Social Responsibility–Paying it Forward in the Pointing Dog World

Aaron and I spent the weekend in Agate, Colorado at the Skyline Brittany’s hunting tests.  This is one of our absolute favorite things to do–run our dogs in AKC hunting tests and cheer our fellow exhibitors on.

Why do we so enjoy AKC hunting tests?  Because of the strong sense of community and the camaraderie that can be found at these events.  AKC hunting tests are the perfect place for new people to get involved because they’re non-competitive events.  Testing dogs are judged against a standard and NOT against each other.   This means all dogs entered can qualify (not “win” because they aren’t competing for points).

Take this past weekend as an example.  We were so proud of fellow “newbie” club members (The Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club) for diving in and entering these tests.  With the encouragement from more experienced exhibitors, the newbie exhibitors felt they could do it.  And they did!!  Their dogs qualified in the Junior Hunter level!  All of those joyful smiles reminded me of when Aaron and I were newbies too.  How special that first ribbon is!!  A memory to be forever cherished.

Our start was very different though.  We didn’t have mentors to ask questions of or to encourage us.  Perhaps this is why we believe so strongly in “paying it forward”.  We work very hard to encourage our own puppy homes as well as new club members to come out and learn about AKC events: conformation (dog shows), hunting tests, field trials, rally, obedience, agility.  We hope other seasoned exhibitors “pay it forward” as well because without the newbies, these games we so enjoy playing will not survive.  The newbies are the future. They are the future workers, the future exhibitors, and the future judges.

We hope, by teaching and encouraging new exhibitors, they’ll in turn become the seasoned ones who will someday, take a newbie under their wing and…pay it forward!

If you’re unfamiliar with AKC hunting tests take a few minutes and check out this brochure “explaining the basics of Pointing Breed Hunting Tests“.  For more detail and all of the rules/differences between hunting tests and field trials check out the manuals below:

Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club Members--Skyline Brittany Club hunting test, Oct 2010

Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club Members enjoying a beautiful Colorado day at the Skyline Brittany Club hunting tests, Oct 2010

Written by Mel Reveles and Aaron Davis of We are proud to be founding members of the Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club–“The Specialty Vizsla Club of Colorado”, and members of the Vizsla Club of America. We are also members of the American Kennel Club’s Breeder of Merit Program.

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