Maybe this is too elementary but. The hand is not used to line up the dog. You do that with your feet by shifting one way or the other and maybe tapping your leg. Putting the hand down is just like saying, yep thats right. It is just a confirmation that he is looking in the right direction.
I don't know what level of experience you have. Do you have a video of you and your dog working on multiple blinds and the head swinging?
Failing that I would suggest you work on a wagon wheel drill until you two get on the same team.
Hope this helps.
What Lainee said "...the dog may have zero confidence in you and is trying to avoid doing the work, but if you kick the dog off regardless of where it is looking he will eventually realize it does no good to look around...the longer you futz at the line to try and get the dog to look where you want the more you will make it nervous and then things unravel very quickly. Put your hand in, try and get them to look out where you want them to, but don't futz for ever, then kick them off... "
I can hear Patti now saying the same thing. and also that I am harder to train than the dog. :)
There are 3 factors involved: the dog, you and the 2 of you together.
The dog: Was the dog taught to heel(body,head and eyes) and line properly? Did the dog exhibit the same lack of focus/confidence with the pro?
You: Were you taught how to heel, line and send this dog? Is your lack of confidence or hesitancy confusing the dog?
You may want get the 2 of you on the same page with some yard lining drills and then progress to some very short blinds.
I clicked back in here because I saw the above post if that gives you any idea how I feel about Tim's opinion.
Originally Posted by Tim Carrion
Yes I have went ahead a sent my dog even though she headed for a different blind than what I was sending her for. I stop her with the whistle and then cast her to where I want her to go. Sometimes this works great other times she doesn't take the cast and still heads for the blind that she wants to get. When she does this I recall her all of the way back to me and we start over (without any correction). After a time or two she starts to put things together and I get her to take casts where I want her to go. I have taken her pheasant hunting the past two weekends and she took casts to downed birds very good most of the time. My trainer told me that her problem is that she is a 3 1/2 yr old with a puppy brain. He hasn't qualified a dog in a couple of years now. He says that its because of lack of good dogs and not the trainer.
Darrin, I have a 7 yr old male that I have run in hunt tests and I can handle my male to blinds without any problems. My male hasn't been with a trainer in three years and I can run him on blinds and he locks on to where ever I point him. I use the que good when he looks where I am pointing him and he never veers of in any other direction. My male was a pleasure to train and run and he is the best hunting dog that I have ever been around. My male is very mild mannered and and was that way as a puppy. I had to quit running my male in any tests after he was diagnosed with squimis cell carcinoma in his lower jaw last Summer. My vet had to remove a portion of my males lower jaw (both bottom front fangs and the small teeth between them) to give my dog a chance at a longer life. It ripped my heart out to hear the word cancer as I lost a sister just a few years ago (44 yrs old) to cancer and the emotional pain that it caused. My vet said that my dog would adapt better than I would and it was true, my male loves to retrieve his Dokken ducks since they are soft and don't hurt his mouth plus he still loves to hunt and has no major problem picking up wounded birds, just takes a little while for him to get the right hold on the bird and he happily brings it to me. I take my male out and run blinds with him using the Dokken ducks almost every day here on the farm where I run my female. My female is a hyper girl and was this way as a puppy and hasn't changed a bit with age. Both of my labs are both AKC certified companion dogs and my male passed the International Therapy Dog test (TDI). I am hoping to do the same with my female after she gets QAA so she can go to hospitals and nursing homes some day to visit the clients (patients). Thanks again everyone for your input its greatly appreciated.
Tom based on your description in post 16 you're missing the point of pattern blinds as it has been taught to me, which is building confidence and momentum in a young dog coming off the T. Tim's advice is very good (as always), but like I mentioned earlier you probably ought to move up, separate your lines and simplify the drill for the dog.
We can't see the behavior but either way, whether it's head swinging from destination to destination, or generally bugging (if I don't look I don't have to go), the mechanics of a solution are pretty consistent, move up, simplify and use the drill for what it's designed for, building momentum and confidence in the dog.
You can't put this (or anything else) on the dog or the training/trainer, you have to think through how to get the behavior you're looking for. That's all that really matters. Causes are good for short cutting to the right solution but you have to be in problem solving mode at all times here. Right now you have a problem, so how do you fix it? What you're doing doesn't seem to be working, so time for something different. Simplification is usually the next step.
I'm sure others with more accomplishments than me have suggestions, this is just how I was taught.
Good luck with it.
A follow up on Lainee and Darrin, set up a field with multiple pattern blinds, maybe four or five at various distances. Once the dog has learned their location run from different angles. With a "buggy" dog walk up to the line in line with the blind you want to run, so the dog is already facing the right direction, sit the dog, say "dead bird" and send. Do it rather quickly, don't take a lot of time trying to fine tune the line, just send. The thing you are working on is momentum, even if it's the wrong direction, you want the dog launching off line with "go". Depending on how your pattern blinds are placed, the dog if going in a different direction might be generally heading for another of the pattern blinds, if so run him to that blind. We want two things here, 1) leaving the blind with good momentum and 2) him being rewarded by getting to the blind. You can also use birds instead of bumpers to make the reward richer.