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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As a handler, what would you have done? I was running my 16 month old BLF in her third Senior test. We had made it to the third series. 10 out of 30 dogs had made it this far, and to be honest, I was a little surprised we were there. The third series was a double on water and a water blind. The line was perched on a mound about 5 feet tall. The go bird was a short bird across the corner of the pond, thrown right to left. The memory bird was about 60-70 yards out thrown left to right into the pond. As the birds went down my dog crept about 3-4 feet in front of me. This is the second time she has crept like this and in each case it was during the water marks at the test only - never in training, and so far never on land. I made up my mind I was going to re-heel after we were released and I did. Unfortunately, this caused her to pull her head off the go bird and lock in on the memory. I sent her. She ran the road jumped in the water swam 10 feet got within 20 feet of the bird and freakin swam back out of the pond in the same direction from which she came. She ran back down the road looking in the direction of the go bird, jumping as if to say "I know boss, I should have got the go bird first, and I am on my way." I recalled her (without the judges prompting), thanked the judges and made the long drive home questioning how I handled the situation. What would you have done when the dog crept? Would you have re-heeled and lined on the go bird?
I had already used my handle on land. Running down the road was the nature of this test. She should've taken more water, but this was not my primary concern. Thanks in advance for the help.

We ran a double senior (two independent test) on Sunday. One of the test had three series. Best I could tell, the judges made this decision because they needed to get the walk up and land blind in before going to the water and couldn't accomplish this during the marking set up. There were call backs to the 2nd and 3rd series. This is how it went:

1st series: Land double (w/flyer) and honor. Judges informed handlers that they could handle on both marks??? (marks were tight)

2nd Series: Walk up single and land blind

3rd Series: Water double with water blind.
 

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From you perpsective what was the corrective value of picking her up, the attempted switch? Giving up on the bird she selected? Self selecting?

Bert
 

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In Dave Rorem's Art & Science of Handling DVD, he says that he re-heels every time, except the last series of the National. Now, most of us will never see a National so we have to decide what is our National. Maybe its the 3rd series (I thought Senior only had two) of a Senior hunt test. Maybe its the last series of the Master Nationl.

I know one thing for certain. Having two chronic creepers and one rock steady dog, I will not let creeping become a habit in future dogs I train because I didn't re-heel at a Senior hunt test. You did the right thing in my book by re-heeling.

Now where you lost your dog in this test, IMO, was in the communication with the dog after the re-heel. Your dog was intent on going for the go bird, then you re-heeled. It would be easy for the dog to think you didn't want him to get the go bird but go for the memory bird first. So once re-heeled, you really need to take your time and re-focus the dog on that go bird and talk them in to it before sending.
 

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I would have left her alone.

After you re-heeled her take all the time you need to get her focus where it needs to be and then send her. The moment got the best of her that's all.

She is telling you in training that she may creep. You're just not picking up on it.

Angie
 

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Brian was running in two senior tests, for him it felt like 4 series!!
 

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I would have left her alone,too.

I have learned that test day the dogs are ready,know their job and when set at the task it is no place to correct them - maybe afterwards.

My tests are a bit different b/c I can only take a test twice,if we do not pass either time we are not fit for breeding within the system. A fail the first go around will get people talking about your dog - not good.

My feeling is, she would have performed well if left alone.
Water can be more enticing to some dogs than land.


Her focus on you,the handler, may have been less but her focus on the task was right where it needed to be.

Just my 2 cents,maybe less
 

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I would have Danny Farmer smell my dog. He can smell if they will break or creep. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses thus far...very helpful.

We ran a double senior (two independent test) on Sunday. One of the test had three series. Best I could tell, the judges made this decision because they needed to get the walk up and land blind in before going to the water and couldn't accomplish this during the marking set up. There were call backs to the 2nd and 3rd series. This is how it went:

1st series: Land double (w/flyer) and honor. Judges informed handlers that they could handle on both marks??? (marks were tight)

2nd Series: Walk up single and land blind

3rd Series: Water double with water blind.

8 of 30 dogs past this test. It was a 'meaty' test.
 

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In training, well..... I would have done a bunch of things....LOL

In testing, let the dog do the work..... not the time to train. There is no specified order that the birds had to be picked up, so you may have passed had the dog retrieved both birds......

JMO
 

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In training, well..... I would have done a bunch of things....LOL

In testing, let the dog do the work..... not the time to train. There is no specified order that the birds had to be picked up, so you may have passed had the dog retrieved both birds......

JMO
Hmm, it seems the dog was in the process of switching, had she gotten away with it Brian would have been dropped anyway and the switch would have been reenforced by allowing the dog to finish the retrieve, loose loose. Picking up the dog is a situational call, was he right? I think he was.

