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Thread: Please define secondary selection

  1. #51
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    Yeah, but can you read a dog?
    Nah, I taught him how to work the VCR so he can just watch the videos. Funny thing is he keeps putting in the instruction video on how to blow a duck call. I think he's trying to tell me something but I'm probley reading him wrong.

    /Paul
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  2. #52
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    My singular response to the inquiry is based on the definition of selection in general as defined by Rex and well chronicled by Dennis and others. My first exposure was in 1980 when first bird selection was in vogue. We spent an inordinate amount of time working on the concept in training but as Dennis stated not all dogs were reliable selectors in competition including my Percy (FC-AFC Trumarc's Hot Pursuit). Sometime in the next generation of dogs we followed the principles of second bird selection as defined by Rex and my post #2. Later Rex adopted the let the dog get whatever bird it wants approach which has come to be defined as "ideal selection". While I am still philosophically wedded to second bird selection I find strict adherence to the principle is at times disadvantageous and I stray to some hybrid form of selection. What I have learned is that sometimes you have to try to influence your dog and sometimes you have to let your dog influence you. Such are my objections to hypothetical dog training and labeling. The important part is pick a system which suits you and your dog and be consistent, dogs tend to thrive on order and consistency.
    Great post. Whatever you call it (and I am pretty surprised that there is a debate about it) the bolded part is the key and where the good handlers make a real difference at the line.

    What do I do when the dog comes back with a clear indication it wants a bird other than the next shortest? Let it get the bird it wants, essentially trusting the dog, or pull it off to the next shortest, essentially trusting that the training and repetition will let the dog figure it out? What if you are watching a number of folks do something different and being more successful with the setup than than those doing things in the more typical manner?

    I seem to guess wrong every time this comes up, unless I know that the dog didn't mark one of the birds.

  3. #53
    Senior Member shawninthesticks's Avatar
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    Can we get some diagrams of field setups that secondary selection would be used ?
    Shawn White

    HR Big Creek Retrievers Independence Day JH QAA "Indy "

  4. #54
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawninthesticks View Post
    Can we get some diagrams of field setups that secondary selection would be used ?
    Secondary selection is used 90% of the time, it is the default, you might want a diagram showing the rare cases where primary selection would be used. Secondary selection is simply "last bird down, short to long", it's what almost everybody does even if they never had a name for it.

  5. #55
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHaul View Post
    What do I do when the dog comes back with a clear indication it wants a bird other than the next shortest? Let it get the bird it wants, essentially trusting the dog, or pull it off to the next shortest, essentially trusting that the training and repetition will let the dog figure it out? What if you are watching a number of folks do something different and being more successful with the setup than than those doing things in the more typical manner?
    Good question Double. Do you simply work this out in training, and if the dog is "right" most of the time do you let him pick the bird if he shows a strong preference for one of the remaining birds? Just from listening to folks talk at training days, etc., it seems most folks have good stories about flameouts at events when they tried to argue with the dog at the line. I would guess, like most things, it depends on the dog, and more specifically what the dog is doing that moment.

    My dog is often wrong but rarely in doubt, so I guess I will just hang on for the ride and then go train some more.
    Steve Wyatt

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  6. #56
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RookieTrainer View Post
    Good question Double. Do you simply work this out in training, and if the dog is "right" most of the time do you let him pick the bird if he shows a strong preference for one of the remaining birds? Just from listening to folks talk at training days, etc., it seems most folks have good stories about flameouts at events when they tried to argue with the dog at the line. I would guess, like most things, it depends on the dog, and more specifically what the dog is doing that moment.

    My dog is often wrong but rarely in doubt, so I guess I will just hang on for the ride and then go train some more.
    "Selecting" is one of those things where your approach in training doesn't always translate to the field trial or hunt test, it also depends on the dog. I always select in training, 100% of the time and I insist that the dog gets the bird I select for him. At a trial I have a plan for which bird I want to pick up first, second, third, etc, but sometimes my dog has another idea, I have learned that insisting on selecting the birds in my order will usually backfire, with the dog going into a no-mans-land somewhere between where I sent him and where the bird actually is.

