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Discussion Starter #1
Is this a confidence thing, and how would you handle it. Dog runs established pattern blinds of about 125yrds with little handling, maybe 2 cast's, and sometimes no cast's. Put him on a cold blind of about 100yrds and he sometimes will pop, or if there is something along the way like a piece of paper he'll stop to check it out and then sit and look back for help.
 
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blinds

I think you are a correct in thinking it a confidence problem. 2 opinions:eek:nce known pattern blinds should be lined,if you need to handle shorten the blind and (2) pattern blinds should be at least twice the length of any cold blind you attempt at this time.
I believe these 2 items will help solve popping and getting distracted.
Tim
 
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Discussion Starter #3
So if I'm thinking correctly, I get him very good at lining a 150yrd pattern blind and build his confidence, then when I give him a 75yrd cold blind I can expect him to perhaps line straight to it?
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Peake you got me confused dude? are you saying to run the cold blinds and cast as necessarry until he's got it.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
If it was me I would build the dawgs confidence and momentum by running many long pattern blinds in various areas/terrain/cover. No, infact I would avoid running "cold blinds" until he is almost breaking at the line to be sent, jmho.
Dave
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Point of order

:) I think you should get your dog's confidence up before venturing into cold blinds. That is a transition. Before you make it...

I run standard 3-leg patterns to begin transition, but I'll teach magnum length blinds just for confidence/passive momentum before going into the cold blinds. It doesn't take long to do a few of these, and has made a substantial difference.

Once you've made a transition to cold blinds leave pattern/repeat blinds behind. Start with short simple ones, and stay with that until you read that your dog is becoming confident with doing everything cold. Then extend it gradually.

Good luck...LIKE THE BOARD SO FAR!

Evan
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Transition to cold blinds

Under the moder method that I follow (ie Mike Lardy), you don't go straight from patter blinds to cold blinds. There are blind drills, pattern blinds with diversions, and memory blinds before attempting cold blinds. It is this transition, which gives the dogs the confidence to run cold blinds.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
RE: Building Confidence...

Really think about this one:

Dogs don't learn confidence from doing KNOWN things over and over. This just reinforces their dependence on having to know where they're going before they're sent.

Confidence comes from moving out of known situations as quickly as they master them (pattern blinds and the associated drills that Steve mentioned) and helping them master cold situations.

If you never left your house your whole life or never met another person, would you possess the confidence, skills ane experience to go out and do new things and meet new people? Same type of thing applies to this situation.

You don't build confidence in known drills, although it may APPEAR that you do... The dog is going because he KNOWS, *not* because he has the ability to confront a cold situation.

You build confidence in cold situations by helping them through them, even if they are extremely hacky and slow at first. Some dogs come out of the drills prior to cold blinds, and line just about every one of their first simple, factorless cold blinds. Others seem nervous and worried. Regardless of their reaction, you don't go back to known destinations.

You help them learn that it's OK by working them through. Sure, they may pop once or twice. Their momentum may be slow. Their casting may be off. In these cases, you help and simplify. You only possibly correct for (as you ALWAYS have) go, stop and come as necessary. You shouldn't shorten blinds to create *artificial* success. Keep them long and you can always walk 50 yards out to the field to help them work through it.

You cannot have an expectation, coming off pattern work and the other drills, that the dog will run full bore straight out to every blind he runs. There is a LOT more work to be done, on your part as a handler. And if you plan to go right from pattern blinds to cold blinds, you're setting your dog up for failure. There are many drills in between (that actually don't take much time to teach) that give your dog the skills he needs to handle in the field. If your dog is lining all of his pattern blinds, how on earth is he supposed to know how to handle when you run a cold blind? He's never had to handle in the field...

You need to teach him that you will help him when he gets confused, even though he is still responsible for the basics of go, stop, come. You need to teach him that there is something out there, by being fair in getting him to his destination. You need to let him know that you understand that he doesn't *fully* understand the concept of a cold blind, in many cases.

And this philosophy, in training, will give you the attitude you're looking for over the course of days, weeks and/or months.

You're getting into a phase of training where the dog doesn't learn something specific every day, but that he learns things over time by your good efforts at training.

