Blue Ridge Retrievers

For Your Information

This page is a listing of frequently asked questions, safety issues you might not be aware of, training tips. a little bit of everything...


Boarding is available to pups that have come directly from my kennel for a flat fee of 25.00 a day (provided the pup/dog is fully crate trained and housebroken). If your pup/dog is not crate trained or housebroken (young pups) the fee is 35.00 per day.
All dogs taken in for boarding must be current on vaccines (with records present at time of drop off).
All fees for boarding must be paid at time of drop off.
Any extra expenses must be paid upon pick-up.
Any vet care, food, etc. will be your responsibility.

We start all our puppies out on
Purina ProPlan Large Breed
Chicken and Rice


Chicken, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), pea fiber, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, dicalcium phosphate, egg product, fish oil, salt, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.



The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (C.E.R.F.) is an organization that was founded by a group of concerned, purebred owner/breeders who recognized that the quality of their dog's lives were being affected by heritable eye disease. C.E.R.F. was then established in conjunction with cooperating, board certified, veterinary ophthalmologists, as a means to accomplish the goal of elimination of heritable eye disease in all purebred dogs by forming a centralized, national registry.

The C.E.R.F. Registry not only registers those dog's certified free of heritable eye disease by members of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (A.C.V.O. ), but also collects data on all dogs examined by A.C.V.O. Diplomates. This data is used to form the C.E.R.F. data base which is useful in researching trends in eye disease and breed susceptibility. Not only is this data useful to clinicians and students of ophthalmology, but to interested breed clubs and individual breeders and owners of specific breeds.

Even if you don't purchase a puppy from me.... Please make sure you seek out breedings from only OFAed and CERFed Sire and Dam litters. People that care about their animals and the future of their pups breed only animals that have these health clearances.
Feel Free to Contact me anytime at

Click on the photo below for more information on Don Smith at Meglyn Retrievers. Don is my personal choice for any and all training needs!

Looking for a Trainer?
Click Here for Details on Meglyn Retrievers and Don Smith!

OFA Hip Grades

Taken from

The phenotypic evaluation of hips done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals falls into seven different categories. Those categories are normal (Excellent, Good, Fair), Borderline, and dysplastic (Mild, Moderate, Severe). Once each of the radiologists classifies the hip into one of the 7 phenotypes above, the final hip grade is decided by a consensus of the 3 independent outside evaluations. Examples would be:

  1. Two radiologists reported excellent, one goodthe final grade would be excellent
  2. One radiologist reported excellent, one good, one fairthe final grade would be good
  3. One radiologist reported fair, two radiologists reported mildthe final grade would be mild

The hip grades of excellent, good and fair are within normal limits and are given OFA numbers. This information is accepted by AKC on dogs with permanent identification (tattoo, microchip) and is in the public domain. Radiographs of borderline, mild, moderate and severely dysplastic hip grades are reviewed by the OFA radiologist and a radiographic report is generated documenting the abnormal radiographic findings. Unless the owner has chosen the open database, dysplastic hip grades are not in the public domain.



As of January 2008

There will be a 50.00 per week boarding fee (in addition to any medical fees and food expenses) for all pups that stay beyond 8 weeks.



Puppies can be shipped to most any major city in the United States for shipping cost + 100.00.


Dangerous Foods

Here's a compiled list of not good, bad, and very dangerous items for your dogs.

Not Good:

These items are difficult to digest and can cause problems (if given in large quantity). Dogs have shorter digestive tracts than humans and cannot digest most vegetables whole or in large chunks. Its best to put them through a food processor before giving them to your dog:

Green Beans

These are common items that can be harmful (or fatal in larger amounts) to

Pear pits, the kernels of plums, peaches and apricots, apple core pits
Potato peelings and green looking potatoes
Rhubarb leaves
Moldy/spoiled foods
Yeast dough
Coffee grounds, beans & tea (caffeine)
Hops (used in home brewing)
Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)
Raisins and grapes (Can cause kidney failure, even in small doses) Cigarettes, tobacco, cigars Raw eggs Cinnamon and most "spices"

The most dangerous List:

Cocoa powder
Onions and Garlic
Macadamia nuts
Excessive salt

Further explanation:

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. Death is quite possible, especially with exercise.

