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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me explain my problem. I have a high charging dog that I am having trouble getting from the holding blind to the line. She is 2 1/2 years old YLF and has her HRCH and SH working on her Master. Once on the line she is fine, no creeping, sits and heels fine, but she wants to beat me to the line. I can walk very slow and give her the heel command and she wants to not listen and head for the line. I can stop or command heel and she will come back to the heel position but then get out in front again. This continues in a ping pong effect until I can finally get her to the line. Some days are better than others. Also, it seems that the first test / series she runs it is a lot tighter, however as the test continues on thru the weekend it gets worse. I am looking for suggestions on how to work on this problem. Her obedience away from a test is very solid. If I command heel or snap my finger to the side of my leg I want her to heel to she will heel with her head no further than even with my knee. I can do figure eights, circles, backwards etc... and she will stick by me like glue. She will even do this at a test as long as I am not walking from the holding blind to the line. She does not leave her box / crate until I say so. She does not eat until I release her. Same for Here except when walking from the holding blind to the line. She goes deaf! I take her to parks, shopping centers, around the neighborhood with the kids outside playing, places where there are crowds with people, dogs etc.. (on and off lead where I can get by with it) and she does great. I have been trying to find situations where her excitement will prevail and I can get some type of correction in. I can take her to training days our club has and I can not get her to produce the problem. I also leave her with a pro trainer friend of mine during the week and he is also working on trying to fix this problem. He sometimes trains with other trainers, but she will heel like an angel during their training setups. Our club has had mock hunt test on some of the same grounds as there have been hunt tests on and she did not fall for it. Heeled by my side the whole time. I am looking for any ideas on what I can do to try and fix this. Would it do any good if I go to the next hunt test and when she gets out in front tell her NO and put her back on the truck? Based on that I would get 4 No's for the entire test during the weekend and head home. Would this type of correction really suffice? Would she really get the message that not heeling to the line will not get you the bird? Should I not run her at all for awhile and try to find some way or something that will cause her to want not to heel at my side since getting the bird is a reward.

Does anyone know of any good mock trials or picnic trials coming up that I can take her to?

Thanks in advance for any help that you may provide.

Bill
 

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I would set up a holding blind 50-75 yards from the line and have Arturo yell, holler, throw the bird up in the air, swing it around, whatever he could think of while I SLOWLY walked the dog up, correcting whether the dog got in front of me or not.

Jerry
 

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Bill,
I know of at least 1 person on here that has done exactly what you have described.I have seen Brevard Arndt, take his dog to the line and sit down on the bucket and the dog stand up and he put the leash on him and thanked the judges and walked off. He may can tell you if he saw any improvment.
 

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In training, with all my dogs, I make them sit in the blind (kennel command) and then I walk backwards out of the blind at least 10 yards, then heel forward slowly to the line. In training if they jump ahead of me, its back to the blind. Doing this from the time they are young helps set the tone, stay with me or else. Even my Cosmo pups have learned to stay fairly close.

/Paul
 

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Bill,

This kind of problem tends to only get worse, as I guess you have discovered. Short of being able to mimic the same conditions in training you may only have the option of putting you dog back in the truck at a test. Not allowing the dog to make the retrieve can be the greatest form of correction for these types of dogs. Do you have a local club that has training days/club tests where you could run you dog in the collar and/or make corrections? When I was active in OVRC they had club trials where dogs could be run out of contention and collars/corrections could be made. Short of this a smart dog knows the difference.

Are you just looking to complete a MH or do you plan to continue to run your dog after titling? This may change your decision somewhat.

Have fun with your dog,

Tom
 

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I try to set up the holding blind every time I train. When I get the dog out I make them sit in the blind while I do whatever to get ready then make the dog heel slowly to the line. I also turn and walk away from the blind initially rather than going around the corner of the blind to the line, almost as if walking away from the line, not too far just a few feet, but I find that the dog is more calm walking away than it is going around the blind to see what is in front of it.
 

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Debthomas said:
Bill,
I know of at least 1 person on here that has done exactly what you have described.I have seen Brevard Arndt, take his dog to the line and sit down on the bucket and the dog stand up and he put the leash on him and thanked the judges and walked off. He may can tell you if he saw any improvment.
Well, after a while it worked some of the time. Abe, now retired, would do better when I only ran him about two months apart, and then only one stake a weekend. Single stake only no double stake. Before Deb saw him I went to 5 or 6 straight NAHRA tests and he did not even get to the line. He was an incorigable creeper, up to 15 feet, and in many cases re-heeled himself.

