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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious about your thoughts on this.

This past weekend's derby on each setup the time between the shot and the the birds thrown was lengthy. If I had to guess, 3-4 seconds. I'm not blaming anyone or making excuses, I was just curious if this delay might increase the chances for head swinging.

After a few days of thinking why she did it, I thought it may have been the delay between the shot and the bird being thrown. Perhaps she was scanning for where the bird was coming from since a quick throw didn't follow?

Maybe it ws a fluke deal, because she hasn't head swung in the last couple of events. I guess it's another variable to consider mixing into training. She was locked on the gunner for a good while before I called for the bird.

Thoughts?
 

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Yes, if there is an unusually long delay between the shot and the throw, most dogs (all of mine) will try to look to another gun. But I also don't like the throws that come before the sound of the shot reaches the handler. I've only judged a couple of minor stakes, but the timing of the shot and throw is something I do think about. Of course the 3-4 seconds in your head while handling is likely 1 second in reality.;)

If you don't do this already in training, you should not allow the dog to decide when she's seen enough of a mark. Don't allow her to swing to another bird either before or after the throw until you move her.
 

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As long as it was the same for every dog, I s'pose it's just something to think about and train for. It would be sad if the Bird Boy bobbled the duck and took longer to launch it just for your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As long as it was the same for every dog, I s'pose it's just something to think about and train for. It would be sad if the Bird Boy bobbled the duck and took longer to launch it just for your dog.
It was consistently slow.
 

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Head swinging is USUALLY caused by running to many multiple marks. Lots of singles regards....
 

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Head swinging is USUALLY caused by running to many multiple marks. Lots of singles regards....
This is extremely true. but I think almost every dog will do a little headswinging if the throw does not follow the shot fairly close. The dog is just becoming worried that he is missing the mark. This is where good judgment should be executed and possibly a no bird until the bird is thrown properly. Varying the time between the shot and the throw in training will help.
 

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Train often Without shooting anything at all, just show dog the guns and throw. Once in a while you won't even throw a bird either but one will place out in the fall area. Your cues to the dog will indicate a mark whether or shot is heard or not or a bird is thrown or not.
If your really good your dog could retrieve a quad and the only shot heard or bird thrown will be from the flyer station.
Train dog to move with you and look at the gun you want him to pay attention to. That means don't look away until you move to next bird.
 

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Its something you do need to train to! I went to a Super Singles, first time, throws were timed this way, both dogs did not see the marks. Next time, we will teach them before we go out there! :)
 

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It's not just about doing multiples. The leader of our group does almost nothing but multiples and doesn't have head swinging problems. I've watched him handle closely for almost 2 years, his dogs have never gotten away with swinging their head off a mark, he's on it instantly. He's looking so hard at his dog, except for the gunshot, he would have no idea if the bird boy even thew the bird. I try hard to do the same, it's not easy.
Singles are important, but not the total answer. Dealing with it is not much different from the way we deal with creeping or noise or the other work we do on the mat. Firm, consistent, properly timed corrections.

Walt
Walt makes a good point.
When signaling for the birds there is no reason to look anywhere but down at your dog. Especially his eyes.
You already know where the dead birds are going to land and someone behind you can tell you when each bird is down so you know when to move to next gun. After you send dog for go bird someone behind you can also tell you where your flyer landed. Watch your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Walt makes a good point.
When signaling for the birds there is no reason to look anywhere but down at your dog. Especially his eyes.
You already know where the dead birds are going to land and someone behind you can tell you when each bird is down so you know when to move to next gun. After you send dog for go bird someone behind you can also tell you where your flyer landed. Watch your dog.
Agreed. How do you think I noticed the head swinging?:p
 

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Another thing that I learned that helps is when you doing multiple marks, I always take an extra long pause between marks and making sure your dog focused on each mark before next bird is thrown. Do this everytime especially on triples.
 

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What did you do when you first noticed it, the first time he did it? I think handler response to unwanted and possible unexpected behavior is the point.
Walt
Yes, I'm curious as to what the OPs response was when the dog moved. This is where I'd step up on the dog when they started to swing to push them back to the 1st gun. Make a habit of holding the dog on the bird until you move or the next gun shoots.
 

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The leader of our group does almost nothing but multiples and doesn't have head swinging problems. I've watched him handle closely for almost 2 years, his dogs have never gotten away with swinging their head off a mark, he's on it instantly.

Walt

What does he do?
 

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I've seen trainers give a nick and a, "Sit," when the dog swung off. Some people make it a habit of holding a dog on the first thrower for 10 seconds or so.

I've got one dog that a, "Sit," nick works very well on and another dog who is so antsy and jumpy it doesn't help at all. I generally, in training, make them hold for 3 or 4 seconds but I have waited quite a bit longer at times. I've also turned them a second after the bird has hit the ground. Teach them to work with you.

At a trial or test, time what the judge signaling the bird boys does. If he signals for the second bird as soon as the first bird hits the ground, you've got to move faster. If the judge is slower then you've got a little more time for the dog to focus on the fall. What I hate is a judge who varies the timing of his signals, so you don't know what to expect.
 
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