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Thread: Marking ability???

  1. #11
    Senior Member labsforme's Avatar
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    A good marking dog is born that way. They just know where they are going and can count. You know it when you see it. You can enhance marking to a degree but you can't really may a poor marking dog into a good one just by more marks.By good marking dog I do not mean what they say in the classifieds " great marking dog.Runs blinds like they do marks". Watch dogs like Grady, Ivy, Ford and others. That's marking ability.
    To the OP I would take the suggestion and have the eyes checked. If ok then your pup should still be a good hunting dog. I had a very well bred BLF that wasn't up to FT marking but she is a very good hunting dog and got a great home. She could count but not at any FT distances.
    Last edited by labsforme; 10-22-2013 at 09:28 AM.
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  2. #12
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    All very good posts. I think I may have increased distance to soon and it shows. May be a very viable cause. One comment refered to ribbon on bumbers and sort and I never do that and think that I should. I use avery hexabumbers and marks can be hard to see. I'm gonna back up and try some different things. I have done what I call the ladder drill in which u start with a thrower short gradually increasing distance and then shortening up in which they become check down marks. I have seen some good markers have trouble the first time but Cutter was stepping on his marks before I went back to marks in the field. He's not terrible but u don't see him run and think wow that pup can mark. I know for the venues I run I will be able to title but at the rate he's going with all other work he will be ready for a finished test at a year old. He's ready to run seasoned now.

  3. #13
    Senior Member jd6400's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labsforme View Post
    A good marking dog is born that way. They just know where they are going and can count. You know it when you see it. You can enhance marking to a degree but you can't really may a poor marking dog into a good one just by more marks.By good marking dog I do not mean what they say in the classifieds " great marking dog.Runs blinds like they do marks". Watch dogs like Grady, Ivy, Ford and others. That's marking ability.
    To the OP I would take the suggestion and have the eyes checked. If ok then your pup should still be a good hunting dog. I had a very well bred BLF that wasn't up to FT marking but she is a very good hunting dog and got a great home. She could count but not at any FT distances.
    BINGO! This is my opinion also.I have found that the poorer marking animals do much better in the lining and handling department and its the rare animal that has both attributes. Jim
    Jim Weitzel
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  4. #14

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    Probably all of the people that have responded have more experience than me. The reason I am responding is I have made every mistake you can make due to lack of knowledge, ignorance and poor planning.

    Two of the mistakes I have made in the past are being too consisent with my throws and patterns. If you repeatedly throw the marks at the same distance, when you start to stretch the dog out with longer retrieves he will hunt short everytime.

    One example of this is if you hand throw your marks, you eventually reach the maximum distance you can throw and that becomes the maximum distance the dog will run before he starts his hunt.

    Even with puppies vary the distance a little with each mark. It teaches them to watch the fall and not jsut run to the same spot. Try to work beginning marks in the shortest cover possible like a baseball field or soccer field. If you have a helper they can yell and throw a 2nd mark to the exact same location while the dog is in route to the first mark. It seems to teach them to run with their head up and hunt with their eyes instead of their nose. It seems that the better marking dogs run with their heads up all the way to the mark. Hunting short in some cases is the dog giving up on his eyes and relying on his nose. A dogs sense of smell is extremely strong and they will play their strengths just like people. Run marks with the wind at your back to take the scent out of the mark.

    If you have any problems simplify, shorten and work your way up in much smaller increments that you would think necessary. I have been guilty of thinking my increments were smaller than they were for the dog.
    Cover, terrain, light conditions, wind etc have much more influence on dogs that they do on handlers.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackwacker View Post
    I personally believe marking ability starts and is taught as a puppy. I try and keep all puppy marks on very short grass and as white as possible, even tying white ribbon on the the bumper or bird. Teaching a dog to mark with his eyes is super important to me. slowly stretching them out as they grow.

    Even some of the older dogs that I want to learn to mark better, I will tie the white ribbon. I want the dog to see the mark and be confidant that they saw it!
    Sounds like many of you are far more qualified to answer this, but I am going to agree with the general idea of this previous post. It reminds me of the Hillman article that talks about marking. He spent the better half of a seminar talking about obedience and people would raise their hand and ask "when are we talking about marking?". He would answer them by saying, "we are". He also referred to a marksman and how they got so strong at shooting targets. If you take a BB gun and shoot a trash can lid from 5 yards away 500 times, its very hard to miss. Then back up 10 yards, shoot another 500 rounds. Do this until you reach 100 yards. Chances are, you will be pretty good, right? (still trying to find a BB gun that shoots 100 yards ) Now take someone who thinks they are a good shot and put them at 75 yards with that same BB gun and just have them shoot at the trash can lid. I bet they dont do very well! I think marking is the same way with these dogs. Obviously obedience and foundation work is not the issue with this dog, as you say he is flying through training quite well. But what about marking experience and using the "marksman approach"?

