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.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!"
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.
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 whiteMarking 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.
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.
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Any other ideas would be appreciated.
JS hit a home run with post number 52. I agree.
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 04:32 PM.
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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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