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If you judge HT's, regardless of org. - have you ever hunted with a retriever?

  • yes, within the last year

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  • yes, but it's been a while

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  • no, I have never hunted with a retriever

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  • no, I have never been hunting, period

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Discussion Starter #1
I have heard about hunt test judges who have never actually been hunting, but am wondering how prevalent this is. If you've never done any hunting with retrievers, how do you feel qualified to test and judge them? I wonder if anyone who judges HT but has never once hunted over a dog will admit it.
Tina
 

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Tina, buying a license and going hunting, in reality, has nothing to do with someones ability to recognize and reward good dog work. Granted, it SHOULD, but it's not always the case.

My wife has been hunting but you would NEVER want her to attempt to set up a test and Judge your dog. That ability is not there. Experience is a fickle thing. As the saying goes, "one day's experience, repeated 20 times, sitll equals ONE DAY'S experience.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jerry said:
Tina, buying a license and going hunting, in reality, has nothing to do with someones ability to recognize and reward good dog work. Granted, it SHOULD, but it's not always the case.

My wife has been hunting but you would NEVER want her to attempt to set up a test and Judge your dog. That ability is not there. Experience is a fickle thing. As the saying goes, "one day's experience, repeated 20 times, sitll equals ONE DAY'S experience.

Jerry
Unca Jer,
I by no means meant to imply that having been hunting with a dog makes one qualified to test and judge them! But I have a hard time imagining how I could set up a good spaniel field trial having never hunted with spaniels, for example. I have, over time, heard a few people claim that one reason for (their perceived) decline in the quality of hunt tests is that more and more judges have never even been on a hunt. I just wondered how true it is that a significant or at least increasing proportion of HT judges have never been hunting with a retriever, that's all.
Tina
 

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Jerry wrote:

My wife has been hunting but you would NEVER want her to attempt to set up a test and Judge your dog. That ability is not there. Experience is a fickle thing. As the saying goes, "one day's experience, repeated 20 times, sitll equals ONE DAY'S experience.
I'm less concerned with the person who doesn't hunt than the person who hunts, but doesn't run a dog in tests & claims "My dog picks up x amount of birds a season-I don't have anything to prove by running tests". Then turns around & sets up ridiculous (& sometimes illegal) tests. These are hunt tests NOT hunting. I have a huge admiration for the person who hunts & can bring their experience to the game, but the bottom line is that being an avid hunter does not necessarily mean you know bird placement in hunt test situations.

M
 

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Interesting!!! I've been hunting, got a WC on a Spaniel, but would NEVER consider trying to judge a Spaniel trial unless I was paired with a VERY experienced Judge to show me the ropes. Everyone has to start somewhere. None of us are born being 8-point Judges.

Experience comes in different forms. I'm sure there are some very good guides on here that will put you on ducks, geese, pheasant, whatever, but wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to set up a test and Judge it. Could they?? Certainly, with experience. And that experience starts with the very first Judging assignment.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unca Jerry,
Are you tryin to be obstinate? I ain't saying that hunting makes you a good judge. I ain't saying hunting makes you know jack about setting up a good test. I definitely ain't saying I'd go try to set up and judge a spaniel trial after seeing 1 or 2 hunts or trials, but I wouldn't go judge with even the most experienced spanial judge in the world without having ever even seen a spaniel hunt! ALL I am getting at here is that to before becoming a hunt test judge of any sort, I believe a person ought to have been hunting with a retriever, preferably a trained one. And that is just my opinion, the worth of which I am well aware :wink:
Tina
 

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Not being obstinate. You stated you wouldn't Judge a Spaniel Trial and I also said I would have to have a very experienced co-judge to do it even though I have hunted with and "Titled" a Spaniel. Just not my cup of tea.


Jerry
 

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Judging a HT has very little to do with hunting in my opinion. I hunt 40+ days a year (30-35 on waterfowl and the remainder on pheasants).

HT are not much like hunting and never will be. I don't think hunting experience helps very much when considering your judging ability. Setting up good tests to evaluate retrievers is MUCH more important thna hunting experience. I haven't seen a correlation between better tests from judges that hunt and poorer tests from judges who don't hunt.
 

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KJB said:
Unca Jerry,
... ALL I am getting at here is that to before becoming a hunt test judge of any sort, I believe a person ought to have been hunting with a retriever, preferably a trained one. And that is just my opinion, the worth of which I am well aware :wink:
Tina
Tina, I agree with you 100%...and so does the AKC. In at least two places the rules not only recommend, but strongly recommend that judge have extensive experience with retrievers in hunting. This has always been one of my gripes with some judges. These are HUNTING tests :!: Yes, the best judges have good or better dog smarts, and coupled with hunting experience makes a very good combination, and in all likely hood a good test. My argument is that as judges get more sophisticated in dog knowledge/training they then continue to transfer this over to their tests, raising the bar so to speak. Nothing wrong with training this way, but that is not how one should judge. There is a standard for which one needs to only meet. If you want to train beyond that standard, my advice is to do so....and then go run FT. The more hunting experience one has with dogs, more realistic hunting scenerios can be played out for the test with some practicality.
 

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The only fallacy I see with your argument is that I've seen 3-4 actual hunting situations that would cause a riot if one did it at a HT. But it was a hunting situation!!!

