Retreiver Training Terminology and Vocabulary

Retriever Training Drills
Retriever Test Scenerios
E-Collar Terms
Retriever Equipment
Retriever Testing Terms
Retriever Titles

Retriever Training Drills

Baseball - A beginning drill used to teach the dog to take hand signals. A precursor for blinds.

Retriever Test Scenerios

BACK-TO-BACK SINGLES- Dog is sent for one marked retrieve, then after retrieving it, is faced a different direction and a second single mark is thrown and retrieved.

Bulldog - When the dog is returing with a retrieve to the handler, another bird is thrown and lands in the vicinity of the dog. The dog must not drop he current bird or go after the diversion bird and must continue returning to the handler. The hadler can blow the whistle to sit the dog or do a come whistle to encourage the dog to keep coming without penalty. The difficulty is that the dog watched the bird from one spot and is sent from another after a delay. If the dog brings back both birds without dropping the original, it is not desirable, but they should not be failed. This test is considered a diversion and not a mark and the dog should not be failed for minimal handling to the fall area becase it is not a mark.

Delayed Mark - A bird shot after one or more birds of a multiple mark have been retrieved by the dog. The first the mark is thrown, then the dog is run on one or more other retrieves, and finally the dog is sent to the mark

DELAYED TRIPLE- Three birds are shot or thrown in total, but one or two are thrown first, then a delay (usually with duck calling) and the additional bird(s) are thrown before any are retrieved.

Dry Gun: Gunner in the field to distract a dog's attention. They may or may not fire a shot for blind retrieves, but they do not throw a bird.

Dry Pop: A gun is shot but no bird is thrown. This is a version of a blind retrieve.

Diversion - A distraction, of some sort, including but not limited to a bird, a shot, a person moving, talking, yelling or walking, etc. done in dog games to test against switching, or dropping. Diversions in dog games are commonly a thrown bird as the dog returns from a retrieve. Sometimes these become part of a delayed mark.

Channel Blind - A water blind run in an area that, due to the close proximity of the bank on both sides, makes it very tempting for the dog to exit the water and get up on land.

Double - Two items a dawg sees thrown for it retrieve. Items are not thrown at the same time. A double tests the dawg's memory as it must pick up one item, return to it's handler, then go get the other item and bring it back.

FULL WORKING HONOR- Honor dog will remain on the line and watch the working dog run the complete test.


Wipeout Flyer

Honoring: A dog remaining seated on the line while another dog is sent for the bird or birds. The honoring dog must not interfere with the working dog.

Hooking a gun

Go Bird - The last item the dawg sees thrown. In a multiple mark situation, it is generally the first item a dawg will pick up.

Hidden Gun - A mark thrown by a BB when the BB is totally concealed from the dogs view. The dog hears a shot or call and sees the item to be retrieved thrown by does not see a BB.

Honor - When a dog must observe another dog making a retrieve. An honoring dog should watch the entire sequence of birds decoying, flying, being shot and falling without interfering through sound or motion with the "working dog".

Holding Blind - The only spot in the world your dawg can lose it's mind and you can't do a thing about it. ;-) A blind or series of blinds erected prior to the "line" in an effort to keep dogs and handlers available to run the test.

Indent - A term used to identify the placement of a shorter mark in relation to the other marks in the field. A triple is thrown, the first is 200 yards away, the second is 100 yards away, the third is 250 yards away. the second mark is called "indented" because the dawg must go long, then short, then long again. A difficult concept to teach.

Line - (1) The starting point for dawg tests, trials, and training. (2) The line segment from Point A to Point B from the starting point of tests, trails, and training (Point A) to the item to be retrieved, be it for marks or blinds (Point B). (3) The handler "lines" his dog, or gives his dog a "line" when the handler gives it a directional signal at the time of release on a blind or a marked retrieve.

Line Manners - A term used to describe how a dog acts while sitting at the "line" under judgment. "That dawg really pinned that mark, to bad he has the line manners of a goat!"

