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.
||Here is a
quick reference for understanding what field titles mean and other
notations which may appear on your dog's pedigree and training
The official AKC web page for the
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
**All field tests are simulated hunting situations.
AKC Hunt Test event
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.
(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).
(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.
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
is run for dogs with enough qualifying scores.
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.
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".
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
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=
(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.
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.
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
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
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
International Pointing Labrador
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
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
In addition Ken has worked an number of times at Mike Lardy's Wisconsin training workshops
offered each year.
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