Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
ELN, thanks for posting the numbers. I find it unfortunate that the number of Goldens running trials is declining. Fortunately, the number running Masters is increasing.

Two questions::
1. Why is there an increase in the number of Goldens running Masters?
2. For those of us who have gone from Hunt Tests to Field Trials, what caused you to do so?

FTGoldens
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,962 Posts
ELN, thanks for posting the numbers. I find it unfortunate that the number of Goldens running trials is declining. Fortunately, the number running Masters is increasing.

Two questions::
1. Why is there an increase in the number of Goldens running Masters?
2. For those of us who have gone from Hunt Tests to Field Trials, what caused you to do so?

FTGoldens
I'm an outsider as far as FT goes so take my comment with a grain of salt. This may be a regional thing but have found it extremely difficult to get involved in field work with my golden. The preference around here is labs but couldn't tell you why. More active participation in the Lab group?
Even the local golden group does not encourage newbies. However there are a ton of FT training places, it's quite a business. But because it is their business and lively hood their time is best spent on the dogs they get paid to train, not promoting the sport. To me this sort of explains the increase in masters titles. But makes me question the lower numbers. Are FT's like obedience and you must complete the lower levels to work up to the masters level? or can you just compete at the master level? Like I said, this is new to me.
There is also the fact that so many breeders (in this area anyway) that are producing dogs that would not do well in the field. In fact the majority of the breeders do no hunting with their dogs at all, even with all the professional handlers. They produce the pups that will sell to the masses... over coated, large boned, mellow pet pups. Not saying there is anything wrong with this but very few golden conformation breeders are involved in field work.
FWIW it was shocking to learn there is a major lack of obedience participation as well. I attended an obedience competition at the DFW speciality a few years back and even though there were hundreds of goldens entered, there was only 7 dogs entered in obedience.
 

·
aka Shelby
Joined
·
1,576 Posts
yeah Josie (retriever results) is in our training group so its been an interesting conversation about these stats. She thought they were interesting. We both came to the conclusion that MARK ATWATER was responsible for the increase of goldens in hunt tests. She made a good point that his beautiful photos of Yeti captured so many and they wanted to do what Mark was doing. Not to mention Stephen Durrance was hunt and the one that trained Mark's dogs. As far as a decrease in field trials well, it is just that most of the litters, bred to freaking one or two golden sires (thats another topic), are taken by hunt testers or pet homes. Serious litters are secret anyway.

I went from hunt to field because I could understand the field trial objectives more clearly than hunt tests and therefore training was more black and white for me. Furthermore, I prefer a placement over an orange ribbon because I'm just a seriously competitive person.
 

·
aka Shelby
Joined
·
1,576 Posts
Are FT's like obedience and you must complete the lower levels to work up to the masters level? or can you just compete at the master level? Like I said, this is new to me.
Puddles, there are 4 field trial stakes. Derby which is for 2 years and under. Only marks no blinds. placements go from 1 to 4 and a dog gets points for each placement. After ten points they are on an purina derby list. 5 points and the dog qualifies to run a national derby championship...

Qualifying is any age and generally includes large hunt tester entries. Field trialers tend to run their dogs under 3. hunt testers over 3. Placements are giving out but the first and second place are the only placements that "count" in a Q. This grants the dog the unofficial title of QAA which symbolizes the dog is ready to run all age stakes. upon receiving two 1 or 2 the dog is QA2 which is an AKC title.

