Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee Report

Bill Teague, the Chairman of the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee addressed the crowd at the New Era Building, Demopolis AL.

He provided the following report: Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee Report (RHTAC) at the 2012 Master National Retriever Club Annual Meeting on October 19, 2012 in Demopolis, Alabama

NOTE: The RHTAC has submitted these recommendations to the AKC Performance Events Department with the understanding the AKC may modify, accept or reject any or all of the recommendations as they deem appropriate before making their recommendations to the AKC Board. The committee further understands the AKC may submit recommendations without consulting the committee.

General: The five member committee was reorganized by the AKC in December 2010 and has received numerous submissions. Submissions have been generated from members of the retriever enthusiast’s community, the committee members and AKC representatives. All submissions have been fully discussed by the committee and each individual submitting the topic(s) has been acknowledged and promised notice of the committee’s final decision on their recommendation(s).

History: The committee’s 1st set of recommendations were submitted to the Performance Events Department on May 9, 2011. After review, the Department submitted the recommendations to the AKC Board. They were approved by the Board in October 2011. The changes were communicated to club secretaries by the Performance Events Department November 22, 2011.

Note: the AKC has reported back to the Advisory Committee and we indicate those findings below in RED….
Current: a total of nineteen (19) submissions were received since the last report. The committee concurred with five (5) submissions and submitted the following recommended changes to AKC:

11. Current ‘approximately 100 yds’ be revised to ‘approximately 150 yds’ for senior (exclude) and master tests;

22. Clarification of the definition of ‘triple marks’ be clarified to read, “three (3) birds (falls) must be presented before a dog is sent to retrieve either a mark or blind; Okay per AKC.

33. Apprentice judges be required to have the same eligibility as current judges as it relates to ownership, training, etc.; Okay per AKC.

44. Electronic devices within 50’ of the line shall be muted or on vibrate to prevent interference with the handlers and/or dogs. This excludes devices used by judges and marshals in the conduct of the test but all devices used shall be used discriminately to avoid interference.

55. Add language, “the dog must successfully complete the test”. Not necessary per AKC.

This spring, the Performance Events Department requested the Advisory Committee address the issue of limiting entries at events. After considerable discussion, a recommendation has been submitted to allow clubs to have the option of limiting entries in master retriever hunting tests to 60, 90 or 120 entries on a first come first serve basis. We recommended no change in regulations regarding days required for testing. Okay per AKC.

One submission was referred to the AKC because the committee felt it was not within the purview of the committee. That submission was to give clubs the option of having a pro and amateur master test where only dogs handled by the respective handlers could enter. The submission further suggested separate AKC titles for each would be approved and that there be a national ‘pro’ and ‘amateur’ as separate tests.

Presented on behalf of the committee (see other side) by Bill Teague, Chairman October 19, 2012

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5 Responses to Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee Report

  1. Antonio Vispetto says:

    “The submission further suggested separate AKC titles for each would be approved and that there be a national ‘pro’ and ‘amateur’ as separate tests.” What does this mean? How will this effect dogs at either pro or amateur levels to participate or qualify for the master national? How or who will define what’s required for a pro vs amateur test? How will the judges be selected for either test category? What will defne a pro vs amateur test? WIll the amateur dog be able to qualify for the master national and how? Can an amateur dog run in a pro test and visa versa? Bottom line – What is the overall purpose?

  2. I have never seen the necessity of Amateur and pro Master Hunters as in Hunt Tests you and your dog are judged against a standard. You are not how your dog compared to the other dogs except in factors of how many dogs have issues and a test may be tougher than intended and may need to be changed or judged knowingly. If you do this then in hunt tests then you would have to do this in confirmation and other events in which the judging is against a standard. I feel that the standard is the same for all breeds in a hunt test and it should remain the same for all dogs. We have pointers in retrieving, we have spaniels, we have mix breeds that compete; it doesn’t matter because you’re judging against a standard. It’s my opinion that this would create a separate standard for amateurs. Pro or Amateur you should be judged on your team, handler and dog. The Master National is the ultimate testimony of that fact. Do you allow this and have two Master National Competitions – Pro and Amateur? As a breeder that endeavors to improve my breed I feel that this would serve to weaken our gene pool. The test is a standard that changes not by breed or handler. I want my dog to be the best dog running if I handicap that dog then I need to become a better handler.

  3. As a breeder I feel that this would be a detriment to our ability to identify quality breeding stock and improve the breed.

  4. Also, the test is against a standard for all breeds and it should be the be the same for all handlers.

  5. Justin says:

    On a different note; I am so thankful that AKC is “finally” considering limiting the number of Master dogs allowed to enter a test. Being a small club, with equally small grounds and bank account, it was sometimes a crushing blow when we had 2 or 3 dogs over a flight limit and had to scramble to find and pay expenses for 2 more Judges for a couple of “over the limit” dogs, just to have dogs scratch the day before the test. I guess those folks who wait until the last minute are going to have to start planning a little better and farther in advance but it will really help the hosting clubs. .

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