Ok, here is the Junior part of the 3 part rough draft series.
A video link can be found at the bottom of this post.
I will re-do all of this in August with a better camera and a better plan to make all the series.
The Junior is a pretty straight forward stake for young dogs with very little training. The main requirements are that the dog can watch a mark thrown with real gunfire close by and to hold the bird and deliver it hand.
Some Junior tests are very easy, but some are quite challenging - especially the water series. Below is a detailed over view:
The AKC Junior Hunt Test – a description
By Jennifer Henion
-Look for driving directions in the Premium booklet that’s posted on the Entry Express event page related to your event. Or look up the host club web site for info.
-Once you arrive, look for small signs with your stake’s title (SENIOR) and an arrow.
-They usually start at 8am. Arrive 20 minutes early to check in with the Marshal (person with clip board) and walk your dog.
-Don’t expect to go in exact numerical order according to the draw. Often, participants go out of order due to other participants being at other stakes or running multiple dogs. Go with the flow and work with the order that the Marshal sets.
How it works:
There are two series in a Junior Hunt Test. A land series and a water series.
The Land Series usually happens first. There are two single marks. The first mark is thrown, the dog retrieves it and delivers bird to hand. Then the next mark is thrown for the retrieve. Typically there are duck decoys in the dog’s path to the marks. Grass and cover may be tall.
The Water Series usually happens second. It has two single water marks requiring the dog to swim to the bird. One mark is thrown for the retrieve and delivery, then the second mark is thrown. Typically there are duck decoys placed in the water en route to the mark.
You must pass the first series in order to get invited or “called back” to the second series.
Duck calls are blown by the gunners before the mark is thrown and gunfire is sounded during or after the mark is thrown. Sometimes judges will have you sit on a bucket or chair at the line and blow a duck call before and during the marks. You may have to sit in a boat or duck blind as well. Some judges are very creative in this respect. Be prepared by practicing such things.
General Rules while running your dog:
-Wear hunting clothes/colors. A lot of people wear black or camo.
-Dog should wear a flat buckle collar. Not a choke chain.
-Dog goes to the line on leash if you wish, but the leash must be unclipped and hidden in your pocket or placed elsewhere before you call for the birds.
-When waiting your turn in the last holding blind, wait there until invited out by the judges
-Avoid touching your dog at any time after leaving the last holding blind, except to unclip your leash and to hold on the collar while a mark is thrown.
-As you walk to the line and while setting up at the line, you may talk to your dog but only up until the time that you signal the judge for the birds. After you signal for birds, you must be silent and still until the judge releases you to release your dog. After that you may talk to your dog to re-heel or sit before sending for the mark.
-When dog returns with a bird, your dog must be able to hold the bird and deliver to your hand. It’s ok if the dog drops the bird, as long as he/she will pick it up again for the delivery. Avoid picking up a dropped bird from the ground, as you will fail the test.
-Once you have the bird, you must hold it for the judge to take it from you. Avoid tossing the bird on the ground to run the next mark. Hold onto it.
-When you finish the test, walk your dog holding his collar, but off leash to an area behind the judges before leashing up your dog. The idea is to get out of the way quickly with your dog under control.
You will pass or fail the test based on your scores. Be sure and read the AKC rule book!
In general, Junior Hunt Tests are designed to test your dog’s ability to watch a mark and retrieve a bird from medium cover on land and from the water. It is crucial that your dog can hold the bird and deliver it to your hand. Sometimes the shot flier will not be dead and may flap its wings – the dog must retrieve it anyway in order to pass. Be prepared
I hope this helps you on your journey! Please note that I am not a representative of the American Kennel Club or anyone but myself. This article is based on my own research and experience.
Just a note that this Junior test took place on the same spot as the Senior stake that I filmed the day before. So this video will add new perspective to how the Senior test looked from the line. Whereas the video of the Senior test will add a different view of this junior test, because I filmed it from a different angle.
Junior test: https://vimeo.com/222625289/5cd7dd77de
Senior test the day before: https://vimeo.com/222455363/44576dae5d