MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

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

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MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby Steve Anker » Wed May 13, 2009 8:16 am

VeeeDawgerz-

I spent some time chatting with an AKC Senior Field Rep, at our most recently attended event, last fri-sunday. As most folks know, we at ANKER OUTFITTERS are junkies for Testing, anything, Tests, Trials, Qualifiers, any type of challenge we surely rise to and take on full bore. In the past few years there have been rumblings of adding another level of Hunt Test Certification beyond that of MASTER HUNTER, hence the Master Hunter Excellent, or MHX. As I spoke to the rep about this issue he explained that he gets the same feedback from folks as he travels around the country. The Rep explained that in order to get such a new certification off the ground it just takes a grassroots movement, e-mail chains, letters from your local Pointing Breed Clubs and it will be brought to the next AKC Performance events meeting. He believed it was very do-able and was suprized it hadn't already been done. It just takes contacting our/your reps and following through.

As we discussed many many posts ago- What would you think of the addition of another level of AKC Hunt Test Certification?

Particulars of the testing are up for debate as well,
possibles:
Water retrieve
Scent track
Multiple mark retrieves -land, water

any other curve balls you'd like to see thrown in?

Not trying to horn in on NAVHDA either, just looking for more challenges.

Whattayathink?
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby GPBLITZ » Wed May 13, 2009 8:12 pm

I'm going broke now running different tests. :)
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby uplander1 » Thu May 14, 2009 9:52 am

I thnk that having a higher level for MH is an excellent idea! MH test in my opinion has way too many "show" people that are judging, I know of many that do not even hunt! I have watched dogs steal a point at the MH level hunter where judges allowed the dog to continue. I have seen dogs bump birds , have delayed chases and still be allowed to continue and PASS. For me there would need to be qualifiers for judges to be allowed to judge this level. Without it we will have the same type of judging that is currenlty passing dogs at the MH level!!
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby Deb » Thu May 14, 2009 11:21 pm

I have a tendency to feel that between NAVHDA and the new VHDF this niche has been filled. However, if you do want to get input from the people that would participate - contact the hunt test secretaries from the assorted pointing breed clubs. Put together an outline of what the test could or would involve, maybe a form letter that people could sign and send (email?)to the AKC --the secretaries can email them out to the people that run in hunt tests in their areas. It may make life easier for you if you just send to the GSP hunt test secretaries since they have clubs in most areas.

In my neck of the woods three local clubs are planning to co-sponsor a Handlers/Judges seminar in Feb 2010 - it would be a good time to get some input from the handlers. I'm generally the hunt test sec for the local GWP club and have the email addresses of the hunt test participants around here - send any info my way and I'll make sure the MN hunt testers get it to review. In fact, if you can put the info together I'll look up contacts for the midwest (MN, IA, WI, SD, ND, NE, MI, IL) and forward it to them. I'd add in the GWP clubs but, it seems most of them have some representation on this board already.

Good luck,
Deb
Last edited by Deb on Fri May 15, 2009 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby racdvm » Fri May 15, 2009 3:03 pm

I agree that the niche has been filled by NAVDHA, etc. But I see no reason why it should not be done anyway. I've noted a rather wide disparity in some of the dogs that are titled as master hunters. This would go a long way toward clearing that up.
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby ccccrnr » Fri May 15, 2009 3:32 pm

I've only seen 1 day of AKC hunt testing, but I'd 2nd uplander1

There was a big difference between the DK that run and some spin's that got their MH leg in call backs
and
similar issue in the JH, some sloppy pups lock up for a moment and get 6's and pass
then many spin pups strong search, long held points get dinged for s tail twitch and fail with a 4 in something

Spinone and English Pointers don't have the same conformation, but why would they judge the same when the hunting conformation is different too

AKC Judges and system needs more training to work out issues
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby uplander1 » Sat May 16, 2009 5:14 pm

The issue is that the AKC does not have any set criteria othe then possibly attending a seminar. I have found that there is little consistancy between the judges not only from test to test but within the same test. When they first started the system I used to feel that a MH title meant something.
I know I am going to hear it but in my opinion many of your judges today are from the show worldn which here in lies the problem! Again this is just my opinion.
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby Deb » Sat May 16, 2009 10:25 pm

but in my opinion many of your judges today are from the show worldn which here in lies the problem!


Where do you run in AKC hunt tests? I really don't feel there are any judges around there from the 'show' world.
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby dualgwp » Sun May 17, 2009 6:07 am

Uplander, do you know what the criteria is for someone to be able to judge a MH test? What type of criteria would you like to see?

I take it you don''t participate in the hunt test program?
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby DrahtsundBraats » Sun May 17, 2009 9:44 am

Before making a whole new test level, why not think about raising the bar on the current test? I have only see 8 MH tests, and my impression was the test was more about avoiding mistakes than letting dogs hunt. Dogs should be out beyond gun range, multiple finds and backs should be necessary to pass, dogs there should be birds on the entire course......what I saw was a controlled game that can be "played" much too easily...one point, one retrieve and one back isn't meaningful work or a test of a dog.