Lining: (1) Setting up the position of a dog before running a mark or blind. (2) Mark: A fall of a bird, watched by the dog, which he should remember and retrieve when so ordered; multiple marks can consist of two, three or four birds (double, triple or quad).

Mark - An item a dog sees thrown for it to retrieve from the line. Usually a game bird or a training bumper. A foundation task for dawgs.

Marking Test: A test were the dog can visually see the bird or birds fall, and is expected to watch, remember, and retrieve sequentially when released to do so.

Memory Bird - Any item in a multiple mark situation, other than the last item, a dawg has seen thrown for it to retrieve.

NO BIRD- By virtue of something happening that makes it impossible for the judge to judge the dog, a dog is run again later. For example, on a shot live bird, a bird may be missed. Usually dog runs again after three other dogs run..

ORDER OF RETRIEVES- Typically the dog determines the order of retrieves of multiple marks. The judge may require the handler in advanced level to select the order a mark is retrieved in or require a blind to be retrieved before a mark. In hunting this would be done if the dog needed to retrieve a cripple before the dead bird(s).

OVER & UNDER- A double mark where the two birds fall on a straight line from the dog, one further back than the other.

Poison Bird: A bird used as a mark which the dog is told to ignore before picking up another mark or running a blind.

Quad - Same as for double and triple only now you are throwing four items.

Under-The-Arc - When the line to a blind takes the dog between a mark and the BB who has thrown that mark, the dawg is said to have run "under-the-arc."

picks up the chickens

Punch Bird - A term used to identify the placement of a longer mark in relation to the other marks in the field. A triple is thrown, the first is 100 yards away, the second is 200 yards away, the third is 125 yards away. The second mark is called a "punch bird" because the dawg must go short, then short, then long and "punch" through the short bird marks.

Retired Gun - Used in multiple marks. After the BB has thrown the item to be retrieved, the BB moves to a concealed location so when the dawg returns to the line and looks out to their mark, they are hidden from view.

Secondary Selection - When the handler decides which bird will be picked up next. Used mostly in Field Trials but is a useful tool in the Retriever Training Tool Box.

Steady - (steadiness) The term used to describe when a dog sees a bird or birds fall while remaining in the position commanded by the handler. A steady dog should remain steady until commanded to do otherwise by the handler. Usually, a steady dog, commanded to do otherwise is told to complete the retrieve with a "go" command.

Switch - A dawg is sent to mark, establishes a hunt, then leaves that area and establishes a hunt in the area of another fall.

Tight Hunt - When the dogs runs directly to the area of the fall and after a short hunt in a small area directly around the fall, finds the item. A very good thing.

Triple - Three items a dog sees thrown for it to retrieve. Items are not thrown at the same time. A triple tests the dawg's memory as it must pick up one item, return to it's handler, then go get the other item, bring it back, then go get the third item and bring it back.

TRACKING- 1.) A tracking test is where the dog uses the nose to follow and find a bird. 2.) The handler swinging to follow the bird with shotgun, popping at the top of the arc.

Two-Down-The-Shore - Generally, a water double thrown so as after picking up the go bird, the dawg must swim by the go bird fall area and pick up the memory bird. This is a tougher concept than it sounds and is a basic concept for advance dawg work.

Walk Up - A mark or marks that occur while the dog is in motion, progressing with the handler. A typical walkup will expect the dog to cease progress upon the first mark and shot, usually in a sitting position, and to remain there until all marks have fallen and the handler commands the retriever to pick up a mark.

Poison Bird - A mark the dawg must ignore to successfully complete the assigned task, usually a blind. It is fairly common in the FT and upper levels of HT games to see this concept. It's call "poison" because, in a Test, if the dog picks it up, it might as well be dead because it will be out of competition.

Pin - When a dawg runs directly to the fall and picks up the item with out a hunt.

Pop - When a dawg stops and looks back to the handler for guidance or direction without being commanded. A bad thing.

E-Collar Terms

Amish Training - The art of training a dawg without the use of an E Collar.

