Orange Bumpers for Marking - Hillman
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Thread: Orange Bumpers for Marking - Hillman

  1. #1
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    Default Orange Bumpers for Marking - Hillman

    I saw that Hillman uses Orange bumpers when practicing marking to teach the dog to mark the spot it lands and not go out and look for the white bumper laying in the grass.

    I started doing this some after seeing my male rely too much on seeing the bumper in the field while running to it. Since then I have seen him run right over the bumper and then check down and go back to the AOF and search and find it. Is there anything wrong with using orange bumpers for marking? especially with a dog that has grown accustom to marking the actual bumper in the field.

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    There is always some discussion on a canine's ability to see or not see orange. I typically reserve the orange bumpers for blinds and use, white/black bumpers for marks but I have access to grounds with taller grasses so the dog is not able to see the bumper on his way out.

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    I would only use them in a drill type setup and never over about 100 yds. Too tough for the dog to see the bumper from distances further than that. I'd run in taller grass,etc to make sure the dog couldn't see the bumper/bird laying on the ground all the way from the line on real marks. The drills do work to improve marking ability, but that's what they are...drills. Real marks, setups, etc I'd use birds, dokkens, and/or white or black/white bumpers.

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    Senior Member swliszka's Avatar
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    There is scientific research which indicates 15% of all dogs can see some color including shades of red/orange. I had one FT labwho could clearly see orange. He was also a "natural marker." Never put my hand down. I got another 10 years later sired by the same father different mother An excellent marker but not as natural, no hand down and could also see color. Both dogs had their eyes cerfed from 6 months -10 years. Passed each time. Reason in a trial wanted to make sure they could still see and not a screw -up. I have a 3rd , test tube baby , different mother can see orange. Lucky ? Not. Genetics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckdawgs View Post
    I saw that Hillman uses Orange bumpers when practicing marking to teach the dog to mark the spot it lands and not go out and look for the white bumper laying in the grass.

    I started doing this some after seeing my male rely too much on seeing the bumper in the field while running to it. Since then I have seen him run right over the bumper and then check down and go back to the AOF and search and find it. Is there anything wrong with using orange bumpers for marking? especially with a dog that has grown accustom to marking the actual bumper in the field.
    One of the issues would be if you were correcting the dog for things he was doing because he couldn't see the mark. That would not be fair. It is about fairness. Something like no going, returning to an old fall. You might know that already. This is kinda unrelated but it seems to me like my dog can see an orange bumper in motion better than if it is sitting still. Whether or not a dog has a good nose for smelling a bumper might make a difference also. My dog definitely has a harder time with orange.

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    Hillmann recommends keeping a white bumper to throw if the dog is totally lost (gunner help). However, Hillmann designed the drill with orange in mind to cause the dogs to focus much harder on that single mark. When I did it the first few times using orange (I began using white), he totally flopped. After about six months of this drill (he is five years old), he pins the birds about 80% of the time. The other time he hunts or over runs and doubles back on it. I will attest that using the orange bumpers at 100 yards and under has significantly improved his marking to ranges past 200 yards.
    -Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Windjammer View Post
    Hillmann recommends keeping a white bumper to throw if the dog is totally lost (gunner help). However, Hillmann designed the drill with orange in mind to cause the dogs to focus much harder on that single mark. When I did it the first few times using orange (I began using white), he totally flopped. After about six months of this drill (he is five years old), he pins the birds about 80% of the time. The other time he hunts or over runs and doubles back on it. I will attest that using the orange bumpers at 100 yards and under has significantly improved his marking to ranges past 200 yards.
    I heard of the y drill without orange bumpers before I ever heard of Hillmann. In the first original Hillmann video he says plainly that he likes to use orange for marks.I guess my point is you can do it however you like. I did it mostly with wingers and birds. My dog is better at marking than he used to be. I can't really pinpoint why he is better. His marking still isn't the greatest. I chalk it up to age and experience in general. The final gpal for me is marking and remembering the hard retired bird in a triple in a qualifying

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    Senior Member swliszka's Avatar
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    DL I would argue that it is visual acuity for color based on gentics which allows this recognition. Dennis Olivero , DVM-CERF -Opthamologist/Surgeon (St. Louis Park, MN)located there since 1989. He has been a member of the Lab Genetics Committee. He has done all my my dogs . Requested he follow it up the color issue..like he has time- NOT. . My comments are mine not necessarily his. I need to follow up with the genetic /DNA eye folks . The question is for what purpose? Does color recognition inheritance enhance marking acuity? If there is a correlation that would be a breeding incentive. My dogs are superior markers -eyes or intelligence? They demonstrate both. What do you give up to pass this trait on. Not sure but that is why I bought a 1988, 1998, and 2012 similar sired dog for that and other pronounced positive FT/hunting traits(self-taught diving dogs). Opinion based on scientific quantifiable facts sometimes works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swliszka View Post
    DL I would argue that it is visual acuity for color based on gentics which allows this recognition. Dennis Olivero , DVM-CERF -Opthamologist/Surgeon (St. Louis Park, MN)located there since 1989. He has been a member of the Lab Genetics Committee. He has done all my my dogs . Requested he follow it up the color issue..like he has time- NOT. . My comments are mine not necessarily his. I need to follow up with the genetic /DNA eye folks . The question is for what purpose? Does color recognition inheritance enhance marking acuity? If there is a correlation that would be a breeding incentive. My dogs are superior markers -eyes or intelligence? They demonstrate both. What do you give up to pass this trait on. Not sure but that is why I bought a 1988, 1998, and 2012 similar sired dog for that and other pronounced positive FT/hunting traits(self-taught diving dogs). Opinion based on scientific quantifiable facts sometimes works.
    That is interesting and changes my perspective somewhat. My thought is that training is a large factor. If my dog can't do something at the levels I'm at, it isn't because of his eyeballs or his ability to see orange. It is his trainer.

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