RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At what point should a dog be before you enter them in their first HT? This is my first go around and I know she is not ready yet but my fear is entering her before she is ready and doing more harm than good by establishing bad habits in a setting where I have no way of correcting them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
A good rule of thumb is to run one level below that which you are currently training at. So, start Junior when your dog is training at the Senior level, run Senior when your dog is taining at the Master Level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,825 Posts
When your pup reaches 6 months run her in junior. At this stage you will learn more than your dog. She will do fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,473 Posts
the best i have seen on this is:

don't enter the dog if you have to regularly address things in training that are expected to be done right at a test.

a good jh example would be a dog that does not return directly to the handler, dropping and picking up the bird repeatedly. if they won't scoop it up and return without fussing, don't enter.

if you know what is required and are honest about your dog's training, you'll do fine. :wink: -paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,629 Posts
From my own experience, the "picnic" trial is a great place to find out what your weaknesses are. For me it was a very low key fun learning event, The judges spend a lot of time with you and are very helpful at teaching the "steps". I've been to two, one was like an HRC test and the other was a FT/Derby. You could opt to train only and not be judged. It worked for me, I learned exactly what to work on at home and will be attempting my first AKC test in a couple of weeks. Yes, my dog is wayover 6 months :oops: but Mom was a slow starter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,015 Posts
A less strict requirement to meet would be not whether the dog would need correction, but whether it would need teaching during a test.

I know if I were at a test and my dog was doing things he didn't even know was wrong, or didn't even know deep down in his skull was wrong, I would say he wasn't ready.

In a field trial from what I can gather, the majority of the dogs aren't ready just by the fact they get weeded out by the last series, but dogs are still run in field trials.

I'm just posting for the fun of it, but that is an alternative way to consider it, yes, no? I don't run mine because they're messed up. If running a test is the first time a dog has had the excitement of a large group setting, it could be considered teaching as opposed to correcting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,411 Posts
A lot of good advice so far. I do not like to run them until most of the bad habits for the level you are going to run have been taken care of in training. It is easy to reward bad habits in a HT if the dog is not ready and few juniors have ever seen the excitement that they will encounter in their first HT which will only add to the problem(s) that may exist.
JMHO, but if your pup has been FF, delivers to hand, has been on live birds, has fair line manners, and can consistently do nice simple single marks on land and water, your dog should be OK in a HT. I would never go as far as to say any certain age. I have run dogs in juniors as young as 7 months and as old as 7 years, different dogs, different schedules.
A couple of things I mention above are not absolute. A lot of trainers do not have the means to shoot flyers in training and many a dog has seen its first flyer in a junior test, but I would like to at least have the dog working with dead birds. You do not want to introduce a dog to birds in a hunt test or you will find your self chasing a dog that is trying to eat a bird. When I say fair line manners for a junior in its first HT I mean you can walk the dog from the holding blind to the line with all four feet on the ground, not pulling you to the line. The dog does not have to be steady at this point, but you should be able to easily restrain him on the line. You can use a collar in juniors and you really should. I have seen a fair number of dogs that the owner has sure would sit still that broke in the excitement (including one or two of my own)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,252 Posts
In addition to the basics (FF, delivers reliably to hand, used to birds) expect your dog to 'regress' a little from what she reliably does in training sessions, i.e. holding blind behavior and marking. Have her marking solidly further than the max junior distance (100 yards) but don't forget to mix in shorter marks during training. If you are very confident she can do the work you will be a lot less nervous! Get her used to duck calls from the line as well as from the gun stations and running through and picking up marks that land in decoy spreads.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top