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Thread: Hand Down on Marks & Blinds

  1. #51
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    You may want to ask Some top FT pro's about that. There are many Dogs trained to not go unless a hand is dropped in first. There are no absolutes in dog training. And this may be as common as not using a hand to send on the go bird. As with many problems ,,in this case breaking,,,sequences become important. They can represent what is about to occur or not occur through conditioning.



    Pete
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Hunting does not require precision. And dogs are allowed to wear training equipment during hunting. I have never run marks remotely at hunt tests or FT's and I have run under Steve Parker many times who in my opinion is the King of unique set ups.. The chances of getting remote marks are slim ,but in hunting my dogs are remote most of the time. And they know the difference. I think they are talking about breaking as a major problem in a dog not just a general training sequence in which even the steadiest of dogs are fully capable of breaking at some point in their life.
    Pete
    Very nice posts Pete. There certainly not any absolutes in training except IMO to train smart.
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  2. #52
    Senior Member JS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbr View Post
    Someone mentioned a camparison to the use of the hand and marking off the gun. IMO it's apples and oranges.
    That was me.

    As was explained before the hand is a cue that says "yes, you are pointed and looking in the right direction". This is after the dog has already seen the marks go down. You are simply communicating which mark he is to get (selection).
    On a blind it says the same thing. Yes, that's right......"Back!"
    If you read my comment in it's entirety, you might see I understand this. In the interest of brevity, I did not go into great detail ... others have done that very well ... but since I'm being quoted out of context, let me expound.

    It's all about communication with your dog at the line. There are many "languages" you can use to communicate with our dog. Some are more efficient and effective than others, but they are ALL built on consistency and the dog's expectations. Dogs are capable of understanding and responding to a much larger "vocabulary" than many think, and over time a good trainer/handler and their dog learn to understand each other in ways observers may not recognize.

    The conventional method of push/pull with subtle body movements influences the dog to look where you want him to. The dog tells you, through his body language, what is going on his head and when you see that he understands what you want, the hand confirms his expectation and says "yes, that's what I want". Several other variations apply, based on what your dog is telling you, and what you need to tell him in the moment.

    Not being someone who wants to reinvent a wheel that works well, I follow these principles and they work for me. I keep it as simple as possible but as varied as necessary in that situation.

    Marking off the gun is done as an execise to get the dog to move his head with you as the birds are thrown/shot.
    Sure you can do the same thing with your hand but the dog is following the motion not looking at what you are pointing at.
    I am an avid learner ... or try to be ... and study the advice of those who I believe in and whose advice I respect (maybe that's what Marvin calls "pelts"). I have observed that it is rare to ever hear these people use words like, "NEVER", "IMPOSSIBLE", etc. and I get somewhat irritated when some nameless internet cowboy regularly announces, with absolute authority, a black and white
    law" which a newcomer may take as gospel just because it is spoken with convincing confidence.

    So that's a long-winded clarification of my previous 2-sentence post. I am not disagreeing with the consensus opinion on the use of the hand. I'm calling out someone who said, "it's impossible ..... ", and I used the analogy of a dog learning to look in a particular direction by seeing which way the gun is pointed.

    If I can make a dog key in on a slot between two trees at 250 yds. using only my knees, why could I not get a line to an HRC Seasoned blind using only my hand or a gun barrel if I chose to spend the time? I don't think it would be the most efficient way, and that is why I don't try it. But for purposes of debate, show me why it's impossible.

    JS
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  3. #53
    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    You may want to ask Some top FT pro's about that. There are many Dogs trained to not go unless a hand is dropped in first. There are no absolutes in dog training. And this may be as common as not using a hand to send on the go bird. As with many problems ,,in this case breaking,,,sequences become important. They can represent what is about to occur or not occur through conditioning.



    Pete
    I think you read what I said, exactly the opposite of what I was saying.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennel maiden View Post
    Interesting - but I completely disagree! Well, I would being British, wouldn't I! LOL
    Here we don't do much push/pull here/heel. It is virtually unused. All lining is done with the arm.

    Some dogs are better at taking a line and focusing than others. But my dogs watch my hand/arm in the air as it comes down to its pointing position, and then you can actually see them drop off the hand onto the point in the distance. I should maybe try and video this. We teach them to do this by using white dummies or an object to focus on that you are pointing to.

    So, for our blind sendaway we point to the place and then drop the hand into a stationary position for the dog to lock a line off of, and then release with a verbal command, with the hand/arm staying absolutely stationary where it is.

    There have been studies done on animals and 'pointing'. Kaminski I think. Showing that dogs understand pointing better than chimps etc. Brief bit here, but you would need to look up Kaminski for the full studies: http://news.discovery.com/animals/zo...ans-120208.htm
    Thanks for sharing that article. Very interesting.
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  5. #55
    Senior Member Tim Mc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    I'm not trying to talk you into anything, I really don't care if you put your hand down or don't, I was just responding to the OP's question with the rational for why 99% of field trailers do it the way they do. Obviously other approaches work as long as you are consistent.

