Evolution of AKC Hunt Test
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Thread: Evolution of AKC Hunt Test

  1. #1
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Default Evolution of AKC Hunt Test

    Have the AKC Hunt Tests changed over the years? This is really a question for those of us who have been around for a while. I can remember when Hunt Tests were NAHRA events only. I can remember the start up of NAHRA and how my club was involved. I have not been a participant, just an observer/worker. Also, if there are changes, are they for the better?

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    OK, let me add something. I think that I have seen an increase in unrealistic hunting scenarios. Some of these tests have even been set up by my own people. Comments?

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    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Only been in the game for a couple years. But I think it depends on the judges, what part of the country you run in, and what if any hunting experience the judges have. Alot of the ones this year expecially in CA have been over the top, and I'll doubt we'll see such series with that much frequency even in the Nationals. The one I ran this weekend only had 1 amature pass, the other 6 were pros. One pro carried half the field passing all of her three, she's a FT. Must've known what to train for.

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    Senior Member Gary Wayne Abbott I's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdgnyc View Post
    OK, let me add something. I think that I have seen an increase in unrealistic hunting scenarios. Some of these tests have even been set up by my own people. Comments?
    What is a unrealistic hunting scenario?

    What people do you own?

    Personally I have only ran AKC Hunt Test since 1998 so I believe the OP asks for someone with a more seasoned opinion than mine.
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    I think test that are set up to make you handle and then you get the hook for handling are wrong. Thing is when hunting you do what it takes to get your game. I feel judges should judge and set up a test that shows marking handling and steady. Setting up test to trick there use to be a standard that was used back in the day. I think this is the path that FT went down Gary

  8. #6

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    Realistic hunting situations are not always a good test. For example it would be realistic to drop three birds in the decoys 40yds from the line, but this not very often make a good test of marking or perserverence. Remember we are testing the abilities of a retriever. That said,a master dog must be able to handle the excitment that is generated in a realistic hunt and still do it's job. Tests have changed to match the advancement of our retrievers do to better traning.

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    A few folks that I know that have been doing hunt tests for a good while do make comments about how the tests today are quite a bit more challenging than the tests of years ago.

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Hunt tests were originally for the hunter and based as closely as possible on real hunting situations for both the dog and the handler. Hunt tests are supposed to simulate as nearly as possible the conditions met in a true hunting situation. The tests were supposed to be part of a program that was supposed to evaluate dogs for breeding programs. I think that some of these "challenging" tests are not really in the spirit of the original idea---identifying good hunting dogs. Just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdgnyc View Post
    . I think that some of these "challenging" tests are not really in the spirit of the original idea---identifying good hunting dogs. Just my opinion.
    Maybe, maybe not...but everything evolves..or it gets left behind. Its no different than any other sport. I was running a SH test once when an older gentleman was saying that 15 years ago, this would have been a derby set up...everything gets tougher as the participants get better...everything, not just dog sports. Things rarely stay the way they were when they were originally designed.

  12. #10
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I have no problem with Challenging setups, I like my dog & myself as a Handler to have to think. However I feel a lot of the recent test have gone over the top, and they'd rather have the dogs be handled then show their actual ability to hunt. One of the last test I was in they passed a dog who's hunt was all over the place. And failed dogs who knew where both the marks were, but as the hunt areas overlapped, marks 20 ft apart in deep cover were dropped for switching, because the handlers let them hunt. The harder setups and strict judging also makes it hard for people who are not pros, have a day job, and can maybe only work there dogs on the weekend, to be competitive in the Higher stakes. Which is was orginal purpose of the HT! Still harder senarios in the SH stake might not be a bad thing as the jump from SH to MH is giant and with the way they're running the test now ever widening

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