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Thread: Sooner RC HT

  1. #1
    Senior Member SueLab's Avatar
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    Default Sooner RC HT

    Just a note to say thanks to all of the members of the Sooner RC and those judges who participated this past weekend at their HT (our first trip to Ok.) Everyone was so nice...your club is one I would join in an instant!

    Even with the large entries, the event was well planned and proceeded without a hitch. IMHO, the master tests were representative of what master tests should be with really challenging bird placement both for the marks and the blinds. (I love a test that determines the qualifier ... either the dog and handler team can do it or they can't).

    Thanks for a great test and fun weekend!

    Nancy (& Suzie) from Texas

  2. #2
    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    SueLab wrote:

    ...the master tests were representative of what master tests should be with really challenging bird placement both for the marks and the blinds. (I love a test that determines the qualifier ... either the dog and handler team can do it or they can't).
    That's great news Sue. You just hit on the #1 thing that could improve the quality of the AKC HT program, raise the esteem of the title "MH" to a deserving level, and help put the Master National back on solid ground without a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Kudos to those judges! !

    Did you run in Master A or B?

    Keith Griffith
    I keep my PM box full. Use email to contact me: rockytopkg@aol.com.

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    SueLab wrote:

    ...the master tests were representative of what master tests should be with really challenging bird placement both for the marks and the blinds. (I love a test that determines the qualifier ... either the dog and handler team can do it or they can't).
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Griffith
    That's great news Sue. You just hit on the #1 thing that could improve the quality of the AKC HT program, raise the esteem of the title "MH" to a deserving level, and help put the Master National back on solid ground without a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Kudos to those judges! !
    Keith Griffith
    That all sounds good, but still ambiguous. It still is wide open for interpetation ....and still seems to promote setting up tests to fail dogs, not measure a standard.

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    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    Steve Bean wrote:

    That all sounds good, but still ambiguous. It still is wide open for interpetation ....and still seems to promote setting up tests to fail dogs, not measure a standard.
    For the first time in a long time, I just really don't know how to answer that....I...just don't....

    Are you saying that if a fair, straightforward test is set up that a dog will either fail or pass (you know you did it or you didn't do it when you leave the line), that it's set up to fail dogs and not measure them to the Standard for the level they are running?

    'Cause I didn't get that at all from SueLab's post...or your initial comment, "That all sounds good...."

    Keith Griffith
    I keep my PM box full. Use email to contact me: rockytopkg@aol.com.

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    Sue's initial comment on the MH test quality is her own personal opinion. It neither says the test was too extreme, one way or the other, only that as one came from the line you 'knew' if you did it or not. To me that is saying you either scored a '0' or a '7' or '10' (pick a number). If that is the criteria, you do the job or not, we don't need judges, just someone to stand there and say pass or fail. It is not what Sue said as much as what can be inferred from "they can do it or they can't". Isn't that the bottom line for all tests? The question is was that a legitimate MH test? Since Sue saw it, she is in the best position to say so, but it would depend on the dogs that ran, the mix so to speak.

    Having discussed HT with you for a number of years, I think I know where you are coming from, and you certainly understand the differences in the games. I just get the feeling that too many people think that if you set up a test with keyhole blinds, "you must touch the point blinds", a hip pocket type mark, and a resulting failure of quality hunting dogs, you had a great Master test. You also stated that the MH has to be elevated to a deserving level, inferring that it hasn't been.

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    Senior Member SueLab's Avatar
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    Gee Golly! The point of the post was:
    1. The Sooner Club did a great job and I among others appreciated all of their work.
    2. I felt like I really EARNED the pass...the test was extremely challenging, it tested marking ability with great bird placement and no splashing birds...The triples were about 100 degrees from left to right. The blinds were straightforward....yes, one was down a shore and required your dog to not suck in or to handle away from the shore...the second water blind was across 2 points and required either the dog taking a straight line or being able to cast off points and not run the shoreline (which was not the correct line to the blind). The land blind required control to get the dog through and opening which was the straight line to the blind.
    3. Although I am opinionated, I REALLY didn't make the post to start another argument.
    4. If I had failed, at least, I would have known where I failed and what to do to improve! (This can't be said for some tests that I have run)
    5. The test also required that the handler make good decisions and work as a team with the dog...the whole point...again my opinion.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SueLab's Avatar
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    Both Samlab (this team passed also) and I were in Master B which by the way passed 16 of 50 dogs. Have not heard how Master A faired but we flip flopped the first two series with some minor adjustments. The adjustments didn't make the the series any easier...just different...