    He might be a dog that needs several hundred marks over the course of a year, starting close, no cover, white bumpers (all the factors that set him up for success) close distances, etc. the gradual increases of cover, distance and other factors just happen slowly and I strongly beleive the dog will improve. I realize this takes tons of time and is hard to implement, but I did this with my dog and he went from a dog that was "barely" a senior hunter, to 1 for 1 on master passes and running field trial setups with the training group!

    He sounds like a great dog, I think too many people start marking and go way too fast. If the dog isn't running hunt test or trial type marks they just say "they are a bad marker". (not saying that is what you did, at all. Just a general observation). I'm enjoying this thread, I think we all encounter this at some point in training and maybe panic too much when a young dog isn't pegging marks.

  6. #16
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
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    I have made the comment at training days, my dog cant mark! I immediately get corrected!

    I always get asked the same thing.

    "HOW MANY MARKS DOES SHE GET WEEKLY",, and are her marks the same level of difficulty she sees at training days..

    My answer will usually be something like, I throw marks maybe 3 or 4 days a week, maybe a couple of set ups each day..


    The PRO then reminds me, the dogs at the kennel will get and average of 3 sets ups a day, with typically 3 marks at each set up. The Pro trains 6 days a week... Each dog COULD see 54 marks in a week..

    An 8 month old puppy, in my opinion, really cant be assessed as to how good a marker it is... Ya gotta throw a BUNCH of them first.... Like 1000 or so...

    Like a BUNCH a them More than I throw for MY dog!

    P.S.

    I have NO BUSINESS answering this thread!! I will say,,, I did throw marks this morning.. 6 of em! Its gettin better I think!
    Last edited by MooseGooser; 10-22-2013 at 11:58 AM.
    It is far easier to spit on the work of others than it is to produce something better yourself.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
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    Vary the distances...

    Gooser
    It is far easier to spit on the work of others than it is to produce something better yourself.
    Brynmoors Prairie Sage JH ​(Sage) Just a dang fool huntin Dawg
    HRCH Calypso Seven Bales High SH (Bailey)
    HR Calypso Zoomin Loosies Mad Hader (Maddi) We loved you baby. R.I.P.
    FlatLanders Broken Pistol Ricochet SH (Flinch)


    My Christian Name is Michael Baker..
    I have gone by "Gooser" since I was a "gossling"

  8. #18
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Are you using visible gunners?
    Renee P

  9. #19
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MooseGooser View Post
    I have made the comment at training days, my dog cant mark! I immediately get corrected!

    I always get asked the same thing.

    "HOW MANY MARKS DOES SHE GET WEEKLY",, and are her marks the same level of difficulty she sees at training days..

    My answer will usually be something like, I throw marks maybe 3 or 4 days a week, maybe a couple of set ups each day..


    The PRO then reminds me, the dogs at the kennel will get and average of 3 sets ups a day, with typically 3 marks at each set up. The Pro trains 6 days a week... Each dog COULD see 54 marks in a week..

    An 8 month old puppy, in my opinion, really cant be assessed as to how good a marker it is... Ya gotta throw a BUNCH of them first.... Like 1000 or so...

    Like a BUNCH a them More than I throw for MY dog!

    P.S.

    I have NO BUSINESS answering this thread!! I will say,,, I did throw marks this morning.. 6 of em! Its gettin better I think!
    Michael : I will indulge since you seem to have this self deprecating form of humor....it has very little to do with the amount of marks...it has to do with the QUALITY of those marks

    for example : I used to think with my first dog that he could do triples (and he could) but when I went to Utah one summer and trained with a national caliber trainer/handler my dog couldnt even execute one of his double set ups.

    We have a tendency as trainers to throw stuff for our dogs that we know that they can do easily, but come test day when someone throws something different our dogs almost fall apart or made to look like their training was lacking in certain areas

    My point being, dont get so wrapped up in a number...ask yourself if the setup actually challenges the dog,or if the little hand thrown mark off the line was really necessary
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  10. #20
    Senior Member labsforme's Avatar
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    Bon, et al, another thing we weekend warriors do is to test not train first. Build to the level of marking you want the dog to achieve ( capable of too).Test at a level above. Kinda like the Peter principle: reach our level of inefficiency . The technical part needs to be taught too. De cheating and so on. Also make sure you build confidence that the dog knows it can do what you are asking it to do. Crawl, toddle, walk, run, sprint.

    Jeff
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