With hand thrown marks the dog cues not only off the gun, but the motion of the thrower. With a winger the sound of a shot arrives long after the mark is in the air (speed of light vs. sound). Advanced noise makers (duck quacking or horn) help to focus the dog some. The longer the mark the greater the separation between "seeing and hearing" and shots. My young dogs have ALWAYS marked better with hand thrown marks. That's why many of my marking setups are "stand alones".She HAS to learn to handel WINGER thrown marks.... Its just the way it is. I hang a white shirt on the winger... The wingers release has a way to incorporate a shot as the winger is activated,,, But I dont think the dog associates the winger and white shirt, the same way she associates the real BB..
I have paid attention and asked myself if the throw from the winger is similar in nature as far a distance and height of arc, ect,, and I do believe I have the winger set to be very similar.
On a side note, with long marks and shooting at the top of the arc, the dog often will not hear the sound before the fall is on the ground. Which means keying off a real thrower's motion is often critical. Wingers do not provide that "early motion".
I use wingers for close in hunt test setups (100 yards or less) where the focus is more on "routines" rather than marking. In addition (at short distances), the sound of the winger is very close to the initial release of the mark. I use to think that my dogs "needed" to mark off wingers, but moving on to "stand alones" proved more effective in developing marking skills in the long run (pun intended). Plus, the "helper" (if needed) is exactly on the same page as the handler.
Jim Boyer www.kwicklabs.com
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