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Thread: Blind Retrieve - Newbie Question

  1. #1

    Default Blind Retrieve - Newbie Question

    I have a 9 month old lab that I am casually training. She is more of a companion but has a strong desire to retrieve and learn. I am using Dokken's book but haven't been religious in following it step-by-step (clearly creating learning gaps).

    She marks and casts just fine as long as the dummy is in sight. However if it's blind she will only go a short distance before she begins to hunt. What training exercises can I do to get her to continue on a line even when she doesn't see the dummy?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    many, and none
    casually training a dog is like casually building a brick outhouse.
    one thing is put on the next.
    Shirley Tom must have handling chapters in his book.
    I have never seen a copy. Does it smell like cat pee? Kidding, folks kidding!

    read you book cover to cover. read everything you can get your hands on and everything on RTF. take everything with a grain of salt and have fun with your dog.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    when adding to your books,
    the banner add above, the Mike Lardy?
    the vol 1 book for $25 ish as a very good buy
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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    Senior Member Meleagris1's Avatar
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    I agree with Ken, its really best to go with a modern system like Lardy's and stick with it. That said . . .

    The hunting is due to the dog's lack of confidence, which is normal. Its either uncomfortable with the distance, the lack of a visual aid, or both. Use a white stake or cone with a white bumpers at its base and start sending her back to that. Your dog should have no problem seeing this at 100-200 yards on flat ground with low grass. Start short and gradually increase the distance, with the white cone or stake they will have no problem seeing it so take advantage of this, use different fields and stretch her out. As she builds confidence and starts lining this pile enthusiastically, gradually make the cone/stake less visible. For example, my training partner and I use a half white/orange cone and start turning the cone from all white, to all orange (harder to see) at the dog gets better at this. Ultimately we will use a small orange stake once the dogs handling skills improve.

    Repeat these sight blinds, they are great building the dog's confidence. Move from a pile at one stake to separate stakes with one bumper at the base (I will normally do 3-5 stakes from one position in a large field) If you see issues with the dog not driving out confidently, make the stake or cone more visible, and/or shorten the distance. As confidence builds, reduce the visibility of the stake/cone and increase distance. Once you get to the point where the dog is lining these consistently, then go to all orange stakes and orange bumpers. Its all about building the dog's confidence. Good Luck!
    Last edited by Meleagris1; 08-16-2012 at 08:00 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    myself, I have drifted away from the big white markers at piles.
    seek my often typed worm containor story.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  6. #6
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    What training exercises can I do to get her to continue on a line even when she doesn't see the dummy?
    Dokken's manual has a chapter on "Teaching a Dog to Handle". Before that he has chapters on "Force-fetching" and using the "Remote Collar". I'm assuming none of those have been completed. In my opinion, there are not a few simple drills to correctly teach handling.

    These represent a "shortened" sequence - force to pile, identifying and working a pile, three-handed casting, mini-T, single and double T, pattern blinds (without white stakes) and eventually cold blinds. There's nothing casual about doing something correctly.
    Jim Boyer www.kwicklabs.com
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    HR Kwick Draw McGraw SH (June, 2007 - May, 2014)

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    Senior Member GulfCoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kigiin View Post
    I have a 9 month old lab that I am casually training. She is more of a companion but has a strong desire to retrieve and learn. I am using Dokken's book but haven't been religious in following it step-by-step (clearly creating learning gaps).

    She marks and casts just fine as long as the dummy is in sight. However if it's blind she will only go a short distance before she begins to hunt. What training exercises can I do to get her to continue on a line even when she doesn't see the dummy?
    1) Band Aid Fix-Get Carol Cassity's book "Building a Retriever: Drills and More" and look that the "ladder drill."
    2) Real Fix: Get on a Rex Carr based sequential program, and stick to it, step by step.

    Good luck!
    Wm. Mark Edwards
    Pascagoula, MS

    HRCH (500) UH Ellie Mae MH
    SHR Tipsy

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kelly Greenwood's Avatar
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    Force to Pile, taught/known blinds, sight blinds, reverse blinds, Always running blinds to end/edge of field, Permenant blinds.Always making blind easy to see at end of blind. Not running blinds into the wind but using cross wind/downwind blinds. teaching pick up whistle.
    Dogs Dog, Handlers Handle, Judges Judge

    HRCH Greenwoods Sealion Tsunami MH QAA

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    I'm a newbie too and can't wait to start working on this drill.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Depending on how devoted you may be to short cut methods as opposed to giving your dog a break in this process by being systematic and thorough. Any working retriever will do better, and be more reliable with a full set of Basics on board. Here's what that looks like. The choice is yours.


    The components of Basics in order


    1) “Here”
    2) “Heel & Sit”
    3) “Hold”; automatically evolves to Walking “Hold, Heel, Sit”
    4) “Fetch”; ear pinch, which evolves into Walking “Fetch” & “Fetch-no-fetch”, e-collar conditioning to “Fetch”
    5) Pile work, including Mini-pile, Nine bumper pile; AKA Force to pile
    6) 3-handed casting; teaching the 3 basic casts – “Back” and both “Over’s”, including 2-hands “Back”
    7) Mini tee; includes collar conditioning to all basic commands, transferring to the go, stop, cast functions in micro dimension as preparation for the Single tee. Also includes De-bolting
    8) Single tee
    9) Double tee
    10) Water force, Water tee with Swim-by

    Let me know if I can be of help.

    Evan
    "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


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