VJP Hare Track

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VJP Hare Track

Postby 3drahthaars » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:21 pm

I've seen some e-mails and FB posts that the spring (VJP) testing season has started, and I thought that I'd post some handling suggestions for handlers...

First, make a slip lead and practice using it to release your pup on tracks!

Second, during the test pay attention to the running order. And, especially when the tracking starts keep an ear out for when you are called for a rabbit track. Have your pup on the slip lead while you are walking with the gallery and waiting to be called. You need to quickly but CALMLY get your pup to the judge at the start of the track.

Once at the track:
  • Listen to every word the judge says.
  • Untangle your slip lead.
  • Make sure that he (the judge) gives you a starting point that is ON THE TRACK.
  • Make sure that he tells you how long the track is (very important see NOTE below).
  • Make sure that he gives you an accurate line of the direction that the rabbit took.
  • Use your command to get the pup's nose on the ground at the starting point.
  • As your dog moves along the track keep it on the slip lead until it is focused, taking the line, and you are sure before you release it.

NOTE:

You have 30m (about 33 yards) to guide your dog on the track before you MUST release it.

If your track is only 30m long, each yard you guide your dog subtracts from the "scoreable" distance of track. So, keep this in mind as you are getting the pup focused and started. If you use that 30m up... he gets no score.

In some cases, you might have to release at the start and hope for the best.

And, this makes the judges' responsibility very CRITICAL to more accurately indicate a START point (not "... the rabbit kinda' jumped out over there) and a DIRECTION with some kind of landmark like a tree, rock, etc. (not it went kinda' over there...).

In retrospect, this is maybe a good primer for some of the judges, too. The VJP is the most important and the most difficult test to judge. As with most things, it is the details that make the difference in a good test that exhibits the pup's best performance!!!

Good luck,

3ds
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby jlw034 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:49 pm

Many thanks!

Heading to Amidon, ND in May for ours.

Should be fun!
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby randomnut » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:08 pm

Thanks 3ds, Good advice even if you've done it before.
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby Whiskers » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:06 pm

Great advice!

jlw034, Good Luck in Amidon. I tested there last year, and helped with the test there the year before. It is all wild game (birds and rabbits/hares), so be prepared for an ALL day test. It's been a harder winter, and I haven't heard how the birds faired out there yet this year, but there should still be good numbers. Rabbits/hares were tougher last year. If it's a good year, you'll have multiple tracks, and if it's a thin year, be prepared for A LOT of walking. Keep plenty of water on you for yourself and the dog. I also take a wet rag with ice in a Zip-loc to wet my dog's mouth and nose with if it's hot out. I just stop for a few seconds during the "bunny march" and cool the dog off. Be prepared for temps from 30-90 degrees, and anything from snow/rain to bone dry... If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me on here.
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby jlw034 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:33 am

Whiskers wrote:Great advice!

jlw034, Good Luck in Amidon. I tested there last year, and helped with the test there the year before. It is all wild game (birds and rabbits/hares), so be prepared for an ALL day test. It's been a harder winter, and I haven't heard how the birds faired out there yet this year, but there should still be good numbers. Rabbits/hares were tougher last year. If it's a good year, you'll have multiple tracks, and if it's a thin year, be prepared for A LOT of walking. Keep plenty of water on you for yourself and the dog. I also take a wet rag with ice in a Zip-loc to wet my dog's mouth and nose with if it's hot out. I just stop for a few seconds during the "bunny march" and cool the dog off. Be prepared for temps from 30-90 degrees, and anything from snow/rain to bone dry... If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me on here.


A test on all wild game...how cool is that!

Thanks a bunch for the info. With the way this spring is going, I'm wondering if it will feel more like June than early May. Oh well, we'll roll with the punches.

This test is more for the breeder than myself (he will be there). So regardless he will get to assess his dogs himself.
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby Steven » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:00 am

The most important suggestion I can make for testing is to remain calm and with a clear head so you can set your pup up for success. If you aren't clear minded, you can make it more difficult for your pup. Very probably examples:

Scenario 1: Judge flushes rabbit on edge of thicket, it immediately runs through a wild rose or briar thicket (5 yds aross) and out the other side then judge sees it along the fence row for another 50 yds. They call you up. Judge shows you where the rabbit flushed from and it's path. Your first instinct will be to start the pump where the judge shows you it flushed from. If you do that, your 25" tall pup is going to either have to push through the rose thicket or leave the track and pick it up again. Now there is a reason there is a 13" class of beagles and it's because little dogs go through these thickets alot easier than big ones. Your dog may have the drive to do it, but why put an obstacle in their way. If you are clear minded, and understand the rules, you can start your dog on the other side of the thicket and help them be much more successful.

