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Thread: Is there ever a time forcing on marks is appropriate?

  1. #1
    Senior Member torrentduck's Avatar
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    Default Is there ever a time forcing on marks is appropriate?

    Long time since I've posted or even viewed RTF. Let's just say life intervened in a not so good way, but things are a whole lot better. Anyway, my now 6.5 yr old girl has attained her senior and seasoned title. I have posted about her story on here before, but in general she is a soft, but physically tough chessie, moody, loves birds, but drive from line even on marks (particularly water) is not great. This lack of speed on take off sets her up for a whole set of issues in the field. She marks overall well. She has a great nose and handles well. She has had force to pile work. I have a young fireball that keeps me in the game, but I wish to continue to work with Widgeon at masters and finished. I just feel that I need to look outside the box (or maybe not). She is the first dog I have trained and I got her at 18 mo with a sketchy history. She is a great friend and I love her to death. She has played me well and I have been coached on using the right amount of pressure when it counts and that she is tougher than she would have me believe (which has helped). I am feeling I need to "tell" her that she has got to start leaving with more purpose (she really does have it in her). I have searched the site for pressure on mark comments and, not surprising, they suggest a negative correlation. And so...looking for thoughts on this. We may have reached our end point for her in terms of competition, but I am hoping to come up with a new strategy. Thanks for any advice.

    Don
    Rippling Waters Tupelo Honey "Tupelo". 28 Nov 2012
    HR Chesagrove's Mountain Peake WDX RN SH "Widgeon". 10 May 2007.
    Swamp Cypress Widgeon CD MX/MXJ/OAP/OJP "Cypress" (Cedar's daughter). 25 Sept 1992 - August 2007.
    Cedar Bay Cheddar CGC OA JH "Cedar" (The Chessie that started it all). 9 May 1990- 14 March 2004.

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    At 6 1/2 years old and senior title under her belt I think you know what you have with her. At some point you have to ask yourself if she is running hunt test because she loves it, or just because you are making her. My first dog was very birdy and loved real hunting, but grew weary of the contrived hunt test. He ended up earning his MH, but after that I realized I didn't what to make my dog do something he didn't love.

  3. #3
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    I have heard many people say it and the more dogs that I train I believe it to be true. You can't force style. There may be some things that you could do to improve attitude and drive such as more live flyers in training etc., however with a dog as old as that you most likely have what you have. If you are not failing tests because of lack of style and you want to continue testing her then do so. If you believe she has gone as far as she can go in the testing arena, I'm sure she's probably a heck of a meat dog so just let her spend the rest of her days doing what she loves best and train the other little firebreather for tests. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    At 6 1/2 years old and senior title under her belt I think you know what you have with her. At some point you have to ask yourself if she is running hunt test because she loves it, or just because you are making her. My first dog was very birdy and loved real hunting, but grew weary of the contrived hunt test. He ended up earning his MH, but after that I realized I didn't what to make my dog do something he didn't love.
    Agree don't push it.
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    Yo need to ask. why do I want to force on Marks. Is she no going on marks in a fun situation,,without you even putting any type of pressure or perceived pressure on her? Force doesn't have to be ugly either. If she is slow but still gets the job done,then who cares. You get accolades for doing a good job on a dog that does not really like its job. Dogs learn at a very slow rate when they are not into what they are being taught so it takes a lot more time to get them to the desired goal if at all. You end up spending more time countering the avoidance .

    Marks are the one environment a dog is supposed to have fun and many of them do until they are required to do a disciplined action,such as taking a line or hitting brush or whatever,,many of them want to take the easy route or they pout. So there are many scenarios and reasons which cause dogs to be this way.
    Personally if a dog is doing what you ask even looking like a total slob then good for you. It may indeed be a ball of fire when your hunting. Many of them are as John said,,,because its way more fun.

