    I was judging an amateur a couple weeks ago, our birds were widely separated, a triple, short bird on the left about 160 yards, flyer up the middle (last bird down) about 220 yards and a far right birds on a hard to hold line through terrain, cover changes and an angle across a narrow strip of water about 325 yards. The left and right birds were over 90 degrees apart, the right hand bird was definitely the key bird. We had one handler and dog pick up the flyer, then the dog turns and faces the hard to get, way out there right hand bird, handler thought this is crazy, turned the dog 90 degrees left, pointed him at the much easier of the two remaining birds and sent him. The dog didn't even take a step in that direction, just blasted hard right, straight for that difficult punch bird. There were maybe four dogs out of 75 that ran right to that key bird, punched across the last water and pinned that bird, this dog was the best.

    Always train for selection, but learn from experience how well your dog selects at a trial. Most labs are fairly compliant and select well at a trial, but there is the occasional excellent confident marker who can be trusted to pick his own bird.

    John

  7. #57
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Thanks John. I am being taught to do the same thing in training, but I am also being taught that an event is not training and you do what it takes to get the bird and get called back.

    That was a good setup you described there, and I bet it was something to see when those 4 dogs pinned that long bird. I assume that the wind was blowing right to left, and the dogs that weren't really honest in that narrow strip of water probably got too far out to the right and upwind of the bird?
    Steve Wyatt

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  8. #58
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun_Dog2002 View Post
    Ed's point about dogs is well described. One of my MH dogs, Trapper, has historically been great at selection for me. Regardless if its a flyer or not, he will pretty much let me pick the birds and off he goes. He is a full brother to Zeus (FC/AFC Pure Labs Skys The Limit) that Pete Goodale owned. While not quite as talented as his brother, he's a very good marking dog and is comfortable on the line letting me pull the trigger. The month we ran a master test at Peppers and in the first series the first bird was a little nothing bird thrown into water towards an island, the middle second bird was the key tough bird down a hill across a road across water onto the backside of an island with thick cover. Most dogs struggled on this bird. Go bird was a flyer down the shore shot into water/lilly pads. Trap watched the birds go down and immediately locked onto the middle bird and I once tried to have him come around for the flyer, he told me clearly he wanted that middle bird. There was no reason to argue with him, it was "the" bird in that series so I let him settle and sent him. Now this was probably the first time ever he's clearly communicated I need this bird and it worked out as he nailed the series and went on to pass. Next two series he was same old Trapper. There is a time and place for selection, regardless of a perceived definition of what it is. Handling is an art. Reading dogs is an art. Knowing the dog your working with is priceless. When i attended the Rorem seminar he talked about Ideal Selection and two things stuck in my head as he talked about it.

    1. It takes a very good dog to consistently succeed at Ideal Selection. They have to be a great marker, calm, confident, and wise.
    2. It takes an experienced handler to know when not to get in the way of a dog capable of Ideal Marking. In the rare dogs that can do this, handlers typically muck it up trying to follow traditional perceived handling methods brought on by rigid thinking of how things should be done.

    As Susan stated, you can debate the definition of what secondary selection is, at the end of the day you have to know your dog, know its strength/weaknesses and know what your game plan is for running the test in front of you. Call it what you want....

    /Paul
    OK, good post and I get what you are saying,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but can you use a choke collar in Juniors?
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

  9. #59
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    "Selecting" is one of those things where your approach in training doesn't always translate to the field trial or hunt test, it also depends on the dog. I always select in training, 100% of the time and I insist that the dog gets the bird I select for him. At a trial I have a plan for which bird I want to pick up first, second, third, etc, but sometimes my dog has another idea, I have learned that insisting on selecting the birds in my order will usually backfire, with the dog going into a no-mans-land somewhere between where I sent him and where the bird actually is.
    I always select in training as well. So the question is when either one of us is thinking about doing something differently in a trial, what do I do? I have found that whatever it is, it usually leads to no-mans land. I am thinking of using the George Costanza approach and doing the opposite of what I think is right. So, when I think I should rely on our training, I should get the long one and when I think the dog knows what he is doing, I should pull him to the one I want.

  10. #60
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    A few points:

    1. A handler has the ability to influence what bird the dog sets up for upon returning on the mat. Many times when a handler says "My dog wanted that bird" what they are saying is I didn't act decisively in influencing what bird to retrieve next.
    2. If you break your training rules in competition (sit standard, selection, etc.) on a regular basis, pretty soon your dog understands that in competition it gets to do what it pleases
    3. There is a good reason that most of us insist on secondary selection in training.
    4. I would tend to follow secondary selection with a younger dog. I would tend to trust an older war horse.
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