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Master Hunter Test Requirements

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I could have read this wrong and if I did please correct me. But one of the qualifications, I believe, for the Master Hunter "degree" was to point the bird, DO NOT move until the bird is shot, then retrieve. Was this a correct statement? If so that has to be one of the most rediculous things I have ever heard. A lot of times birds are shot and just wounded, broken wing, etc. I would rather my dog be closer to the bird when it hits the ground. It gives the bird a lot less chance of running away.

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You read it correctly. It is not as ridiculous as you may think. It boils down to a number of things. Trainability, safety, hunting strategy, tradition, etc...

The first thing to understand is that it is a test to determine what level of training your dog can take. Any dog can break at the flush. Not all can stand STW&S and look good doing it. It demonstrates a high level of training and control to be STW&S. Stop to flush, honoring, retrieving to hand, and handling with minimal vocal direction from the handler are other requirements.

In other cases it's a safety thing. Quail can flush low and if your dog breaks it may get shot. It happens every year down South. It's also a safety thing when using pen raised birds. Game farms, field trials, hunt tests, all use pen raised birds. Trials and hunt tests usually quail because they are the cheapest. Pen raised quail are notoriously bad and low fliers. Pen raised chukar and pheasant do this sometimes too. I was at a trial last weekend run on planted quail. A bird had to be shot on the course in order for the dog to retrieve. Almost every quail that was shot was less than 10 feet off the ground. If a dog breaks on the flush it could easily get shot.

On certain species it can be an advantage for your dog to be steady to wing and shot. Covey birds like quail, chukar, and prairie grouse are a few that come to mind. They don't all flush at the same time. If your dog breaks and runs through the covey it's missed shooting opportunities. My dog pointed a covey of pheasants 2 years ago. She went with the first bird that flushed which was a hen. She ran right through the middle of about 12 birds. If she would have stood there I could have flushed the other birds, some of which were roosters. For pheasants in general I would agree with you. It's best to have the dog near the bird when it hits the ground.

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Quote:

It happens every year down South. It's also a safety thing when using pen raised birds. Game farms, field trials, hunt tests, all use pen raised birds. Trials and hunt tests usually quail because they are the cheapest. Pen raised quail are notoriously bad and low fliers. Pen raised chukar and pheasant do this sometimes too. I was at a trial last weekend run on planted quail. A bird had to be shot on the course in order for the dog to retrieve. Almost every quail that was shot was less than 10 feet off the ground. If a dog breaks on the flush it could easily get shot.


I thought of getting my dog involved in these test just for breeding purposes. Not to get more money for pups, just because it would be easier to sell them. People are always asking what awards the parents have. Maybe I'll just go for the SH test where that isn't a requirement. I would rather keep my dog a Pheasant hunting machine. I have paid for birds just for training purposes, but I just don't see the fun in planting birds. I'd rather do it the hard way. Thanks for the info GSPman. Got to love those pointers.

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You can always train it to MH level and then let it "relapse" back to going at the flush after you are done with the MH tests.

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gspman,

Let me ask you this question. I have an all Liver GSP male. He does have Master Hunter bloodlines. He is currently 1 and at around age 5 or 6 I usually get another dog. I can tell that I would like to get another pup from my current male. I would be looking for someone with a dog that I can have a chance to hunt behind. Just for the fact the dog has MH this or champion that doesn't realy mean much to me as long as the dog is a good hunter, calm, and listens. On a scale of 1 to 10 what do you think the difficulty would be to find someone to breed with.

1. My dog with just the ped. he has right now?

2. My dog with the current ped. plus SH status?

3. My dog with the current ped. plus MH status?

Consider I will not be breeding for profit just for another pup. After this I would probably consider fixing my male also.

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First of all, I'm not an expert at dog breeding having never had a dog that I've had bred. But I know some things that I'd personally look for. So take my opinion for what it is...

SH - shouldn't be too hard

MH - should be easier

No title - Hard to say.

It all depends on who you know with female dogs that you'd want to breed to. The onus is really on the owner of the female. It's their decision and they should evaluate your dog before deciding. If had a female I'd want to see your dog hunt at least a few times before making a decision no matter what titles your dog had. If you want to go outside your circle of friends/aquaintances then you'll have to somehow showcase your dog. One way to do that is in a testing/trial system.

And just because a dog has a title doesn't mean it's a good match for any female either. A title ain't everything. A couple of the greatest field trial gsp's of all time came from non-titled parents. All dogs - including titled ones - have holes. For example, I saw a MH dog a couple weeks ago that I personally would not breed to. It found birds but no style on point, flagged on point sometimes and didn't run that great. If I had to breed to that dog I'd pick a female that could run like he77 (I like dogs that get out there and run a little cool.gif) and had a TON of style and intensity to make up for what I saw. This weekend in the JH braces that I walked I saw a some young dogs that I thought had really good potential (a couple vizslas, a nice Brit, one nice setter, one weimy) and looked better running and pointing than the MH dog. That setter looked awesome on point and ran nice too. The question is how they'd turn out after all the training. I'd also take into account conformational differences too. They need to be built right to go all day and do it when they're older too. The point is to find a good match (strengths vs. weaknesses) to hopefully produce quality dogs.

Don't know if that helps. Good luck.

gspman

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Thanks for the info. I baught all of my dogs based on the way the parents hunted and acted. The previous one had no MH or champion blood lines and was a good dog. This one has MH blodlines but at the time of purchase I didn't even know what that consisted of. The owner took me out with the parents and I watched them hunt. Out of the 5 adds I called on this owner and 1 other said yes to going out in the field. The other ones just said well they have champion blood lines. With the mother I just like to plant a bird because she is really in no shape to be out in the field hunting. I woud hate to see her get hurt. But the male i want to see going full steam. Thanks again.

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