Sometimes I think that is what happens. "Well this happened to me once, so it's a valid test."

It boils down to using common sense. Test all the dogs on a given week-end and Judge them fairly. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jerry
 

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Jerry. speaking of riots. Do you think a MH should be able to lie down with you in a field of goose decoys? Should a MH be able to run out of a boat? Should it be able to sit on a stump and await the marks? I know that most on this board would answer 'yes' to these questions. In fact, these things are much more common in hunting than a dog marking a quad, but yet we don't test for this. We used to, but not now. I think one of the reasons is lack of field experience, and probably an overwhelming reason is the lack of time, in which we make up for it with extreme technical situations designed to eliminate dogs to save time, not to test to meet a realistic standard.
 
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Allright who voted "No I've never been hunting.period" Just to stir the pot...............Not Meeeeeee :lol:
 

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:D :D Yes, yes, and yes. (How many questions did you ask?) Well, I'm not too fond of that sitting on a stump thing, but I suppose that would be better than asking them to tread water while waiting on the birds. :D :D

It's all relative in the real world and we need to give our dogs every advantage we can.

Jerry
 

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Of course hunting and HT are different. I doubt you will ever see 20 live ducks released for each dog, 4 guys emptying their guns, and 1 duck falling (that is how it works for everyone, right :lol: :?: ) But we do need to stay true to the hunting theme, or just say OK, let's test for this or that and forget the camo etc., and just test the dog's performance.
 
M

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I agree that a judge should have enough hunting experience to understand what they are testing for but I don't think you can expect the level of realism suggested by Steve. If you want to make it realistic have the dog sit in a blind all day without seeing a bird, or watching his master miss an easy crossing shot on a mallard. How about obediently walking back to the truck at heel after his dumb a-- owner just fell and flooded his waders.

I think the most you can expect from a judge is to test concepts that are appropriate for the test level and relative to hunting situations.
 

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KJB said:
Unca Jerry,
Are you tryin to be obstinate? I ain't saying that hunting makes you a good judge. I ain't saying hunting makes you know jack about setting up a good test. I definitely ain't saying I'd go try to set up and judge a spaniel trial after seeing 1 or 2 hunts or trials, but I wouldn't go judge with even the most experienced spanial judge in the world without having ever even seen a spaniel hunt! ALL I am getting at here is that to before becoming a hunt test judge of any sort, I believe a person ought to have been hunting with a retriever, preferably a trained one. And that is just my opinion, the worth of which I am well aware :wink:
Tina
And NBA refs need to have played the game before they can ref a game.....and a HS math teacher should have worked for the government crunching numbers before being able to teach in a school.....and a politician should be required to live in the "bad neighborhoods" in order to fairly represent those constituents (hey not a bad idea???).....

Anyway, as you see...it can go on and on and on....some of the WORST tests I have seen have been put on by "serious" hunters....

I think the BEST judges are judges who have trained and run their dogs. Hunting experience is a plus....but those hunters that pay pros to train their dogs don't necessarily have a clue about how to set up a test to TEST the dogs to the best of their abilities. I don't care how many days they spend in the field or how many birds they have shot.

I haven't hunted in a while. Frankly, if the ducks aren't flying and falling, I'd just as soon take a nap. But if you want a REAL hunting situation, then test a dog for sitting all day not eating your food you left out while you empty your shotgun on a flock of birds and don't touch a feather. THAT"S A REAL HUNTING SITUATION!

Hts and Fts are about TESTING dogs for learned abilities and natural traits that would be helpful in locating downed game for a hunter.

WRL
 

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for a real "test" scenerio have all your marks land in a pile land 10 yds in front of you !!! (this normally happens when you shoot and call as good as i do :lol: :lol: :lol: )

JUST KIDDING !!!

i really take a dokken duck or 2 to the blind and shoot at them for my dogs :wink:

i don't care what the set up is like cuz they pick up more birds during a HT weekend than they do hunting any way :roll:
 

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People who have never hunted have no business in the judges chair period.
 

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I agree with steve bean that master dogs should not have a problem doing whatever you ask of them. THey should adapt to most situations and scenarios you listed with minimal fuss. THey should sit and stay where told and should stay till told what to do. Then they should be responsive to your commands.

ONe thing though Jim Person made a pretty strong comment that people who have never hunted shouldn't sit in a judges chair or something to that effect. So this question goes to everyone that feels hunting experience is imperative to being a judge. What SPECIFIC skills does a hunting judge posses that a judge that has never hunted but has extensive retriever training knowledge not possess? Or what skills is it impossible ot possess without having hunted that are importnat ofr evaluating retrievers? THis should be easy to answer if it is so imperative.

It seems to me that the people that hunt a few days a year and shoot 10-40 ducks per year are the ones that seem to think that hunting experience is imperative to judging. In my opinion shooting 10-40 ducks or birds per year is not hunting. ANything over 100 birds is hunting. YOu don't learn nor see in one year shooting a handful of ducks a year enough to help you judge a hunt test. THe only reason I run hunt tests is to have a better hunting dog and for fun. I don't feel having a judge that hunts helps with the test or the evaluation of my dog one bit. If the guy in the chair is qualified and understands retrievers I don't care if he never hunted in his life. I would rather have him than some smuck that shoots 10 ducks per year and thinks he is a hunter.
 
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