Mia’s Senior test 1 – Mia ran an absolutely flawless Senior Hunt Test but didn’t pass because of the dreaded Hunting category. She was braced with a German Shorthair whom she honored beautifully – and no, I didn’t have to hold her collar for the honor. However the Shorthair was disqualified for breaking when the bird was flushed.
Once we hit the bird field, Mia began working a ridge about 100 yards out and went on a beautiful point silhouetted on the ridge line. It was an absolute shame that I didn’t get a picture of her. The bird flushed wild but she remained perfectly steady. We continued hunting and she went on point again, this would be the first time that I got my butt chewed out by the judge.
With Mia was on point, the gunners were waiting for me to flush and I was waiting for them to flush.
Finally the judge yelled at me, “Handler! Aren’t you going to flush that bird?”
“Sorry, I thought the gunners did that.”
Now, I’ve always been taught not to walk in front of a person with a loaded gun and that’s how we teach gun safety in the youth hunt clinics. But with AKC, you walk out in front of the gunners and flush the bird. So I flushed, the gunner shot the bird and not me, and Mia made a beautiful retrieve.
After the test, I asked the judge how she did fully expecting her to pass, but instead was told: “Yeah, she pointed and she honored and she retrieved, but she wasn’t more than 50 yards from you for most of the hunt so I’m going to fail her.”
A “call back” is when a dog doesn’t have the opportunity to honor their brace mate, so the judges call them back and set up a scenario where the dog can honor their brace mate. Since Mia’s brace mate was disqualified, she should have been called back to honor a retrieve, however we were not given that opportunity; I guess the judges felt that it was pointless since she had already failed the Hunting category.
Mia’s Senior test 2 – Mia was braced with a wild little Brittany in her second Senior test. She started strong but quit hunting five minutes into the back field when the Brittany playfully body-slammed her. At that point, Mia said “screw it, I’m done with this nonsense” and moseyed along through the back field eating grass and enjoying herself. Since I trust my dogs and know they won’t quit on me without a good reason, I just let Mia do her thing knowing that we had already failed the test.
She collected herself by the time we entered the bird field and did a nice job but once again I got my butt chewed out by the judge.
The Brittany ran out ahead of us and immediately went on point. Since we were behind the Brittany, I waited for Mia to honor. However the judge yelled: “Handler! Get your dog out of there! Your dog needs to point a bird, not back another dog!”
Apparently Mia wouldn’t be disqualified for not honoring so I took her elsewhere and she went on a beautiful point. This time I flushed the bird which the gunner dropped, and she made a nice retrieve. Both dogs should have been given the opportunity of a call-back since neither honored the other, but since they were not, I have no idea how those categories were judged .