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Thread: Short bird marking - Secondary vs Ideal selection

  1. #1
    Senior Member Doug Main's Avatar
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    Default Short bird marking - Secondary vs Ideal selection

    This discussion was buried in another thread, I thought it deserved a thread of it's own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tulsa Slim View Post
    It has been my experience that a dog that has gone long twice with success has a much harder time with a short check down retired.
    What really makes it more difficult?

    Is it expectations, (the dog has found the other birds long and therefore expects the bird to be long)?

    Or is it because the dog has forgotten the shorter bird?

    More importantly, What is the best way to improve a dog's success at a trial? Secondary selection or Ideal selection?

    With secondary selection, the handler is having the dog pick up shortest of the remaining birds second. A close corollary is that in training you don't have a dog run past a short station that it has not yet retrieved. Creating an expectation for the dog to pick up the shortest bird before the longer bird even if the longer bird is more attractive.

    In contrast, with Ideal selection as I understand it, one is training the dog to be comfortable running by a short bird and picking up the attractive long bird and then coming back and picking up the short bird:
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Mike D View Post
    After reviewing the notes I took and rereading Chapter 6 of the Art and Science of Handling Retrievers I see that selection IS the reason Dave trains for the dog to pick up the short retired last.

    Quote by Dave-"Over time Rex trained myself and other trainers to teach the dog to pick up the short bird last in training quite often. In doing so, you start to teach the dog to be good at that short retired gun while getting it last. Then, because the dog has gotten so good at getting the short bird last, he may voluntarily want to select that short bird out on his own."
    He then mentions Hiwood Apache Scout saying that he had a very difficult time in checking down to pick up short birds. After consistent work where the dog was only allowed to pick the short one up last he became good at it.
    Quote by Dave-" I noticed that he started to get good at getting it last. Then he started to be succesfull in getting it last on weekends. Next he started selecting it out on his own. He became one of the best I've ever seen at getting the short bird any time. He became easy to work with on line with short retired birds. At a Field Trial, when he wanted the big flyer second I was actually comfortable in letting him go for the short one last."

    Dave referred to the ability as "ideal selection, defined as getting any bird at any time at any place and feeling comfortable enough to do it".
    Final sentence in the chapter-"When you can master ideal selection you can master any test that is out there because the dogs will work with you to get any bird next"

  2. #2
    Senior Member cakaiser's Avatar
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    I don't know what makes it so hard. Perhaps because we start pup on running memory birds, pick up short to long, and don't do enough short memory birds? And, we correct for breaking down early? Then, with triple, quad,hey, go ahead, check down, knucklehead? I do think dogs today are better at short retired than in the past. Most likely, more balanced training.

    We always train secondary selection, it's the way we were taught. But, do think should be open to new ideas. Ideal selection sounds interesting.

    I think a lot depends on the dog. Some have no problem going right back where they were, can run by a tight short retired for an out gun, then come right back in and dig it out. Some can't, maybe they worry more, they will need to get the short bird first.

    In a trial, whatever works, training might be out the window.
    Charlotte Kaiser: " The Problem Lies In The Talent."

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    i think one key is for the dog to have a very high success rate on them in training. too often, people expect the dog to transfer it's ability on long retireds to short birds.dogs just don't generalize skills that way. dogs needs balanced training on short, middle and long retireds, and i think it's better taught at a fairly early age. a lot of trainers are teaching these skills much earlier these days.

    one teaching aid is to use an ABCD drill setup with 4 blinds/camo umbrellas. all 4 marks thrown as singles. the thrower immediately retires while the other 3 are visible. as the dog improves, you can hand throw off to the side while the thrower retires.

    i think it also helps the dog understand the concept to exagerate the short or long bird. that is, to make the short bird really short in relation to the other mark(s), or vice versa

    good topic!-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Now THIS is what RTF exists to discuss!

    Super content...awesome topic!

