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Thread: Short bird marking - Secondary vs Ideal selection

  1. #41
    Senior Member K.Bullock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetrieversONLINE View Post
    From North of the Border:
    SO much snow to shovel that I missed the start of this discussion-but here’s my thoughts.

    History of Selection (in brief)
    In the good old days “selection” meant ‘sending your dog on the first retrieve for a bird other than the last bird down’ (go-bird). The test that really got this idea going was the indent in which you had a short retired in the middle and the flyer last bird down longer on the outside. This has been called the McAssey Test (John McAssey). This kind of selection became known as Primary selection and Rex Carr was one of its early proponents.
    Primary selection has always been controversial because of the difficulty of pulling off flyers. Dogs reliable in training where not always reliable at trials (hmm –no kidding!) Often a lot of pressure was used. Interestingly in Canada, where all birds were dead, Primary selection was much easier and more often seen.

    Secondary selection occurred when the handler selected which bird was picked up second. Usually, this meant the flyer was picked up first as a go-bird and then the next shortest bird was picked up. Again this was often that short retired bird with a longer one to go and after a longer one. Because this pattern was the most common, it became convention to call Secondary Selection, “picking up the short bird second”. In reality, it is secondary selection occurs when the handler selects which bird is retrieved second. One can even talk about tertiary selection when the handler selects which bird is third (as might be needed in a quad).

    Eventually, Rex Carr abandoned primary selection because dogs AND handlers were unreliable at doing it. It wasn’t reasonable to pursue with all dogs. Later, he pursued picking up the short bird last. Dave Rorem trained extensively with Rex in the early 90’s when Rex preached this approach. Dave adopted Rex’s philosophy and later coined the term “Ideal Selection” which today he defines as “getting any bird at any time”. Of course, because Rorem has pursued picking up the short bird last after one or two longer birds, now some people think Ideal selection is short bird last (just as some thing secondary is always short bird second).

    Why do dogs over-run short?
    1. We train so much on this in formative years-Short-long ad nauseum in Derby-teach that punch bird, get that long retired-force back-drive long!
    2. Experienced dogs love flyers-ever notice short birds second as flyers are relatively easy? (Hint-great way to train short retireds). Dogs know when short birds are dead-they may be less certain that long bird was dead. Rex said to me: He wanted that long bird-he was hoping it was a flyer!” Note: Canadian dogs often primary select to short birds on their own when never exposed to flyers.
    3. Visible birds are easier to remember than retired- a long visible is more attracting than a short retired-duh!
    4. Dogs that have run long naturally are comfortable running long again because they have just been successful doing that.

    What do I do?

    For Chris: I say “Never says Always but Never say Never!”

    I train over and over on being able to take a short bird after a longer bird. In day to day training this is usually second for clarity and simplicity although it could be done second, third or 4th. Is this secondary-yes! I am always selecting which bird is second in training. Is it tertiary –sometimes it is also. Is it ideal- yes because I’m deciding which bird next. I occasionally train on Primary for control reasons. Enough that I could do it in some trial situations.

    In a trial, I “usually” go with my dog’s strengths- what is he best at? Because of my training, I often feel comfortable digging out that short retired second but not “always”. PS. I have both won and lost a National in the 10th by going contrary to my training. Four times the decision has been which bird to take 3rd when there was a middle and a long retired left.
    There is always both Science and Art to handling! Knowing when to go with the dog and when to not go with the dog is the Art!

    Cheers
    Awesome post. Thank you for being willing to share that. I am sure it is no accident that successful handlers by and large secondary select in training and at trials.

    It is interesting to me that you pointed out that you train on primary selection for control. I am assuming this is something you teach dogs at an advanced level that already have a good grasp on secondary selection.

    Do you think that this control at the trial is is key in pulling out difficult birds?

