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What do you prefer

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Discussion Starter #1
What do you prefer if you were judging?

Points to consider on both sides:

Long extended hunts and SOB definitly are frowned upon in the rules. But at least the dog uses his brain and systematicly finds the bird with no assistance from the handler.

Handles - Takes responsiblity from the dog and basicly becomes a blind. Certainly can't be compared as a mark. But can be clean and effiencent.
 

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"It depends." (LVL, RTF, Spring 2003)

This past week-end I went to the last series with one dog I did not have a handle to use...I perfered a long hunt.

With another dog I did have a handle to use, I perfered a quick handle.

So...it depends on what I have at my disposal, what bird we are looking at, and what the rest of the "field" has done to date.

I think, in general, Judges tend to reward the long hunt more often than the quick handle ALTHOUGH I have run under one Judge on this board that rewarded the quick handle more than the long hunt...so again, it depends.

Joe S.
 

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My veiws are from a hunt test perspective as both a handler and judge. As long as the dog is dog is hunting the general area of fall I would prefer that the dog be allowed to hunt. If the dog leaves the fall area I still would give the dog a reasonable amount of time to work back to the AOF. If he/she leaves the AOF a second time I'm going to handle.

2blackdogs
 

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As Dr. Ed's termed phase "it depends?, I succumb to the rule book. A quick handle over a big hunt disturbing cover.

However, ALMOST always a handle will get you dropped while a single big hunt carry?s.

I can tell you what I do hate to see; a huge lumbering hunt that starts 100+ yards out of the area of the fall but eventually winds the bird and gets carried vs. the dog that takes a reasonable line to the area of the fall and doesn't come up with the bird without a handle and then gets dropped. Drives me crazy!
 

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I look for a few things that tell me that the dog 'marked' 1 a good initial line, 2 recognition of the depth of the fall, 3 stayin in the aof, 4 a glance over to a memory bird after picking up a bird, 5 self lining when returning with a bird. These things all indicate a good job of marking. Running a hundred yards past a mark and then hunting all the way back to the bird does not. I want to hear a whistle, I already know that the dog did not mark the AOF.

tom
 

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Quick handles generally mean that the dog has no idea where the bird is...(returning to an old fall or going off into never never land)

handles after the dog has hunted the area and not found the bird are much better handles and tells you the dog did indicate that he knew approximately where the mark was

big hunts are also relative, is the big (long?) hunt in or near the area of the fall or is it in some distant county


relative, relative, relative, relative.........to say one prefers a big hunt to a quick handle would depend on too many factors to reduce to a single simplistic phrase
 

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Keith G./Ed A. -

Remember gentlemen, we have to keep it simple so Shayne can understand it...

Joe S.
 

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I'm probably not the only goofball to wonder about a question related to that posed by Gerald, and that is, what do you as a judge define as the AOF for any particular mark? Before you answer "it depends", :wink: I'm curious about the extent to which the AOF is effected by multiple marks, distance, terrain and other factors.

As alway, thanks in advance.

CKR
 

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CKR said:
I'm curious about the extent to which the AOF is effected by multiple marks, distance, terrain and other factors.As alway, thanks in advance.CKR
Indeed, there are many factors, and to what extent they affect each person's view of AOF is variable. The main factor is that each individual judge is consistent with his/her own perception of AOF

The main factors (IMO)

1. flyer vs dead bird...a much larger area is allowed for flyers

2. the individual speed of the dogs, fast dogs get more room than do slow dogs

3. retired gun vs gun out...retired larger

4. first bird of a multiple vs last bird...first bird larger

5. short mark vs long mark...long mark larger

redundant as it seems, things are still RELATIVE, and each individual dog is evaluated on his performance vs the performance of the other dogs

I personally don't pay much attention to nos. 4 & 5, but these are factors which should be considered....since dogs can select the order of retrieves, one might overevaluate the AOF based on the order of retrieve, and thereby overcomplicate the judging process

and the AOF is a very subjective.....e.g. Keith and I might judge together and have slighly different ideas of the AOF, but in the final accounting we would probably arrive with the same or very similar placements
 

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It's not a good mark (Probably) for either and, depending upon the size of the hunt and the circumstances of the handle, likely a failure for both. I don't "like" to see big hunts or handles on marks.
 

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"It's all relative."
I raised this issue frequently this weekend with my FT friends, and this is indeed the answer they each and everyone gave me.

And I do indeed think there is some gray, the dividing line is not hard and fast, black and white. But at the same time, I am not willing to conceed that it is entirely gray, as my good friends wish to say.

The fact is, it doesn't take any genius, anyone with any bit of experience can often tell -- when a dog didn't mark!

Take the last fall, of the last series, of the Amateur at Midwest this weekend. It was the long, middle bird, across a pond. Throw was from top of levee, landing on front of levee, with the thrower retiring.

Correct line to the fall was to the right of a huge tall mound/island in the middle of the pond.

Nine dogs were called back to run this series, none did this bird well. A few handled. One picked up. But the question relates to the dogs that did not handle, and I would argue did not mark; The dogs that put on long, monster hunt until, I would argue, they stumbled on the bird. As has become typical in FTs, this was the majority of dogs.

