I mentioned in my last post about Titan having a brain fart. Well here’s the story.
Last August I entered Titan in a hunt test, I am still not confident in myself for handling in this arena so my friend David Keehn would be handling him. This would be his third pass or so I thought. The land series went okay, Titan looked up in the gallery for me as he walked to the first holding blind but then he focused on the business at hand. He marked his first bird and straight lined right to it. The second bird he had to hunt a bit but he found it. I noticed for the second bird almost every dog had trouble with it, I think there was a low spot and there were huge trees casting a very large shadow that was throwing the dogs off.
He received his pass so we were called back for the water series…that’s when things fell apart!
I thought I would move down closer so I could get some nice shots of him…BIG MISTAKE!!!
He went to the line.
He was steady.
He was sent.
But Titan had other thoughts on his mind…ME!
He made an about turn and started to head for where I thought I was well hidden. I placed myself behind vehicles right next to the duck box but that was not enough to mask my scent. I heard Dave call him back to the line and he returned but when he tried to send him again he just sat there. Soooo no pass for him.
So when I entered him in the WD that would be held with the National Show Specialty (NSS). Dave had worked with us for several weeks prior to the stake so I knew we were ready. I was a still a bit nervous he would do the same thing again but he ended up working beautifully for me. Although I am nervous to run him at a hunt test I do have a bit more confidence with having the WD under our collars.
These are photos from the morning land series
This is from the AKC Guidelines for Retriever Hunt Tests so those not familiar with hunt tests might have a better understanding of what the dog is expected to do.
Junior Hunting Tests. Dogs shall be tested on a minimum of four single marks, two on land and two on water. No more than two marks may be thrown in a series. Judges in keeping with simulation of realistic and natural hunting conditions must remember the use of numerous decoys, islands, points of land, rolling terrain, cover, ditch lines, wind direction, etc. are important factors to consider when designing test scenarios to evaluate Junior dogs as capable hunting companions.
Dogs shall be steady but may be brought to the line on leash with a flat buckle collar. The dog is under judgment when it leaves the holding blind. A Junior dog that is not under control when brought to the line (jumping, strongly tugging, etc) even though it is on a leash shall risk receiving a lower score in trainability including zero in extreme cases. Dogs may be restrained gently with a slipcord looped through the flat buckle collar, or held gently by the flat buckle collar until sent to retrieve.