Thank you both
It seemed to me however for argument sake, that the dogs were so focused on the gunner, that they didnt see the bumper thrown, or lost it along its path, wanting to look back at the gunner in confusion.
then either the dogs are inexperienced, the visilibility was bad or the gunner was moving before the mark was down. or they were headswinging..
My girl, I thought watched the mark well and got a good look at it, but after the double entry, and a slight hill to go over, she headed right to the gun station! I immediatly yelled for help and had the bb throw another one whilst she was in rout. She returned with the bumper.
Running to the gun isn't cause for panic.
Especially with a difficult mark. IF there was a lot going on in between, she or the other dogs may have simply lost their bearing. I'd normally let a dog work it out. But ending up at the gun station, in and of itself, isn't immediate cause for gun help or handling. IF she was fading with a factor and THAT was putting her to the gun station, then she "can" be handled. But if the mark's over her head, it would probably be better to simplify by removing some of the factors.
I repeated, but still had trouble. Maybe I AM misinterpreting her problem, and its the factors she's having trouble with, then going to the most logical place.
Then you need to figure out why... Maybe simplify next time and see how she fares. If she can handle, then a mark that demanding would be cause for a handle with an experienced dog. If she's not very experienced, then you can't throw a mark that complex. You'd have to move up or change the line of the approach to eliminate some factors en route. You can also keep the gun STANDING. And remember to get down to the dog's perspective. If that many dogs had trouble, it could be that if you knelt down to their level, they may not have been able to see much at all...
Do most all of you use white gunners??
Do you that run HRC tests, or for that matter AKC Hunt tests, use white in your training.
In the off-season, I use almost all exposed guns. In hunt test season, I use about 50/50. Sometimes white, sometimes plain clothes without holding blinds, sometimes holding blinds. I use white ALWAYS when teaching ANY concept from scratch.
Most of our HRC based training days will have all hidden guns. Dogs mark off the gun. Most of the "accomplished" trainers/ handlers will scoff at the idea of white coats. They're argument being that it is a crutch for the dog! :roll: I dont believe that for a second now.
Let them scoff. White coats aren't a crutch. They're a great way to create a focused, stable, well-marking dog.
Most hunt test marks are so short that factors are ALMOST irrelevant in many cases except on the longest birds... 40-50 yard marks in a crosswind are not the same challenge as 200-300 yard marks, which requrie a TON more effort and perserverance on the dogs part -- meaning the dog has to have a SUPER good mark to do it right -- and the white gunner helps give the dog the best opportunity to focus on the mark.
The people that scoff on them are the ones that don't understand their place in training. ...even for the HUNT TEST dog...