The AKC Hunt Test For Pointing Breeds The Hunt Test program was developed by the AKC in the mid-1980Õs as a way to bring people into field competition that did not want or were not able to compete in the AKC Field Trials. You do not need a horse to compete in the Hunt Test program. You just need your dog, (registered AKC pointing breed), and a minimum amount of equipment to enjoy the event.
The main difference between the Hunt Test and the Field Trial is in the Hunt Test you compete within the standard set by the AKC as compared to a field of dogs within a given stake.
In order to have a dog titled in any of the following 3 categories, the dog must successfully pass 4 separate tests at that level ie. 4 successful Junior hunt tests qualify the dog as a Junior Hunter.
The three levels of accomplishment are outlined below:
Junior Hunting Test: A Junior hunter must show a keen desire to hunt, be independent and bold but not aggressive or playful towards its brace mate. It must work the field seeking out the objectives that hold game. A Junior hunting dog must find game, establish point until the handler is within normal gun range. Once the bird is flushed the handler will fire a blank pistol to demonstrate the dog is not gun-shy. A Junior hunting dog must also show reasonable obedience to the handlerÕs commands.
Senior Hunting Test: A Senior dog must demonstrate all that of a Junior Hunter and must be steady to wing and must remain in position until the shot is fired. At this level as well as the Master level there is an appointed gunner in the field. A Senior hunting dog must retrieve all birds shot in the field. It must also honor its brace mate’s point. A minimum of handling is allowed.
Master Hunting Test: A Master hunting dog must demonstrate all that of a senior dog plus it must give a finished performance to be listed as a Master Hunter. It must be under its handlerÕs control at all times and handle with an absolute minimum of handling or hacking by the handler. The dog must hunt for its handler at all times at a range suitable for a handler on foot. It must check with its handler but cover adequate ground but not to the point that the dog would detract from its usefulness as a practical hunting companion. The dog must positively demonstrate it steadiness to wing and shot. The handler shall not command or signal the dog to retrieve until positive steadiness has been established. The dog must retrieve promptly, tenderly and absolutely to hand. The dog must also honor its brace mates point with out any command from the handler and hold its position until the other dog has completed its retrieve.
A Master Hunting dog is the complete hunting companion that any hunter would be proud to own. For further information on rules and regulations, please go to the AKC website at www.akc.org