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Thread: First Master Test question re "Challenging the Blind"

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    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Default First Master Test question re "Challenging the Blind"

    We're about to run our first Master test this weekend. I've read that "challenging the blind" is very important. How tight a line to the blind is considered challenging the blind? I'm afraid to risk refusals if I handle too much.

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    Senior Member Ron in Portland's Avatar
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    There are several ways to know.

    Watch dogs run, see which ones you think would be on the bubble to fail, and see who gets carried. That will give you a feel for what is considered "passing". Of course, not all judges see it the same.

    Another way is to look at the line to the blind and do your best to stay on it. Blow as many whistles as you feel your dog has in him, to stay on the line. If you feel blowing another whistle isn't going to get you what you want from your dog, then don't blow it, but the judges will judge accordingly. (and train further for next time)

    I think the main thing is to look at the line to the blind and see where the challenges are. Do the judges want you to go over a point of land? Through a keyhole between the trees? Down the shore to the blind? That's what you should challenge. If your dog is swimming past a point, at least give one or two tries to cast them on it. Between some trees? Don't let him carry past them before blowing your whistle. Down teh shore, don't let him beach halfway there and run the bank without giving a least a few tries to cast him back into the water (use a straight over, it's testing, not training).

    It's the handler that doesn't even attempt to handle to or through the obstacle that gets dropped for not "challenging the blind". I had a judge refer to those as "neighborhood blinds". You give your dog a back, and let him run straight out until he's in the neighborhood of the blind and then you give him a big over. The handler thinks he's one-whistled the blind, and wonders why he's been dropped.
    Ron
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    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2tall View Post
    I think if you are afraid of refusals, you are probably not quite ready for that level. When my dog passed his first senior this weekend, I was delighted to hear the judge say "challenge the blind"! Knew we could.

    We have passed all three intermediate levels AKC, NAHRA, and HRC. He has lined a few blinds at that level without any handling. We train out to over 200 yards on land and water. He responds well to whistle and hand. I have worked more than a few Master tests but from a flyer or winger station. I have never actually seen a Master test from the line. What I am trying to get is how tight to the line will the judges expect us to hold.




    Quote Originally Posted by Ron in Portland View Post
    It's the handler that doesn't even attempt to handle to or through the obstacle that gets dropped for not "challenging the blind". I had a judge refer to those as "neighborhood blinds". You give your dog a back, and let him run straight out until he's in the neighborhood of the blind and then you give him a big over. The handler thinks he's one-whistled the blind, and wonders why he's been dropped.

    Ron, thanks for the thoughtful answer. I just learned something.

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    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Draw a straight line from mat to bird. Hit the key aspects of the blind. Stay inside 5 yards to either side of the line.

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
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    Senior Member Good Dogs's Avatar
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    It depends on the judge. (Don't you hate that answer?) But if one of them says "Challenge the blind" you know they are looking for a very tight line and a narrow fairway. And there is at least one judge out there that, regardless of how well you hold inside the fairway, will drop you if phideaux does not hit or cross the line at least once. (That's his definition of "challenging the blind.") Understand also that the "fairway" is not always the same width on each side of the line. If 5 yds to one side puts you on the beach on a shoreline blind you're off course, but 5 yds out to sea will likely play.
    A well constructed blind, will as noted above, present obvious hazards or obstacles that have to be managed. A good judge sets those up in anticipation that dogs will have to handled to manage the course of the blind, so don't be afraid of your whistle. Think about what the judges are likely looking for at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the blind. Pick out your guideposts and focus on hitting each one along the way. It's easy to suddenly realize that the tight line you thought you were running is actually way off line.
    Good luck, have fun and don't forget to breathe.
    Last edited by Good Dogs; 08-29-2013 at 07:43 PM.

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    Senior Member Sue Kiefer's Avatar
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    Worry more about cast refusals and whistle refusals . If you are looking at the blind ,run it like shooting an arrow of sorts.
    Common sense will tell you that "IF" you have to give a big over you are probably out and NOT challenging the blind.
    Sue
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    Senior Member j towne's Avatar
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    I look at the line to the blind and think to myself why did the judge set up this blind and look at the obsticles. Is there a key hole, point, log, ditch, or cover and try to make sure my dogs doesnt avoid the obsticles.

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    Senior Member twall's Avatar
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    The judges set up blinds so they will get to see how well dogs handle. They want to see dog and handler work as a team. They don't want to see the dog swim offline and then take one over and pick up the bird. Handlers count whistles, judges shouldn't. Dogs running before you will show you where the challenges are.

    Don't over-analyze the blind. And, don't over handle.

    Have fun with your dog,

    Tom
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    Senior Member Jeff Brezee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Kiefer View Post
    Worry more about cast refusals and whistle refusals . If you are looking at the blind ,run it like shooting an arrow of sorts.
    Common sense will tell you that "IF" you have to give a big over you are probably out and NOT challenging the blind.
    Sue
    I agree with this, but, respectfuly, that "big over" can be the $$$ cast when it comes to a key feature..
    Last edited by Jeff Brezee; 08-29-2013 at 09:44 AM.
    Jeff Brezee

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    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    How many of the people who replied actually judge master?

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
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