    I started in NAHRA and love it, I've run a few just for fun with my all age dogs. One thing I really like about NAHRA, and feel is pretty realistic toward hunting is the fact that NAHRA lets you talk quietly to your dog as the birds are going down. That helps a lot in preventing a break. I do remember back in the day (1993-95) when I was running NAHRA, it was fairly common to have your dog sitting outside the blind with the handler inside. I wasn't training field trial style back then, and lucky for me being a newbie, I had a very-very steady dog, I think I just released him on his name back then. If I took one of my current AA dogs to a NAHRA now and had a remote sit, I would probably just say his name.

    I do disagree with you on it being a problem to allow a different standard while hunting versus field trial training. I trained for and ran hunt test NAHRA and AKC from 1993-2000 and field trials from 1995 to present. I take every hunting season off from October first to the beginning of January. I literally do not train even once during that time period, I hunt with and without a collar as my dogs will certainly break on those first few birds of the season (a well timed correct solves this), I don't make my dogs handle over points or down shorelines when it is quicker and safer to let them run the bank, in short I hunt them way different than what they have to do in field trial training. The remarkable thing about this is that their first day back in training after hunting season, they train as if we never took a day off. I learned a long time ago that these dogs are situational, they really understand the difference between hunting, training and field trialing and act accordingly. Another benefit is those three months off from training really relaxes them and they start up again with a great attitude.

    John
    In my short time training for field trials , I have really found this to be true about dogs being situational and understanding the differences . The only real issue my dog has after hunting upland all winter is getting caught in cover and putting his nose down while running land blinds. Not sure if it is the best way to handle this but what I do is pile work through cover and forcing with a "back" then nick when he starts to hunt. A few sessions of this has helped get his momentum back.
    Any other ideas would be appreciated.
    Tim

  6. #56
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    I'm not trying to talk you into anything, I really don't care if you put your hand down or don't, I was just responding to the OP's question with the rational for why 99% of field trailers do it the way they do. Obviously other approaches work as long as you are consistent.

    I started in NAHRA and love it, I've run a few just for fun with my all age dogs. One thing I really like about NAHRA, and feel is pretty realistic toward hunting is the fact that NAHRA lets you talk quietly to your dog as the birds are going down. That helps a lot in preventing a break. I do remember back in the day (1993-95) when I was running NAHRA, it was fairly common to have your dog sitting outside the blind with the handler inside. I wasn't training field trial style back then, and lucky for me being a newbie, I had a very-very steady dog, I think I just released him on his name back then. If I took one of my current AA dogs to a NAHRA now and had a remote sit, I would probably just say his name.

    I do disagree with you on it being a problem to allow a different standard while hunting versus field trial training. I trained for and ran hunt test NAHRA and AKC from 1993-2000 and field trials from 1995 to present. I take every hunting season off from October first to the beginning of January. I literally do not train even once during that time period, I hunt with and without a collar as my dogs will certainly break on those first few birds of the season (a well timed correct solves this), I don't make my dogs handle over points or down shorelines when it is quicker and safer to let them run the bank, in short I hunt them way different than what they have to do in field trial training. The remarkable thing about this is that their first day back in training after hunting season, they train as if we never took a day off. I learned a long time ago that these dogs are situational, they really understand the difference between hunting, training and field trialing and act accordingly. Another benefit is those three months off from training really relaxes them and they start up again with a great attitude.

    John
    Good post!!!
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  7. #57
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    JS hit a home run with post number 52. I agree.
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  8. #58
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I find it hard to put a hand over my dogs head, when I'm aiming and handling a gun, thus the Dog better be able to mark and wait for his name, without it. On blinds, my dogs just seems to want to avoid the hand, it pushes their head in weird directions. Thus I use my knees and legs to move them, and try to keep my hands in my pockets, if I can keep them there for the entirety of the blind, I get really happy .
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 04-09-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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  9. #59
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    First, as in all things, a good dog will adapt to whatever you do. A bad dog will not.

    Second, the uses of the hand increase as the dog's education increases.

    Third, a dog is most excited - in a FT - when the guns are going off. Yes, we train the dogs not to go until they are sent - typically with their name. We add the hand as an additional steadying influence. That is, they learn that they cannot go until we put down our hands and we then say their name.
    - Yes, you could choose another routine
    - Yes, you could eliminate the hand
    But, over the years, this practice has been found to work. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Four, as dog becomes more sophisticated, the hand takes on more meaning.
    - When lining the dog up for a blind, the introduction of the hand confirms to the dog that it has "lock"
    - When the dog is looking at something we don't want it to look at, we can heel the dog in line with the object, and say "no"
    - When the dog is confused about where to do, we can heel the dog in line with the bird, put our hand down and say "here"
    In each of these instances, we are telling the dog - "look in this direction"

    In each situation, the dog evaluates the "context" of the situation in deciding what it must do
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mc View Post
    In my short time training for field trials , I have really found this to be true about dogs being situational and understanding the differences . The only real issue my dog has after hunting upland all winter is getting caught in cover and putting his nose down while running land blinds. Not sure if it is the best way to handle this but what I do is pile work through cover and forcing with a "back" then nick when he starts to hunt. A few sessions of this has helped get his momentum back.
    Any other ideas would be appreciated.

    You might try stopping him just as he gets to the heavy cover. Then give him a hard verbal back to push him thru it.
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

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