** Next hunting tests: Mark your calendars for Sept 14-15, 2019! **
MSDA’s 2018 AKC-licensed Spaniel Hunting Tests were Saturday September 15 & Sunday September 16 at Rebel Ridge Farms in Elkton, MD. We ran Junior, Senior, and Master Hunter stakes both days, as well as Working Dog certificate testing on Saturday. (See more info below.) Not just for spaniels, the hunting tests are open to all eligible flushing breeds. Also on Saturday, there was optional Canine Good Citizen evaluations available. (See more info below.)
We ran 26 dogs on Saturday and 23 dogs on Sunday, fairly evenly divided among Junior, Senior, and Master levels. Seventeen dogs earned qualifying scores each day and many had completed titles by the end of the weekend. Dogs also earned WD, WDX, and CGC titles. The following ten breeds were represented: Airedale Terrier, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, and Standard Poodle.
Something different this year: we provided all participants the opportunity to be judged in all the elements of their test, rather than using “call backs” that reduce the number of dogs participating as the test proceeds each day. (AKC Regulations state that, “if a dog fails to qualify in a particular ability, it is important to score as accurately as possible in all other abilities to provide the handler with information to plan future training.”) It seemed to work well, and we will consider doing this again. The elements of the AKC spaniel hunting tests, by level, are:
- Junior Hunter: Land work, Marked water retrieve
- Senior Hunter: Land work, Hunt dead, Marked water retrieve
- Master Hunter: Land work, Hunt dead, Blind water retrieve, Marked water retrieve
Some pictures are posted below.
Before there were AKC Hunt Tests, MSDA held the first Working Dog Test for English Cocker Spaniels in 1977. In keeping with that tradition, we once again offered our annual Working Dog Tests, in association with our AKC Spaniel Hunt Test, on Saturday, September 15th. Dogs did not have to be entered in the Spaniel Hunting Tests to participate in Working Dog Tests, though we offer a discounted entry fee to dogs signed up for both Junior Hunter and WD since those can be judged simultaneously.
The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program is the gold standard of behavior for dogs in our communities. Almost one million dogs have participated in the program since it began in 1989. The heart of the CGC program is the 10-step Canine Good Citizen test. At MSDA’s hunt test weekend, a CGC evaluator was available most of the day Saturday.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Steve Roth, HuntingChair@mdsportingdog.org .