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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
…a young dog is asked to step up to more technical setups?
For the most part, I’ve been training my own labs since 1981. I’ve never experienced any of my dogs, nor have I seen any of my training partner’s dogs throttle down to half speed when introduced to more difficult setups.
My girl just aged out of derbies. She had been driving really hard on both land and water marks. She’s still going hard on her blinds.
Once we started adding the 3rd and 4th birds to our setups her pace cut in half. She’s actually doing a really good job completing the setups but seems very methodical in doing so.
It seems as though she’s thinking or being careful. Physically, her ears kindof go up and back. She seems to slowly pick up her pace as she goes.
Have any of you all experienced anything like this?
 

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I am sure I am not as experienced a trainer as many people here, but her demeanor and ear position sounds like worry—worried about a new concept and concerned about doing it right.

Time and confidence should help.

Meredith
 

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I have not experienced this but sometimes I wish my current 3 year old would slow down as long as she is doing the marks well. Depending on the dog WORRY can be a good thing. I throw bigger more complicated set ups for her for this exact reason hoping it will force her to slow down and think and focus a bit more.
 

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…a young dog is asked to step up to more technical setups?
It seems as though she’s thinking or being careful. Physically, her ears kindof go up and back. She seems to slowly pick up her pace as she goes.
Have any of you all experienced anything like this?
Yes and I like a young dog that may not be sure when doing something more technical, more difficult, but shows me they are trying and are able think their way through it by "picking up the pace" as they go. The real proof of learning comes when you repeat the concept and they show more confidence in themselves.

Tim
 

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I'm on the other extreme of Tim I want horsepower! I would first think that pressure was causing a young dog to slow down like you describe. I'd change training and shoot more flyers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm on the other extreme of Tim I want horsepower! I would first think that pressure was causing a young dog to slow down like you describe. I'd change training and shoot more flyers!
It’s not from physical pressure. Went out today and setup a moderate length technical mark. Pulled her off and ran a blind. She looked a bit baffled. I stepped up to the front of the mat, put my hand in and she ran the blind as always.
I received her and pulled to the mark. She ran great and stepped on a tough mark.
Then we threw a cheaty single and retired it. Ran the 2nd blind nicely, came back and pulled the ears back and left the line relatively slow then picked up the pace, under the arch with a hook to the bird.
I could see her confidence coming back. She drove hard on a long entry down the shore water mark.
I felt very confident in the fact that she’s in a “WTH” mode
 

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Do two days of singles and shoot a couple flyers. Cool the flyers and run simple black and white blinds on day 3 that have a pattern to them with the fresh flyers mixed in with the blinds. Make her think that she can’t miss a mark for a few days. Just aged out of the derby she is a teenager that knows the basics not micro biology! Then give her a steady diet of singles off of multiple guns ever third setup for the rest of her life. I know that sounds boring to a lot of people but it lets you have a very high standard on the line and works great for head swinging, picking out the long birds between multiple guns, flaring, I could name many more things that most haven’t thought about. But the most important is thing is building back confident dogs after confusing and extreme setups If that pattern keeps up I would throw singles for a week solid in the field and do some drill work on blinds that you know you won’t get into a battle over. Say a very simple tune up drill on days 4,5,6 on the exact same blinds by the 3rd day you should see some excitement and hopefully lining several. That sounds boring I know it’s not a delayed hip-pocket short retired in front of the middle stand out with the blind between the marks 300 yds out in 15 mph crosswind across 2 roads and 3 strips of heavy cover between on the side of a mound. Take my advice and see if you can tell a difference, it’s okay to step back to T ball for a few weeks. She has a long career ahead.
 

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I reread the complete posts and Tim is right you have a thinking dog which can be very good.
And I think that the mental pressure is making her think too much,take it away by lots of singles off of multiple guns and easy blinds will help you work thru to get onto the harder stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ran 5 water singles today. Went hard on marks 1&2. Moderate pace on marks 4, & 5. Cautious on mark 3.
Stiff wind left to right. The only dog to front foot 4 out of the 5 marks. Had a bit of a hunt on 3.
I just think she’s had a so much thrown at her over the last week and a half that she’s having to think more.
Our training group has 4 dogs going to the 2021 NARC and I threw my girl into the pre-National setups.
Her first quad with a retired is the first I’d seen of the “slow down”. I think her confidence will come back. She’s still a baby!!!
86703

86704
 
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"5 water singles Went hard on marks 1&2. Moderate pace on marks 4, & 5. Cautious on mark 3.
...... she’s had a so much thrown at her over the last week and a half that she’s having to think more. "

Is she having to think too much?
Marks 1 and 2 are probably familiar to a dog coming out of Derby, a basic 2 down the shore. Marks 3,4 and 5 are not basic singles. There are bridge type birds in 3 and 4, long approaches to water on all 5, swimming a channel involving running past a corner of water before entering channel. There is a lot for the dog to look at as she swims across especially if all guns are out. Requiring her to make multiple decisions. Even a single can involve multiple components.
I would try simplifying by removing a component/decisions to help pick-up the pace.

JMO
Tim
 

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Ran 5 water singles today. Went hard on marks 1&2. Moderate pace on marks 4, & 5. Cautious on mark 3.
Stiff wind left to right. The only dog to front foot 4 out of the 5 marks. Had a bit of a hunt on 3.
I just think she’s had a so much thrown at her over the last week and a half that she’s having to think more.
Our training group has 4 dogs going to the 2021 NARC and I threw my girl into the pre-National setups.
Her first quad with a retired is the first I’d seen of the “slow down”. I think her confidence will come back. She’s still a baby!!!
View attachment 86703
View attachment 86704
Given the quality of your training group I would think you would have considered their input rather than seeking advice from anonymous people on the internet who have never seen your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Given the quality of your training group I would think you would have considered their input rather than seeking advice from anonymous people on the internet who have never seen your dog.
Ed,
For some reason I just knew that you were going to respond with such a reply…LOL.
Just wondering if it is a common thing with pups in transition.
 
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