Hunt tests are a test conducted under the rules set forth by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Dogs do not compete against each other but are judged against a written standard as defined by the AKC. By successfully passing a series of tests a dog can earn titles such as Junior Hunter (JH), Senior Hunter (SH), or Master Hunter (MH). Hunt tests are always a walking event.
On Point by Margaret Quillen Picture from Mike McCleary
Dogs are released in pairs called "braces" at the starting line known as the "breakaway" with handlers following. Behind the handlers are the judges generally on horseback and behind them are spectators often referred to as the "gallery." The dogs should run and hunt the most likely places that birds (quail, chukar, pheasant) would be found, usually the edges of the fields or objectives. For a junior hunter, the primary focus is demonstrating natural ability. Dogs are evaluated and graded in four areas: hunting, bird finding ability, pointing and trainability. In order to pass the test, a dog must receive a qualifying score. At the Senior and Master levels, 2 additional areas are added, retrieving and honoring. A Master Hunter should epitomize the qualities of a finished gun dog.
Zara by TerryAnn Fernando Csako in the Field by Linda Pruitt
The CVC hosts a spring and fall hunt test each year. If you would like to learn more about hunt tests, the CVC will be happy to introduce you to an experienced club member in your area to help! You can also visit the AKC resources below to learn more.
Hunt Test Contact