Burn - Terminology used to describe a type of e-collar correction. Usually differentiated, in most training circles, from the definition of a "Nick". Used to correct a known command that the dog is choosing to disregard.

Collar Conditioning - A process by which the dawg is taught how to turn off the collar stimulation.

De-bolting - A term identifying the process used to teach the dog it can not "run away" from the stimulation caused by the e collar.

Nick - A correction applied with an e collar set to a "Momentary" setting or a tap and immediate release of the button for those e collars without a "Momentary" setting.

Dog Training Equipment

Blank Pistol: A pistol with a solid or plugged barrel, designed for firing blank rounds only. Also referred to as training pistol or starter's pistol.

Blind - A structure used by hunters to hide themselves from game or for the guns to hide behind when the mark is "retired".

Bumper - A plastic or canvas item, usually 2 or 3 inches in diameter, used to train the dawg. Available in a wide assortment of colors. White is generally used for marks. Black or Orange Bumpers are generally used for blinds.

Heeling Stick - A riding crop or other item carried and used on the dawg to remind it of it's proper place. This is not used to abuse the dawg, rather provide a gentle, but firm, reminder of the place.

Dowel - An item used to teach the dawg the "hold" command. Generally wooden and not larger than one-half inch in diameter. The dog should hold the dowel gently but firmly before moving on to the next phase of FF.

Dummy Collar - A collar that is the exact duplicate of an e collar in size, shape, and weight but can not produce electrical stimulation.

E Collar - A tool used by the trainer and worn by the dog that enables the trainer to make an instant correction from a distance through the use of small amounts of electricity. It is an invaluable training tool when properly used. It is also the FASTEST way to ruin a good dog if used improperly.

Holding Blind: An enclosure for the dog and handler to stand behind while waiting to go to the line during a trial or hunting test. It is to prevent the waiting dog from seeing the tests before running them.

Retriever Training Terms

AREA BLIND- On a blind retrieve, handler knows only the general area where a bird is located.

AREA OF FALL- Approximate area where bird landed. A good marking dog should stay in this area on a hard mark.

Air - To allow the dog to empty his bowels and bladder.

Angling - To cross terrain or enter water on a diagonal line.

Area of the Fall - The general area of the fallen bird that one expects a retriever to enter, establish a hunt within and fin the bird within.

Big Hunt - When a dawg can not find a mark and runs all over the field looking for it. Not a good thing.

Blind - The art of guiding a dog to an item it did not see fall through the use of voice, whistle, and body movements.

Blink - When the dog goes by an item that it has clearly seen and is supposed to have retrieved. The dawg runs out to the area of the fall looks directly at the bumper/bird, then continues to hunt around anyway..... "I can't believe my dog has just BLINKED that bird!?!?!?"

Back - A directional signal given with a raised arm and hand directing the dog away from the handler; the verbal command given to the dog to have him leave the handler.

Baseball: A drill for teaching directional casts for the dog to take right and left "overs" and straight "back" casts.

Balk: A refusal to leave on a retrieve when sent.

Bird Boy - (BB) The person, male or female, throwing the item for the dawg to retrieve.

BLANK (POPPER)- A cartridge that does not contain bullet or shot. Used for the shotgun report in training and tests. Good gun safety still required. Ear protection recommended.

BLIND TAPE- Fluorescent orange plastic surveyors tape used to mark location of bird planted as blind retrieve. Dogs are not supposed to be able to see this color.

Birdiness: A dog with a very high desire to retrieve birds.

Bird Station: A combination of bird boy and gunner (may be one person) that throws a mark during a trial test, or training session.

Bolter: A dog who runs away from his handler during competition or during training.

Breaking: The act of a dog leaving to make a retrieve before being released to do so by the handler.

Campaign or Campaigning - The pursuit of a title for a dawg. "They will be campaigning several nice dogs this year."

Cheating - When a dawg avoids cover or obstacles enroute to or returning from an item to be retrieved.

