Lake Champlain Retriever Club Hunt Test
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Thread: Lake Champlain Retriever Club Hunt Test

  1. #1
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    Default Lake Champlain Retriever Club Hunt Test

    For a while now I have been concerned about the average age of the AKC hunt test participants.
    If I had to guess it is late 50's. I realize my perspective is limited to the northeast. My concern has been no new people really getting into the game.
    In fact, the "new" faces that I see are people that were in the game 20 years ago that life dictated other priorities to that are coming back. When I got started, 50 dog Junior stakes were the norm. Lake Champlain recently had a $35.00 entry fee for a Junior stake that I judged and they gave us 2 mallard live flyers for them! This was done to attract more people to the game that might be willing to give it a try for $35.00. Junior is the "gateway drug" to the games and is where we would see most new people give it a try. I also realize that the club lost money on this stake and not all clubs have the finances to do so. That said, I wonder if more clubs had a reduced entry fee for first time handlers if that would help attract new people. My concern is really that 10 years from now this game will be left only to the pros and clubs will be hiring all the help to run the stakes or that the clubs will disappear altogether. Kudos to LCRC for taking some action to try and attract new players! Any thoughts on this, or am I way off base and the program is growing in other parts of the country?

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  3. #2
    Member LabLover45's Avatar
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    The Problem that i see is with cell phones computers texting is that people don't want to lose out on this so they do nothing but play on there phones or computers. I have been in a different situation illness death a move dog truck stolen no help from the cops or insurance has derailed training and competing locally. So in my thought people have become far to dependant on phones, computers that they have become extremely lazy. I realize there are people out there that aren't addicted to phones or computers and these are the ones that have to be shown this game at training days or outdoor events and let them run one or two dogs and then see if they are interested or not. this is my two bits in a losing game that is a lot of enjoyment and meeting new people and having a good time socialy at the tailgate gathering.

  4. #3
    Senior Member mja9346's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LabLover45 View Post
    The
    Problem that i see is with cell phones computers texting is that people don't want to lose out on this so they do nothing but play on there phones or computers. I have been in a different situation illness death a move dog truck stolen no help from the cops or insurance has derailed training and competing locally. So in my thought people have become far to dependant on phones, computers that they have become extremely lazy. I realize there are people out there that aren't addicted to phones or computers and these are the ones that have to be shown this game at training days or outdoor events and let them run one or two dogs and then see if they are interested or not. this is my two bits in a losing game that is a lot of enjoyment and meeting new people and having a good time socialy at the tailgate gathering.
    Yes there are those “millennials” that can’t get off Their phones and computers , a lot of them at that . But for me I don’t see that as the main issue for younger people getting in the game . Im 31 and the guys I hunt with don’t fall into that category . When we are in the duck blind a phone rarely comes out except to see the time or look at the radar of a storm coming that is heading our way .

    The main issue in my opinion is MONEY and time . Buying a dog , vet bills , and sending to a pro for several months is thousands of dollars . And yes you can say well train the dog your self . But the reality is guys and gals my age are starting families , have one or multiple very young children in the household and just don’t have the time and money , unless they have a flexible job and very good income . Again you can say when you were in your 30’s you had the time and money . But now days raising a child is much more demanding on the father and the cost of raising a child some say has tripled from 20-30 years ago . I have been lucky enough to have a flexible job, a very understanding wife , and an income to support my hobby . But I have many friends that would love to get into it and don’t have that luxury.

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  6. #4
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    In my opinion one of the things that keeps people from running the lower level akc tests is that they don’t really count for much when you are trying to obtain a MH. Example: junior title, 4 tests, senior title, 4 tests (if you have junior title) master, 5 tests (if you have senior). 13 tests. Or you can just run Master and have 6, assuming you pass all of them. That’s a big difference in both money, and time.

  7. #5
    Senior Member Tobias's Avatar
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    The hunt test game is more and more the game for the professional trainer. Pros have (should have) access to all the things most 'average' owners don't have or don't have access too... it is easier-- and maybe a better use of time and money - to put the dog with a pro...

    Takes an awful lot of committment and perseverance to be an amateur trainer/handler...
    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.

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    One of the reasons in my opinion is, it seems like the trial people are a little clicklish. and are not exactly excited about showing new comers the ropes. whether it is a saturday training group or a trial/test. how is anyone supposed to learn how to do anything if no one is willing to show them? it doesn't seem very inviting to me,

  9. #7
    Senior Member Matt McKenzie's Avatar
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    K Rocha, I have found the opposite to be the case both with HT folks and FT folks. Most clubs I’ve seen are very welcoming and helpful to new people.
    The only caveat to that is that sometimes the people most willing to help you with your dog are the people who know the least.
    Matt McKenzie

    "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it." Henry Ford

  10. #8
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    Years ago, clubs would have once a month training days. Everyone was welcome. New people would get help from more experienced people. All were expected to pitch in and throw or shoot. Cost was the price of a flyer. Experienced dogs would benefit from the trial like exposure, access to new training areas, bigger set-ups. Families with children welcome, picnicking and playing in the dirt. How many clubs are doing this now?

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Rocha View Post
    One of the reasons in my opinion is, it seems like the trial people are a little clicklish. and are not exactly excited about showing new comers the ropes. whether it is a saturday training group or a trial/test. how is anyone supposed to learn how to do anything if no one is willing to show them? it doesn't seem very inviting to me,
    Of course they are clickish. They get up at 5 am on Saturday and Sunday to train, endure heat, the cold, the rain, wet birds, re-runs, dogs and handlers of all levels, spend a ton of money on gear, gas, ect. But if you show up with a good attitude, they will show you the ropes. I have never met an All Age handler who wasn't willing to help coach and mentor a newbie. You can be the most inexperienced of trainer with nothing but a dog and a bumper, and they will help you, if you have a good attitude.
    -Mike

  12. #10
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    Well, I do have one young lady that has /does give me pointers and is willing to help , but she is in high school and extremely busy. I have emailed different people and with life the way it is, they are also busy. I have texted different people but either do not hear back or be told they are starting at 8 and they actually started at 7 , and I have no idea where they are on the training grounds. I don't take it personally because they do not know me, so I know its not me.
    as for the test /trials, what is one supposed to do ? just drive around and try to figure out whats going on? I know I cant be the only one that is interested in HT that has no clue how to get involved, It"s not that I want someone to hold my hand or train my dog, would just like someone that I can help and in return can give me a hand. do not take this that I am whining but if this sport is trying to grow might need to make it more inviting to new comers.

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