dogs? I really don't mean to be preachy, there has been many a time that I lashed out at the test or some other outside event that caused my dog to fail. On later reflection, I realized the issues were with me and my dog because ultimately, shit happens. At tests, in the field and in life! Suck it up and go train!
    2Tall,
    I think that you and I are more in agreement than disagreement. Clearly, I stated that the Marshalls at the test should have addressed the problem by preventing it from happening. All non-working dogs would have to walk right past the holding blinds and the HT Marshall(s) to get to the gallery and should have been sent back to an area not adjacent to the test.

    I agree that dogs should be trained to honor other working dogs and specifically note that this was a junior stakes, not a senior or master stakes. You obviously know that "honoring" is not part of the standard at which junior level dogs are tested at. Are you implying that all dogs being tested at junior level should be trained to deal with dogs allowed in the gallery??? And I have successfully trained other dogs to "honor" during HT in the stakes that require it as part of the standard. You yourself state that you "would PERSONALLY not have one of your own dogs in the gallery". If this is the case, I ask, "why not? It seems you are suggesting that all dogs at junior level be trained and expected to honor the distraction of other dogs while such test dogs are being handled from the line. If that is the case, fine, make that the JH standard and particpants can train and fairly expect to be tested at that standard. THAT IS NOT THE CASE CURRENTLY! I do realize that all in life is not fair and some things are just beyond our control. Keeping dogs out of the gallery at any hunt test is not a difficult thing to control and I still contend it should not be tolerated. The question still goes unanswered as to what the offical AKC stance or regulation is specifically regarding if dogs are prohibited in the gallery? This was NOT a case of me whining to the judges about my dog personally not passing the series and it is clearly stated in my post. I specifically pulled my dog before the judges could tell me he had failed, because in my own opinion he had. This is specifically an issue aimed at keeping the playing field fair for all involved. Perhaps you should "suck it up,learn to read, and answer the questions at hand"?

    Irishwhistler

  6. #6
    Member brsutton86's Avatar
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    If the dog wasnt running around or barking, I dont see anything wrong with it. If your dogs mind was on task at hand, a dog just sitting in the gallery should not be a distraction. I understand being frustrated about the way the dog handled it, but dont see a reason to complain with the judges.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Perhaps I do need to work on my reading skills, as these were the only questions I could find in your post. My replies in red.

    My question to any who care to comment, am I being unreasonable to expect there to be NO toleration of any dogs in the gallery??? Yes.

    Is there anything that specifically prohibits this practice within AKC HT regulations??? No.

    If not, is this something that should be considered going forward? I don't see where anyone else has voiced this concern, but consider away.

    Also, have other handlers witnessed this at other tests? As stated by posters above, yes it is very common.

    Other than these, I saw lots of !!! and ??? with no real questions asked. You expressed a lot of outrage about a common circumstance in a junior hunt test. My comment about "sucking it up" means that we all have to learn to deal with the unexpected. No insult to you intended.
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    It is a GOOD possibility that your dog would have visited the gallery whether there was a dog sitting there or not, ...I see NO problem with a dog sitting quietly in the gallery. KEEP training .......
    BB
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelder View Post
    The gallery can be a pretty sociable place . And to have handlers coming off line and stop at the gallery and chat about the test just ran is very common . If the other dog was on lead and not vocalizing ,I don't think any rules are being broken .And many folks bring out the new pup(on lead) to socialize and get used to the environment of their new career .And back when training aids were books , I remember reading about how keeping your dog under control was so important ,because you will be dropped if your dog decides to visit the gallery and hit up Johnny for a piece of that ham sandwich .And as many will testify , you didn't get a ribbon , but you did get experience.
    That your dog left the line and didn't respond to your commands of fetch and heel is the first concern .Which , IMO does make it about you and your dog . And that you don't mention any one else having the same issue further narrows down the problem .Sounds like your dog just needs a little experience given the good work he did up to that point . Wishing you continued success !

    Not the case, the dog and handler had left the line, went back to the parking area, and returned to the gallery with her dog. So judges will admonish a woman for wearing a brightly colored shirt as disruptive, yet a dog in the gallery is not a distraction? Is there a specific level of tolerance in terms of population density of dogs within the gallery? Can every member of the gallery bring their dogs and conduct business selling puppies in the gallery? I guess the issue is just ambiguous and subjective specific to the whims of the judges and marshalls? As said, I have spent a good deal of time at tests as both a handler and volunteer worker and have never observed this tolerated.

    I have stated right from the very start of this post that my dog had performance issues that being clearly understood and admitted to, and not the issue at hand. WE FAILED AND I FULLY OWN THAT. The matter in question is, "what is the AKC stance on the presence of dogs and other forms of distraction in the gallery??? It seems to me that the general opinion here is that it is a place of social interaction, business transactions, and hanging out with as many dogs as folks want to bring to that location, as long as one does not wear a fuschia colored shirt. I am glad that has been clarified for me.

    Gratefully,
    IRISHWHISTLER

  10. #10
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    Your dog needs much more training if it is to advance. And you need to up your standard. I know you don't believe in force fetch. Ever hear of the here command? Your post does not draw sympathy from me. Go home and train.
    Gentle in what you do. Firm in how you do it.

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    WESTWIND WHISPERING COVE (LARRY son of Murray) WDQ MH ***
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    WESTWIND WHISPERING COVE JAY ** ( Larry's son and Murray's grandson)

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