A typical example of the work we witnessed: the dog returns first two birds of triple well, and is sent for the long retired mark described above. The dog takes a line left of island. "Ding!" The first sign the dog may not have marked. Before reaching levee, the dog puts up an extended hunt in the water. "Ding!" The second sign the dog may not have marked. The dog reaches the levee now forty yards off-line and downwind, and turns left away from fall. "Ding!" The third sign the dog may not have marked. Then the dog puts up an extended hunt behind the levee. "Ding!" After a good ten minutes hunting there ("Ding!"), the dog decides to hunt a different area -- this time where the bird fell.

According to my FT friends, this work was prefered to how I would have done. When my dog hit the levee, and turned away from the bird, enough alarms would have sounded off in my head to tell me she didn't mark and needed to be handled. And guess what? I would have disturbed less cover; I would have fulfilled my role in the teamwork of recovering the game (One FT friend told me "It is entirely the dog's role to recover marks." Hmmm. But that is a different subject.); It would have taken less time to recover the game, and my dog would be back sooner to continue working; The work would have been "cleaner" and more impressive.

Yet, the dogs that put up the monster hunt were scored higher than the dogs that handled.

The mindset of FTers is as soon as you handle you have admitted your dog did not mark. "Duh." :wink: But do we really need to wait for you to blow your whistle to know that! :p

FTers say "As long as you don't handle, you can make the argument the dog figured it out and corrected his mistake, and therefore indeed marked." That is true! But is it realistic in even a tiny percent of the cases? Did you witness the dog stopping, and re-orienting himself, or did he just have his nose to the ground for the whole fifteen minutes?

Look, I love FTs more than HTs, and I can't wait until I get to play the game. But there are just some things about FTs that are wrong, and this is one of them. When it is obvious your dog did not mark, you got to handle. And more importantly, the judges need to stop penalizing the handlers that do.

Kevin
 

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But Kevin, it is all relative, relative to what the other dogs do......

it's really not such a big problem, it's not a burning FT issue, but rather a philosophical difference among judges, something to toss around just to get a little conversation going

and the view from the gallery always seems to be so much clearer than it does from the judge's chairs :wink:
 

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As I stated above IMHO the dog that starts its hunt a hundred yards past the AOF did not mark, likewise the dog that starts its hunt a hundred yards short didnt either.
Taking a proper line past that island and onto the levee is less important than remembering where the AOF is once the dog gets there however.

tom
 

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Let's change the venue, make it a National. One big hunt or one handle doesn't mean your out, or does it? It seems one handle means your out of contention, but a big hunt at a National can be overlooked.
 

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Ed Aycock said:
and the view from the gallery always seems to be so much clearer than it does from the judge's chairs :wink:
I've found the best handlers are the ones in tha gallery as well...

Joe S.
 

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Canman said:
Let's change the venue, make it a National. One big hunt or one handle doesn't mean your out, or does it? It seems one handle means your out of contention, but a big hunt at a National can be overlooked.
but the national has 10 series and a minimum of 5, uausually 6 sets of marks......and the national has 8 days

nationals are judged differently from weekend field trials.....if the same standard for calling back dogs that is employed at weekend trials was employed at the national, there'd be no one left at the end.....also when you make that mistake at a national is huge....if it occurs at a time when a big cut is coming, you could still be dropped

due to time constraints and large entries, one serious mistake on a mark will generally get you dropped at the typical weekend field trial
 

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That is why I said let's change the venue. Yes Nationals are different. When was the last time a dog with a handle named winner and when was the last time a dog with a BIG hunt declared winner? Some thought Aces High III should have won, but he had a quick handle.

In reality, a big hunt in the last series of a weekend trial or a National is better than any handle.
 

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Ed Aycock said:
But Kevin, it is all relative, relative to what the other dogs do......
That is the competitive aspect of it. The aspect can be changed when the mindset of the average judge does as well. Judges need to stop penalizing the clean handle on marks when compared to monster hunts.

Let us take a test case. The last dog to run the above described test took the line left of the island, and right when it hit the bottom of the levee, the handler decided to blow the whistle and handle. This handler had witnessed all the monster hunts before her. Now unfortunately, this dog did not hear the whistles, went out of control, and had to be picked up. But what if it had handled cleanly to the fall? --

Would the FT judges here on this forum scored her higher or lower than the dogs that did not handle but put up ten minute monster hunts?

it's really not such a big problem, it's not a burning FT issue, but rather a philosophical difference among judges, something to toss around just to get a little conversation going.
Oh, I know. But the conversing can be so much FUN! :wink:

Besides, I want to learn everything I can and it is great having this forum here.

and the view from the gallery always seems to be so much clearer than it does from the judge's chairs :wink:
Walking away from the line Judy Powers asked me what I thought of the work (It is not that I am anyone important. Her "Ginger" who was competing is a littermate to my "Belle" and she knows I am biased and want her to win). I said honestly, I was glad I was not judging! 8)

Kevin
 

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AmiableLabs said:
Judges need to stop penalizing the clean handle on marks when compared to monster hunts.Kevin
That has been the prevailing "school of thought" in the midwest......that handling on a mark is better than hunting.....is that no longer true???

and don't forget that these dogs had 3 other series on their score sheets to look at as well.......sometimes what you have at the end is the best of the worst :roll:
 
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