All age stakes are broken into two...amateur and open. Amateur is generally considered to be easier but anyone that has run both knows its all up to the judges. It is called amateur because pros are not allowed to run dogs in this stake. A dog needs 15 points to include 1 all breed win to become titled AFC. In the open they need only ten to include a win in an all breed stake. Both stakes have a yearly national event for the highest title of National Amateur Field Champion or National Field Champion. To compete you must have a win and I think 2 points every year. you do not have to be titled. I can't remember the exact number of points as its never applied to me yet, ha ha!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
I'm an outsider as far as FT goes so take my comment with a grain of salt. This may be a regional thing but have found it extremely difficult to get involved in field work with my golden. The preference around here is labs but couldn't tell you why. More active participation in the Lab group?
Even the local golden group does not encourage newbies. However there are a ton of FT training places, it's quite a business. But because it is their business and lively hood their time is best spent on the dogs they get paid to train, not promoting the sport. To me this sort of explains the increase in masters titles. But makes me question the lower numbers. Are FT's like obedience and you must complete the lower levels to work up to the masters level? or can you just compete at the master level? Like I said, this is new to me.
There is also the fact that so many breeders (in this area anyway) that are producing dogs that would not do well in the field. In fact the majority of the breeders do no hunting with their dogs at all, even with all the professional handlers. They produce the pups that will sell to the masses... over coated, large boned, mellow pet pups. Not saying there is anything wrong with this but very few golden conformation breeders are involved in field work.
FWIW it was shocking to learn there is a major lack of obedience participation as well. I attended an obedience competition at the DFW speciality a few years back and even though there were hundreds of goldens entered, there was only 7 dogs entered in obedience.
Puddles,
This is GREAT information! It's exactly the "from my point of view" response I hope to elicit more of.
Thank you for taking the time to reply!!!
FTGoldens
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,962 Posts
Wow, great information thank you! I'm starting to understand why breeders hire field handler/trainers to achieve these titles and a new found respect for the efforts to achieve these titles.
I've always been impressed with breeding programs that have titles at both ends of the name and more than a RN or BN. Proving your dog can compete in the sport it was actually bred for adds value to me. I've known for years why so many obedience dogs are field bred goldens, they are wonderful even if you don't do field work with them. Sadly so many obedience people are drifting away from goldens to compete with border collies or belgian malinois... in my area anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Both stakes have a yearly national event for the highest title of National Amateur Field Champion or National Field Champion. To compete you must have a win and I think 2 points every year. you do not have to be titled. I can't remember the exact number of points as its never applied to me yet, ha ha!
MOP,
You'd better study up on the numbers needed to qualify for a National 'cuz I'm thinkin' that you're gonna to need to know!
FTGoldens

(BTW, you got it right! And, as an aside, a Specialty win counts as a win in order to qualify for a National, but doesn't count as a win to get a FC or AFC title; however, a Specialty win counts as 5 points toward an FC or AFC, but you can't count more that 5 Specialty points toward such titles regardless of how many points are earned in Specialty Opens or Ams.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Nothing sadder than a potential Golden Field Champion lying undisturbed by the fireplace, never having the chance to retrieve a bird. Yes it takes a lot of training and hard work, but what doesn't that is worth it? We've been trying for 30 years and while there has been a number of QAA (***) dogs pass through our house, no FC or AFC (yet). I would agreee with the sentiment on Hunt Tests that I see dogs with blatant failures go on to get ribbons and too many judges who don't really understand what they are setting up for test scenarios. (There are plenty who get it though).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
My thoughts on Goldens and the stats: I am no expert and dont have the success as some but we compete. I run FT not HT, I did run HT in the 90's and had success but I like competition.
FT/HT and Goldens: No particular order:
1) Numbers are down across the board for Amateur Handlers especially Goldens
2) FT are pro dominated especially in the Derby and Open and in the Am they are most likely Pro trained
3) Most Golden owners do not have their dogs on a pros truck, they do the training themselves or a pro just does the basics
4)FT dont have a entry level. The entry level is not the Derby(pro dominated) but the Q which it takes a well trained dog to compete
5) Breeding pool: There are nice litters out there but the majority of pups go to hunting and HT homes. FC/AFC litters are very rare and when they do happen they are mostly pre-sold before advertised which knocks most people out of the equation. It is also supply and demand. Look how many Lab litters are advertised compared to Goldens. A lot of Golden pups arent given the opportunity to compete in FT
6) Training: It is very tough to get into a FT training group. Even though I train with FT people now, it wasnt until I started placing in FT was invited to join. You also need better grounds for successful FT training along with flyers etc
7) FT clubs are usually very small and HT clubs have more training days. I belong to 2 clubs: FT club originated in 1884 and has probably 20 members and 1 training day a year. HT club is a few years old has 90 members and a training day every month. This brings new people into HT
8)FT have gotten harder over the years. To be successful you cant just train a few days a week. You have to train 5-6 days a week. Its not dedication it has to be an obsession!. Most successful Amateurs are retired and have a great training group and/or can train full time as their schedule permits which allows them to be successful
9) The success rate in HT is far greater (over 50%) FT you can sit around all day/weekend and not get called
back. FT are very time consuming and not worth it to most people to blow a weekend and get nothing but a boring ride home. Some people just like ribbons and the feel good effect from passing even if it was marginal work. Nothing at all against HT. I just cant do both trials and HT
10)Most Golden owners have a dog for life, if the dog doesnt make it in FT they are still a part of the family and they run HT if they want to. I feel there are more washouts in other breeds and more in FT than HT. Not true in all cases though
11) In HT you can progress from JH to SH to MH. You can start your dog from beginning to end
12) I really dont know why there was a increase in HT Masters, my guess is that Goldens who have progressed up the latter from JH and dogs who werent sucessful in FT made the switch to Master, also you see some show dogs in Master, you never see one in a trial
13) These are just my opinions. We need more Goldens in FT though! Im in the minority, I still work over 40 hours a week, do my best to train 5 days a week, train mostly with my wife and 3 wingers. I do have great grounds and access to birds. So it can be done if you are obsessed :) We will see how far we get: we have a 2 yr old running Q's now and a 15 week pup who is marking out to 100 yrds with near 100% accuracy. But this thing is just a hobby for my wife and I. Sorry so long
 

