About the Hunting Retriever Club (HRC)

Hunting Retriever Club

The Preamble of the Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. constitution states its primary purpose to be: "...the betterment of Hunting Retrievers as a whole and to influence the breeding and training of a better and finer Hunting Retriever; to provide hunters and Hunting Retrievers a series of actual hunting tests in a controlled system and furnish an ongoing educational program for the Hunters, for their training, experience, and sporting competition. Further, it is the purpose of this Association to support and protect the inherent rights of its members to own, hunt, bear arms, to promote the breed and type of dog of their choice and promote complimentary conservation and management of game birds and wildlife species commonly pursued by the members of the Hunting Retriever Club, Inc."
The Hunting Retriever Club or HRC was founded in 1984 and today has over 8,500 members in 132 HRC clubs across 36 states and 2 provinces. It is a completely volunteer run non-profit organization, except for the Administrative Secretary. The Board of Directors and an elected Executive Committee democratically govern the HRC. "Conceived by hunters for hunters," the HRC is open to all people regardless of age, sex, and denomination. The HRC is very family--oriented and strongly encourages women and children to participate in the hunt tests. Along with being open to all people, the HRC is also open to all versatile dog breeds, not just retrievers, that can do the work necessary to complete the hunt tests.

     The HRC is affiliated with the United Kennel Club, Inc out of Kalamazoo, MI where the current hunt test registry is also located. An HRC hunt test offers five titles for the HRC program: Started Hunting Retriever (SHR), Hunting Retriever (HR), Hunting Retriever Champion (HRCH), Grand Hunting Retriever (GRHRCH) and Upland Hunter. The titles that are earned and awarded to the dog are added as a prefix instead of a suffix to the dog's name on its pedigree, as is the philosophy of the HRC. The United Kennel Club was founded in 1898, and is the second largest all breed registry in the United States. The UKC registers approximately 250,000 dogs and offers over 10,000 registered events a year.


     The HRC maintains a common sense, realistic hunting experience when testing hunting retrievers. There are five ability, not age based tests that dogs may enter into at an HRC test: Started, Seasoned, Finished, Grand and Upland. These five tests are not 1st, 2nd, 3rd place based events, but are judged on a pass/ fail hunting standard. These events are fun and allow for participants to encourage each other and offer training aid to other competitors.
 
     Judges are experienced hunters and have passed HRC tests. They also are required to apprentice as a judge, have gun safety training, attend seminars, and have handled and passed a dog in the category that they are judging, along with meeting other requirements. Hunting-oriented judges are the key to making sure there is good hunting realism during the tests.
 
     Tests are similar to hunting a retriever in the field for waterfowl and upland game. All participants of the hunt test, bird techs, judges, handlers and the galleary, wear hunting appropriate clothing to avoid creating distractions for the dogs. Bird techs (or bird throwers) and guns are hidden to simulate a real life hunting scenario for the test. In the upper three hunt tests, the handler handles the guns and their retriever along with directing their retriever to the downed birds.



More Info

For further information about the HRC or to find a HRC club in your area please visit The Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. website by clicking here.