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Thread: Cheating in the water & Poor water re-entries - HELP!

  1. #1
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    Default Cheating in the water & Poor water re-entries - HELP!

    Hello everyone, I have a question about my dog as we are encountering a few issues in training. My dog Colt is one pass away from his AKC SH title, and he has been great in the Senior tests. However in training, we are working towards Master concepts and master level scenarios. On land, he runs beautifully, nailing all kinds of triples, and running really nice blinds. In the water, he has improved greatly and does a nice job MOST of the time... however he really tries to "cheat" on shore blinds, or any marks close to the shore. He has been through swim by, and i have done all kinds of corrections. What is frustrating about him is that when he cheats, I can say "NO...Here" and re-send him, he will run it perfectly. He knows what I am asking him to do, but he is very stubborn and tries his way first most of the time. My worry is that in the MH test, that will not be forgiven! I have used the collar, tried indirect pressure, basically anything I could think of! Dont get me wrong, there are times he runs great, but he wants to cheat every so often and i'm wondering if maybe going back to some lining drills wouldn't be a bad idea. I may even go as far as putting two poles out in the field, and making the dog go thru the poles both to and from the mark. Once we get to greater distances on land with that drill I can put the poles in the water and do the same thing. Is that a reasonable idea??

    Colt also is not the best at driving over a point of land and then re-entering the water. Almost always he wants to break down and hunt. I have seen a lot of this at HT's in other dogs as well, but of course i'd like to see him drive over the finger of land and continue on his line (he does this on blinds, not marks). I have run this as a walkout, or pattern, and he does "OK" with it, but often wants to hunt. His senior test nearly exposed this last weekend but if I sit him on the whistle and cast him back, he typically drives back into the water and continues just fine. Yes I could handle him thru this in a MH test, but of course i still want to strive for proper technique and fundamentals!

    He is a great dog, and a pure joy to train. I love him dearly and enjoy hunting with him and partaking in HT's as a hobby. I dont care if it takes 25 attempts to get a MH title, this is for fun and to gain valuable training experience. But we are hitting a wall on some of this cheater, angle entry and re-entry concepts in the water. Any ideas are welcome!! He has worked with Todd Sterrett of Arrowhead Kennels in Hudson, IA - Todd is outstanding and has done a great job with Colt - but this issue keeps rearing its ugly face and i am looking to work through it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    So, you've run lots of Cheating Singles? Tune-up drills?

    Evan
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    Yes, I do run them very regularly, particularly because he has issues with them. I just find it hard to beleive that i'm doing this right, he is a smart dog, with TONS of drive and loves to work. What are some tune up drills you are referring to? I am willing to try anything to progress on this issue. Like I said... once I correct him, he does it right (cheating singles). Its almost like he knows what i'm asking of him, but he insists on trying it his way first. I cannot give an inch with him, I have to be insistent on not cheating or he will do it!

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    Other things I have tried... i have the marks throw "fat" - meaning further from shore, and then each mark I throw a little closer. The idea being that he takes lines into the water. I also run him one whichever side of me that is away from the shore to discourage the cheat as much as possible. Most of the issue is not his initial line, in fact its almost never on his way out to the mark, its the return.

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    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    Have you asked Todd for advice? He knows Colt and the foundation he's had, which we Internet strangers do not.

    A pro who's trained a dog often has a very good idea how to correct problems that occur down the line.

    Amy Dahl

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    Hi Amy - Yes I have. In fact Colt is with him right now. Todd is almost as confused as I am because the dog is just insistent on trying to cheat his way back. He has had very heavy pressure, indirect pressure and as I mentioned, we can simply say "NO...Here" and make him come back and re-run the mark. Then he does it fine. He is an Elwood Blues line (top side) dog, and from what I hear this line is known for stubborness/hard-headed.

    My initial thought is to go back to line drills and keep "teaching". Colt has an incredible tolerance for pressure and clearly it is not deturring him from cheating every so often. In a regular hunting situation, I probably could let this go... but of course because we run HT's, I will not tolerate this because I want training and hunting to be consistent. Todd is working him daily on the issue, and beleives that lots of reps and attrition will help. Colt is just not responding as quick as Todd (or I) expected.

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    Senior Member Tim West's Avatar
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    Do hand tossed cheating singles on a square piece of water if you can find it. Ten yards or less. Sit the dog down, throw the mark across the point and if he cheats stop him, tell him no, cast him into the pond to the mark. Repeat. if he cheats again this time give him a little nick, tell him no, cast him to it. Repeat. He should be flawless.

    Go to another part of the pond, this time angle entry to the hand thrown mark. Repeat.

    Now go throw it across a channel end. Dog has to get in, swim, get out, skinny to the bank. Repeat if he cheats.

    Once you have him flawless on about ten of these little things, then get somebody to throw longer, real cheating singles. Correct him the same way.

    You should now have a good handle on cheating, that will transfer to larger cheats and to blinds too. A dog must know the clearly the consequences of cheating, and that close or far, it's not a good deal.

    Good luck...
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    Tim,
    I will sure give this a try if I can locate a body of water that fits the bill. Many thanks for your insight!

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    Sounds like you own my dog's twin.

    He has been with his pro for about 6 weeks and has had the same issue. I got "chewed out" for failing to correct him in a manner sufficient to get his attention. He is very birdy, runs hard, and is very confident to say the least. All of which sometimes combine to convince him to go independent on occasion.

    My pro told me in no uncertain terms that my dog knows he is not supposed to cheat, and you can tell this when he comes back to run it again and gets a little fat. In that case, the time for attrition is past - with my dog, who at this point knows not to do it and is just trying to see what he can get away with. Your dog is different and may require a different solution.

    You have done the best thing you could by getting him back to your pro. Keep us posted on his progress.
    Steve Wyatt

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    Could be wrong in thinking this, but have always believed that a dog that "knows" he can cheat, or wants to cheat isn't going to give you the best water entry every time.

    Will share something a retired trialer passed on to me-
    Don't forget that dogs are "two sided" so you need to de-cheat on both sides of the pond or canal you're in. We anchored a small boat in the center of the body of water, (and you have to anchor it good, we drove a post and tied the boat to it as well), and have the man in the boat with the end of the rope, other end to the dogs' collar and start running cheating Singles beginning from water and ending up on the shore.

    When the dog begins to fade to the shore , (and if it's collar trained), the dog gets a No! and the man in the boat tugs the rope and the dog gets a collar correction at the same time.
    Dawgs are like Savings Accounts-
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