He settled down a bit after he was 9 or so years old. He is test wise, and collar wise. You can not "set' him up for a correction in training. I can only remember being able to get a good correction in training once. It was a thing with me and me alone, pros training him or handling him had no problems with him

My advice would be to limit drastically the number of times you run your dog at hunt tests.

Also, you need to train with a holding blind and a mat. Walk your dog to the holding blind on lead, just as you would at a hunt test. Then, if you have help, have them call the dog to the line. You want to remove the lead before they call the dog to the line. You should get the dog under control by what ever means necessary and you are comfortable with before the call is made. In other words get your dog accustomed to having the loop taken from her head without her jerking it out. If she does, just put it back on her and walk back to your vehicle and start over again. Then after the lead is removed and she stays calm, have your helper call "dog to the line",

As you walk to the line watch your dog continously, at any sign of "forging ahead" correct her if she does. You may even walk backward while heeling her back to the blind if she tries to forge ahead. I have seen Al Arthur heel a dog in a 360 between the holding blind and the line mat. All to gain control over a high spirited dog.

And, if you watch her carefully, she just may be raising her rump off the ground while the birds are being thrown. Watch and have your helper watch, and just as soon as there is air under her correct her with a nick and a verbal sit. You must maintain the same high standards as the pro does. With Abe, if I gave an inch in obdience, he felt that it was okay to take three or four miles. He taught me alot, including some new words to my vocabulary. :roll:

I stayed after him and was planning on finishing up his MH this spring and fall, but a recent visit to the Vet revealed a condition that could have fatal results if he is exercised heavily. So just short of his 12th birthday he is retired.... but he hasn't changed.

Good luck.
 

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Sorry about your problem....I watched my significant other battle this problem with our now 10 yr old for well.....forever. He would rarely heel to the line, sometimes he would forge ahead, do loops around the judges, and one time went half way out into the test and stood on his hind legs to look at the gun stations...... :shock:

Like everyone said...dogs like these you have to hold down tight! (ours was a creeper too on top of it all. Lots of holding blind work helps, mats and lots of no birds/marks if they are bad.

Interesting though was an article I read in Retriever Journal, by Mike Lardy, about a FT dog that would always beat his owner to the line. Mr. Lardy said they would practice by setting the dog up in the holding blind and when called to the line the handler came out and the dog forged to the line. The correction was that the two "judges" (Mr. Lardy being one of them) would stand up and swing thier chairs at and yell at the dog! The concept was to make the line "not so friendly" of course, Mr Lardy did not advocate this, but did say that particular dog would be good usually through most of the next FT. :wink:
 

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Roem's Handling DVD covers this topic very nicely. He suggest exactly what the advice given on here. Use the lead and holding blind in training. The kennel term also which I never thought of. Don't be afraid to go back to the holding blind as many times as it takes.
 

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\

Usually ALL this starts when a dog is young two or less, is trialed or hunt tested too often, gets trial/test wise and it becomes a serious habit, some have stated ALL the dogs career. There are " fixes" for the short term, but, you run out of ideas after awhile. Holding blinds are great, two three , four, or whatever the number. You spend hours of others time trying to create the circus that a trial/test brings. You can shoot lots of flyers, heel a zillion ways out of the blind, have the judges "get the dog" mock rage, have the dog go up sit down and then go back to the holding blind a zillion times. Use wifle bats, duck calls, "audio tapes", and anything else that can be creative to stop the behavior. You can walk up to the line, antics start, thank the judges put the dog on a lead and make your donation to the club. All of the above I have experienced and done over the years with the 9 year old and his mother before him, now deceased. We have trained a number of dogs since and have not had the problem of those two dogs. The REASON, at the slightest indication of line manner issues, vocalization, creeping etc, the dog is pulled from competion and the issues are dealt with. Sometime the dog has not been entered for up to a year, until the issues are resolved. the DERBY is the worst contributor to poor line manners. In the hunt tests the AKC hunt tests with lots of excitement, live flyers, at a very young age does the same thing. I knowthis won't help your current situation, BUT, the next dog you train keep the above in mind!!!

Earl
 

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As you are only getting this behavior at a test it will be very difficult to train for unless you can maximize excitment somehow.
In training sessions:
Do you use flyers?
Do you shoot 12ga poppers?
If you can't shoot flyers can you keep some live birds penned up at the line?

