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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have dry eye from reading the rule book about Derby FT's ... Would one have to consider "cheating marks" with the water? I've only played the HT game but am very interested in running my new girl with the "real dogs." LOL :lol:

I just read A LOT and I am not concerned about distance, style, marking ability, line manners, or doubles ... just a CHEATING puppy.
 

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Yes, you can expect cheaty water marks. Distances that rival AA marks, that are tight & take full advantage of the terrain, wind & cover are not unusal (especially the 2nd land & 2nd water series). Notwithstanding that the derby is a marking test, straight lines & pinned marks win.
 

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Yes

Derby marks are generally placed in spots that the dogs would not normally go. So yes, your dog needs to be pretty honest not just around the water but also around any land obsacles that will come up during the course of a trial. Good luck and don't get discouraged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great advice - Thank you.

I may feel brave this fall. I think I may have landed the girl who gives me the confidence. She's been all I expected and more so far.

Dave D. Perhaps I'll finally run into you this upcoming season. :)
 

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confused

Good derby judges with the right grounds can set up killer tests that don't really encourage cheating.
I'm sure you are making a great point but I am a little confused with that statement. Could you elaborate?
 

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Unfortunately, cheaty marks and training setups seem to be the norm in the derby. Neither one of these necessarily showcase the best marking dogs, usually the most well trained dogs.

Dog A takes a straight line across the corner of a pond, dog B runs around the pond, both dogs pin the mark. In my opinion, dog B was possibly the better marker because it has to remember where the mark is to correct and get there, versus dog A that lined to it. I would score them equally.

At the NTRC trial, we use the open judges for the derby. You generally get quality marks vs training setups this way.

Pete
 

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I may be off base, but I have heard people say the derby is supposed to be a true marking test. A test where there is alot of cheating introduced may lend itself to a more trained dog. In essence a dog that is not neccessarily the best marker may win because of its training. Adequate grounds and factors could allow a test that is a true blue marking venue, but still be able to seperate the pups. I am very new to trials, but this is a common argument that I hear. I have been able to attend and work in several derbies, and I do enjoy how differant all the tests seem to be.
 

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Re: confused

ducktrickster said:
Good derby judges with the right grounds can set up killer tests that don't really encourage cheating.
I'm sure you are making a great point but I am a little confused with that statement. Could you elaborate?
I think the derby is about marking not being trained to stay in the water. Sometimes, judges are able to set up tests that a dog could do with little or no decheating training, but the test still has enough teeth because of terrain, wind, placement, etc.
 

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The derby is about 4 series of quality marks that test the field to produce a winner, Judgement of how the dogs retrieve is based on opinions and how one feels about their ideal retrieve.

Cheating around the water is about training, and a dog that flagrantly cheats in avoidance of water demonstrates a lack of courage to challenge an obstacle and a lack of training. Marking being of primary importance means that as a judge you measure how well the dog marked the retrieve and factor in the fact that they are young dogs without alot of training to have awesome entry points into water. Its about not judging lines and measureing the total quality of the retrieve. Pins on birds are great but so are tight hunts and should not be measured any differently.

Charles is right, judges in the derby should look to set up a simpler water test with challenging bird placement that favors a dog with Natural abilities. This favors the well trained dog also though and you will see that it is usually a dog with alot of Natural ability and excellent training the pushes the judges to select a test to determine a winner among tightly spaced dogs. The natural dog with moderate training just simply is overmatched by the judges desire to seperate the field.

Ga Woodrow The "True Marking Test" comes from the propensity of judges to throw simpler tests without retired guns or triples. While they can do this it usually does not occur and that favors a dog without tremendous schooling to handle indented triples, inline marks or short retireed guns or other concepts that can "trick" a novice dog. The truth is that most derby dogs are well schooled in these concepts when they are nearing 2 years old and are almost ready for the Qual.

I respectfully disagree with Pete Marcellus about avoiding water, if we (hypothetically) set up a test where we had dogs that could run around the water and complete the retrieve without failing the test I would scrap the series and look to select a new set of water marks where the dogs would have to take water to complete the retrieve, this can be done by moving the line right infront of the water if needed (i.e. small piece of water). Dogs should be equally tested on land and water, that means that most judges will look for 2 land and 2 water series, and on most grounds the derby is screwed out of good grounds, having the Open judges run the derby means that they have in effect the best of the grounds to use for the derby and their next (or previous) stake has the upmost priority in grounds selection. I understand Pete is looking to illustrate a scenerio that protrays his opinions I just dont feel that it is fair to the dog who does the retrieve and demonstrates higher natural abilities like courage.

