Automatic HT Fail: Dog touches me when returning to heel?
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Thread: Automatic HT Fail: Dog touches me when returning to heel?

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    Default Automatic HT Fail: Dog touches me when returning to heel?

    I have two dogs who sometimes are overly excited. Both will occasionally leap into the air and spin around when coming back to heel. When they spin in the air, they sometimes miscalculate distance and will touch me while coming down or when sitting.

    The HT rules in AKC say the handler can't touch the dog before taking the bird. Would it be an automatic fail if a dog does his leap and air spin and touches me on the way down before I take the bird?

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    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    IMHO No.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Marti View Post
    The HT rules in AKC say the handler can't touch the dog before taking the bird.
    It is amusing to me that the rule book does not actually say that. Although people, including judges, do commonly instruct us that touching your dog is against the rules. Many want us to believe that touching at any time while under judgement is grounds for disqualifucation.

    Here is what the rulebook actually does say:

    Section 11. In Senior and Master Hunting Tests, a handler shall not hold or touch a dog to keep it steady,
    or verbally restrain a dog on line, except in extraordinary
    circumstances, from the time the first bird is being
    thrown until the dog’s number is called. Violation of any
    of the provisions of this paragraph is sufficient cause to
    justify a grade of “0” in Trainability.
    The rule, as stated, is specific to the case of touching in order to keep steady. It even specifies that this is applicable to the period of time between calling for birds and judges' release of dog to be sent by handler. In other words, during the time period when dog is required to be steady. Touching is not addressed by rulebook during other times or situations.

    One of many examples where conventional beliefs are more applicable than what the rulebook actually says.

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    my understanding that "touching" would be the handler using their hand/hands to restrain the dog before dog's delivery to hand. In JHT the dog is allowed to run with a flat collar around its neck. In which case, the handler holding onto the collar or dogs' neck scruff, ear, muzzle before delivery to hand is sufficient cause for a grade of "0" in trainability. If I were dq'd for each time my dog bumped/touched me on the return to heel, I would have made several 'donations' to the host retriever club.

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    T Pines in with the real knowledge.

    To also answer your question using your off the rule book quote. Your dog touched you, you did not touch it, big difference.
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    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Just put your hands in the air and say " I'm not touching her, she's touching me" over and over again. HRC uses buckets, AKC usually doesn't. The bucket puts you at a level for dogs to take advantage. Mine tend to want to crawl in my lap until the birds start going off. They always want to have their head under my arm, especially on Honor. I've had my male, rest his head on my shoulder to see a bird with a rather large swing; that my body was blocking. Never been thrown out for the dog touching me. Otherwise I'd always be out .
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Marti View Post
    I have two dogs who sometimes are overly excited. Both will occasionally leap into the air and spin around when coming back to heel. When they spin in the air, they sometimes miscalculate distance and will touch me while coming down or when sitting.

    The dog touching the handler is not a DQ however if the dog is "overly excited....leap into the air and spin around when coming back to heel. When they spin in the air, they sometimes miscalculate distance" and the "touch" is extreme that may be a DQ depending on the judge. These may be seen as signs of a dog that is NOT under the control of the handler and CAN result in a 0 score in trainability. In short, a simple brushing or rubbing your leg is ok, but if the dog hits you with enough force to cause you to change your position, stumble, etc, that is not ok. Also if the jumping and spinning causes a commotion on the line that is also not ok. All of this is a judges call and some judges will score it differently than others. It is dependent on the severity/disruption of the action and on what level you are running; more acceptable in the junior stake than at the master level.
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    Thank you, so much, for this post. I have heard time and time again to NOT touch the dog before I take the bird out of the mouth!!

    So, hypothetical here: after my dog comes back with the first bird, can I touch his side or muzzle or touch his toes with my toes to line him up better for the next bird?


    Quote Originally Posted by T-Pines View Post
    It is amusing to me that the rule book does not actually say that. Although people, including judges, do commonly instruct us that touching your dog is against the rules. Many want us to believe that touching at any time while under judgement is grounds for disqualifucation.

    Here is what the rulebook actually does say:



    The rule, as stated, is specific to the case of touching in order to keep steady. It even specifies that this is applicable to the period of time between calling for birds and judges' release of dog to be sent by handler. In other words, during the time period when dog is required to be steady. Touching is not addressed by rulebook during other times or situations.

    One of many examples where conventional beliefs are more applicable than what the rulebook actually says.

    Jim

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    Thank you.

    I don't really know how to train this out. These two dogs just get a huge joy about bringing the bird back and they leap in joy. I don't really like it but I don't know how to train this out.

    Any suggestions to train this out without dampening the enthusiasm of the dogs would be greatly appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Mac View Post
    The dog touching the handler is not a DQ however if the dog is "overly excited....leap into the air and spin around when coming back to heel. When they spin in the air, they sometimes miscalculate distance" and the "touch" is extreme that may be a DQ depending on the judge. These may be seen as signs of a dog that is NOT under the control of the handler and CAN result in a 0 score in trainability. In short, a simple brushing or rubbing your leg is ok, but if the dog hits you with enough force to cause you to change your position, stumble, etc, that is not ok. Also if the jumping and spinning causes a commotion on the line that is also not ok. All of this is a judges call and some judges will score it differently than others. It is dependent on the severity/disruption of the action and on what level you are running; more acceptable in the junior stake than at the master level.

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