Cast - To give the dawg a specific direction through the use of body movements. The direction given to the dog, with arm and hand, and/or voice, after he has been stopped on the whistle.

Cast Refusal: The dog refusing to respond to the direction or cast given by the handler.

Cold - A term used to define the running of a dawg on a concept it is familiar with but the exact placement of the item is new to the dog. When we train, we generally run our dogs on "cold" marks and/or blinds. Our dogs know how to mark or run a blind, but they don't know the exact location of this specific mark or blind.

Cold Blind: A blind the dog has never run before.

COLD HONOR- Dog comes to the line and is immediately required to sit quietly while another dog completes retrieve(s). More common is an honor after the dog works. Cold honor tends to be harder for the dog as they expect action when they come to the line. A full working honor requires a dog to remain on line during the entire time of the next dog's retrieves.

Conditioned Retrieve: The part of retriever training in which a retriever is taught to pick up, hold and deliver objects on command. Also referred to as force training.

Controlled Break: When the dog makes an attempt to break and is immediately brought under control by the handler.

CORN COBBING- A drill to teach a dog to stay in the area of a fall on a double and not to switch. See Tom Quinn Book.

Cover: Grass, brush, or any other vegetation which may conceal the bird from the dog on land or in the water.

Creep/Creeping: The dog moving forward on the line while marking-if the dog has crept too far forwards, many judges will ask you to have the to have the dog return to heel position before being sent for the mark-verges on breaking.

Cue: A verbal clue to the dog such as "dead bird" indicating a blind or an instruction such as "water" meaning get in it!

DISTURB THE HUNT- Either the handler or the dog may be guilty. Typically the handler is too noisy, gets out of the designated area, etc. Dog is most apt to disturb the hunt by barking, bouncing around the blind, or covering too much ground outside the area of the fall.

Dragback: Scent trail left by dogs returning with birds, especially through high cover where the birds' scent is left on the vegetation.

Entry: - The spot at which a dog enters the water on either a blind or mark; if the dog enters the water at a close angle to the shoreline it is called an "angle entry". Also, Entry: 1) The spot at which a dog enters the water on either a blind or mark; if the dog enters the water at a close angle to the shoreline it is called an "angle entry".

ESTABLISH A HUNT- Dog goes to the area where he thinks the bird fell and begins to hunt in that area.

Fall - (1) (a.k.a. Area of the Fall) - The spot on the ground or water where the item to be retrieved fell.

Flare - When a dog avoids continuing on a straight line on which he was sent due to pressure applied previously in that general area.

Field Work - Dawg training generally conducted away from the area around the kennel. Includes concept work or marks and blinds.

FLASH MARKING- Dog takes a quick look at the fall and shifts attention elsewhere. Tends to come when a dog is anticipating a double or triple. Especially apt to happen if dog knows the second or third bird is a shot flyer. Usually hurts dogs marking.

Flat Throw: Also known as a square throw-a bird or bumper thrown directly across from the thrower, i.e., neither back nor in-from the dog's point of view it is a 90° throw.

FLOPPER- Live bird for training (typically pigeon with some wing feathers clipped or pulled) which can not fly, but does not have wings restrained.

FLUSH- In upland bird hunting, the dog locates the bird while quartering and drives it into the air.

FLY AWAY- Bird may be thrown or flushed. May or may not be a shot, but the bird flies away and there is no retrieve.

Force Fetching - (a.k.a., FF, Forcing, Force Breaking, Conditioned Retrieving) Teaching a dog through the use of classical conditioning (stimulus/response) methods to pick up and hold an item until told to release it. Generally accomplished after the adult teeth are in place in the 6 -8 month age range.

Force to a Pile - An extension of Force Fetching. Pressure of some sort is applied in association with a command to go. This process is done in some circles to prepare the dawg for running blind retrieves.

Force Training: The part of retriever training in which a retriever is taught to pick up, hold and deliver objects on command. Also referred to as the conditioned retrieve.

