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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just started running water marks and blinds about 5-6 weeks ago as it has finally warmed up a bit. My young male is just starting his senior level competition and seems to have lost some of his confidence on blinds-water more than land. This was perhaps made worse by my having a training buddy run him in his first senior test which meant two months of her handling him when we trained together.

When he runs new land blinds, he will look back at me 1-3 times on the first blind (say about 150 yards long), but keep running. Since I am once again exclusively running him, I've started calling "back" the instant I can tell he is about to turn back to me. We've gone back to some pattern blinds and are once again using stakes with flags on new blinds. With a second and/or third land blind, there is much less looking back (if any).

The problem is worse on water blinds; when we first started back in the water about 6 weeks ago he seemed okay, but more recently, he's started popping almost the minute he hits the water. If I don't say anything, he will generally continue towards the blind but with frequent looks back over his shoulder (and I will call "back"). Now that I am again training him, this instant popping seems to have disappeared, but the look backs are still present. As with the land work, I've gone back to pattern blinds and/or stakes with flags and he seems to be improving.

I may have made an error by having my friend run/train him, but we're past that now and I really don't want to blame her for his seeming loss of confidence.

Now my question is if you saw this dog running in a senior test and on the land blind he looked back over his shoulder without slowing or turning maybe 2-3 times, how would you score that? Is this considered popping even though the dog continues running with no further direction from the handler?

I'm hoping to fix this problem before I run him in his next test which is in about a month. I'm also open to suggestions for fixing the problem itself.
 

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SH water blind

Almost sounds like some one was burning him in the water! That will cause what you describe. Have some one out by the Blind hidden if pup starts to break down have them hey hey and throw a bird or bumper! Lay off the heat.
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I think that you would mark the dog down for style and trainability, but it's not a true pop. It's likely a pressure/confidence thing possibly brought on by enroute force and lack of confidence building drills. Do the enroute force and then build confidence without a bunch of collar pressure, and make sure whoever is puhing thre buttons is knowledgeable and timing it right.
 

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No, this isn't popping, but as the dog will appear to lack confidence, you may receive less than 10 on style or perseverance.

You don't say how old this dog is, and refer to "new blinds". If "new" blinds are "cold" blinds, then stop running these for awhile. Work on lining drills, ie "confidence" blinds. Run the dog to piles in knee-high grass, progressing the distance by moving the dog away from the pile. As the dog's confidence in your lining increases, change the lining location as you increase distance. Intermingle handling drills and after a year or so, the dog will be ready for cold blinds again.
 

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2-Dogs said:
Work on lining drills, ie "confidence" blinds. Run the dog to piles in knee-high grass, progressing the distance by moving the dog away from the pile
Working the dawg in 'knee high grass' is not the way to build confidence..... :?

You did't say how thorough a job the FTP and enroute force was done during T and Double T.....let alone the water force and swim-by.......might be areas you might wish to refresh with your dawg prior to trial season start........................and by all means......do it in mowed grass........ :wink:
 

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ChrisRobt said:
Now my question is if you saw this dog running in a senior test and on the land blind he looked back over his shoulder without slowing or turning maybe 2-3 times, how would you score that? Is this considered popping even though the dog continues running with no further direction from the handler?

I might nick the dog a point or 2 on style and/or perserverence, but that's it.
 

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Two differ't "thangs" to me, Polok. (Afraid I've got my own vocab.)
1. Whistle-less, burn-less Lining drills (pile work to some) = confidence. Then,,,,,
2. Build confidence (aka teamwork) with you, the handler, via lining to piles in knee-high grass.

At least its worked for me thus far.

Respectful regards,
 

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" knee high grass" and confidence building drills to not go together at all. All that does is give the dog a training set-up for failure, pressure, poor attitude, and not going forwards but back. Light cover and tue confidence building set-ups like memory blinds, bird boy blinds, pop up blinds, all will help build not destroy confidence.
 

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Run your lining drills on a school ball field with NO cover.

Start about 20 yards a drop a white bumper. Allow the dog to see this.
Wald another 20 yards and drop another; continue until you have 4 to 6 or 8 bumpers out in a line.
Send the dog to each. If the dog doesn't go, throw a bumper to the first one, and send dog.
Don't do so many to tire the dog out. Quit when the dog is wanting more.
Next time you can start at 30 yards and work your way out.

NO pressure should be used againinst the dog at this age.
 

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Don't call your dog back to you when he "peeks"(form of popping).You need that mommetum away from you not back to you which is what he wants to do.
In that instance ,(in my style of training) I would say "Back" nick back and let him drive for a while (as long as he is going in the general direction of the blind) then handle if needed or do it as a popp-up blind(where there is a hidden person at the end of the blind that says hey hey at the end.)
I also do multiple cold blinds not just 1 and put them up. That also builds their confidence in allot of different places without distractions.(no cover changes, no ditches, no wind factors,) Just go ,stop come commands.
Just keep something in mind when doing "Your style of confidence blinds";cold blinds are just that cold blinds. No white flags, no extra white bumpers.Some dogs can and do or will rely too heavier on the crutch.
Just a thought for you to consider. :) Remember I said "some" dogs.
Good luck with your youngster!!!
Sue
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sue, Monty is not really a "youngster"; he will be three in August. Last summer he was running 200+ yard land blinds with no "look backs". He was also doing fairly long water blinds. The look backs may have come from having someone other than myself run him for a couple months as her style is different from mine. His water work is weak partly due to not being in the water for several months over the winter (it is just getting warm enough to do shortish-say 80 yards- water blinds). I have been doing the back-nick-back on land and he is improving. Once I stop him to handle, the look-backs disappear as if he is now confident that I will tell him what to do. This morning he ran two long blinds of about 180-250 yards; on the first, shorter blind, he did five look backs in the first half of the blind before I started handling him (he continues to run at full tilt as he quickly looks back). No look-backs in the second half of the blind. On the longer blind (this one between a double we had just run), he didn't look back at all.

I'll continue running cold blinds on land (visiting my land pattern blinds as well) and run three shortish (80 yards) water pattern blinds. Hopefully he will be again ready for senior by May.
 

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The reason that your dog continues to improve with "more" handling (with regard to his look-backs-peeking) is because "he" does lack that confidence in his handling. My guess is that he also is a very sensitive (don't use much pressure) to correct -type of dog(my favorite)and he is also a worrier so he may seek comfort in "You" telling him what to do.
If he was my dog and he peeked as I said my first "back" or shortly afterwards.....I still would "back",nick""back".(not allot of pressure with the collar just enough to kick his butt into high gear and get his mind in the go mode)
Good Luck in Seniors!!!!!!!
Tell us when he finishes :D
Sue
 
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