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How do you decide if a test was good or bad?

  • How well the test dog did.

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K

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The use of factors, resources and mechanics, as well as (in hunt test) whether it appears to be a decent hunting scenario. I also take into account safety as far as who's shooting where and any hazards the dogs may encounter in the test. Finally, the efficiency and common sense with which it's run as far as rebirding, location of holding blinds, honor dog location, etc. etc.

I would say that "fair from a dog's perspective" is the closest thing to whether or not something is a good test in my opinion. I've run a handful of things that I thought were fantastic tests, yet I had never trained on anything like them. First example is a duck being shot en route to a blind (over the dog's head, mind you -- so he's running under the arc AS the bird is shot). Second example is a double coffin blind working/honor situation -- very scary, but fun test (thank you Davis Arthur). I've walked up to a few tests like that and gone "oh, crap, I've never done this", but it's legimitate and good.

-Kristie
 

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I agree with Kristie 100%.

I would add that I LOVE challenging tests! The more challenging the better!

They are the most fun if you succeed -- and you have a valid excuse if you fail. :wink:
 

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Feeling the the earth will now shift well off it's 23.5 degree tilt on it's axis for sure, I agree with Kristie and Kevin. :shock:

I don't care if a test is difficult as long as it's fair. I love running under Judges like A. Nelson Sills, Vicky Trainor, Reo, and several others on this board I've run under because the tests are "straight-up" do it or die...no pencil outs...no "Oppps you went left of that third clump of brown grass at 100 yards and you should have gone right." BS...

Fair and Balanced Testing Regards,

Joe S.
 

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If it's within the test standards/maximums then to quote a wise acquaintance of Qui Chang Trainer "Dawgs Dawg, Handlers Handle and Judges Judge!"
Test On...
Peake
 

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Peake said:
"Dawgs Dawg, Handlers Handle and Judges Judge!"
Amen!! Challenge me, keep it on the up and up...I hate tricks...believe it or not a solid, fair and challenging test will eat up and spit out more dogs than plain ol' tricks.

Lainee, Flash and Bullet
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Either way you want to spin it, Keith.

Just your gut reaction, at the end of the day, when you are either thinking "good test" or "man, these judges suck" what is (are) your deciding factor(s)?

Lisa
 

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Heya Joe,

Thanks for the compliment. I feel that a "straight up test" benefits not only the dog, but also my co-judge and me. If the dog does the work, he gets called back or qualifies......if he doesn't, he's taken himself out. I can think of many times I've given the benefit of the doubt to the dog on one series and had the dog either take himself out or redeem himself on the next series. I love it when the dog "answers the questions"!

Vicky
 

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I like a straightforward, difficult test.

I do NOT like a test(s) that a certain Judge sets up that requires the Handler to have a Secretary in order to keep up with the instructions. Way too many moving parts to his tests.

Jerry
 

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JR Test

If you've got a dog that is running in the JR division and the test is set up so the dog can easily cheat (run the bank), would you consider it a good test for these dogs? Seems to me this is encouraging the dog to cheat??
 
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Re: JR Test

Dick Shrum said:
If you've got a dog that is running in the JR division and the test is set up so the dog can easily cheat (run the bank), would you consider it a good test for these dogs? Seems to me this is encouraging the dog to cheat??
No, not a good junior test. There are other ways to test perserverance in a junior dog, like a very wide line of cover that's impossible to cheat, but that they must enter or cross to get the mark, etc. The only reason to throw a cheating bird is to test perserverance (since a dog can still show marking and trainability even if he cheats the bank to a mark). And to expect a junior dog to persevere on an extremely cheaty mark is unfair...

-Kristie
 

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Re: JR Test

Dick Shrum said:
If you've got a dog that is running in the JR division and the test is set up so the dog can easily cheat (run the bank), would you consider it a good test for these dogs? Seems to me this is encouraging the dog to cheat??

I just always have made the assumption the judges just don?t know any better but with one disclaimer...I have seen Jr. water that was so skinny the judges didnt have a choice.
 

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Run a test that fits inside the rules/critera of the sanctioning body for starters. I'm tired of FT judges that come over to judge a MH and decide that they have the authority to setup marks/blinds yards and yards outside the rulebook. I have no problem with a few yards, but 200-250 yard blinds are stupid in a MH. I'm not crying the blues here, I had a great year and really do appreciate the judges that do the job when they would likely rather be running dogs themselves instead of watching them, but a good test inside the rules, with factors, fair, with no tricks works for me :D .
 

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I like a straightforward, difficult test.

I do NOT like a test(s) that a certain Judge sets up that requires the Handler to have a Secretary in order to keep up with the instructions. Way too many moving parts to his tests.