Fountain: Also know as a Momma/Poppa. Two marks are thrown from one gun station, one to each side.

Freezing: The dog's refusal to give up the bird to the handler-i.e., the dog appears to freeze on the bird and ignores all commands to release it.

Gunner: The persons who throw and/or shoot the birds during trials or training.

GUNSHY- Dog is afraid of gun or gunfire. Difficult to cure, but quite easy to prevent.

Happy Bumper: A bumper thrown in play or as a reward or encouragement for a dog.

HARD MOUTH- Dog damages bird by chewing in the process of retrieving it. Serious disqualifying fault. Definition typically is: Bird rendered unfit for the table.

HAZARD- 1. Something that tends to get in the way of a retrieve, such as heavy cover, difficult terrain, angle water entry, tight marks, etc. 2. Something which could endanger the dog while hunting.

Hold - A command used during conditioned retrieving by some to insure that the dog knows that he must hold, in his mouth, any object placed there.

Handle: Directions given by the handler to the dog.

Handler - The person handling, or controlling, a retriever during a trial, test, or training session.

Handling: The act of using a combination of voice, whistle, and hand signals to guide a dog to a blind retrieve or assist a dog to a marked retrieve.

Hand Signals - A series of hand/arm motions used to indicate to the dog which way you desire it go.

Hard Mouth - The action said to occur when a dawg uses too much force in picking up or holding a bird. This action renders the bird unfit for human consumption and is a major problem. Difficult, but not impossible, to cure once the habit has been formed.

Key Bird: The bird in a multiple mark, which is likely to prove the most difficult bird for the dog to retrieve successfully.

Literal Casting - A cast that, if taken properly, would lead directly to the blind.

Momma/Poppa. Also known as a Fountain. Two marks are thrown from one gun station, one to each side.

Obedience - (OB) THE foundation task for dawg training. Comprises a broad spectrum of commands some of which include: Sit, Stay, Kennel, Heel, Down.

Over: The dog moves in a lateral direction upon being given that direction in a cast by the handler using his arm and hand and/or verbal command.

Pattern Field - A series of bumpers placed in the same location every time, generally in the shape of a (t) or a double (t) where two lines, separated by 40 - 50 yards intersect the center line. Used to teach handling skills to dawgs.

Pattern: Drills repeated by the dog to teach specific routines such as casting or taking lines.

Point of Origin: The area from which a dog starts work on a test. Also referred to as the "line".

PIGGY DOG- Dog which performs very slowly and with no spirit or interest at all. May be a dog with no hunt or may have been created by poor training.

Pop/Popping: 1.) When the dog stops on a retrieve or a blind and turns and looks to the handler for direction without a whistle having been blown. (2) The firing of a gun at the same time a bird is thrown to simulate the shooting of a bird.

Quartering: Covering the ground in a systematic method looking for game.

Recast: A second attempt to send the dog from the line for a mark

Retired Gun: Where the gun disappears from sight after having thrown or shot a bird.

SELECTION OF BIRD- Handler tells dog which bird to retrieve first. May be at option of handler, or in order judge instructs.

SHACKLED BIRD- A bird (typically a duck) which has wings and feet tied so it can not fly or swim away before being retrieved. No longer used in UKC licensed HRC events.

Shore Break: A method for teaching the dog not to avoid water, i.e., stay in the water and not run the shore.

Sight Blind: A blind the dog can see before being sent; a blind which was first thrown as a mark. A way to start young dogs on their blinds.

Single: A marking test where only a single bird is thrown prior to releasing the dog.

Sluice: Shooting a bird once it is down on the water.

SLUICED BIRD- In hunting, a crippled bird which is shot on the water. May be simulated in a hunting test by a second shot at or very near the bird in the water. Makes marking more difficult, and can be a real breaking test if bird is nearby.

SPLASH WATER (RUNNING WATER)- Water that is shallow enough that the dog can wade rather than swim.

Square Bird: See flat bird.

Steady: A dog is steady if it does not leave to make a retrieve before being instructed to do so.