Sceario 2: Judge flushes rabbit, it runs 10 yds, then turns 90-degrees and runs into the field where the judge sees the rabbit run through the field for another 30 yds. In this instance, you need to know your dog's state of mind. Your first instinct will be to start where the judge flushed the rabbit. You know if your dog takes off like a rocket when you release it or might today because it's clearly amped up by being on a leash all morning and the test day routine. If your dog is going to do that, don't start it and expect it to hit that 90-degree turn. If you expect your pup to overrun it and have trouble picking it back up, go start it right after the bend. If your pup has shown you it's a focused tracking dog, you can start it at the flush site and if it handles that turn well, you could get a more favorable evaluation.

The point is to be clear-minded, understand the path the rabbit took as 3DDs has suggested, and make decisions throughout the test that will best showcase your pup's abilities.

Lastly, when it comes to starting the pup, alignment of the dog parallel with and to the downwind side of the path will help them quickly locate the scent-trail if you don't know precisely where the path is. The judge should get you within a foot or two and just err to the downwind side if they aren't precise in their instruction.
"A bird dog already wants to find and point birds. It's my job to take nothing away from that and add those little things that WE want them to do. . ." - Maurice Lindley
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby Steven » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:00 am

The most important suggestion I can make for testing is to remain calm and with a clear head so you can set your pup up for success. If you aren't clear minded, you can make it more difficult for your pup. Very probably examples:

Scenario 1: Judge flushes rabbit on edge of thicket, it immediately runs through a wild rose or briar thicket (5 yds aross) and out the other side then judge sees it along the fence row for another 50 yds. They call you up. Judge shows you where the rabbit flushed from and it's path. Your first instinct will be to start the pump where the judge shows you it flushed from. If you do that, your 25" tall pup is going to either have to push through the rose thicket or leave the track and pick it up again. Now there is a reason there is a 13" class of beagles and it's because little dogs go through these thickets alot easier than big ones. Your dog may have the drive to do it, but why put an obstacle in their way. If you are clear minded, and understand the rules, you can start your dog on the other side of the thicket and help them be much more successful.

Sceario 2: Judge flushes rabbit, it runs 10 yds, then turns 90-degrees and runs into the field where the judge sees the rabbit run through the field for another 30 yds. In this instance, you need to know your dog's state of mind. Your first instinct will be to start where the judge flushed the rabbit. You know if your dog takes off like a rocket when you release it or might today because it's clearly amped up by being on a leash all morning and the test day routine. If your dog is going to do that, don't start it and expect it to hit that 90-degree turn. If you expect your pup to overrun it and have trouble picking it back up, go start it right after the bend. If your pup has shown you it's a focused tracking dog, you can start it at the flush site and if it handles that turn well, you could get a more favorable evaluation.

The point is to be clear-minded, understand the path the rabbit took as 3DDs has suggested, and make decisions throughout the test that will best showcase your pup's abilities.

Lastly, when it comes to starting the pup, alignment of the dog parallel with and to the downwind side of the path will help them quickly locate the scent-trail if you don't know precisely where the path is. The judge should get you within a foot or two and just err to the downwind side if they aren't precise in their instruction.
"A bird dog already wants to find and point birds. It's my job to take nothing away from that and add those little things that WE want them to do. . ." - Maurice Lindley
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:16 pm

Steven wrote:The most important suggestion I can make for testing is to remain calm and with a clear head so you can set your pup up for success. If you aren't clear minded, you can make it more difficult for your pup. Very probably examples:

Scenario 1: Judge flushes rabbit on edge of thicket, it immediately runs through a wild rose or briar thicket (5 yds aross) and out the other side then judge sees it along the fence row for another 50 yds. They call you up. Judge shows you where the rabbit flushed from and it's path. Your first instinct will be to start the pump where the judge shows you it flushed from. If you do that, your 25" tall pup is going to either have to push through the rose thicket or leave the track and pick it up again. Now there is a reason there is a 13" class of beagles and it's because little dogs go through these thickets alot easier than big ones. Your dog may have the drive to do it, but why put an obstacle in their way. If you are clear minded, and understand the rules, you can start your dog on the other side of the thicket and help them be much more successful.

