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How do you feel about the difficultly of today's AKC Hunt tests for the non pro?

  • They are too easy. AKC should make them harder.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • They are too hard. AKC needs to make them easier.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are you satisfied with the difficulty level of today's AKC Hunt Tests for the non pro trainer and their dog?
 

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"It depends." (LVL, 2004)

Do the judges know about bird placement? If they do, are they considerate of the level of difficulty? Are the judges judging with passing percentage in mind, or just according to the work done?

When judges understand bird placement, and when they are considerate of the level of difficulty, and when they judge the work in front of them with no consideration of what percentage should pass or fail, I think they are fair.
 

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AmiableLabs said:
"It depends." (LVL, 2004)

Do the judges know about bird placement? If they do, are they considerate of the level of difficulty?
Seems like I recall a recent thread, something like "a mark is a mark."
 

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In this non-pro's opinion the AKC HT Standards should be updated.
Yes, there will the purist that will argue that "hunting hasn't changed" but dog training techniques and the quality of the dogs entered in hunt test have advanced over the decades.
The current standard was instituted to attract a new group of people to AKC retriever games. This mission has been accomplished. IMHO we now need the standard to reflect the advances our efforts, knowledge and breeding have produced if our titles to retain significance.

Tim
Let the crucifixion begin!
 

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Tim Carrion said:
In this non-pro's opinion the AKC HT Standards should be updated.
Yes, there will the purist that will argue that "hunting hasn't changed" but dog training techniques and the quality of the dogs entered in hunt test have advanced over the decades.
The current standard was instituted to attract a new group of people to AKC retriever games. This mission has been accomplished. IMHO we now need the standard to reflect the advances our efforts, knowledge and breeding have produced if our titles to retain significance.

Tim
Let the crucifixion begin!
Tim-

I'd love to hear you elaborate. The standard of the tests shouldn't reflect in any way whether the dog is home schooled or pro-trained.

I deleted the rest of my post because it was my usual War & Peace :roll:

M
 

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Tim Carrion said:
In this non-pro's opinion the AKC HT Standards should be updated.
Yes, there will the purist that will argue that "hunting hasn't changed" but dog training techniques and the quality of the dogs entered in hunt test have advanced over the decades.
The current standard was instituted to attract a new group of people to AKC retriever games. This mission has been accomplished. IMHO we now need the standard to reflect the advances our efforts, knowledge and breeding have produced if our titles to retain significance.

Tim
Let the crucifixion begin!
The problem is that HT's are the sport where most novices start to learn about field training. Novices don't necessarily have the expertice that you are referring to...and even tho they may have better bred dogs (?), it does not mean that they can or will be willing to spend the time and money to participate in a more difficult "hobby activity".

If you are much more accomplished or your pro is more accomplished, feel free to step up to the big dog games! If competition and the need to prove how good both you and your dog are is so important, FT's are for YOU!

Making HT levels more difficult will just discourage those who are new to the sport. Already, there is a big drop off of participation from junior to senior and between senior and master stakes. Participation is important to clubs and to the HT community. Field Trialers already know that and they are struggling to get more clubs and younger people involved.

Tim...they are looking for you and your pro!
 

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I think some improvement is due. One area is in Judges setting up tests.I have seen such a wide variety from so simple in JH a dog that was doing 50 yrd marks could pass and some so hard you would not believe it.
There should be more adhesion to the test set up as the rules call for. I have been at tests where the judges exceeded the distance for water and land marks

I would also like to see them make it more like a hunting scenerio by bringing guns to the line instead of out by the throwers. They could have an official gun fire on the line as the mark is thrown
 

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Used to

When it first started ....A gun was fired from the line by an official gun....The Master dogs that knew how to hunt would look at the gun barrell to see where the gun was pointing ....and many times the mark was on the ground.If Im not firing the gun,I would much rather it be in the field.
 

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Lil Dikens Kennels said:
I would also like to see them make it more like a hunting scenerio by bringing guns to the line instead of out by the throwers. They could have an official gun fire on the line as the mark is thrown
HUH?? YOU"RE GOING TO HAVE TO SPEAK UP, I CAN'T HEAR TOO GOOD ANYMORE. ;)

They have that game it's called UKC or HRC or something like that.

Seriously though, I'll vote for "it depends". I've seen tests that are over the top, and then some that were a couple fun bumpers on a football field. In one case it is too hard, the other too easy.

3DK
 

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I think the tests are fine as they currently are. :D

I believe the "average" (what ever that is) hunter running these test could be experiencing problems with training grounds. As we all know, grounds are quickly falling by the way side. This hurts, IMO, those just starting out, because they don't have grounds to train on, that are even reasonably close to what they see at the weekend tests. Some folks have grounds and some are using school yards, business parks after hours, etc, etc.
I think that's a big impact with those just starting out because they may not be involved in a group that has access to good grounds. Even those of us that have access, are beginning to see restrictions placed on those grounds; ie, no training on Tuesday or Thursday.

