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Thread: left-sided and both sided dogs

  1. #51
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    We have been running trial dogs for over 26 years, yikes that is over a quarter century. The first three titled out as one sided, the last four titled out as two sided and I would not go back to a one sided dog. My wife does not train as much as I do but she handles them proficiently on either side even though her time training them is more restricted. Chris Atkinson has neatly laid out the who, when and how to two side a dog. The key is to start early and be consistent.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Andy Carlson's Avatar
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    In the pre-Ticket days, I was a one sided handler with one sided dogs. Ticket being pro trained is 2 sided. In the beginning it was uncomfortable running her on the right. But with lots of practice, it is like any other new skill, the comfort level increases. I will never go back to being one sided. It does come in handy. But the secret is PRACTICE
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  3. #53
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    Does 'two-sided' mean that you send the dog from either right or left hand side heel? And/or have the dog heeling on either side when 'walking up'?

    Every single gundog in UK, probably without exception (I've never seen otherwise) is 'one sided', in which case. Predominantly on the left, as most people will carry a gun on their right. Occasionally you see a dog on the right, for someone who is left handed.

    Here, we would consider it dangerous to have a dog keep swapping sides to heel, WRT the shooting field. In Trials, which are supposed to mirror a day's shooting it isn't the 'done thing' either.

  4. #54
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennel maiden View Post
    Does 'two-sided' mean that you send the dog from either right or left hand side heel? And/or have the dog heeling on either side when 'walking up'?
    klm, your assumpions are correct. We don't do walk-ups in field trials, but if your dog's trained two-sided, you bring it out of the holding blind heeling on the side for the direction the go-bird will fly - if that's left to right, for example, the dog watches all the birds go down whilst on your right.

    Corollary to that, for many handlers, if you are running a poison bird blind and the PB is thrown right to left, the dog comes out of the holding blind on your left, heels to the line on your left, watches the bird go down on the left, and then is "flipped" to your right side whilst you are telling the dog (quietly but emphatically) "No bird.../...dead bird." All this in sum imparts to the dog that it ain't going for a mark but a blind - and also breaks its intense focus on going for that mark.

    I only flip my dogs if they are running an under-the-arc blind - otherwise, I keep them on the same side of the direction the poison bird's gone, and push or pull them as appropriate for lining past the poison bird.

    Many more accomplished handlers may have better answers for you as for the influence of two-side heeling on trials and tests, but it's a great strategem for me in heeling four dogs at a time whether living in the city or doing my own lengthy walk-up in the field for exercise or for which dog will get the call



    on being sent for a cripple goose. That's a fun little game with a lot of "positive" pressure.

    MG

  5. #55
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    Thanks Crackerd. It is what I thought then.
    Of course here, for our Field Trials, we can't possibly predict which side a bird is going to come from, or where 'poison birds' might lie, as it is all spontaneous live shooting, and pretty much anything can happen!

    Following on from what you say though, when I walk more than one dog, I will often have one put itself to my right side, as it doesn't want to compete with the others to be closest to heel on the left. So, they walk with me on either side in that respect (informally taught perhaps), but in competition, always on the left.

  6. #56
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennel maiden View Post
    Every single gundog in UK, probably without exception (I've never seen otherwise) is 'one sided'
    By the way, there will be at least one exception back in Blighty - working with him now on conversion of the single-sided dog he's brought over (and presumably will bring back home - if the e-collar training doesn't debilitate or contaminate it first). Funny thing is, the dog hasn't fought it (two-sided heeling) - the handler has.

    MG

  7. #57
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennel maiden View Post
    Thanks Crackerd. It is what I thought then.
    Of course here, for our Field Trials, we can't possibly predict which side a bird is going to come from, or where 'poison birds' might lie, as it is all spontaneous live shooting, and pretty much anything can happen!
    Don't worry, Fallon's working on a clicker eyewipe mechanism even as we speak!

    MG

  8. #58
    Senior Member Sabireley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Atkinson View Post
    I'm not sure what is intended by the term "never".

