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Thread: Driving back - not over.

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    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    Default Driving back - not over.

    I'd appreciate some suggestions on this problem. My 2 yr. old, who is a hard charger, always wants to drive back on blinds. Carries a line great but I have a hard time getting her to change direction on longer blinds. (this got us dropped in the second series of her first qual) In close, she handles pretty well. Definitely knows overs and angle backs in drill situations but it doesn't seem to translate to the field. I've gone back to the double T to make sure she is solid on that and she's perfect in that situation. Last night we were doing stand-alones with two to three marks then a blind out to about 150 yards or so and after repeated problems with angled backs where she did not correct, I stopped and went through some walking baseball just to make sure she understood what I wanted and she took every cast correctly. She can take some pressure but if I use the collar too much on cast refusals she will start popping or just quit on me so I have to be very careful with collar pressure. She's not taking overs at the longer distances very well. So, with that background do I stick with literal casting in training sessions and insist she take each cast, which is what I think I should be doing? I've been told different things by more experienced handlers. Some say forget the overs and just get her to the bird, others say use literal casting in training and just use angle backs in trial/test situations to get her to the bird. As I said, she carries a line well and is very fast, so in a lot of cases when she takes an over she's 20 yards the other side of the line before I can get her stopped. How would you handle this problem? Should I just shorten up to where I am getting good casts then gradually move it back? (I think I just answered my own question, amazing how typing this out clarifies the problem but I still would like input from more experienced trainers)
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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have a nice dog. She just needs more training. Generally I like to stick with literal casting in training going to more momentum type casting if the dog gets in trouble or style starts to suffer. When they're young I like to do a casting drill every week or so just to make sure they do know the 6 basic casts, but I don't dwell on it as I feel they know what the casts mean just find it difficult to do them in a real life blind when there's suction and flare, terrain and cover around.

    Do lots of diversion type training. I like lots of KRD's and multitiered Chinese drills. I handle them close by visible piles they haven't picked up a bumper from yet, to a further pile they can't see when going by the visible one. Having the pile upwind of the line to the blind helps diversion training too. I try not to burn on these drills as I don't want the dog flaring gunners and short blinds. One thing you can often do is start moving up once you've sent your dog. That way once you have to handle you are closer to your dog and have a better chance of getting the cast you need. Try to have a blind or two with every marking set up you do.
    Last edited by Howard N; 08-28-2008 at 12:51 PM.
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    Senior Member BBnumber1's Avatar
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    First, let me say that I am a fairly newbie trainer, but have tried to absorb all the info I can. Probably a Phase 2 (think I know more than I do). That being said, here are a couple suggestions I have heard:

    In training, you can use attrition. Call the dog back to the point of the cast refusal (going straight back, instead of angled, or over). Repeat the literal cast. Continue calling back, until the correct cast is taken. If you can not get the correct cast, you may need to call the dog in much further to get them to take the cast.

    Along with attrition, you may use some indirect pressure. When you call the dog back to the original spot, give a "Sit - nick - Sit" before giving the cast.

    If these fail, you can simplify, by calling the dog all the way back in, move your line closer to the blind, and resend the dog.

    In any of these, if you can not get the correct cast, you can move up towards the dog, which should help in them taking the correct cast.
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    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    Get someone to show you how to do a tule drill. I don't remember the details well enough to describe it here, but had the same problem a few years back and used it to cure the problem.
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    Rather than call the dog in -I worked with an oldtime pro who said never let the dog come back without a bird or bumper (starts another problem) - and rather than come-in whistles, what I do is , whistle sit the dog -use nick if they are still raring to go rather than sitting and move up on them. The intimidation factor for both of you will work wonders. Also they get to sit a while as you walk out there and they tend to calm down - altho you may still get that same cast refusal the first time. Gives you time to calm down too.

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    Sounds like a couple of problems. The fact that it takes you 20' to stop her, says she has a slow sit. That's one problem. Then the cast. I'd walk out to her and let her die a thousand deaths. When you get closer, give her the over. Stop her immediately if she doesn't take it and give her another over, and another until she takes it.

    If they won't take the cast at a distance, keep the dog in the same spot and shorten the distance to her.
    A Lab's best friend is the person holding the food dish.

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    Senior Member Dale's Avatar
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    A couple thoughts.
    1)shorten and simplify
    2)I had a similar problem with Merlin, Keith had drop the verbal over which does 2 things. It tells him if I ain't talking he ain't going back.(worked for me too) He also now has to pay attention to what I am about to tell him.
    3)Go out and have a meeting with Jesus with the dog now and then.

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    "others say use literal casting in training and just use angle backs in trial/test situations to get her to the bird"
    I would say that is one way to go. If you are having problems with her taking the whistle you need to whistle nick and even whistle burn it get her to stop. I would shorten up your blinds right now and be prepared to get in the field and in her face until she understands she has to stop when YOU say so not when she decides. In fact, send her on a blind and follow her - she will be very surprised to see you out there.
    Go back to stationary baseball -then you have more control over the direction - work on one thing at a time. I would work on that sit problem first then go back to your casting drills. Do as many casting drills a week as you do marks. If she is a good marker take time now to do more drills and get that under control. It will only get worse if you dont nip it in the bud now. BTW do you understand the difference between stationary and walking baseball? Dont do the T anymore - she is beyond that. Drill, drill drill the baseball.

  9. #9

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    You have several problems. I think you skipped some steps in transition training and now have to deal with the results.

    Let's go through your thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    I'd appreciate some suggestions on this problem. My 2 yr. old, who is a hard charger, always wants to drive back on blinds. Carries a line great but I have a hard time getting her to change direction on longer blinds. (this got us dropped in the second series of her first qual) In close, she handles pretty well.
    First of all, you need to set up super long (300-600 yard) permanent blinds.

