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Thread: How young to enter started test?

  1. #11
    Senior Member pat addis's Avatar
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    they pick up a lot of bad habits that are hard to fix been there done that. think about what you can gain or lose. i'm not preaching but what's the hurry

  2. #12
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    My first dog was 5 months old when we ran started, way back when. I never got her past a HR cause I couldn't stop the breaking.My second we skipped started and went 4 for 4 for his HR and then got an HRCH. The next 2 skipped started one has her HR and the other needs one pass (he's a breaker) and my last girl skipped started has HRCH, QFTR, and a SH. The extra time training pays off in the long run.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Karen Klotthor's Avatar
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    At least do yourself a favor and wait until you have completed force fetch. I have judged a lot of started test and believe me it is not fun to have your handler begging the pup to bring the bird back. They might do great in training, but remember this is a whole new ball game for them and you would be surprised how much trouble a real young pup can get into.

  4. #14
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    My experience is with HRC Hunt Tests and I have seen a lot go wrong on started tests for what a lot of people consider the easiest level. Typical challenges include:
    Running out of a boat or blind, gunfire, retrieving nasty slobber covered ducks, retrieving through decoys, duck calls, a gallery, judges and helpers. Once you get to seasoned, apply all the worst case scenarios for gun safety.

    Not saying your started dog will do any of the above but I would prepare for the worst case scenario. Watching one dog not familiar with the distractions at the line, barking at decoys, rolling on the duck like its a sweet perfume instead of retrieving it and not completing the retrieve is enough for me to recommend training for and then testing prior to spending the time and money to find out what it does or does not know at a test.
    Erik B.

  5. #15
    Junior Member gsp1's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advise on running a started test on a young pup! I gotta admit, I was pretty excited about seeing how quickly I could get some passes in the SHR but I've decided I should wait awhile and keep working on the basics before some bad habits appear.

  6. #16
    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
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    Good decision. I find the advice here is priceless.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsp1 View Post
    Thanks for all the advise on running a started test on a young pup! I gotta admit, I was pretty excited about seeing how quickly I could get some passes in the SHR but I've decided I should wait awhile and keep working on the basics before some bad habits appear.
    A cold nose feels good on a hot day.....
    Majestic Oaks Liberty Belle JH

  7. #17
    Senior Member Quackwacker's Avatar
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    Ran two started test this weekend that were not easy. 60 yd water marks, first thing in the morning low floating birds used from the day before. Land was 70 yds between two hay bales, and the other mark was 50 yds through a ditch and over some dog fennels 4 ft high!

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