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With a single rule change, many 8 point judges were no longer eligible. The game lost a wealth of knowledge. It is no surprise that it became harder to find judges. A lot of those ladies and gentlemen sat in the chair a lot of weekends every year.
Truer words were never spoken.
 
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not really complaining about money, I realize what it cost to train, run and achieve goals. To me personally, the AKC is in it more for cash where the UKC, once qualified as Finished, you may always run the Grand which is a much better gauge of a hunting dog. AND, my dogs pick up 100s of ducks every season in Arkansas.
Nobody who loves their own individual sport or activity really complains about the money if they have the money (imo), not saying those that don't complain any more or less , just that it's easier on the pocket for some.
Gauging what is right or wrong or better or worse for one or the other , is a matter of what's worth to the individual.
My dogs pick up everything from rabbits and Hare from March , Pigeons in drilling crops in April and again in July/August when the crops are ripe, picking up bumpers in the summer is just a game and keeps them fit ,July is 'counting season' on Grouse and that get's the really fit for August on Grouse' and a real tester for partridge in September and also Duck, those warmer weather days in water sure help in the prep but don't make it real for sure. October would be a finished dog in the field about 18 month old ,if it was born 19 months before October that year and if all the exposure and training /prep was in place . November, is full swing with Pheasant, woodcock,partridge,duck, geese and the occasional ground game , come February it's a pleasure to run a dog in competition when someone throws a bumper for the dog to have some fun. All jest aside..It does take money to achieve even the simplest things with dogs no matter your field of expectation or accomplishment . Well I think so anyway, some may think otherwise and have a lovely dog with ribbons . atb.
 

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Nobody who loves their own individual sport or activity really complains about the money if they have the money (imo), not saying those that don't complain any more or less , just that it's easier on the pocket for some.
Gauging what is right or wrong or better or worse for one or the other , is a matter of what's worth to the individual.
My dogs pick up everything from rabbits and Hare from March , Pigeons in drilling crops in April and again in July/August when the crops are ripe, picking up bumpers in the summer is just a game and keeps them fit ,July is 'counting season' on Grouse and that get's the really fit for August on Grouse' and a real tester for partridge in September and also Duck, those warmer weather days in water sure help in the prep but don't make it real for sure. October would be a finished dog in the field about 18 month old ,if it was born 19 months before October that year and if all the exposure and training /prep was in place . November, is full swing with Pheasant, woodcock,partridge,duck, geese and the occasional ground game , come February it's a pleasure to run a dog in competition when someone throws a bumper for the dog to have some fun. All jest aside..It does take money to achieve even the simplest things with dogs no matter your field of expectation or accomplishment . Well I think so anyway, some may think otherwise and have a lovely dog with ribbons . atb.
While Im not near that busy, with dogs that is, Its dove in Sept, HT Aug thru mid Nov. I have 2 hrch/MH and run Derbys/Qs as well. Duck for 60 days as much as possible. Feb fix duck season issues, get them and me back in shape. March thru May HT/FT as much as possible depending on heat/humidity. I also have 15 acres, full time job, 4 grandkids and a wife that enjoys trips! I guess money is an issue afterall! BTW, my dogs chase rabbits every single day! or the occasional groundhog or armadillo.
 

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I've been in the game for a bit, even I am contemplating hiring a pro to run the master tests. Really has nothing to do with the dogs ability or mine, I've put a few MHs on my own dogs. But back when I started a 45 dog MH was a highly populated MH, You went out; Pros were running maybe 7-9 dogs the rest were amateurs; the rest helped the club and threw birds. It was more of an equal exchange; I throw for your dogs, you throw for mine. But these days I'm throwing 66 birds, in 3 series, for a line of pro dogs, and very few amateurs. The pros are getting paid, several of the workers are getting paid; me I'm volunteering it's been feeling like I'm being taken advantage of. That I'm waiting all day to run one dog til after dark on both Sat. and Sun, getting ribbons by tail-light at every event. Gone are the big BBQs and Raffles that everyone enjoyed. Master handlers hardly ever get to even go retrieve their JH and SH ribbons; at the Sat hand-out as master is still running; and your pretty bone tired by the end of the day. Master tests are just not an enjoyable activity for me any longer, I still like the lower stakes, I like uppers stakes of NAHRA and HRC; but having a Pro run the MH tests to finish that title is looking like a better and better deal.
 

