I think that there are more one sided and two sided people than dogs.
When asked, a successful Pro told me you can run your dog from between your legs if he knows where the bird is...
"If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."
"Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham
I've gone back and read this entire thread, post by post. I do not understand how anyone could come out of this thread interpreting the sentence I've highlighted in black.
I believe that it is extremely well balanced with some liking it one way, some liking it another.
The only reason the sit stick came up was someone asked what it was.
I've never gotten my dog to the water marks in an all age trial. I'm sure as heck not trying to say that what I do is going to get me or anyone else to the Nationals.
I'm just trying to have fun and be helpful where I can.
"Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"
You have enemies, Good. That means you stood for something sometime in your life!
Sir Winston Churchill
Everyone's friend is No One's friend
Let me repeat: There is a conceptual advantage to the two sided dog. However, I have only seen a handful of people who are able to actualize that advantage.
Over the years, I have competed against many handlers, and judged many handlers. Very few are competent on one side, let alone two.
Yes, I know many of you say that you and your dog are competent on both sides. I will simply say that my personal experience differs.
Many people think that they are masters, very few are.
Competition does not build character - It reveals it.
Marvin, I believe it was FC Topgun Able Oakley owned by John Haight. John is a member of our local club. I trained with John when Oakley was about 9 months old and he was going bird for bird as singles with several field champions including mine. John was very involved in his business at the time and had limited time. He put the dog with Pro Andy Attar for training, the dog was two sided at the time. I had a derby dog at the time and ran against Oakley many times.
John Ran him sometimes as did his trainer Andy Attar. He became National Derby Champion, then developed a terrible spinning problem on water. I was training with John and watched him spin about 50 yards across a piece of water. It was a case in my opinion that he , John, against the advice of his pro, to chase derby points rather then bring him along on blinds and all age training. He was sent out West and I think Don trained him and made his FC. He had a old shoulder injury that got worse. Trained with John some and as I remember he was one sided. His AFC alluded him and he was retired. He was in my opinion the greatest water quad dog I ever saw run, but, had blind issues. So your point I guess one sided two sided etc is just a tool.
Marvin, went back and read your post, yeah I remember John doing the two sided shuffle at a trial before he ran Him.
I call it the forced march, some just march back and forth, sometimes with stick up. John did the shuffle. I used to throw 4 very short bumpers before I ran, not five not three but four. It could be along side road or where the truck was parked. John did the shuffle. P.S. Don't throw the bumpers anymore.
Okay, to answer Chris's question to me first: I am mainly involved in Field Trials here (that is my focus), but I also pick up on shoots and do a limited amount of game shooting over my own dogs in the season. Out of season, summer, I do the odd working test, just as a marker of how training is going and where we are at, and to give the dogs exposure on different ground under 'pressure' of competition.
Heeling stick/sit stick - okay, it looks like a riding crop! I'm getting the picture. Not going to go there, and WRT 'fan belts', do cars still have these nowadays??.. Anyway, I don't think what you described with the fan belt thing is a training aid, but more something to inflict punishment on a wayward dog. Antiquated...
Are you allowed to use a 'heeling stick' in competition too, or is it merely a training aid?
Lining - as Polmaise said, over here, dog on the left and lined up with right arm/hand showing direction. No 'sweeping movement'. Pet hate of mine too. Arm should stay still steady, giving dog a good line/point of reference, and the voice is what sends the dog...
Interesting to see the differences. All seem to work, and there are bits we can take from each other I am sure. That's why I am here - to improve my knowledge and learning...