Bert
 

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"I made up my mind I was going to re-heel and I did"

IMHO this is where you made your mistake. Let the judges make those decisions. If they do not tell you to reheel your dog, send your dog!
 

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"I made up my mind I was going to re-heel and I did"

IMHO this is where you made your mistake. Let the judges make those decisions. If they do not tell you to reheel your dog, send your dog!
I disagree, reinforcing control early in a dogs career is important. Allowing the dog to creep without a re-heel just sets up a bad creeping issue for the rest of that dogs career. I believe his main mistake was not taking whatever time was necessary to get his dog lined up and locked on the go-bird before sending. I think he probably took it for granted that his dog was going to stay lined up on the go-bird, but apparently the re-heel made the dog lose that focus and the dog may have actually been looking at the memory bird when the handler sent him.

John
 

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"I made up my mind I was going to re-heel and I did"

IMHO this is where you made your mistake. Let the judges make those decisions. If they do not tell you to reheel your dog, send your dog!
Another situational call and it may well be the difference between pass and fail this weekend, on the other hand it could just as easily create worse creeping problems that could be very hard to deal with later on. With 20/20 hindsight Brians best move would have been to reheel and then refocus the dog on the go bird from the line. But 20/20 hidsight counts for nothing, and most of us would allow the dog to select what appears to be the tougher bird if that looked like the intent.

Of course that has nothing to do with the switch.

Bert
 

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Hmm, it seems the dog was in the process of switching, had she gotten away with it Brian would have been dropped anyway and the switch would have been reenforced by allowing the dog to finish the retrieve, loose loose. Picking up the dog is a situational call, was he right? I think he was.

Bert
Completely depends on the judge....... maybe??? ..... had he reached the area of fall???? That is debatable...... I aint going there...... let the judges judge. I hunt my dog ALOT, and on rare occasions, he will pick up the shorter memory bird first. When he's got five to pickup, who could blame him.......Ive picked my dog up twice in hunt tests, and I could argue either way if he learned anything either time.........
 

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In Dave Rorem's Art & Science of Handling DVD, he says that he re-heels every time, except the last series of the National. Now, most of us will never see a National so we have to decide what is our National. Maybe its the 3rd series (I thought Senior only had two) of a Senior hunt test. Maybe its the last series of the Master Nationl.

I know one thing for certain. Having two chronic creepers and one rock steady dog, I will not let creeping become a habit in future dogs I train because I didn't re-heel at a Senior hunt test. You did the right thing in my book by re-heeling.

Now where you lost your dog in this test, IMO, was in the communication with the dog after the re-heel. Your dog was intent on going for the go bird, then you re-heeled. It would be easy for the dog to think you didn't want him to get the go bird but go for the memory bird first. So once re-heeled, you really need to take your time and re-focus the dog on that go bird and talk them in to it before sending.


Excellent post.
 

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Hmm, it seems the dog was in the process of switching, had she gotten away with it Brian would have been dropped anyway and the switch would have been reenforced by allowing the dog to finish the retrieve, loose loose. Picking up the dog is a situational call, was he right? I think he was.

Bert
"In the process of switching"? Sounds like the dog went half way then for whatever reason, realized the bird it was going to wasn't the "right" bird and self corrected. No hunt, no switch. Not ideal obviously but I wouldn't worry about this from a switching perspective.

I disagree, reinforcing control early in a dogs career is important. Allowing the dog to creep without a re-heel just sets up a bad creeping issue for the rest of that dogs career. I believe his main mistake was not taking whatever time was necessary to get his dog lined up and locked on the go-bird before sending. I think he probably took it for granted that his dog was going to stay lined up on the go-bird, but apparently the re-heel made the dog lose that focus and the dog may have actually been looking at the memory bird when the handler sent him.

John
I agree with John. I have been repeatedly admonished in the past for sending my dog too quickly. I think had the handler spent more time after reheeling to let the dog settle in and really lock onto the go bird there wouldn't have been an issue.

Also, just my .02 but if I was the OP I would seriously think about whether running a double header, particularly on the same day, is in the best interests of the dogs training going forward. The dog is very young and showed it by getting loose after running 5 series in the same day.

Last year, just before my BLF turned 3, we ran two master tests back to back. First test was Thurs/Fri, second was Sat/Sun. We passed the first test then he broke on the very first (dead) bird thrown on Saturday morning. First time he had broke, in training or a test, since he was steadied as a pup. Just too much excitement for a young dog.


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All very good training observations. But, he was in a TEST.
 
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