Sceario 2: Judge flushes rabbit, it runs 10 yds, then turns 90-degrees and runs into the field where the judge sees the rabbit run through the field for another 30 yds. In this instance, you need to know your dog's state of mind. Your first instinct will be to start where the judge flushed the rabbit. You know if your dog takes off like a rocket when you release it or might today because it's clearly amped up by being on a leash all morning and the test day routine. If your dog is going to do that, don't start it and expect it to hit that 90-degree turn. If you expect your pup to overrun it and have trouble picking it back up, go start it right after the bend. If your pup has shown you it's a focused tracking dog, you can start it at the flush site and if it handles that turn well, you could get a more favorable evaluation.

The point is to be clear-minded, understand the path the rabbit took as 3DDs has suggested, and make decisions throughout the test that will best showcase your pup's abilities.

Lastly, when it comes to starting the pup, alignment of the dog parallel with and to the downwind side of the path will help them quickly locate the scent-trail if you don't know precisely where the path is. The judge should get you within a foot or two and just err to the downwind side if they aren't precise in their instruction.


This is fantastic advice. Can I steal this for my kennel page?
Vivian II vom Jagdkonig- VJP 71 HZP 191 VGP 262 Prize III
Arabella vom Hoheren Boden- VJP 74 HZP 181/189 VGP 281 Prize I
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby randomnut » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:43 pm

Thanks Steven, more solid advice.
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby 3drahthaars » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:33 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:
Steven wrote:The most important suggestion I can make for testing is to remain calm and with a clear head so you can set your pup up for success. If you aren't clear minded, you can make it more difficult for your pup. Very probably examples:

Scenario 1: Judge flushes rabbit on edge of thicket, it immediately runs through a wild rose or briar thicket (5 yds aross) and out the other side then judge sees it along the fence row for another 50 yds. They call you up. Judge shows you where the rabbit flushed from and it's path. Your first instinct will be to start the pump where the judge shows you it flushed from. If you do that, your 25" tall pup is going to either have to push through the rose thicket or leave the track and pick it up again. Now there is a reason there is a 13" class of beagles and it's because little dogs go through these thickets alot easier than big ones. Your dog may have the drive to do it, but why put an obstacle in their way. If you are clear minded, and understand the rules, you can start your dog on the other side of the thicket and help them be much more successful.

Sceario 2: Judge flushes rabbit, it runs 10 yds, then turns 90-degrees and runs into the field where the judge sees the rabbit run through the field for another 30 yds. In this instance, you need to know your dog's state of mind. Your first instinct will be to start where the judge flushed the rabbit. You know if your dog takes off like a rocket when you release it or might today because it's clearly amped up by being on a leash all morning and the test day routine. If your dog is going to do that, don't start it and expect it to hit that 90-degree turn. If you expect your pup to overrun it and have trouble picking it back up, go start it right after the bend. If your pup has shown you it's a focused tracking dog, you can start it at the flush site and if it handles that turn well, you could get a more favorable evaluation.

The point is to be clear-minded, understand the path the rabbit took as 3DDs has suggested, and make decisions throughout the test that will best showcase your pup's abilities.

Lastly, when it comes to starting the pup, alignment of the dog parallel with and to the downwind side of the path will help them quickly locate the scent-trail if you don't know precisely where the path is. The judge should get you within a foot or two and just err to the downwind side if they aren't precise in their instruction.


This is fantastic advice. Can I steal this for my kennel page?


Yes, good advice.

As a judge, I see no problem in starting a pup as mentioned in the first scenario.

But, if you reference the PO sub paragraphs c) will to track, d) ability to hold the track, and e) the will, ability to hold, and difficulties encountered (i.e. if a dog terminates at the first sign of difficulties it cannot be scored as VG) are all part of the complete evaluation.

