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Thread: marking question

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles C. View Post
    I think a dirt clod drill with a dog that's giving up on a hunt could be disastrous (especially one that young). Until the dog is handling, I'd get success however I could and have the gun entice the dog to continue its hunt. I'd also throw things the dog really likes like flyers or wing clipped pigeons.
    what way should the gun help? I have been doing walking singles with her and when she gives up i give a hey hey and act like i toss something. That usally doesn work so I start walking around trying to pull the dog across the bumper. I do not go out, stand by the bumper, and call her to me. I'm also concerned that she will start to use the gunner as a crutch. So that would when the salting of the area becomes useful, correct?

  2. #12
    Senior Member Charles C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logy View Post
    what way should the gun help? I have been doing walking singles with her and when she gives up i give a hey hey and act like i toss something. That usally doesn work so I start walking around trying to pull the dog across the bumper. I do not go out, stand by the bumper, and call her to me. I'm also concerned that she will start to use the gunner as a crutch. So that would when the salting of the area becomes useful, correct?
    It's a different scenario when you throw the marks yourself. When I think of a dog giving up, I think the dog is quitting on the mark and coming back to the line or handler. In that case, I'd get the bird boy to do whatever it takes to get the dog to stay out in the field and get the mark. If you're throwing marks by yourself and the dog is giving up on the hunt, just do what you're doing or throw another when it's not looking at you. I'd then simplify (salting the area, making the marks much easier, etc.). If the dog still quits and shows no interest, I'd make sure they were healthy and not expending all their energy doing something else when you're not training. If you ruled that out, I'd take a hard look at whether the dog has enough desire to do whatever you are intending it to do.

  3. #13
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    Logy in your first post you said:

    "I have noticed if she does not step on the mark she will put on a very short hunt on and will give up on hunting up. When that happens my gunner will help her out."

    in your latest:

    "I have been doing walking singles with her and when she gives up i give a "hey! hey!" and act like I toss something. That usually doesn't work so I start walking around trying to pull the dog across the bumper.

    First of all, she is eight months old.....make the marks so hunting is not necessary. My guess is the pup has quickly figured out how to "use" the gunner (and you). It doesn't take long to establish poor responses. A little help too early can "snow ball".

    Make it easy to find the fall. Make it so there is no need to seek help. Create a new expectation....."You are on your own." Here's a type of marking setup which will lend itself well to ending the problem......stop helping....turn your back....don't say a word and avoid eye contact.

    Criteria - short grass, plenty of distance and easy to find. They are called "Ya-Ha" singles.

    "Ya-Ha" Singles (bookmark link)
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 02-14-2014 at 04:19 PM.
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  4. #14
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    This from KwickLabs. Your dog needs to know that there is something out there every single time you send him (so make sure you keep up with your bumper count when you do TT - ask me how I know) AND that it is his responsibility to hunt around until he finds it. IOW, don't come back without something.

    If all you are throwing is bumpers, have you used any scent with them to help the dog find them? This may be a case where a couple actual birds would help a lot. Salting the area would be good too, so if the dog gets anywhere close to the area a fetch object is there.

    Once you have created this expectation, Kwick is exactly right that the dog will sometimes pop on you, or just look back at you for help. Cross your arms, lower your eyes, and don't say a word. Put the responsibility on the dog so that it is clear he is not supposed to come back without something. You might also think about whether the dog has trained you to have the gunner (or you) help him when he doesn't immediately find it. They are cunning creatures that can train you in a heartbeat without you ever knowing it.

    Good luck with your pup.

    Quote Originally Posted by KwickLabs View Post
    Logy in your first post you said:

    "I have noticed if she does not step on the mark she will put on a very short hunt on and will give up on hunting up. When that happens my gunner will help her out."

    in your latest:

    "I have been doing walking singles with her and when she gives up i give a "hey! hey!" and act like I toss something. That usually doesn't work so I start walking around trying to pull the dog across the bumper.

    First of all, she is eight months old.....make the marks so hunting is not necessary. My guess is the pup has quickly figured out how to "use" the gunner (and you). It doesn't take long to establish poor responses. A little help too early can "snow ball".

    Make it easy to find the fall. Make it so there is no need to seek help. Create a new expectation....."You are on your own." Here's a type of marking setup which will lend itself well to ending the problem......stop helping....turn your back....don't say a word and avoid eye contact.

    Criteria - short grass, plenty of distance and easy to find. They are called "Ya-Ha" singles.