    Actually, I think it would be pretty nice to not have judges "use the pencil or pencil whipping the entrants to get the numbers down." to determine passes...that does not mean that all dogs did it perfectly as you are implying!

  8. #8
    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I got an answer to this:

    Are you saying that if a fair, straightforward test is set up that a dog will either fail or pass (you know you did it or you didn't do it when you leave the line), that it's set up to fail dogs and not measure them to the Standard for the level they are running?
    If there was an answer and I missed it, I apologize...please point it out to me.


    Steve Bean wrote:

    The question is was that a legitimate MH test? Since Sue saw it, she is in the best position to say so, but it would depend on the dogs that ran, the mix so to speak.
    So...what are you saying here by the part in italics and bold type? The dogs determine the kind of test the judges set up? No, NO, 1000 times NO! The owners/handlers can enter whatever level they choose regardless, whether their dog is ready for that level or not. We test to the level that the test requires, not to the dogs entered in that level. If someone has entered their just-titled Senior dog in Master and he can't count to three, he's probably not ready to run Master just yet. You don't dumb down or lessen the level of testing because some dogs, "the dogs that ran, the mix so to speak," are not ready for that level...and you can't know that until you see them run. If they aren't ready to run at that level, that's not the judge's fault.


    Steve Bean wrote:

    You also stated that the MH has to be elevated to a deserving level, inferring that it hasn't been.
    Well, that was close! ! Here's what I wrote:

    You just hit on the #1 thing that could improve the quality of the AKC HT program, raise the esteem of the title "MH" to a deserving level, and help put the Master National back on solid ground without a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    I'm talking about what it means to have the title "Master Hunter" after a dog's name and what it should say about that dog and the AKC HT program.

    My whole point with my first post to SueLab was that it sounded to me like they had run the kind of test a Master dog ought to have to run. That's all. After looking up the two judges that judged her in Master B, I can see why she felt that way.

    If that is the criteria, you do the job or not, we don't need judges, just someone to stand there and say pass or fail. It is not what Sue said as much as what can be inferred from "they can do it or they can't". Isn't that the bottom line for all tests?
    Seems to me you may have taken that first part a bit too literally. The regs/guidelines give us a lot of leeway when we judge. The tighter they get, the more we become like the scorekeepers you suggest. As for the bottom line of all tests, I wish it were "they can do it or they can't." Sue said it best:

    4. If I had failed, at least, I would have known where I failed and what to do to improve! (This can't be said for some tests that I have run)
    That is the biggest complaint I still hear and have heard for the past 10 years about hunting test judging. We didn't hear that on this post...that is why I'm happy about this situation!

    Keith Griffith
    I keep my PM box full. Use email to contact me: rockytopkg@aol.com.

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    First to SueLab...as I stated, you tested and are in the best position to have an opinion about the test you ran. No argument from me on that point. I'm glad you passed, just wondering if the majority who ran the test feel the same way, that's all. I also think it is nice that you complimented the hosting club. I really don't have any issue with what you said other than wondering about the general consensus of the others.

    Now for each slice of the pie Keith has cut out.
    1. fair straightforward test. I am saying it is never that simple. Some dogs fail because they didn't complete the series... On the other end some slam-dunk it. It's the in-between dogs that don't know. That's why when you walk away you might be bleeding, but there other series to run. That's why there are judges, paper, pencil, and total scores. I think judging to the point of picking up the birds or not is a cop-out for judges....there is no judging. People always talk about hating to pencil a dog out..or in. Sorry folks, that's what judging is. IMO if you don't like it, don't do it. But isn't that why the guidelines are in place? Yes, some dogs will flunk themselves, but if they a deficient in an area, no matter that it is subjective, and the judges cumulative score fails the dog, so be it. I think this is especially true at the Master level.

    2. Mix of dogs....boy that's a real pet peeve. I have always been just as willing to pass or fail them all, at any level. And it is not based on grading of the 'curve'. These are standards, an expectation of a finished hunting dog. If a realistic hunting scenerio is set up, then judge each dog against the standard, not some arbritary %. Especially as SueLab stated to .."get the percentages down." I don't know if 16 dogs out of 50 was good for this field or not. What if every dog in the Master test was titled? Does that mean we still can't have but X% passing? Sure some will fail, but if it is a fair test, I would expect the majority of dogs to pass. If they are all new SH running their first MH, they may all fail. Notice I DID NOT say you judge on the curve....never was my intention.

