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I just read Questions, Queries, and Quandaries in the March-April 2019 GR NEWS. The first Q&A concerns the title of my post. I think it is well worth the read. In the past I have hinted at how hunt tests were originally different. I personally liked the way they used to be. Read it to see what Glenda Brown has to say. I will comment more on this later.



Teaser "There were no 'no birds'".
 

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I haven't yet read the article (don't tell Glenda) so this may be totally unresponsive, but, as a gunner, I only do whatever the judges tell me to do ... I am not in a position to make a decision, that's for the judges. I only do as I'm told.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sorry, I really did not phrase this properly. As FT states it is not the gunners' decision. The question: "What should be done when the gunner misses the bird and it flies away?" Again, sorry for posing the question incorrectly.



According to Don Remien, in training, let the dog watch it the whole way, it helps the dog learn to concentrate.


In Glenda's hunt test description, she describes a couple of test scenarios. I find Glenda's comments very interesting, especially for the youngsters who are hunt testing.
 

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OK, from Glenda Brown, in the early days the dogs were supposed to watch an obviously shot bird keep going until it finally went down. Then the dog was sent for it. Many times it was completely out of the area.


I can hear my mentor Guy Fornuto right now: "What do you mean no bird, THIS IS A HUNT TEST!":grin2:


PS If the dog couldn't come up with it (maybe a crippled fly away) the dog was judged to the area of the fall.
 

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When I read the question the way you first worded it my immediate thought was, "Say 'Oh shoot'"
 

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In a Hunt Test situation.....

This is one of those things that is situation specific. Did the bird actually fly away? in that case you have to call a no-bird as there is no fall or bird to retrieve.

If the bird was hit, but fell in a different area than intended, the judges will have to decide on if it's a retrievable bird for the level being tested. If the bird was clearly visible to the dog and the fall isn't beyond what I expect of a dog at that level I would call the dogs number.
 

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From Glenda Brown in the article "We even had some where a bird was shot at---allowed to get away, and then another was shot immediately afterward while the dog might still have the original missed bird in mind."


I would love to hear comments on this one.
 

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From Glenda Brown in the article "We even had some where a bird was shot at---allowed to get away, and then another was shot immediately afterward while the dog might still have the original missed bird in mind."
That is why there is now a rule that requires the handler to leash up their dog and leave the line when a no bird happens. Even then, there are a lot of dogs that will remember that first bird that flew off and try to go after it.


Dogs can remember flyers and locations for days or in some cases weeks after seeing one. The "no training on the grounds provision prior to the test" was put in place for that reason.
 

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Somehow none of this is making sense to me. In a real hunting situation, it's pretty common for a bird to be flushed and missed. The dog is expected to immediately get back to work, just sort of shrug it off and move on.
Same thing in the flushing spaniel test. If the gunners miss, you just say "no bird, heel" to the dog and immediately resume your hunt.
 

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Somehow none of this is making sense to me. In a real hunting situation, it's pretty common for a bird to be flushed and missed. The dog is expected to immediately get back to work, just sort of shrug it off and move on.
Same thing in the flushing spaniel test. If the gunners miss, you just say "no bird, heel" to the dog and immediately resume your hunt.
I can certainly understand why this doesn't make sense ... unless you look at the nature of field trials and their offspring, hunting tests. (I run field trials, so that's my only legitimate perspective ... okay, full disclosure, I've run a total of TWO dogs in ONE Junior Test and ONE dog in ONE Senior Test [they all passed :) ], nonetheless I don't pretend to be an expert on hunt tests after only a few visits to the line in that venue. Full-full disclosure: I got scolded for a couple of things in the Junior, but I guess the judges felt sorry for my dogs, so they passed them despite my gross ineptitude.)

Unlike the spaniel and other bird dog tests, the dogs in retrieving events all start from the same line, so a bird that doesn't land in the general area of the fall has the potential to create either an advantage or a disadvantage for the dog on the line as well as subsequent dogs. And, importantly, in the AKC Rules for Retriever Field Trials, a provision states that the judges are to provide each dog with a test that is "substantially the same" or words to that effect. From a practical perspective, with a no-bird, whether one that is hit but sails out of the area or one that is totally unscathed, where it lands (yes, untouched pen-raised mallards will only fly a few hundred yards at most) is anybody's guess, so that bird must be watched, followed, found, and then (hopefully) taken care of and removed from the field. Otherwise, its presence has the potential to mess up yet another dog ... or two ... or .... So, the proper thing for a judge to do is call no bird, instruct the handler to take the dog off the line and to return to run either right away or after a few other dogs run.

FTGoldens
 

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FT, thanks much for the thoughtful explanation. I hadn't considered the fairness of the tests relative to the other dogs, only that a dog should be able to deal with the situation without a problem.
Your explanation makes perfect sense.
 

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FT, thanks much for the thoughtful explanation. I hadn't considered the fairness of the tests relative to the other dogs, only that a dog should be able to deal with the situation without a problem.
Your explanation makes perfect sense.

Hence the difference in goals hunt test vs field trial. Guy Fornuto had told me that hunt tests were supposed to be very different from field trials and the founders went to great lengths to ensure that. Just think---you do not have a specific line when coming to the line. No white jackets. No lining to marks before they are on the ground. Scoring dogs. No ranking of dogs re: performance.
 
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