To handle or not to handle
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Thread: To handle or not to handle

  1. #1

    Default To handle or not to handle

    Heres the scenario. 50 yard angle entry where the dog loses sight of the mark. Dog comes out of the water and has 200 yards to the bird. When the dog comes out, she runs towards the wrong side of the gun and its very obvious that she will back side the gun. Do you handle when you see that s he has made a bad choice or do you wait to see how bad it is before you handle or do you not handle and let them work it out. She will be on the right side of the wind and will scent the bird when she gets even with it. Dog is 4 years old and a 7/10 marker.

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  3. #2
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    In training I assume, or in a trial? In training I think we have to figure out why she backsided the gun, was it a poor angle entry, or a poor exit, was there wind in the water or on land that blew her over, especially when the gun was out of sight, was there a hillside that she did not angle well?? I think you have to figure out why she faded and then work on that concept. I probably would not handle on the mark if she is going to get it via scent, if she faded to a factor I might have handled earlier, ie as soon as I read the fade. But that would depend on how experienced the dog is at being handled on marks for line conepts. I would then work on the concept that caused the fade in blind work, like 3 peats for example. Or more simple singles with only the one concept, like cheating singles.
    Nate Baxter, DVM
    Clarksville, OH

  4. #3

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    Thanks. I dont feel like there were too many factors to deal with. I think she came out and chose unwisely. She angled left instead of right. Not much wind, not much of a hill, she just lost sight and chose the wrong side.

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    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I assume training, as why would you handle a dog that is going to get a mark in a test or trial if you don't have to? Training, seems dog took the wrong angle through the water. Not really a great training setup if you can't see the dog in the water to correct the angel, prior worrying about back-siding a gun station. Still for me I would make sure I had actually sent the dog from the correct side. I mess this up every once in awhile and the dog usually fixes it for me, but if she's back-siding a gun it just might be my fault. Probably wont handle her if I made the mistake, as she's going where I sent her and I like to have that tool. If I actually did send her from the correct side and she's going to back-side, I would stop her, tell her NO; put my hand up to the correct side and usually that's all it would take for the dog to say "whoops sorry coach". If the angle was really off in the water and the dog back-sided I would most likely re-run the mark and move into a position where I could correct the water angle. So when I had to run this no-see-um crap in a test-trial the dog at least has an idea to carry a better angle across the pond. Well we can hope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt'EmUp View Post
    I assume training, as why would you handle a dog that is going to get a mark in a test or trial if you don't have to? Training, seems dog took the wrong angle through the water. Not really a great training setup if you can't see the dog in the water to correct the angel, prior worrying about back-siding a gun station. Still for me I would make sure I had actually sent the dog from the correct side. I mess this up every once in awhile and the dog usually fixes it for me, but if she's back-siding a gun it just might be my fault. Probably wont handle her if I made the mistake, as she's going where I sent her and I like to have that tool. If I actually did send her from the correct side and she's going to back-side, I would stop her, tell her NO; put my hand up to the correct side and usually that's all it would take for the dog to say "whoops sorry coach". If the angle was really off in the water and the dog back-sided I would most likely re-run the mark and move into a position where I could correct the water angle. So when I had to run this no-see-um crap in a test-trial the dog at least has an idea to carry a better angle across the pond. Well we can hope.
    OP never stated that they could not see the dog to correct the line in the water!

  8. #6
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    If you are teaching, I don't see why you can't handle. I'm not from the school that thinks they will look to the handler for help and never see them pop to do that.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  9. #7
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    I think this could turn into an interesting discussion on when and or why to handle on a mark! But there is a lot of missing information in your description of your mark!

  10. #8
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg0211 View Post
    Heres the scenario. 50 yard angle entry where the dog loses sight of the mark. Dog comes out of the water and has 200 yards to the bird. When the dog comes out, she runs towards the wrong side of the gun and its very obvious that she will back side the gun. Do you handle when you see that s he has made a bad choice or do you wait to see how bad it is before you handle or do you not handle and let them work it out. She will be on the right side of the wind and will scent the bird when she gets even with it. Dog is 4 years old and a 7/10 marker.
    My caveat, I rarely engage in training threads but here goes. There is a time in every dogís life that you appreciate the effort the dog made in the water and you want them to be rewarded with finding the bird on their own. At 4 years old you should be beyond that point. Did the dog change directions because it succumbed to itís instincts or was it affected by other factors including substandard marking? If the dog is only an above average marker it can improve itís success level by going straight. The longer you wait to handle the less likely the dog will connect the dots. Your decision should be 1) to not handle and allow the dog to find the bird on itís own regardless of other factors or 2) to handle as soon as the dog makes itís mistake the the reason for that notwithstanding. If you want to communicate to your dog an infraction occurred correct at the point of that infraction not at some vague or poorly defined future point.

  11. #9
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    I'm just saying something on this one because I think there is a very basic clarity issue that's important. To me it's not a question about marks or even retriever training. It's a question of effective training. If the dog can't understand what action of theirs causes a consequence, training is unlikely to be effective and there is a risk of the dog learning the wrong lesson.

    You said "she lost sight and made a bad choice".

    How can she make a bad choice if the can't see where she's going? Seems like a rudimentary thought but I wouldn't intervene, especially with pressure, unless the dog had some chance of understanding why I intervened.

    Now if it was a bad angle exit she could understand, skirting some cover or a ditch, some other thing at the point of the choice that she could actually figure out.. then that's one thing. Handling with the gun our of sight either prior to or when you handle, with the gun as the only reference point? Seems like at least a waste of time maybe worse.

    At the least it's a waste of effort. At the worst it hurts the dog's confidence/momentum.

    The dog would have to be highly advanced to expect "good choices" when they can't see where they're ultimately going.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 08-15-2019 at 06:15 PM.
    Darrin Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    I'm just saying something on this one because I think there is a very basic clarity issue that's important. To me it's not a question about marks or even retriever training. It's a question of effective training. If the dog can't understand what action of theirs causes a consequence, training is unlikely to be effective and there is a risk of the dog learning the wrong lesson.

    You said "she lost sight and made a bad choice".

    How can she make a bad choice if the can't see where she's going? Seems like a rudimentary thought but I wouldn't intervene, especially with pressure, unless the dog had some chance of understanding why I intervened.

    Now if it was a bad angle exit she could understand, skirting some cover or a ditch, some other thing at the point of the choice that she could actually figure out.. then that's one thing. Handling with the gun our of sight either prior to or when you handle, with the gun as the only reference point? Seems like at least a waste of time maybe worse.

    At the least it's a waste of effort. At the worst it hurts the dog's confidence/momentum.

    The dog would have to be highly advanced to expect "good choices" when they can't see where they're ultimately going.
    Teaching fluffy not to counter surf, I imagine FLuffy can see the counter the whole time.

    Frequently that is not the case in field trials

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