    3. raise the esteem, I'm sorry maybe I misunderstood 'raise'. That means to elevate from a lower level. Have you felt the MH hasn't been what it should be? It certainly seems higher now than I think it was ever intended to be. This is an altogether different tangent. As you know, the HT was for the hunter who trained his own dog, and acheived various levels of ability. Each year, my guess, is fewer and fewer dogs reach the SH and especially the MH level without pro influence. Would be a nice study. Certainly the first time dog owner doesn't have a prayer to get to the MH level without that help. More so now than ever before. IMO the MN has only exacerbated that problem as some tests now try and re-invent the FT.

    Keith Griffith said:
    "Seems to me you may have taken that first part a bit too literally. The regs/guidelines give us a lot of leeway when we judge. The tighter they get, the more we become like the scorekeepers you suggest. As for the bottom line of all tests, I wish it were "they can do it or they can't." "

    I don't understand the "tighter they get"

    Finally, the point of your being happy about this situation.
    This may be a point to be elated about, or it may not. You heard from one person, who passed the test that was happy. All I'm saying is that before you give your stamp of approval, and back same with your considerable influence, you need more feedback. Please don't take offense by my saying that, it's just that this could have been the mother of all Master tests and everyone is saying Keith said this is what they should be now. Or, on the other hand, it could have been a cakewalk and they were all SH that were entered.

  10. #10
    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    Steve Bean wrote:

    That's why when you walk away you might be bleeding, but there other series to run. That's why there are judges, paper, pencil, and total scores. I think judging to the point of picking up the birds or not is a cop-out for judges....there is no judging.
    Perhaps this is communication issue. When suelab said "test" I took it to mean the whole test from start to finish, not just a series or a setup. Yes, multiple scores/series make up a "test."

    I have always been just as willing to pass or fail them all, at any level.
    As we all should be if we understand the concept of judging to a Standard! !

    What if every dog in the Master test was titled? Does that mean we still can't have but X% passing? Sure some will fail, but if it is a fair test, I would expect the majority of dogs to pass.
    If they do the work, they pass. If not, they don't...MH title or no MH title. Now, that said, in theory you should expect an above average number of MH titled dogs to pass any given Master test. However, every dog can have a meltdown on any given day, just like any dog can shine on any given day. My Standard is to judge what I see, not what I think, and let the chips fall where they may, percentages be d*mned.

    Have you felt the MH hasn't been what it should be? It certainly seems higher now than I think it was ever intended to be.
    IMHO, it's never been as high as it should have been. When I hear someone say, "I'm going to breed to 'Red Rover Come Over, MH', he's the hottest thing since sliced bread," then I'll know the MH title means something. When the testing to the Standard becomes the rule rather than the exception, then it'll be where it's supposed to be.

    Each year, my guess, is fewer and fewer dogs reach the SH and especially the MH level without pro influence.
    IMHO, that is the choice of the owner, not the handler. The "hunter that trains his own dog" doesn't much do that any more, yet those folks have created an industry (pro trainers) to do the job for them largely because the game has become so popular. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), our economy and our lifestyles afford us the ability to make that choice with the future of the HT game being way down the list in order of concerns. The HT game is bigger than it's ever been....the FT game is bigger than its ever been....I know there are negatives involved with both, but it beats the heck out of them shrinking due to inactivity or disinterest.

    I don't understand the "tighter they get"
    In that context, I meant the regs/guidelines. The more things are spelled out (if the regs/guidelines said "marks shall not exceed 100 yds...a creep shall be considered to be a break in master"...etc.), the more mechanical this game will get and those scorekeepers you opined about will become a reality....I for one have no interest in becoming a scorekeeper. I know you don't either.

    This may be a point to be elated about, or it may not. You heard from one person, who passed the test that was happy. All I'm saying is that before you give your stamp of approval, and back same with your considerable influence, you need more feedback. Please don't take offense by my saying that, it's just that this could have been the mother of all Master tests and everyone is saying Keith said this is what they should be now. Or, on the other hand, it could have been a cakewalk and they were all SH that were entered.
    I hold no more sway than any other one person here, Steve....and we've known each other too long for you to offend me with stuff like this! !

    I've seen suelab post. She don't BS. She's straight up...and based on some of the test topics that have come up, I felt compelled to comment positively. God knows I'd do the same negatively if the situation warranted it...go back and check out the strings about the Coastal Bend (TX) Master tests back in March and you'll see what I mean...and it ain't just me. Anyway, that comment was not made in cavalier fashion. I understand what you meant. If I felt I couldn't comment intelligently, I wouldn't have....most times... !

    Keith Griffith
    I keep my PM box full. Use email to contact me: rockytopkg@aol.com.

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