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Thread: Searching for the bumper instead of running the line

  1. #1

    Default Searching for the bumper instead of running the line

    Brief history: Gauge is 1 1/2 yrs old and has been through FF, CC, T, and TT. We have worked pattern blinds out to 200 yards. I'm sure there is more I need to include here but...

    My problem: If I send him out on a blind retrieve, he is searching from the time he leaves the gate. There is no solid line taken. There is a direction but he is not locked onto a line. As he runs he is looking for his goal (bumper). If he sees an object that he thinks might be the target he starts drifting toward it. ex. A piece of white paper (bright looking leaf, any object) some 30 yards off line, might catch his eye and he will angle to it. Close to me it's easy to stop him and make corrections but I want to know what I might have done wrong or not done. And more important is what would you do to keep him from "hunting" instead of running the line.

  2. #2
    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
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    When doing your marks starting out did you do them on short mowed grass or heavy cover? Dogs that have marks thrown in cover at the start will tend to hunt on a blind rather than taking a line.
    A cold nose feels good on a hot day.....
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Duckquilizer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gauge123 View Post
    Brief history: Gauge is 1 1/2 yrs old and has been through FF, CC, T, and TT. We have worked pattern blinds out to 200 yards. I'm sure there is more I need to include here but...

    My problem: If I send him out on a blind retrieve, he is searching from the time he leaves the gate. There is no solid line taken. There is a direction but he is not locked onto a line. As he runs he is looking for his goal (bumper). If he sees an object that he thinks might be the target he starts drifting toward it. ex. A piece of white paper (bright looking leaf, any object) some 30 yards off line, might catch his eye and he will angle to it. Close to me it's easy to stop him and make corrections but I want to know what I might have done wrong or not done. And more important is what would you do to keep him from "hunting" instead of running the line.
    Is there a certain program you are following? Have you been running lots of taught blinds, sight blinds, or some type of positive success blinds? If you jumped straight from PB's to cold blinds, then you are expecting too much as of now. You want the dog to go and that's what you should be enforcing. Lining an unknown blind will not happen for some time.
    Kendall Layne

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Daren Galloway's Avatar
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    Have you been using primarily white bumpers? I ask because of your comment "white piece of paper". If so using more orange/hidden not 100% out in the open may help. I don't mean hide it in tall cover but hide it more than a white bumper is hidden on a golf course.
    Daren Galloway

  5. #5
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    Set out pattern blinds using white buckets or PVC pipe. Place the pipe or bucket next to the bumpers. The dog will start to associate the white buckets with his blind. Incorporate force to pile with this drill. Gradually take the white buckets away after running this dril for a week or two. It will help the dog learn to trust you lining him up for a blind and the force to pile work will help break the habit of starting to hunt before he gets in range of the blind.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Handling teaches a dog to run straight with repetition. Don't nitpick him at the early stages though. You want to be able to create some momentum , even if it is slightly wrong
    BB
    Sight To Sea Labradors
    Southern Cross at Sight to Sea SH "Crosby" (by NAFC FC AFC Cody Cut a Lean Grade)
    Tealwood's Willing at Sight to Sea JH ( by CH I am Able)
    Briarglen's Running on Faith JH (by FC Fish River's Out of the Park)
    Glendair's Come Home to the Sea ( By Ch Topform's Edward MH, QAA)
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  7. #7
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    What did he look like going through your yard work ?
    Did he lock on the back pile like a guided missile or did you just wait for him to merely look at the back pile before sending?
    Does he have a dramatic change in attitude between marks and blinds?
    did he break down at some point on your pattern blinds and start to hunt.?
    Does he wobble around much on marks? Just a few questions before someone can remotely guide you in the right direction.
    It could be attitude,,, drive,,,, things of that nature which make up his temperament ,,if so ,,you need to work within that range of attitude.
    If its something you are causing then you'll need to keep your eyes open and try to see what your doing to cause it. I'm sure that wasn't much help to you,,,but its always where I start when considering these dilemmas,,, make an assessment and counter or encourage the best you can. If you make things fun and exciting a lot and the dog still lolly gags may be its not what your doing that is the root of the problem. May be part of this is who he is.
    Not all dogs can focus or sustain drive properly to suit our needs or expectations




    Pete
    Last edited by Pete; 11-01-2013 at 09:28 AM.
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  8. #8

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    His yard work was good and continues to look good. He has never shown a clear "lock on". It was more the "wait for him to look at the back pile before sending". His attitude is good. Blinds or marks he wants to get the bumper. On pattern blinds he did quiet well, although after a few long runs he slowed down, I think from boredom. "Does he wobble around much on marks?" I think I'd have to say yes. He tends to swing an arc.

    Overall I think his attitude is good. He loves the game.
    As for his temperment....He is soft and will not take a lot of heavy handed instruction (lays down).

    I think he can do this. I think maybe you touched something with the locking on. I need to get him to hone in and run and I'm unsure how to get there. In otherwords I admit his short coming is me.

    How would you begin getting him to pick a landmark on the horizon and run for that on command?

  9. #9
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    Confidence stakes (an electric fence post) is what I used and they really helped my dog start to look out to the horizon. I am a first time trainer following Lardy who does not recommend putting out stakes but a very successful amateur FTer recommended this to me after some issues and it has helped immensely with confidence, picking out a target on the horizon, not popping, etc. I started with white stakes and transitioned to orange and run them without stakes at times. The amateur who recommended this still runs blinds with stakes with her 9 yo FCs. I have seen no fallout from using the stakes although I'm sure if used too much there certainly could be.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gauge123 View Post
    His yard work was good and continues to look good. He has never shown a clear "lock on". It was more the "wait for him to look at the back pile before sending". His attitude is good. Blinds or marks he wants to get the bumper. On pattern blinds he did quiet well, although after a few long runs he slowed down, I think from boredom. "Does he wobble around much on marks?" I think I'd have to say yes. He tends to swing an arc.

    Overall I think his attitude is good. He loves the game.
    As for his temperment....He is soft and will not take a lot of heavy handed instruction (lays down).

    I think he can do this. I think maybe you touched something with the locking on. I need to get him to hone in and run and I'm unsure how to get there. In otherwords I admit his short coming is me.

    How would you begin getting him to pick a landmark on the horizon and run for that on command?
    Time for Wagon Wheel lining drill
    BB
    Sight To Sea Labradors
    Southern Cross at Sight to Sea SH "Crosby" (by NAFC FC AFC Cody Cut a Lean Grade)
    Tealwood's Willing at Sight to Sea JH ( by CH I am Able)
    Briarglen's Running on Faith JH (by FC Fish River's Out of the Park)
    Glendair's Come Home to the Sea ( By Ch Topform's Edward MH, QAA)
    Sight To Sea's Take Aim SH (by Sight to Sea's Southern Comfort SH )Aug 23 2003-Feb 2013 Go get em , Man!

    Manager of www.DeCoverlykennels.com

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