Glossary of Basic Terms

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A Return to Menu  
Air To   provide a dog with a period of time to empty his bladder and bowels.
Angling Diagonally   traversing terrain or entering water other than on perpendicular lines.
B Return to Menu  
Back A hand   signal or verbal command issued to the dog to direct him away from the   handler.
BaseballPrimary drill for teaching directional casts;   right and left “overs” and “back casts.
BalkDog   refuses to leave handler when ordered to retrieve. Also called a   “no-go”.
BirdinessHigh   appreciation of feathers, a desirable quality in a dog.
Blind A bird   or dummy planted where the handler knows the location but the dog does not.   The art of guiding a dog to an item the dog did not see fall through the use   of voice, whistle, and body movements.
Blind Retrieve Any   retrieve in which the dog does not know the location of the bird or bumper,   but the handler does.
BlinkWhen   the dog goes by an item that it has clearly seen and is supposed to have   retrieved. Refusal of a dog to pick up a bird or training dummy.
BoltWhen a   dog runs away (bolts) from the trainer. Dog refuses handler’s directives   (voice commands and/or whistles) to stop or to return to handler.
BreakAttempt   of a dog to retrieve a bird/bumper before being released by his handler.
BumperA   plastic or canvas boat fender, usually cylindrical and approximately the size   of a bird used for training; most have a throwing rope attached.
C Return to Menu  
Call BacksA list   provided by the judges prior to the next series in an event. This list   denotes those who are invited back to continue participating in the hunt   test. Those who do not make the “call back” list have been   disqualified for some reason.
CastA   whistle and arm signal or body movement given by a handler that tells the dog   a specific direction to take to find a bird or bumper.
Cast RefusalDog   fails to go in the direction ordered.
CERF (Caninie Eye Registration Foundation) CERF is   dedicated to the elimination of heritable eye disease in purebred dogs   through registration and research. CERF Registry registers dogs certified   free of heritable eye disease by members of the of the American College of   Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO). More information at
ChannelingSwimming   a long, deep, narrow body of water.
CheatingWhen a   dog avoids cover or obstacles reroute to or returning from a retrieve.
CNM (Centronuclear Myopathies) A group   of congential myopathies where cell nuclei are abnormally located in the   cells of skeletal muscle cells. Nuclei are located in the center of the   skeletal muscle, instead of the periphery. Symptoms in puppies includes   significant weight loss, an awkwark gait, low muscle tone and weakness   (hypotonia). CNM has been found in both field and conformation Labrador   Retrievers globally including the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and   Sweden. More information at
Cold blindAny   blind retrieve that the dog has never run or practice before
Controlled BreakA dog   which tries to break but is called back by the handler after a short   distance. Permissible but subject to penalty in some hunt test and field   trial events.
CoverAny   grass, brush, vegetation, or trees that may conceal the bird or dog and   affect scenting conditions.
CreepDog   moves a short distance in the direction of a mark(s) while they are being   thrown and before being sent for the retrieve.
D Return to Menu  
Delay BirdAny   mark shot after one or more birds of a multiple are retrieved.
DiversionAn   accompanying mark or blind that adds difficulty to a following mark or blind
Double MarkTwo   marked-fall retrieves. Both marks fall before the dog is released to make a   retrieve.
DragbackTrail   of incoming scent left in the field by preceding dogs and birds.
Dry ShotA shot   fired without an accompanying dead bird throw or flyer. Also called a dry   pop.
E Return to Menu
Exercise-Induced Collapse Syndrome (EIC) Genetically   inherited syndrome; most affected dogs have been from field trial breeding.   It is a common reason for exercise intolerance and collapse in apparently   healthy Labrador Retrievers. Signs typically first become apparent in young   dogs between 5 months and 5 years of age (average 12 months). Labradors of   all colors (black, yellow, chocolate) are affected, and males and females are   equally affected. Dogs with EIC are often described by their owners as being   extremely fit and muscular with a very excitable temperament and lots of   retrieving drive. DNA testing is available. More information at
F Return to Menu
FlyerA live   bird shot for dogs to retrieve.
Force-fetchA   method that teaches the dog he must retrieve when commanded.
Forty-nine-day theoryA   belief of some canine behaviorists’ in the optimum time (seven weeks after   birth) for a developing puppy to leave the litter.
FountainA gun   station that throws two marks, on to each side of the position, in sequence.
FreezingA dog   that refuses to release a bird to his handler is said to “freeze”   on the bird. Also called “sticking”.
G Return to Menu
GalleryThe   main body of hunt-test or field-trial observers; the audience.
GunnerPositions   or people who throw and shoot birds as a mark.
H Return to Menu
HandleTo   direct a dog to a bird/dummy by using whistle, voice and arm signals.