Jerry

Gosh I miss Unca Jerry!
I was just a readin' his posts and thinking about him.
He was so right on, on so many posts. Like this one.
Now to Miss DamLoo, as Jerry would refer to you....
I have observed, at times, driving home from an event. Even with a ribbon or two hanging from the gun rack and happy memories from the field. You can still be chafed and still think it was a bad test. Sadly, sometimes it is the people you interact with at an event that really rub your rhubarb. Rude people, pushy people, self proclaimed experts, sand baggers, work shirkers and gallery gripers can, at times, truly spoil an event for some. Nothing worse than a person who does nothing to help yet will complain about every aspect of an event. From grounds choice and bird placement to judges chosen and handlers running. Sometimes I wonder why folk like that bother to run dogs at all. If everything is so terrible...... stay home!:confused:
 
.
 

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Gosh I miss Unca Jerry!
I was just a readin' his posts and thinking about him.
He was so right on, on so many posts. Like this one.
Now to Miss DamLoo, as Jerry would refer to you....
I have observed, at times, driving home from an event. Even with a ribbon or two hanging from the gun rack and happy memories from the field. You can still be chafed and still think it was a bad test. Sadly, sometimes it is the people you interact with at an event that really rub your rhubarb. Rude people, pushy people, self proclaimed experts, sand baggers, work shirkers and gallery gripers can, at times, truly spoil an event for some. Nothing worse than a person who does nothing to help yet will complain about every aspect of an event. From grounds choice and bird placement to judges chosen and handlers running. Sometimes I wonder why folk like that bother to run dogs at all. If everything is so terrible...... stay home!:confused:
 
.
Amen Ken. Sadly the people who need to see themselves in your post won't--so they will continue to ruin the weekend for the other contestants and the workers who give so much of themselves and their time.
 

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The best tests of all have lots of people contributing to the effort for the entire weekend. A little work done by many makes the best test.

A lot of work done by few makes a poor test. When some complain about the few, doing the work there may as well just not be a test.
 

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I prefer that the test be appropriately challenging and difficult for the field

However, anymore, I only seek four things from a Field Trial

1) Tests are safe for the dogs
2) Dogs can see gunners and birds
3) Dogs should be able to see and hear the handlers
4) The trains should run on time

Think of how wonderful it would be if those four simple criteria could be met
 

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The use of factors, resources and mechanics, as well as (in hunt test) whether it appears to be a decent hunting scenario. I also take into account safety as far as who's shooting where and any hazards the dogs may encounter in the test. Finally, the efficiency and common sense with which it's run as far as rebirding, location of holding blinds, honor dog location, etc. etc.

I would say that "fair from a dog's perspective" is the closest thing to whether or not something is a good test in my opinion. I've run a handful of things that I thought were fantastic tests, yet I had never trained on anything like them. First example is a duck being shot en route to a blind (over the dog's head, mind you -- so he's running under the arc AS the bird is shot). Second example is a double coffin blind working/honor situation -- very scary, but fun test (thank you Davis Arthur). I've walked up to a few tests like that and gone "oh, crap, I've never done this", but it's legimitate and good.

-Kristie
This is a great comment. The only thing that I can add is that I assess a test based on what I have trained for, and if I think the dogs can do the work. I then run what I brought and hope for the best. There have been tests as Kristie mentioned where I ran the dog, and the dog's performance flat out surprised the heck out of me. Sometimes talent wins out, sometimes training wins out, and sometimes a dog just has to be a dog.

I will state for the record, that I have yet to see an HRC or AKC test which I thought was unfair to the dog. I am not a fan of putting the dog in front of the gun, but that is not a fairness issue, it's a safety issue.
 

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I prefer that the test be appropriately challenging and difficult for the field

However, anymore, I only seek four things from a Field Trial

1) Tests are safe for the dogs
2) Dogs can see gunners and birds
3) Dogs should be able to see and hear the handlers
4) The trains should run on time

Think of how wonderful it would be if those four simple criteria could be met

Well said Ted. That is true test or trial.
 

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Well Ken said everything so eloquently I don't really have much more to add about what can ruin a good test for me!

Sadly, sometimes it is the people you interact with at an event that really rub your rhubarb. Rude people, pushy people, self proclaimed experts, sand baggers, work shirkers and gallery gripers can, at times, truly spoil an event for some. Nothing worse than a person who does nothing to help yet will complain about every aspect of an event. From grounds choice and bird placement to judges chosen and handlers running. Sometimes I wonder why folk like that bother to run dogs at all. If everything is so terrible...... stay home!:confused:

And for what makes a test I enjoy: judges that set up something a little different than the 'concept du jour', as long as it's a straight forward set up with no tricks with birds placed where dogs don't want to go, one that separates natural markers from trained lining dogs where dogs do not need to be pencil whipped.

As for the haters/complainers Ken mentioned, they sure do put a damper on things. Even seen a couple of these types duke it out over winning the test dog Olympics. Rather than complaining, if things aren't running smoothly because a club's short handed, why not offer to help? Although most of these braying braggarts are too busy badmouthing (insert one: club, judge, pros, dogs) to bother. I enjoy being busy at events, not that I'm in demand as a bird boy, wingers fear me and it's a great chance to see good dog work especially if your own goes out. You always have a better view than in the gallery and it can give you ideas on stuff you need to train on.


 
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