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I've been in the game for a bit, even I am contemplating hiring a pro to run the master tests. Really has nothing to do with the dogs ability or mine, I've put a few MHs on my own dogs. But back when I started a 45 dog MH was a highly populated MH, You went out; Pros were running mayby 7-9 dogs the rest were amateurs; the rest helped the club and threw birds. It was more of an equal exchange; I throw for your dogs, you throw for mine. But these days I'm throwing 66 birds, in 3 series, for a line of pro dogs, and very few amateurs; been feeling like I'm being taken advantage of. That and I waiting all day to run one dog til after dark on both Sat. and Sun, getting ribbons by tail-light at every event. Gone are the big BBQs and Raffles that everyone enjoyed. Master handlers hardly ever get to even go retrieve their JH and SH ribbons; at the Sat hand-out as master is still running; and your pretty bone tired by the end of the day. Master test just not an enjoyable activity for me any longer, I still like the lower stakes, but having a Pro run the MH test to finish their titles is looking like a better and better deal.
I know what you mean but wouldn't that just make it worse?
I am always trying to convince people that they can and should train and handle their own dogs. When and why did so many people quit trying? Is it just laziness?
 

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I've been in the game for a bit, even I am contemplating hiring a pro to run the master tests. Really has nothing to do with the dogs ability or mine, I've put a few MHs on my own dogs. But back when I started a 45 dog MH was a highly populated MH, You went out; Pros were running mayby 7-9 dogs the rest were amateurs; the rest helped the club and threw birds. It was more of an equal exchange; I throw for your dogs, you throw for mine. But these days I'm throwing 66 birds, in 3 series, for a line of pro dogs, and very few amateurs. The pros are getting paid, several of the workers are getting paid; me I'm volunteering it been feeling like I'm being taken advantage of. That and I waiting all day to run one dog til after dark on both Sat. and Sun, getting ribbons by tail-light at every event. Gone are the big BBQs and Raffles that everyone enjoyed. Master handlers hardly ever get to even go retrieve their JH and SH ribbons; at the Sat hand-out as master is still running; and your pretty bone tired by the end of the day. Master test just not an enjoyable activity for me any longer, I still like the lower stakes, I like uppers stakes of NAHRA and HRC; but having a Pro run the MH tests to finish that titles is looking like a better and better deal.
I get it. Im usually that way at HRC events. If the judges see that Im in their flights, Im the Marshall or I volunteer to help. I have not done that at any AKC test. I usually dont know the people at all and once i know where I run, I get there in time for it and am gone.Except for the Debys and Qs. I always try and help there.
I dont think I will ever have a pro run my dogs in anything other than the Grand, thats just too much for a 1 dog person to wait around for all week.
 

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I also have 15 acres, full time job, 4 grandkids and a wife that enjoys trips! I guess money is an issue afterall! BTW, my dogs chase rabbits every single day! or the occasional groundhog or armadillo.
Lol, and that's the thing,,!! besides all the alcohol title and all the twists and turns like most threads . Comes down to it ...we would all love an easy life and a dog , The likes on media or forums don't mean sh*t . enjoy your 15 acres , some just have a yard. atb
 

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I know what you mean but wouldn't that just make it worse?
I am always trying to convince people that they can and should train and handle their own dogs. When and why did so many people quit trying? Is it just laziness?
I will give you several 'whys' -
It is more efficient to send the dog to a pro. The pro has access to good training grounds, birds/fliers, time, and bird boys, and grounds... oh wait, I already said that..

Plus, who wants to spend $600-700 on a 3 day weekend just to sit around each day waiting to run 'A' dog? I don't, I can tell you that.

Training a dog takes a fair amount of skill, and honestly, a lot of people simply do not have that skill. They watch a dog run a master level water triple and a blind and ooooh...and ahhhhhh. Looks easy! My dog can do that!!!. but by the time they discover how much knowledge it takes (exp matters) to actually get a dog from point A to point Z, they have either ruined the dog, or have dug themselves into such a deep hole they can't get out.

So they send the dog to a pro. Or they buy a new puppy and send that one to the pro.

