Lorken Farms, Labrador Retrievers, Fremont, WI 

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ABOUT AKC RETRIEVER EVENTS & TITLES/Training

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Remember that a title on a dog means intelligence, trainability as well as natural talent and field ability.  We sell a lot of dogs to pet homes because of the trainability quality carried in field lines.
 

webtraining.jpg (9818 bytes) Here is a quick reference for understanding what field titles mean and other notations which may appear on your dog's pedigree and training information.
bulletHunt Tests
bulletField Trials
bullet American/International Pointing Lab
bullet Ducks Unlimited Titles
bullet Training recommendations
bullet AKC Article - Training a Retriever (Checker & Ken)
bullet AKC Article - Training Equipment (Lorken's Emma)

The official AKC web page for the American Kennel Club National Amateur Retriever Club, features photos of Ken training Checker in the transition stage under How Dogs Are Trained in a wonderful article about training.
Also visit web page of Mike Lardy for Lorken's testimonial.


**All field tests are simulated hunting situations.

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AKC Hunt Test event

HUNT TEST

These titles appear after the dog's name.  JH, SH, MH.  Hunting situations are simulated and dogs are judged against a standard, not in competition with each other.  All AKC Hunt Tests judge on standards of performance for trainability, style, marking and perseverance.  Any where from 4 to 6 qualifying scored events are required to earn the title.  All Hunt Test titles appear after the official AKC name of the dog.

Junior Hunters (JH) need to deliver to hand, do single marks on land and water, be fairly steady to shot (but can be held on a lead).

Senior Hunters (SH) are required to do both land and water double marks, retrieve diversion shot birds, be able to handle to a bird it has not seen fall, be completely steady to shot, and honor another dog running for marks and stay steady at the handler's side off leash while the other dog retrieves.

Master Hunters (MH) are required to do multiple retrieves on land and water with diversion shots, handling to blinds, steady to shot even at remote, honor other dogs running and the difficulty is greater than the senior.   This is the highest level for hunting tests.  Each year a Master National test is run for dogs with enough qualifying scores.

 

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FIELD TRIALS

Field Trial titles are the highest competitive AKC test for a hunting retrieving dog.  They simulate difficult hunting situations often at long distances requiring excellent marking, trainability and drive from the dog.  Dogs retrieve multiple land/water marks at the higher levels and are handled with whistle commands to retrieve birds that the dog has not seen fall (blinds). Points are awarded for placements and the dog needs at least one win and enough points to title.  Points are assigned for placements. Only the best dogs title.  There are different divisions for amateur handlers, young dogs and  an Open division which is open to all, including professional trainers.  Each year a National test is held for the Amateur and Open divisions for qualified dogs.  The winner of that test is essentially the American retrieving dog of the year.  All Field trial titles appear before the dogs official AKC name.

FC=Field Champion to earn this title a dog needs at least 10 point with at least one win in the Open division.  5 points are awarded for a 1st place, 3 for second, 1 for third and 1/2 point for 4th place.  This test can be run by either an amateur handler or a professional and the division is called the "Open".

NFC= National Field Champion  Only 1 dog per year earns this title.  It is the highest AKC retrieving title.

AFC=Amateur Field Champion.   The amateur refers to the status of the person handling the dog.  A total of 15 points plus a win are required to earn this title.

NAFC=National Amateur Field Champion.  Only 1 dog per year earns this title and is handled by a person with an amateur status (not a professional that received money for training).

C in front of the title= Canadian title (CFC-CNFC-CAFC-CNAFC).   This is how most Americans note the titles, they will not appear on AKC papers since they only keep track of American titles.  Sometimes noted as FTCH or AFTCH

AAQ- All Age Qualified= the dog won in a qualifying division Field Trial and is now able to compete in the Open and Amateur divisions.

DERBY= division for dogs under 2 years of age. Points are accumulated and a derby dog of the year is noted with the highest points.  Generally those with 10 or more points will make the annual Derby list.

