RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any good drills for a young dog (1.5 yr blm) who has started to just blow through marks by about 40-60 yards on marks anywhere from 50 yards to 100 yards (or more, but that just makes the problem worse!)?

He was marking very consistently until about two months ago. I train with him 5-6 days a week, typically, on different things. With that said, he has done these types of marks before, I've been working with different drills on this for the past month and a half with very little results.

Typically I have been trying to have my thrower be a helper, I think that is the best way to go when he blows over them.

My analysis is that he shut off is eyes and goes until he smells it, he has a good nose. Usually I try to run down wind, never with the wind facing him. If he doesn't smell it, he doesn't stop. Many times he will literally step on it as he passes it.

Thanks,
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
What kind of cover are throwing into. I would try mowed grass with big white bumpers for a while. He's got to learn to use his eyes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Walking singles -- and I like the idea of large white bumpers on mowed grass -- he needs to use his eyes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
Make the bumpers visable at the distance he's have trouble at. When he's getting those every time, slowly increase the distance.
School ball fields are good for this drill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses, they are good, but not exactly what I am looking for.

Let me clarify, he'll hit a white bumper at 150 - 200 yards easy on a baseball field. That is no issue. In fact, I sometimes ask myself if this is another part of his problem. I think he half expects that when he gets out there, he will see it. When he doesn't (in 6" of cover or less) he keeps going, expeciting he will see it, unless he catches the scent. (Maybe I contradicted what I said earlier, sorry!)

I think I am more looking for a drill to help develop the depth perception a little better so that he realizes where and when to establish a hunt. I am in a field with very little cover, but enough to not see the bumper sitting there from 30 yards away.

I have gone back and worked with 30 yard marks, 40 yard marks, 50 yard marks, and so on. Where it falls apart is after that. I go back and simplify, again and again. It has been a solid month and a half if not a little longer and I am just wondering if there is any other drills I good be doing?

I appreciate all of the responses so far, thank you very much!!! :D :D :D

Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
you said that he was marking very consistently until about two months ago, has anything changed in training? Did you change how the bumpers are thrown, i.e. from bird boys to wingers, wingers to bird boys, wingers and/or bird boys to Bumper Boys? Do you mainly use birds or bumpers? Or a combination of both? What color/pattern of bumpers do you use? Do you use scent on your bumpers? Do you use attention-getting devices in the field? Are you running singles or multiple marks?

If you have a thrower, have him/her wear a white jacket so that your dog has a reference point to mark off of. Have him/her remain standing with no moving around. Salt the area of the fall with about 6-8 bumpers in a somewhat wide area so that he is sure to run thru them(unless you are doing walking singles). Start with white bumpers with scent and gradually switch to orange or black bumpers and no scent. Run only singles for a good while, and try backing off from running marks 5-6 days a week to 3-4 and see if that helps. I would also have your thower toss another bumper/bird to the area of the fall when your dog is about 20yds away. It will cause your dog to check down in a hurry. After doing that a few times they will start to use their eyes more, but don't do it so much that the dog becomes dependant on it. Also, run more "short" marks than "long" marks. Make him check down more and then toss in a long one every now and then. Let him know that he can't go long every time.

For what its worth, my pup and two of her littermates did the same thing at about the same age. Try doing the above, it worked for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,658 Posts
Sonetimes with young dogs, when you start running mostly long marks, they get used to that, and when you throw a short mark, they will over run the short mark. Like others have said, single marks, mostly short. Then when the dog has started looking short again, start mixing in long and short marks together. This is a very common problem in younger dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
KEukaFlyer said:
Thanks for the responses, they are good, but not exactly what I am looking for.

Let me clarify, he'll hit a white bumper at 150 - 200 yards easy on a baseball field. That is no issue. In fact, I sometimes ask myself if this is another part of his problem. I think he half expects that when he gets out there, he will see it. When he doesn't (in 6" of cover or less) he keeps going, expeciting he will see it, unless he catches the scent. (Maybe I contradicted what I said earlier, sorry!)

I think I am more looking for a drill to help develop the depth perception a little better so that he realizes where and when to establish a hunt. I am in a field with very little cover, but enough to not see the bumper sitting there from 30 yards away.

I have gone back and worked with 30 yard marks, 40 yard marks, 50 yard marks, and so on. Where it falls apart is after that. I go back and simplify, again and again. It has been a solid month and a half if not a little longer and I am just wondering if there is any other drills I good be doing?

I appreciate all of the responses so far, thank you very much!!! :D :D :D

Joe
Consider "salting" the area of the fall.

Spread 4 or 5 bumpers in the general area of the fall and have the BB throw to the center of the area. This way when he gets close, he finds a bumper right away...he builds confidence in his marking...the more confidence the better marking ability...

As he gets more confidence, lessen the number of "salt" bumpers until he doesn't need them anymore.

I'd also suggest you consider only throwing marks where the dog can see the bumper all the way from the BB hand to the ground. No back side of hills or down slopes or anything like that...