    Pete
    Last edited by Pete; 10-06-2013 at 08:25 AM.
    John 5 :30
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    mark 16:9 -- So then after the lord had spoken unto them,he was received up in heaven, and sat on the right hand of God
    I Tim. 2:5 --For there is one God and one mediator between God and man ,, the man Christ Jesus

  6. #6
    Senior Member J. Walker's Avatar
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    Rex Carr said you have to let a dog be who he is. There are some things that can be done to bring out a dog's natural drive and maybe increase enthusiasm a bit but pressure is not one of those things. It seems you have a good hunting companion and many on here would be very happy with that.
    "When a good trainer stops learning about dogs, he stops being a good trainer." the late Gene Hill

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Keith S.'s Avatar
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    My old dog was similar to yours when she started getting older. A 5 min water test would take her 10, had very little drive on water. Hunting was a complete different story, but hunt tests it was very slow. I should have retired her 2-3 years sooner than I did. Even on fliers she would leave the line slow. Most people think a test wise dog is one that has little control, poor manners, but it can also mean no style/drive, my old Sadie proved that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torrentduck View Post
    Long time since I've posted or even viewed RTF. Let's just say life intervened in a not so good way, but things are a whole lot better. Anyway, my now 6.5 yr old girl has attained her senior and seasoned title. I have posted about her story on here before, but in general she is a soft, but physically tough chessie, moody, loves birds, but drive from line even on marks (particularly water) is not great. This lack of speed on take off sets her up for a whole set of issues in the field. She marks overall well. She has a great nose and handles well. She has had force to pile work. I have a young fireball that keeps me in the game, but I wish to continue to work with Widgeon at masters and finished. I just feel that I need to look outside the box (or maybe not). She is the first dog I have trained and I got her at 18 mo with a sketchy history. She is a great friend and I love her to death. She has played me well and I have been coached on using the right amount of pressure when it counts and that she is tougher than she would have me believe (which has helped). I am feeling I need to "tell" her that she has got to start leaving with more purpose (she really does have it in her). I have searched the site for pressure on mark comments and, not surprising, they suggest a negative correlation. And so...looking for thoughts on this. We may have reached our end point for her in terms of competition, but I am hoping to come up with a new strategy. Thanks for any advice.

    Don
    Three more things; 1) Having a young up and coming "fireball" waiting in the wings makes it a lot easier to retire Widgeon into a long healthy hunting retirement.

    2) Read your dog, if she seems to enjoy the work, even if she's slow, so what? As long as she's running well enough to pass test, then she's just a slow dog. If her style is so bad she fails on style, then I say retire her, but if she's just slow on the water and likes it, then accept what you have and play the game.

    3) I had a training buddy friend, a retired vet who was a lifelong Chessie guy. Kerm had two Chessies, Jiggs and Maggie, these two dogs trained with us every day for years and they were horrible. They came out of good field trial breeding, Kerm ran hunt test and hunted his dogs, but they hated training. Kerm was part of the problem, always making weird excuses for their lack of desire, but they walked out to pick up a flyer, used every avoidance technique a dog could think of, basically showed by their actions and general attitude that they would rather be doing anything other than training. But take those dogs hunting and they acted like wild Indians, full of energy and unbridled joy on land and in the water! The difference between his dogs and yours is they also came alive at hunt test. The same dogs that would walk out on a flyer in training would break in a hunt test.

    Only you can read the heart of your dog, but like others have posted, I don't think you can force her to enjoy it more. She might speed up temporarily, but it won't make her like it more.
    John

  9. #9
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    It's awfully difficult for a judge to drop you on style alone, especially in a 7 year old dog. If she marks well, takes decent lines and handles well, short of a no go in a test, what are you worried about? Just do it.

    Secondly and more important...

    There is nothing more painful for me as a dog lover, than to see a dog being forced into work that it really doesn't care for/about. If she were mine based on what you describe, she'd be my buddy and get her birds in training, but if she didn't feel like it today... she'd get the day off. I've seen WAYYYY to many dogs that belonged on someone's couch that were forced to work when they didn't want to.
    Darrin Greene

  10. #10
    Senior Member Duckquilizer's Avatar
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    How about make the marks more attractive and FUN?! I know that you may have covered that, but I have to wonder. I do have an old girl, that seemed to like it some, just not much and someone better may have been able to stoke her fire. I could not at the time, now is probably different.
    Kendall Layne

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