Field Trials ;)

AKC, CKC, KC, ANKC, UKC, ENZI, etc. testing.

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Postby Tony » Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:39 am

Marvin,

Keep your derby dog forward and hunting hard. He doesn't have to run really big, he just has to keep hunting and looking for birds. In order to place, he has to find a bird and demonstrate a point (sometimes the judges will have a call-back for a point if they saw the dog under a bird, but didn't see the point). He should be mature enough to recognize objectives and use the wind and terrain to his advantage. If you see him on point, point him out to the judges and ride towards him. If he points and rips the bird, get off of your horse and fire your blank gun in the air. The derby dog isn't required to hold point or be steady. If he chases the bird at the flush, hopefully the bird flys in the direction of the course so you can get him back to hunting in front of the judges instead of trying to find the flushed bird.

Your best bet is to ride as many braces as you can and watch the dogs and handlers. I have probably rode several thousand braces in the last 10 years, and I am still making mental notes on how to handle my dogs better. Field trialing isn't something that you can just show up with the best dog and expect to win. The dogs performance is only part of the equation. It is up to the handler to show the dog to the judges.
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Postby alan » Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:28 pm

Tony,

Excellent post!

Marvin,

Tony just told you what a derby dog is. Take his sound advice and go to some trials and learn and have some fun! Good luck and Merry Christmas!
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Postby mngsp » Sun Dec 25, 2005 6:43 pm

Marvin

Alan and Tony are good guys to listen to about this stuff, knowledeable dog guys. Everyone is right on with the, watch as many braces as you can!!!! Observation can be a great teacher.

I also feel that Derby stakes, specifically the amount of them you enter your dog in is important. There are many variables when a pup gets to Derby age that a person has to watch for. Progress on bird work, bracemate issues, handle, etc. These are things that you may want to analyze and figure out when and how much Derby running you want to do with your dog. Derby stakes can be an area where depending on where you and your dog are might set the whole program back a long ways. I love running derby dogs and it can be very fun, but becareful.

Alan, Larue, and Tony.... I hope you guys are having a great Christmas with your family and friends.
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Postby gohntng » Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:06 pm

Yes, thanks for the insight.
I would of thought a derby dog had to have more manners to run. That was just what I thought.
As I stated, winning isn't the biggest thing to expect on the first few tries. I'd hope the competition would be better than that. Of course bringing in better than average dogs just might do it. :D
What Tony stated is what I'm after, but as in all threads we jump to wanting to win. I'm wanting to learn first.
If I turn a dog loose now in a trial, I know what to expect. Learning the ropes and secrets is riding lots of braces I agree.
I know most people have a pro train their dog first, then trial it later themselves. Maybe after it received a FT title then run it.
A great dog is a great dog, a title doesn't make it so. I watched a dog run it's UT for the 5th time trying for a UT1. Didn't make it again. Why would a UT1 score make this dog better? It's the same dog that didn't pass it 4 times before.
I know tons of people would all of a sudden want to include it in their breeding program, too bad it's this way.
Thanks again for the advice guy's, I'll be applying it this next fall on a pup hopefully. Ready for spring 07.

mngsp.
You mention being careful, come on spill the beans. You also mention bracemate, is there something you're not telling me? :D :wink:
Marvin..
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Postby mngsp » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:35 am

Marvin

I'll tell you about it first hand. My current dog had some issues that made it so I ran a couple of Derby stakes when he was between 1 and 2 yrs old.

when he was 9 months old he got jumped by his bracemate, a brittany. He started to show way to much concern over his bracemate. As a result I spent the next year getting his focus back on birds as number one, not his bracemate.

Another example was I was gonna put him in our clubs trial the spring of his derby year but scratched him at the last minute. I had just gotten him to where he was reliably standing his birds until I flushed them. That day it rained and I didn't want him on wet birds that he could catch and as a result set our training back.