The other thing I consistantly hear about is inconsistancy of judging, at all levels. :oops:
Last year I saw a Senior HT that had a water blind 30 yards from the line. 30 yards!!!! You could see the bird, for God's sake!
That is an insult to the handlers that have trained hard. :cry: Let's challenge the dogs for the level they are running in.
Judges need to interpret the AKC Judges manual in it's context, NOT as they would like to; or put their own spin on what's in the book.
One of the things I was told when I began judging was to "set up a fair test, and the dogs will drop themselves". That has proved to be so true!!

Judges should leave their "power thoughts" at home and be fair. We don't need "pencil whipping" of dogs in this game.
 

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I have no real problems but I wouldn't mind seeing the MH level increase the distances out passed 200.

Bert
 

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Miriam Wade said:
Tim-
I'd love to hear you elaborate. The standard of the tests shouldn't reflect in any way whether the dog is home schooled or pro-trained.
M
Pro or Amat it makes no difference. The original question posed was "non-pro".

Somethings to consider:
-handling TO THE AREA(or back to the area) of any marked fall=DQ
-to recieve a qualifying score or be called backed to the next series a dog must recieve a minimum score of 7 in each category evaluated.
-repeated ie2-3(not "many" as it currently states) whistle or cast refusals is not meeting the standard

We could always discuss distance but that's too easy. :wink:

Tim
 

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Hunt tests were created so the "Average Joe" could have a game they could compete in. I don't know how it is like in your state, but in Colorado for the most part there are only two kinds of folks who pass MH tests. PROS and THOSE W/O JOBS . So much for the "Average Joe". If things keep the way they are , "Joe" will go elsewhere.
 

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What SueLab said......and
Only in America, everything always has to be bigger and better, until it ruins a good thing. And oh yeah, you can throw $$$ in there somewhere. Whether it concerns the #'s for a HT, Pro fees/livlihood, breeding, among other things. Sometimes we can't leave well enough alone. It also seems that once someone achieves a title, there is a tendency to make things harder for the next group that wants to reach the mountain top.
 

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Tim Carrion said:
In this non-pro's opinion the AKC HT Standards should be updated.
Yes, there will the purist that will argue that "hunting hasn't changed" but dog training techniques and the quality of the dogs entered in hunt test have advanced over the decades.
The current standard was instituted to attract a new group of people to AKC retriever games. This mission has been accomplished. IMHO we now need the standard to reflect the advances our efforts, knowledge and breeding have produced if our titles to retain significance.

Tim
Let the crucifixion begin!
IMO, the evolution of pro's joining the hunt test ranks has more to do with it than anything. There is more than one venue to appeal to all...have at it.
 

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Losthwy said:
Hunt tests were created so the "Average Joe" could have a game they could compete in. I don't know how it is like in your state, but in Colorado for the most part there are only two kinds of folks who pass MH tests. PROS and THOSE W/O JOBS . So much for the "Average Joe". If things keep the way they are , "Joe" will go elsewhere.
In New England there are a LOT of dogs at the Master level owned by average Joes who work 40 hours a week & their dogs have never been touched by a pro. We do see our share of pro run/trained dogs, but I don't think they are the majority by any means.

M
 

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I had to vote for "Just about right" but I agree with the other posters, better more consistent and realistic judging is needed rather than increasing the difficulty of the test. I think everything possible should be done to keep the average person involved in the game. It's bad enough that the fees are going up but that's just economics. I know I've talked to folks new to the game and they are hesitant to go from Jr. to Sr. much less try running in master.
 

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There is a problem with the HT at the Master level and it's called the Master National entry numbers connundrum.

Add an MHX to the mix, to take the pressure off the MH, for MN qualifying and" Joe" have His/Her game back.

john
 

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almost all of the tests i see are appropriate to the level of testing.

sometimes the judging of them baffles me. some judges have lost track of what a hunting dog does to earn it's kibble.

judging dogs to a hunting standard, rather than a training standard is what we should be doing. it's written that way and that's the way it ought to be.-paul
 

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paul young said:
almost all of the tests i see are appropriate to the level of testing.

sometimes the judging of them baffles me. some judges have lost track of what a hunting dog does to earn it's kibble.

judging dogs to a hunting standard, rather than a training standard is what we should be doing. it's written that way and that's the way it ought to be.-paul
That about covers it. Why do some people have the feeling that things always have to change? Some tests are too hard and others are too easy. IMO it all works out in the end and most are just right. If you want higher standards go run Q's. I have seen very few MH's that I would not enjoy hunting with and I do believe that is the point. If the dog has 2-3 cast refusals in the field I could care less as long as my bird is not lost so why would anyone think an arbitrary number of cast refusals is grounds for being dropped?
I do agree that the MN’s need to reduce numbers is the root of the calls for change. I still stand by my previous statements to that regard that it is the MN and AKC that need to change, not weekend HT. Allowing a format similar to the HRC Grand and let all qualified dogs run rather than try to make it harder to qualify and stop screwing up weekend HT by asserting they need to be harder simply to accomplish the goal of less dogs in the MN.
 
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