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Thread: Dead bird cue...how and when to use it

  1. #31
    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    Dog comes to line, looks in the field, no guns, at that point does the dog need a cue or a clue to tell it that this is a blind?


    Not a well schooled dog but one that is just learning things like poison birds maybe so. I use verbal cues but try to sparingly. I start to TEACH dead bird when I start FTP and in T work. Just seems to help the dog with the progressing and confidence especially when it comes to running that first cold blind. But then again I have never tried to teach a dog without verbal cues. Maybe Im missing something.

  2. #32
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    In running field trials Dr. Ed's example of pulling your dog off a poison bird is probably the best demonstration of a setup that really challenges your ability to communicate to the dog by whatever means, that you are running a blind, not a mark. This is a tough challenge in that dogs for the most part much prefer picking up that mark they just saw thrown over some abstract "team work" concept of handling to an invisble bird.

    I have seen and tried various methods to teach this communication process to my dogs. But they all take lots of time and repitition. So from early puppyhood I always key a mark with the word "mark", I always send my dog by his name on a mark, I always cue on a blind with "dead bird", I always send my dog on a blind with "Back". I am always loud and clear on back as judges have no allowance for confusion on the send on a blind, they do on marks, so you will be dropped if you give a soft "back" and your dog no-goes.

    As to the poison bird situation, I walk my dog to the line and sit him without fuss facing the poison bird, I say "Sit" and call for the bird. After the judge has realeased me I say "Dead bird" and re-heel him facing the blind. I may say "dead-bird" a few more times as I talk my dog out of the mark and convince him to run the blind. Some dogs are very compliant on this and as soon as you say "Dead bird" they shif themselves off the PB and look out waiting to be lined up and sent on the blind. Most dogs will fight you a bit on this, it gets better with age. I have seen some two-sided dogs get lined up for the PB on one side, then re-heeled on the other side to send for the blind. Some handlers will "NO" their dog off the PB before cueing dead-bird for the blind. Some use the "leave-it" command, some just cue "dead-bird". But to learn any of them requires years of doing it absolutely the same way every time.

    One last point; it depends on the dog. With my super birdy dog I cue him "dead bird" as we leave the holding blind as he is super amped looking out there for guns that he can't see. My other dog can just be walked to the line before being cued at all. I hope this helps.

    John

  3. #33
    Senior Member Mike Tome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Criquetpas View Post
    The problem with cues is there are many programs out there some advocate cues some don't and it is very confusing to a new trainer. ....snip....
    And that there is one very good reason for not mixing and matching programs. A newbie should pick a program and stick with it rather than mixing one part of program A with another part of program B... especially when the newbie really has no idea what they are doing in the first place!
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    It is a personal choice. There is no absolute answer.
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  5. #35

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    If Indiana Jones didnt have clues then how could he ever find the treasure? Riddle me that?
    Last edited by tejohns3; 01-15-2013 at 02:27 PM.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Ken, He must be talking to you.
    Wayne Nutt
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  7. #37
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    my favorite is way back for the long bird.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    Those who use verbal cues think they are beneficial, those who do not use verbal cues think they are a useless waste of time. For me I want a dog who is smart enough to tell the difference in the way I behave on line to tell what is coming next. Personal preference is that I do not use cues and key words, for me simple is better for both me and the dog. For those who use them and think they work I say great.

    Since we are on the topic of verbal cues, with poison bird blinds I typically line the dog at the gun before signally for the poison bird. After being released by the judge I sometimes give a quiet no and reheel the dog or just simply reheel them. If the poison bird is thrown very close to the line to the blind I would only adjust the dog's position to reflect that without the no. Usually what you get is not a perfect line but one in the right direction with good momentum. If you make a big deal out of lining them away from the poison bird you often get an over exaggerated line away from the bird which necessitates handling toward the poison bird which can send the dog a mixed message. With my dogs I find that I get a much nicer performance handling away from the poison bird with the first cast which lets them know we are not picking that bird up now. After picking up the blind I will use a verbal cue because that is the way Cherylon teaches them poison birds when they are young. When the cue comes out, "let's go get it" the dogs understand that picking up that bird is now OK and become very animated.

    Verbal cues or no verbal cues, what to do, as a wise man once told me that's why they make vanilla and chocolate. So much for my observations on that topic and my apologies to tjohn3 for the "trick answer"....
    Ed I dont mean to take you to task here but maybe I simply have misunderstood you.
    From your first post I understood that you do not use cues, and from your second you say those who do not use verbal cues, think they are a useless waste of time an d confirm you do not use cues
    Then in the second para above you say " When the cue comes out, "let's go get it" the dogs understand that picking up that bird is now OK and become very animated." which I understand to mean that the cue is very effective.

    Are you in both camps today or do you simply have a foot in each, simply prefering not to use what you also advocate is an effective tool

    Mark

  9. #39
    Senior Member 8mmag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    Dog comes to line, looks in the field, no guns, at that point does the dog need a cue or a clue to tell it that this is a blind?
    Dr. Ed, I understand what you're saying but I have a question.

    Similar scenario to what you gave, except as dog & handler approach the line, the judges call 'Guns Up' signaling a gunner hidden behind a big bush in the field to fire a dry pop. I encountered this in an Am last fall. Would you approach this scenario any differently?
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  10. #40
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    i also like" there is your short bird right there!"

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