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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dog that is very confident with her marks and is rock solid on the line the issue I am having is you never know what dog you are going to get when it comes time to run the blind. IMO I believe she is lacking confidence I may be wrong not sure. She currently is 2 passes from her master title and also has finished passes but we still have issues on the blinds. Any tip's, Tricks or suggestions would be helpful. Thanks RTF family.
 

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Stop running tests for a while, and run lots of marks - with real birds as often as possible. Instead of cold blinds alone, lean toward drill work like Gradient blinds, and allow the dog to roll rather than to nitpick for the next couple weeks at least. Build a positive expectation about blinds. A month of this would be even better.

Evan
 

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Are you talking about bugging on line, tentative as she leaves the line, spinning pops right off line, real bad initial lines as if she wants you to stop her and start to handle, then things smooth out? If so do lots of casting drills, wagon wheel, etc, and lots of pattern blinds. Keep it fun and remove pressure except for no-goes.

John
 

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I agree with both of those posts. For the past month and a half, I trained with almost no pressure in order to get the confidence going in my dog. It definitely paid off. I trained most days without even having the collar on her.
 

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What blind training have you done...
Pattern Blinds?
Blind Drills?
Pattern Blinds with Diversions?
Elementary Cold Blinds?

There are several Retrievers ONLINE articles that you can get and read. From memory, one such article talks about blind attitude...

Even dogs with great blind attiitudes should get a fair percentage (20%) of walk around (walk a circuitous route around the field with the dog and drop bumpers at 3-5 blind locations), memory blinds (have been run before but not for the past week or two), etc.

Dogs with poor blind attitudes should get a high percentage (80%) of these type blinds.

The dogs will think they know where the blinds are, so they will likely run with confidence from the start.

Other tips...
Don't try to fine line the dog. Get him pointed in the right general direction and kick him off.
Let the dog run. If you get a little too much cast, don't be so quick to stop him. Let the dog enjoy the cast for a bit.
Try to find a field that isn't flat. Best field will have a slight valley to run across. Gets the dog looking at the far horizon at a the destination where as a very flat field the dog is just looking at the cover right in front of him.

Some folks refer to any blind that you have run before as a pattern blind. I call blinds run in the past, memory blinds. A pattern blind is one where you repeat the same leg several times in a single session until you can line it, then add a second leg and do the same, etc. Once I start running cold blinds, I don't return to true pattern blinds and don't repeat the same blind in a given training session. Some will say that returning to the pattern blind builds confidence because the dog will run hard to the known destination. Lardy says in the TRT DVD that returning to the pattern blinds may have the opposite affect as it will proovide a stark contrast between a cold blind and running to the known destination of the pattern blind.

If you follow the Retrievers ONLINE advice of running walkaround and memory blinds a good percentage of the time, and if you don't sweat the line and let the dog run a bit after taking your casts, I believe you will see the improvement you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have gone through a lot of drills with her the only issue I am having is her comitment the last 15 to 20 yards she seems to be getting right there and then I end up losing her because she seems too nervous or maybe overly excited then blows me off. I have done marks with her up the butt and she does really well. All around she is a really good dog just seems to lose it right at the end. Also I use real birds every day with her on marks and bumpers on blinds 98% of the time. More birds on blinds?
 

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I have gone through a lot of drills with her the only issue I am having is her comitment the last 15 to 20 yards she seems to be getting right there and then I end up losing her because she seems too nervous or maybe overly excited then blows me off. I have done marks with her up the butt and she does really well. All around she is a really good dog just seems to lose it right at the end. Also I use real birds every day with her on marks and bumpers on blinds 98% of the time. More birds on blinds?
A lack of confidence is generally seen in the way the dog leaves the line when sent. You say she runs a good blind until near the end, I don't think that is a confidence issue and would be dealt with differently than a dog that is slow to go or won't go, is cautious and slow from the start, bugs at the line, etc.

What do you mean by blows you off...

Does she not take casts or freeze when you cast?

Does she autocast near the end?

Does she not stop on the whistle near the end?

Does she go into hunt mode near the end?

For these issues, I go back to pile work. Then trasition to BB blinds before returning to cold blinds.
 

