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Thread: Short Cuircuit???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Default Short Cuircuit???

    Gage just turned three. For most of his early training geographical circumstances forced us to work mostly on handling. Consequently his blind work was excellent though he lacked marking experience. Recently, with some creative trespassing we found a way to switch focus to multiple marks training.

    After a recent session on marks I decided to give him a couple of cold blinds. He stopped sharply on a single whistle blast and squared himself to me as usual but then he interpreted a straight right "back" as a 45 degree right back. A quick whistle and again a perfect sit. On left back he went 45 degrees left. On another right back he again went 45 degrees right.

    After three days (six sessions) of back to basics he is coming around. He starts each session with the "wrong" interpretation of my signal but within a couple of call backs and repeated casts he gets it. I am only using attrition, no pressure mainly because he thinks he's doing it right and not ignoring my command and once the straight back is solid again I will have to start on the 45 degree casts.

    I guess training and reinforcement drills never stop.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Clayton Evans's Avatar
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    No Short circuit just doesn't understand yet but what he is doing is normal dog behavior. Pretty hard to tell whats going on without seeing what you are doing on the cast. Straight back cast you must stand perfectly still as you cast but angle back has left or right movement as do the overs. My dogs were doing this and I would whistle sit, nick, then go out and place him back where he made the mistake and cast again and it has helped them understand.
    Clay
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Thanks Clayton. The reason I call it a short circuit is that he had handling "locked down". He knew the difference between a straight back cast, a 3/4 back cast and an over. Not just sometimes but always. He has all three intermediate hunt test titles and a couple of top level passes. His strength was always handling. He hasn't been giving me cast refusals. He just started interpreting straight back casts as 3/4's.

    A couple of days ago when I started the "fix" I had him watch me place a pile of white bumpers just 15 yards away and sent him straight back from heel for the first one. No problem. I then sat him with his back to the pile and then very carefully gave him a straight right hand back cast as you described. He ignored the pile and went 3/4 back. He wanted the pile but thought I was sending him elsewhere. I had to "no" him and re-seat him a couple of times before he got what I was after. After about eight retrieves I switched to the left and repeated the process.

    Today, day three, I started him close to the pile and worked back about 40 yards. He was only confused on the first cast but then did a couple of dozen ok. Before this, though not a field trial dog he would handle out to 250 yards reliably. I now have to start mixing in 3/4 back casts in close to see what happens.

    I posted this because I'm curious if this has happened to others.

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    Did your prior geographical circumstances keep you training in the same field every day?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul "Happy" Gilmore View Post
    Did your prior geographical circumstances keep you training in the same field every day?
    Yes but it is about 25 acres and we had a lot of variation. We started with pattern blinds and moved to cold blinds. We had no problem anywhere. We have tested successfully in about four different areas and trained with our clubs away from my daily training area.

    When the problem arose just this week I went back to the original training area but the problem persisted. This is where we are working to fix it. As stated above he's coming along. It's just weird that he all-of-sudden reinterpreted a command (both left and right) that he had down pat.

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    Hate to assume so I will say it.
    Make sure your signals are squared up and your not sending sloppy backs. Don

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Progress!

    It's day four. I set up a pile of white bumpers and started him out at about 25 yards and gradually moved back to 40 yards. No problem. He sat sharply to whistle and took right and left back casts just as he has done for the last year or so. I then set up three piles of white bumpers about 10 yards apart about 40 yards out. I sent him from heel to the middle pile without handling. I then sent him straight to the middle pile but stopped him at 20 yards and cast him angle left back. No problem. I then alternated to each pile. He took the angle and straight back casts neatly. It was obvious that he knew the difference between straight back and angle back casts.

    I won't know for sure that I have the problem solved until I go back to 100+ yard cold blinds with hidden orange bumpers but I feel pretty good about his progress.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Day five. It looks like we have the problem beat. I set up 100 & 150 yard pattern blinds with orange bumpers. The distance allowed for a number of whistle stops and back casts at varying distances. No scalloping or misinterpretations, just good clean left and right back casts "challenging the blind".

    Let's see what happens after we go back to multiple marks training and cold blinds.

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