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View Poll Results: would you allow a first timer drawn as #1 dog to drop back

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  • yes 6 dogs

    20 19.23%
  • yes middle of the pack

    22 21.15%
  • no

    62 59.62%
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Thread: first time and first dog

  1. #41
    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    All the suggestions to let a pro run first so he can get to the Open sounds good. Reality is that all the pros are already at the Open. This means that the people with a derby dog and no place to go are sitting at the derby. They will oftentimes run early regardless what their drawn number is.
    John Lash

    "If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."

    "Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham

  2. #42
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Is it ethical for a pro to volunteer to run out of order? The pro has to answer to clients, who might not be thrilled to find out their dogs had to run early so a newb had a better chance of beating their dog.
    Renee P

  3. #43
    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Blake... I know it's your first derby and all that. Have you ever been to one as a spectator? I know you are young and gung-ho... I was once too. If you haven't ever watched any before, (even if you have) get there early. Get your dog aired out well and loosened up. Watch the test dog.

    Then, take your time! Get your dog and WALK to the holding blinds and line. Make your dog think its just another set of marks. He'll know it isn't because he will hear your heart beating. But try to stay calm anyway and keep him focused. When, I mean if he breaks... Remember to say heel or no or whatever it takes to stop him. You are allowed controlled breaks in derbies. Like Jen said... Get him to focus on the memory bird. He will see the flyer.

    After he gets the first bird, stay focused. You want to keep your whistle in your mouth and your eyes on your dog. Turn your back at your own risk. There is no time limit, so take your time when lining him upon the memory bird. Makes sure he is looking at it and not the flyer when you send him.

    Again, it's just two marks... But your dog will feed off of you. If you are tighter than a tick, the dog will be too.

    As for running order, who cares? If you are ready, it won't matter. Just go get them.
    Bill Davis

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    Blake... I know it's your first derby and all that. Have you ever been to one as a spectator? I know you are young and gung-ho... I was once too. If you haven't ever watched any before, (even if you have) get there early. Get your dog aired out well and loosened up. Watch the test dog.

    Then, take your time! Get your dog and WALK to the holding blinds and line. Make your dog think its just another set of marks. He'll know it isn't because he will hear your heart beating. But try to stay calm anyway and keep him focused. When, I mean if he breaks... Remember to say heel or no or whatever it takes to stop him. You are allowed controlled breaks in derbies. Like Jen said... Get him to focus on the memory bird. He will see the flyer.

    After he gets the first bird, stay focused. You want to keep your whistle in your mouth and your eyes on your dog. Turn your back at your own risk. There is no time limit, so take your time when lining him upon the memory bird. Makes sure he is looking at it and not the flyer when you send him.

    Again, it's just two marks... But your dog will feed off of you. If you are tighter than a tick, the dog will be too.

    As for running order, who cares? If you are ready, it won't matter. Just go get them.
    this thread really exploded more than i thought it would.


    yes i have watched one as a spectator. but seeing as this my first time to step to any line be it HT or FT i dont really know what all goes on in those last 5-10 steps from the last holding blind to the line to calling for birds.

    so if you are allowed a controlled break and he takes off and i say "heel" does that not count against you in the "no talking till they call your number" deal.

    i have decided i will not make mention to anyone of the first trial deal till after we get put out/jam/place(ha) and just run my number.

    we've been running singles for about a week (pre-injury) mostly walking singles with remote sends (and me throwing for consistency v.s. a winger) i find i can get 8-10 singles v.s. 3-4 with wingers in the daylight after work. my question is i think it was Lardy who says pre-trial he usually does all singles. but should i chance it and do one day of doubles just as a refresher? its been like 2 mondays since he's seen a derby double. like say singles today, doubles tues, singles, wed, singles thurs, then day off/travel fri?

    i'm also thinking about doubling his food friday night and not feeding saturday morning (5am when i leave for trial at 10)? or would that just not be smart? he seems to do his best work on an empty stomach

  5. #45
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Blake, I too had trouble with the "controlled break" concept in the beginning. Look at it this way, if you DONT say heel, no, here, etc and the dog goes on to pick up the bird, you are eliminated automatically AND you have introduced a bad, bad habit to your dog. If you DO call him back before the point of no return, sure, it will be noted and scored accordingly. But assuming your dog nails the marks and nobody else in the field does without the controlled break, you still win!

    As far as your training schedule, (singles vs doubles) I will let the more experienced answer. But I will answer the food question. I would never double my dogs' meal. That looks like real trouble. It will not hurt him to skip breakfast. Maybe just give him a taste of kibble for routines sake and then feed him when he is done for the day. With any luck, that will be his supper time!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  6. #46
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Blake, Bill gave you some good advice. In a controlled break its pretty much expected that you get control, so don't worry about the talking aspect. Get him back, refocused and wait for your number. You mention the last few steps. Reality is you have the opportunity to start building good habits now. The test starts at the truck, build a good routine, stay focused and the dog under control. While in your first test you won't have any real dogs to watch other than test dog, get in the habit of using the holding blinds to build a game plan and get prepared for the different situations that may occur and have a mental plan on what you will do if that occurs. For example, often running early something mechanical goes wrong. Bird boys throw wrong, wingers hang up, flyers get missed etc. Be prepared mentally for how you will handle this. Think of the little things, like where am i going to put my leash. I've seen new folks mess around figuring out where to put the leash and lose control of the dog right there at the last holding blind. Go into it with a "I can win this attitude" however don't be unrealistic on the outcome. Remember to have fun and this is a journey. I guarantee the dog will. Many in this thread have done this for over 20+ years, in Ed's case perhaps twice that, so don't let that dampen your having fun. Go run your dog, learn, train, and repeat.