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I have gone through a lot of drills with her the only issue I am having is her comitment the last 15 to 20 yards she seems to be getting right there and then I end up losing her because she seems too nervous or maybe overly excited then blows me off. I have done marks with her up the butt and she does really well. All around she is a really good dog just seems to lose it right at the end. Also I use real birds every day with her on marks and bumpers on blinds 98% of the time. More birds on blinds?
The last 15 to 20 of how many yards generally?

Gradient blinds are just a multiple land blind drill that can be used to build and strengthen a multitude of factor profiencey. It looks like this.



It gives you many chances to keep his lining and handling skills sharp without leaning on pressure.

"Leave something in it for the dog." ~ Rex Carr

Evan
 

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What blind training have you done...
Pattern Blinds?
Blind Drills?
Pattern Blinds with Diversions?
Elementary Cold Blinds?

There are several Retrievers ONLINE articles that you can get and read. From memory, one such article talks about blind attitude...

Even dogs with great blind attiitudes should get a fair percentage (20%) of walk around (walk a circuitous route around the field with the dog and drop bumpers at 3-5 blind locations), memory blinds (have been run before but not for the past week or two), etc.

Dogs with poor blind attitudes should get a high percentage (80%) of these type blinds.

The dogs will think they know where the blinds are, so they will likely run with confidence from the start.

Other tips...
Don't try to fine line the dog. Get him pointed in the right general direction and kick him off.
Let the dog run. If you get a little too much cast, don't be so quick to stop him. Let the dog enjoy the cast for a bit.
Try to find a field that isn't flat. Best field will have a slight valley to run across. Gets the dog looking at the far horizon at a the destination where as a very flat field the dog is just looking at the cover right in front of him.

Some folks refer to any blind that you have run before as a pattern blind. I call blinds run in the past, memory blinds. A pattern blind is one where you repeat the same leg several times in a single session until you can line it, then add a second leg and do the same, etc. Once I start running cold blinds, I don't return to true pattern blinds and don't repeat the same blind in a given training session. Some will say that returning to the pattern blind builds confidence because the dog will run hard to the known destination. Lardy says in the TRT DVD that returning to the pattern blinds may have the opposite affect as it will proovide a stark contrast between a cold blind and running to the known destination of the pattern blind.

If you follow the Retrievers ONLINE advice of running walkaround and memory blinds a good percentage of the time, and if you don't sweat the line and let the dog run a bit after taking your casts, I believe you will see the improvement you are looking for.
Great advice,

This is pretty much what I do with my two dogs. After working technical work with our pro for a couple of days I like to take my dogs to the valley near my house. The dogs know the area and it is easy to utilized the memory blinds, after the pressure of the technical work the memory blinds really seem to build the dogs back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What I mean by blowing me off is her going into a hunt mode. She sits to the whistle well but then yes she auto casts and hunts. This seems to happen in blinds from 100 yards and up. I can tell when she is going to do it because you can see her head start moving and not staying focused on me. I have tried slowing my casts down to try and make her be more patient I have also tried to speed up casts in hopes that would help correct it. So tonight I decided to run her on a simple T pattern in short grass out to about 60 yards using orange bumpers and she took every cast perfect was very focused and seemed relaxed. This session I did at a nice slow easy pace.
 

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The last 15 to 20 of how many yards generally?

Gradient blinds are just a multiple land blind drill that can be used to build and strengthen a multitude of factor profiencey. It looks like this.



It gives you many chances to keep his lining and handling skills sharp without leaning on pressure.

"Leave something in it for the dog." ~ Rex Carr

Evan
evan in that drawing how far apart are the bumpers? and are you handling enough to be SURE they get to each bumper in the line. is that a "confidence" to GO drill or a "handling" drill? looks more like a handling drill.
 

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What I mean by blowing me off is her going into a hunt mode. She sits to the whistle well but then yes she auto casts and hunts. This seems to happen in blinds from 100 yards and up. I can tell when she is going to do it because you can see her head start moving and not staying focused on me. I have tried slowing my casts down to try and make her be more patient I have also tried to speed up casts in hopes that would help correct it. So tonight I decided to run her on a simple T pattern in short grass out to about 60 yards using orange bumpers and she took every cast perfect was very focused and seemed relaxed. This session I did at a nice slow easy pace.
When I see this, I blow the sit whistle and then I move up to at least 30 to 40 yards from dog and give cast. Your dog needs to trust you and it is not there yet. It will be ,but it does take time. JMO...
 