Money, time, training group, grounds (water better than a round cow pond), knowledge, amd ultimately a very strong desire to work through whatever training issues may (will) pop up.
 

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When and why did so many people quit trying? Is it just laziness?
Exhaustion perhaps? Too me AKC has always had a habit of piling on more and more for their clubs and their volunteers/participants. They tend to keep doing it 60-66; now we'll take dogs from the wait-list to ensure we have EVERY spot filled. They Most likely will keep doing such until it becomes completely unsustainable for people-clubs; which I believe is already happening. Thus less volunteers, less owner-handler, less clubs, less hunt tests; still the same or more demand. Honestly I think this is what is pushing people out, and also pushing them toward having pros run their dogs. Still there might be hope, you see way more owner-handlers in HRC, they have an environment more prone to people running their own dogs, they have limits on entries and on how many dogs a single handler can run. They also tend to have the BBQs and Raffles; and more family type team-work aspects that many amateurs appreciate; Even if you have to wear goofy camo. In my area we've seen Several clubs moving into balancing out their events to hold both AKC and HRC; maybe you get the owner-handlers back in to the HT with HRC and perhaps they start trying this AKC thing again? Otherwise my theory is AKC will eventually become entirely a pay to play aspect with all workers being paid and mostly pros; and ever increasing entry fees to sustain it.
 
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I will give you several 'whys' -
It is more efficient to send the dog to a pro. The pro has access to good training grounds, birds/fliers, time, and bird boys, and grounds... oh wait, I already said that..

Plus, who wants to spend $600-700 on a 3 day weekend just to sit around each day waiting to run 'A' dog? I don't, I can tell you that.

Training a dog takes a fair amount of skill, and honestly, a lot of people simply do not have that skill. They watch a dog run a master level water triple and a blind and ooooh...and ahhhhhh. Looks easy! My dog can do that!!!. but by the time they discover how much knowledge it takes (exp matters) to actually get a dog from point A to point Z, they have either ruined the dog, or have dug themselves into such a deep hole they can't get out.

So they send the dog to a pro. Or they buy a new puppy and send that one to the pro.

Money, time, training group, grounds (water better than a round cow pond), knowledge, amd ultimately a very strong desire to work through whatever training issues may (will) pop up.
It's fine with me if anyone want's a pro to train and or handle their dog.

Training a dog to master level of even higher isn't rocket science. Lardy, Farmer, Voigt and many others will come right to your living room for a couple hundred dollars and show you how to do it.

What most people lack is dedication.
Few, if any, of us can say there aren't people that successfully train dogs with less ground and water than we have access to.
Give me 5 or 10 acres with a small pond or two and I can train a retriever with a desire to work to MH level, and you could too.

Days at events can get long, especially at hunt tests. At field trials I try to learn something by watching and talking to good trainers or by volunteering to work.
 

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I get it. Im usually that way at HRC events. If the judges see that Im in their flights, Im the Marshall or I volunteer to help. I have not done that at any AKC test. I usually dont know the people at all and once i know where I run, I get there in time for it and am gone.Except for the Debys and Qs. I always try and help there.
I dont think I will ever have a pro run my dogs in anything other than the Grand, thats just too much for a 1 dog person to wait around for all week.
Good for you, people should run their dogs whether or not they use a pro, isn’t that the point of this whole exercise? Foolish me, I thought that was the whole point of hunt tests.
 

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How is that different from a hunt test? I am trying to learn.
Hunt tests were specifically designed to be a non competitive exercise for the person, presumably the owner, to compare his/her hunting dog skills to a standard thereby minimizing the skill of the handler. This purpose seems to have been lost along the way. Field trials are, and always have been about the best of the best, the best dog/handler team versus all comers. The distinction is very clear to me but apparently not universal.
 

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Ed’s post above needs to spread though out the land.
A LOT of folks have forgotten the intent of HT’s
One venue encourages judges as they judge, to ask themselves
“ Would I HUNT like this”,, and “Would I HUNT with this dog?”

It’s a HUNT test.
Dogs run to a standard some dogs pass with an “A”, some a “B” or “C”
Sometimes depending on circumstance a dog passes with a “D”.
At the end of the day, all dogs that passed are equal on VENUE paper..
 
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