Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Tests

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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby ryanr » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:01 pm

I've always been told Train Hard, Test Easy. Our bog is pretty nasty, covered in lily pads, fallen and floating timber, beaver dam and lodge, & cattails in places too. We also train in other bogs with nasty cover, we seek it out in fact. GWPTyler, at our UT test last weekend, the dog in my training group we felt would likely get a P1 at the least a P2 ended up with all 4s in everything except duck search where he got a 1 because the dog did a terrible resend (we had even trained for that.) The dog ended up with a 176 no prize. Ironically the dog we felt that was very borderline for a P1 or P2 ended up doing one of the most impressive duck searches of the day for a 4 and a Prize 1. Funny thing is, when he sent her to start the search she went searched a few feet to his right onshore, circled back around and stood next to him for 15 seconds before it seemed to suddenly dawn on her that "oh yeah, I'm supposed to be way out there looking for ducks" and she took off without another command.

I was the guy that planted birds, ran the duck drag, and paddled the kayak out to release the ducks for each duck search all weekend at our test. I watched all the dogs and was there each day when the scores were read. I learned a lot, I always do at these things. One of the big things I learned is that I don't know half as much as the judges do when it comes to evaluating each dog's work and what they should or shouldn't be able to do on the testing grounds before them. Every dog that got a 4 in duck search, tore up the bog searching every corner and never once looked back at the handler until they caught a duck or were forced to come back in after the judges has seen enough.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby GWPtyler » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:43 am

I agree totally. Judges do see what they need to see, and it's often not what we expect (good or bad).

But you have to trust their judgement! I gotta think they get it right more often than not, and I respect that.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby Densa44 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:09 am

Going back to the original point the OP was making, I was told a very long time ago by my teacher, 50 years I think. The fellow is long gone but his words still echo in my head. "your ONLY role as a handler is to help your dog" . I think I know what he would have said to me if I was this handler, why did you send her before she could see the open water, and what did the "top" of the waders have to do with anything?

I agree that a well trained dog should be able to do just about anything but you still need to help anyway you can.

The water at every test I've been to is different. In Montana I don't think a pz 1 was possible as the duck and searchable cover was behind the point that the dog started from. In AZ what to me looked easy, the local dogs didn't like the cold water at all and the pond in the Pac NW was full of very old timber.

It might help if some of this information was available to handler's before they ran the test.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
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