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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m curious….as I look for people who train in the Evening or on weekends. What’s the difference between UKC started and AKC JH? Thinking maybe I could locate a UKC group.

I was going to join the Sportsman’s club in my county in hopes of finding people to train with. I read their rules and found out that the only time you can train your dog is in January/ February. I kind of thought that would be the kind of thing a club like that’s for. For those of you who are not from Ohio…..that’s the coldest time of the year! Dogs could handle it but I’m a big baby about the cold. Search continues 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I’ll look into them. I will probably never have the time to train to the high levels. If I find the time I will go on. I do want to get a versatility certificate on Pilot.
 

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Thank you! I’ll look into them. I will probably never have the time to train to the high levels. If I find the time I will go on.
Good training for an hour or so before or after work and occasionally with a group on weekends can get a retriever to MH level.
You will need some water to train on but it does not have to be big or complex.

A training mistake that I often see with hunt test people is "practicing for a test". They set up what a weekend test might be and run it repeatedly. This is like teaching a dog to do a trick. The dogs simply learn where the birds will be.
When the weekend comes and the test is not what they practiced, the dogs fail.
You need to train on concepts, how to deal with factors, challenge the dogs with difficult marks so they don't get bored. I never train for a specific event or according to rules about distance or numbers and locations of marks or blinds.
Train on what your dog needs and always be reading him or her to figure out what that is.

Here are two very good training resources, there are many others as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right. Problem is field isn’t our main goal. I have friends going for higher titles but they also have the option to train in the morning. I’m lucky enough to have a dog that seems to have a lot of natural ability. I do need to shape it though. Hopefully, I’ll find a group by the time it starts warming up.
 
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Ohio river hunting retriever club might be a resource in your area.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ohio river hunting retriever club might be a resource in your area.

Thanks!

They are 2 hours away but definitely an option!
 

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The club may be based 2hrs away but there might be other people from your area there that you could train with locally. If not they may suggest a club or training group closer to where you live.
 

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Here are links to the rules for both.
Minimal training is required for either junior or started tests. The problem with both, IMO, is dogs at that level are not ready for an event atmosphere. It can be detrimental to the discipline and obedience they are being taught. I think it is much better train to a higher level before entering an event.
I agree with this, as you never should set your pup up to fail. If they are ready to run a more complex test, say SH vs. JH, then running them in JH has a good change off success, even with all the distraction of crowds, guns and other dogs running.
 

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I would encourage anyone to participate in HRC events. That said, a word of caution. In the seasoned and finished levels a "diversionary" bird will be thrown at some point as the dog returns with a retrieve. A dog that drops the bird in mouth and picks up the diversionary bird fails the test.
A litmus test to identify poor trainers is to watch for any that use collar pressure to "teach" a dog not to switch to a diversion bird. You can also tell by a dogs reaction, when the diversion is thrown, if it has been "taught' in this manner.

I agree with this, as you never should set your pup up to fail. If they are ready to run a more complex test, say SH vs. JH, then running them in JH has a good change off success, even with all the distraction of crowds, guns and other dogs running.
Even more important IMO is that you cannot correct a dog for misbehaving at an event. Dogs can learn that real quick.

One of my training mentors told me a few years ago, whatever a dog does in training, only count on getting about 70% of that at an event. Sometimes you get more and sometimes less but overall I think it is a pretty accurate statement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The club may be based 2hrs away but there might be other people from your area there that you could train with locally. If not they may suggest a club or training group closer to where you live.
Right. I’m not afraid to drive 2 hours. I’ve made several 2 hour trips to train. Sadly, I’ve been told the trainer isn’t doing the sessions anymore. Which is why I’m looking. There’s a closer group I’m checking into at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Which dog are you starting with ? Is it the dogs in your signature? Winx or Pilot? Or a puppy?
I would be working with Pilot. Both of them have some scattered experience. Both have some natural talent. Pilot is better about it though. I’ve entered them both in a WC in the past. Winx at national in 2017 and Pilot was entered to support my club last year.

