Wanted to throw this question out the group,
At what age or at what stage in the training program do you start really evaluating your puppies marking ability?
I have a 16 week old puppy with a lot of drive, she's marking off of the gunner at distances between 40 to 70 yards. If the gunner sees that she's pulling into him/her another bird or bummper is thrown.
I have to say I'm really happy with how pup is currently running and even marking. At this point I believe I'm really training for momentum rather than pin point marks. I don't believe it's possible to truly evaluate a puppy who is so excited that she's swinging her head and basically trying to break free from the hold that she cannot possibly be concentrating on the mark itself.
And just for the sake of conversation I'm only throwing my puppies marks in light cover or flat golf course type lawn conditions.