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What I mean by blowing me off is her going into a hunt mode. She sits to the whistle well but then yes she auto casts and hunts. This seems to happen in blinds from 100 yards and up. I can tell when she is going to do it because you can see her head start moving and not staying focused on me. I have tried slowing my casts down to try and make her be more patient I have also tried to speed up casts in hopes that would help correct it. So tonight I decided to run her on a simple T pattern in short grass out to about 60 yards using orange bumpers and she took every cast perfect was very focused and seemed relaxed. This session I did at a nice slow easy pace.
I would start well within her range of being successful and stretch her out gradually. Evan's drill would work nicely for that. If the problem starts showing up at 100 yards, make the first blind 90 or even 80 yards. You want it to be really easy for her to do the right thing. As you go left across the blinds the line will get longer. Each next blind should be just a little farther, you want her thinking "It's gotta be right here, just a little farther," not, "Gee I've been running for a long time maybe I missed it."
 

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evan in that drawing how far apart are the bumpers? and are you handling enough to be SURE they get to each bumper in the line. is that a "confidence" to GO drill or a "handling" drill? looks more like a handling drill.
10-15 paces apart, one bumper at each position. How much I handle depends on the dog's blind attitude. If he's rolling hard with a good attitude, yes, I'll handle to each one. If he needs confidence I don't really care which one he gets for a while. Let him roll, have fun, and get praised for doing it!

Evan
 

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In the gradient drill, it is those type of tight lines that cause my dog to leave the line slowly and have no confidence. I am having the same problem trying to teach angle entries into the water. If I let her go in where she wants, she just gets in the water very fat and off line and then I have to handle as soon as she is in the water, which is not good. Otherwise, I am having to handle within a 10-15 ft of the line to get her to take the correct line into the water. After a few of those, she starts bugging or going out at a slow trot, sometimes looking over her shoulder. I alternate those types of blinds with straight entries and shorter, simplier blinds, but so far I am not having much luck with this. She will take the correct line on a mark thrown to the same spot. I have thought about remote handling her into the water to remove the pressure from being beside me.

Another blind question - for scalloping issues, when do you correct? And by correct, I mean collar pressure. My girl is 4 yrs old, just starting MH. I use attrition for most cast refusals, but find I am having to do this multiple times and not getting the cast I am looking for right away. I try to err on giving the dog the benefit of the doubt, but more and more I feel I am being hoodwinked by her at times.
 

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In the gradient drill, it is those type of tight lines that cause my dog to leave the line slowly and have no confidence.
Widen them out. Make them wide enough so the tightness has a little effect but not much. Set up different ones, tighten some when she's going well, loosen when she's showing difficulty, she'll get better with more work.

I am having the same problem trying to teach angle entries into the water
Set up an angle entry tune up drill. 6-8 short blinds around a pond you can back away from. Start close to the water and repeat the same drill every day backing away from the pond as the dog learns the drill. Do the same drill every day for a week and probably repeat the week after. After she has been smooth on this pond with this tune up for several days go to another pond and set up another one. Rinse and repeat. You'll be surprised how well she's doing after a month of this.

or scalloping issues, when do you correct? And by correct, I mean collar pressure.
For blatant dig backs I correct as soon as I read it with a correction the first time. For scalloping after she's carried the cast for a bit I stop as soon as I read the scallop. I do not burn if I've read effort in the dog, and what is pretty damn good for one dog may not be effort at all for another dog. This also goes back to literal casting and what your standards are and have been.

In general, it sounds like your dog hasn't had a good foundation of basics and transition.
 

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Thanks Howard. Sounds like I need to back up and re-visit some things. Part of the problem is lack of consistent training as I can only get out 2-3 days a week with my current work schedule. Her transition training has been more haphazard that it should have been. As always, your advice is very helpful.

Dawn
 
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