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What are the main differences in tests from senior to master level? I have some knowlege of these but would like to hear your opinions. Thanks!
 

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Some of the obvious....triples where marks are influenced by each other, delayed triples (one or two marks go down, pull off and run a blind either inside or outside marks, come back and another bird(s) are thrown, pick up the marks) blinds run through the fall of previous marks, blinds run off the backside of gunners/flyers, blinds and marks with multiple water entries, cheaty marks, having to hold it together for three series.....just a few things I can think of off the top of my head.
 

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I am at that point now. She is the first dog I've trained for hunt tests or handled in hunt tests. We've managed to get 2 MH passes so far.

Expect all marks and blinds to be more difficult. Your handling will be judged as well. Don't assume that making progress to the blind is adequate for a pass, you and your dog will be expected to challenge any factors involved with the blind. Some judges will fail you for cast refusals when your dog takes an angle back on a silent back cast, instead of a straight back. They may also specify that your dog not be put downwind of the blind. Know when you need to use handling on a mark and do it quickly. We failed one test because I had never needed to handle her on a mark and did not recognize in time that she needed my help.

Find out as much as you can about the judges you will run under, prior to registering if possible. Some judges will accept 2 handles on marks in separate series, some will only accept one. Some judges will use duck calls and some won't. Some will want the mark thrown before the shot is fired without a duck call, so be sure your dog is either moving with you or knows how to hunt off the gun.

Good luck
 

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The main differences are the easy parts. It is not so much triples and the like but that at a MH you can see almost anything. Senior is very basic. Master requires a lot more from dog and handler since all kinds of crazy things can be thrown at you. Not that Master is all that hard but the great variety requires a much more polished dog.
 

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Line manners.
Poison birds.
Line manners.
 

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The main differences are the easy parts. It is not so much triples and the like but that at a MH you can see almost anything. Senior is very basic. Master requires a lot more from dog and handler since all kinds of crazy things can be thrown at you. Not that Master is all that hard but the great variety requires a much more polished dog.
Kind of arrogant statements seeing that it generally takes several years or more of complete dedication to reach a MH title for the ones that are even capable of reaching it.
To a newcomer to the games it is very mis-leading.:D
 

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Kind of arrogant statements seeing that it generally takes several years or more of complete dedication to reach a MH title for the ones that are even capable of reaching it.
To a newcomer to the games it is very mis-leading.:D
Not being arrogant, but you can take it any way you want. I stand by my statement. Senior is very basic. Can you seriously argue that? If you read the rest of my post instead of just bolding the part that you wanted to use to stir the pot, you will see that my point was that the step from Senior to Master is not just one more bird down in a series. It is essentially the step from a transition to an advanced dog. Lots and lots of advanced concepts can be used in a MH test. Not that you will see them all--and you might even see one that is just a senior with another bird bolted on (but I doubt it)--but to pass consistently MH, the dog needs to be prepared for all the advanced concepts.
 

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Some judges will fail you for cast refusals when your dog takes an angle back on a silent back cast, instead of a straight back.
Can't say I've ever heard or seen that before. If the dog turns around and is "making progfress" in a backwards direction how is that a cast refusal? Might not be pretty and its not what my standards are. And more often then not it will get the dog & handler in trouble sooner or later. BUT, its certainly is not cast refusal in my opinion...Are judges now using a compass and judging to what "degree" your angle back is??? If the handler gives a tight angle back like 40 degree and the dog takes a 65 degree is that a cast refusal?

They may also specify that your dog not be put downwind of the blind.
I think this comment might be a little mis-leading. "Challenge the blind" if your dog is 50yds down wind you didn't challenge it( and your way off line anyway :cool:)

But if you handle your dog to the "down wind side" with in a few yards, thats just SMART handling, giving your dog the best advantage while still challenging the line. Remeber, Its a HUNT TEST.

As a judge if you don't want dogs going down wind...don't set up a blind that allows them to do that.


