Most of us follow some program derived from Rex Carr and popularized through some video programs and generally followed by the pros in the sport. There are many variations, but Force Fetch, Pile Work, T and/or TT, Swimby, pattern blinds (maybe) then blinds. At the same timeline singles, singles off multiple guns, decheating, complex cheaters, retired guns. And yard drills like no no, wagon wheel, casting drills etc. at the end we have a transition dog.
During this time we attempt to sort out the attributes and tendencies of the dog we have and how it deals with the various training setups we create to teach or test them in the quest for and all age or master level dog.
In marking setups we train on many things to try to prepare them for what they will see in weekend marking tests. A lot of my training is around concepts and factors where I want to challenge the dog and train the dog so it is familiar with and can sort out similar situations it will see in competition.
In an effort to train the dog, how do you decide when when to handle, when to recall, and when to have gunner help? How do you know if the dog forgot, it’s not trying, it’s not smart enough, lacks heart, or not schooled enough to do the setup? How does your response to the failed mark change in light of the reason for the failure?