Hope that helps explain some things for you.
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Postby Tony » Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:06 am

Marvin,

A lot of good dogs have been ruined by running in too many derby stakes. It all depends on the dog and the situations encountered while competing. Because derby dogs do not require a lot of manners, you may have a lot of bad things happen. Dogs can get bumped, tagged, their points stolen, catch too many birds, chase swallows or dicky birds, run too big, get lost, stepped on by a horse, intimidated by a loud obnoxious handler, etc...

Most derby stakes are uneventful and the best dogs find and point a bird, but you have to be aware of what is going on so you can avoid the bad stuff.
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Postby gohntng » Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:20 pm

mngsp.
I didn't think about that. I see some dogs like that at NAVHDA tests, but lucky not to have two dogs turned loose together.
Too bad you had to go thru that with your dog. I'm not planning to enter just any dog, it has to have something going for them. My female and male just heads out, doesn't pay any attention to other dogs.
Hope it works out for you.

Tony.
I have no reason to enter more than a few derby's. To be honest, I'd only run a dog that has that don't care to check back attitude. All my dogs come back to check in, we hunt as a team. The only dogs' I have been around that will head out and not return was owned by someone that didn't pet them. Three of them were EP's and one Gsp. Just house them, take them out and hunt them. "Ditch Runners", or "Fence Runners", is what I call them. Hard to get back.
The horse accidents is the only one I worry about. Seems every dog has to go around and sniff a horses back legs. I just cringe, but my horse doesn't kick, but a wrong step can be a broken foot for a dog.
What is the ages, or cut off's on the age to derby, then to gun dog?
Thanks, Marvin
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Postby KJ » Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:21 am

Marvin,

Off subject but......

Did you have your rangefinder with you? Pictures (one dimensional) can be decieving but I'd guess the dog to be 200 yards and the transmission poles to be around 500-600 yards. You have the rangefinder and hunt more big game than me but I was just curious.....
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Postby larue » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:02 am

tony,I will not argue with your assessment of what it takes to place,and win field trials,and derby runs.A short running dog who stays foward,hunts
all the time,and makes no mistakes will be in the money alot.
Your sophie and your pup are great examples of this.
Now you have ran another dog for jerry,k-man who does not fall into this
discription.This is the type of dog that when you get him around,with a bird
he wins.His ngspa sharptail win is an example.
There can be a huge difference between the hour event dogs,and the small weekend dogs,when it comes to range,power and independance.
I was lucky enough to judge harters thyme a year or so ago,she was a great example of this type of dog.The interesting part is that thyme
ran at eagle,and then at our 4 lakes trial here on my grounds.Both walking trials ,both small courses,and in both stakes she did very well.
It came as no surprise to me that she took runner up at her gspca futurity.
I am not saying a 100 yard derby dog cannot win,you can and will have alot of fun with such a pup,with alot of ribbons and wins,but if a all age
or shooting dog pup shows up,and gets around,with a bird, do not be surprised if you do not win.
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Postby mngsp » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:22 am

Larue

Always brings up an interesting dilema in my book.

That big powerful SD or AA that maybe comes around course clean say 20% of the time, but when it does it usually wins. Or a steady, forward moving, stylish dog that is honest and makes it around clean 95% of the time and is always in the money.

Which is a better dog? I've asked myself this many times and still haven't answered it for myself yet. I see benefits of both types.

The AA or SD sited above is probably the one people will remember and will have a greater role in passing it's gene pool on to the breed. But that honest dog, aren't his or her traits just as important to the future of a breed?

Anyone care to share thier opinions on this?
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Postby Tony » Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:28 am

Marvin,

For AKC trials and tests, pups have to be at least 6 months old before they can enter. You can enter a 6 month pup in any stake whether it is a Open Puppy, Derby, Gun Dog or All-Age. The Puppy stakes are for pups up to 15 months, and the Derby cut off is 2 years. In order for a dog to run in a Limited stake, it must have previously placed in a broke dog stake.

