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Thread: In the time that I have left...

  1. #1
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    Default In the time that I have left...

    I am entering my dog in his first 'Seasoned' tests the first weekend in December. Marks, diversions, and walk-ups are ready to go. Blinds have been another thing entirely.

    In the last couple of weeks a light seems to have come on for my dog, and he now seems to be playing as a team member on cold blinds. (Gawd, I hope I didn't jinx it with that statement He has momentum, stops, and takes casts - all of these pretty well.

    So, here's my question: In the training time I have left (realistically about 12 sessions) is there some specific skill I should be working on? Or, is it just a matter of running lots and lots of cold blinds under a variety of conditions and set-ups and just let (our) experience build confidence and let repeatition sharpen things up along the way?

    (Just as an aside, I usually start with a little wagon wheel, push/pull, and walking baseball as a warm-up to the blinds, then I run the blinds (2-4), and then run a few marks using varying set-ups. I have not yet combined marks and blinds into one 'test' so to speak.)

    Suggestions, and even critiques are invited.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve Hester's Avatar
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    Lots of blinds. Land blinds and even more water blinds. But also work on time in the holding blind, walking on lead to the line, etc. When the dogs get all wound up at a test, their heeling, line manners, etc. get pretty rough.
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hester View Post
    Lots of blinds. Land blinds and even more water blinds. But also work on time in the holding blind, walking on lead to the line, etc. When the dogs get all wound up at a test, their heeling, line manners, etc. get pretty rough.
    Hilarious! Jeez, if it werent for those things I would have qaa by now!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Beamer81's Avatar
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    Good luck Snick!

  5. #5

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    Definitely agree with the holding blind/line manners. Get the dog used to it.

    A "calm" heel from the holding blind to the bucket will be very helpful. I posted a very similar question and everything came back to the holding blind and line manners. Don't under estimate this. Make sure you've got the OB under FULL control. If not don't run the dog. Sounds like the 60 yard blind or some double marks shouldn't be a problem but make sure you've got the OB under control. Did I mention make sure you've got the OB/holding blind/walk to the line under control.

    Take your time. Walk slow. Where is the test maybe I should drive down.

  6. #6
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Keep at it Chuck and Buddy!

    I look forward to seeing you in a little over a month!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rick Hall's Avatar
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    I'd pay special attention to blinds past both scent and sight distractions. Lot of Seasoned pups get distracted by and locked onto scent from marks and lone decoys or stick-ups.
    If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.

    (And to see just how confused I really am, join us in my online blind at: Rick's 2014-2015 season log)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Snicklefritz..... come over here so I can slap you!!!!!!
    I wish you the VERY VERY VERY best of luck with Buddy at the test. And I hope you nail it and all the Lab owners are in awe of the masterful Chesapeake, Buddy!
    That said, your a goofball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have followed all your posts since you and Buddy said Hi. I like you. I have even been you. You remind me so much of my beginning years or two with retrievers and hunt tests it is scary.
    Do Not Be In A Rush To TEST!
    I am so guilty of this myself. I have entered too many tests in a row. Entered when not ready. Entered when I was sure the dog would progress rapidly in the two weeks before a given test only to have it regress. The send in the money and pray method of retriever testing is not the way to go, trust me.
    You and your dog, Buddy will progress more rapidly if you train LOTS and test LITTLE.
    You and Buddies pass/fail ratio will be the best if you only enter an event level, when you are, in training doing work well above that. Not just barely at that. I know you are chomping at the bit here. I know you are entered already. I do hope you do very well.
    When you go to a test with Buddy the "Challenge" of the day should be the waiting on the truck, the background noises, the dog smells, the new grounds. All that sensory overload. That is a big deal. The easiest part of the day for Buddy should be the dog work itself. He needs to be able to do that part with one paw tied behind his back. Now you have placed Buddy in the position where the blind may be the most challenging part of the day. Yet he will still have all the aforementioned sensory overload.
    Good Luck
    Ken Bora
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    BTW with the thread title I thought at a glance you had acquired some life threatening illness.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kevin Hannah's Avatar
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    Run lots of blinds in training past or around distractions like decoys. There will likely be goose decoys on land, since there is not usually many factors in a seasoned land blind a couple goose decoys off line can cause a lot of distraction.

    Run your blinds in training MUCH longer then the seasoned distance, you will only be looking at a max of 60 yards so you should be training at twice that distance anyway.

    Once you get there just relax and have fun.

    Good luck

    Kevin

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