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Retriever Events: Hunt Test titles: The Basics

There are a various retriever events in which your dog can participate. Some are of the pass/fail testing approach (HRC and AKC Hunt Tests), while others are more of a 1st - 2nd - 3rd place competitive platform (Super Retriever Series, World Duck Dog Championship). Each testing venue has its own rules and guidelines, testing standards, titles/points system, etc.

As a quick-start guide to titles you'll read in association to a registered dog's name, please see the following:

Started test: A test of natural retrieving abilities within the Hunting Retriever Club (HRC) orginatization. This test consists of shooting one mark at a time, with a total of two individually shot marks per land test and water test. The distances for retrieves are similar to ducks 'falling in the decoys'. The dog which passes a total of four Started tests will earn the HRC title of Started Hunting Retriever "SHR".

Junior test: The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers a hunt test, known as the Junior test, which is similar in concept to the Started test of HRC. Dogs which pass four total Junior tests will earn the AKC title of Junior Hunter "JH".

Seasoned test: A test of natural retrieving abilities combined with controlled, trained response to obedience and directional commands within a 'falling in the decoys' range of retrieving. This test requires the dog to be steady at heel during the time a handler shoots a pair of retrieves, and to exhibit obedience to stop on command while out in the field and accept directional casts (commands) from the handler in a collabrative effort to retrieve an unmarked, or "blind", retrieve. This test highlights the retriever who has spent some time in a real hunting environment. The dog which passes a total of three Seasoned tests, in conjunction with at least two passes of Started tests, will earn the HRC title of Hunting Retriever "HR".

Senior test: The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers a hunt test, known as the Senior test, which is similar in concept to the Seasoned test of HRC. Dogs which pass four total Senior tests, in conjunction with the previously earned JH title, will earn the AKC title of Senior Hunter "SH".

Finished test: A test of natural retrieving abilities combined with controlled, trained response to obedience and directional commands at greater distances and across varying terrain. This test requires the dog to be steady at heel going to the retrieving line, during the time a handler shoots a trio of marks, and to exhibit obedience to stop on command while out in the field and accept directional casts (commands) from the handler in a collabrative effort to retrieve an unmarked, or "blind", retrieve. This test highlights the retriever who has spent multiple seasons in a real hunting environment. The dog which passes a total of four Finished tests, in conjunction with at least two passes of Started tests and three passes in Seasoned, will earn the HRC title of Hunting Retriever Champion "HRCH".

Master test: The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers a hunt test, known as the Master test, which is similar in concept to the Finished test of HRC. Dogs which pass five total Senior tests, in conjunction with the previously earned SH title, will earn the AKC title of Master Hunter "MH".

Grand test: A test of natural retrieving abilities combined with controlled, trained response to obedience and directional commands at greater distances and across varying terrain. This test requires the dog to be steady at all times, during the time a handler shoots a trio of marks, and to exhibit obedience to stop on command while out in the field and accept directional casts (commands) from the handler in a collabrative effort to retrieve an unmarked, or "blind", retrieve. This test highlights the retriever who has spent multiple seasons in a real hunting environment, and has proven to be a truly remarkable hunting companion. The Grand hunt test is held only twice per year, and the dog must pass all five days of the one Grand hunt test in order to accrue credit for one Grand pass. The dog which passes a total of two Grand tests, in conjunction with at least two passes of Started tests, three passes in Seasoned, four passes in Finished, and passes in eight additional Finished tests (for a total of 300 points) will earn the HRC title of Grand Hunting Retriever Champion "GRHRCH".

Upland test: A test of natural retrieving abilities combined with trained skills for quartering, flushing, steady to shot, and directional responses during a hunt test for "upland" game bird, such as pheastant. The dog which passes a total of four Upland tests will earn the HRC title of Upland Hunter "UH".

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