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
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  7. #47
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blake_mhoona View Post
    yes i have watched one as a spectator. but seeing as this my first time to step to any line be it HT or FT i dont really know what all goes on in those last 5-10 steps from the last holding blind to the line to calling for birds.
    In my experience, what's going on in those last few steps from the last holding blind to the line to calling for the birds is some combination of "OMG I didn't think about what to do if *that* happens" and "OMG that breakfast sure seems to be working on my lower intestine." Funny thing is I seem to go through this all over again each time I run a new HT classification for the first time. I can't wait to see what kind of physical agony I am in when I step to the line in a master level event. I have thought seriously about Xanax, and maybe one for the dog too!

    I tried to use Joe Montana's advice of just trying to remember the fundamentals and just going through our routine from truck to holding blind to line to lining up to calling for the birds, but it is admittedly more difficult the first couple of times you do it. Just don't forget to breathe, and remember that you are still getting to hang out with your best buddy no matter what happens in the actual test.

    Good luck!
    Steve Wyatt

    HR Belle's Rolling Big Rig "Jimmy"

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    Blake... I know it's your first derby and all that. Have you ever been to one as a spectator? I know you are young and gung-ho... I was once too. If you haven't ever watched any before, (even if you have) get there early. Get your dog aired out well and loosened up. Watch the test dog.

    Then, take your time! Get your dog and WALK to the holding blinds and line. Make your dog think its just another set of marks. He'll know it isn't because he will hear your heart beating. But try to stay calm anyway and keep him focused. When, I mean if he breaks... Remember to say heel or no or whatever it takes to stop him. You are allowed controlled breaks in derbies. Like Jen said... Get him to focus on the memory bird. He will see the flyer.

    After he gets the first bird, stay focused. You want to keep your whistle in your mouth and your eyes on your dog. Turn your back at your own risk. There is no time limit, so take your time when lining him upon the memory bird. Makes sure he is looking at it and not the flyer when you send him.

    Again, it's just two marks... But your dog will feed off of you. If you are tighter than a tick, the dog will be too.

    As for running order, who cares? If you are ready, it won't matter. Just go get them.

    Thanks, Huntinman, this is great, simple advice! Pretty much what you described, except for the dog breaking, is everything I did wrong this weekend! First dog, first derby (I can't really say first FT, because I did run someone else's dog in two series of the amateur at our local club FT 2 weeks ago, to get some experience at the line.) and a new handler as nervous as can be! It was a long Open, so the Derby didn't start until late Saturday. After 5 dogs ran, they decided to scrap the test and restart Sunday morning.

    Now, I went to the trial with a friend, so my young dog was on a dog truck (not something she is used to) 4 full days before we got to run. Even though I worked her some each day, she was full of pent up energy. I was nervous, regardless of how many people told me to stay calm so the dog wouldn't feed off my nervous energy! She saw the first mark clearly, then the flyer went up. She gets the flyer, which isn't dead, which then jacks her up even more, and she returns to the line, shakes the thing to death and then starts dickin around. New handler gets incredibly flustered, since in the 3 Junior HT we ran this summer, the dog returned the bird to hand beautifully. I got so wound up over getting the bird from her, that I was WAY TOO FAST lining her up and sending her for the second mark and I did a crappy job of it. She headed back toward the flyer. I was lucky enough that there were 2 incredibly nice judges who knew it was my first time out. They told me to call her back in and said I could reline her and let her get the second mark. That time, I took my time to line her up and send her, and she went right to the mark. The judges let us run test dog for the next series, and since I was less nervous, I took more time at the line, and the dog did great. It was a good lesson learned for me, and hopefully, I will remember it when I get nervous our next time out!

  9. #49
    Senior Member Russ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitty View Post
    Is it ethical for a pro to volunteer to run out of order? The pro has to answer to clients, who might not be thrilled to find out their dogs had to run early so a newb had a better chance of beating their dog.
    I do not think most pros think it is a disadvantage to run first at a derby. As mentioned previously, there is less drag back early. There is not a lot of strategy in running a derby. You just line your pup up and let 'em rip.

    I have never heard anyone, client or gallery, complain that it was not ethical for a pro to run early. Their livelyhoods depend on success at what ever level they run.

  10. #50
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    At most derbies, there will be pros at the open who will run out of order later in the derby. However, there likely will be pros who will run by the derby to get the first series out of the way and then go to the open. There will also be some folks who want to run early in the derby to get it out of the way but not until there is a little scent on the ground so they will sandbag slightly and then show up at the derby and ask the marshal to fit them in.

    Typically if you are dog 1, you have a very good chance of the marshal asking you to run further back. However, if you don't run first, you may run even further back. Still, there is no harm in asking if you want to watch a few. Most folks will be very helpful to the newcomer.

    If you run first, though, don't sweat it. My very first field trial was a Q with no rotation. I was dog 1 and ran first all but the water blind and we did fine.

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