Chocolate Toxicity:

The active ingredient in chocolate is theobromine:
- the half life in the dog is 17.5 hours
- the toxic dose in the dog is 100 150 mg/kg or approx. 50 - 75 mg/lb.

The concentration of theobromine varies with the formulation of the chocolate so:
- Milk chocolate has 44 mg/oz (154 mg/100gm): toxic dose for 60 lb dog 60 oz of milk chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate has 150 mg/oz (528mg/100 gm): toxic dose for 60 lb dog 18 oz of semisweet chocolate
- Baking chocolate 390 mg/oz (1365mg/100gm): toxic dose for 60 lb dog- 6 oz of baking chocolate

Obviously the chocolate in milk chocolate is quite dilute and this is why many dogs can eat a piece here and there and seem not to show toxic effects. How many dogs will get a hold of 50 to 60 oz at one time? This is not true of the more concentrated forms however.

The problem with feeding a dog milk chocolate as a treat is that it can develop a liking for chocolate and since dogs do not seem to be as sensitive to bitter tastes as humans. It may then eat the more concentrated and more toxic bakers chocolate if it gets a chance. Or it could consume a toxic amount of milk or semi-sweet chocolate if it could get into an improperly stored supply.

Cocoa powder and baker's chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate.

Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs (and cats and livestock too). Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger. Dogs affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anemia, where the red blood cells burst while circulating in its body. At first, dogs affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea. They will show no interest in food and will be dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in an affected animals urine and it becomes breathless. The breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body are reduced in number.

The poisoning occurs a few days after the dog has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness.

Onion poisoning can occur with a single ingestion of large quantities or with repeated meals containing small amounts of onion. A single meal of 600 to 800 grams of raw onion can be dangerous whereas a ten-kilogram dog, fed 150 grams of onion for several days, is also likely to develop anemia. The condition improves once the dog is prevented from eating any further onion.

While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness.

Macadamia nuts are another concern. A recent paper written by Dr. Ross McKenzie, a Veterinary Pathologist with the Department of Primary Industries, points to the danger of raw and roasted macadamia nuts for pets.

The toxic compound is unknown but the affect of macadamia nuts is to cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Dogs have been affected by eating as few as six macadamia kernels (nuts without the shell) while others had eaten approximately forty kernels. Some dogs had also been given macadamia butter.

Dog owners should not assume that human food is always safe for them. When it comes to chocolate, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts, such foods should be given in only small quantities, or not at all. Be sure that your dogs can t get into your stash of chocolates, that food scraps are disposed of carefully to prevent onion and garlic toxicity and that your dog is prevented from picking up macadamia nuts if you have a tree in your garden.

Salt is not good for a dog's body because it cannot process excess salt. Salt can accumulate and cause kidney disease in old age. At any time in a dog's life, if salt is given in extreme excess, it could cause your dog's kidneys to react and swell. Your dog would have to be totally without water for a period of days if this happens, before the kidneys could function normally again (just think about how serious that is), if the dog survived.

If your dog gets any leftovers from your table, make absolutely certain that there is no salt in these foods. Things that have a high salt content are bullion, soups, hamburger/chicken/noodle/rice mixes that come in a box, and almost any already prepared foods (including sauces and gravies) that come in a can, bottle, box, or packet. Most cheese has a high salt content, but dogs love it! Frozen veggies with no salt added when you cook them, fresh cooked meat (i.e. beef or chicken) that has nothing added to it, rice or pasta that has nothing added to it as you cook it, etc. are relatively safe foods to feed your dog. Remember that butter has salt in it, too. Read the labels on the food products you use in your home and the dog food and treats you buy for your dog. Some dogs in very hot climates supposedly need more salt in their diet, but ask your Vet first.