    My introduction to field trial training came from Jack Martin who instructed me that while he trained using primary selection everyone was going to secondary selection. This was the mid-nineties. His admonishment to me was that if I chose to teach Primary selection I would have to train for it and use it religiously for it to work consistently. I assume this is because of the control it takes to be able to pick the shortest bird first in any situation. As this was when Lardy was winning every trial and national hands down using secondary selection this is the method I have chosen,and have since learned much more from other individuals.

    While I think the control is less with secondary selection as the dog gets to run freely to the last bird down and then relinquishes control to the handler to select the next bird down. It is a kind of working relationship nonetheless.

    This would lead me to question the effectiveness of ideal selection as I have seen it described. do you think that would break down the relationship and let the dogs natural desire to smoke over the short birds kick back in? As well as maybe causing other control issues in other areas?
    Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

  2. #42
    Senior Member RetrieversONLINE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Dennis,

    I didn't get a clear perspective on Dave's "Ideal selection" principle, either, but rather just came away with the idea that he pretty much sent for the go bird (whether long or short) and let the dog indicate which he got next. Did you get that sort of impression?

    Evan
    First let me state that I haven't trained with Dave for quite awhile and we have not discussed this topic in recent years. Yes, my impression was that he read his dog and he let him indicate his preferred bird. After the go bird, this is often the long bird when visible and not the short brd when retired. He would go with that and then work on getting the dog to focus on the short bird (now it is last!). He did this in training also. It was some time after I trained with him that he used the term "Ideal" selection which is being able to pick up any bird comfortably.

    However, I don't think this means that he practices picking up birds in all different orders to "make" the dog comfortable. I get the 'impression' that it means he can let the dog pick up certain birds including long and then still be comfortable picking up the short at the end. Because the dog had done lots of short birds last, he become "comfortable" going short! His Apache Scout story which goes back to when he was doing this in the mid-90's and suggests that a dog who has done lots of short after long becomes comfortable doing short anytime.

    Without Dave here, I do not want to put words in his mouth. Perhaps a client has had this exact conversation with him. But these are my impressions and my interpretations-things may have changed.
    Dennis

  3. #43

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    "Balance" must certainly be the order of the day: advanced dogs can see just about anything these days, & when you factor in how terrain & wind can affect long-short set-ups (we haven't talked about those factors yet), I think you have to be prepared to adjust your usual routine of pick-up order, at least sometimes; it can certainly happen that wind direction forces you to pick up birds in unusual order, & if you let the dog choose you will be going home!

    A balanced dog that's at least been exposed in training to different possibilities, will be cooperative on line & willing to take direction-- you shouldn't have to "fight" them-- that's not to say that my plan isn't often to allow the dog to choose, but I only do that if the choices both make sense.

    We ran a trial here North of the Border this summer where the set-up was a big quad, mostly wide-open (practically a double-double), w/ the go-bird long to the left of a shorter indent, the other 2 birds were way to the right, none retired (& of course no flyer).

    The only dogs that did that test primary selected. Handlers only figured that out well into the test, & no one really figured out why that short visible gun disappeared for the dogs, if it was not picked up 1st-- & they didn't just overrun it, they went everywhere on God's green earth but to that bird; dogs that could not primary select were toast.

    So it seems to me that the dog, (and especially the handler?) needs to be balanced & comfortable enough to go where the best possibility of success lies, even if that is sometimes contrary to regular training---however it is that you train!

    Connie

  4. #44
    Senior Member cakaiser's Avatar
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    One might say that an AA dog these days needs to feel comfortable to go anywhere, any time. They have to be ok, dry or wet, short or long.

    Can see the same evolution in blinds. For a while chanel blinds were all the rage, don't get out. People started to train them, dogs got good. Next, how about we put the dog on the point, rather than by it. Failure with dogs that wouldn't get out, more training, more success. Once out, more training to get back in. Angle entries, dogs need to feel comfortable not getting in too early. Today, many water blinds may have a whole bunch of land in them.

    We as mentors need to be great at communicating where TO go, rather than , where not to go.

    This stuff just never gets old, how much farther can we take it??
    Charlotte Kaiser: " The Problem Lies In The Talent."

