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Discussion Starter #1
Senior is always the most difficult to judge. The field will contain some dogs that are ready for Master and some dogs that have just finished Junior.

I have always used the basic tenant that I'm looking for a dog that feels it is part of a "team"

Now the question . . . are cold blinds and/or cold honors proper skills to be tested in a Senior Hunter test?
 

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Eric, I'm not a fan of cold honors in Senior or Master. I believe it is an extreme test of steadiness for a Senior dog. It also opens up the test to all sorts of unintended outcomes and complicates mechanics if there is a no- bird.

Besides that, why show all the dogs the marks twice?

By cold blinds, do you mean a test where the first retrieve is a blind, before any marks have been thrown? If so, I think that is fine for Senior dogs. After all, that's how they were taught to run blinds in the first place. Judges just need to be sure that mark placements, subsequent to running the Blind(s) do not bracket or are unduly influenced, if it is not a blind only series.
 

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I'm not a fan of cold honors in Senior or Master
I'm not a fan of it in any stake, hunt test or field trial.
Not unfair, just not conducive to finding the best dogs IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Paul -

With respect of the cold blind, that may be how many hunts actually start but do these same hunts have the excitement of multiple dogs and many gun shots before the dog is put on notice? Does not the Senior marks serve to take a bit of unharnessed energy out of the dog? Do the marks serve a secondary role in bringing the dog into focus. While a blind may be cold in a training situation, in a training situation the handler has tools s/he can use to control the dog.

The difference between a dog with no Senior passes and one with 3 can really a huge difference in maturity and should not the test be equally fair?

I really don't have a dog in the fight. Just curious how folks feel. For the record, in the roughly 40-50 Senior events I judged, I never ran a cold honor and I have doubts about a cold blind.
 

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By cold blinds, do you mean a test where the first retrieve is a blind, before any marks have been thrown? If so, I think that is fine for Senior dogs.
I agree, not difficult to train and something any good hunting dog should be prepared for.
 

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Cold honors really don't have a place in Senior. I prefer no cold blinds either. Although these are seen all the time hunting, there is an automatic failure for a no-go at a hunt test.
 

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I especially like running tests where the cold blind is between the marks and the line to the blind is downwind of the fall area of one of those marks. (Not)

Cold blinds and cold honors should be saved for master tests, IMO. Senior is to see if the handler and dog have formed a working relationship at a fairly basic level, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tobias - You and I are of the same mind. I used to offer in my "Judge's intructions" that I was far more interested in teamwork than precision. I would pass a dog that needed 10 whistles to get to a blind as long as the dog responded to the whistle promptly and accurately. The Senior test includes all of the basic skills that a Master dog needs but they aren't polished yet. The Senior test is about teamwork.
 
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Someone please educate me...what is a "Cold Honor"? Is it the same as a regular "Honor"?
 
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