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Thread: popping on blinds? need alt. methods

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    Senior Member justin300mag's Avatar
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    Default popping on blinds? need alt. methods

    I have a 4 year old female that has been a different case since she was a puppy. She has never responed well to pressure and as a result never accepted force very well and shuts down fairly easily. She went through juniors and I thought that was as far as she would go. Using some unconventional methods and alot of confidence building excercises. She now has a Senior title and 1 master pass. She has always had a minor popping problem. As we started running masters I knew we would have to find a way to curb the popping. After going back over alot of training material I decided to revisit the force concept. As I expected the popping has become worse. I am now sure pressure- force is not the answer for this particular dog. So I am on the hunt for ideas for curbing a popping problem without using force. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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    What are you doing when she pops?
    Bert Rodgers

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    Senior Member Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    So I am on the hunt for ideas for curbing a popping problem without using force.
    Popping it seems to me is always a man made thing brought about by excessive use of the stop whistle or other forms of correction causing a lack of confidence on the dog's part. He expresses that lack of confidence by stopping and then looking back to the handler for reassurance; hence "popping".

    So, the simple answer is drop the corrections at least pro tem, and build up the dog's confidence to the point where popping disappears.

    One way would be to run a graduated series of cued "memory retrieves", then transition into very easy, but nonetheless genuine, cold blinds.

    I'm sure you know this, but for them as don't ...

    With the dog at heel, drop a dummy into a very easily identified spot; might be at the foot of a tree, by a fence post, bit of tussocky grass, traffic cone, whatever. Walk on a few yards and send him. Over time build up the distance. When he's running with confidence do the same dodge, but from a different angle. Then from all sorts of angles.

    When that's down, unseen by the dog, salt the spot and run him from a couple of feet. Continue but progressively add distance and angular variation. Then in a bit of fresh cover send him on a genuine un-cued cold blind from a few feet. Make sure he'll find something by planting multiple retrieves, up wind; if you've got a few fresh shot birds so much the better. At this point you'll hopefully have run a full monty, albeit simple, cold blind without a pop. Just build up from there.

    Best I can do from this remove,

    Eug
    Last edited by Colonel Blimp; 03-30-2012 at 03:11 PM.
    Thank you, very kind, Mine's a pint.

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    Senior Member justin300mag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbr View Post
    What are you doing when she pops?
    Well most recently it has been back nick back. but before that I would try to run at her at close distance pops with a loud back. backs without the cast. and I tried to keep the whistle blows to a minimum. The week was spent trying to build confidence and then we found that at the hunt test on the weekend complex blinds with more whistles would bring the popping back and by the 3rd series it would be difficult to complete if it included a blind.

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    Senior Member justin300mag's Avatar
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    Some people just blow me away! Please dont PM me or post if you have nothing postive to say.

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    A couple things you can do. Go back to doing pattern blinds and get her in a from here to there non stop frame of mind.

    Also you may want to preempt the pop with verbal back commands while enroute.
    At this point you may want to sacrifice a tight line standard for some momentum until she is driving with more confidence.

    This is a common problem folks who hunt a lot have when they go back to training after the hunting season ends.

    Bert
    Bert Rodgers

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin300mag View Post
    Well most recently it has been back nick back. but before that I would try to run at her at close distance pops with a loud back. backs without the cast. and I tried to keep the whistle blows to a minimum. The week was spent trying to build confidence and then we found that at the hunt test on the weekend complex blinds with more whistles would bring the popping back and by the 3rd series it would be difficult to complete if it included a blind.

    Unfortunately when this happens in a test the behavior becomes more ingrained and the whole week's training is blown up. Be aware of that before you enter the next test.

    Bert
    Bert Rodgers

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    Senior Member Kevinismybrother's Avatar
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    Justin
    I had one of the softest dogs ever and now he is a blind running fool. Not sure this will work for you, but much like Eugene said - go back and don't let her fail.

    We did a TON of taught blinds - same ones every other day for a long time, did a TON of 9 point drills too. Eventually, he learned that if I pointed him in a direction, there would be something out there. The issue with popping is lack of confidence, IHO. So give her lots of confidence. Once she is running every one of them without popping for a few weeks, I would try some very easy cold blinds again. Then work up a bit on difficulty. And then STRETCH her out to very long distances on the taught blinds. then back to cold blinds
    Also, Teach only one new concept at a time on a taught blind first, then when running any cold blind.

    Make it real simple for her and don't rush.

    Best of luck - Don't give up.
    "Too late smart, too soon old" - Now I finally get it Grandpa

    Dennis Long
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    Every now and again I get this problem with both dogs usually after serious training up for big trials which involve a lot of tight work resulting in corrections. So agree the problem is generally lack of confidence and/or confusion on the part of the dog. Carol Cassidy has an exercise she calls 'swish blinds' which has fixed the problem every time. Easy to do and the dogs love it.
    If you play their game train the way they train

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    Senior Member justin300mag's Avatar
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    Thanks, I have had alot of good responses so far through PM and post. I just need to figure the best way to put it all together for this particular dog.

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