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Thread: Puppy Sight Blind ?'s

  1. #1
    Senior Member shawninthesticks's Avatar
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    Default Puppy Sight Blind ?'s

    Due to cold winter and another thread on training books ,I've been reviewing my book "the Cotton Pershall Method" ,A book a haven't read for quite awhile. In the chapter of puppy training, he describes sight blind procedures for pups, but it leaves me with some questions.

    My pup is doing well on hand thrown marks, playing /learning OB ,etc... He is 13 weeks old and has good desire to retrieve. We havent had any marks today and I thought we'd give this a shot. We have fresh snow ,but a little crust on top so the orange bumpers really stand out . I took 3 orange bumpers out , staked him out and let him watch me put 3 bumpers in a row ranging from about 15 yd to 35. Walked back unstaked him,let him refocus on the bumpers and when he tried to take off ,I released him with "back" (I was on 1 knee and holding him by his chest) He ran out sniffed around and grabbed the 1st bumper with great enthusiasm...wash, repeat and all went great, threw a couple marks and wrapped it with 2 happy team members. My understanding is that this is to help teach a line to the object.

    My question(s) At this stage how long do I stay at the same spot/distance? My thoughts are to repeat for a couple days in the same spot (maybe 3) but on the 3rd day introduce a new ,minor factor at a new spot, such as a little hill or light cover. Which of course is all dependent on his attitude per session.

    It seems there is several ways to play this game, another would be to do as I did today and let him watch me put them out , then follow up the next day (or an A.M./P.M. session) in the same spot ,but already have them out, bring him out and run them.

    How often would you run this game? Couple times ,then done ? Or a couple times a week for an extended period of time until formal training begins ?

    Any negative repercussions from doing this drill at this age? It is all fun, no real expectations.
    Shawn White

    HR Big Creek Retrievers Independence Day JH QAA "Indy "

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    I'd say play it by ear and see what happens. Always err on the side of giving it to the pup and letting him be successful. I don't know about places or how many reps. I'd be careful with factors, he'll probably fade and you can't help at this point.

    You can do it as often as you think it's going well. I did something similar and it worked out real well. I didn't let him watch me put them out. I'd put them out then get him and encourage him to look out there. "Where is it? Where is it? Dead! Dead!" I lifted his front end a little to steer him into looking in the right direction at first. It was summer so I was using white bumpers which I think would be more visible.I don't know how much it did for him but it got him looking "out there" whenever he came out of the truck and gave him more "go" or probably more showed me that he had "go."

    I think it helped him to trust that there was always a bumper out there somewhere.

    A friend did it with his pup too with equally good results. I don't know if it was the method or the dogs as they've both turned out to be pretty good.

    If there are mounds where you train you can put bumpers up on the side of a mound that a pup can see from a long distance. Works in the water too. Or rather through the water if it's big enough that there's no temptation to cheat. By the time mine was 9 months old he'd go pretty incredible distances to a bumper he could see and got real proficient at picking out the bumper from the line on his own.

    I also started doing retired guns with this dog at an early age, so it wasn't some new thing to learn. They just always were there.

    There are dogs I'm sure that it wouldn't be a good idea to do this with but I lucked into trying it and I'll do it with the next pup too. As with anything if you see it's not going well back up and try something different.
    Last edited by John Lash; 02-02-2014 at 05:09 PM.
    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

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