From a judging perspective when a pup's track has a "difficulty" (like a 90 degree turn) and it cannot / will not re-establish the track afterward the track score drops from VG to G.

Being a natural ability test, and tracking having a high multiplication factor, I believe that starting at the turn (which here would amount to subtracting about 1/4 of the scoreable track) eliminates the opportunity for a) and b) to be thoroughly evaluated. Does it not?

So, in the second scenario as a judge, I would direct the handler to start his dog at the beginning of the track (not after the turn). The dog is expected to search calmly for the track and stick to the track... and, it is that performance we should be evaluating and furthermore the traits for which we should be breeding.

In my personal experience with my current pup, the rabbit jumped within in feet of her head on her final track. The rabbit went over a rise and took a hard 90 at about 20 yards. The judge instructed me to put her on it. I hesitated, pulled her away from the start, and spun her at heel to disorient her from a complete sight chase, then started her. She took the line, over shot the turn and circled to the start several times but finally nailed the first turn, then the second.

The "spin" was handling... but, she was started at the beginning of the scorable track and sorted out the "difficulty" as she should have.

The test is the one day snapshot... but, I think it is important to the "system" to not "over handle" in some cases, especially in VJP. It's NA, we should be evaluating "raw" talent, and being brutally honest with our pups' performances.

Just my $.02,

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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby Steven » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:07 pm

3DDs, I had a really long response typed out but the shorter one is this:

While the VZPO says the dog cannot be awarded a score in the very good predicate IF it abandons the track due to an obstacle, it DOES NOT say that such an obstacle must be present to award a score in the very good predicate. So the question for the handler (and judge) is whether leading the pup 10 yds down the track should be penalized. It should not be. My basis for that is two-fold: 1) The VZPO allows for much longer. In fact, I believe the VZPO, by including this allowance, acknowledges that pups need some handling at the start to be able to showcase their tracking ability. Even the VGPO allows for such handling on much less difficult drags; and 2) A 30-yd scorable track is ample and probably quite normal for the conditions I've seen.

So the handler is left with two options: 1) Release the pup at the jump site and risk it overrunning the turn, loosing the track and being dropped to the good predicate for this track or even lower since there would only be 10 yds scorable. With the risk comes potential reward for an 11 if the pup nails the turn and other conditions justify, of course.; or 2) Lead their dog the reasonable 10 yds and around the turn to release their dog once on track where they reduce their likelihood of dropping a predicate and could still easily be awarded a score in the very good predicate. By doing this, they probably forfeit the opportunity for an 11 unless other difficulties exist in the remaining track.

What is important is to consider what is in the first 10-15 yds of the track because the release and pup's success over that first distance is the most critical.

3drahthaars wrote:
Misskiwi67 wrote:
Steven wrote:The most important suggestion I can make for testing is to remain calm and with a clear head so you can set your pup up for success. If you aren't clear minded, you can make it more difficult for your pup. Very probably examples:

Scenario 1: Judge flushes rabbit on edge of thicket, it immediately runs through a wild rose or briar thicket (5 yds aross) and out the other side then judge sees it along the fence row for another 50 yds. They call you up. Judge shows you where the rabbit flushed from and it's path. Your first instinct will be to start the pump where the judge shows you it flushed from. If you do that, your 25" tall pup is going to either have to push through the rose thicket or leave the track and pick it up again. Now there is a reason there is a 13" class of beagles and it's because little dogs go through these thickets alot easier than big ones. Your dog may have the drive to do it, but why put an obstacle in their way. If you are clear minded, and understand the rules, you can start your dog on the other side of the thicket and help them be much more successful.

Sceario 2: Judge flushes rabbit, it runs 10 yds, then turns 90-degrees and runs into the field where the judge sees the rabbit run through the field for another 30 yds. In this instance, you need to know your dog's state of mind. Your first instinct will be to start where the judge flushed the rabbit. You know if your dog takes off like a rocket when you release it or might today because it's clearly amped up by being on a leash all morning and the test day routine. If your dog is going to do that, don't start it and expect it to hit that 90-degree turn. If you expect your pup to overrun it and have trouble picking it back up, go start it right after the bend. If your pup has shown you it's a focused tracking dog, you can start it at the flush site and if it handles that turn well, you could get a more favorable evaluation.