Raw eggs should be avoided because of the risk of salmonella poisoning. Dogs do not get e coli or salmonella poisoning easily, but it can happen in some rare instances. If your dog has a partial blockage in their intestines where food can be trapped, e coli or salmonella will have a breeding ground. A dog's digestive tract is very short, so under normal circumstances, these things would not be a problem, but it is something you need to be aware of.



 Crate Training 
You may choose either the plastic airline crates or the metal/wire crates with tray floors. I prefer the plastic type pictured to the left. This style provides a den type area for the puppy. It also seems to be the best style to provide fewer distractions.
When you purchase a crate don't get an oversized one. Pick a medium sized crate.
It is important to keep your puppy in a crate when you cannot devote your full attention to him. Puppys will find thing to do even when you think they are content. Generally the things they "find" to do are not productive and sometimes can be quite dangerous. A crate is the safest place they can be. If it's used properly will be a place your puppy will become very at ease in.
Some tips to remember-
Don't get a crate that is too large.
Place the crate in a central area of your home. Somewhere where you are and can be nearby. This makes the pup feel not so alone and abandoned, even when they are in the crate. 
Pups can have to urinate as much as every 1-2 hours when they are awake. Be prepared.
Controlled feeding and watering times are the keys to successful crate/house training.
The crate should be a place that provides a sense of security and comfort. Don't punish your dog in it's crate or make any unpleasant experiences for him while crated.
During training, do not let your puppy out of the crate when he is crying, barking, scratching, etc. Wait at least 15-30 seconds of quiet before letting him out. Do not reward his behavior by releasing him during these times.
Do not place food, water, or rawhides in the crate when you leave for the day. If necessary, freeze a small container of water and place that in the crate. Feed in crate when you are at home. Remove any "leftover" pieces of food. 
It is not cruel to crate your dog, It is important to keep him or her safe!





Some titles you might see in a retriever pedigree

FC - Field Champion

AFC - Amateur Field Champion

NFC- National Field Champion

NAFC - National Amateur Field Champion


A letter preceding title indicates place if a foreign title. i.e CFC-Canadian Field Champion

These titles appear as a prefix and are awarded to the retrievers winning a required number of points in competitions against the best field dogs of all the retriever breeds.  These titles are difficult and expensive to attain and indicate the dogs are of superior intelligence, athletic ability and have a very high desire to retrieve.
CH - Conformation or Bench Champion A prefix, this title indicates that the dog has won a required number of points in competition judging conformation, against the best looking dogs in its breed group.  The dog is an almost perfect looking specimen and moves correctly according to the breed standard.  It gives no verification of field ability.
Dual CH - Dual Champion A prefix.  A most coveted title awarded to retrievers.  The dog is both a Field Champion and a Conformation Champion.  Hi is among the best looking of the breed and the best performing in the field.

WC - Working Certificate (Labrador & Golden Retrievers)


WCX - Working Certificate Excellent (Goldens)


WD & WDX - Working Dog titles (Chesapeakes)


WDC - advanced level

Breed club working awards.  Appear as a suffix.  The dog has performed a required series of bird retrieving exercises at breed club meets.  Level of difficulty is relatively basic.  Indicates the dog is trainable and does retrieve birds in the field situation in water and on land.  Not AKC titles.  Will not appear on AKC pedigree

JH- Junior Hunter

SH - Senior Hunter

MH - Master Hunter


A suffix.  This title is relatively new.  It indicates the dog has completed and passed a required series of retrieving and hunting exercises in a field situation at AKC regulation meets.  Real hunting situations are closely simulated.  Although not competitive, the dogs are tested thoroughly on land and water and must do blind retrieves responding to hand signals.

CD - Companion Dog

CDX - Companion Dog Excellent

UD - Utility dog

OTCH - Obedience Trial Champion (prefix)

TD - Tracking Dog

TDX - Tracking Dog Excellent

Obedience and Tracking titles.  Appear as suffixes.  Earned by performing and passing a required set of trained exercises at official AKC meets.  The indicate the dog is very trainable and somewhat intelligent but not necessarily birdy.

