Written by Liz Fairlee
Lyric and I attended our first AKC Hunt Test February 13 and 14 put on by the San Francisco Bay Weimaraner Club at Grizzly Island. The dog is judged on these points: Hunting, bird finding, pointing, trainability, retrieving, and honoring. You are judged for 30 minutes. (We skipped the Junior Hunter level, so we did not have the experience of having been to a hunt test.) The judging occurred about half a mile away so could not really see what was happening.
On Saturday, Lyric and I were part of the last brace for Senior Hunter. We had a long walk down the backfield to the bird field. The backfield had been planted with birds and if we did not handle it correctly we could be disqualified before even getting to the bird field. We did not encounter any birds in the backfield (thank goodness) . Upon entering the bird field the other dog pointed a bird first and I was able to bring Lyric around to make his Honor. After the other dog retrieved his bird, we let them go again and in a couple of minutes Lyric pointed a bird. I caught up to him walked around and flushed the bird. The gunners were not quite yet in position and the other handler did not have time to collar her dog before I sent Lyric to retrieve so the other dog raced past and got the bird. My errors. So we did it again and it went well. I had just sent him out again when he grabbed up a dead bird. I took it from him and held it up and told the judges it was a dead bird. He pointed another bird at which point they had called time – thank goodness as he did not hold his point and jumped it, and then would not give it up Anyway, he did qualify for his first SH leg, even with all of my errors.
On Sunday, it went absolutely perfect. We were the first brace for SH. Five minutes into the backfield he went on point, I walked over and flushed the bird, blanked the gun, released him he started to chase and I called him off and he immediately turned and continued on to the bird field where the other dog found a bird right off; Lyric immediately Honored. After the other dog completed it’s retrieve I let Lyric go and he found a bird immediately . I walked over, WAITED for the gunners and other handler to collar his dog, flushed the bird and Lyric went out so fast on the retrieve he slid around. Brought it back. The other dog was DQ’d and Lyric had to continue to hunt for another 11 minutes as we walked back up the back field. We did not encounter any more birds, thank goodness. He got high marks for Sunday with an average of 9.5 So 2 for 2. Since we skipped Junior Hunter we have to get 5 legs.
Liz Fairlee is president of the Blue Weimaraner Club of America and founder of Fairhaven Weimaraners. Lyric (Fairhaven’s Daring to Dream) also has his NAVHDA NA prize I title with a perfect score of 112. You can read more about his NAVHDA title on the BWCA blog.