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yellowlab03 08-05-2003 11:59 PM

Call me crazy
I am new to this whole retriever thing... I would much rather be chasing hounds around the sierras after bigger better critters than sitting in a swamp shooting at ducks. Don' t get me wrong, I absolutely love duck hunting but my heart will always be with a pack of ball mouthed walkers or any type of hound. Now on to my question...So I buy a yellow lab pup have absolutely no clue on how to train him past OB, Join a local club tell them that all I want to do is hunt with him and have no intentions on training to FT/HT. Well I like all the people at this club, they are all very nice and helpfull people, but since I told them I have no interest in HT/FT' s they are kinda like " Why the hell not?" Going to the clubs training days and watching them set up and seeing how things are done I am utterly confused... These hunt tests and field trials are set up to test a dogs hunting ability and training and also to re-created to be " as close to a hunting situation as possible" Now to me that is non-sense... These are my reasons for thinking these things and maybe someone can give me a better answer than what everyone else has told me... To me having someone blow a duck call from where the bird is being thrown from is somewhat understandable because in hunting yes a duck will or will not quack when you shoot it...but why on earth would there be a shot from anywhere else other than where the handler and the dog is? NEVER in the entire time I have been hunting has one of my friends set himself and his dog away from where our blind is and wait for us to shoot ducks so he could send his dog to retrieve them. These test are supposed to be like the real thing, but this just seems like common sense to me! I ask people this at the club and they look at me like I am the crazy one! How many people run these tests but never hunt? I dunno, maybe like I said I am the crazy one! Someone please inlighten me!


Doc E 08-06-2003 07:59 AM

RE: Call me crazy
It sounds to me as though the Club is based on NAHRA (North American Hunting Retriever Association) scenarios. I ran NAHRA for a couple years in the past, but now I mainly run Casey in UKC/HRC. In HRC, there are no ' out in the field' attention getters for the dog. In HRC, the birds are launched and the dog must mark off the barrel of the gun, and YOU are shooting (poppers) from the line.
Much more like real hunting than the scenario you describe (or the scenarios in NAHRA). Although there are times when hunting that there may be two or more blinds, and that' s where remote attention getters and gunners that aren' t in your blind can occur.

As far as them saying, " Why the hell not" --- You would find that if you run your dog in Tests, that it' s the very best way to see where your training is lacking and what you need to be working on in order to have a top notch hunting dog.

I hunt my dog over 5 months a year --- He also gets to run in Tests over 5 months a year. By doing this, in his mind, he " gets to hunt" 11 months a year.

yellowlab03 08-06-2003 11:16 AM

RE: Call me crazy
Doc, thanks for the enlightenment on this subject! I would love to do something like a FT or Ht as long as they were like how you described them and I definitlly can see the point you made about training progress. The way I figured it was if they were training by NAHRA standards, every time my dog heard a shot at a distance then he would start looking for a mark... That would get a bit annoying to me. I mostly hunt by myself so I have no need to have my pup marking off of a remote. I think I usually see you on RTF or on the gun dog forum on the fuge don' t I? I would have posted there but would probably have had someone hunt me down and choke me. Once again thanks for the help. One last question how many people on these forums run just straight hunt tests and field trials but don' t hunt? Thanks for your time!


Doc E 08-06-2003 10:14 PM

RE: Call me crazy

Where do you live? There might be a HRC club somewhere close to ya.

Doc E 08-06-2003 10:15 PM

RE: Call me crazy
Yup, I' m on RTN and the " Fuge quite a bit. You can feel free to post either place, nobody is gonna " diss" ya.

t-roy 08-07-2003 09:49 AM

RE: Call me crazy
those hunts seem like fun, but the main reason most people run them, is that when their dog hits " grand champion" they can jack up their puppy prices. if i want to see how my dog does in a near hunting situation, i will take him hunting. i would suggest buying a training book. water dog by wolters, is a good start. or try to pick up a copy of gun dog magazine. they have good training articles, and alot of books for sale. check out

CJW 08-07-2003 10:46 AM

RE: Call me crazy
Just my opinion as to why they shoot from the blind.

I am in an HRC based club. When we have fun hunt tests once a month, we set up just like you said you saw. The reason there are shots from the blind is because the handler may need to pay more attention to the dog(i.e.young dog, new handler, etc. etc.)and this lets the handler have two free hands to work with the dog. Everybody is given the option of shooting themselves, (if they have their dog under control enough), someone else can shoot from the line for them, or someone can shoot from the blind. In our finished tests, the handler must shoot from the line, allowing the dog to follow the barrel as said before.

If the guys in your club are only having people shoot from the blind, they must not have enough confidence to do it themselves.


yellowlab03 08-07-2003 11:03 AM

RE: Call me crazy
I am going to ask if I can just shoot from the line, if they won' t let me I will just go find a new club. I don' t see why they wouldn' t though, they are a pretty nice club with lots of great people. Most them field trial and do hunt test, but don' t really hunt. I asked if there were any HRC clubs around here but everyone tells me that they are mostly out west...which is cool because I will be moving back to Ca this year. Thanks for all the help guys! T-Roy I am with you on the hunting thing, but sometimes it does help having a pro telling what you need to do and do different. Thanks again!


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