·
Jamie
Joined
·
474 Posts
I agree with everything @Edward Lee Nelson said above. My hunt test club is so much better about getting new people involved, whereas my field trial club really doesn't want new members. 95% of the club is retired guys who go out everyday and train from 10-2, and they go south every winter. Luckily they like me and said I can train with them anytime but I do have a job and sadly retirement is a long ways off yet lol!
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,962 Posts
Well I finally found a Hunt group with both novice and professional handlers that's less than 4 hrs away! Yeah, they have one training session a month. It's a start and will begin by joining at the next club meeting in February. Thanks for the info about the differences in FT & HT. It's hard to find answers when you don't know the questions. Thanks guys.
I will admit to being just a little intimidated. I will probably be the only golden in the group :) and by looking at the pics of the last meeting, women are in the minority as well. Oh well, guess we can at least give them a few laughs! LOL these guys look pretty intense :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Well I finally found a Hunt group with both novice and professional handlers that's less than 4 hrs away! Yeah, they have one training session a month. It's a start and will begin by joining at the next club meeting in February. Thanks for the info about the differences in FT & HT. It's hard to find answers when you don't know the questions. Thanks guys.
I will admit to being just a little intimidated. I will probably be the only golden in the group :) and by looking at the pics of the last meeting, women are in the minority as well. Oh well, guess we can at least give them a few laughs! LOL these guys look pretty intense :confused:
This is good news!

For anybody still searching for help, the GRCA website has a list of Field Training Contacts.
Also, the Field Education Committee of the GRCA is ready and willing to help new, as well as experienced trainers, with their dogs. The FEC even has a Facebook page.
Still further, I'm sure that some of the participants on this forum are willing to help out ... and count me as one of them, so if you are in the south-central part of the country, send me a private message.

FTGoldens
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,545 Posts
Thanks for those links!

Just my 2 cents, I'm a novice. I've competed a little in field trials and hunt tests, both AKC and NAHRA.

Lots of people live where they can find a city park to train in for hunt tests, but find the distances and fields needed for field trials are a lot harder to come by. Without the right connections in the field trial world, finding those fields to train on, are very hard to find.

When clubs offer field training classes, it's easier to focus on hunt tests. The area is smaller, the distances are shorter. Just doing the setups and changing out dogs is so much easier than a field trial. So classes generally are hunt test oriented. Amateurs stick with what they know.

I think the master only hunt tests midweek are a money maker for clubs, and I could see those growing a lot. A few pros with 20 dogs on a truck each, fills a master test. The club uses the pro's bird boys or assistants to throw and shoot. Then the club only has to supply 2 judges. The club then can rake in lots of money, when their only costs are purchasing birds, feeding judges, and possibly land rental. But if they are using a pro's property for the hunt test, all the better and they can avoid most of those costs, except birds. I've heard more than one club member complain about their club going in this direction of catering to pro's. The pro's are a lot happier because they aren't having as much trouble entering their dogs in master tests on the weekend where they compete with amateurs for entry space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,194 Posts
I’ll put out there that the Master Amateur Invitational might have helped the up tick in Master entries. A smaller event than the NMH might be keeping dogs and handlers in the game.
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,962 Posts
Thanks for those links!

Just my 2 cents, I'm a novice. I've competed a little in field trials and hunt tests, both AKC and NAHRA.

Lots of people live where they can find a city park to train in for hunt tests, but find the distances and fields needed for field trials are a lot harder to come by. Without the right connections in the field trial world, finding those fields to train on, are very hard to find.

When clubs offer field training classes, it's easier to focus on hunt tests. The area is smaller, the distances are shorter. Just doing the setups and changing out dogs is so much easier than a field trial. So classes generally are hunt test oriented. Amateurs stick with what they know.

I think the master only hunt tests midweek are a money maker for clubs, and I could see those growing a lot. A few pros with 20 dogs on a truck each, fills a master test. The club uses the pro's bird boys or assistants to throw and shoot. Then the club only has to supply 2 judges. The club then can rake in lots of money, when their only costs are purchasing birds, feeding judges, and possibly land rental. But if they are using a pro's property for the hunt test, all the better and they can avoid most of those costs, except birds. I've heard more than one club member complain about their club going in this direction
That's really interesting... I found this place by looking at a hunt trial entry list from last year and always note anything referring to east texas. The training & test are on a members (pro breeder/trainer/handler) property. They also have a member (from looking at their FB page that raises the ducks. So thanks for the insight on how all this might come together. I may be in over my head with this group.

.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top