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08 United Kennel Club Hunting Retriever Tests


This article is from the United Kennel Club FAQ, by Cindy Tittle Moore rpd-info@netcom.com

08 United Kennel Club Hunting Retriever Tests

The Hunting Test program for retrievers is actually sponsored by a
subsidiary organization of the UKC called the HRC (Hunting Retriever
Club). Their motto is very much indicative of their philosophy:
"Conceived by Hunters, for Hunters".

Like AKC hunting tests, there are 3 tests designed for different
levels of ability of the dog. The dogs are judged against a standard
for that level of test (ie. not against each other). The 3 levels of
tests are called Started, Seasoned, and Finished, and are basically
equivalent to the AKC levels of Junior, Senior, and Master. While not
always true, it is generally agreed by people that run both AKC and
HRC tests, that a HRC test is slightly easier than it's AKC

Unlike AKC tests, titles are awarded based on the total number of
points a dog has accumulated. Three titles are possible (they are
"name prefix" titles - ie. the title goes before the name of the dog
on the pedigree). They are: HR (Hunting Retriever), HRCH (Hunting
Retriever Champion), and GRHRCH (Grand Hunting Retriever Champion).

The point requirements for each title are: HR - 40 points, HRCH - 100
points, GRHRCH 300 points (more on this in a moment). Points for each
stake are broken down as follows: Started - 5 points (max of 10 may be
earned at this level), Seasoned - 10 points (max of 40 may be earned
at this level), Finished - 15 points (no maximum). There is one
additional test level equivalent to the the AKC's National Master. It
is called the "Grand" -- a series of tests over 4-5 days which include
quartering. To qualify for entering, the dog must earn 100 points. A
dog earns points for each Grand pass; for a dog to earn its GRHRCH a
dog must have at least two Grand passes.

There are no restrictions as to breeds that may enter an HRC test (as
long as it's UKC registered). The HRC program aims to simulate, as
realistically as possible, actual hunting conditions.

The HRC tests pay perhaps more attention to gun safety than other hunt
tests. At the Started level, the handler has the OPTION of handling a
gun. Usually a Started handler does NOT handle a gun, as their dog is
not required to be steady and the handler cannot both handle a gun and
have their dog on lead at the line. Thus gun line. The judges strongly
discourage Started handlers from handling a gun, unless the handler is
certain the dog will be steady. If a gun is handled at the Started
level, the judges will evaluate the handler on gun safety, and hence,
can fail the dog/handler team for poor gun safety. At higher levels,
steadiness and good gun handling practices are required.

The requirements for each stake are as follows:


The dog must perform 2 single marks on land, and 2 single marks on
water. Usually, the distances are almost always under 75 yards over
fairly light terrain.


The dog must perform 1 double mark on land, 1 double mark on water, a
blind retrieve on land, and a blind retrieve on water. There is one
diversion. (an honor is not done at this level as in an AKC's Senior
test). Typically, the distances are between 50 and 100 yards over
moderately tough terrain.


The dog must perform 1 multiple mark on land (usually a triple), 1
multiple mark on water (also usually a triple), a blind retrieve on
land, a blind retrieve on water, and (not always done), properly
quarter a field (as if pheasant hunting). In addition, the dog must
perform and honor and a diversion. The distances range between 50 and
150 yards over tough terrain (gut sucking mud, high weeds, etc.)


Same type test as a Finished, but over even harder conditions and
usually done in multiple steps over several days. This is open to all
HRC Champions; two Grand passes and 300 points are required for the
Grand Hunting Retriever Champion title.


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