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetrieversONLINE View Post
    ...However, I don't think this means that he practices picking up birds in all different orders to "make" the dog comfortable. I get the 'impression' that it means he can let the dog pick up certain birds including long and then still be comfortable picking up the short at the end. Because the dog had done lots of short birds last, he become "comfortable" going short! His Apache Scout story which goes back to when he was doing this in the mid-90's and suggests that a dog who has done lots of short after long becomes comfortable doing short anytime. ....

    That I understand. But I'm still having trouble understanding why someone (Rorem) would advocate training two longs before a short retired as a "concept". My dogs have all shown a natural tendancy to want to p/u a long standout gun even after a long flyer go-bird (so's there's two long) before wanting the short-retired when first advancing in AA work but, it would seem to me, the trained, controlled concept would be to get the short retired right after the long go-bird - esp in training situations such that the dogs would become comfortable getting the short retired as the 2nd bird - even anticipating it.

    If ideal selection at a trial is actually reading the dog and allowing the dog to get the bird he seem most comfortable getting then we are really talking about something else altogether. That is much more a handling decision and not really a training concept. And it is a pragmatic decision most of us make on game day as opposed to a controlled training decision where a conscience effort is made to impose a selected order through repetitive training. JMO.......
    David Didier, GA

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    Senior Member cakaiser's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know, trained, controlled, concept or not, love a really good short retired that the wind doesn't give away.

    Then, IMHO,we can see who can really mark.
    Charlotte Kaiser: " The Problem Lies In The Talent."

  7. #47
    Senior Member drbobsd's Avatar
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    I'm wondering in a trial situation if you decide to pick up two long birds and get short retired last would it not be best to practice it in training? Thinking I'm understanding the thread?
    Bob
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  8. #48
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    You can train for short retireds while working on "ideal selection." The two are not mutually exclusive.

    For example, imagine that you shoot a delayed triple. The initial double is short retired bird and then long flyer. Dog picks up long flier. Then you shoot another long bird with gun up. Dog picks up the long bird. Now you pick up short retired bird.

    Dog will go long, long, short.

    You work on short retired.
    But are also working on picking up short bird last ... or ideal selection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Shih View Post
    You can train for short retireds while working on "ideal selection." The two are not mutually exclusive.

    For example, imagine that you shoot a delayed triple. The initial double is short retired bird and then long flyer. Dog picks up long flier. Then you shoot another long bird with gun up. Dog picks up the long bird. Now you pick up short retired bird.

    Dog will go long, long, short.

    You work on short retired.
    But are also working on picking up short bird last ... or ideal selection.
    -

    That would be a good introduction but.....for a dog that is training at this level. I don't think that would be as beneficial from an "all around training" perspective as having one of the Long birds being a memory bird. For that you would need a fourth bird shot last, somewhere middle distance in the mix.

    Of course, if you would like to also work on Primary Selection in the same set up , shoot the second long bird last in the second double and Primary Select the fourth bird

    Dbl. Dbl. regards
    john
    Last edited by john fallon; 12-21-2008 at 08:04 AM.
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  10. #50
    Senior Member Doug Main's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Shih View Post
    You can train for short retireds while working on "ideal selection." The two are not mutually exclusive.
    No, but "ideal selection" and "secondary selection" are!

    At the Lardy workshop I attended, we learned the whole point of secondary selection was an attempt to be more successful with the short retired birds. One of the factors that Lardy puts into the design of training setups is not having the dog run past a gun stations that it has not retrieved. This so the dog does NOT get comfortable running past a gun station that it has not yet retrieved. We even go so far in training as to not let the dog pick up that long attractive bird that it wants, until it has successfully retrieved the short bird.

    I asked if this is done for a certain type of dog, or not. Because for the dog that is generally good at short retired, check down birds, I can see that "ideal selection" could be a good thing. However, for the dogs that really struggle with the short check down birds and short retired guns. I am just not sure.

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