When you are competing in a field trial, it is okay if your dog checks in with you, but he doesn't need to come all of the way back (yo-yo). The best dogs will glance over to you when they finish a move and cue off of your horse, voice, or whistle before they make their next move. The best dog and handler teams will do this so smoothly that the course will seem to be choreographed.

Field trialing is not about range, speed, or the number of birds found. It is all of those things and more. We are looking at the whole dog; a dog with all of the qualities of a class bird dog.
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Postby Tony » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:01 am

mngsp wrote:That big powerful SD or AA that maybe comes around course clean say 20% of the time, but when it does it usually wins. Or a steady, forward moving, stylish dog that is honest and makes it around clean 95% of the time and is always in the money.

Which is a better dog?


I want a big GD/SD that gets around clean 95% of the time. There is no reason that you can't have the whole package. There are at least two GWP's currently competing, and several GSP's that are competitive at the national level that always seem to be in the money in the SD type stakes.

Two months ago, I took runner-up to 2xNAFC/DC/AFC Cascade Jadg Freund. I have seen him on the ground 5 times, and he has rocked my world every time. Last Spring he took runner-up at the AKC Gun Dog Nationals and he has taken runner-up in at least 3 GWPCA National stakes. Hopefully this dog will pass his talent on to his offspring.

The gene pool needs AA dogs, but I have no desire to own one.
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Postby alan » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:34 pm

mngsp wrote:Which is a better dog? I've asked myself this many times and still haven't answered it for myself yet. I see benefits of both types.



In my humble opinion it depends on the grounds. In other words an All Age race in Gun Dog cover is not going to get it done. While on the flip side a Gun Dog race on All Age grounds is not going to hold much attention either. For me it's all about how the dog hunts to the country and that involves far more than just run and bird work. I am looking for intelligent application, use of wind, terrain and confidence in training when I judge an adult stake. If that means that a dog with less speed or range applies himself better to the course than the faster moving bigger going dog. Then in my mind, all else being equal, the dog that did the better job of hunting the course "as per stake requirements, i.e. Gun Dog or All-Age" on that day in those conditions is the better dog and should be put up over the dog with the bigger run or a faster snappier gait. Maybe that sounds confusing. In a nut shell...I am looking for a dog that has that right mix of speed, range, intelligence, confidence in training and bird sense that screams out when I see it in a well-trained high quality animal that also meets the requirements of the stake in which I am judging.


As to the Derby pitfalls, my biggest concern is two fold. First it is for those guys that are chasing top 10 listings. In this case I think they often times put to much onto a young dog by expecting it to win before it's ready too. Second, I think that if one runs his young dog in too many Derby stakes he runs the same risks as one does in those Junior and Senior hunt tests...the dog will learn to run down and catch liberated game birds. If this happens then boy do you have your work cut out for you!

I say run 'em enough to prove 'em and no more! If the dog is worth it's salt you'll get your ribbons later.
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Postby gohntng » Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:54 pm

KJ wrote:Marvin,

Off subject but......

Did you have your rangefinder with you? Pictures (one dimensional) can be decieving but I'd guess the dog to be 200 yards and the transmission poles to be around 500-600 yards. You have the rangefinder and hunt more big game than me but I was just curious.....


Hey no problem.
The power lines are about 600 yards or so away from the fence line behind the dog. That's a good stroll to get to the lines from here.
The field I'm in is 800 yards across to the fence line. My pickup is behind me, and I just left it.
It's the same field I ran your Sadie in, I was more in the center, and she was running in that vicinity. She was 300 yards out.
I shoot my big guns here sometimes, and paced off 400 yards, 500 yards, and marked it.
He's out there, trust me. I'd bet you need glasses, but your power line guess... :lol:
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Postby gohntng » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:06 pm

KJ
I looked again at the picture, there is brush out there, sage, thats' not the total dog out there, brush too.
When your rich, drop by, we'll get some bunnies. That's the palce for them too.
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