Pointing Breed Hunting tests are non-competitive pass/fail tests which assess each dog independently based attributes such as display of desire, boldness, independence, speed with a useful pattern of running across difficult or confusing scent patterns to pinpoint the location of birds. Other categories judges will score are; bird finding ability, pointing, trainability and in Senior and Master tests – Retrieving and Honoring. The teamwork between dog and handler is essential.
Participating in pointing breed hunt tests is a great way to let dogs experience what they were bred to do and enjoy what comes naturally.
If you would like to get started in Pointing Breed field trials attending a trial in your area or finding your nearest pointing field trial club are good ways to start.
All Pointing Breeds can participate and your dog must be:
- At least 6 months of age.
- In both excellent physical and mental condition and up-to-date on all inoculations and health check-ups.
- Have an AKC number.
- Spayed and neutered dogs are eligible to compete in these events and are welcome.
- Blind dogs are not eligible.
- No dog can compete if it is taped or bandaged or in any way has anything attached to it for medical purposes.
- Dogs with the Purebred Alternative Listing Program/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) are not eligible to participate.
- Dogs of these breeds with Conditional registration are not eligible to participate.
- Bitches in season are not eligible to participate.
- Dogs with Limited Registration are eligible to participate.
First, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the various terms used in Hunting Tests. See the glossary here.
The next step is to find a local AKC club that gives Pointer Hunting tests, which always takes place on weekends. Go to one, or several, to see how they work. We also recommend getting a copy of the rules and regulations, and attending one of our Hunting Test Seminars so you can learn about the standards that your dog will be judged on, the requirements to acquire a title, and other related information.
You’ll start out with the Junior Hunter test in which your dog is expected to find a bird, hold the point long enough for you to reach them and drive it out of its hiding place (called “flushing”). After that, you’ll go for a Senior Hunter test, which is similar to the Junior test but involves significantly more control and less direction from you.
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