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Thread: Is this a sign my puppy will be a good marker?

  1. #1
    Senior Member JMitchell's Avatar
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    Default Is this a sign my puppy will be a good marker?

    I have a question for people who have trained many puppies. I have a 14 week old puppy and I am using the Hillmans DVD. He only gets 3-4 retrieves and I use a half size white canvas bumper. He is getting bigger so I have been tossing it further. I can toss it 40 yards and we train in a big lawn of mowed grass. I rev him up and get him excited and toss the bumper and he will run right to where it hit. He use to look and cock his head like it isn't here and then he would find where it bounced to. He is getting better at going past the hit point but still goes right to where it hit first. My question is he going right to where it hit on sight or smell. The bumper has no scent on it other then me and him handling it. If he is using his sight is this a good sign he will be a really good marker? Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mountain Duck's Avatar
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    He may indeed be a good marker! I think most field bred Labs are probably "good" markers by default. "Good" being a relative term, and very much dependent on your venue. I'd say most of the "Great" markers would not often get to separate themselves in typical hunting scenarios (with certain exceptions), but this would certainly not be the case in the higher levels of competition.

    He is for sure going to the area by sight, and given the white bumper, and cover you describe, he is finding it with his eyes most likely. That's what you want...focus on a spot, and go there! Eventually, as he matures, you will increase the cover which will require him to focus on the spot, go there, and use his nose to find it.

    Since you mention Hillmann....here is a great article to read, study and think about when you are working on marking.

    http://billhillmann.net/8020Rule.htm
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    Member birddogn_tc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Duck View Post
    He may indeed be a good marker! I think most field bred Labs are probably "good" markers by default. "Good" being a relative term, and very much dependent on your venue. I'd say most of the "Great" markers would not often get to separate themselves in typical hunting scenarios (with certain exceptions), but this would certainly not be the case in the higher levels of competition.

    He is for sure going to the area by sight, and given the white bumper, and cover you describe, he is finding it with his eyes most likely. That's what you want...focus on a spot, and go there! Eventually, as he matures, you will increase the cover which will require him to focus on the spot, go there, and use his nose to find it.

    Since you mention Hillmann....here is a great article to read, study and think about when you are working on marking.

    http://billhillmann.net/8020Rule.htm
    Wow. What a welcome and refreshing response. I enjoyed reading it. I am not the OP but I it's refreshing to read someone give a nice response. Seems rare these days. Thanks Mountain Duck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JMitchell's Avatar
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    I agree thanks Mountain Duck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Terry Marshall's Avatar
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    Hi JMitchel
    To better determine his marking skills start to have someone throw the bumper for you at a distance he is now excelling. Continue with low cover to build confidence, increase distance to a comfortable point. If he gets lost you'll have your helper out there to throw a "help" bumper. Your helper should have a half dozen of your puppy bumpers hidden in a shoulder bag or a quail/pheasant type vest w the rear game bag. The pup should not see the thrower with bumpers in his hand or on the ground once he has launched your mark. This a recipe for disaster if you do not follow this simple rule.
    Once he's doing well w throws to the same area, have your helper walk around the circumfrance of your radius, stopping where the previous bumper landed. Helper should not move til dog is back with you watching your helper.
    Your helper should acknowledge the throw with a Hey Hey Hey, whatever, I use the Dogtra remote Duck Call, once the call is finished the bumper is launched (this dove tails into more advanced stuff). You can also start to steady your pup here, initially let him run but do get more serious as time goes on, if he's not returning the bumper to you a check cord is advised. I feel that the younger you can get a dog to be steady on the line the better the marker he will become. When you get serious about steadying your dog and he breaks, your helper should immediately pick up the bumper. NO REWARD FOR BAD DOG. Once steady on the line, have your helper introduce a double, help may be required but skills are being taught, once proficient with 2 marks intro a second helper with a 3rd mark, do all of this on short cover.
    I usually have FF done somewhere between the beginning and the steadiness, but many will have their own history and comments.
    Hopefully you see training can be costly and now involves more than just throwing fun bumpers, and you're just at the beginning.
    Bon Chance
    There is something about the outside of a dog which makes the inside of man feel good

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