Gun Dog Standard for Youth Field Trials
Most field trialers*/upland bird hunters have a good idea of what a Gun Dog Standard is aside from the dog not requiring to be steady to flush and shot. In Youth Field Trials, young handlers are evaluated on their ability to handle their charges. They are permitted a helper who on occasion may have to round up a dog that has strayed too far in the enthusiasm to find game or because their young handler lacks the ability to project their voice with enough authority and volume. Just like any field trialer, youth handlers need to practice their dog handling and vocal skills by participating in the training of their dogs. As to range, a gun dog refers to a pointing dog that is hunted over so whether from horseback or foot, the dog should handle at a comfortable range, dependant on the cover. As in a shooting dog stake, the gun dog should seek out objectives and show a willingness to handle to the front in their quest to find and point game. Teamwork should be evident between handler and dog.
* who compete in American Field/AFTCA field trials. The term “Gun Dog” has a different meaning in AKC field trials.