American Kennel Club- Established in 1884 as a purebred dog registry. Provides sanctioned dog events and promotes responsible dog ownership. There are 150 breeds that are eligible for AKC registration. Provides official standards for each breed that describes that the ideal dog of that breed would look like. Breeds are divided up in groups based on traits and characteristics, including: sporting group; hound group; working group; terrier group; toy group; non-sporting group; herding group and the miscellaneous class. Retrievers and pointers are in the sporting group.

AKC Hunt Test- A simulated bird hunt designed to evaluate a dog's abilities as a hunting companion. The dogs are judged against a written standard and criteria. Dogs in Hunt Tests DO NOT COMPETE with each other. Beginning dogs in AKC must demonstrate good line manners (no pulling or jumping around while walking to the ready position which is called the line) and they must deliver the bird to hand. The AKC Hunt Test Program was launched in early 1985. Retrievers are required to perform equally well on land and water, and must be tested on both. Dogs are evaluated by the judges in several categories to determine their value as a hunting retriever: Marking, Style, Perseverance and Trainability. The AKC Hunt Test program is one of certification; it seeks to identify and recognize officially those dogs that possess the abilities that enable them to serve as effective personal hunting companions. Certification and Titles are awarded on three levels:

1) Junior Hunter (JH) - An AKC hunt test title used as a suffix. The Junior Hunt Test consists of two single marks on land and two single marks on water. For a title, a dog must received 4 qualifying scores at a licensed or member test.

2). Senior Hunter (SH) - An AKC title hunt test title used as a suffix. The Senior Hunt Test consists of one land blind; one water blind; one double land mark; one double water mark; a walkup; a diversion shot and/ or mark and an honor For a title, a dog must receive 4 qualifying scores at a licensed or member test if the dog already has a junior hunter title. Otherwise, a dog must receive 5 qualifying scores if they do not already have a junior hunter title.

3). Master Hunter (MH) - Master Hunter. An AKC hunt test title used as a suffix. The Master Hunt Test consists of land blinds; water blinds; multiple marks on land (triples or quads); multiple marks on water (triples or quads); multiple marks on both land and water; a walk up; diversion shots and/ or marks and an honor. The Master Hunter represents a truly complete hunting dog. For a title, a dog must receive 5 qualifying scores at a licensed or member test if the dog already has a senior hunter title. Otherwise, a dog must receive 6 qualifying scores if they do not already have a senior hunter title. They shall be steady on the line and no leash or collar shall be used. The test usually incorporates a short flyer in several of the marks. In addition, the ground conditions will be those matching some of the harshest, and the distances some of the greatest that may be found in a hunting situation. These may include chest deep mud, grass and weeds over their heads, fallen logs, brambles, etc. Upon earning a MH title a dog may continue to enter Master Hunt Test, but no further certificates will be issued. However, the completion of additional Master Tests can qualify for entry in the "Master National Test" held once a year.

Field Trials – A competition for certain hound or sporting breeds in which dogs are judged on ability and style in finding or retrieving game or following a game trail. In retriever field trials, they are judged according to standardized objectives. not only against a standard, but also against each other. AKC field trials started around 1931 and are considered by some to be the “big league” of field competition. Accurate marking is of primary importance. The marks range from 150 yards to upwards of 450 yards. Gunners and handlers wear white coats in the field to make them identifiable to the dog. However, guns will “retire” or go out of sight once the mark is thrown. A dog that marks the fall of a bird, uses the wind, follows a strong cripple and will take direction from his handler is of great value.

Dogs are placed 1st through 4th, with reserve JAM and JAMs also being awarded with the merits of each dog being judged being reviewed by two judges. A Reserve JAM means that the dog was very close in work to the fourth place dog, but that there was not another placement for the judges to award. A JAM (judges award of Merit” is given to a dog for particularly excellent work. Dogs are competing against each other and have been eliminated in each round or series.

Principal Stakes

Derby... For dogs over 6 months of age and not yet two years of age. The marks are generally called the “derby doubles.” There are typically two marks in a series, a long memory bird 250 plus yards and a shorter go bird 150 yards cover and terrain are moderate. The top four dogs are awarded points. There is no title given for Derby competition however, the dog can make the ‘Derby List’ if they obtain 10+ derby points.

