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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well guys just entered my dog in our first hunt test. Its the AKC event near Collierville, TN. JH should only be 2 marks correct? You can't use electronic collar on dogs either right? I know she is ready for JH and it should be a breeze. Just wanted to get some advice from some of you about what pitfalls to try to avoid, since this is my first Hunt Test.
 

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Jamie,

you say you know your dog is ready. that may be, and i won't second guess you.

you, however, are not ready. you need to read the rules and regulations (available online at the AKC website). unpleasant surprises on test day are never a good thing.

pay special attention to the section that deals with what/how judges are to evaluate performances.

good luck! -paul
 

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Please make sure that your dog has seen decoys goose, duck, flags, profiles ect. That seems to be one thing that first time handlers forget, and if your dog brings one back your day is done.
 

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While I am not a huge fan of the practice in JH, sometimes judges will use a duck call to signal the gunners. It is therefore good to practice having someone call behind you and your dog before the mark is thrown. This prevents a scenario where a dog spins around and stares at the judges and doesn't get turned back around to see the marks fall. If you practice this a few times, the dog usually quickly learns to ignore the call behind it.

Lastly and most important, practice having someone behind you call your number (just make one up) after the mark has fallen. This will hopefully prevent you from releasing the dog prior to the judges giving you the OK to do so, which can make for a short day. Many moons ago when I ran my first HT, I counted, "1001, 1002, 1003" after seeing the bird fall and released my dog, as I had done hundreds of times in training. Moments later, I heard, "dog #7". Dog picked up the chicken and we both went home. Bummer.

Good luck,
Mike
 

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This past weekend at JH, on the water marks the handler had to blow the duck call to call for the birds. Also sat on a bucket holding a gun. We also did a walk up of sorts.

You can and should hold onto your dogs caller so it doesn't break. Don't touch your dog in any other way when releasing or taking the bird.

ask your judges any questions you may have during the test dog, and don't hesitate to ask them something in the holding blind before you run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree that I am not ready, but that is why I wanted to talk to you guys before the HT. I am currently reading all the rules at AKC site and trying to learn as much as possible. I'm sure everyone feels like me before they run their first ever HT. I just want to set my dog up with the best possible chance to do well.
 

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JamieV said:
I agree that I am not ready, but that is why I wanted to talk to you guys before the HT. I am currently reading all the rules at AKC site and trying to learn as much as possible. I'm sure everyone feels like me before they run their first ever HT. I just want to set my dog up with the best possible chance to do well.
Aside from all of that, HAVE FUN! Enjoy the adrenaline and feeling like puking in the blind! My first time was a JH and I had a bad stomach ache. You will love it! :D
 

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First HT

Don't foget to BREATH! And when leaving the line after the dog has complete the series be sure to turn into your dog in order to keep them from going into the field again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Was reading rules and seen that the JH is 4 single marks (2 land, 2 water). Will they shoot all 4 marks, then I will be released to send the dog to get the marks? (so the dog must be able to mark all 4 then retrieve them?) I read that I do not send the dog until my number has been called. I know I can't talk to my dog in AKC events ( Sorry for stupid question..but does that include commands such as over, back, heel, ect.?) More questions to come as they arise..Thank all of you guys for the help it is greatly appreciated.

Jamie
 

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First HT

Jaime,
your dog will be called to the line, the judge will ask "are you ready?", the judges will call "guns up", a single bird will be dropped - either on land or water - depending on the series. You wait for the judge to say "dog" or "your number" and you will send your dog; this will be repeated for the second bird of the series once your dog has returned with the first bird. The same scenario will happen for the next series of which ever is left to complete. All dogs in the series run that test before going to the next series. Giving your dog a command is not considered talking to your dog. Some people will jump up and down, yelling and encouraging their dogs - very distracting even at Junior level. Things have advanced much in the past few years. Training in a calm, low voice is helpful in advancing to test level. Good Luck!
 

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First HT

Jaime,
sorry I forgot to mention - be there early, air your dog before running, and above all - be sure to be there for the judges meeting and test dog (a test dog will be run for the land series and the water series for entrants to observe and to determine the test is not flawed) - will give you a picture of what will happen (your dog should be crated during this time).
 

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Got my first JH title last fall so from one newb to another:

pitfalls to avoid:

1. Wait until the judge calls your number before sending.
2. You're allowed to lightly restrain your dog in JH - do so (almost lost an arm because of a "steady" dog :)).
3. Don't say anything to the dog after you've signalled for the bird
4. Don't touch the dog until you've taken the bird from him/her

Do's:

1. Be on time and air your dog
2. Attend the handler's meeting and ask questions
3. Watch the test dog
4. Check in with the Marshall and receive your running order (the running order in the brochure doesn't seem to amount to much so if you are listed as 1 or 2 you can probably arrange to run later so that you can watch a few dogs).
5. Thank the judges regardless of the outcome.
6. Probably also a nice gesture to thank the Marshall and bird boys/gunners if you have the opportunity.
7. Breathe and enjoy

Best of luck!
 

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Jamie, I'm your gal! Just ran my very first AKC test week before last. Things I were surprised by:Number 1: Because of large number of entries, judges ran all 4 singlesat one time. When you got to the line, signaled for birds, one bird thrown, (with gun and quacker calls) judge said dogs number, sent dog. Immediately on delivery, point dog at next gun, same thing. We did two land and two water all in one session. I loved it because of surprise number 2.: My dog was almost totally out of control in the holding blinds and embarrased the crap out of me. I dont think I would have survived two separate set ups in the same day. We were alright at the line, but otherwise, ouch. We got our 2 passes but will wait a while for the next to see if we can get some semblance of control. BTW: do hold the collar!
I had a great time, and am seriously hooked. Just doing my best not to go again too soon with my dog. Is there a 12 step program anywhere out there for this?
 

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Enjoy the adrenaline and feeling like puking in the blind!
Comon courtisy says if you do actually puke, try to aim it so it lands out of the holding blind.

Warning the next handler might not be a bad idea either.

Wanting clean boots regards, :p :p :p :wink:
 

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Amen

Amen Howard!!!

Good luck enjoy the hills and the valleys!!!!!

Richard
 

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Howard N Comon courtisy says if you do actually puke, try to aim it so it lands out of the holding blind.

Warning the next handler might not be a bad idea either.

Wanting clean boots regards, :p :p :p :wink:
Well that's what you get for being in the blind behind me! Wait a minute! I swallowed that time! NASTY! :oops: :lol:
 

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I went to my first JH test when my dog was about 11 months old. I thought we would breeze right thru it. Boy was I wrong. Just like someone said the judge blew the loudest call you ever heard right behind my little dog,she whirled around and missed the mark. Right after that hunting season started so I didn't run any more. I hunted all season and then trained like a mad man until spring. We got our Junior title and two Senior passes in the last 3 weeks and going to try and title again next weekend. I was at the same test as 2tall that they ran all 4 marks at one time. The first day we ran two on land then made a short walk to the water. the second day we ran 2 on land and just turned around and ran 2 on water.
I watched the SH that weekend and both days they had a double then a blind on land and water so all week I trained on a double then a blind to get my dog into the idea that after picking up the birds you run a blind. So when we got to the test they had us run the blind first,go figure. Say that to say this, be prepared for anything. I used to run bird dogs in field trials from horseback but this game is so much more fun. I'm hooked!
 
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