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Thread: Holding Blind Routine

  1. #11
    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    Creating a pattern encourages the dog to mentally jump ahead to the end, which is the retrieve. Then they get frustrated when you don't allow them to leave the line in a timely fashion. Vocal protest and lots of antsy movement can result from that frustration.
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post

    If your dog is obedient and doesn't know what the next command is going to be, they will keep you in mind, listening intently for instruction, rather than tuning you out and getting frustrated.

    Some people (Hillman) add a backward step. One of the dogs in my first training group got an off line throw very frequently.

    In the end though, it's the pattern that creates the problem in the first place.

    I see this a lot in dogs of all shapes and sizes. It's particularly prevalent in sports where people run the patterns over and over.

    As with everything - people will disagree, having had success with pattern training. That's cool if it's working for you.





    I totally agree with you BUT there is no avoiding it completely.
    A large part of what we all do is creating patterns. I do it, you do it, we all do it. It's called repetition. Whether it's heel, sit, stay, here. It is easy to teach a dog these things but we set a pattern by repetition until it becomes absolute habit. Like everything you need to have balance in programing good habits or patterns and not creating bad habits or patterns and maintain good obedience. I do everything I can to keep my dog focused on me and the obedience standard he has been taught. My holding blind routine is to do what I tell them what ever that may be I try my best not to be robotic in proceeding through the holding blinds. When heeling from blind to blind if the dog gets ahead of me I stop and they heel back. I do teach my dogs to heel backwards and use that a lot just to break things up so they realize they aint gettin what they want without me and that it is not strictly forward progress.
    It is impossible to avoid programing patterns. In training you can take a dog to the line pull them off and put them back in the truck to break up the pattern but they still know the game. I have a very high drive 2 yr old that is a bit noisy so I often throw her marks and pull her off and run a blind just to try to avoid that anticipation. My dogs know whats going on when they get loaded in the truck. I can drive 150 miles to a trial with dogs in crates under a shell on the truck and they are fine but the second I get to the trial grounds they know it! I can get them out to air numerous times and put them back but they still know when they are headed to the line. If you have a way to avoid this then you are magic!!!!!! There is no way of avoiding programing these types of patterns. You can only hope to control it with a different pattern which is good solid obedience. Just like flyers every dog that comes to the line will pick out the flyer station. Everybody will disagree with me on flyers but I never throw my dogs flyers. The only time they see flyers is at a trial or hunting. Do they get more excited over a flyer? Hell yes but they are not crazy for them. The only way to avoid programing a bad pattern is to program a good one. I contend that training patterns is what its all about. You just have to create good ones and avoid bad ones. So if you can train a dog without creating a pattern Im packin my bags and heading to Souf Joisy!!!!!!!! I want to know how to do that!!

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  3. #12
    Senior Member PalouseDogs's Avatar
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    I don't think routine and pattern training are the same thing.

    My experience is mostly from obedience trials. In the past few months, I've added a pre-ring routine to my obedience training sessions and I think it has helped tremendously in trials. Instead of going straight to whatever I plan to work on in that training session, I go through the same routine I would at a trial. I put the leash on the dog (even though I'm usually in my yard or indoor training area). I focus all my attention on the dog and walk a short distance as though I'm moving from a crate to the ring entrance. (I vary the distance and often pretend I'm weaving through crates and other dogs and handlers.) I do a few warm-up "tricks" (easy, fun exercises that don't require precision). I sometimes pretend I have to move out of the way for another dog passing by. I speak the judge and steward dialog and my responses out loud. I go into the imaginary ring, remove the leash and go to the starting location, then start working on my training plan. I usually aim for a 1-2 minute routine, but intentionally sometimes pretend there is a delay and I have to decide what to do (walk away? Extend the warm up tricks? Or I pretend I have to shorten the routine. (What part of it do I shorten?) Etc.

    A pre-run routine is something I generally haven't done in the past for hunt training, which I usually do alone and only for short periods of the year, so I found this video extremely useful. I don't even own a holding blind, but I plan to order or make a few. He is essentially doing all the things I do for an OB routine, except for an hunt test: speaking the judge dialog and responses, acting out possible delays sometimes, etc. Plus, he's adding useful tips, like having the dog face out of the holding blind. (I never thought about that, but it makes sense.)

    A routine gets the dog in the right frame of mind and, I think, helps them ignore the distractions at a trial even if they don't see the same distractions in training. Equally important, it helps calm the HANDLER, especially if you build in potential interruptions or disruptions so you can have a response plan. It helps you deal with the adrenaline. If you watch pro-golfers on the last hole of a tournament, where a placement can mean a payoff difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars, can have a profound effect on their future career, and where they know they are being watched by millions of people on TV, they don't generally walk up to the ball and putt it in. They go through their pre-putt routine. They don't all have the same routine, but they have a routine to help counteract the rush of adrenaline and put them in the right mental state.
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  4. #13
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shaver View Post
    [B]






    I totally agree with you BUT there is no avoiding it completely.
    You just have to create good ones and avoid bad ones. So if you can train a dog without creating a pattern Im packin my bags and heading to Souf Joisy!!!!!!!! I want to know how to do that!!
    We're in agreement Steve.

    One thing I have heard, done and succeeded with is practicing the pieces of the pattern very often and the pattern itself only on occasion.

    The issue with our retriever dogs and their line manners is obvious. A lot of what we do is the "non patterned" work of marking and running blinds, which happens AFTER the dog gets to the line. We need to put a lot of time into those things, so to do obedience at some multiple, say 3x as many reps, is very time consuming and difficult if you do specific sessions and time is limited.

    I tell me people constantly "Any time you are interacting with your dog, you are training". This is a helpful way to think, I believe.

    The old "sit means sit" thread that was so infinitely popular is a call to this same philosophy. I tend to be constantly asking my dogs for different tasks before breakfast and dinner, let's say. May be 4-5 behaviors in a random order required before you get to eat. Somewhere in there I ALWAYS demand the dog walk away from their food bowl. Handling to and from the truck on the way to a free run, same thing - obedience. It's a pain in the butt with two dogs. They have to be handled separately to avoid sloppiness. Investing that extra few minutes each day seems to work for them. It definitely does for my pet people.

    Obedience is the dog giving up what they want in deference to what I want. All good things come through me (which you also said).

    I think people, amateurs especially are so eager to get the dog into the field and do the fun stuff, that they don't invest in the basics.. Then the fun stuff isn't so much fun any more.

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  6. #14
    Senior Member Rick Hall's Avatar
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    When I was testing, I made a practice of telling the pup at hand that "Win, lose or draw, you're still my guy." Probably didn't do squat for the pup, but put me in the right frame of mind.
    If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.

    (And to see just how confused I really am, join us in my online blind at: 2017-2018 Season Log

  7. #15
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hall View Post
    When I was testing, I made a practice of telling the pup at hand that "Win, lose or draw, you're still my guy." Probably didn't do squat for the pup, but put me in the right frame of mind.
    Love that one Rick!

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