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The cocker video is pretty similar to a NAVHDA Utility test except for the lack of pointing. Birds are found, pointed, flushed, shot, and then retrieved. Like the video, the dog is expected to be steady to wing, shot, and fall until sent to the retrieve. Unlike the cocker event, the UT does not have a blind search in the field section but a track and retrieve of a pheasant with some of the primaries pulled is required. That is often a couple hundred yards. A blind retrieve of a dead duck is one of the tasks tested for in the waterwork section though.

As for the Nationals video, the pointing there was not much different than in NAVHDA except backing is not a NAVHDA requirement until one qualifies and runs in the Invitational. NAVHDA also shoots the birds as it is required for the dog to retrieve game. The use of a horse is also a great help to keep touch with the dogs, at least in some of the trial organizations. That can make for a rather strong willed dog which is "hotter" than many plain old hunters care to handle. My only Pointer so far was a washout in the National Shooting Dog circuit as he did not hold his tail as crisply as the judges liked. I didn't care as a hunter though the dog ran at the ragged edge distance-wise in any cover he was in. That was better than I hoped as his dad was Elhew Snakefoot. My first English Setter was out of Tomoka and very naturally adjusted his range to the conditions. The few times I ran him off horseback was a surprise to me as he cast out further than I imagined. Harold Ray knew right off the bat my dog was out of Tomoka due to his looks and that I shouldn't be surprised that my dog could adjust range so easily as that is what his father did. He was my best dog ever though not the best bird finder.

Ames has been releasing pen reared quail for maybe 25 years as the number of bird contacts during the 1980s and 90s fell greatly. I've been told that allowed more finds any given day of the trials than there were for the entire trial prior to planting birds. This has pretty much assured the continuation of planting birds to keep the trial crowd happy.

Tests are a good evaluation for those who understand what they are and what the results mean. It is applicable to both the dog and the trainer/handler to be used to strengthen weaknesses in each. I am not as keen on trials as too much emphasis goes to the winner. I like consistency and would look at the dog that consistently placed in the top handful in the trials entered than the dog that won once but scattered around in placement the rest of the time. Kind of like the NASCAR driver a few years back - he was driver of the year based on points but never won a race.

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not meant o be a criticism thanks for input

I run my dogs through Navhda. Its a good organization. I buy from breeders that live in wild bird country and whose parents have a lot of years experience hunting wild birds. Trial performance is important but think coming from proven hunting lineage on wild birds is important too as well as obviously thorough health certs, disposition etc


Originally Posted by battue
Ribka,
Last I knew the Birds used at the Ames Plantation came from some of the plantations around Thomasville, Ga. Which is an area with a few plantations that have all Wild.

Friend has been invited to ride along during the Nationals. His opinion is if they are not truly Wild, they are the next best thing.

Have had the opportunity to hunt one of the all Wild plantations. It is not a commercial operation. Hunting is by invitation and 5-10 hunters per week would be the max. It was an advantage of dating the owners Daughter. 👍🏻One difference I did notice different from the video was most coveys there had 20 plus Birds come up. And each 2000 acre section was hunted one day per week max.

I’ve found SD public land Roosters to often enough break the rules. Some you can’t get close to, but enough others hold tight depending on the cover and time of the year.

There is a fire poster here that kills his limit most days on Wild Roosters… and he hunts most of the season.

Last edited by ribka; 05/20/22.
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There is no shortage of strong breeders in the Drahthaar breed. My first draht put up a 74 on the VJP puppy test which really is just that. I don't weight it very much. That dog was the youngest dog to take and pass the HZP test that year and scored a 168. He's hard on fur, natural retriever though also force trained by me. He's everything I wanted in a drahthaar. But I also realize that I am inexperienced in knowing what the breed needs moving forward. For that reason I had him neutered and plan on buying another dog from his line when I need one. Easy button and all that.

My second draht scored a 70 on the VJP and due to busting a toe, I skipped the HZP with him. He's been a good dog as well and I am scheduling his neuter job now that he is 2.5 years old.

I like the strictness of the drahthaar breeding program with litters being approved prior to breeding by senior leadership in Germany. It weeds out a lot of issues though not all of course. I hope that the Drahthaar club maintains this strictness and that the drahthaars of today can be maintained as the high performers they are.

I'll gladly pay for that level of strictness in breeding. Just my opinion on this subject.

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Never considered it criticism..only conversation with our own personal thoughts.


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Battue,

I made a mistake. I took it back. You might consider doing the same. And staying on topic.

I don't have a cocker spaniel. I haven't proclaimed the VJP or NA tests as the pinnacle of dog trialing. I hunt wild birds.

My post was about 'gauging' (measuring) 'interest' (attention, engagement) in a possible future litter of GWP's. You have none, so your 'dedication' to monopolizing the thread irked me then. It irks me now. If you want to independently post about whatever interests you, go for it.

WM shared that a Utility Test is more involved than a Natural Ability Test (Thank You, Captain Obvious), and more training-dependent. This post is not about me 'bragging' about my training prowess. It's about puppies. And people interested in their inherited natural ability.

You opined that a NA test is mostly a 'let's not hurt anyone's feelings test.' If so, I don't think this crew succeeded: https://navhda.us/Reports/ReportToPDF.aspx

Neither you nor WM viewed the dogs' pedigrees before deeming their bloodlines to be 'unproven.' How, pray tell, does one accomplish that? Sincere question. Would love an answer.


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You can’t imagine how happy it makes me you don’t have an English Cocker. 👍🏻😁


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I thought the discussion was regarding the interest in the purchase of future pups, not the dam. For pups, then my previous posts should suffice.

If you are selling the dam then her pedigree would be of interest to a conscientious buyer in addition to any testing she may have participated in. I have no interest, I prefer to buy males.

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Battue, I am glad to know that you possess the ability to feel happiness. Was worried about you there for a while. I'm not a psychologist, but I suspect that the answer to your question regarding your lack of surprise at my proactive, voluntary and sincere apology feeling somehow inadequate to you likely has something to do with the attitude with which you approached this conversation. Or perhaps your prejudices? Despite your ad hominem attacks, I will reiterate that I was attempting to respond to something someone else posted, and not trying to insult your daughter (as an aside, how would I even know the composition of your family?).

WM, as I have explained, the post is most definitely about potential future pups. Figured the parents' pedigrees would have something to do with the litter's, but then again I'm not a veterinarian, either. You'll notice that I didn't mention money once, because that's not why I'm contemplating the breeding.

Ribka, what you described is what I hope to produce.

Sincere thanks to all for topical input offered in good faith. I hope that someday I can atone for my unforgivable sin of accidentally mixing up two strangers' avatars. Or for hoping to stay 'on point,' as it were.

Also much gratitude for affirming that climbing the mountains with a good dog or two chasing chukars and grouse is preferable to online debate about topics unrelated to my post.

I don't think I'll require any further assistance finding homes for the pups, should they eventuate, but I do think this thread could serve as a learning opportunity for all (True, Kind, Necessary).

Good hunting!


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