-Kristie
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Sean said:
So if I'm thinking correctly, I get him very good at lining a 150yrd pattern blind and build his confidence, then when I give him a 75yrd cold blind I can expect him to perhaps line straight to it?
No, that would be an unrealistic expectation. What I think you will accomplish with this is that your dog will be running with confidence.
Keep in mind blinds are combination of lining and handling. You expect to handle on most true blinds. When you are doing cold blinds with an inexperienced dog you want to design success. Success at this stage is a decent line for 20-30yds and 2-3 casts maximum to the bird. With dogs at this stage I will usually repeat the blind to build confidence and improve on the initial line.
Yes, this may be a bit old fashion but for me it works. I
find it helps avoid bugging-out no-go's or popping problems and my dogs run blinds with almost as much enthusiam as a single mark.
Tim
 
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Discussion Starter #11
blinds

I agree with kristie. Run cold blinds and show the dog he can succeed. Don't be afraid of its not being pretty at first, but do stack the deck in favor of success by using visible (white) dummies in short cover, minimal hazards, favorable wind, and not hassling the dog about line as long as he's making progress.

There's always a danger of creating a dependency upon prior, easier, steps in training.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Amy brought up a good point about white bumpers at the end. You can even put a PILE of them at the end of each blind. The point is that they shouldn't be able to see them from the line, but it is helpful if they are easy to find once the dog has made the initial attempt to get there.

In addition, all of your first cold blinds should be multiple blinds. Wide open, no factors as Amy mentioned. This allows you to repeat all of your mechanics multiple times in one session.

The dog's typical response, when getting ready to run the next blind, is to head out to the previous blind in many cases. This is where the drills between pattern blinds and cold blinds come in handy... Because they're the drills where the dog actually learned how to cast.

-Kristie
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Re: RE: Building Confidence...

Peake said:
kristie said:
Really think about this one:
You don't build confidence in known drills, although it may APPEAR that you do... The dog is going because he KNOWS, *not* because he has the ability to confront a cold situation.

kristie,
Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought confidence came from knowledge?
Dave


***You can know all kinds of stuff and still lack confidence. Here's an even better analogy and I've been through it and watched friends go throught it...

The first time you handle at a test or trial. You KNOW the rules, you KNOW how to run your dog. You KNOW what to do when...

But most people are scared to death. Some people can't even talk to anyone before they run. Others throw up. etc. etc. They make handling mistakes because of anxiety. They question every move they make while handling on a blind or setting a dog up on a mark. When they leave the line, they're rehashing it wondering why they did a instead of b, etc.

However, over time, this lessens. You start to leave the line (not always, but usually) knowing that you made the right decisions and did the best you could.

Confidence comes from EXPERIENCE and being able to handle anything thrown at you because of a comfort level that results from constant exposure to the UNKNOWN.

If someone had you run the same hunt test series 100 times, you'd get good at it because you know that ONE test. The second they threw a new test at you, more than likely your nerves would be somewhat on edge.

I don't know how else to explain it...

But people who run dogs to tons and tons of memory stuff tend to have dogs with problems like anxiety, popping, and low momentum on cold blinds. You can see it every day in posts on all the retriever boards. Very rarely, if you did your homework, should you have major problems on your first cold blinds.

I'm just talking from my personal experience with dogs we've trained and people we've coached. And the advice and experience of the mentors we learn from.

Beyond that, someone else may have a completely opposite experience. I'm just sharing what I've learned first-hand.

-Kristie
 
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Discussion Starter #15
kristie,
Now this may be bordering on "PM worthy" dialogue but do you think it's reasonable to make "confidence" comparisons as in your human/handler "100 HT" illustration to dawgs and what builds confidence in them? Almost sounds a litl' like anthromorphism? If anything to the contrary I would say running a young dawg (after "transition"?) on many "cold blinds" with numerous casts/handles/corrections/moving up etc would tend to create "popping" and a "pigish" attitude (depending on the dawgs natural drive?) Yes, ultimately a dawg will have to be weaned off of familiar pattern blinds in the field but with much confidence and here's the key point but only after having run many, many PB's in various land/water settings. I do understand your reasoning but I respectfully don't believe it applies to our working retrievers....perhaps it didn't to ole' DL either?
Dave
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Anonymous said:
kristie,
Now this may be bordering on "PM worthy" dialogue but do you think it's reasonable to make "confidence" comparisons as in your human/handler "100 HT" illustration to dawgs and what builds confidence in them? Almost sounds a litl' like anthromorphism? [snip] I do understand your reasoning but I respectfully don't believe it applies to our working retrievers....perhaps it didn't to ole' DL either?
Dave
***I'm the last person to anthropormorphise... All I did was find an analogy that was similar to how dogs view cold blinds to provide something people could relate to. It was simply an appropriate analogy.

I don't know how many dogs you've trained. But when you've physically, hands-on worked with a large number, from basics into transitioning them to cold blinds, you'd see that the analogy is fitting.

