Saturday, September 13, 2014
The third, and final, entry in my series of posts about hunt tests and our dogs follows. I hope at least some of my readers found this series interesting. If all goes as planned, the venue of hunt tests will be the centerpiece for the next novel in the series.
Master Hunter is the third, final, and by far the most demanding, title a hunting dog can achieve in hunt tests. Very few dogs achieve this title compared to the number of dogs who become Junior Hunters.
What are the judges looking for? Junior Hunter is all about the dog’s instincts and motivation to hunt. Senior Hunter competition adds in the criteria of trainability and having the required skills to hunt with minimal guidance from the handler. This third and most difficult hunt test degree, the Master Hunter level, adds the requirements of a polished and perfect performance by the dog without guidance in the field. Now the judges are looking for the trained bird dog in all respects– steady to wing and shot, and able to scrupulously honor its brace mate as soon as it sees the other dog find the bird. The handler is not allowed to give the dog any instructions in the field; the bird dog’s training has to be complete before the test.