Intro to AKC Hunt Test Titles

AKC Hunt Tests

Hunt Tests are non-Competitive tests in which the dog (and handler) is measured against a standard. If the dog (and handler) meet the standard, a “pass” is earned. These tests are designed to resemble actual hunting situations. Each organization has different requirements yet is equally difficult and resembles different hunting scenarios. Hunt Tests are the most popular field events. Retrieves in hunt tests are typically between 60 & 120 yards.

JH = Junior Hunter: This is an AKC title that is earned by receiving 4 passes at the Junior level in a licensed Hunt Test. This is the beginning level in the AKC Hunt Test program. For a single pass a dog must complete two water retrieves and two land retrieves and deliver the bird  to the handlers hand. Many clubs are starting to throw one of the birds as a flyer which makes it a little more difficult for these young dogs. The dog is to show restraint at the line and have respectable line manners.  While this may seem basic, the following are just a few of the line manners in which a dog can be disqualified: chomping/biting the bird, not delivering to hand, breaking without having their name called (your dog can wear a flat buckle collar and you can restrain him/her), not finding a bird (failure to hunt), excessive whining or barking, taking too long on a retrieve, not heeling, and not sitting.  Most hunters would be very satisfied with a dog capable of achieving a JH, and similar to the UKC titles, this is considered a Started Gun Dog.

SH = Senior Hunter: This is an AKC title that is earned by receiving 5 passes (4 with a JH title) at the Senior level in a licensed Hunt Test. This is the level at which most hunting retrievers run and this dog has a great deal more restraint than its JH counterpart. Retrieves are similar to that of the Junior test (regarding distance and cover), with the addition of a blind retrieve, these marks are thrown as doubles, an honor (not charging out when a different dogs name is called), a walk up, one flyer, a land and a water setup, and they are still judged on the line manners but with more scrutiny.

MH = Master Hunter: This is an AKC title that is earned by receiving 6 passes (5 with a SH title) at the Master level in a licensed Hunt Test. This is the highest possible Hunt Test title offered in the AKC. Similar to the Senior test, but diversion and poison birds are used. Marks get progressively more difficult from the juniors to the seniors and to the masters. Many of the master tests will not only have all the above listed tests, but will also have a second blind, more than one flyer, a diversion shot, multiple entry and reentries into water, the blinds may be extended out 200 yards.

MNH = Master National Hunter: The Master National is a special series event that requires qualification through running Master Tests. To qualify for the Master National event, a dog must have a total of 6 qualifications each year in the Master category from a MN member club(s). In addition, every dog running in the MN event must also have an MH title from the AKC. Any dog that ran and qualified at the previous year’s Master National event needs only 4 qualifications during the next year to qualify. Any dog that has earned the MNH title is exempt from having to re-qualify. When a dog has successfully passed 3 Master Nationals they earn the MNH title. More can be read here: 

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