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Thread: mistake with dog

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default mistake with dog

    Last night I made what I think was a big mistake with my dog. I was working on a long water blind that was about 80 yards across a pond then up on the damn about 15yds. As he went across I kept sending him back left but he kept turning left but then going right after 4 of these I let him go. We he hit land and started to run to the right I burned him. Now I was with my trainer a few weeks back and he had me do the same thing but this time I didn't sit him before I did it. Now what I did is burn him off of land and he would not go up on the land at all. So he swam back to me he was tired so I let him sit by me I didn't say a word as I was trying to think of what I just did to him and how was I going to fix this. So I had 3 bumpers set up for a shorter blind about 40 yds so I throw a bumper over to them and sent him, They were on land about 15 yds, he went for it he didn't like it but he went and go it after I was all about the GOOOD BOY them I sent him for the short blind when he got to the land he stopped but this time he took the back and got the bumper. Again I did the GOOOD BOY. I didn't send him for that any more I did some short marks and put him up. What do I do now do I stay with the short blinds before I go long again and then make the blind next to the water edge.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Kansas City, MO


    How about some actual history on the dog? Age? Actual training that he's had, etc?

    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw

    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)

  4. #3
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    North Carolina


    Your strategy is a good one--get success on the concept by making the retrieves short and easy. If you have the grounds to do it, I would gradually increase the distance, maintaining confidence and success. I would avoid doing the blind where the mistake occurred until your dog is operating very smoothly.

    There is a deeper problem, which is that repeating those angle backs that he is refusing is not going to improve his response. The orthodoxy is that if you don't get a cast, give a stronger cast, i.e. one with more "over" to it, to make clear what you want. If you allow the dog to make any headway on the wrong line, and keep repeating the same cast, I think it's fair for him to conclude that his response is acceptable--making a sudden correction all the more unexpected, and increasing the likelihood he will misunderstand it.

    A tactic you may find useful is to stop your dog after he refuses a cast the second time, whistle him back toward you to the place where he refused, stop him again, and either repeat the cast or give a stronger cast. This helps prevent his feeling that taking the wrong cast must be successful since he is making headway.

    Even though you have a problem with the retrieve up the bank and in the field, and will want to practice a lot of those, it is a good idea to continue doing some blinds where the bird is right on the far shore, and some in the water, to keep all three in balance. A drill that includes all three might be appropriate right now.


    Amy Dahl

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