I've got a good test to discuss, I ran test dog on this set up and was proud of the job my dog did on. This was an Srs set up for a score so remember that if you handle on a mark it's a 12 point add for the first whistle.
Here you go:
On a slight hill overlooking a large pond with multiple islands and points. Mat is about 75yds from water. Bird 1- 285 yds standing on levee throwing angle back from right to left with bird landing on top of the levee. Gunner retires on release of the dog for first retrieve. Bird is thrown in the hip pocket bird 2. Bird 2- 155 yds thrown as splash bird from right to left with a channel swim swim past the point gun station is on. (Gun station is about 15 yds up the point) Pick up the go bird and then swing almost 90 degrees left and run a 198yd blind with long angle entry past a point and onto the next point. Return and pick up the memory bird.
Dog A- perfect on the go bird runs a great blind then goes under the arc of the go bird (does get on the point in front of the short gun station then back in the water) drives all the way to beach within 5 feet of the bird.
Dog-B perfect on the go bird runs a great blind, then goes fat right avoiding the gun station which puts him back in the water just barely then back out quickly and on the bird.
Dog-C perfect on go bird runs great blind, then is handled once to put on proper line close to backside of short gun station he then carries that line all the way to the bird perfectly.
Which dog do you think was scored the lowest?
And if you have to know my dog was perfect on the go bird, 2 whistled the blind and then beached early short of the memory bird he put on a good hunt but just couldn't get deep enough so i had to handle him. he found the gunner and just wouldnt hunt past where he was hiding beneath the levee.
[SIZE=4]Not applicable here. When I think "reluctance," I am thinking of a dog that slinks into the water, not a dog that runs with abandon around it.
Reluctant: feeling or showing aversion, hesitation or unwillingness
Aversion: (1a) the act if turning away (2b) the feeling of repugnance toward something with a desire to turn away from it
Unwillingness: a lack of willingness or desire to do or accept something
~Merriam Webster Online
I fail to see the association of reluctance with slinking. I think by definition reluctance has nothing to do with style. IMHO to use your example of a dog racing his way around water in majority of cases clearly demonstrates to me a specific aversion, unwillingness or reluctance to enter water and depending on the severity or frequency should be a worthy consideration as a minor, moderate or even a serious fault.
You seemingly agree that courage applies if it is repeated, what of then of a single occurrence? Is it then only a precursor or small display of lack of courage?
"If you look at the Rule Book it refers to repeated conduct when talking about courage. See page 50"
(5) Courage, too, is a trait which cannot be tested at every trial. It may be displayed by a willingness to face, and without hesitation, rough cover, cold or rough water, ice, mud, or other similar conditions which make the going rather tough, and of doing it repeatedly.
My observations of dog behavior as a trainer supports a direct relationship of courage in regards to hazards like water and the idea that it requires much more courage to consistently tackle hazards directly then it does to dodge around them. If you don't believe that you should try diving into a pond of unknown depth, temperature and unseen potential hazards and take a big swim across a pond as fast as possibly can and back and then run around it and back and then you tell me which requires more guts, strength and courage.
I am playing devils advocate here as I largely agree with your opinions as stated regarding judging. That said to go back to the OP if I were judging, dogs A and B would likely have close to same score but not equivalent and my justification would have nothing to do with judging lines or training ideas.
Thank you I appreciate your ideas on the topic.
I have sent you a PM -
A big problem IMO is that a lot of judges in the derby highly value attributes desired in TRAINING. They have observed a lot of training and what is desired during training. They have observed what makes the person/persons happy/unhappy during training and carried that over to JUDGING.
Training is DIFFERENT then judging.
The dog that most efficiently brings back the birds should win. This includes a lot of things such as style, desire, brains, etc. It does not include hooking a gun or missing a little piece of water.
Heavily rewarding only trained behaviors in the derby is detrimental to the dogs and their training if the dog will go beyond the Qualifying stake.
Thank you to everyone for bringing up a good topic and commenting! Thank you to everyone who sticks their neck out and judges and does their best to evaluate these fine animals!
I feel that the rules for the Derby as written have out lived their usefulness, and should be abandoned (changer) rather than just ignored......
I for one am in favor of a revised set of Derby Rules that are a realistic representation of that which is necessary to to actually find (from a relative merits perspective), the best dog under the age of two to have been entered that day.
In a nutshell, Rules that are in keeping with how the Derby actually "IS" in 2013 .
"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"
John Fallon has made a viable point about derby rules because the entire training program has changed a great deal over the past 40 plus years. The primery catalyst for the change is the variable intensity collar. Use of the remote collar initially by Rex, later by 'proteges' relied on lining and force thru 'hot spots' so as to overcome trouble. Misuse created 'walkers' and tentative animals. The varible intensity collar did a great deal to avoid that stigma and less than stylish performances.
Purists ... and many of my co-judges over the years ... wanted to discredit a derby dog for a handle ... any degree of handle with a myriad of reasons. Of course evaluating derby dog's "relative merits" and if handled, is relative to a lot of things. 40 - 50 years ago a handle in any stake was judged relative to what happened - that dog, that handler and the field. Derby dogs then were not good handlers ... but handling then didn't mean mandatory elination.
Today, derby dogs are handling at 10 to 12 months in training, but now it's mandatory elimination and "not of great value"! I disagree with the change.
James Lamb Free talked about a year old pup. Today 4-6 month old pups are started and groomed for all-age. There may be a Qual. or two in the mix, but today's programs combine running lines, yard work that includes handling, and creating interest and enjoyment running lines as well as marking singles,
doubles, etc. Today the end product has a better chance for success in competition, in the marsh, providing the pup's inherent qualities are there.
Like the book says ... "judging and training are not an exact science". What is exact is Consistency.
Yes, of course performance in all age levels and testing reflects training. Conduct by dogs in training, good or bad, surfaces in competition. Judges judge what they see in the field. Field seminars are so important. A Mike Lardy, a Dave Rorem, a Danny Farmer on the spot can address, pick out problems and issues. Judges scoring relative merits ... natural and trainable qualities Judges, do the same.
The difference may be interpretation. If judges agree to disagree, the only proper recourse is another series, whether derby, qual, amateur or open.
Relative dog work has inherent factors consciously put in place by judges. There are basic areas judges consider in any stake: "lines thru impediments to the area of the fall; conduct at or around the AOF; willing ness to please ... coming to the line, steadiness, taking direction is of great value; style, courage,
eagerness, attention, memory, and that genetic mystery ... good marking ability".
Of course Marking is always of primery importance. Judges can advertently or accidently impair/impact'good marking dogs ... like runnig blinds first, blinds interrupting marks ect. Size of trials, conditions of grounds, 'club mechanics', incompatibility of judges all are cancers to the game. That's been going on for a long time.
I have this off my chest for whatever it's worth to all ... those that understand and largely concur as well as those who follow other beliefs ...
Last edited by canuckkiller; 05-26-2013 at 08:10 PM.