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All, I have a dog that has a tremendous amount of talent, but struggles, or really has not yet honored at a hunt test successfully. Does anyone know of a way to correct a dog does not honor at hunt tests but not field trials?
 

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The only thing that pops into my head is a group training day/fun hunt test where you can give corrections. I've read on here where you have someone, who knows what they're doing, behind the dog with a heeling stick and you run the dog. Any movement of butt not on the ground gets a correction. You might want to step back and take a real close look at what your dog is doing in training. Are you letting a little sloppiness slide or creeping?

Also, do you let your dog go ahead and get the birds at the test or what happens. You might have to pick the dog up, but that would be hard if you're honoring after you run.

Just some thoughts.
 

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Are you saying your dog will honor at a field trial, but will break on honor at a hunt test?

I train in a group and honor on most set ups from the time the pup is doing marks in the field. I follow a set routine that lets the dog know he will not retrieve.
I start with the cue "no bird" and give a good hard sit command. I do not give the "mark" cue as I do when the dog will retrieve. And obviously, there is no hand down for the send, which is the final cue given before sending on a mark.
In a field trial or AKC HT training, I stand sideways to dog and stare a hole in him. I correct with a heeling stick or ecollar for any movement or noise (I have a lead on young dogs and sort of traffic cop them early on).

In an HRC hunt test, my routine starts with the same "no bird" cue and hard sit. Duck call is minimal to start test, gun is immediately open breach, on safe, and between my legs with the butt of gun on ground. When I send for retrieve in HRC, I never rack the gun, until the dog is well on way to bird.

These consistent routines repeated over and over from a puppy communicate to the dog whether or not they will retrieve. Also You can speak quietly to the dog while on honor in a hunt test. I try not to use that unless I see the dog get antsy because you can't talk in a FT.
 

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Just repeated training in a group. Have the dog sit and watch others run their dog. No movement is accepted. Correct fairly and be sure he understands what is the expectation. If your dog breaks get after him especially if you have shown him what is expected.
My Tar, felt at 1 1/2 yo every bird was his. He broke at a Finished HRC and I stopped testing to straighten this out. For me, I used a buzz on my Dogtra if I needed to to correct. And maybe a nick. I also spoke really sternly to him. He is a sensitive dog to speach especially if you raise your voice. We also used a crop on his butt if he was not sitting. I also used "no bird" cue and stay. I did rack the gun in HRC and said " open and safe" and then "no bird " cue again. Sit means sit. Don't really try to run him in the tests again until you believe he is corrected. It will only get you more disappointed and maybe in a bigger hole. And get help if you need to. Good luck.
 

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Here is an up-to-date page describing a process of teaching/fixing steadiness. This link offers many entries/updates starting from about 2006 to the present. It is important to note that after re-establishing the expectation, maintenance is required.

There is often a huge difference between initially establishing the proper expectation and fixing.

"The Hide Steady" Drill (link)

This is not a brief "read".
 

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Live shackled bird, popper gun, handler, dog, "judge" behind dog with a heeling stick. If dog flinches, handler says "Sit" and "judge" uses heeling stick. Once he sits for 2-3 seconds, release him to get the bird. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary until steady and then go to maintenance.
 

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Live shackled bird, popper gun, handler, dog, "judge" behind dog with a heeling stick. If dog flinches, handler says "Sit" and "judge" uses heeling stick. Once he sits for 2-3 seconds, release him to get the bird. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary until steady and then go to maintenance.
I bet Jimmy almost exploded. He is coming along well if you are doing that sucessfully. When I start training again we need to get together.
Mark Land
 
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