STEADY TO WING AND SHOT- In upland hunting, a dog should be trained to sit when a bird is flushed, or when there is a shot nearby.

Stickman - A stand that looks like a man. Used to mimik a real person in the field.

Style: A dog's manner of retrieving, running blinds, water entry, etc., which indicates his strong desire, his speed and perseverance and attitude. A stylish dog is a pleasure to see working.

Switching: 1) Leaving the area of the fall of one bird, without retrieving it, and going to hunt for another bird in another area of fall.

Switching: 2) Dropping a bird while returning and leaving it for another bird.

Triple: A marking test where three birds are thrown sequentially in three separate areas. Usually all three are down before the dog is sent, but a "delayed triple" consists of a double being thrown, and then the third bird is thrown when the dog is returning or has returned with its first retrieve.

UKC/HRC: The United Kennel Club/Hunting Retriever Club

Walk-up: Used to simulate hunting-the handler, with the dog at heel, continues to move forward before the birds are thrown or shot-the dog is not brought to the line and sat before the birds are shot.

Water Refusal: The dog not entering the water after being sent for a mark or on a blind.

Whistle Refusal: The dog failing to respond to the whistle when blown by the handler.

Rat Trap: Device used for holding a bird and keeping it afloat for water blind.

White Coat - A term used to identify those people who participate in Field Trial events. Used because, in part, handlers wear white coats so as to be easily identified by their dawg when the dawg is a great distance away.

School or Schooled - Running a dawg on a mark or blind that it has run in the past. "Yes, I'd like to do this mark as a double, but, let's school the memory bird first."

Walking Singles - A single mark thrown by a BB for a dawg and, as the dawg is released, the BB walks away from the area if the fall. This teaches the dawg to concentrate on the item thrown and not the BB.

Yard Work - The term used to describe any number of drills that can be done in and around the kennel area. Baseball and OB are but two examples.

Testing Terms

BIRD STEWARD- Person at a hunting test who is in charge of the birds.

Call Back - A list provided by dog game judges prior to the next series in an event. This list denotes those who are invited back to continue participating in the event. Those who do not make the "call back" have been disqualified for some reason.

Field Trial: Competitive competition for working retrievers. In the United States, these are sponsored by the AKC.

GALLERY- Spectators watching a hunting test. Need to remain in area assigned by judges/marshal and be quiet while dog works. Work may be applauded, after the dog has completed all retrieves and is no longer under judgment.

GUN CAPTAIN- Person responsible for official gunners (live gunners and poppers) at a hunting test.

Gift - 1) A term describing a test or series in which the judges set up something that dogs whose owners expect some trouble cruise through with no problem. 2) A facade used at special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. Quite frequently the justification for new sporting items such as, but not limited to; duckboats, shotguns, remote bird launchers, 4WD vehicles, September Saskatchewan trips, January Stuttgart trips.....etc.

GUN- 1. Individual designated as an official gunner at an event. 2. Firearm handler swings and fires (blanks) in seasoned and finished tests.

Hunt Test: Non-competitive competition for working retrievers. In the United States, these are sponsored by three organizations: NAHRA, AKC, and UKC/HRC.

INTIMIDATE- Threatening behavior by the handler toward the dog to get or avoid certain behavior from the dog. May be voice or gestures or exposed equipment. Not allowed in hunting tests.

MARSHAL- Person responsible for the mechanics and smooth running of a hunting test. Each level will have it's own marshal as well to coordinate with judges, call the dogs to the line, etc.

Money Bird - The absolute last item, in a multiple mark situation, the dawg picks up. Called "Money Bird" because in a Field Trial, if your dog doesn't get it, you get no money!

OUT OF CONTENTION- A dog running in a fun hunt for training purposes. It is not eligible for a ribbon because it will be run without performing all tests or run in a way not allowed by the normal rules (Example a dog running the Seasoned marks while on a leash, because it broke on previous marks).

