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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you consider as a contrary mark? Do you think marks can be contrary? Please give explaination with your answer. Just looking for information and opinions. Never can know enough in this game.
 

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Hi Clay,

The generally accepted definition of a "contrary mark" is a mark set up in such a way that it would be contrary to normal training. Two examples I can think of both relate to water;

Take a "two down the shore" swim past the gun to pick up the bird set-up, but instead throw one or both birds in toward the line. In this case a dog that beached early would be rewarded with the bird, while a dog that fought the factor and swam past the gun would lose the mark. That's one of the reasons I don't like "two down the shore" set ups in a field trial, I can't judge whether the dog is an excellent marker or just a very disciplined swimmer.

Another example would be a long cheating mark where rather than have the gun stand at the corner of the pond and throw the bird behind the pond a bit, so the true line to the bird would be into the water with a long swim down the shore, it is reversed so that the gunner is standing behind the pond but throwing back toward the corner so that the true line is a quick run on land down the shore.

In each case a completely untrained dog would do a very good job, while a well trained dog with conscience would struggle to do the "right" thing. Diagrams would help, but I hope you get it from my descriptions.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do get those descriptions. Thanks for replying. I was talking with my training partner and we were discussing this and I just wondered what others may consider contrary or not.
 

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The one that comes to my mind is the one where the mark is thrown at or near the waters edge with the dog running some distance on land ... Steve S
 

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We call that a dirty bird. A mark landing before a piece of water. John described what the group I train with would call a contrary mark.
Walt
a "dirty bird" means something TOTALLY different to me, has nothing to do with dog training;)
 

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I hate contrary marks. We ask so much of these dogs & then we try to undo their solid training with a gimmicky/trick/BS test?
Jacob,
You need to have "balance" to your training. For example if we demand that our dog jump in the water whenever they see it, that is not balanced as there are cases where it would be better to scoot by the water.
Try this at your favorite pond and see if you can get your dog to run on land to a simple mark.
This mark is 50 yards. Run the water mark first(Red) and the land mark second (Green).
Will dog run on land all the way to the second mark or jump into the water right away?

Leaf


You could do something very similar as a land blind run close to shore with a poison bird that draws dog to the water. Line to blind does not include water.
 

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I appreciate your input & diagrams. It would probably help some folks out there. I'll agree with having balance in training 100%, but you'll never sale me on contrary marks.

Maybe one of these days I'll find a dog worth it's food bill. I'll keep plugging away & sending my dogs through the same program.
 

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Well OK.
But like your NO chef Justin Wilson used to say "I guarantee" if you hang with Mr Dan you gonna see sum stuff.
 

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Contrary; (definition) opposed in nature or character or purpose. i was taught that contrary marks were two guns of equal distance throwing in the opposite direction. i suppose differnt trainers have different definitions
GG
 

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As Breck said balance is the key... I would like for it to be that a mark, rather than a trained response is the reason the dogs ended up with the birds.

john
 

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Jacob,
You need to have "balance" to your training. For example if we demand that our dog jump in the water whenever they see it, that is not balanced as there are cases where it would be better to scoot by the water.
Try this at your favorite pond and see if you can get your dog to run on land to a simple mark.
This mark is 50 yards. Run the water mark first(Red) and the land mark second (Green).
Will dog run on land all the way to the second mark or jump into the water right away?

View attachment 7455


You could do something very similar as a land blind run close to shore with a poison bird that draws dog to the water. Line to blind does not include water.
I agree with you on this and while we don't train a lot on running by water, we do so enough to make the dogs comfortable with it so they'll take the straightest line possible to the mark. Which is really the point of good training. But, what you've shown is a lot different than throwing a mark in front of water. I saw a junior test where the line was at the top of a side hill, BIG pond at the bottom of the hill so the dogs were looking out at a vast expanse of water. The mark was thrown so the dogs had to run down hill and stop about 5 feet before the waters edge for the bird. Not a mark I would want to see for junior dogs at a test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the responses. Some things I have noted through this thread. One, I personally don't like to show dog water and not let him get in it. Two, a trained response is something I look for in my dogs, hence the reason we decheat. For a dog to take a small corner of water when in his mind it is much quicker to go around it is a trained response, and without it you might not get called back to next series. Three, balance is the key to good dog training, but I don't think that involves throwing marks that undo good training. Now what they do at a test/trial we have no control over, you just have to hope the dog can use what he has and what you trained him to have and pull it out. How about indented marks? Does any one consider them contrary? And again, thanks for the responses, no hidden agenda's at all, just looking to learn from people that train hard and have experienced more than myself.
 

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john fallon said:
As Breck said balance is the key... I would like to for it to be that a mark rather than a trained response is the reason the dogs ended up with the birds.

john
What? The English Language eludes you yet again regards.
 

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What? The English Language eludes you yet again regards.
One too many to's in the sentence.

Sorry for the typo, the post should read..."I would like for it to be that a mark, rather than a trained response is the reason the dogs ended up with the birds."
Thanks for pointing it out

I have now corrected it in the original post. Perhaps you still don't agree with the posted thought(?). If so. why not ?

What is the plural of to ;) regards

john
 

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contrary marks

One too many to's in the sentence.

Sorry for the typo, the post should read..."I would like for it to be that a mark, rather than a trained response is the reason the dogs ended up with the birds."
Thanks for pointing it out

I have now corrected it in the original post. Perhaps you still don't agree with the posted thought(?). If so. why not ?

What is the plural of to ;) regards

john
Could you give some examples or more info in explaining your statement....? Thanks...Steve S
 

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I think it is funny when people say they don't like contrary marks. It is basically saying, I have trained my dog to do a handful of things and don't deviate from those things. I thought the point of a retriever was to watch a bird fall then run/swim a straight line to the bird regardless of where it is. I think FT have gotten really bad at this. I see the same set ups over and over again. Rather than change it up judges just make the marks longer and longer.
 

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Jacob,
You need to have "balance" to your training. For example if we demand that our dog jump in the water whenever they see it, that is not balanced as there are cases where it would be better to scoot by the water.
Try this at your favorite pond and see if you can get your dog to run on land to a simple mark.
This mark is 50 yards. Run the water mark first(Red) and the land mark second (Green).
Will dog run on land all the way to the second mark or jump into the water right away?

View attachment 7455


You could do something very similar as a land blind run close to shore with a poison bird that draws dog to the water. Line to blind does not include water.
X2!! Unfortunately you do have to train for contrary marks and blinds. You see them at trials and tests every weekend.

Angie
 

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I think it is funny when people say they don't like contrary marks. It is basically saying, I have trained my dog to do a handful of things and don't deviate from those things. I thought the point of a retriever was to watch a bird fall then run/swim a straight line to the bird regardless of where it is. I think FT have gotten really bad at this. I see the same set ups over and over again. Rather than change it up judges just make the marks longer and longer.

We need a "like" button!
 
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