HandlerThe   person releasing the dog to make a retriever.
Happy Bumper A   frivolous fun mark; i.e. throwing fun bumpers following a training session.
Hard MouthThe action   said to occur when a dog 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. This is difficult to remedy once the habit has been formed.
HoldA   command used during conditioned retrieving by some to insure that the dog   knows that he must hold, in his mouth, any object placed there.
Holding BlindA   fabric (usually) screen put in place to hide a retired gun or prevent a dog   from viewing a test before he has run.
Honor(1)   When a dog must observe another dog making a retrieve. An honoring dog should   watch the entire sequence of birds flying, being shot and falling without   interfering through sound or motion with the “working dog”. (2) The   honoring dog must watch and remain steady while another dog retrieves.
K Return to Menu
Kennel (1) A   dog run. (2) A command for the dog to return to his crate or dog box on a   truck.
Key Bird The   most difficult mark of a multiple .
L Return to Menu
Land MarkA mark   that is in a location where a dog is directed to it via mostly land.
Leave It A   command for a dog to ignore a bird or bumper.
Line MannersA term   used to describe how a dog acts while sitting at the “line” under   judgment.
LiningThe   handler’s adjustment in setting up the position of his/her dog before running   the mark or blind.
Lining the Blind Executing   a perfect line of travel between the handler and the blind without a single   whistle or cast.
M Return to Menu
MarkA bird   or training bumper thrown as the dog can watches it go down. A foundation   task for dogs.
N Return to Menu
No-GoDog   refuses to leave line when ordered to do so. Also called a “balk”.
O Return to Menu
OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals)An   organization that disseminates information concerning orthopedic and genetic   diseases (i.e., hip displasia) of animals, which is dedicated to lower the   incidence of orthopedic and genetic disease in animals. More information at
Old Fall The   place where another bird has previously been retrieved, leaving a scent that   may divert a dog in a subsequent retrieve.
Over(1) A   term denoting “in a lateral direction”. (2) A signal given with the   arm and hand, directing the dog in a lateral direction. (3) A verbal command   issued to the dog to send him in a lateral direction (4) The movement of a   dog in a lateral direction.
Over and Under A   configuration of marks in which a long bird falls on the same line as a   shorter mark.
OutcrossA   breeding made between unrelated family bloodlines.
P Return to Menu
PatternAny   familiar or memorized drill.
Permanent Blind A   memorized patter blind made to teach line running and build a dog’s   confidence.
Pick Up (1) The   physical act and the individual dog’s style in picking up his game birds. (2)   “Pick up your dog” – a judge’s request of the handler to call in or   remove his/her dog from the test field (3) “Pick up dog” – a dog   that goes down the field and locates birds that were not recovered during the   hunt test.
PinWhen a   dog runs directly to the fall and picks up the item with out a hunt.
Poison Bird A   marked bird that the dog is instructed to ignore before executing another   task.
Poison Ground An area   deliberately scented (“salted”) with bird scent by the judges.
Pop(1) A   dog who stops its hunt and looks at the handler for direction without being   directed to do so is said to “pop”. It is considered a fault. (2)   To shoot a blank shotgun shell, i.e. pop and throw a bird.
PremiumA   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.
Pull (Suction) The   attraction of the dog to a certain area because of scent, previous marks or   geographic topography; enticement to an area.
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QuarteringThe   orderly method of questing for game, employing the dog’s nose.
R Return to Menu
RecastA   second attempt to send a dog from the line.
Retired Gun A gun   that disappears from sight after throwing and shooting the a mark.
S Return to Menu
SelectionAny   method of retrieving multiple marks out of the sequence in which they fall.
SingleOne   marked retrieve or blind.
StakeAn event   or contest; an event level i.e. Started, Hunter, Intermediate or Senior   stake.
SteadyA dog   which waits to be sent for a mark(s) after they are thrown; a dog that does   not break. The term is 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.
StickingA dog   that refuses to release a bird to his handler is said to “stick” on   the bird. Also called “freezing”.
Suction (Pull) The   attraction of the dog to a certain area because of scent, previous marks or   geographic topography; enticement to an area.
SwitchThe act   of a dog to leave the area of one mark after hunting for it and to go to   another, more easily remembered mark.
W Return to Menu
Walk Up A test   intended to simulate actual hunting: The handler, with dog at heel, judges   and gunners, all advance together in the field before the birds are thrown   and shot.
Water MarkA mark   that is in a location where a dog is directed to it via mostly water.
Whistle Command Commands   give to the dog by the handler using his/her whistle; i.e. repeated short   toots means “come” or “come in”; one long blast means   “sit”.
Whistle RefusalFailure   of a dog to respond to a whistle command.

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