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Thread: Training Question-bird selection

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Default Training Question-bird selection

    During our group training session last night, for our 2nd series, the trainer set up a double, with the short mark, approx 45 yards, first, long mark 2nd at 130 yards, quite tight, no wind as a factor. Using bumpers, not birds. The first series had been a similar setup but the marks were not nearly as tight.

    He wanted to make the dogs go past the short bird and pick up the long bird in order and if they wanted to take the short bird first, stop them and make them go to the long bird. I thought it was an awful lot of suction for the younger dogs and they had huge problems. The two I was running are MH level and were okay, one took the birds in order, one went for the short bird first, called her back and resent her on the long one, which she did okay, but then she had more of a hunt on the short bird, whereas her initial line was right on it.

    If we were running a test, I would let my dogs take whatever bird they wanted and my Cosmo bitch will take a short, hot bird first every time regardless of order, and usually does not have a problem then with the rest of the marks. If I try to force her to take the marks in order, it screws her up, we have several failures at tests to back me up on that one.

    My question is what is the point of forcing a dog to take the marks in order and is it even a good idea to make them take a specific mark when they obviously want a different one, unless there was a very specific reason, like a cripple getting away,etc?
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 06-18-2008 at 05:42 PM.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

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    this skill will make it easier to recover a long go bird within an indented triple when you have a crosswind blowing the scent of the shorter bird across the route to the long bird. otherwise, in this situation the dog may break down and pick up the short instead.

    of course, you could primary select the short bird, if your dog is comfortable with primary selection.

    any time the dog diverts itself enroute and picks up a bird it wasn't sent for, there is a good probability of a handle, maybe even 2....

    i think it's a worthwhile skill.-paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Senior Member JS's Avatar
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    I believe it's a very valuable skill for the reasons Paul gave (although, on test day, if your dog indicates he's not going to work with you on it, I'd let him have his way and go back to the drawing board on Monday ).

    I do agree with you that correcting for failure would only come after a lot of teaching on the concept and a lot of reps on the wider, less tempting setups.

    JMO.

    JS
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    So whats gonna happen if you don't train and correct for bird selection,and you get to a test and the judge says get the long bird first.I personally don't like surprises for my dogs when i get to a test.

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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    In AKC and NAHRA the judges can't select the order of pick up on marks.

    I don't believe they can in HRC either.

    Just the Aussies have judge selection on the order of pickup on marks.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

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    no, they can, in HRC tests, but it's rare.

    what i have seen in AKC master tests is marks thrown, pick 1 or 2 up, run a blind (or blinds), pick up the remaining mark(s).-paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Senior Member DRAKEHAVEN's Avatar
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    See Rorem's theory on ideal selection.

    Kim, Sounds as if you did correct your dog. Recalling IS correction, and depending on the dog it could be much more pressure than some other forms.

    JK
    Discipline is no excuse for a lack of enthusiasm !!

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    I've never had an AKC HT judge tell us which order the marks had to be picked up in, unless a rerun, though of course a diversion bird will be shot for a particular mark regardless of the order picked up so if the dog picks that mark up out of order it may cause some problems on the other mark(s).

    I do train on concept setups of the dog taking the mark I send it for and line myself up accordingly. We do out of order flyers to practice pulling them off that really fun bird and swing for the next mark, pulling them off a mark and running a blind, etc.

    But if, and I have one dog in particular that does this, the dog at a test wants that short bird and has shown in the past that she does better if allowed to get that bird and has no problem driving past the old fall and getting the long marks, why is it a bad idea to let her do it? It's almost like she's already memorized which way she's going to pick up the marks and if I change up her game plan, it seems to confuse her. She isn't stubborn, it's like she has her method for marking and memorizing and I screw her up when I mess with it. She's good with poison birds and pulling off marks for blinds, doesn't fight the issue, but it seems like I'm doing her more harm than good by not letting her get the marks the way she does it best. I screw up enough at tests without adding to something that maybe shouldn't be such an issue for this dog.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 06-18-2008 at 05:43 PM.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

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    thanks for the additional info.

    i would correct by whistle stopping the dog, going to the place the dog's route to the long bird broke down, recalling the dog to that spot, and re-sending from there.

    i see no benefit to the correction you say was recomended by the trainer. all that will do is encourage the dog to mark short birds poorly, and probably hunt where there is no bird, in no mans land, deep of the short bird.

    attitude is important.....-paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    IMHO the value of this lesson has less to do selection then it does concentration. A dog's natural tendency would be to move their head and eyes back to the short gun. By letting the dog select in this situation you would be encouraging/rewarding head swinging.
    Establishing that the dog stays focused on that less attractive mark promotes control and concentration.
    The dog that is rewarded for bringing his focus back to that short gun will have a difficult time when that double with bumpers turns into a triple with the #1 short gun being a flyer and you have 2 long birds. They will lose concetration on #2 and may never look at #3.

    Tim
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