Thinking about Junior Hunter
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Thread: Thinking about Junior Hunter

  1. #1
    Milesmom's Avatar
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    DefaultThinking about Junior Hunter

    Hi everyone! I have frequented the obed/tracking forum for several years now. I have a 5 year old lab. We have done rally, obedience and agility. We just finished his UD. Many have asked if we plan to go on to the UDX but I don't think so, at least not for now.

    Anyway, I thought it might be fun to train to do a hunt test. I've read the AKC rules. I've viewed some You Tube videos of AKC Hunt Tests too. I did send my application in about a month ago to a local retriever club, hopefully, I will get my welcome package soon and can go to their training grounds.

    In the meantime, I am playing around with some skills based on what I've read in the AKC rules and seen in the videos.

    Apparently, the whistle means come back? The dog is expected to bring back the bird and go directly to heel position.

    Tell me if I am on the right track...(you guys are probably going to be laughing at me!)

    I charged a whistle, grabbed some bumpers and went to a park nearby (where no one goes and it was a drizzly day anyway) that has fields, and 2 ponds. first I just tried to practice with the whistle. He came right away. Then I put him in a sit/stay, placed a bumper about 20 feet away. Marked it (we had to mark for the glove retrieve in utility), sent him. No problem. Blew the whistle even though it was unnecessary. Did this several times going farther and farther away. No problems at all. Of course, he sat there and watched me go place the bumper. Not too challenging. I was by myself, so I did what I could.

    Then we went to the pond. It was fairly large. Getting him to sit/stay next to a pond was hard. He kept running around the pond. Then I tried something a little different, but he swam part way and just came back. I realized that he has always just retrieved a ball that I had thrown. The idea of swimming across was foreign to him. I went to a very small pond on the other side of the park. I took him there and I just put him in a sit/stay, went to the other side and called him front. That worked. Then I did it again with a bumper at my feet and he picked it up and went to heel. Then I left the bumper, took him to the other side and sent him across to get it and he did it. We practiced that a few times and called it a day.

    Anyway, it is a start. We have a long way to go. He does retrieve and deliver to hand. Have never tried getting him to carry a bird. Never had gunshots. And have to do this with him marking something someone else threw in the distance.

    Although it isn't necessary for JH, getting him to honor another dog will be interesting. It took every bit of self control he had to sit/stay next to a pond while I threw something on the other side. Add another dog to the pic and it changes. Send another dog to the mark and boy o boy! I don't know!

    Am I on the right track? What "stuff" do I need for this? Where does one get a duck? Well, maybe I will learn all this when I get to that retriever club.

    Thanks in advance.

    Ann & Miles
    MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
    "Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1

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    GulfCoast's Avatar
    GulfCoast is offline Senior Member
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    You will have lots of fun!

    The whistle is just "come here." Normally, I don't blow it for simple act of returning to me with a bird, as the dog is going to do that anyway. It is very useful for handling the dog when you need movement back to the handler as opposed to "away" from the handler.

    You need to get him used to having the mark thrown in the field with a shot, and returning to your side. You can do this alone with a winger, or by "sitting" the dog and walking out and throwing the mark yourself. The easiest way is to use any child you have available that can throw a duck! They work cheap. Use a blank pistol, or slam a couple of 2 x 4 sections together to simulate a gun shot.

    In Junior, you could have marks out to 120 yards. On the water marks, you probably won't get a splash. The dog will probably have to swim across water and pick up a mark on land on the other side, and then return. ]

    You will have a lot of fun training for Junior. It is very "doable." A retriever club to help with the marks would make things easier.

    Good luck!
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    You will have fun. The best advice I can give you is to get with a club & work with them. They will be able to assist you in the training. We get ducks through our club at a game farm. Good luck. Oh & we use blank pistols. I would start at a distance with the shots at first, if he has not been around gunshots before.

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    Milesmom's Avatar
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    Thanks you guys, have been very helpful!

    Gulfcoast, it seemed to me the whistle was silly when he was returning to me. He was going to do that anyway. I guess, right now it helps reinforce that is what the whistle is for! LOL!

    Now, I just need to hear from this club...

    Ann & Miles
    MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
    "Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1

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    Ann,

    There are times when you will WANT that whistle. The bank cheating example is one. As soon as the dog picks up his bird if on a back bank, I want to be on my whistle. What does COME mean in the obed ring? It means take a STRAIGHT line to you! Also, some dogs (w/o enough obed training) will start dinking around out there on land also, and may get into the gunners' blinds to say hi, etc.. You don't want to be yelling from the line....

    I'd hold off on a lot of training until you can get w/ experienced club members. What starts out as JH sometimes blossoms and so you don't want to start out w/ bad habits.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    Milesmom's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks. I sent in my app for the retriever club about a month ago. Hopefully, I will get a response soon. They have a typical archaic dog club process of reviewing apps at meetings for approval. Who knows how long it will sit on someone's kitchen counter before there is a meeting? I do have some friends who belong that I plan to email and ask if I can meet them next time they go.

    I am using the whistle, he does come straight back to me, although I am not sure it has anything to do with the whistle. What is bank cheating? Running around the pond along the bank?

    Ann & Miles
    MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
    "Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1

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    windycanyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milesmom View Post
    I am using the whistle, he does come straight back to me, although I am not sure it has anything to do with the whistle. What is bank cheating? Running around the pond along the bank?
    Yes. You REALLY want to discourage that NOW. Some dogs are worse than others about cheating--- my one line that happens to be very good in obed and steadiness is terrible about cheating--- and I know where it came from! But part of the way to do that is to not throw marks that will tempt him to cheat in the first place, so you can do a certain amount by just establishing the "habit" of always returning in a straight line. Some JH judges are terrible about setting up angle entries that undo those good habits if you don't "decheat" them w/a collar. In JH, cheating is fairly acceptable, but if SH becomes part of your dreams later, it will be a monster to correct w/o the use of an ecollar, even w/ the obed training there. The dogs get it in their heads to be as efficient as possible, so cheating is okay in their minds. And remember, we're talking 100 yds out there, not a 50' ring w/ baby gates, so you are at a huge disadvantage, lol! It's VERY fun though. I love JH especially!

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    The JH dogs are SO much fun to watch when they come up to the line with their eyes about to pop out looking for a bird boy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GulfCoast View Post
    The JH dogs are SO much fun to watch when they come up to the line with their eyes about to pop out looking for a bird boy.
    I think watching the handlers about pass out from holding their breath is more funny. LOL!
    Going training today w/ one of my pup owners who's got one pass under their belt but some hold issues... It's supposed to be 70F! Yippeee!

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    You know, I have actually SEEN a handler get light headed on the line and turn white! I turned white once when mine decided to tear down a holding blind that was blocking her view of a seasoned test! Its never a dull moment.....
    HRCH Ellie Mae MH CGC
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