Following Mike Lardy's program, I have never had a confidence problem moving dogs to cold blinds. Occasionally, a dog is confused on the first few, but it's usually over with within a few sets of blinds. So why would I want to stay there? I want them to learn teamwork and trust. Doing things they already know just increases monotony and creates independence. That's reason number one that once a dog has mastered a task in yardwork (including pattern blinds), you move on. I don't see any reason to set up more than the one set of pattern blinds they'll run for 5-10 days in training. After that, we're into some drills that involve some taught blinds. But even the transition between these drills and cold blinds is very rarely more than 10-14 training days.

We just seem to train very differently. My views are based on my personal experience in training a lot of dogs and my understanding of those whose methods I follow.

-Kristie
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Pattern blinds & confidence

I feel like issues are getting crossed in this discussion, and possibly creating an argument that isn?t necessarily making the answers any clearer. It doesn?t look as though anyone is suggesting that pattern blinds make a dog more confident about running cold blinds. I believe that a dog does gain confidence in fundamental skills that pertain to running blinds and handling by doing the basic drills enough to strengthen their familiarity with them.

Running pattern blinds solidifies the basic elements of lining by familiarizing a dog with the cues and performing the acts of doing it, and gives a developing dog confidence that complying with those commands and cues will result in a successful retrieve. The same can be said for T work; it doesn?t make a developing dog a finished handling dog, it teaches them the nuts and bolts of handling so they can be better prepared to advance toward that end.

The original question contained a statement that indicated that this was a dog in transition: ?Dog runs established pattern blinds of about 125yrds with little handling, maybe 2 cast's, and sometimes no cast's. Put him on a cold blind of about 100yrds and he sometimes will pop, or if there is something along the way like a piece of paper he'll stop to check it out and then sit and look back for help.? In response to that scenario it seems reasonable to at least suspect that this dog isn?t quite prepared to be running cold blinds. If that isn?t so, please provide more information that explains why you are still running pattern blinds.

If your dog is still in transition, and is showing a lack of confidence about the fundamental components of blind running, there may be something to gain from running pattern blinds ? especially longer ones. They won?t create a confident cold blind running dog, but can help to create a better attitude toward blinds in general. You?re getting popping and a lack of momentum. Both are commonly the result of a lack of confidence. I?m not suggesting that pattern blinds are the only approach, but that they may help with this considering the point of development your dog is at.

I agree with Peake in that pattern blinds promote confidence because they create an environment in which there are expectable outcomes for them. They know the rules, and frequently meet with success. That?s why they have value.

I also believe in short cold blinds early on, like the type involved in Tune-up drills. Multiple short blinds that allow a dog to hone his/her skills through repetition without the deteriorating effects of distance promote confidence in a dog with basic skills.

Evan
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Confidence in pattern work isn't what I want from my dogs or the dogs I train. I want confidence in teamwork and a good attitude fostered from fair training.

Maybe I have a magic wand or something because I don't do a lot of pattern work. I get out of it as soon as I can. And the majority of the dogs I train run hard and fast and cast easily.

Like I said, I'm just doing what works for me and what I've been taught. And from a behavior perspective, it makes sense that you don't build and gain confidence in *cold situations* from repeating known tasks. It only reinforces that it's most comfortable when they know it's there. The only way that you build confidence in cold situations is to work in cold situations.

Our outer pb's are about 160 and our middle pb is about 210. Initial cold blinds are rarely less than 120. I've never had a major problem with distance being problematic with a young dog. If it becomes an issue, I simply walk out 50 or so yards to make it easier on them. But they're still responsible for going the distance.

I just can't imagine wasting so much unnecessary time on pattern work. But, like I said, we train differently. I'm just offering a different perspective that works for me and apparently for others.

-Kristie
 

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Are you still there?

So, Sean?

Since I was replying to you in the first place, is your dog in early ? mid ? late transition? If you are as far along as Tune-up drills, did you notice that those blinds are rather short and simple on the Lardy and Carr/Rorem videos? Is this the sort of thing you?re doing right now, or are you just venturing into cold blinds of any description?

I?m attempting to be of help, Sean, but don?t have quite enough info.

Evan
 
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Re: Are you still there?

Evan said:
So, Sean?

Since I was replying to you in the first place, is your dog in early ? mid ? late transition? If you are as far along as Tune-up drills, did you notice that those blinds are rather short and simple on the Lardy and Carr/Rorem videos? Is this the sort of thing you?re doing right now, or are you just venturing into cold blinds of any description?

I?m attempting to be of help, Sean, but don?t have quite enough info.

Evan
Mike Lardy doesn't have tune-up drills as part of his transition program.

-Kristie
 
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