    You and your dog need to get use to handling from afar. You need to set up blinds in several fields. Placement is vital for each blind so if you do not fully understand how these permanent blinds can move you into advance training situations, seek out a pro or super knowledgable amateur to help you identify these blinds.

    Start close to each blind you set up and move back gradually. Take several days to establish each blind.

    With permanent blinds, you should depend upon attrition -- do not use the e-collar for corrections. You do not want to create hot spots on line to the blind. You need to save those corrections for other learning situations you set up later in your training cycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    Definitely knows overs and angle backs in drill situations but it doesn't seem to translate to the field. I've gone back to the double T to make sure she is solid on that and she's perfect in that situation. Last night we were doing stand-alones with two to three marks then a blind out to about 150 yards or so and after repeated problems with angled backs where she did not correct, I stopped and went through some walking baseball just to make sure she understood what I wanted and she took every cast correctly.
    Actually, walking baseball (WB) is a great idea. Find a good (large and low cut cover) field to do it in so that you can move 75 - 100 yards away from her for your casts. Do WB every day for a couple of weeks, then go to those permanent blinds you've been setting up.

    Stay away from cold blinds for a while. Get her working well at a distance with WB and the permanents.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    She can take some pressure but if I use the collar too much on cast refusals she will start popping or just quit on me so I have to be very careful with collar pressure.
    I'm guessing that she doesn't understand what you want. Perhaps one problem is with your handling. You may not be doing it correctly, and as a result she not getting correct or consistant casting "signals" from you.

    The other problem may be that you rushed through transition too quickly and either skipped through some important steps, or didn't train those steps correctly.

    E-collar correction only makes sense if the dog understands what she is doing wrong. And from your description of the sitation, she does not understand your casts from a distance. So once again, use walking baseball. Set up long permanent blinds. Use attrition on these permanent blinds.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with moving up on your dog if you get 2 cast refusals in a roll. To a certain extent moving closer to her is threatning gesture, so she'll take you more seriously. It is also assuring. She's young and you need to make sure she understands what you want. As you both become more comfortable, you will see that she will begin to take your casts at a distance.

    Once your dog shows she understands and can be handled further away you can begin to introduce collar corrections on cold blinds. My rule of thumb for young dogs transitioning to the field: 2 cast refusals than correct. Keep the collar on mimimal power setting.

    Once the dog is older and you believe that she understands fully what you expect of her: 1 cast refusal than correct. Up the power setting according to your dog's requirements. But be prepared to "go up the pad" for each correction (low, med, high). Be consistant. Don't Nag. Don't be afraid to move up closer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    She's not taking overs at the longer distances very well. So, with that background do I stick with literal casting in training sessions and insist she take each cast, which is what I think I should be doing?
    When you are in the field doing cold blinds, let her "enjoy" - carry - the over or angled back cast you give her. Many handlers with young dogs make the mistake of trying to get to the blind ... that's not the point in training. If you are getting cast refusals -- say on that over. Forget the blind and work on the cast. Make her take that cast and hold it. Then send her back or call her towards you, stop her, and make her take that over cast again! So what if you end up several hundred yards off line? You're training! After she accepts your cast direction, call her back in to re-start the blind or handle her back on course.

    One thing you can do is wagon wheel casting where the dog is in the middle of the circle and you are giving casts. Evan Graham's transition DV's would be extremely to helpful at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    I've been told different things by more experienced handlers. Some say forget the overs and just get her to the bird, others say use literal casting in training and just use angle backs in trial/test situations to get her to the bird.
    Your ultimate goal is control: at the beginning, middle, and end of each blind.

    However, I don't think you should be too concerned about "teaching" angled backs. Most dogs eventually learn to do angled backs.

    It is important for your dog to take all casts at a distance. But the fact is ... IF you want to do well at a field trial, you'll need to practice keeping your dog on line. That means lot's of backs, some angled backs, even fewer overs.

    BTW, what have you done about water work? Has she been water forced?

    What about control at the end of the water blind, when the dog is close to the shore? Does she take long overs just before she reaches the shore (say about 2 body lenghts from the shore where the bumpers are waiting)? Can she do a strong swimby?


    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    As I said, she carries a line well and is very fast, so in a lot of cases when she takes an over she's 20 yards the other side of the line before I can get her stopped. How would you handle this problem?
    If she's not stopping on your whistle you need to work on that immediately. I personally feel it is inappropriate to describe how to administer corrections on the forum. You need to find a Pro or highly skilled amateur to work with you. They need to see your timing with the transmitter and your dog in action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    (this got us dropped in the second series of her first qual)
    Your dog is not fully trained. Why are you trialing? You are not adding to her learning curve, and you probably look foolish to the gallery.

    If you just can't stand it, think about Senior Hunt Tests. But even than, she still needs to be working more consistantly for you.

    Hold off on Quals till you are both working consistantly and confidently, and as a team! This may take 6 months to a year, but it will be worth it!

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Pheasanttomeetyou; 08-30-2008 at 03:18 PM.
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  10. #10
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    "You need to find a Pro or highly skilled amateur to work with you."

    Easier said than done.
    I know many "Highly skilled amateurs" I wouldnt let near any of my dogs. A pro is not a bad idea but not many pros will have time now to work with a new dog on a day training basis - it's trial season and that's the priority with many this season.

    I see Hambone is in SE Idaho - the only pro I know who trains young dogs there , or least in Idaho , is Cindy Huff. You might calling her 208-934-4483
    She is in Gooding, ID . You can at least talk to her and see if she can help or put you in touch with someone who can help

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