Nice Name You Have There Joe Regards,

Joe S.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
Work "check down" singles. Start at 200 yards and work a 45º line 50 yards at a time with flat throws.

Start introducing the "easy" cue on long & short and short & long doubles set-ups (wide at first....then tighten them up).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
running wild dog

Hi

I have a dog that loves to run and would blow through marks do a big loop and scoop the mark up on the return. Jamed most of the derbys he was entered in. Problem just would not go away he would line out good but he would not mind going deep and run around.

The problem was he was not all that worried about being successfull.

This worked for me big time may not be right for you internet advise has to be taken with a grain of salt.

I would have someone run him and I go out and throw the marks if he didn't pin it or keep a tight hunt I would start yelling fetch fetch and walk to the mark pointing and yelling--like a boot camp drill sargent. He started to worry more about his marking and really tightened up his hunts.


Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Others have added good stuff. Here is one additional thought:

Birds instead of bumpers may also help to gain confidence. Move back to bumpers for conveniece later. Time to buy a freezer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow! Thanks for the responses! I'm glad so many people give good input. I have some questions and if anyone wants to continue this discussion on I would appreciate it!

I am glad to here someone say it is common with young dogs. I will certainly do more short marks and keep mixing it up. I am a little confused about the salting. Is that a good idea in this case? Wouldn't it make him more likely to stumble on a bird than actually establish a hunt and look for it?


Blackpowder - One of the things we did was focus a lot on carrying lines through obsticles, and as a result, I used little or no cover for a long time while we worked on it. I think maybe he got used to getting over/through the obsticle then seeing the bumper 10-20-30 yards or more away. I did this to simplify the focus of the drill. I should have mixed in more cover but I wanted to teach this lesson without getting too much involved. I use orange, black and white, and white bumpers, depending on the cover. I try to make it easy yet not stick out like a sore thumb. We were doing multiples but are now focusing back on singles. I don't use scent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gasper,

I have tried the dirt clod drill (with snow-balls!), I like it because it makes it 100% sure that he is going to blow through it than catch a wiff on the way through. However, he has not picked up that he continues to do this. I will even re-run the mark 2 -3 times to show him his mistake and he'll still blow through. (On a force-to-pile after he hits it once he remembers exactly where it is.)

I read one variation where start the dog at 100 - 150 yards and move in at 25-50 yard increments. The first one is easy, the next one in you lightly nick the dog after he goes over and reaches the aof of the first mark, and your helper helps him back. Then you rerun. Then move to the next one. Supposedly this will make him focus more on the depth but I don't think it worked very well...so I stopped it.

Any input?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
KwickLabs,

Can you explain more? You start at 200 yards and move in at 50 yards at 45 degrees? Is this like a line drill?

What do you mean by easy cue?

I am just a lowly hunt-tester so I'm not sure if 200 yards is necessary for me but I'm all for adding any distance my dog can handle.

Thanks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
You said, "I use orange, black and white, and white bumpers, depending
on the cover." Why keep him trying figure out what's the "color of the
day"? Keep what he is retrieving consistent.

If 200 yards is a bit much, start with 150 yards. You don't have to do this
in heavy cover. However, from what I can see your asking your pup to
deal with a lot of changes from one day to the next. Keep it simple and
gradually make changes.

As for the easy "cue", this is a verbal comment made to a dog to let them
know "this mark is short". By teaching it the dog will be a bit more
cautious about just firing and going long.

Here are two pictures of marking setups which expose a dog to the
concept of depth.

This is a check down marking drill starting at 225 yards and decreasing to
85 yards. The cover, tightness (angle) and distance can be adjusted for a
dog's ability.


This is an inverted W marking drill with the back three marks at 160
yards and the two indents at 60 yards. Again you can make adjustments
for a dog's skill level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the advice!

One more question, I've read the term and heard it thrown around 1,000 times - "check down". I'm 98% sure I know what it means but what is the exact definition of it? Maybe its a stupid question but...

Thanks again,
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,268 Posts
KEukaFlyer said:
I am a little confused about the salting. Is that a good idea in this case? Wouldn't it make him more likely to stumble on a bird than actually establish a hunt and look for it?
You are teaching the dog that it should expect to find a bumper in close proximity to the thrower. Once he has the expectation he will do a better job of setting up his hunts there.

KEukaFlyer said:
I use orange, black and white, and white bumpers, depending on the cover. I try to make it easy yet not stick out like a sore thumb. We were doing multiples but are now focusing back on singles. I don't use scent.
Orange bumpers are difficult for dogs to see. You said you tried the dirt clod drill, but I always thought the dirt clod drill was for a dog that would bail out on a hunt early and leave the fall area to hunt somewhere else. After they've bailed out, you toss a bumper when the dog can't see you do it. After they've given up on an area and bail out, then subsequently find a bumper in there, they learn to stick with it more. At least that's my interpretation of the drill... From your description of the dog's problem, I don't think it applies.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top