Gage has been a pretty good marker. We are training at Master level. Actually he has proven to be a better marker than I am and therein lies the problem. Even though he marks a fall if I'm not lined up exactly he will take my "line" even though he knows where the bird has dropped. I don't want to handle him to a mark. He doesn't pop and I don't want to get him started so I will walk out to the area of the fall and tell him to "hunt it up". He then goes right to where he knows the bird is.
As a possible cure I have set up a holding blind that I stay behind and sit him in front of. He is very steady so no problem there. I've given him a number of singles and sent him remotely. That seemed to work. He goes straight to the fall. Also, I have done the "training alone" exercise where I put him in a sit and walk out up to 100+ yards and hand throw marks. He will sit until I send him and retrieve to me where we do it over again. This too seems to be working. He is relying on his own eyes instead of my body position.
My question is how do we transition back to him regaining confidence in his own marks and not line up on me.
He has passed three HRC Finished tests (out of four) and has had four great first series in AKC Master (unfortunately in four different tests).
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.