Well we had our first AKC hunt test today and we ended up having to retrieve pigeons. The ducks and other birds brought down for the test ended up having to be destroyed early Saturday morning because one bird on the farm they came from tested positive for the antigen to Avian flu (I think H-5?) On such short notice they could only use either bumpers or pigeons. The AKC Rep said that they could use whatever they needed to use to get the test done.
Amber being 5th dog up got a pigeon that was shot so close up that it was basically turned inside out. She hunted it up out of some very tall thick grass after a bit of a search. She brought it back to me and delivered and i tried to make it look like a complete pigeon again before handing it to the judge. I then turned her toward the other mark and signalled and they launched a dead pigeon into some very light cover. I waited till it landed and then sent Amber and after she got about 20 yards I realized that they never called my number or dog and I actually said "Oh s**t". I turned to the judge and he just apologized about having to drop us and asked us to come back as test dog for water. And yes Amber pinned the mark and brought back the pigeon just fine.
We ran the water mark and pinned both of those just fine so we would have easily Q'd if I would have just waited two more seconds before sending my dog on that second land mark...Oh well! At least I can laugh at it. We actually used frozen ducks for the water series that people were bringing in with them. It was a kind of BYOB (Bring Your Own Bird) test. I am used to strange things happening with Amber so this weird test didn't really surprise me..lol
Tomorrow we go back to try it again in another junior test and this time I am going to really make sure I never release Amber early again!
Kelly and Amber and Ready
As a judge myself I'm surprised they dropped you with out giving you a warning first. I have warned many folks about infractions like this & touching the dog etc. Most folks that are running Jr. are new to the game & you can see they are nervous. Good luck on your next test
Bummer. In Junior, if she was steady and you just goofed and sent her early, the judges around here would probably have fussed a bit, and let it slide with a warning. Good luck tomorrow!
(That is crazy about those ducks!)
HRCH Ellie Mae MH CGC
Justlabradors.com -- the best site for your Labrador needs.
That's a shame. I guess alot depends on the judges whether they give you are warning or not. But around here most judges give some leeway in JH.
Well today was much better on my part I was really paying attention to what I was doing on the line. I learned that i can trust my dog off lead to heel to the line and then I can sit her and take hold of the collar. Doing this patern keeps Amber a bit calmer because it is much more like a practice day. I learned to think things through before I go to the line.
We went through an opening in a tree line into a field and there was one winger slightly off to the right about 70 yards out throwing from right to left 30 degrees back. Light to moderate cover with a dead pigeon. The judge signaled to the thrower to launch the bird by sounding a duck call pretty much right behind us. It was a pretty easy mark with the slight wind out there. Amber over ran the mark and went about 15-20 yards past then flipped a U-turn and headed straight back and found it with just a few zig zags. The second land mark was a retired gunner station that would step out from the tree line off to our left about 60 yards out and then threw a live pigeon from left to right and dropped it into moderate cover. Again the judge signaled for the bird by blowing a duck call behind us. Amber again over shot it by about 10 yards and then did the U-turn and came right back to it. Whew! I remembered to wait for the judge to say "Dog" before I sent Amber and the judges were nice enough to remind me to wait for them to call dog before I went to the line, it seems that judges talk and asked who it was that didn't wait yesterday..lol
We got called back for water and had a dead duck launcher on a dike in the middle of the pond and a completely retired launcher on the opposite bank and our line was in the middle about 10-15 yards from the waters edge. WE had to come out and sit on an ice chest and then give a duck call to start each mark. There were a dozen decoys scattered at the waters edge and into the pond that were between the marks and the line. There was a really really strong wind blowing from the line toward the left side gun station (It blew away the judges EZ-Up once during the test) . The retired gun station on the right bank was impossible to see but luckily they fired of the popper gun and then launched the duck and it landed out in the pond with a nice big splash. The station on the left was hand throwing the duck just right he waters edge and sometimes you had a splash sometimes it hit the grass right on the edge. Most of the dogs that got the duck on the edge of the shore would get out and run the dike and back around the corner to the line on the way in one or two even did it on the way out. I thought they were fairly easy marks but alot of dogs would see the decoys on the way out and lose the bird. Amber pinned both marks and even came back through the water on both marks.
I looked at the judges books after the test and Amber had two 8's for marking on land and the rest was all 10's Yeah!!
So we now have our first JH leg and our very first bird band!
Kelly and Amber and Ready
Awesome job! You'll never forget to wait for that judge to say DOG again, will you.
Sorry to hear about the bird issue. That's horrible! Sonya has what I hope will be her final JH test this coming Sunday. I'd hate for that to happen to us. Love those live fliers too much! Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Congratulations again, Kelly and Amber!!! You are both soooo ready for all of this- I love watching you run her! What a great team!
P.S. I'm still jealous of your orange rosette and new band. One of these days I'll feel ready and will eventually enter a test. LOL
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
I did forget the one thing that judges did to make up for the change in birds and because some people said they hadn't ever trained with pigeons, is they had a dead pigeon out for people to get their dogs accustomed to picking up pigeons. I thought the judges did a very good job under very difficult and unexpected conditions. And really the competitors didn't complain and were very supportive. I really liked that people were volunteering their frozen ducks for the test even though no one knows yet were we are going to get more birds for training.
Kelly and Amber and Ready
I tried to find out info on this showing up in birds in the US -- didn't see anything in the news. You're in CA, right?Originally Posted by Kzunell
Surprised you couldn't just kill the ducks then use them but maybe they had to burn them? Sounds like everyone made the best of the situation.
Congrats on the pass on Sunday.
They had the birds shipped down from Idaho for the hunt test. As far as they know no birds he brought down from his farm were infected but the California Dept of Agriculture was afraid just having the dead birds on the fields (right next to a habitat) could lead to contamination of wild birds. There was talk that they came out in white suits and respirators to collect and bag the birds but I didn't see it. The farm in Idaho supplies over 40,000 ducks a year to field trials and hunt tests in California, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona,Nevada, and Alaska. Only one bird that was tested on his farm came back positive for the antigen to Avain Influenza. The bad part was they didn't know till Friday night and by then they had already run Masters and shot about 70 birds in one field so it is possible that it is already contaminated, though I did notice that no birds got away during the test.
Kelly and Amber and Ready