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Thread: AKC Upland Flushing test

  1. #31
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    How cool! I can't wait for more information, sounds like great fun. My boy will LOVE it.

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  2. #32
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Thanks for the description, David. Sounds like a lot of fun. Already dreaming about my club putting on these tests. We have some nice potential grounds here.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Dave Flint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David McCracken View Post
    I once ran a test in Virginia with Gumbo where he was done with 2 flushes and 2 retrieves in less than a minute, but that is certainly not the norm.
    I would have a real problem w/ judges who made a decision after watching any dog run for “less than a minute”.

    Quote Originally Posted by David McCracken View Post
    If you have a dog that is good at trapping birds, you can be in the field a while, as the judges want to see 2 flushes (usually) and at least 1 retrieve. Often, if the gunners are poor and no bird is killed, the judges will throw a dead bird for your dog.
    I've seen this done on rare occasions but the quality of the gunners is usually high enough for it to be uncommon. The exception might be tests put on by bench clubs for specialty events. The quality of these tests tend to be quite poor.


    Quote Originally Posted by David McCracken View Post
    Sometimes, the field is short, less than 100 yards
    I have never seen anything like this. The shortest course I've seen was at least a quarter mile long & normally twice that.

    I would expect to see your dog under judgment long enough to cover at least 60-80 yards or so before finding the first bird. This gives the dog time to show his pace, use of wind, responsiveness, etc. Judges want to give you at least 2 bird contacts & sometimes more if they are uncertain about something before making a decision. But they need to see at least one flush & one retrieve so trapped birds & missed birds will keep you down for about another 70-90 yds minimum.

    On average, the bird planter will have gone around 80-100 yds between birds. Of course if your dog passes a bird, you’ll continue until he finds one. It’s not unheard of for a dog to go several hundred yards if he’s not finding birds.
    "The bird hunter watches only the dog, and always knows where the dog is, whether or not visible at the moment. The dog’ nose is the bird hunters eye. Many hunters who carry a shotgun in season have never learned to watch the dog, or interpret his reaction to scent."
    Aldo Leopold, Round River

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Flint View Post
    I would have a real problem w/ judges who made a decision after watching any dog run for “less than a minute”.



    I've seen this done on rare occasions but the quality of the gunners is usually high enough for it to be uncommon. The exception might be tests put on by bench clubs for specialty events. The quality of these tests tend to be quite poor.




    I have never seen anything like this. The shortest course I've seen was at least a quarter mile long & normally twice that.

    I would expect to see your dog under judgment long enough to cover at least 60-80 yards or so before finding the first bird. This gives the dog time to show his pace, use of wind, responsiveness, etc. Judges want to give you at least 2 bird contacts & sometimes more if they are uncertain about something before making a decision. But they need to see at least one flush & one retrieve so trapped birds & missed birds will keep you down for about another 70-90 yds minimum.

    On average, the bird planter will have gone around 80-100 yds between birds. Of course if your dog passes a bird, you’ll continue until he finds one. It’s not unheard of for a dog to go several hundred yards if he’s not finding birds.
    Are you talking field trials or hunt tests?
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  5. #35
    Senior Member Dave Flint's Avatar
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    I was referring to hunt tests.

    Just to be clear, I didn't intend that post to be insulting to David in any way, I meant that I would feel slighted if I only got to run my dog for such a short time or if a club put on a test without having appropriate grounds to run a normal course.

    I think spaniel clubs that also host field trials put on much higher quality tests than clubs that are primarily composed of bench dogs. The one Hunt test I attended that was put on as part of a Specialty event was not representative of most.

    Clubs that also host Field trials tend to have a bull-pen of gunners that are in training to gun trials so even if they're not quite up to Field Trial standards, they're pretty good. They also have experienced bird planters which greatly reduces the number of traps.