Dogs over six months are eligible and who have never won first, second, third, or fourth place, or a Judges Award of Merit (JAM) in an Open All-Age, Limited All-Age, or won first second, third or fourth place in an Amateur All-Age stake two first places in Qualifying stakes. This is the intermediate stake between Derby and the Major Stakes.

Amateur All-Age
Open to dogs over six months of age and handled by nonprofessional trainers only. Open All-Age - For dogs over six months and handled by either pro or amateur trainers. This stake is open to dogs over six months of age. It is also the toughest of the all age stakes in AKC field trials, open to amateurs and professional alike. Marks and blinds are long and technical in nature, up to 400+ yards. Dogs must gain one “win” and points in order to obtain the coveted title of field champion.

The Limited Stakes are open only to dogs who have been placed or awarded a JAM in an Open All-Age or have been placed first or second in a Qualifying, or have been placed or awarded a JAM in an Amateur All-Age stake.


NAFC - National Amateur Field Champion. An AKC title used as a prefix to the dog’s registered name. It is the title given to the winner of the national open. The title also carries the year of the win, ie: 2004 NAFC FC-AFC Chickamauga Choo Choo. Eligibility requires that: Dog must be winner of preceding National Amateur Stake under an Amateur Handler; Be the winner of the preceding National Amateur Championship Stake; and win a first place and a total of 7 championship points in Amateur All-Age stakes during the preceding fiscal year.

NFC - National Field Champion. An AKC title used as a prefix to the dog’s registered name. It is the title given to the winner of the national open. The title also carries the year of the win, ie: 2004 NFC FC AFC Dewey's Drake Of Moon River. Eligibility requires the following: Be winner of the preceding National Championship Stake; Be the winner of the preceding National Amateur Championship Stake; Win a first place and a total of 7 championship points in Open All-Age stakes during the preceding fiscal year.

AFC - Amateur Field Champion. - An AKC title. In order to achieve the title of AFC, which is used as a prefix, the dog can win a National Championship Stake, handled by an amateur or requires 10 points in Open All-Age or Limited All-Age, or 15 points in combination from Open All-Age, Limited All-Age, or Amateur All-Age stakes. Not more than 5 points can be awarded in trials not open to all breeds of retrievers. The Handler can in no way earn part or all of his / her living training and handling dogs.

FC - Field Champion. An AKC title. In order to achieve the title of FC, which is used as a prefix, the dog can win a National Championship Stake, or win 10-points with at least one win of 5 points or better in an open all-age stake, limited al- age stake, special all-age stake or restricted all-age stake. Not more than 5 points can be awarded in trials not open to all breeds of retrievers.

Qualified All-Age - This event is commonly viewed as the stepping-stone to all age events, although some say it is a pronouncement that the dog is now proficient enough to be competitive in all-age events. . The qualifying is one event where you can see the greatest variability in the difficulty of each series. There is typically a set of land marks, a land blind, water blind and water marks. The designation of QAA means that you can run a Limited or Special all age stake.

Derby – A field-trial competition for the young sporting dog under the age of two. In retriever trials, it is commonly a marking test that consists of doubles.

United Kennel Club – A breed registry that recognized over 300 breeds of dogs in 8 distinct breed groups. Promotes the concept of the “Total Dog”, that dog that performs in the field as well as it looks. Provides dog events from agility, confirmation, obedience and hunting programs. The hunting program is administered through the Hunting Retriever Club.

Hunting Retriever Club – The United Kennel Club puts on one of the most realistic hunt test programs in the country in affiliation with the Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. HRC utilizes actual hunting situations including distances, cover and terrain. Tests dogs against a written standard instead of against each other. As a handler, you will be required to hold, aim and discharge a shotgun loaded with blank popper shells in the intermediate and advanced levels. Can earn a Started (SHR), Seasoned (HR) and Finished (HRCH) hunt test title as well has Upland Hunter (UH). By completing the Grand, a retrieve can earn the Grand Hunting Retriever Champion (GRHRCH). All UKC/HRC titles are used as a prefix, before the name of the dog.

