Hunt Test and Field Trial Training

Curt and Duke - Hunt Test

Curt and Duke – AKC Hunt Test

Advanced Training for AKC Field Events

We recognize that many clients are interested in titling their dogs at AKC licensed events but do not have the facilities and/or time to produce the level of performance required. To accommodate these clients we have structured an Advanced Training Program designed to work with you every step of the way to ensure the most effective approach to training and titling your dog at these events. We have also expanded our Hunt Test / Field Trial schedule to include many of the events up and down the east cost, giving our clients a greater opportunity to title their dogs. In fact, this spring we will participate at or have participated at events in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maine (12 tests in total).

Choosing a Titling Program

Upon enter our advanced training program we will work with you to determine and evaluate which titling program or programs you would like to persue. The AKC now recognizes two field event titling programs for you and your canine. While there are many similarities between the AKC Field Events, judges in each discipline are looking for mastery of different attributes before crowning the canine with an AKC title.

“The object of the hunting test program is to help the hunter develop a useful hunting companion by providing a means to gauge a dog’s ability against three standards of accomplishment – Junior Hunter (JH), Senior hunter (SH) and master hunter (MH).

The canine must be under the handler’s control at all times, and must handle kindly with an absolute minimum of noise and hacking by the handler. A keen enthusiasm to hunt… a bold and attractive manner of running and not only intelligence in seeking objectives, but also excellent ability to find game.

The dog must hunt for its handler at all times at a suitable gun range, showing a fine Spaniel pattern and experienced hunting independence. The dog must locate game, flush well and must be absolutely steady to wing and shot without excessive handling in both land and water testing. Intelligent use of the wind and terrain in locating game, accurate nose and intensity are essential. After the shot, a master hunting dog must positively demonstrate its steadiness to wing and shot. The handler shall not command or signal the dog to retrieve until steadiness has been demonstrated. The dog must be line steady at water, must retrieve eagerly to hand, and exhibit the ability to ‘hunt dead’ on a blind retrieve.

The purpose of a spaniel field trial is to demonstrate the performance of a properly trained spaniel in the field. The performance should not differ from that in any ordinary day’s shooting, except that in the trials a dog should do his work in a more nearly perfect way. The judges must judge their dogs for game- finding ability, steadiness, and retrieving. In game finding the dog should cover all his ground on the beat, leaving no game in his territory and showing courage in facing cover. Dogs must be steady to wing and shot and obey all commands. When ordered to retrieve they should do this tenderly and with speed. No trials for spaniels can possibly be run without retrieving, as that is one of the main purposes for which a spaniel is used.” — The Regulations for AKC Hunting Tests for Spaniels Registration and Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Spaniels – © 1980

AKC Hunt Tests Training Program

Hunt tests are conducted to test the dog’s ability to perform difficult water and land concepts that hunters frequently encounter in the field. Titles are given for obtaining proficiency at each level: Junior, Senior and Master Hunter Titles. Our training program has been built on our experience at licensed AKC Hunt Tests throughout the east, since is inception in 1989. We offer clients a training program specifically designed to prepare their canines to successfully achieve titles at these events.
Woodland Kennel has incorporated many advanced “tried and true” technical retriever concepts into our spaniel-training program to ensure success in the field. A common training cliché among professional trainers is “If you can’t get it in the yard you won’t get it field”. We apply this principle at every stage of a your dog’s training program. By insisting on mastery of specific skills in the yard before moving to the field we can ensure proper a transition and mitigate any bird /gun problems.  A dog that completes the AKC Hunt Test program will undergo the following training program:

Yard Work Field Work
General Obedience (Hup, Here, Heel, Come Around) Introduction to Field Work
Introduction to Water Work
Basic Line Manners
Basic Retrieving Single Marks on Land and Water
Retrieve to Hand
Introduction to Birds and Gun Fire Finding and Flushing Game
Bold Flush
Shooting Game over the Dog
Advanced Retrieving Line Steadying on Land and Water
Multiple Marks on Land and Water
Flat Patterning Drills Quartering in the Field
Find, Flush, and Retreive Game(Shot Birds)
Remote Hup Steadying to Wing and Shot
Basic Three Handed Casting Blind Directionals on Land and Water
Scent Cone Location (Optional) Track and Trail on Land
Scenting on Water
Finished Work (Optional) Introduction to Eraser Birds
Introduction to Retired Gun
Introduction to Poison Bird

Field Trial Training Program

A client who wishes to run his dog in field trials will participate in a similar program as hunt test above, but the emphasis will be on field work (brace work, honoring and quartering pattern).

Yard Work Field Work
General Obedience (Hup, Here, Heel, Come Around) Introduction to Field Work
Introduction to Water Work
Basic Line Manners
Basic Retrieving Single Marks on Land and Water
Retrieve to Hand
Introduction to Birds and Gun Fire Finding and Flushing Game
Bold Flush
Shooting Game over the Dog
Advanced Retrieving Line Steadying on Land and Water
Flat Patterning Drills Quartering in the Field
Find, Flush, and Retreive Game(Shot Birds)
Remote Hup Steadying to Wing and Shot
Basic Three Handed Casting Blind Directionals on Land and Water

 

Training Schedule

We train dogs Monday through Friday; Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for competition at AKC Field Events and owner visits. During these scheduled owner visits we teach each client how to properly maintain the canine’s level of training before going home. Please note; arrangements must be made in advance for visits to our facility so we can spend the necessary time with you and your canine.

Before bringing your dog in for training

We require each owner to obtain a current health certificate from their veterinarian prior to leaving his dog at our facility. This certificate must include Rabies, Parvo/Distemper vaccination, and kennel cough.  Heartworm pills should be provided by the dog’s owner.  Please leave enough for your dog’s entire stay.