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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Jerry said:
Sometimes I think that is what happens. "Well this happened to me once, so it's a valid test."
One of the WORST HT judges I know of prefaces every scenario with that remark. He is so hung up on "realism" and has no clue about how to really test dogs, and so most of his tests have some element of the absurd and on at least one occasion was an illegal test.


Jerry said:
It boils down to using common sense. Test all the dogs on a given week-end and Judge them fairly. Nothing more, nothing less.
If only it were that simple! 8)

Steve Bean said:
How could one feel that someone who has hunted several labs through the years, in various situations, and has titled one or more of those dogs wouldn't be more prepared to judge...all else being equal, than someone who doesn't have that experience?
That's my question too!

WRL said:
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 agree, but still think a judge can only benefit from having actually seen a retriever hunt. I don't like to see judges judging who have never trained a dog or run a dog in a test, either, even if they're a legendary duck hunter. I think a person might well be a good judge if they've never hunted, but I would not feel I was being straight up with the handlers whose dogs' "suitability as a hunting companion" I was judging, if I'd never actually seen a retriever hunt in any shape, form, or fashion. JMO
 
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