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Thread: Bird Placement v. Contrary Marks

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ken Newcomb's Avatar
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    Default Bird Placement v. Contrary Marks

    How do these differ??

    In the bird placement discussion putting birds somewhere a dog doesn't want to go was a good thing.

    In the contrary marks discussion putting birds where the dog wasn't trained to go was viewed as a nasty trick by unskilled judges.

    What say you???
    Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard for it.

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    Senior Member Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Whoooppsss...another trick 'Nebraska' question! Where are those "picked-on" posters when you need one?

    However, if you are continuing to post impossible queries, we'll need to put Fallon on the payroll.

    UB
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    "In the contrary marks discussion putting birds where the dog wasn't trained to go was viewed as a nasty trick by unskilled judges."

    ....or skilled judges.

    You do get that in hunting. Not every bird will fall where you train for them to fall.
    Tom Dorroh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Newcomb View Post
    How do these differ??

    In the bird placement discussion putting birds somewhere a dog doesn't want to go was a good thing.

    In the contrary marks discussion putting birds where the dog wasn't trained to go was viewed as a nasty trick by unskilled judges.

    What say you???
    I'll take a stab, I think some of your confusion can be based on the level of the dogs training in regards to contrary marks. IMHO

    For a beginning or transition dog a contrary mark is one where the bird is placed where the dog will get rewarded for doiong something "contrary" to what we are training him to do as a default reaction.
    Example; with a transition dog that you are trying to show that "Water is my friend" and to seek water; you wouldn't want to place a bird along the shoreline, where he would get rewarded for not getting wet. Or on a down the shore concept you want LONG throws, so as not to reward young dog for caving to the shore. This placement is "Contrary" to what you are trying to get through a young dogs head, ....i.e. if you see water get in it, and water is your friend and the more water the better. It refers to not throwing marks where the dog will get rewarded for violating a basic concept you are trying to instill in them
    I didn't see the contrary marks thread, but my guess is people were referring to contrary marks as being a "nasty trick" by judges only in the minor stakes

    Examples of putting birds where dogs dont want to go are at the base of a tree, in heavy cover, down in a ditch or gully, or at the base or foot of a hillside, or on an angled hillside {depending on the terrain leading to the mark} etc

    Putting the birds where a dog doesn't want to go is just good practice to determine the best marking dogs who have the courage, perserverance and intelligence to get to the AOF, and have the confidence to stay in the AOF and dig the bird out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjh345 View Post
    I'll take a stab, I think some of your confusion can be based on the level of the dogs training in regards to contrary marks. IMHO

    For a beginning or transition dog a contrary mark is one where the bird is placed where the dog will get rewarded for doiong something "contrary" to what we are training him to do as a default reaction.
    Example; with a transition dog that you are trying to show that "Water is my friend" and to seek water; you wouldn't want to place a bird along the shoreline, where he would get rewarded for not getting wet. Or on a down the shore concept you want LONG throws, so as not to reward young dog for caving to the shore. This placement is "Contrary" to what you are trying to get through a young dogs head, ....i.e. if you see water get in it, and water is your friend and the more water the better. It refers to not throwing marks where the dog will get rewarded for violating a basic concept you are trying to instill in them
    I didn't see the contrary marks thread, but my guess is people were referring to contrary marks as being a "nasty trick" by judges only in the minor stakes

    Examples of putting birds where dogs dont want to go are at the base of a tree, in heavy cover, down in a ditch or gully, or at the base or foot of a hillside, or on an angled hillside {depending on the terrain leading to the mark} etc

    Putting the birds where a dog doesn't want to go is just good practice to determine the best marking dogs who have the courage, perserverance and intelligence to get to the AOF, and have the confidence to stay in the AOF and dig the bird out.

    That is a great answer. There is a difference between an experienced judge knowing where dogs naturally don't want to go, versus drawing a line to a bird that dogs need to be trained to do, regardless of whether it is a hard to find bird or not.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas D View Post
    "In the contrary marks discussion putting birds where the dog wasn't trained to go was viewed as a nasty trick by unskilled judges."

    ....or skilled judges.

    You do get that in hunting. Not every bird will fall where you train for them to fall.
    Thomas, Thomas, Thomas,,,,,,

    When has any testing situation had a thing to do with actual hunting?????

    Angie

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas D View Post
    "In the contrary marks discussion putting birds where the dog wasn't trained to go was viewed as a nasty trick by unskilled judges."

    ....or skilled judges.

    You do get that in hunting. Not every bird will fall where you train for them to fall.
    See, I think that's the point, you can train dogs to seek water, to stay in water, to seek cover, to hold a line to a certain extent, to recognise concepts and deal with them, holding a line tight to a gun in a hip pocket, staying in front of the guns on pinched birds, you can train them where not to go, as in old falls, but you can't train them to actually mark a bird, that is just born talent and lots of experience by a good dog. A good judge will place a bird where dogs don't want to go and eliminate as much as possible the training crutches that teach dogs where not to go, try to distill it down to pure marking. I belive it takes lots of experience and good dog sense to be able to look out in a field and recognise those spots "where dogs don't want to go".

    I see a contrary mark as putting a young dog in an awkard position of trying to make the correct decision (from a training standpoint), versus going with his desire to pick up the bird "contrary" to that training. Does he just go get the bird, or does he try to be a "good dog" and follow his training. A judge that sets up such a test is liable to loose some good dogs for the wrong reason.

    John

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    Typically, when people refer to contrary marks, they are talking about marks that are placed in front of something we want dogs to drive through.

    For example, marks that are:
    - In front of water
    - In front of cover

    I want a dog with the heart - and training - to drive water and/or cover.

    If you throw the bird in front of these hazards, you may find good marking dogs (which is why people justify contrary marks) or you may just find dogs that are poorly trained or lack courage (which is why people condemn contrary marks).

    I have not yet thrown a bird in front of cover or water. I wouldn't do it at all in the minor stakes. I might do it in the AA stakes, but only if I also had a bird that required that the dog drive cover and/or water.

    By and large, I am not a proponent of contrary marks in either the minor or the major stakes.

    To me, it is like calling for the birds quickly as a judge in a trial - you are de-training the dogs by requiring headswinging to see the birds.


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    Examples of putting birds where dogs dont want to go are at the base of a tree, in heavy cover, down in a ditch or gully, or at the base or foot of a hillside, or on an angled hillside {depending on the terrain leading to the mark} etc
    So that's it ? That's where dogs don't naturally want to go? That's where we are to put birds so dogs will not find them????? Whoda thunk it?????

    So in the cover in a ditch that's in the front of a tree at the toe of a slope .......That ought to thin the field huh ?

    No . I think I'll stick to enhancing my bird placement with proven concepts like the classic retired indent , inlines and punch birds , and throw in a few wipeout or out of order Flyers now and then
    thank you.


    I just couldn't see the forest for the tree regards

    john
    Last edited by john fallon; 06-06-2009 at 08:32 PM.
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    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john fallon View Post
    I think I'll stick to enhancing my bird placement with proven concepts like the classic retired indent , inlines and punch birds , and throw in a few wipeout or out of order Flyers now and then
    thank you.
    So you think testing marking is all about test configuration, John?

    While you're at it, don't forget delayed birds and tests that encourage selection....

    kg
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