Judging Question: Direct or Fastest?
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Thread: Judging Question: Direct or Fastest?

  1. #1
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    Default Judging Question: Direct or Fastest?

    Marking test, Open, first series.
    Triple with two retired guns. Combination of marks being done by land and water. The direct line to the long memory mark which is retired is through heavy cover up front followed by 25-30 yards of swimming water followed by 75 -90 yards of heavy going through bull-rush and marsh flora with the dog often out of sight in the swimming / lunging water. Judges and handlers could follow the direction by the sound and the movement of the cover.
    Only two dogs go directly to the bird of the entire field, the rest take the initial heavy cover hit the water, swim for a few yards and bail hard left to the grass bank and do a variety of questionable jobs. Some go out of sight over the hill and after a long hunt come up with the bird by winding it as the are all down wind of when they are
    on the land well left of the the water and the heavy cover.
    The remark from a long time field trial competitor and judge was that we should consider the dog that "got there fastest" by baling out and running down the bank ahead of the dogs that went directly. A supplement to the person's initial response was that we are getting away from what a good hunting dog should do.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member captainjack's Avatar
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    If I want a dog to swim, I put the bird where it is unlikely to be retrieved without a significant hunt if they don’t swim.

    Every factor in line to my bird is there to make the bird difficult to get to. On marking tests, I don’t use the factors to score the dog higher or lower for jumping/not jumping a stick, Being right or left of a Bush, etc. I want to see a dog get to the area of fall and then establish a hunt. Establishing a hunt other than in the area of the fall is not desirable.
    Last edited by captainjack; 07-18-2019 at 12:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
    The remark from a long time field trial competitor and judge was that we should consider the dog that "got there fastest" by baling out and running down the bank ahead of the dogs that went directly. A supplement to the person's initial response was that we are getting away from what a good hunting dog should do.
    Field trials are are about what a highly trained and talented retriever can do, not what a good hunting dog should do.
    If getting the bird the fastest by avoiding the factors in a test was judged favorably in an open, half the entries would tie for 1st place every weekend.
    "I'm thankful someone stood up to him, even if it was a woman." Franco 10/18/19

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Tobias's Avatar
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    Does it say in the rules that a dog should take the straightest route?

    I am familiar with hunt test rules - where it says 'go directly to the area of the fall' - or something like that... some people believe directly means straightest path...I think as an excuse to ding dogs for cheating water/cover.... but I always felt 'directly' meant without delay or fooling around, or getting sidetracked....

    kudos to both dogs... to the one who fought the factors and to the one who knew how to get to the bird without fighting the factors.... hopefully there were other things that happened that gave the judges a way to separate them, if they needed to.
    The way I look at it, every dog is an opportunity to be a better trainer, and every day is a new day to be a better trainer to the same dog we trained yesterday.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drunkenpoacher View Post
    Field trials are are about what a highly trained and talented retriever can do, not what a good hunting dog should do.
    If getting the bird the fastest by avoiding the factors in a test was judged favorably in an open, half the entries would tie for 1st place every weekend.
    Simulate a day's hunt???
    Field trials are about finding a winner so there's no way they can have more than one dog get first place.

    Apparently you've never run under a decent judge who knows how to place Birds because a good judging team will place birds where a dog that tries to avoid hazards gets lost.
    A dog that's lost will have to be handled. even if he can run like a greyhound will probably not get the birds faster than a dog who goes straight to them and returns with them.
    Even if he does do it faster he will be severely penalized and most likely dropped for the handles.
    It is a FT. Not the Daytona 500
    Last edited by tigerfan; 07-18-2019 at 08:39 AM.

  8. #6
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    Long time dispute. Practically speaking, I think a big chunk of judges evaluate the quality of the line to the bird - and not the overall quality of the mark. I think this is because those judges are confusing training from competition. In training, we are seeking the straight line. We do this because: a) It allows us to teach the dog what it should do; and b) In a trial, if your dog did not see or does not remember a mark, if the dog can line, you have a chance of lining the dog to the Area of the Fall and once there, the dog may be able to use its nose to work out the problem

    I fall in Glen's camp, Post 2. If a dog can beat me by cheating: a) shame on me for poor test construction; and b) good for the dog for working it out

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    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    We judge (or should judge) marks based on where the dog goes to hunt (area of the fall) not the route taken to get there. We judge blinds based on the dog and handler’s ability to negotiate a more or less precise route (the line) to a destination (the blind).

  10. #8
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    Kind of like the old argument, which is the better marker? 1-the dog that takes a straight line to area of the fall thru the factors or 2-the dog the skirts the factors but makes the course correction to get to the AOF?
    I believe as others have mentioned a good test will not allow #2 to get back on line and will get lost.
    For a hunting dog I believe you need a dog that has a bit of both, or maybe a better way to say it, is a dog with the smarts and confidence to figure out unusual situations. But then again a FT is about evaluating dogs against each other, not hunting capability.
    Nate Baxter, DVM
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    The dogs that went directly through the "heavy going" have an opportunity to be rewarded for courage.
    "Sometimes we just gotta do what is right". Jerry 2006

    See ya in the field. HPW http://www.sagaciouskennel.com/

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
    Marking test, Open, first series.
    Triple with two retired guns. Combination of marks being done by land and water. The direct line to the long memory mark which is retired is through heavy cover up front followed by 25-30 yards of swimming water followed by 75 -90 yards of heavy going through bull-rush and marsh flora with the dog often out of sight in the swimming / lunging water. Judges and handlers could follow the direction by the sound and the movement of the cover.
    Only two dogs go directly to the bird of the entire field, the rest take the initial heavy cover hit the water, swim for a few yards and bail hard left to the grass bank and do a variety of questionable jobs. Some go out of sight over the hill and after a long hunt come up with the bird by winding it as the are all down wind of when they are
    on the land well left of the the water and the heavy cover.
    The remark from a long time field trial competitor and judge was that we should consider the dog that "got there fastest" by baling out and running down the bank ahead of the dogs that went directly. A supplement to the person's initial response was that we are getting away from what a good hunting dog should do.
    From your description of the dog work, it does not sound like many of the dogs that bailed out early did that great of a job getting to the bird. This would support others responses that the bird may have been well placed and not easily recovered by not making the swim. However i do not like that fact that the dogs were out of sight even when on line.

    From your description of the test, I am confused where you stand on the dog work! Bailing early and getting directly to the AOF is far different from bailing early and there being a "variety of questionable jobs"

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