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I have a MH titled 3 year old dog that does consistent good work. We have ran master level since he was 1.5 years and are looking for something different. We are thinking about trying an Owner/ Handler qual in Late August. Any words of wisdom other than white coat training , retired guns and extending distances? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Chris
 

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Probably the biggest thing is to get your dog to look deep past the short flyer/guns. The other is to have your dog comfortable running blinds very tight by guns.
 

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Agree with kjrice. I ran my SH (2 master passes) boy in a O/H qual in June. The distances weren't a big factor for him since we've always trained long anyway. Long retired memory birds up the middle, between a flyer and short gun were something we worked on. Also, get yourself and him used to being able to point out the guns at the line before calling for the birds. As far as the blinds, many master tests have you running right off the backside of guns so that shouldn't be too much of a change for him. But again, work on running long (300 yd + -) blinds if you haven't already.

My boy managed to stay clean and finish with JAM. Best experience in an event we've had. The competition of the game makes it much more interesting and fun for me. Will definitely be running more. Good Luck!
 

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Good advice. Running both the biggest differences that come to mind are distance (of course) relationship between guns--lots of hip pockets, etc., and general blind standards. A blind that is perfectly fine for a MH pass may not get you back in a Q. None of this should be too much of a challenge to a good MH dog. The toughest part will likely be getting him to look past say a short flyer station in all those white coats to the long retired that is going to throw into its hip pocket. The white coats may make it seem easier but they can be used to make it much tougher.
 

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End of Aug? Hum? Are you talking about Wolverine? With C.L. judging it's not likely to be a gimmie O/H hunt test Q at all.
Go train with a field trial group now. :)
 

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I have a MH titled 3 year old dog that does consistent good work. We have ran master level since he was 1.5 years and are looking for something different. We are thinking about trying an Owner/ Handler qual in Late August. Any words of wisdom other than white coat training , retired guns and extending distances? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Chris

I have been doing that exact thing for the last year. The last qual that I ran had a 419 yard retired memory mark and I have seen blinds at 300 yards. Taking some time off for my bitch to have pups then back at it again, I want that blue ribbon on my wall.
 

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Just a few concepts to train for including increased distance. 3 down the shore with a flyer and maybe a retired, tightness of marks or even hip pockets, running thru old marks, close to throwers or bird crates on the way to marks or blinds,hitting key holes on blinds, Getting on a point and getting off on the way to a blind, staying wet or skimming a point.marks as far as 400 blinds as far as 300 with factors. as suggested try to find a field trial group to train with. If you choose to stay with it over time you will find that you are not training for the Qualifying but really the AA. Enjoy the ride.

Erick
& Gunner
 

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I have one comment to add....make sure you go watch a few field trials if you can. I think besides the yardages involved the standard is a litte higher. What I mean by that is try to know/understand what is acceptable for a fiekd trial mark & blind. Blinds need to be challenged and lines are tighter in general from hunt tests I have seen.
 

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Don't train for Qualifying. Train for the Open. The sky is the limit.

Evan
 

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... A blind that is perfectly fine for a MH pass may not get you back in a Q.... The white coats may make it seem easier but they can be used to make it much tougher.
These two statements are very true. A passing mark or blind in a Master test may not be good enough to keep playing in a Q. You have to be better than most to keep advancing. It's really a litmus test on one's own training. Hidden guns are one thing, but retiring one gun and leaving the other white coats out is entirely different.

Also, regarding judges, a good judge will tailor the test to the quality of the field, dial back or ramp it up, where necessary. Just because a judge puts up a tough test one time, doesn't mean they will do so given a different field. All you can do is prepare, to the best of your abilities, bring your dog to the line and let the birds fall where they may. Some days a talented dog is just a dog and can be beat. Bring what ya' got and give it your best. You won't regret it.
 
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Ok little people. All I asked was when was the last time that Evan trained a dog at the Open level and for what purpose? Pretty straight up question, no? Sheesh, mancrush much?

Evan, I'd be skeered of these kind of followers. No one wants disciples who never question anything.
 

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Every day I train that's my goal. I just don't run them anymore. It doesn't fit into my lifestyle.

I'm sure the OP has a nice dog, and has worked hard to get him to where he is. My suggestion is not to under train by merely training for the Q. Train past the average. Run lots of singles, but in big time configurations, and varying distances. Run when he's ready to win, not just ready to run. I finally convinced an old friend of this. It wasn't easy.

Evan
 

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Evan I'll disagree a bit. I think the Q is a goal in itself to many people and clearly there is a huge jump in difficulty from there to AA stakes. The Q is doable for the weekend warrior do it your selfer transitioning from HTs. When it comes to water your dog needs to be able to do a big swim retired bird to win or place. Also expect longer angled entries on water blind and usually one point to negotiate and cast off of.
 

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IMHO. Train for the next level up.I think training for All Age as the goal is still the best way to get ready for Qual.My dog can do it and it's me right now that is needing the training.I am a weekend warrior and have limited time to train but still want to run with the big dogs and be in the 10% that finish a trial.
Rick you coming down to PRTA or Willamette ?

Jeff Gruber
 

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Look, for those of you with SH and MH's wanting to get your feet wet in field trials by running a few Quals, go do it!
The vast majority of Qualifying Stakes (judged by experienced folks) are not over the top. A decently trained SH/MH dog should be able to play, especially if you are in the habit of normally training with white coat guns. Most dogs entered in the Qual are just out of transition. A wise set of judges understand that the Qual is a brief stopping off point for most dogs and they know the sort of things not to throw at them during this period. There are cases where you will run into judges doing stupid things to the Q dogs but generally here is what you can expect at a well judged Qualifying Stake.
Marks: Wide open marks with zero or only one retired gun. If a retired gun is used most often expect it will be the longest gun. Judges will not normally use complicated bird/gun interactions like tight hip pockets, under the arc marks, out of order flyers and crap like. You might expect Qualifying marks to be separated well enough so that a reasonable hunt does not put the dog too close to another fall.
Blinds: Blinds are most often setup to run Outside of the previous marks if using the same field. Blinds run tight to the backside of flyer crates, under arc or over old falls are not usually setup by judges in a Q. Expect to see dry pops on blinds but not many poison birds, hopefully. Expect to get on and off a point and swims not too tight to a shoreline.
What to look for before you enter:
Judges: Check each judges history on the AKC Judges site. Ideally you want to run under at least one 8 point judge and both judges should have successfully run field trials before. If you look a little deeper some FT clubs specifically invite National caliber judges to judge their minor stakes on occasion. (CSRA is an example) If you see a Qual or Derby being judged by a previous National judge, or someone who has made numerous field champions, by all means enter that event vs one being judged by a hunt tester or someone who has never placed in a field trial before.
Grounds: If you're worried about big long FT land marks or complicated technical water chose events who's grounds you may be more comfortable with. Maybe pick an event using smaller fields and non technical ponds. If the Qual is held a a large private field trial ground expect the kind of complicated terrain and water that goes with it.

A pure hunt tester may be at some disadvantage at a FT Qual's due to running against a few up and coming field trial stars but every dog has his day so go run anyway. To ease into FT Qual's gently, enter an O/H event offered at a Hunt Test.
 

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Way to sum it all up Breck....

Erick
 

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Rick you coming down to PRTA or Willamette ?

Jeff Gruber
Jeff, unfortunately my current job situation, or lack thereof, doesn't allow me to spend the money to travel for tests or trials at the moment. I'm expecting that to change very soon and we're still training hard so I hope to be back in the games soon.

Good post, Breck. Thanks for taking the time.
 
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