HRCH UH Doubleplay’s Tucker Mac
Call Name “Tucker”
Tucker is a four-year-old black, male lab owned and handled by A.J. McDonald of Baton Rouge, LA. Their story began shortly after A.J. graduated from Mississippi State University in 2012. Having moved to Baton Rouge for a job in engineering, A.J. decided it was time to find the black lab he had always wanted. Having watched ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, he wanted a dog he could teach and train, which would be a companion. A dog he could take duck hunting, when time allowed. Steve Riggins, of Bear Creek on the Bayou, had just the pup. He was a 13-week-old pup who would become known as Tucker.
Tucker trained with Steve early in his career, and Tucker started running hunt tests in 2013. It was after A.J. watched Steve compete with a dog, Boomer, at the 4×4 in Texas that he really became interested in the Super Retriever Series. Tucker and A.J. competed in their first SRS event in Grenada, MS in 2014 and have been coming back ever since.
Tucker’s greatest strengths are mechanics, lining, and handling, according to A.J. and his Achilles tendon is long marks, something A.J. and Tucker are working on. They train regularly and run 8-12 hunt tests and trials per year.
The 5 Big Questions:
Where does your dog sleep? – “On my bedroom floor. He will get in the bed sometimes, but he knows he is not supposed to be there and will eventually get down.”
What are your strengths as a handler? – “Well, I grew up riding and training horses so have been around animals all of my life. It was only after I began working with Steve that he helped me to realize and understand my ability to read animals and their body language in particular. This had a profound effect on developing my skills as a dog handler.”
What are you weaknesses as a handler? – “I get nervous and the dog feeds off of that which all comes down to experience and patience.”
If you had to describe Tucker in one word what would it be and why? – “Honest. Tucker is honest to a fault. He is a dog that will rarely lie to you. He tells you all you need to know through his eyes and body language.”
If Tucker could describe you in one word what would it be? – “ Critical. I am very critical of every move Tucker makes and often too critical. Dogs make mistakes, and we as owners and handlers must be forgiving at times.”