Well, this coming weekend will be Roxie’s second attempt at Senior Hunter. It’s been almost a year since her last attempt at SH (4/09). She did so bad, I didn’t even blog about it! In short, I thought she was ready but once in the field, she acted like she had never been trained a day in her life!!! So we have spent the rest of last spring, summer, fall and winter continuing her training. She is ready. I think.
She knows what to do and often times, does it. The question is, will she do it this weekend… two days in a row??? I have actually lost sleep over it this week worrying about it. Fortunately, this weekend’s test is put on by one of our local Weimaraner clubs so I know a lot of people there and they will help me get over my nerves. Also, as you know from previous posts, we have been working every weekend for the last month thanks to Matt Bidou, San Francisco Bay Weimaraner Club President who has been meeting a small group of us every weekend to help us prepare for this test. I guess you could say we have been cramming.
For those who don’t know anything about an AKC Senior Hunt test, basically the dog has to do a few things within 30 minutes:
- Find and point the birds
- Hold steady while I walk up and flush the bird (get it to fly)
- Continue to hold steady while the bird flies away
- Once the bird is shot by the gunner (not me) hold until released to retreive the shot bird (this is actually a skill of a Master Hunter but we have been training for this so I want her to do it now). For Senior Hunter, she just has to hold until she hears the shot
- Retreive the bird and bring it all the way back to me
- Honor another dog who is doing all of the above (honoring means when she sees another dog on point, she is to stop and allow that other dog to work their bird and not try to go in and steal it)
Generally, this is what she has to do. If she can do all that perfectly, we will qualify for one of four (or is it five) legs toward a Senior Hunter title. There are a bunch of little things that can knock down her scores and a low enough score on any of the tasks can get her a big fat NO QUALIFY and a wasted entry fee. Honestly, if she can do all of that perfectly (including #4) she could be competing at Master Hunter level which is the ultimate goal. But she’s young and while she CAN do it all, actaully DOING it all is another story.
A perfect example of Roxie doing this perfectly is bird #3 in the last training video on 1/31/10. While it may appear she did it in birds #1 & #2, it wasn’t without me having to use the ecollar to gently remind her to stand still.
So, this weekend while you are out enjoying the California sun (it’s supposed to be 65 degress!) think of me at around 11:00 ish on both Saturday and Sunday and send postive thoughts our way. “Renee, calm down” and “Roxie, be a good girl and remember your training”.
Be sure to check back for blog posts on Saturday and Sunday nights to see how she did. I might even get someone to follow along and video it!
Wish us luck! Have a great weeeknd everyone!