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Thread: Hand down vs. no hand

  1. #21
    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    I read the title, and the first thing that came to mind was; "This is going to be way better than two sided vs one sided."
    Considering the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity". -Unknown

  2. #22
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    @DarrinGreen- " spend my life trying to get people to use 7 words and only 7 words with a dog."

    If it's not a trade secret can you share those seven words? Thanks

  3. #23
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    I've seen some judges set up marking scenarios (primarily in AKC MH tests) where either the dog was sucked into looking elsewhere or had a downright hard time seeing a particular mark. The best dogs in those fields were experienced and lined really well. I can remember in particular a 9 or 10 yo that was a pro's personal dog who literally lined across three angle entries to pick up a 100 yard mark like he'd seen it perfectly... The dog wasn't even looking in that direction when the bird went off...
    I think people don't realize what great peripheral vision dogs have. And, it only takes an eye flick for them to see a mark. Particularly inviting flyer stations were MEANT to be looked at, per FC Honor. Many times he wouldn't bother to turn his head anywhere else. But, it always amazed the gallery that he would go out and pound the other 2 retired birds. I remember one guy saying "I thought you were toast." I learned to trust my dog and just not sweat it. Wouldn't do me any good anyway.

    Be that as it may, when he came back with the flyer, I would use my hand, just to sober him up. The hand down meant, "GET SERIOUS."

    The question is... does using "hand" in certain situations but not others really give the dog a clear understanding of what you want, or does is simply create two (or more) command sequences that ultimately mean the same thing (dog released)? We know we can train multiple cues for the same behavior (ex: verbal sit and whistle sit). Is that all we're doing, or does the dog really understand that it should run easier when no hand is present and the handler's voice is soft (if that's how it is being used)? Do they understand, or do they run softer just because they are wondering if they've actually been sent when you whisper?
    I believe they absolutely know the difference. You can see it when someone sends too loud, calls the dog back and re-sends in training. Or the same thing hand it, or not. It's part of the communication you develop with your team mate. I think the hand in becomes more important as the marks get longer. Never really used the hand much in hunt tests. On the line, I don't say much to the dog in general. A couple of key words. But, do believe that dogs have the capacity to develop a significant vocabulary. It's just that using it at the line is distracting to both you as the handler, and the dog.
    Last edited by JusticeDog; 02-19-2014 at 01:45 PM.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    That's what I do. Never send on a go bird in training without first putting hand down. Then in a trial, hopefully they wait for that cue before going for the first bird. Then hand down with loud send for long retired. No hand and quiet send for short retired. I think the dogs really do get it.
    My dog and I are in the process of going back and learning this, in hopes of getting it through his thick, breaking skull that if there is no hand down there is absolutely no reason to move. One of the many lessons I have learned while trying to learn my way into this maddening game.

    One of the best lessons on actual lining on blinds came from a day of training with Lanse Brown. It's a hoot, but it appears that his dogs absolutely understand when they are looking in the right direction. I would consider myself successful if I ever get to be about 10% of the handler he is.
    Steve Wyatt

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  5. #25
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Caswell View Post
    Yep..

    I was running test dog a few years back in a HRC finished test, after the last bird was down I stood up put the gun in the stand and stepped up to the dog put my hand in and sent the dog. After all the birds had been picked up one of the judges recommended that I shouldn't put my hand in because it made it appear that my dog didn't know where the mark was and I was lining him to the bird.
    Putting my hand down on the last bird, lining him up saved me in one HRC finished test! Probably depends on the judges.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member big gunner's Avatar
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    As I mentioned earlier at Field Trials as a general rule the hand goes down on marks as a signal to "I am about to send you." I do not use the hand as an alignment tool. A loud send may indicate to the dog that this a long Mark. I don't use the hand down on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th bird. I wait for a sign from the dog that he is ready to go to the next bird ( ears set up, forging and ready for the verbal send off. I view it this way - Marks are the dogs responsibility and directing him to the blind is mine with him working with me as a team.
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  7. #27
    Member Ethompson63's Avatar
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    Thanks most comments were helpful. I think I know what combination would work best for me.

  8. #28
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitty View Post
    I am new at the FT game, slowly figuring things out.

    On the lonnnnng gun/punch bird, my dogs ears perk when I cue "mark" if she has picked out the gunner. If I get no ear perk when I cue "mark" she has not picked out the gunner (so I have to work with her some more). The dogs can respond with their own body language if you work with them.
    What do you think "mark" means to your dog in that scenario Renee?
    Darrin Greene

  9. #29
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illini Coot Killr View Post
    @DarrinGreen- " spend my life trying to get people to use 7 words and only 7 words with a dog."

    If it's not a trade secret can you share those seven words? Thanks
    sit
    down
    here
    heel
    kennel
    good
    OK

    Keep in mind this is for the average PET, not a field retriever.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 02-19-2014 at 08:39 PM.
    Darrin Greene

  10. #30
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    What do you think "mark" means to your dog in that scenario Renee?
    I think she thinks that "mark" means that there is someone out there, where she is looking, that is about to throw a bird for her.
    Renee P

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