    "Ya-Ha" Singles (bookmark link)
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  5. #15
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    Sounds like this dog just need sight marks for a while. Soccer field type marks, visible. But that not going to teach a dog how to stay in the hunt. I guess I was assuming this dog already had lots of visual sight marks.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    back in July you posted about another dog Popping on marks and now this puppy is having trouble coming up with whatever it is you're doing.
    given that, i would suspect that you don't really know how to teach a dog to mark and need some help learning what to do and what not to do.
    seek out someone near you who knows what's going on.
    at the very least, for the puppy, you should run the dog yourself and have someone else out in field throwing marks. stop throwing marks yourself if that's what you're doing. NO walking baseball or crap like that. Just run plain old marks with a helper. Throws should be angled back slightly landing on wide open ground, like cut fairway grass. Bird or bumper must be visable to dog as he approches the fall area.
    Give dog a stead diet of this sort of mark.
    Give dog a chance to hunt. That is, as long as dog is making passes back and forth say 10, 20, 25 yards around the fall, let the dog continue to hunt. Do nothing.
    Your birdboy/thrower should be instructed exactly how he will help when called on to do so by you, otherwise he just stands or sits still.
    I suspect you and your helper have been too quick to help and has caused pert of the problem with dog quiting on hunts.
    If and when dog ctually needs help, like when he's going to leave the area, radio instructions to your helper then. Until that happens helper is not to assume or do anything on his own.
    Use the minimum amount of help when needed and escalate as as necessary.
    Basically help begins with helper simply standing, and maybe taking a few steps towards bird, then maybe add a hey hey and fake throw arm swing, if dog doesnt respond louder hey hey and maybe flip another bird in when dog is looking, etc etc. Once help escallates helper must coutinue, pulling out all the stops until he puts dog on the bird.
    Avoid trying to blow whistle and handle puppy on marks. don't do dirt clod drills until after TT & swimby.
    Pops are tough some times but if dog is popping try waiting him out. Stand still, do nothing and wait for dog to make decission to continue on his own.
    Last edited by Breck; 02-14-2014 at 05:49 PM.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    It is hard to know what the issue is without seeing your dog. But, I have the sense that you have not really taught it to how to mark and/or given it confidence in its ability to find marks.

    I have a young bitch (5 months old) that will be going off to the pro in a month or so. She is very well bred (FC/AFC x FC/AFC) and I was a little concerned when she did not seem interested in retrieving after I got her. I began by throwing very short marks down the hallway (as many have suggested) and making it a fun game for her. I did it first thing in the morning - before we went on our daily walk - when her energy was the highest, and made it exciting. Before too long, she was really jacked up, and I could throw her very short marks in the house several times a day.

    Once I knew she liked to retrieve, when we went on our morning and evening walks in the park and when she started to explore, I would yell "Hey, hey" and flip a little puppy bumper in the short grass. After I knew she understood that game, I would - on occasion - throw the bumper in taller cover to encourage her to go dig it up. Again, very short marks, where she was only 10 feet or so from me. I wanted her to have fun and be successful.

    I don't have access to young kids who want to throw in my neighborhood - and even if I had Bumper Boys, I couldn't use them without someone reporting me. So, except for the rare weekend when I can persuade my wife to throw marks, I rely on stand alones.

    I take all of my dogs to puppy socialization, then obedience 1 and obedience 2 before they head off to the pro. To help work on the sit (which I think is the foundation of dog training), I begin by walking 10 feet away from my puppy, saying sit and then throwing a bumper off to my side. No voice, no excitement. Make it easy for the pup to sit and also to see the bumper. Then release on her name. I work on lengthening the distance and before too long, I am at 100+ yards. When I begin, all of our work is in the park, short grass, bumper very visible. I typically only throw flat and angle back. (Flat because I want the puppy to hunt away from the gun. Angle back because I want the puppy to hunt deep of the gun)

    Puppy learns to use her eyes to find her retrieve. If the puppy starts backsiding me, I shorten the distance. If the puppy starts running to me, I shorten the distance. If the puppy starts hunting short, I shorten distance. I am doing everything I can to teach the puppy good habits. I am training, not testing. Once I am getting consistent success, I stretch distance. Through this repetition puppy learns to mark - which to me means learning to understand the spatial relationship between gun and bird.

    Once puppy is good at marks in the short grass, I go to parks where I know there is terrain and cover, as well as grass. I start with grass, to remind puppy of basic principles. Then I shorten distance and start throwing marks in cover. Like before, when I have consistent success at short distances, I stretch out. I do not use birds, guns, or bird throwers. Just me and a couple of bumpers (if puppy gets lost, I want another bumper to toss).

    When I was down in Texas training earlier this month, I did marks in the fields by the motel. Some marks in short grass. Some in very thick cover. Always looking for success. When we were training, and there was a break in the action, I would take puppy out on the fields and throw her some more marks. And then marks after training was done, again at the motel. If you haven't guessed, this puppy is wild about retrieving ( a far cry from the 8 week puppy whose desire I was concerned about)

    I don't know how this one will do once she gets in training with the pro. I do know that she loves to retrieve. That she runs hard to the Area of the Fall. And when she approaches, she is looking for something (using her eyes) and once she gets to what she thinks is the area of fall, she knows how to use her nose.

    Key points
    1. Make it fun
    2. No pressure
    3. Teach
    4. Train
    5. Instill success

    I can't imagine working on the dirt clod drill with an 8 month puppy. My general sense is that you need to simplify.



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  8. #18
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    I am just a newb but had this prob as well shortend up
    The marks and used real birds made all the difference clipped
    Pigoens really get him in the hunt also put some dokkens in cooler
    With dead ducks

  9. #19
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logy View Post
    what way should the gun help? I have been doing walking singles with her and when she gives up i give a hey hey and act like i toss something. That usally doesn work so I start walking around trying to pull the dog across the bumper. I do not go out, stand by the bumper, and call her to me. I'm also concerned that she will start to use the gunner as a crutch. So that would when the salting of the area becomes useful, correct?
    If you are not able to get help and continue to train alone I would shorten the marks up first. Get her coming out to short ones gung ho! and then increase the distance in increments. Salt the area like Charles says. A good hey hey a couple times. Even throw another bird (have one in your hand ready). I train alone and usually when they get their confidence up, the young ones soon learn to read where you have thrown it. IMO Best idea you run your dog and get someone to be gunner to assist! Good luck to you!
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  10. #20
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    Thanks for all the help. I know what I should be doing on.

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