The point is to be clear-minded, understand the path the rabbit took as 3DDs has suggested, and make decisions throughout the test that will best showcase your pup's abilities.

Lastly, when it comes to starting the pup, alignment of the dog parallel with and to the downwind side of the path will help them quickly locate the scent-trail if you don't know precisely where the path is. The judge should get you within a foot or two and just err to the downwind side if they aren't precise in their instruction.


This is fantastic advice. Can I steal this for my kennel page?


Yes, good advice.

As a judge, I see no problem in starting a pup as mentioned in the first scenario.

But, if you reference the PO sub paragraphs c) will to track, d) ability to hold the track, and e) the will, ability to hold, and difficulties encountered (i.e. if a dog terminates at the first sign of difficulties it cannot be scored as VG) are all part of the complete evaluation.

From a judging perspective when a pup's track has a "difficulty" (like a 90 degree turn) and it cannot / will not re-establish the track afterward the track score drops from VG to G.

Being a natural ability test, and tracking having a high multiplication factor, I believe that starting at the turn (which here would amount to subtracting about 1/4 of the scoreable track) eliminates the opportunity for a) and b) to be thoroughly evaluated. Does it not?

So, in the second scenario as a judge, I would direct the handler to start his dog at the beginning of the track (not after the turn). The dog is expected to search calmly for the track and stick to the track... and, it is that performance we should be evaluating and furthermore the traits for which we should be breeding.

In my personal experience with my current pup, the rabbit jumped within in feet of her head on her final track. The rabbit went over a rise and took a hard 90 at about 20 yards. The judge instructed me to put her on it. I hesitated, pulled her away from the start, and spun her at heel to disorient her from a complete sight chase, then started her. She took the line, over shot the turn and circled to the start several times but finally nailed the first turn, then the second.

The "spin" was handling... but, she was started at the beginning of the scorable track and sorted out the "difficulty" as she should have.

The test is the one day snapshot... but, I think it is important to the "system" to not "over handle" in some cases, especially in VJP. It's NA, we should be evaluating "raw" talent, and being brutally honest with our pups' performances.

Just my $.02,

3ds
"A bird dog already wants to find and point birds. It's my job to take nothing away from that and add those little things that WE want them to do. . ." - Maurice Lindley
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby Sailor777 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:12 pm

This post hit home right now as I have a pup coming who will test next spring. I appreciate the advice posted and look forward to running my pup next spring, because I actually hunt my dog on rabbits.

Now my few questions. I have run a DK to the VGP level and passed in 2015 and have been looking to get the requirements met to get to be an apprentice judge. Thus I want to do the VJP with track for the dog next spring and myself, BUT I am not a DD owner.

I was going to join VDD-USA to deal with the issue of being a bump dog, or does that apply because I have an non-DD breed. I am an Mid Atlantic region guy and was considering the VDD membership option or joining the JGHV USA and trying to find a test with Hare Track via that avenue.

Any advice for a non DD owner?
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby 3drahthaars » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:25 pm

Sailor777 wrote:This post hit home right now as I have a pup coming who will test next spring. I appreciate the advice posted and look forward to running my pup next spring, because I actually hunt my dog on rabbits.

Now my few questions. I have run a DK to the VGP level and passed in 2015 and have been looking to get the requirements met to get to be an apprentice judge. Thus I want to do the VJP with track for the dog next spring and myself, BUT I am not a DD owner.

I was going to join VDD-USA to deal with the issue of being a bump dog, or does that apply because I have an non-DD breed. I am an Mid Atlantic region guy and was considering the VDD membership option or joining the JGHV USA and trying to find a test with Hare Track via that avenue.

Any advice for a non DD owner?


Contact Francois Aldrich (NA DKC)

they run DK tests in the JGHV system
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby randomnut » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:33 pm

"The test is the one day snapshot... but, I think it is important to the "system" to not "over handle" in some cases, especially in VJP. It's NA, we should be evaluating "raw" talent, and being brutally honest with our pups' performances.

Just my $.02,

3ds[/quote]

Agreed 100%. It's sometimes hard to be honest in our own dogs.
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Re: VJP Hare Track

Postby jlw034 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:07 am

I don't think I fully appreciate the amount of thought folks put into these tests. I'm just planning on showing up and letting the dog do her thing.
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