    Chris
    "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"

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    Obviously, based upon my comments in the previous thread, I train with secondary selection, shortest to longest approach. I also subscribe to the "keep it simple, stupid" theory.

    Even in a trial, esp with a tight set-up, I don't think I would purposely send a dog for a long mark past a tight short mark (unless the dog clearly indicated he wanted the long mark in some way) before the short mark has been retrieved. The risk is too high that the dog would instead p/u the short mark anyway & I would be left with the prospect of attempting to convince the dog to take the same line again to the long mark (loud voice, hand down etc).

    That's why I am convinced there is something else to Rorem's logic for teaching this 2 longs before a short retired as a concept that has not yet come into the conversation.
    Last edited by Granddaddy; 12-19-2008 at 06:52 PM.
    David Didier, GA

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    It's always best to let the dog have the 2 birds that they want... Usually in this situation the 2 long birds... That way you can talk them into the short retired third bird... There's nothing left to tempt them away from that "key" bird.

    Teach it as a secondary selection bird as much as you can training, but at a trial or test go with what the dog wants and have a game plan accordingly...

    Angie

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    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    I have had several conversations with David about this subject and I still don't pretend to entirely grasp his rationale. However, I think - in part - his rationale is this

    1) If you want to win, you must be flexible
    2) There are times in trials - and particularly in Nationals, where you will see quads, with two flyers and hen pheasant retired birds - where you must be able to go long twice, then come back for the short retired birds (or go long, short, long, short depending on the layout of the birds)
    3) You want a dog that is comfortable picking up the birds in whatever sequence is appropriate
    4) If a dog is only able to pick up the birds ... short, long, longer ... it won't be very successful if it is necessary to dig up the long bird before the short bird
    5) So, you want to train your dog to be flexible in the manner in which it picks up the birds
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Shih View Post
    I have had several conversations with David about this subject and I still don't pretend to entirely grasp his rationale. However, I think - in part - his rationale is this

    1) If you want to win, you must be flexible
    2) There are times in trials - and particularly in Nationals, where you will see quads, with two flyers and hen pheasant retired birds - where you must be able to go long twice, then come back for the short retired birds (or go long, short, long, short depending on the layout of the birds)
    3) You want a dog that is comfortable picking up the birds in whatever sequence is appropriate
    4) If a dog is only able to pick up the birds ... short, long, longer ... it won't be very successful if it is necessary to dig up the long bird before the short bird
    5) So, you want to train your dog to be flexible in the manner in which it picks up the birds
    A dogs natural tendency at a trial is to select the birds that are most appealing to them. That is long and long... the short retired is a money or "schooled" bird. Let the dog get those long birds that they want and then "talk" them into those short retired birds.

    In training one will train conventionally to emphasize the short retired... To get them to relax and be comfortable with the short after long concept..

    But a trial,,, the pick up is anything but....

    Angie
    Last edited by Angie B; 12-19-2008 at 08:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angie B View Post
    It's always best to let the dog have the 2 birds that they want... Usually in this situation the 2 long birds... That way you can talk them into the short retired third bird... There's nothing left to tempt them away from that "key" bird.

    Teach it as a secondary selection bird as much as you can training, but at a trial or test go with what the dog wants and have a game plan accordingly...

    Angie
    Always ??????????

    john
    "i guess the old saying 'those of us that think we know everything annoy those of you that does' " --bobbyb 9/13/06

    "A Good Dog is a Good Dog"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angie B View Post
    It's always best to let the dog have the 2 birds that they want... Usually in this situation the 2 long birds... That way you can talk them into the short retired third bird... There's nothing left to tempt them away from that "key" bird.

    Teach it as a secondary selection bird as much as you can training, but at a trial or test go with what the dog wants and have a game plan accordingly...

    Angie
    Always ?????

    john
    "i guess the old saying 'those of us that think we know everything annoy those of you that does' " --bobbyb 9/13/06

    "A Good Dog is a Good Dog"

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