I use LOTS of flyers, I have a particularly sneaky bitch that will try to return to the old fall of a tempting flyer and I try to make it very clear to her on a regular basis, that is not allowed. She is 4 and has 3 MH passes, I don't run her often because I know what will happen if I do. Train way more than test. Building a young dog and teaching not to return to old fall, but letting them be comfortable about running through an old fall, very important.
The old school way that I used on my first two dogs was to really drop the hammer on the dog when he fell into the "old fall" trap. That method came back to haunt me as marks got tighter and judges started placing blinds tight to, or right over the old fall. My dogs had learned their lesson well and would not go anywhere near that spot. I would have a big banana line to a long bird around the short one. I have since learned to teach it in a more gentle manner.
Have you done the 4-phase drill (or something like it) to teach the concept in the yard?
Have a line to a blind of 100 yards or so, and put a bird boy at 20 yards about 10 steps off the line. Start out throwing away from the line, picking it up, and then running to the blind - i.e., go here, don't go back over there. You can vary this if you need to, as I had to start out with birds on the blind and bumpers on the throws or we were going to have a heckuva fight. If the dog tries to go back to the mark, stop him and cast him to the blind. I would use lots of attrition here unless the dog really flipped me off. This is a clear illustration of "go here, not back to that old fall."
Once he has it at 20 yards, repeat at 40 yards, until you get out to 80, which is of course the most tempting. Then you will come back to 20 yards, only this time put the bird boy where the throws were landing and land the throws where the bird boy was previously - throwing toward the line but not on it. Even more tempting for the dog. Again, handle away from the fall and only use pressure if the dog clearly goes independent on you. Keep moving out as you did before. Another clear lesson in "go here, not back to that very enticing old fall."
If you want to finish, come back to 20 and land the marks on the line for pushing through old falls, repeat the same procedure except I would not stop the dog if he breaks down at the old fall. Remember, what you want is for him to realize there is no bird there and keep going and not blow up on the last bird of a JH title . . . but I digress. If I had it to do over I would send the dog on this one, putting my hand up in a back cast as soon as he left the line. When I saw his tail drop, indicating he was breaking down, I would give him a loud "back" and keep doing it until he took off for the blind.
You can to this same thing with under the arc throws as well, and you will have taught the dog the 4 basic concepts. Be sure to do it throwing from both sides as well; remember that dogs are not good at generalizing. And of course you realize that this is not much more than a one-legged pattern blind with diversions.
This uses a blind instead of a memory mark, but the concept is the same, and you might be able to teach it better by removing the stress of having to remember where the memory bird is. When you cue the dog for "dead bird" or whatever you use, it should be clear that the dog is to keep moving until further directed by you or until it comes across a retrieve object. The dog would also expect to be handled, and you can teach what you need to teach without a lot of handling on marks, which you want to avoid as much as possible, all other things being equal.
i think this just stems from lack of confidence on marks and resorting to old falls. i need to build his confidence but at the same time correct on old falls when given. thats why i was wondering if there's any particular gunner layout that was more succeptable to giving way to returning to old falls. or is it more of a bird placement/factor thing
Sorry to bring the intelligence of the thread down but I'm just trying to understand the OP's original setup. Is the memory bird past the the go bird or is the memory bird tight to the go bird?
I don't know of any drills or concepts to help but, I would definitely use my bird boy to assist in this one. Ken, has the right idea in my book. Litter the new area with birds until your pup gets the right idea. If this were me I would take a step back and not give my pup the option to run to the old AOF and slowly work closer setups until I'm confident he won't run to the previous AOF (I don't have a bird boy). I don't know if this were said or not but could you have your Bboy call and throw another bird when the dog is in route?
If my dog is working through a drill without a hitch, he is not learning anything. With him, you set up something like this, teach the concept, and then tweak it a little to get him to succumb to the suction, because that's where the lesson is taught, whether through attrition or through pressure. Or you move it to a different place, even turn around and run the opposite way, and get your correction (attrition or pressure) that way.
If it is from lack of confidence then simply use your bird boy on the memory bird. Let them help the dog & forget about corrections for now.
Frankly instead of setting the dog up to fail, by going to old fall, I'd teach him success in persevering for harder birds. Wide open double with difficult bird placement, teach that dog to trust its eyes and stick in there to pull the bird out. Getting to tight too early is going to lead to issues in a young dog.
one thing the group I am a part uses is "duck soup". Get the worst duck of the day and let it soak in a bucket of water for an hour or so, agitate every now and then. Then we will take the duck and bucket over to the area want to use to simulate a flyer fall area and dunk the duck in the bucket water and let the duck drippings set up a fall area.
We use this method to scent a point, create scent on the way to a blind or work on a blind through the area of an old fall. Most of us in a small training group can't simulate the smells at a hunt test where you are dog number sixty or the national events where you are dog 200. So, duck soup is one of the things we use to help our dog learn to ignore false scent areas.
As far as going back to an old area of the fall, don't be eager to correct. You need to make sure that it is an error relating to lack of effort before correcting and not lack of experience. Do lots of short bird, long bird setups and let the dog work it out. Have the BB stay visible can also help with memory. You can also have the BB throw two for the memory bird.
Hope this helps