I don't know the judges qualifications, but i like testing venues that require to judges to pass dogs in the vanue every 3 years or so....ongoing judges seminars/education, etc.
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby Deb » Sun May 17, 2009 10:54 am

I have only see 8 MH tests, and my impression was the test was more about avoiding mistakes than letting dogs hunt. Dogs should be out beyond gun range, multiple finds and backs should be necessary to pass, there should be birds on the entire course...


The clubs here have just about all switched to running birds on course which does take care of a number of the issues above. IMO the handler/trainers are getting better every year so they are more confident in their dogs and, therefore, don't really spend as much handling effort trying to keep their dogs out of trouble. The braces are much more enjoyable to watch now then they were when I started helping at the tests. The AKC is tightening up the requirement to become a judge also so it's no longer the case that you simply decide you want to be a judge however, I would agree there can be considerable difference in how some judges interpret the rules.

Of course, I too am just an observer of the tests - we run our dogs in other organizations.
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby dualgwp » Sun May 17, 2009 3:34 pm

I can't say that I have ever been in or at a test that did not have birds liberated around the entire course. However, birds are only shot in the birdfield at most every test I have ever participated in. This is a safety factor.

If they had an MX test, I would like to see water for all the breeds, possibly a double, and tracking added. This subject has been tossed around for about the last 5 yrs, and it's just never gone anywhere. I'm not sure why.

No test will ever be a perfect evaluation for all levels, there are too many variables. I've witnessed some pretty poor judgement calls over the years, and some excellent ones as well. I've done the HT's but can't say I love them. Rules are too black and white for me, and I dislike the number system of judging. I'd love to see it be a pass/fail and get rid of the numbers.

But, all in all I think the program has been a good thing for the sporting dogs in general.
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby uplander1 » Mon May 18, 2009 9:00 am

Dual:

From what i know to be a judge one must have apprenticied 2 times at the level or the higher level they are judging. They must have passed an AKC written test and handle a dog qualifying three times at the level they are judging or higher. Then to maintain their status they must take a written test once every five years. While this is an attempt at trying to get better quality judges the system still has a long way to go in producing consistency through out the tests. When judges are judging the MH level they should be as knowledgeable at judging as we are expecting our dogs to be.
The criteria to be a judge is very lax when judging a MH test. Perhaps a judge must judge so many times at the JH level to judge SH. Then so many times at the SH level to judge MH. To judge at the MH level qing a dog three times at the MH level with minimal experience is the problem.
As an example I have seen many different interpetations of a delayed chase as possible. I believe that the title of MH is something that once was a major accomplishment and one that you should be proud of. I an not certain I feel that way today!
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby Steve Anker » Thu May 21, 2009 9:57 am

MHX-

-sorry folks, posted this hot topic then went and got sick for a week, we're back....

Not looking for another "organization" to run under, just a greater challenge under the current AKC Hunt Test scenario.

Master Hunter- at one time, it looked like a very lofty goal. Folks we knew back then, before the earth cooled, trained in secrecy, dogs never were seen in public, hidden away from inquiring eyes. Things were mystical back in the foundation days of testing, people didn't share and Pro's had everyone as clients in order to get them through the test procedures. Only once we "invaded" the ranks of participants did we get the feel, the vibe of what was going on and how to train dogs to get them to our goal. No big secrets, no security clearances required, just time, birds, and sweat. (and a good dog)

As time moved on we tested in NAVHDA as well, Field Trialed, did some Shoot to Retrieve events, but nothing was quite as arduous as that first MH certificate and man, how hard we worked to get that Title. Later as we made more MH dogs, our own as well as clients, things became more familiar and good patterns developed as we learned how to achieve our goals, but most of all, how to MAINTAIN the high level. As proof we kept running our MH dogs even well after they had earned their Titles, some went THREE times around. Ask anyone who has hunted/guided over any of our MH dogs, they give an MH performance everytime out, which brings us back to the original point.

What next?

How about a brace of hunting dogs with a couple more curves thrown in? Maybe some shots over water, requiring a retrieve of a duck/pheasant from a pond? Maybe a set up of a multiple shot, for multiple falls, or even a marked retrieve?

There seems to be new agility titles/obedience titles cropping up every now and again, so why not hunting titles?

.
Steve "HOSS" Anker
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"Time with my dogs clears my mind, renews my faith, and lets me see the world as it is. My only regret loving dogs as I do, is the misery of their early departure." Robert G. Wehle
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Re: MASTER HUNTER EXCELLENT, MHX

Postby Steve Anker » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:27 am

The braces are much more enjoyable to watch now then they were when I started helping at the tests. The AKC is tightening up the requirement to become a judge also so it's no longer the case that you simply decide you want to be a judge however, I would agree there can be considerable difference in how some judges interpret the rules.


Yes, this was a long time in coming, and was NOT the tougher changes we all expected, but at least it was a move forward.
A word on the caliber of dogs- AKC and even NAVHDA have seen tremendous improvements in the caliber of dogs being run in events these days. This must attribute to the level of committment and the higher skill levels of those training running dogs out there, both Am and Pro. I can harken back to earlier days when SH and MH tests were "light", now, as seen in a recent Hunt Test, SH/MH made up the majority of the test days.
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"Time with my dogs clears my mind, renews my faith, and lets me see the world as it is. My only regret loving dogs as I do, is the misery of their early departure." Robert G. Wehle
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