In short, a Spaniel hunt test can consist of 8 hours of waiting, and less than 3 minutes of hunting. For a tightly wound dog, this is a formula for chaos. And in the world of tightly wound dogs, Cooper is at the upper end of the taut-scale. Waiting is not in his genes. (Which is one of the reasons he is a great hunting dog and a work-in-progress hunt-test dog.)
On Saturday, we ran 3rd in the running order and got to start at the beginning of the course. Norm was able to make these photographs at the starting line because Cooper flushed his first two birds while I was still within the first 20 feet.
By now it is only 8:30 in the morning (notice the early morning fog still hanging over the hunt test grounds at Scatter Creek, Washington), and it time to wait for the water series.
Now at 2:30 in the afternoon and after trying to keep Cooper relatively cool and collected for 5 hours, it is time to for a single water retrieve.
That took another 45 seconds.
Fortunately I got to spend the weekend with Norm (who took these photos) talking dogs, guns, and trains. If one isn’t content to be outdoors with your friends and dogs in the rain and sun, then hunt tests can be tedious except for the few moments of working. But if you like those things, then they are great activities.