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How many people actually hunt their Hunt Test dogs? My actual hunting dog in not available. I am thinking about taking my recently titled Senior dog.

Thoughts??

Thanks in advance.

NNK
 

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Absolutely hunt the dog. Just be sure to keep your standards/steadiness. If that is questionable then let someone else hunt and you attend to the dog. Has your dog had a full load 12ga gun go off next to them? If not you might want to do a little training on that first. It take very little time for them to realize the difference in hte hunt setting versus training/testing. They love the "real" game, all marks are flyers!!!
 

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I hunt all of my hunt test dogs. Hunting is the reason I train and hunt tests/field trials are just something to do in the off season. They quickly learn the difference and will take advantage of any lapse in standards. They also learn that blind snacks are for sharing.
 

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"I am thinking about taking my recently titled Senior dog."

The general rules that I follow for when my retrievers are allowed to hunt are

1) steady to a (live) mallard flyer
2) already been for boat rides (if applicable)
3) can pick up a double
4) is able to run a simple water blind
5) use to decoys and hunting blinds

Actually, you are probably way more ready.....than most. :cool:


The following is to Gunny's first duck hunt.

Gunny (click on link)
 

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Did you buy the dog to strictly compete or hunt as well as compete?

I hunt my FC, wouldn't have it any other way. As far as standards go, I say what standard? My only thing is keeping him close which I will give a ping or vibration if needed. The fall is his time to relax and have fun with zero pressure.
 

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Ah the dogs, not me. Well that depends on when the puppy is born. I try to follow the classic Lardy flow chart. But puppies get to go hunting. Depending on abilities they may only get to run around in the dark. Snuggle up in the blind. Learn about doughnuts and coffee cups. Sniff fresh killed birds and do fun retrieves in the decoys. They may not go every day, but they go.
 

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All 7 of my dogs over the years have pheasant and waterfowl hunted. I was at a hunt test a couple years ago and the judge asked the gallery who hunts and only two of us raised our hands. I wonder how many judges actually hunt today. I was at a senior hunt test last fall and my dog was near perfect through the land and water. I blew the test and failed on the water blind for several cast refusals. He found the water blind fairly quick. I should of just let him get a little off line across the pond. His nose took him to the bird. The judge spoke to me about the handling errors which I had no problem with. He then said if you want to be in the "game" you need to do so and so. I politely replied he's a hunting dog. I train my dogs to the hunt test standards to have a nice hunting dog. I have been running dogs in hunt tests since they started. We need more hunts in the hunt tests and less games. Hunt your dog. You both will have a great time. Nothing like watching a dog in the field or marsh.
 

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I have hunted with all of my dogs in addition to running hunt tests. The only downside I have experienced is we pheasant hunt a lot and my dogs will sometimes breakdown and try to hunt on drag back when runninng marks. They don't always trust their eyes.
 

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I have a young dog that is in 'Transition' right now and has 2 passes for JH! I will not hunt him yet. I have an 8 year old SH who is my working girl...she is the best waterfowl dog you could ask for...in my mind, once they are SH, they are a completed waterfowl dog...hunt away!
 

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An observation, dogs that have a life of training groups and tests and/or trials. Get into a rut of riding in truck, getting out, airing. Getting one to three retrieves, staked out to cool and then back on the truck. They often struggle with the long wait doing nothing in the duck blind.
Conversely, pups that start life snuggling up inside your coat in the early morning. Drinking coffee eating doughnuts and flossing with ejected shells. Have a jump start on life in the blind. And in the long run will not seriously affect the testing that may follow.
 

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When I first began hunting, I sought advice from someone with experience. When discussing retriever testing vs. hunting, he spoke of having one dog for hunting and the other was stricktly for competition. Evidently, I was not a very good student. However, his advice did convince me that adequate training before actually hunting made more sense.

In order to make this process more seamless, I have always had at least two retrievers. This takes the pressure off of attempting to do "learning on the job". This approach has been used effectively over the years. My youngest will soon be two years old. This is her first season to be introduced to hunting. The decision on her is driven by 1) being well into transition, 2) can run simple blinds, 3) can pick up simple double, 4) is steady and 5) can pass an HRC seasoned test situation in a training setup.

What makes this possible is that I always have an older, experienced and titled retriever. Once the second dog is in the mix, they take turns and I always have a fresh dog. However, that process is coming to a close. My youngest, Gigi, will probably be my last retriever.



 

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I think the qestion defines "whats wrong withthe games" Somehow it has become an accepted rule its bad to hunt your HUNT TEST DOG!!! I cant believe the number of people I have come across that believ this.. OR,, They say Hunt tests have NOTHING to do with HUNTING!!




Sagebirds2.JPG


The dog above didnt run a Hunt test till he was almost 3! He LOVED to hunt! Hunting for him however wasnt just sitting waiting for birds to decoy.. He hunted fields to FIND BIRDS! To prepare? We just went for a lot of walks in fields that had birds in it.. At first he investigated everthing in the field, but before long he discovered IF he found that Bird, a real prize happened.. He got to go getit after it was shot.. I encouraged retrieves as only a true blue red necked hunter would do. Eventually, the light came on,, and that dang dog and I HUNTED all over creation, for a LOT of years..

After he was three,, a friend suggested I try huntests with him.. he and Iboth struggled to get a Junior ! :) Didnt matter to either one of us.. Come fall,, we HUNTED for REAL!!! :)

HUNTING!!! HUNTING!!! Where do dog learn that birds may not be exactly where they saw the bird fall?? tHE BIRD WAS CRIPPLED,, AND RAN OFF! tHE DOG HAS TO hunt!!! It has to HUNT!

In my region, waterfowl hunting is predominatly rivers.. Dog accoustomed to HUNT TESTS never (should never say never, but very seldom) see river current.. The birds can drift off! It takes a dog that has learned this someplace else!!

To the OP!!! WTH??? Why you gotta dog?? WHY is your HUNTING dog Unavailable? If its injured, or some good reason like that,, then you're excused! If its in a Kennel being trained, and the powers that be,, wont let you take him to hunt,, weel,, I dont get that!!

Take your Senior dog HUNTING!! Absolutly no excuse not to.. He will learn "HUNT SAVY!!!

JMHO..
 

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Somehow it has become an accepted rule its bad to hunt your HUNT TEST DOG!!!
I don't know how accepted it is, too much for sure. The majority of people I know take their dogs hunting.
I suspect the notion of not hunting field trial and hunt test dogs comes from pros who know their clients will not maintain the standards they have worked on in training.
 
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