PASS- 1. Dog performs up to the standards expected in a hunting test. 2. In upland hunting, a dog is said to pass a bird, when the dog misses a bird, which is then flushed by the handler (or other) following the dog.

POINTS- Passes in Licensed HRC hunts can earn points toward the Hunting Retriever Champion Title.

Premium - A notice sent out by the Club holding an event. This notice usually includes the time/date/place of stakes being held, entry cost, Judges names, directions and other information concerning the event.

PREMIUM LIST- Entry form for a hunting test or field trial.

RERUN- A dog runs the same test again, because of a problem that does not allow the dog to be judged.

RUN ORDER- In a hunting test, the dogs to run are drawn in random order to run. Marshal may need to alter run order to achieve smooth progress of the hunt. See marshal if you are running dogs in more than one stake.

SERIES- A complete hunting test may (for example) require four single retrieves. If the two land retrieves are done as back-to-back singles, then the test moves to a new location for the water tests. The first two retrieves would be termed, the first series.

TEST DOG- Dog run at the beginning of each hunting test to show the handlers what the test is, check mechanics, etc.

FAIL- In a hunting test, the dog does not perform well enough against the standard to pass the test on that day. Failing could be for overall marginal performance or one major disqualifying fault.

FAULTS- Major and minor problems in dog performance. Breaking or hard mouth are examples of major faults. Refusing one whistle on a blind retrieve would be a minor fault.

Health Terms

CERF - Canine Eye Registry Foundation. A registry created to evaluate and clear breeding dogs of hereditary eye defects including Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Retinal Displasia.

PennHip - An alternative registry/database to OFA. This method utilizes a "predictive test" testing the "play" or joint looseness by manipulating a joint to measure looseness. While not a commonly accepted as the OFA, PennHip is considered by some advocates to be more predictive of future issues. PennHip scores ratings on a "living percentile" rating current tests against the existing database of previously analyzed animals.

Clubs And Associations

AKC - American Kennel Club

North American Hunting Retriever Association - (NAHRA) A non-for-profit organization set up to provide the average hunter a place to show case his/her retriever in a non-competitive environment.

OFA - Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. An organization which maintains a registry of hip and elbow data to help determine that joint confirmation is ideal and free of hereditary defects. Typical OFA hip ratings, in order of preference are: Excellent and Good followed by Fair. Initially spawned in an effort to curb the prevalence of Hip Displasia occuring in many large breed dogs.

General Dog Terms

Dog - A common house pet. Not usually used for hunting, testing, or trialing.

Dawg - An uncommonly fine animal used for hunting, testing, trialing, and just generally hanging out with. Comes in all sizes, shapes, breeds and colors.

Pointing Lab - (PL) A lab that points at birds during an upland hunt instead of flushing them as regular labs (RL) do.

Professional - One who derives any portion of their income from the training of dawgs.

Regular Lab - (RL) A lab that flushes birds during an upland instead of pointing at them as pointing labs (PL) do.

Working Gun Dog Retriever Titles

Amateur - One who trains dawgs for the shear pleasure of it.

AKC Field Trial Titles

AFC - Amateur Field Champion.

FC - Field Champion

NFC - National Field Champion

NAFC - National Amateur Field Champion

JAM - Judges Award of Merit

AKC Hunt Tests Titles

JH - Junior Hunter

SH - Senior Hunter

MH - Master Hunter

UKC Hunting Titles

HR - Hunting Retriever

HRCH - Hunting Retriever champion

UH - Upland Hunter

GRHRCH - Grand Hunting Retriever Champion. A UKC/HRC title denoting that a retriever has qualified in the annual HRC Grand event.

NAHRA Titles

SR - Started Retriever

WR - Working Retriever

MHR - Master Hunting Retriever. A NAHRA title.

GMHR - Grand Master Hunting Retriever. A NAHRA title.


CP - Certified Pointing Retriever

AP - Advanced Pointing Retriever

MPR - Master Pointing Retriever

GMPR - Grand Master Pointing Retriever