For the most part the dogs I have judged in the Derby have been well trained but their have been a handful that I judged that I felt were good dogs and being pushed to fast to compete, I think that this is the kiss of death for them becasue their handlers dont have a high enough standard for the dog, Case in point Diana (last name witheld to protect her identity) was in great shape in the 4th series of a derby I judged and could have placed with the excellent set of marks her dog had completed but on the last retrieve of a water double her dog cootered (non technicial term) out of a big swim and broke for the bank, she picked the dog up rather than let her breakdown, I asked her why and she said that making a FC was her goal and not a derby placement. I have seen alot of handlers make huge mistakes of letting these youngsters creep and break and having a degradation of obedience that I know will haunt them for a long time if not the rest of their career by pushing the dog too fast. A better question is if the novice handler wins a derby by letting his dog avoid water time and time again he is in fact pre-determining the dog for the minor stakes. If they consider that the derby can be a great time to evaluate your training and dogs ability to structure a good training plan to correct the deficiencies of the dogs performance you will have a better dog that can play for a long time in any game.

Please take my comments in stride as none of them were meant to be personal.
 

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I respectfully disagree with Pete Marcellus about avoiding water
Which part do you not agree with, the scoring or which dog was possibly the better marker?



I just dont feel that it is fair to the dog who does the retrieve and demonstrates higher natural abilities like courage
So are you saying that a 1 year old dog that avoids water is showing a lack of courage, not a lack of training? We call them water dogs but it is not in their nature to retrieve game by the slowest method possible. Dogs are land animals, TRAINED to retrieve in/through water by humans.

having the Open judges run the derby means that they have in effect the best of the grounds to use for the derby and their next (or previous) stake has the upmost priority in grounds selection.
Not sure which stake you are saying gets the best grounds by this statement, but the derby still gets last selection at our trial as it is also the last stake run.

For the most part the dogs I have judged in the Derby have been well trained but their have been a handful that I judged that I felt were good dogs and being pushed to fast to compete, I think that this is the kiss of death for them becasue their handlers dont have a high enough standard for the dog, Case in point Diana (last name witheld to protect her identity) was in great shape in the 4th series of a derby I judged and could have placed with the excellent set of marks her dog had completed but on the last retrieve of a water double her dog cootered (non technicial term) out of a big swim and broke for the bank, she picked the dog up rather than let her breakdown, I asked her why and she said that making a FC was her goal and not a derby placement. I have seen alot of handlers make huge mistakes of letting these youngsters creep and break and having a degradation of obedience that I know will haunt them for a long time if not the rest of their career by pushing the dog too fast. A better question is if the novice handler wins a derby by letting his dog avoid water time and time again he is in fact pre-determining the dog for the minor stakes. If they consider that the derby can be a great time to evaluate your training and dogs ability to structure a good training plan to correct the deficiencies of the dogs performance you will have a better dog that can play for a long time in any game
Amen to that!

Pete
 

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Robert,

I don't disagree with your post about what derbies should be - it should be a marking test which can fairly test marking skill among dogs (under age 2) of varying levels of training, however, I took the question to mean what should she expect in a derby stake. That said, I find in my limited derby experiences that straight lines & pinned marks win.
 

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In my experience, some dogs are naturally more focused on the destination, taking obstacles in stride, and tending to go straight in the water (and needing little training to be honest). At the other extreme are the dogs who have a strong natural tendency to cheat. They take a lot of training to get them to go straight, and perhaps an extra amount of forcing in the water. The consequences of the extra training may be that the dog becomes apprehensive about getting out of the water, or goes off line to get into the water, missing marks as a result. Even when trained, the attention these dogs divert to picking their route is taken away from the attention they pay to their marks.

In my opinion, setting marks that reward honesty is in part selecting for the dogs with guts and focus on the marks. Yes, there is training involved, but a big component is the dog's natural "stuff." Also IMO, it's wholly appropriate for Derby tests to be set so as to reward honesty--usually by the dog's success on the mark, not by the judge's pencil.