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POINTING LABRADORS

Field Trials and Hunt Tests are the AKC recognized field events which are titled.  There has been some movement toward establishing versatile dogs with a pointing quality.  It is Lorken Farm's belief that one still needs a good all around dog which would include the AKC titling and health certification.  If one can pull in the pointing quality and still maintain a well bred Field Dog then it only adds to the great nature of the Labrador.  We would encourage you to look at the full pedigree and performance of a dog, not just the pointing quality, when you make your choice for your dog.  Here is some information about the Pointing Lab Associations.

AMERICAN POINTING LABRADOR ASSOCIATION TITLES
CP=Certified Pointer
MP=Master Pointer
GMPR=Grand Master Pointing Retriever
Information from their site: The American Pointing Labrador Association was founded on April 10th 1991 It is a volunteer, nonprofit organization created to pursue the development of the most versatile hunting dog ever: the Pointing Labrador Retriever.

The association is governed by a set of by-laws, elected officers and an elected Board of Directors. The goal of the American Pointing Labrador Association is to enhance the Pointing Labrador's upland game skills while maintaining their water and retrieving abilities. The APLA was created by Labrador owners across the United States who had a common interest in developing and improving the Labrador as an all purpose hunting dog.

Through the practice of certification trials, the APLA will strive to identify those dogs possessing natural pointing instincts as well as the traditional retriever traits. To become certified, the dog must meet the minimum standards for pointing and retrieving on land and water.

The APLA offers the opportunity for those dogs holding the title of CERTIFIED POINTER to earn the title of MASTER POINTING RETRIEVER. The Master Pointing Retriever format is designed to test dogs on a noncompetitive basis for reliability in pointing, retrieving, hunting, nose, stamina, desire, cooperation and obedience. The test will be challenging, but representative of true hunting conditions.

By achieving at least two prize category finishes, with one of those being a Prize One category finish, that Retriever can also earn the designation as Grand Master Pointing Retriever. Dogs performing at this level are outstanding performers.

The APLA also offers hunting trials for those dog holding the title of Certified Pointer. A team consisting of one dog and two hunting participants compete in a trial with various game birds planted. The dogs are scored on pointing ability, retrieving and efficiency. Prizes are awarded, based on a point system of the dogs performance in the competition with the other participants. These test are designed to be "fun hunts" for members of the organization.

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International Pointing Labrador Association Titles
RP=Reported Pointer
NP=Novice Pointer
CP=Certified Pointer
DP=Dual Purpose
 

DUCKS UNLIMITED TESTS

There are a few Duck's Unlimited Retrieving Dog tests run each year.  The Midwest test is called the "Winchester King Buck Classic"  held at Donnybrook, Cedar Grove, WI during the Fall.  There is also a National Test that is run usually in Florida/Georgia in March.  The tests are open to Amateur and Professional Handlers.  The title of DU Dog of the Year is reserved for the Open division where Amateur handlers must compete against the professionals.  There are more novice stakes for companion hunting dogs with basic retrieving abilities as well as some fun competitions for fastest retrieve.  A full DU banquet is generally held in conjunction with the event.  Check out:
DU Fieldwork with Emma for photos.

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TRAINING STYLES LORKEN USES:

We always start working with a pup using positive reinforcement at 7 weeks.  Do not have real high standards.  You are just bonding and shaping behavior.  At 6 months we take all of our dogs through a beginner obedience class at our local Kennel Club to begin more disciplined work which still includes positive reinforcement.  In addition to basic obedience, there are things you can start doing with pups to train for the field in a positive reinforcement, shaping behavior model.  If someone does decide to send a dog to a professional trainer that usually is not done until at least 6 months of age, and you can start a good foundation at home with your dog.

We use the training principles of Mike Lardy.  Mike is known as one of the best, if not the best retriever trainer in the county.  He has titled at least 16 National Field Champions and offers workshops, books and tapes on training.  We have both attended his workshops, used his books  and purchased training tapes.  Lardy has a web site on training at http://www.totalretriever.com/  
In addition Ken has worked an number of times at Mike Lardy's Wisconsin training workshops offered each year.

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