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gspman

AKC hunt tests for pointers

8 posts in this topic

Anyone ever run their pointing dogs in the AKC hunt test system? I'm thinking of running my dog in some of these this spring for fun/something to do. Just the junior hunter stuff. Anyone have any advice or tips to offer?

If I do this I'll probably keep a record of it and report back to the msg board on my trials and tribulations.

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GSP, I can't speak to pointers but have been to the spaniel and retriever hunt tests. Just get a copy of the rules, which you can get off of the akc website. The tests run very similar to the rules and if your dog can complete the requirements in the rules, you should be fine. I believe NAVHDA also runs these types of tests, although not sure and I don't know what the difference is between NAVHDA and AKC Hunt Tests. I'm sure someone else on here can tell you more about this and any differences. With regards to spaniels and retrievers, it is primarily the AKC Hunt Tests that are organized by the retriever and spaniel clubs, and I am not aware of any real competing organizations. Hope this helps.

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I know a lot of guys that run these as they are big in Texas. I can put you in touch with a few of them....

drop me your email and I'll give you the phone #'s.

jnovatney@msn.com

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I started AKC testing 2 years ago. The JH test is easy as long as you have a dog with good natural instincts. Before I ran my first JH test I bought a book called "Qualify! a guide to successful handling in AKC Pointing breed hunting tests" by Mark Powell. After I read the book, I knew exactly what is expected and the equipment you need like a .22 blank pistol. Before your first test, arrive early so you can walk the field and get an idea of the course you need to follow. Basically as long as your dog goes out and hunts for the entire test (usually 20-30 minutes),has a good search pattern, establishes a solid point, and you can fire a blank pistol after you flush the bird your good to go. It may also be a good idea to practice hunting with other dogs, because the test is run in braces (pairs of dogs and handlers). If you pup chases and harrases another dog during your brace rather than hunting you will not recieve a qualifing score. Gunshy dogs won't qualify. There are several mistakes the handler can do to prevent the dog from qualifing also (like firing the blank gun recklessly several times on a flushed bird). The judges will be on horseback (they can see everything) and on my first test there was a great dog that was terrified of the horses and wouldn't hunt, if possible get your pup exposed to some horses. My vizsla got some really high scores and one of the judges was so impressed that she inquired about a possible breeding later with her male. That was a good pat on the back for my first test. Then we went on to finish the JH title in 4 straght passes. It was a lot of fun talking to the other people in the test also, it's not a competition so everyone is in good spirits and roots for other dogs to pass.

Do a google seach or ebay seach for the book and read it cover to cover. You won't be dissapointed.

June022005005.jpg

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Thanks setterguy and mamohr,

Justin, I'll try to shoot you an email soon.

Mamohr, the investigation I've done pretty much mirrors what you describe. Dixie's definitely got the instincts. She's not gunshy, or horse shy, and she's hunted with plenty of other dogs and shouldn't interfere with them. She'll have no problem rolling for a half hour as well. And she's old enough to not do stupid puppy things either. So I'm not worried about her abilities so much as my ability to keep from screwing things up. It seems like with a decent pup/dog a person would have to work hard to screw up - but I've proven I can do that from time to time grin.gif.

I think my best course of action is to keep my mouth shut and let her rock and roll. My only real concern is keeping her on the course. If the course is small and the cover real low I may have some work to do to keep her on the course which might knock her down in the obedience/trainability category.

Whether we blow up or pass with flying colors it'll still be fun and a new experience.

Thanks for the info,

gspman

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From what you describe I don't think you'll have any problem getting a good score. As long as your dog hunts to the front and checks out birdy looking cover you shouldn't have a problem. Don't worry about the course, judges like a dog that is searching out trying to find game. Usually with the 2 handlers, Judges, and a gallery the dogs will have a good idea where you're headed. It does help if you know where the birdfield is, and if possible get there first to ensure you dog will get in contact with a bird. If your dog doesn't point, you can't qualify. The biggest factor for the obedience score is when your time is called, how long it takes you to get your dog on a lead. If the dog keeps hunting and delays the next group you can expect to lose a few points. If you are hacking or giving repeated commands without any response you can also knock down some points. Use your own advice and keep commands to a minimum. I'm running Bacon at the SH level at the Twin Cities Vizsla Club hunting test next month at some grounds near Fergus Falls. If anyone is interested in entering (or walking the the gallery and checking it out) send an email to mamohr686 "at" hotmail "dot" com for a copy of the premium. The Premium is the entry forum that also has directions to the grounds.

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Also, you can get the entire list of hunting tests for pointers off of the AKC website. They break it down by each state.

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ReelTimes,

Thanks, I've already done that and read all the other info too. Now the problem will be making time to participate in some events. Very busy family schedule the next 2 months.

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