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The HRC weekend finished test need to be more uniform. The Grand is so far and away above the average weekend test that over half the HRCH dogs running the Grand have ZERO chance to pass it.

In my experience at the Grand I would guess 70% of the dogs are pro handled and 85%-90% that pass are Pro handled.

I was the only owner/Handler amateur to pass out of my flight of 80 dogs. I believe 10 or so passed out of my flight.

I had so much fun pre training but the actual Grand sucks to run. Everyone is super stressed out all week. You worry more about wether or not your dog is going to see the marks versus if they can actually do the work. People are just getting cut down at the knees every series. Your flight goes from 80 to 40 the first day typically then they start picking everyone off as the week goes on. It’s just super sad to watch…

To take 2 weeks off, travel, expenses etc is huge for the amateur.

That is why you are seeing so many pros. It’s way more cost effective to send a dog with a pro. Lots of these pros who have success at the Grand are running a lot of dogs they didn’t train.
 

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Why is that something to worry about? Just because of the event atmosphere and the excitement it generates?
No, it’s how the marks are set up. There has been a trend in recent years to throw a mark that basically comes falling out of a tree. The dog gets to see 1/4 of the arc. Completely hidden long gun station with two shorter stations that are brushed in but the dogs pick those out. That can cause them to miss the long bird. No shot in the field in HRC. Having to run very early or very late due to the number of dogs they have to get through…Just stuff like that.

There is always 1 or 2 marks throughout the week that the majority of dogs don’t see.
 

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No, it’s how the marks are set up. There has been a trend in recent years to throw a mark that basically comes falling out of a tree. The dog gets to see 1/4 of the arc. Completely hidden long gun station with two shorter stations that are brushed in but the dogs pick those out. That can cause them to miss the long bird. No shot in the field in HRC. Having to run very early or very late due to the number of dogs they have to get through…Just stuff like that.

There is always 1 or 2 marks throughout the week that the majority of dogs don’t see.
I have no problem with retired guns. Aren’t they all supposed to be in hunt tests?
In a marking test, deliberately inhibiting the dogs ability to see the bird fall is just piss poor judging.
 

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I have no problem with retired guns. Aren’t they all supposed to be in hunt tests?
In a marking test, deliberately inhibiting the dogs ability to see the bird fall is just piss poor judging.
Sit on a bucket and point a gun in a direction and ask the dog to see a 150 yd mark that it doesn't know where its coming from.no attn getting noise from the field.
 

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I have no problem with retired guns. Aren’t they all supposed to be in hunt tests?
In a marking test, deliberately inhibiting the dogs ability to see the bird fall is just piss poor judging.
a retired gun is nothing like a gun that was never visible to begin with. I’m talking about having two gun stations at 80 and 100 yards that while brushed in are obvious to the dog and then throwing a bird from a completely hidden gun out at 180 yards…it can be brutal on dogs. To be successful at the Grand you need a dog that is really good at following you and the gun on the chair. The saving grace is that you can talk to your dog.
 

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Why do they still have the upland at the grand if they aren’t going to even shoot the bird?
well they do sometimes but I completely agree with getting rid of the upland. Just add a 5th retriever series. Require an upland title to actually get the Grand title.

It completely ridiculous that you make it through the gauntlet and then it’s an all or nothing sit to flush and shot on a live chuckar or pheasant.

You get one whistle and that’s it…all or nothing
 

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a retired gun is nothing like a gun that was never visible to begin with. I’m talking about having two gun stations at 80 and 100 yards that while brushed in are obvious to the dog and then throwing a bird from a completely hidden gun out at 180 yards…it can be brutal on dogs. To be successful at the Grand you need a dog that is really good at following you and the gun on the chair. The saving grace is that you can talk to your dog.
Sit on a bucket and point a gun in a direction and ask the dog to see a 150 yd mark that it doesn't know where its coming from.no attn getting noise from the field.
That’s all fine but masking the fall of a mark makes no sense. “The dog gets to see 1/4 of the arc.”
Set up a blind or set up a Mark. Why resort to tricks?
 

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Last Grand, I was told, whether or true or not, I don't know...but I was told "the Grand committee has asked judges to set up marks that are hard for the dogs to see". (and I don't mean the stations, like Bryan said, I mean literally the throw of the bird. It was implied that they were striving for dogs to really struggle with actually being able to see the the bird in the air, ie...last second view of the arc after coming out from behind a tree, dark backgrounds, etc etc).
From the tests I saw and heard about...they succeeded in their mission.
 

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Last Grand, I was told, whether or true or not, I don't know...but I was told "the Grand committee has asked judges to set up marks that are hard for the dogs to see". (and I don't mean the stations, like Bryan said, I mean literally the throw of the bird. It was implied that they were striving for dogs to really struggle with actually being able to see the the bird in the air, ie...last second view of the arc after coming out from behind a tree, dark backgrounds, etc etc).
From the tests I saw and heard about...they succeeded in their mission.
If that’s true, the grand committee is in need of a high colonic.
 

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Lots of complaining at all nationals and most weekends for that matter lol
Trying to set up a difficult, fair test running for 4 straight days is extremely hard to accomplish. So many variables to take into account. Bet folks will be complaining about airplanes this year.
one this is for certain, no matter the event, someone will complain about something 😃
 

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Way off topic but it applies to all venues. A percentage of fees collected by the parent organization should be set aside to purchase land and water for dog training. It's great to see how far and fast the hunt test games continue to grow. I don't claim to own the idea, but do see the lack of land to hold big events a considerable issue in the near future.
 

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well they do sometimes but I completely agree with getting rid of the upland. Just add a 5th retriever series. Require an upland title to actually get the Grand title.

It completely ridiculous that you make it through the gauntlet and then it’s an all or nothing sit to flush and shot on a live chuckar or pheasant.

You get one whistle and that’s it…all or nothing
so if you teach your dog to sit on the flush/shot/fall with no whistle, you are way ahead of the curve - and can use that 'whistle' as backup. The dog isn't waiting to see if it's told to sit. It sits because it knows that is the only way to get the retrieve (if there is one)
 
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