Dave--how is that yellow Hatch dog doing?

Amy Dahl
 

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no longer confused but......

ducktrickster wrote:
Quote:
Good derby judges with the right grounds can set up killer tests that don't really encourage cheating.


I'm sure you are making a great point but I am a little confused with that statement. Could you elaborate?


I think the derby is about marking not being trained to stay in the water. Sometimes, judges are able to set up tests that a dog could do with little or no decheating training, but the test still has enough teeth because of terrain, wind, placement, etc.
When I speak of cheating, I don't necessarily mean around water. Cheaty marks, to me, are any marks that have factors that might push a dog off line which includes but definately not limited to
terrain, wind, placement, etc.
On another note, I do not feel like a dog that stays in the water if it is on line to the bird is always the best trained dog. My father had a dog running a derby against some stiff competition which included the high point derby dog that year, Showtime, and 6 others that were already on the list. This pup of my dads, which turned one year old the day of the trial hung with the big dogs that weekend through 3 tough series and nudged ahead to win the trial because she decided to stay in the water on a 350 yard shoreline mark. Now please don't tell me that this 12 month old puppy did that because she had more or better training. BTW, this was my dad's first field trial dog and he did all of her training.

To me, it all adds up to the dog with the best marking ability and the determination to fight the factors regardless of what those factors are.
 

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Oh yeah!

I would also like to mention that it has been 6 years since I've run a field trial and I just got a puppy out of the above mentioned puppy and Patton.
Can't wait to get back into the game.
 

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In my opinion, setting marks that reward honesty is in part selecting for the dogs with guts and focus on the marks. Yes, there is training involved, but a big component is the dog's natural "stuff." Also IMO, it's wholly appropriate for Derby tests to be set so as to reward honesty--usually by the dog's success on the mark, not by the judge's pencil.
One of the gutsiest dogs I've ever seen is also the biggest water cheat I've ever seen and he's also one of the best markers I've ever seen. I'm not so sure that his water cheating style is a lack of guts or focus. Perhaps he is an anomaly. I agree that some dogs are more prone to get in and/or stay in water than others.

Pete
 

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Pete Marcellus said:
Unfortunately, cheaty marks and training setups seem to be the norm in the derby. Neither one of these necessarily showcase the best marking dogs, usually the most well trained dogs.

Dog A takes a straight line across the corner of a pond, dog B runs around the pond, both dogs pin the mark. In my opinion, dog B was possibly the better marker because it has to remember where the mark is to correct and get there, versus dog A that lined to it. I would score them equally.



Pete
I agree. If a derby test is going to include a cheaty mark, it should be setup in such a manner that the cheating route is going to put the dog in a position that it can't easily come up with the bird.

If the dog can easily cheat and get the bird, it is a poorly designed test IMO.

Jeff
 

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Pete Marcellus said:
One of the gutsiest dogs I've ever seen is also the biggest water cheat I've ever seen and he's also one of the best markers I've ever seen. I'm not so sure that his water cheating style is a lack of guts or focus. Perhaps he is an anomaly. I agree that some dogs are more prone to get in and/or stay in water than others.

Pete
Yes, we've seen and trained dogs like that, too. John calls them "high speed cheaters." With the ones we've had, by catching it early and letting the dog know he's not going to get there by going around (old-time conventional decheating) we've gotten them going straight with little effort or pressure, and they've tended to be excellent water dogs. I would expect that if they were allowed to cheat for very long, it would become a hard habit to break.

We had one like that, a few years back, "Bart." I remember our assistant capsizing a rowboat trying to fend him off the shore with an oar (it didn't succeed--he ran all the way around, and it was pretty funny). Later he aced the toughest water marks John or I have ever seen in a Derby.

Amy
 

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Granddaddy said:
Yes, you can expect cheaty water marks. Distances that rival AA marks, that are tight & take full advantage of the terrain, wind & cover are not unusal (especially the 2nd land & 2nd water series). Notwithstanding that the derby is a marking test, straight lines & pinned marks win.
Color it any way you want, but Granddaddy speaks the truth.

Hey Pete, I'll bet that nice young yeller dawg of yours is de-cheated to the max. Am I wrong?

fp
 
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