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Hunt Tests

About Hunt Tests

Hunt Tests are organized to evaluate the natural hunting abilities and training methods of dog breeds such as the Pointing Dogs, Retrievers, Spaniels, and Beagles in environments that mirror real hunting situations. These tests are non-competitive, focusing on each individual dog meeting its breed-specific hunting standards rather than competing directly with other dogs.

The aim is to assess each breed’s inherent skills in tasks they are traditionally bred for, including locating game, retrieving, and working across different terrain. These tests are tiered at Junior, Senior, and Master levels, each of which progressively challenges the dogs with more complex tasks.

These tests play a pivotal role in the preservation of the hunting heritage of each breed. They offer breeders and enthusiasts a practical way to evaluate the natural instincts and abilities of their dogs in true-to-life hunting situations, often in environments that have been preserved exclusively for this purpose.

Pointing Breed Hunt Tests

Pointing Breed Hunt Tests are designed to assess the natural hunting abilities and training methods of the pointing dog breeds in non-competitive environments, highlighting the hunting prowess of breeds such as the Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, and Vizsla. These tests evaluate each dog’s ability to locate and point a hidden bird, its field manners while doing so, and its adherence to a standard of hunting excellence. Judged against this standard, dogs demonstrate their game searching skills and steadiness on point, and their gun safety awareness in a natural setting.

Retriever Hunting Tests

Retriever Hunting Tests are specifically tailored to evaluate the skills of the retriever breeds, including the Curly-Coated Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. These tests assess each dog’s natural abilities and readiness to work as effective hunting companions in real hunting scenarios. These tests focus on marking and retrieving game birds on land and in water, as well as obedience to follow a handler’s instructions.

Spaniel Hunting Tests

Spaniel Hunting Tests are organized to evaluate the natural hunting abilities and training effectiveness of the spaniel breeds such as the Clumber Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, and Sussex Spaniel. In field settings where each dog must find, flush, and retrieve game birds, these tests measure a spaniel’s skill set in a non-competitive, real-world hunting context. They also assess a dog’s efficiency at locating game, its effectiveness at flushing birds within shooting range, and its aptitude for retrieving a fallen bird to hand.

Two Couple Pack Hunt Test for Beagle Hounds

The Two Couple Pack Hunt Test for Beagles is a distinctive event that evaluates the Beagle’s pack hunting abilities in groups of four (two couples). These tests mimic traditional pack hunting scenarios and emphasize the hounds’ collective skills at tracking and pursuing game, especially rabbits. These tests assess a Beagle pack’s ability to maintain a steady chase, work cohesively, and respond to the hunt master’s commands. The focus lies on the pack’s harmony and its combined effectiveness at tracking rather than on each individual’s performance. This format is significant for both assessing and preserving the pack hunting instincts of the charming and cheerful Beagle.


Hunt Tests


July 2024 Vol. 32 No. 7

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