    If one trains to push and pull with a 2-sided dog in training, he will likely find that his dog will push and pull in a trial. If one does not train to push and pull with a 2-sided dog then he should not expect him to do it in a trial.

    I would agree, however, that if one has a 2-sided dog, they will naturally, in a trial, tend to work on a push, more than a pull since it is a more positive, strong-side move. If one only trains one-sided, they have no choice but to rely upon a pull, in situations where a 2-sided dog may not need to that as much.
    Being relatively new to field trial training, I always heeled on both sides. Until MG mentioned it, I never thought about the ease of heeling 4 dogs, two on each side. Mine just do it because they are comfortable on either side.

    On training and trialing, for me, the primary situation where the side dog is on makes a big difference in dog behavior is angle entry water blinds. Sent from the side with the water my dogs tend to get in fatter. Sent from the side away from the water they tend to get in thinner. I have probably trained that inadvertently and could get the desired results from a one-sided dog.

    On marking tests, if the dog is really interested in a particular bird, I can push it by stepping up easier than pulling it by stepping back. Especially when the dog must swing through the flyer station to another bird before the flyer is shot. ie; the birds go down left, right, middle flyer. I put the dog on the side that gives me the best chance of moving it through the marks as they fall regardless of the direction the bird is thrown. I have not been able to discern a difference in dog behavior or performance sending for subsequent birds except maybe holding a hillside or getting in thinner/fatter on a long entry.


    In training I always put the dog on the side corresponding to which direction the go bird is thrown. As I write this I am not sure why since I should be working on strengthening our weakness in moving smoothly through the sequence of falls regardless of which side the dog is on.

    Sometimes, if the dog just does not get the picture, will not listen, or cannot focus, switching to the other side helps get their head back in it.
    Last edited by Sabireley; 02-14-2013 at 05:20 AM.

  9. #59
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    For years I've read the almost annual debate about two-sided (or not). At first it was rather intimidating to read experts say things like it is not necessary and supported by very specific, logical opinions. How could a new trainer consider ignoring the advice of someone that is more successful than I would ever be? Then again the number of exceptional trainers that use two-side techniques entered the discussions.

    The task became what should I do? Picking is more of a function of perspectives and who you are.

    I suppose the one factor that had me picking two-sided was I had golfed right handed for years. Then I fell on some steps, hit my right rib cage toward the back and although it healed, swinging right handed was extremely painful.

    In desperation (being a golf nut), I tried to swing left handed. Surprisingly, there was no pain. At first, becoming a lefty was very difficult. After a few months, it was easier......mostly because I had no bad habits in my new swing. Since my big banana slice was no longer an issue, there was a built in incentive. My putting was still right handed and all went well. All this is meant to suggest that decisions are usually made by what you are comfortable with. Training a puppy to heel on both sides would be simple (in comparison).

    On the other side of the coin, many are driven by the KISS principle. One-sided seems simpler which makes for a comfortable justification. Once the choice is made the normal progression is to use the supporting rationale. I am comfortable with mine.

    I've read all the reasons why two sided is "good". One that I have not read (see edit below) has become a valuable application with one of my dogs. Kooly is just too intense at the line to the point of being vocal. In the moment, he can be extremely unresponsive. "Here"/"heal" (to the other side) and even maybe running a blind before he picks up the mark allows me to get back into his head. It can increase a dog's responsiveness.

    edit: Just before posting I read Sabireley's post.
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 02-14-2013 at 10:16 AM.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerd View Post
    By the way, there will be at least one exception back in Blighty - working with him now on conversion of the single-sided dog he's brought over (and presumably will bring back home - if the e-collar training doesn't debilitate or contaminate it first). Funny thing is, the dog hasn't fought it (two-sided heeling) - the handler has.

    MG

    Yes, I'm sure the dog doesn't give too hoots. The boring old staid judges/fellow competitors will frown at him if he tries to trial it over here though! LOL

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