Try locating your training set up on a slope, at very least have your line down hill from the holding blind. These items should get your dog to do in training what it does in a test.

I had a similar problem which fortunately(??) would occur even in training situations, I found it very helpful to command a sit and stay before I exited the HB, then I would walk alone toward the line and call the dog to heel when I reached the line. For lengthy distances from HB to line stop a couple of times using this procedure, if the distance to the line is too great dog may have too big a head of steam to stop in time. I would use a heeling stick across the chest for correction rather than a collar.
 

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You could use Ed's ploy when running Percy. Leave him in the blind 'til you get to the line, and then call him to join you. :lol: :lol: :wink:

Ya do what it takes to have fun and succeed.

Good luck!

UB
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the responses so far. That is what I like about this RTF. You are usually guaranteed that someone has had the same issue. I can set up this in a training environment and she will not produce the same results. I can set up a holding blind and she will sit there forever until I am ready. I can leave her there and walk away in a training environment and she sits there fine. The normal process I do at a hunt test is walk to the holding blind on lead, which is usually really good. I have her sit and wait. When I am in the holding blind she is pretty calm. This past weekend in the first test she lay down and waited, but normally she will sit and wait. Once the judge calls for me and I remove the lead which she is still sitting calmly at this point. It’s when I come out of the holding blind at heel and she sees the line. Its like the ears perk up and she says I know what this is all about and she begins the foraging. Lots of fun she is thinking!!! This dog runs just as hard on her blinds as she does on the marks. Drill sessions the same way. She absolutely loves it all. Yet the line in a training day or local club training day does not get me the same results on the heeling to the line. She walks to the line at heel. I do plan on running her as long as I can and that is why I really want to get this problem fixed before it gets way out of hand. She is a very fun dog to run. She did start raising her butt a little at one time a few months back, but that was easy to correct because when she would do that in training I or someone else could correct her as soon as she did. I do have the Dave Rorem DVD. I also have Mike Lady’s and Evan Graham’s DVD’s. I enjoy reading and seeing different training approaches. I will take a look at Dave’s DVD again tonight. Keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Uncle Bill said:
You could use Ed's ploy when running Percy. Leave him in the blind 'til you get to the line, and then call him to join you. :lol: :lol: :wink:

Ya do what it takes to have fun and succeed.

Good luck!

UB

UB, that is the best answer yet. :lol: I was thinking of that. You think the judges would mind? My wife suggested running up to the line. :eek:
 

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Mistyriver said:
Uncle Bill said:
You could use Ed's ploy when running Percy. Leave him in the blind 'til you get to the line, and then call him to join you. :lol: :lol: :wink:

Ya do what it takes to have fun and succeed.

Good luck!

UB

UB, that is the best answer yet. :lol: I was thinking of that. You think the judges would mind? My wife suggested running up to the line. :eek:

It's certainly showing "control to the line". Check your PMs.

UB
 

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hey buddy, if you get some good pm answers be sure and share. I was the guy with the "black twin" to your dog this weekend (tall guy). I'd be very interested

beaten to the line every time regards....... :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Chuck,

:lol: Hey once we get our dogs off the head string of the Iditarod we should be fine.

Bill
 

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Chuck when you get time to train come on down to my neck of the woods :wink:
 

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Mistyriver,

How frustrating, you seem to have covered as many bases as possible.

Your dog sounds, pretty good, until heeling to the line.

I had the same problem with Yank, but luckily, could see, from time to time, fleeting opportunities to correct this behaviour. Usually by having a longer than usual heeling pattern to the line. And more importantly unless I saw a change of behaviour, from my correction, we would start again from the truck. More opportunity :lol:

As heeling to the line could cost us, first place in a trial, it is a very important criteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mike Peters-labguy23 said:
Roem's Handling DVD covers this topic very nicely. He suggest exactly what the advice given on here. Use the lead and holding blind in training. The kennel term also which I never thought of. Don't be afraid to go back to the holding blind as many times as it takes.
I took a look at Roem's Chapter that covered the holding blind to the line last night again. He also mentioned to try and heel the dog on the right side for more compliance if it is a left sided heeling dog. In the last couple of weeks I have been teaching her right sided healing. I may try this the next time. He also mentioned taking the lead off before being called to the line. In fact I tried that this past weekend when I was in the last test of the day just thinking to myself if that would help and she thought it was time and started to go. I didn't have the nerve to keep if off considering my luck should would have gone to the line with out me. :shock:
 
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