Started Hunting Retriever (SHR) - A United Kennel Club/Hunting Retriever club title used as a prefix, before the name. A started hunting retriever should be able to perform a simple dove or waterfowl hunt, retriever both from land and water. This test is for inexperienced or young retrievers where the judges look for natural ability rather than trained performance. Consists of four tests, two tests shall be marked water retrievers (singles) and two will be marked land retrieves (singles). Distances rarely exceed 75 yards on land and 50 yards on water. Awarded to a dog that has earned 10 pts. and passed four started tests. A maximum of 10 Championship points can be earned in this category towards a higher title.

Hunting Retriever (HR) (Seasoned) –A United Kennel Club/Hunting Retriever club title used as a prefix, before the name. This title is achieved upon attaining 40 Championship points. Ten Championship points are awarded per UKC Licensed Hunt test. This test is for a dog with a couple of seasons of hunting experience. The judges look for steadiness on line, delivery to hand, style, natural ability and a reasonable degree of control. Consists of five tests, a doubled-marked water retrieve; a double-marked land retrieve; a walk-up, tracking or quartering test; a blind land retrieve and a blind water retrieve. Distances rarely exceed 100 yards on land, 75 yards on water, and 50 yards on blinds. Steadiness at the point of origin and delivery to hand is required. Each pass earns 10 points towards the HR title.

Hunting Retriever Champion (HRCH) (Finished) - A United Kennel Club/Hunting Retriever club title used as a prefix, before the name. This title is achieved upon attaining 100 championship points. Fifteen Championship points are awarded per UKC Licensed Hunt test. The judges look for style and accuracy coupled with natural ability and a trained performance. A retriever who competes in this area must respond promptly to voice or whistle commands and remain steady and under control at all times. They should be “a pleasure to hunt with under any conditions.” Consists of at least four tests, a multiple-marked water retrieve; a multiple-marked land retrieve; (either the land or water marks must include an honor and a diversion retrieve); a blind land retrieve and a blind water retrieve. The judges can, as an option, include an upland game test.

Grand Hunting Retriever Champion (GRHRCH) - Grand Hunting Retriever Champion. A UKC/HRC title used as a prefix, denoting that a Retriever has qualified in one of the semi- annual HRC Grand event. This title is achieved upon successful completion of two of these tests and the accumulation of 200 more points after earning the HRCH degree, for a total of 300 points. The judges look for demonstrated versatility and excellence in performing under all hunting conditions, ranging from various waterfowl environments found in coastal marshes, inland waterways, flooded timber, western prairies to upland game conditions while hunting grouse, pheasant or dove. The Grand Hunting Retriever is to be steady and under control at all times and is eager and prompt to respond to all commands with style and precision. Consists of tests over 4 days, and will contain at least five tests, a multiple-marked water retrieve; a multiple-marked land retrieve; (either or both of the marking tests must include an honor and a diversion retrieve); a blind land retrieve and a blind water retrieve and an upland game and quartering test. Forty Championship points are awarded for those dogs that pass all Grand Hunting Retriever tests.

Upland Hunter (UH) - A United Kennel Club/Hunting Retriever club title used as a prefix. Dogs do not have to have earned championship points in any other regular hunt test in order to participate in the upland test. This title is achieved upon attaining 40 Upland Hunter Championship points. Upland points only count toward the Upland Hunter Title and HRC’s 500/1000-point clubs. The test consists of a simulated walk-up hunt, a quartering test and an optional tracking test. Dogs must be steady to wing and shot and return to the previous hunting range upon being called by voice or whistle. The dog must hunt all available cover diligently and be under control. Honoring of another dog is required. During the test the dog will be required to locate and retrieve game as directed by the judges.

HRC 500/1000 Clubs - These are recognition programs within the HRC that recognized dogs and owners for achieving 500 and/or 1000 UCK Champion points in the HRC Hunt Test & Upland Hunt programs.

