VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

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VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

Postby burb0049 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:37 pm

I am filling out the formblatt for the VJP this upcoming spring. I am deciding between 2 locations. 1 location will have cottontail rabbits for track and the other will have jackrabbits. Both locations are equal driving distances from where I live now (The Dakotas).

My question is what are some things I should consider between these two rabbits in relation to test, and does it really make a difference when deciding which test location to go to??

What are some characteristics/mannerisms to look for in my dog that may be more favorable to run him in a test with cottontail or jacks??

Up to this point I have not had him on any rabbits and would appreciate some guidance in this decision.
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Re: VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

Postby 3drahthaars » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:24 pm

As a former Test Director, I would say that the most important factor is not rabbit vs. jack but the population of rabbit vs. jacks.

I'd call the TDs, ask what the population of rabbits/jacks is, and enter the one with the most'ist. But, be open to the second venue, because these tests fill up quickly.

You have a much better chance of the "12" on a jack, but for the best chance it's good to be in a test that has sufficient game to give the opportunities to bring out the pup's best.

On a personal note, I heard that last spring on the 3rd day of a 3 day test some pups were evaluated on a single rabbit track for tracking ability and loudness on fur... how'd you like to take a test where there was only one question to be evaluated for your entire existence?

In my opinion, this was a travesty to the testing system and especially to the pups tested on that 3rd day. The number of days of testing / pups tested should not exceed the capacity of the test site for adequate supply of game. In my past, we'd limited days or total entries to insure a quality test for those who showed up.

A Test Director is personally responsible that a test is conducted IAW the regulations. In the above case the test could have either been limited to only two days or limited to a total of 10 pups over the 3 days. In either case, a minimum of 2 tracks could have been available for evaluation.

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Re: VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

Postby Chadwick » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:51 pm

Pick the test that will best fit to your training opportunities. If you train on jacks, then choose that test.
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Re: VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

Postby Wolfgang » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:57 am

Chadwick wrote:Pick the test that will best fit to your training opportunities. If you train on jacks, then choose that test.



read the last sentence of his post :wink:
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Re: VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

Postby Wolfgang » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:21 am

burb0049 wrote:I am filling out the formblatt for the VJP this upcoming spring. I am deciding between 2 locations. 1 location will have cottontail rabbits for track and the other will have jackrabbits. Both locations are equal driving distances from where I live now (The Dakotas).

My question is what are some things I should consider between these two rabbits in relation to test, and does it really make a difference when deciding which test location to go to??

What are some characteristics/mannerisms to look for in my dog that may be more favorable to run him in a test with cottontail or jacks??

Up to this point I have not had him on any rabbits and would appreciate some guidance in this decision.



The VZPO has in its origin been designed to test and evaluate german dogs under german hunting situations/conditions on german game to furnish useful dogs for german hunters.
For spurarbeit,tracking only brown hare or fox tracks have been recognized and recorded,never rabbitts why?

Rabbitts are born blind naked and below ground and the adults stay only 30-50 yards away from the den and returned numerous times day and night to feed and they stink like hell so that even a dog with no nose can find em and he doesn't need to have the will to track for those 50 yards to the den.

brown hare on the other hand are born fully furred with theability to see and move and are left by themselves above ground and the female returns to feed only twice a day in order to avoid guiding a predator (fox ) to the young nature has furnished the female with the bonus to leave very little to no scent and if a predator comes close she will run long distance crossing various types of ground were a predator or dog needs nose ,abilty and will to track to follow.

Now that said it should be easy for you to make a decission were to go :wink:
If you are only out for the best chance of the highest score go to the cottontail place were even a mediocre dog can perform the 30 -50 yards
if you want the best possible evaluation which comes closest to to the requirements and original idea of VZPO go to the Jack place 8)

Good luck for your decision were to go and for your test.

A well ment advice at the end its a natural ability test and the lesser the "training part" in your dogs preparation is the truer is the result recorded on your score sheet but exposure is defenately a must and its a pain in the a$$ for the judges to evaluate a dogs inherited traits by starting from zero on test day especially with extremely small amount of game available :oops:
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Re: VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

Postby huntinmo » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:02 pm

That is an interesting comparison, but in North America we are testing versatile dogs under slightly different conditions. Rather than manicured fields and forest where the hare can be seen running for many hundreds of meters, we often find game in areas with dense brush and undergrowth. In some mostly western areas there are sufficient populations of the jackrabbit which has some similarities to the European hare and often provide very long tracks, but in other areas we find the cottontail rabbit. Different yes, but with more similarities to the hare than to the Kaninchen, since they are not found in holes and do not go to ground when pursued. They do of course head for the heaviest cover which presents challenges to the judges and to the dogs. For the most part the judges that are familiar with these areas have learned to position themselves where they can see as much of the track as possible and to see the rabbit when it is pushed further along the trail well ahead of the dog that has not seen it in the brush. The dog on the other hand rather than just running in the general direction through an open area where a hare may have run, he must not only use his nose under these difficult conditions, but must persist through the brush and cover, returning to the track to take it forward when encountering these difficulties and distractions. So, if a dog demonstrates a very good ability on the cottontail track you can be sure that this was a hard earned score. 8)
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Re: VJP test- Cottontails vs Jacks

Postby 3drahthaars » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:45 pm

Very good discussion...

If I may add, I've judged several dogs and watched others in North American VJP on cottontails who have gone on to perform as good or better on hare tracks in Hegewald. In some cases from a "10" to a "12".

Anecdotally, I'd say that at least for our pups the transition to hare is a seamless albeit successful.

One thing that I believe is that we as a rule take very little into consideration the weather and conditions of the cover and judge our dogs on American cottontails more severely.

I've seen pups take 100+ yard tracks on damn near gravel, midday, low humidity, high temperatures and nail every inch, and every turn.

The Germans as a rule hold the hare and fox tracks above the rabbit, but on German that I judged with commented on how poor our conditions were.

This is why I put less emphasis upon what you've trained on or the size of the animal and more on the number of opportunities available at a test venue... especially here in the US.

Best regards,

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