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Thread: Danger of "using up" a field with marking scenarios and drills ?

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    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Default Danger of "using up" a field with marking scenarios and drills ?

    I have a long and narrow field (about 600 yds x 200 yds) with some nice factors (rolling, tree clumps, brush piles).

    We've been running several marking set ups here over the last month in different sections of the field - some overlapping sections. In addition, we've been running the 3 leg pattern blinds there in a part of the field that we use for marking set ups at a different time of the day.

    The past couple of days it seems like my pup's marking and memory has deteriorated a little bit. Aside from handler error - is it possible that I'm over using this field and causing confusion by using the same sections for different purposes and set-ups?

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Sure. I have 40 acres of rolling terrain out my back door. Over the years my dogs have seen every line and every mark imaginable. They remember where a mark was thrown last session or even last month, but they get used to it. Keep in mind where you threw a mark, even if you are running from a way different angle, even from behind, the dogs remember it. If you see it influencing your dog, you at least know why and can deal with it fairly.

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    We have the same problem in Florida with only 22 acres. Definitely do not try retired guns there!!!

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    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    If you are still using the field to teach handling with the pattern blinds per Lardy, I would think throwing marks across them that are not part of the pattern blind lesson would interfere with your progress on them.

    The pattern blinds are known destinations. If you start throwing marks across them, is it as clear to the dog where it is supposed to go on the pattern blind field?

    Otherwise most of us around here are stuck reusing the same grounds over and over. But I try not to do drills in the same place I do marks.
    Renee P

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    The short answer is Yes.

    Mixing marks, especially memory birds, into a pattern blind field will get confusing for a dog. As that we all have finite resources for grounds you may consider running only singles that have any relation to your pattern blinds (KRD, concept singles). Multiple marks in the field could be done in the opposite direction presenting a totally different picture. The field can be multi-purpose but it requires some imagination.
    Dennis Voight's "Training Alone" shows good field utilization and the idea of turning the field around.

    Tim
    Last edited by Tim Carrion; 04-24-2013 at 12:09 PM.
    You order a Lab; ask a Golden; but negotiate with a Chesapeake!

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    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitty View Post
    If you are still using the field to teach handling with the pattern blinds per Lardy, I would think throwing marks across them that are not part of the pattern blind lesson would interfere with your progress on them.

    The pattern blinds are known destinations. If you start throwing marks across them, is it as clear to the dog where it is supposed to go on the pattern blind field?


    Otherwise most of us around here are stuck reusing the same grounds over and over. But I try not to do drills in the same place I do marks.
    Yeah, that's what i'm thinking. The last few days, I've been working on difficult memory birds scenarios that require her running over the pattern blind area. Then we go later in the day to do a Pattern drill. It has been challenging her. It surprised me that she degenerated, until it dawned on me there had been a lot going on in that field.

    We will move locations. Thanks for the input everyone!

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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Yes the same problem and causing confusion in the dog as to where to go too.
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    Member DucksDogsDownriggers's Avatar
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    Thanks for posing the question. I'm in a similar situation. I too will change where I work marking.

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