Winx enjoys it. She is very steady thanks to the exercises we did in a group training session. She needs work on bringing to hand. Ran past the birds on her WC. Didn’t ever get the first one. She was being ridiculous that day and it was actually a valuable lesson for her. She ended up getting her first CD leg a few days later when she realized I was done with her stupid crap. I can‘t train her though. She is my granddaughter’s 4-H dog which means she’s the only one who can train her.

Pilot needs work on steady exercises. Only because he’s never worked them. He’s great at bringing to hand on land. Needs a little work bringing to hand on water. Stops to shake but picks the bird back up and brings it when I tell him too. He made a rookie mistake and followed a mower line in the grass. He only missed the one bird. He’s had very minimal training. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had the time and knowledge he could do well. I did find a UKC test a couple of hours away. Maybe if I get a chance to train a little first, we will enter. He needs experience in test environments.

My eventual goal would be for a VC. He has a good start with conformation and obedience.
 

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This the best resource for comparing the two venues. In terms of started vs junior I think the biggest differences are in started they just need to deliver to the area (not to hand), you don't have to wait for the judge to release your dogs, and you can talk to your dog the entire time. In UKC you have to wear head to toe camo and beyond started you do handle a real shotgun. I've never actually run a junior test so hopefully I didn't get anything wrong. Overall started is generally seen as easier than junior tests.
 

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Overall started is generally seen as easier than junior tests.
I helped at a started test last year. Not much to do so I was mostly a spectator. The tests were very basic (that feels like an understatement). Of the 2 dozen or so dogs that ran only 2 or 3 would heel on lead. Most appeared to have little training, if any at all. I reviewed the rules the next day and that is about what is expected in started.
The people were all having a good time though so good for them.
I'll gladly help again but will ask to be at the upper level stake. It bugs me to see dogs running pointless tests that are detrimental to their behavior and future training
 

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It bugs me to see dogs running pointless tests that are detrimental to their behavior and future training
Me as well, I won't enter started again but it is a lot of fun for newbies to try and it does hook a lot of people into wanting to go further!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I understand what both of you are saying. I don’t allow acting like a complete fool. Can you skip started then? If I did take him, it would be so he could succeed at something. I’ve been told many times that he could definitely pass both JH and WC with current skills. He absolutely loves going out to do fieldwork.
 

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I understand what both of you are saying. I don’t allow acting like a complete fool. Can you skip started then? If I did take him, it would be so he could succeed at something. I’ve been told many times that he could definitely pass both JH and WC with current skills. He absolutely loves going out to do fieldwork.
In AKC you can go straight to master, I believe it is the same in UKC.
As far as your pup succeeding at something, he should think he is succesful every time you train. Those ribbons on the weekends are for us, the dogs couldn't care less about them.
 

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You should start in Started/Junior for YOUR sake. It will help you learn the hunt test routine and be easier on your nerves. I am also 2 hours from a training area. OB is definitely my priority, but the dogs really enjoy hunt training. I was able to make a lot more progress in hunt training when I understood enough about it to break down things into simple doable parts and do as much of those tiny parts in my own yard and the surrounding fields as possible. I only use the training grounds from about March (after most of the snow melts and the club allows vehicles on the roads) through about mid-June. In late June, the dangerous grass seeds start to mature. It's a short training window and it overlaps with the main OB trial season. I can only make progress by doing little training sessions (10 or 15 minutes) in the yard and making as many "field trips" as I can to the training ground when I have a free spring weekend without an OB trial.

For example, you say he has an issue with delivering to hand. You do NOT want to be training that type of issue on a group training day. On a group training day, you want to be letting him get accustomed to the excitement, other dogs, strange bird boys, etc. Tackle the deliver to hand issue in your own yard, first with a bumper, then a bird.
 

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I understand what both of you are saying. I don’t allow acting like a complete fool. Can you skip started then? If I did take him, it would be so he could succeed at something. I’ve been told many times that he could definitely pass both JH and WC with current skills. He absolutely loves going out to do fieldwork.
As long as you maintain a high standard you are absolutely okay to start at the entry level. Like mentioned above, it really is a great place to learn as a handler. No way I would have jumped levels as a newbie, you need the line time in an actual test environment. Try a started test, I bet he would do fantastic and it will be good experience for you. Just don't let him act a fool!
 
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