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. The concept is based solely on simulating real hunting situations, both upland and waterfowling. Each test is based upon a hunting scenario. NAHRA's purpose in establishing this concept is to discover and reward dogs that can fulfill the hunter's needs in the field by performing in a manner consistent with the demands of actual hunting conditions. The objective is to recover the bird as quickly and efficiently as possible, to create the least amount of disturbance in the marsh and upland and to give the hunter the maximum amount of time to actually take game. Dogs are placed in four categories based on ability not age: Beginner, Started, Intermediate and Senior. Dogs do not compete against one another for placements, but rather their performances are judged individually against a "standard." Thus, the dog should be scored on its hunting Performance as stated for each category.

SR - Started Retriever. A NAHRA title used before the dog’s name. The purpose of the Started Hunting Retriever Field Test is to bring started dogs along as hunters. Desire and cooperation with the handler are important factors. In the Started category, instinct is more in evidence than obedience. This is a chance for a dog to be evaluated without the high expectations of a finished retriever and it should be given a little leeway in obedience. By the same token, he should show signs of trying to behave, understanding basic commands, as well as the ability to perform basic marked retrieves. A dog receiving a Qualifying score in the Started testing category at a Licensed NAHRA Field Test shall be credited with two and one half (2.S) points toward the title Started Hunting Retriever (SR). The title Started Hunting Retriever (SR) will be issued to the owner of a dog acquiring ten (10) points in the Started testing category at Licensed NAHRA Hunting Retriever Field Test. A dog that qualifies in four Licensed NAHRA Started Field Tests within a calendar year (January 1 to December 31), will receive the Started Brass Band Award. A dog will be allowed to receive the Started Brass Band Award each and every year that it qualifies in four or more Licensed Started Field Tests within a calendar year and will be eligible to participate in the NAHRA Regional Field Test Program.


WR – Working Retriever. A NAHRA title used before the dog’s name. Intermediate dogs that pass the standard should be hunting dogs. They should be obedient and have a good knowledge of hunting situations. A good Intermediate dog will most likely have two or three seasons of hunting behind him and some good training on marks, doubles and basic retrieving problems. Intermediate dogs must have perseverance, ability, desire and a higher level of training. They should be steady and not be out of control. They should heel, sit, stay, come, mark, run basic water blind retrieves and deliver to hand. They should go through cover and hazards and also display a good nose. They must show concentration and desire to locate and follow the trail of a crippled bird or hunt for upland game. The marked retrieves should be done with precision. If the dog does miss a mark, he should hunt with confidence and perseverance or be handled crisply and cleanly to the bird. The dog should not hunt the whole field on each bird. The dog should display memory and intelligence. The dog should prove its nose without a doubt and also its eyes. He should run his blinds extremely well displaying style and control. A dog receiving a Qualifying score in the Intermediate testing category at a Licensed NAHRA Field Test shall be credited with five (5) points toward the title Working Retriever (WR). The title Working Retriever (WR) will be issued to the owner of a dog acquiring twenty (20) points in the Intermediate testing category at Licensed NAHRA Hunting Retriever Field Tests. A dog that qualifies in four Licensed NAHRA Intermediate held Tests within a calendar year (January 1 to December 31), will receive the Intermediate Brass Band Award. A dog will be allowed to receive the Brass Band Award each and every year that it qualifies in four or more Licensed Field Tests at the respective level within a calendar year and will be eligible to participate in the NAHRA Regional Field Test program.