    Generally speaking the only practical difference between this aspect of a hunt test & a field trial (other than the quality of the dog work) is that the 1st 2 series of a trial run dogs in braces so each dog is required to honor as the other dog retrieves & they must not poach (produce a bird) across the flag line.
    "The bird hunter watches only the dog, and always knows where the dog is, whether or not visible at the moment. The dog’ nose is the bird hunters eye. Many hunters who carry a shotgun in season have never learned to watch the dog, or interpret his reaction to scent."
    Aldo Leopold, Round River

  6. #36
    Senior Member David McCracken's Avatar
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    Dave, I didn't take your comments as insulting. The hunt where Gumbo was in and out in less than a minute was on a VERY short field. The temperature in Virginia that June day was 101 and the judges didn't want the dogs hunting forever and overheating. Also, the wind had changed and was blowing straight into the line. When we sat down at the line for the Master test, I could tell that Gumbo had already winded the first bird. I told both judges and the apprentice not to expect him to quarter since he had already smelled the bird. He ran straight to that bird when I released him and the gunners killed it quickly (he is a very fast dog). There were a lot of chukars (we ran late) in the field that had started to covey up. After about 2 quartering passes, he flushed the second bird and the gunner killed it quickly. When I left the field, the field rep looked at me and said "wow!".
    As I said before, though, this is certainly not typical. However, I don't think I've ever seen one course that was 1/4 mile long but I've never run in Texas.
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  7. #37
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    Are there any books/videos anyone recommends for training for this? I know nothing about the flushing stuff.

  8. #38
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden6824 View Post
    Are there any books/videos anyone recommends for training for this? I know nothing about the flushing stuff.
    Assume you mean training an upland flushing dog. Do that and the test will be easy. Takes lotsa birds. Find a game farm after you review the process.

    http://www.georgehickox.com/about_ge...ickox_dvd.html
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  9. #39
    Senior Member Dave Flint's Avatar
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    I haven’t seen the Hickox DVDs but I liked his book, Hunt Em Up & HNTFSH is correct, it does take a lot of birds to develop a real upland dog.

    I strongly recommend anyone interested in running these tests should try to train w/ a spaniel training club to better understand the nuances of the game. There is more to it than simply running around in a field bumping up birds.

    The master test has 3 elements. The upland series, a Hunt Dead and a water series.

    The water series is what most people will find ridiculously simple and it is, but the premise for it is not to test a waterfowl dog, it’s more like testing a dogs’ ability to retrieve a pheasant that fell across the water. Still, it’s usually judged so leniently that it makes me cringe.

    Spaniel trainers recognize that the more control you put on the dog, the more it inhibits other important attributes so there is a balance they are trying to achieve.

    The Hunt Dead is sometimes erroneously called a blind but the difference is that this series is intended to test the scenario that quite often occurs while hunting where you know there is a dead bird “over there somewhere” but you can’t handle precisely to it because you only have a general idea. Typically the judges will say, “we’ve got a bird down over there between that tree & this one.” The handler is not supposed to see the bird planted. Obviously, if you’re running more than 1 dog, you will know on your 2nd, but they aren’t looking for you to handle to the bird, they want to see you put the dog in the general area let him hunt . If he leaves the area, you should be able to put him back there but again, not over handle.

    Unlike most spaniel trainers, I do teach my dogs to run true blind retrieves but I teach a “find it” command/whistle that I can use after sending my dog to the indicated area.

    Most Master tests will be run either in a down wind (wind at your back) or in a cross wind so it’s necessary to know what the proper pattern for those conditions should be.
    "The bird hunter watches only the dog, and always knows where the dog is, whether or not visible at the moment. The dog’ nose is the bird hunters eye. Many hunters who carry a shotgun in season have never learned to watch the dog, or interpret his reaction to scent."
    Aldo Leopold, Round River

  10. #40
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Flint View Post
    Unlike most spaniel trainers, I do teach my dogs to run true blind retrieves but I teach a “find it” command/whistle that I can use after sending my dog to the indicated area.
    Ditto and true dat. You can do both and makes for a far more versatile dog. I rarely run a true blind hunting - it is what it is. Dogs learn the difference. Handle to AOF and release to hunt or run them to the stick - either way it's all good.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

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