I think the biggest concept you have to understand as a HANDLER is, in Master you are now beging judged as a "finished"(not HRC:D ) dog....Meaning the dog should be a polished retriever or damn near close to it. So some of the things you got away with in senior are going to be more costly to you now in Master. Loose blinds(not challenging the line), shakey line maners, cast refusals, whistle refusals. Diffuculty with "common" master concepts such as diverson birds & poison birds, excessive handles and whistles are going to hurt. You have any of these with in the first 2 series and you're gut shot and bleeding badly(MEDIC!!!!! :D ) and probably not on your way to an ugly orange ribbon.
 

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Can't say I've ever heard or seen that before. If the dog turns around and is "making progfress" in a backwards direction how is that a cast refusal? Might not be pretty and its not what my standards are. And more often then not it will get the dog & handler in trouble sooner or later. BUT, its certainly is not cast refusal in my opinion...Are judges now using a compass and judging to what "degree" your angle back is??? If the handler gives a tight angle back like 40 degree and the dog takes a 65 degree is that a cast refusal?



I think this comment might be a little mis-leading. "Challenge the blind" if your dog is 50yds down wind you didn't challenge it( and your way off line anyway :cool:)

But if you handle your dog to the "down wind side" with in a few yards, thats just SMART handling, giving your dog the best advantage while still challenging the line. Remeber, Its a HUNT TEST.

As a judge if you don't want dogs going down wind...don't set up a blind that allows them to do that.

I guess you should have been at the HT I ran where this happened. The judges told us where they wanted the dog to exit the water. My dog exited the water on the wrong side of a tree which put her 3 feet downwind of the bird. I was informed we were dropped for too many cast refusals. It was a channel blind with suction on both sides and it took 3 whistles to get her there. If a judge tells you in both the 1st and second series that he does not want you to put your dog downwind of the blind, you try not to do it. That's why I wrote, try to find out as much as you can about the judges you will run under.
 

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My dog exited the water on the wrong side of a tree which put her 3 feet downwind of the bird. I was informed we were dropped for too many cast refusals. It was a channel blind with suction on both sides and it took 3 whistles to get her there.
something tells me there is a "little more" to the story..3 whistles?? to many cast refusals???something doesn't add up......However, i wont HIJACK this thread and further. Carry on
 

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I am there with my younger dog now. For me the key to having a chance in master is :
#1 handler REALLY needs to be on the ball and act like a conductor
#2 dog needs to "know where the birds are" = is good marking sense and seeing pictures of concepts
#3 dog must be much more pliable on handling and have good (great) habits around the water

These are the things I am focusing on. In training we generally set up challenging marks and blind combos but TEACH it to the dog so when we put it all together the dog is successful and doesn't need to be stopped or corrected.
I spend a lot of time on drills on the skills I need to run advanced blinds, but balance that with long, straightforward, "stretch em out" blinds to keep the dog honest. Too much of one or the other will create problems.
Train with birds and all the field equipment (holding blinds, handlers gun, decoys, chairs at the line, bird hangers, etc) so both you and the dog don't think the test is special.
Train hard, train smart, and be a team :) Best of luck,
 

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Some judges will fail you for cast refusals when your dog takes an angle back on a silent back cast, instead of a straight back. They may also specify that your dog not be put downwind of the blind.
Good luck[/QUOTE]
Why is the judge looking at the handler and looking at what cast he/she gives? Handling is a "trained ability" and no judge knows how you or I train our dogs and what casts we give to get the desired response. IMHO if the dog keeps a tight line, gets all the criteria and factors and is handled downwind of the blind (in close proximity) that dog has been exceptionally trained and exhibited such.
 

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A better question would be why are clubs asking these people to judge. Entirely, completely ridiculous, absurd, and without any support of the regulations. I have seen dogs fail HT blinds with work that would have merited a call back in FT's. The clubs need to get on the ball.-Paul
 

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And do not forget out of order flyers that sometime scrabble the pups brain.
Very true, though there seems to be more out of order flyers in Senior lately, I know we saw them a couple times when we were running senior, which helps get the dogs accustomed to them.

Why is the judge looking at the handler and looking at what cast he/she gives? Handling is a "trained ability" and no judge knows how you or I train our dogs and what casts we give to get the desired response. IMHO if the dog keeps a tight line, gets all the criteria and factors and is handled downwind of the blind (in close proximity) that dog has been exceptionally trained and exhibited such.
I was thinking the same thing. Judges should be looking for whether the dog is making progress to the blind and carrying casts. Not getting out the protractor to see if the angle of the cast given by the handler and taken by the dog is the same.

