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Thread: Singles vs Multiple.

  1. #11
    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Hass View Post
    This is great. Everyone has a very clear reason why they do what they do. I had a pro at a master test tell me his dogs never see anything smaller than a quad. I remember thinking to myself "that is wild, and I don't have enough wingers." LOL. What would the possitives be for shooting multiples all the time. I know the Cons but what are the PRO's in that situation.
    How does this pro hold dogs to a high standard on factors??? By the time a dog is picking up the 3rd or 4th bird in a set-up, how can he hold a dog accountable for skirting a factor when he many not even be sure that the dog really remembers the mark? In addition, sometimes a mark with multiple gunners out is harder when run as a single first. For example, triple with punch bird, wind left to right, flyer station on left. All factors tending to roll dog into flyer. Dogs are going in and out of water and losing sight of gun stations during swims. If you throw the triple and pick up the flyer first, experienced dogs will tend to bounce off the flyer and get pushed into the long punch bird. Now, throw the long punch bird as a single first. Dogs are getting rolled into the flyer, and they are feeling it big time because they have not been there to pick up a bird first. They get a big snoot full of flyer station on the way by. Did this set-up recently with a bunch of all-age dogs and there were a lot of whistles that got blown.

    I am not familiar with training for hunt tests. Do you train on your marks with gunner out or hidden? With gunners hidden, do the dogs still tend to swing heads off of marks to look for the next one?
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  2. #12
    Member mathewrodriguez's Avatar
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    I believe running singles is ideal to teach... factors, concepts, concentration, confidence, not to head swinging... (to name a few). "Teach… Teach… Teach… Train… Train… Test."

    Larry Byrd was quoted, “I shoot a hundred free throws daily.”

    Run set-ups with a purpose. A marking set-up may be composed of only a few factors, to an array of factors. During your teaching phase, try to clearly define each factor on its own by breaking it down into very specific segments. During the training phase move the element into the field, again working specifically on the factor being taught. Only after the dog recognizes the factor and acknowledges that the drills are understood should you test the concept within other concepts and/or factors. This is where most people lose their dogs and lose their plan. They assume for example, that the dog de-cheated off a big protruding point is the same as a dog de-cheating off a soft curled back pocket. They assume that de-cheating from 10 yards back flat to the shore with 20 yards of bank to skirt is the same as de-cheating at a 100 yard entry at a 15 degree angle with only 5 yards of bank to skirt. Distance, angles and clarity are a major factors, but lighting, wind and scents are factors that are also often overlooked when trying to define concept. Each factor has multiple variations… Show your dog the variations in the most clearly defined method you can create, walk them through it, teach them through it, train them through it… once you see the light come-on and they truly recognize the concept, then test them on it.

    Probably the most common mistake is… we move on. Shoot your free throws.

    What does this have to do with singles vs multiples… everything! Teach… Teach… Teach the concept, Train… Train… the concept, Test the concept. Teaching and training should primarily consist of singles to clearly define the concepts. Often times testing the concept will involve singles as well. The reward of understanding and focusing in on the concept is a dog that learns how to get the bird without fear of the factors or being distracted by the factors; a dog that understands the task at hand.

    So the adage that 80% singles – 20% multiples is a cure or a way to alleviate head swinging is to some degree correct. However; there is much more of an advantage than simply getting a dog not to head swing by running singles properly in a format that is purposely planned to teaching a dog “new tricks”. A dog that can look out at the field and recognize the set-ups will have significant greater confidence at the line, translating into better focus and control at line, thus, much less likely to head swing and much more likely to become a better marking dog.

    This is one of my “free throw” drills. I try to run it once a week, normally Monday morning:

    I typically do this work on a soccer field… the grass needs to be extremely short where the bird can be seen from the line.

    Single throwing Gunner is set directly out in front of the first line approximately 50 yards out. I use a snow goose Dokken and throw flat. I use a count to 20 seconds and send. If my dog loses focus at any point, I immediately heel back off line with a firm “No”, then bring him back and re-throw. I cue the dog on mark. If he continues to lose focus, we move forward to the AOF splitting the distance about half-way (not the gunner). At the stage I am at with my dog now, I demand a 100% focus, zero movement, sit at "nose-to-toes", completely locked-in and a long 20 second count. The first time doing the drill should be a simple 1 second count… then 2 second… and so forth. But your standard of sit and focus should not waver.

    Second mark, we will drop back the send line 25 yards and place a stick man/non-throwing gunner about 25 yards perpendicular off line from our original send line. Cue the dog, “mark”… hold for 20 seconds… and send if the dog maintains focus. If the dog does not, we go back to the first send line without the gunner and repeat.

    After the dog is successful at the second line, we drop back an additional 25 yards to the third send line. Place a second stick man/non-throwing gunner about 25 yards perpendicular to the second line. Cue the dog, “mark”… hold for 20 seconds… and send if the dog maintains focus. If he does not, we go all the way back to the first send line without the gunner and repeat. Don’t expect the dog to generalize the concept with multiple factors. Clearly define the concept until it’s without question understood, then work into multiple factors.

    Best of luck and hope this helps

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