MHR - Master Hunting Retriever. A NAHRA title used before the dog’s name. The Senior test takes an Intermediate dog and adds a lot of training and experience. A Senior Dog by definition is a finished hunting retriever. Senior dogs should be under complete control at all times and steady under all conditions. They should handle sharply and mark precisely. They should be able to ignore diversions while returning from marks and handle off "poison birds" on blinds. They are the elite of all hunting dogs and should show it. They are the dogs that any of us would be proud to own and hunt with anywhere in the country. These dogs should be able to work cover and water, run multiple marked retrieves and blind retrieves on water and land and be steady to shot and fall. Here his work must be carried out with precision and control. A dog receiving a Qualifying score in the Senior testing category at a Licensed NAHRA Hunting Retriever Field Test shall be credited with twenty (20) points toward the title of Master Hunting Retriever (MHR). Dogs that have acquired points in the Senior testing category at Licensed NAHRA Hunting Retriever Field Tests may continue to enter either the Started or Intermediate testing categories. In order to be recorded as a Master Hunting Retriever (MHR) a dog must be an approved purebred breed registered with an approved breed registry and must have a record of having accumulated at least one hundred (100) points in Licensed NAHRA Hunting Retriever Field Tests in the Senior testing category or have accumulated twenty (20) Intermediate points and eighty (80) Senior points in Licensed NAHRA Hunting Retriever Field Tests. Upon completion of these requirements a dog will be recorded as a Master Hunting Retriever (MHR) by the North American Hunting Retriever Association, Inc. and, where appropriate, may display the title Master Hunting Retriever or the initials MHR before its name.

Grand Master Hunting Retriever (GMHR) - A NAHRA title used before the dog’s name. A Master Hunting Retriever that goes on to accumulate 300 or more points in the Senior testing category at Licensed NAHRA Hunting Retriever Field Tests will be recorded as a Grand Master Hunting Retriever (GMHR) by the North American Hunting Retriever Association, Inc. and, where appropriate, may display the title Grand Master Hunting Retriever or the initials GMHR before its name.

National Field Retriever Association (NFRA) - A relatively new organization that offers competitive field-tests for retrievers. This organization merges the best aspects of contemporary hunt tests with field trials. The dogs are scored via an innovative scorings system called “deductive-objective” and “deductive-subjective” scoring. The four dogs with the best scores are designated by the judges as “Field Test Winners.” Each year the NFRA awards the overall High-Point Dog for each Stake regardless of sex or breed. The High point dog by breed and sex are also awarded. The dog with the greatest number of Derby points accrued before the dog is 30 months of age is awarded annually. Dogs compete in stakes such as junior, derby, senior, master and open. The titles earned are Junior Field Retriever (JFR), Derby Field Retriever (DFR), Senior field Retriever (SFR), master Field Retriever (MFR) and Field Test Champion (FTC). All titles are used as a prefix to the dog’s name. Additional awards and recognition of field achievements provided by NFRA include:
National Master Field Retriever Stake: Dogs qualify to be invited to participate in the annual running of the National Master Field Retriever Stake. Dogs that qualify at the National shall receive the recognition of NMQ and the best scoring dog shall receive the coveted title of National Master Field Retriever (NMFR).

National Open Championship: Dogs qualify to be invited to the annual running of the National Open Championship. Dogs that finish the National Open Championship shall be designated and recorded as National Open Finalists (NOF). The best scoring dog shall receive the coveted title of National Field Test Champion (NFTC).

National Derby Champion (NDC) - A NFRA designation that is awarded annually to the dog with the greatest number of Derby points accrued before the dog is 30 months of age.

National Master Field Retriever Stake - An annual NFRA event. Dogs must qualify in order to run this stake. Dogs that qualify at the national shall receive the NMQ designation. The best scoring dog shall receive the title of National Master Field Retriever (NMFR).

National Open Championship - An annual NFRA event. Dogs must qualify in order to run this stake. Dogs that qualify at the national shall receive the NOF designation. The best scoring dog shall receive the title of National Field Test Champion (NFTC).


Something To Think About
Authored by Jim Willis-

When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" - but then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.

My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch - because your touch was now so infrequent - and I would have defended them with my life if need be.

I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you - that you had changed your mind - that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself - a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.


1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years.  Any separation from you is likely
to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me.  It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment.  You
have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me.  Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your
voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you,
and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if
something might be bothering me.  Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I
have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old.  You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please.  Never say you
can't bear to watch.  Don't make me face this alone.  Everything is easier
for me if you are there, because I love you so.
~Take a moment today to thank God for your pets.  Enjoy and take good care
of them.
  Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God's critters