What are they?
HRC Hunt tests are a fun way for you to spend time with people and dogs that have similar interests. You will hear other handlers urging each other on.
You and your dog will be tested against a written standard. HRC hunt tests are not competition. Hunt Tests are setup to simulate actual hunting conditions found in the local area. Real ducks or similar game birds will be used, and the handler will handle a pump shot gun.
Hunting retriever clubs host weekend tests throughout the United States and Canada. At a weekend hunt test you will normally see 3 different levels of tests: Started, Seasoned, and Finished.
At the Started level the dog will retrieve 4 marked retrieves, 2 of the retrieves will be on Land and 2 of these will be on Water. The birds will be thrown and retrieved one at a time. Your dog may be lightly restrained and handling the gun at this level is optional.
At the Seasoned level the dog will retrieve a double marked retrieve, a blind retrieve on both land and water. There will also be walk-up, and a diversion, on either land or water. During a walk-up your dog will be walking with you at heal and a bird is thrown. A diversion is a bird thrown as the dog is returning with a retrieve. At this level you dog should be steady off lead, and the handler will handle the gun.
At the Finished level the dog will retrieve up to a triple marked retrieve, a blind retrieve on both land and water. The dog will also have to demonstrate that it can honor another working dog.
The HRC Also offers Upland Hunt tests designed to simulate a day of field hunting upland game birds. In an upland hunt test the dog should demonstrate that it can quarter, find game, hunt cover, is steady to wing and shot, and retrieve downed game; there is also a walk-up and an honor in an upland test.
The HRC Grand is a bi-annual hunt test held over 5 days, dogs at the grand level are held to the highest HRC standards and are the Crème de la Crème of HRC.
Running and passing hunt tests your retriever will earn points towards titles. The titles that can be earned in the HRC Program are Started Hunting Retriever (SHR); Hunting Retriever (HR); Hunting Retriever Champion (HRCH); Grand Hunting Retriever Champion (GRHRCH) and Upland Hunter (UH)