As far as handling downwind, I think we have to remember that, at a test, the judges want to see teamwork and control on blinds. Some take handling to the downwind side a bit far by getting the dog 10 yds down wind until the dog gets a nose full of scent and giving a big over. Fine for hunting situations but not what a test should look like. On the flip side, putting the dog within 5 ft or so of the downwind side is just smart handling.
 

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I agree

Not being arrogant, but you can take it any way you want. I stand by my statement. Senior is very basic. Can you seriously argue that? If you read the rest of my post instead of just bolding the part that you wanted to use to stir the pot, you will see that my point was that the step from Senior to Master is not just one more bird down in a series. It is essentially the step from a transition to an advanced dog. Lots and lots of advanced concepts can be used in a MH test. Not that you will see them all--and you might even see one that is just a senior with another bird bolted on (but I doubt it)--but to pass consistently MH, the dog needs to be prepared for all the advanced concepts.
As a judge you have hit the nail on the head...The master dog better be a lot more polished than the senior...The same water blind run by a sr dog may get through with 8-10 whistles but a master dog will be dropped or at least marked way down ...Masters are judged in a lot stricter light than a sr dog....polish up the behaviors and you will not have a problem ......Steve S
 

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Without getting into specific details, lots of that stated already, I can tell you that the step up from Senior to Master is huge! Much greater leap than Junior to Senior. Obviously there is much more stuff as has been pointed out, but the bigger deal is that there is little room for error, the Judges are judging these dogs as Master Hunters and they expect a high degree of training and performance.

I remember running in my first Master after having breezed through Junior and Senior in straight passes. We were running under a cool old timer judge we had run under before, and my dog Kimo was pretty sloppy on the marks. As I was getting ready to line him up on the blind Ron said, "I don't think we're going to see Kimo run the blind today". The comment went right over my head and I said, no problem, Kimo can do this blind easy, Ron replied, no, I'm saying Kimo isn't going to get a chance to run the blind, he's finished for the day. I was devastated, we had never failed a test. That's when I realized we had quite a bit of training to do before we were ready for that higher level.

John
 

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Try to find out as much as you can about the judges you will run under.
Judges can make or break a master test, talk to people about judges before you run under them, many judges have quirks that you will need to train for. Some like marking above all else, some like control, some like dogs that hunt, some would prefer you handle. When You get into masters judging areas that were cleaner cut at the lower stake, become grey. You can make it all the way through a test, think you doing good and not get a ribbon, you can think your doing the worst work ever, leave and then get a ribbon in the mail. You can absolutely know that your not getting called back then get a phone call on the way home asking you where you are for the next series? Some tests and test setups will eat up inexperienced handlers and dogs, simply because you are inexperienced, and you don't know what the judges are looking for.

The control judges are fun, they will do things like ask you to run a blind before you ever see a mark, ask you to No your dog off a triple and run a blind, or pick up one bird, run a blind then pick up the rest. Judging of blinds can also be all over the place, some judges prefer a particular channel to a blind with points that you need to hit, Some judges prefer team-work and put in very hard aspects to see you and your dog struggle and persevere. Always ask what the line to the blind is and what they want to see, judges can sometimes say things like "shore-line blind" when the line is nowhere close to a shore-line, so ask when/if they want the dog in the water. Your much better off whistling and messing with a dog to put him on the correct line than letting a dog run a very nice straight line that is off.

Master is actually very enjoyable after you've gotten your title ;) Before it can also be very arduous, and nerve racking. Just remember every test and every judge is different what passed you in one test can fail you in another, or vise versa. Stay on a solid training program, learn a little from test setups, but don't focus too much on it, don't carry ghosts to the next test. Sure that questionable switch, that slight creep, that not hitting a point prefect, etc. failed you last time but will it today? Questioning such on the line will drive you insane, and you'll always be wrong ;). Run the test the best you can, let the judges judge. Also don't talk yourself out of a pass, you pay a lot more attention to your dog than the judges do, if you let them in on what you consider weaknesses they will start watching for them. ;)
 
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