Most hunts offer a non-regular class called a Puppy Learning Experience or a Novice Learning Experience, usually as part of the practice day before the official trial begins. The goal of the PLE/NLE is two-fold. First, the new handlers get some mentoring on how to work with their dogs on the field, how to get the dogs into cover, how to recognize when the dogs are scenting. Second, the dogs get a chance to see/smell a caged rabbit (if one is available), and go out on the field with an experienced dog who will (hopefully) start a rabbit or two to get the ball rolling. The PLE/NLE is highly recommended for all new handlers.

(Note that puppies under 6 months can be out on the field during the practice day, but cannot be entered in the trial.)