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Thread: Retired gun marks: to handle, or not handle, during training

  1. #1
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Default Retired gun marks: to handle, or not handle, during training

    If dog needs handling on way to mark, gun retired, does the dog learn anything about marking?

    I'm wondering if there is any point to having the gun retire, if you end up handling the dog to the mark.

    Thoughts?

    (I'm thinking of field trials.)
    Last edited by mitty; 05-15-2013 at 05:47 PM.
    Renee P

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Renee you have to read your dog; is he off course because he just plain lost the mark, or did he obviously give in to some factor on the way throwing him offline? For example the correct line to the bird is through an obvious piece of cover or water, the dog appears to remember the retired bird as you line him up, he takes off with authority, but bounces off the cover or water just as he hits it. At this point handle into the cover or water to teach him that he needs to carry that line through whatever he encounters enroute. On the other hand, if the dog appears vague when trying to line him up, have the gunner step out or uncover just enough for the dog to see and remember the mark. If the dog gets lost enroute have the gunner uncover, only handle if needed.

    John

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    How old is the dog & what level of training? Are you teaching retired guns or just interested in your trained dog getting to the AOF?
    David Didier, GA

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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    handling on marks is bailing the dog out....make the dog dig it out....probably only scenario where a handle wont knock you out is at the National, but it better be one whistle and lead directly to the bird

    When a dog is looking for a mark in an ideal situation, you would like them to tighten the search in smaller concentric circles..however many dogs do just the opposite and the circles get wider and they seem to get further away from the AOF,they run behind the gun, and sometimes they go back to an old fall....all bad scenarios

    There is also one old school thought that once you handle on marks on a regular basis, you are inviting the dreaded "POP" ,because as the dog's internal stopwatch keeps ticking,and they get worried they will inevitably look for help...

    There is that contingent of handlers that would rather pick up a dog in a trial than to handle them to a mark....cant speak for the HT game
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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Bon I thinks she's asking about handling on marks in training.

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    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    My own dog is 29 mos old. I'm trying to figure out the strategy by watching the people I train with. Sometimes it is obvious, like when they dodge some water, other times it is not.

    If the dog takes off with authority but very gradually fades with the wind, do you handle?

    Or dog enters the water nicely, but then is too watery and ends up on the wrong side of the gun. If you handle, then dog isn't figuring out anything for itself, might as well keep the gun out it seems.

    Oops: Where are we in training? Advanced, I think. Her marking skills are great, we are not very good at FT blinds yet.
    Last edited by mitty; 05-15-2013 at 07:20 PM.
    Renee P

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    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    Bon I thinks she's asking about handling on marks in training.
    Yes, I'm asking about training.
    Renee P

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    Handle to teach the dog not to give in to any factors.
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    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    It sounds like you need a few lessons on the "when's, why's & wherefore's" of handling and teaching marking as well as the "standards" you would uphold day in and day out.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    I'm specifically asking about handling on marks when the guns are retired. The standard is different than handling on marks in general, no?

    When the white coats are out, for example, if dog has marked the fall it has no excuse for hooking the gun or not taking a small slice of water. But if gunner is retired, hooking the gun or missing the little piece of water is less of a crime, no?
    Last edited by mitty; 05-15-2013 at 07:35 PM.
    Renee P

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