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How much movement do believe should be allowed on the line, specifically for FTs? If the judges don't give any specific instructions, how much movement should the dog be allowed? Is the answer different if you use a painted line, ribbons or a mat?

What about the handler? How much movement should he/she be allowed after signaling for the birds but before the judge has called the dog's number?

If the dog creeps, can the handler creep too?

What particular rules pertain to this?


John
 

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Most judges deal with this by using a mat and specifying either dog or handler must be on the mat for all sends or sometimes instructions may be something like "4 out of 6 feet must be on the mat". LOL
Judging has gotten a little lax. Dogs should sit tractably at heel in the position designated and not be 6 to 10 feet out in front of the handler when the last bird goes down. Usually you have a handler barking heel a dozen times at a creeper until dogs' tail finally touches the mat and everybody thinks it's OK. Meanwhile the honor dog has to sit there and listen to this crap. I'd like it if judges would simply tell the handler to pick up their dog at that point or at a minimum the creepers who don't heel on the first command should be dismissed.
The sport after all is meant for the Non-Slip Retriever no?
 

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Maybe 10 years ago or more, I attended a judging seminar with a panel of Judy Aycock, Mitch Patterson, and Tony Snow, moderated by Ed Aycock.
Mitch said that he liked to require the handler to be on the mat. His rationale was that if the dog got ahead of the handler, the handler couldn't help the dog. That made sense to me, so I have used Mitch's system over the years. I have been happy with the results, and see no reason to change.

When a dog creeps out too far, I will require the handler to re-heel the dog.

I don't like creepers and whiners, but I won't drop them for it. Poor line manners are a minor, not a moderate or serious fault. I prefer to judge dogs by what they do in the field, not on the mat.

If problems with line manners persist, I might drop a dog. I haven't done it yet, though. I have dropped a dog's placement for line manner issues, though.
 

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Ted,

I like that thinking. With regards to if the dog goes out too far the handler can't help the dog.

Janet
 

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Maybe 10 years ago or more, I attended a judging seminar with a panel of Judy Aycock, Mitch Patterson, and Tony Snow, moderated by Ed Aycock.
Mitch said that he liked to require the handler to be on the mat. His rationale was that if the dog got ahead of the handler, the handler couldn't help the dog. That made sense to me, so I have used Mitch's system over the years. I have been happy with the results, and see no reason to change.

When a dog creeps out too far, I will require the handler to re-heel the dog.

I don't like creepers and whiners, but I won't drop them for it. Poor line manners are a minor, not a moderate or serious fault. I prefer to judge dogs by what they do in the field, not on the mat.

If problems with line manners persist, I might drop a dog. I haven't done it yet, though. I have dropped a dog's placement for line manner issues, though.
I agree as well with this.
 

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I've also weighed a dog's line manners in placing a dog. Once judged a dog in an Amateur stake that whined, loudly, in all four series on the mat, in the honor box and in the holding blind. The dog's work in the field was exceptional. When it came time to determine placements there was another dog that did similar, but not quite equal, work without the noise and received the blue. My co-judge and I felt that the accrued faults were of a nature to deny a win. Too bad.

I used to feel that a dog needed to stay on the mat at all times but attended a judge's seminar once where John Russell voiced his belief that a creeper would ultimately penalize itself. I've worked hard on tractability at the line and feel that it is a very important quality. I'd like to see that trait encouraged, held up as an ideal behavior, and rewarded. However, like Ted, I now let them creep and only ask to have them re-heel once they pass a predetermined line in the field.
 

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And to add more to my post. John Russell once encouraged me to set up my tests in such a fashion so as not to penalize dogs that possessed the qualities that I personally found most desirable. While I have worked hard to train a dog that would sit calmly at the line and work with me to watch the birds or run a blind, the quality that I like the most is a dog that feels that it must have every bird and is prepared to go to almost any length to get it. That, and a dog who can flat-out mark. I have chosen to make some concessions on line manners for those animals. Which is certainly not to say that there aren't many great dogs who sit calmly at line yet also possess tremendous desire and skill.
 

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Hi,
I've mostly run HTs, but that changes tomorrow. This statement seems to imply you can talk to the dog while the birds are going down. "Usually you have a handler barking heel a dozen times at a creeper until dogs' tail finally touches the mat and everybody thinks it's OK. " Is this different in FT vs HT?

Thanks,
 

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Hi,
I've mostly run HTs, but that changes tomorrow. This statement seems to imply you can talk to the dog while the birds are going down. "Usually you have a handler barking heel a dozen times at a creeper until dogs' tail finally touches the mat and everybody thinks it's OK. " Is this different in FT vs HT?

Thanks,
This is after the judge has given the dogs number, and the handler is reheeling before sending the dog.
 

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Thanks that was what I thought the answer would.
 

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You could always save yourself a large headache and train to close to 0 movement as you can! Not even a butt muscle twitch! ;)
 

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You could always save yourself a large headache and train to close to 0 movement as you can! Not even a butt muscle twitch! ;)
Thats easy for you to say, you have a Dude pup!:D:D:D
 

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The issue isn't with the dog, but whether the hadler is moving right with the dog.

:confused:
How much movement do believe should be allowed on the line, specifically for FTs? If the judges don't give any specific instructions, how much movement should the dog be allowed? Is the answer different if you use a painted line, ribbons or a mat?

What about the handler? How much movement should he/she be allowed after signaling for the birds but before the judge has called the dog's number?

If the dog creeps, can the handler creep too?

What particular rules pertain to this?


John
 

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How much movement do believe should be allowed on the line, specifically for FTs? If the judges don't give any specific instructions, how much movement should the dog be allowed? Is the answer different if you use a painted line, ribbons or a mat?

What about the handler? How much movement should he/she be allowed after signaling for the birds but before the judge has called the dog's number?

If the dog creeps, can the handler creep too?

What particular rules pertain to this?


John
John, it's an interesting question, and one that probably has many opinions. As a judge i prefer to give a few intructions as possible. The handlers know the rules and so should the judges. If a mat is on the line it should be used by the handler because it's put their for their benefit. In my mind it doesn't require intruction. If your dog creeps it may interfer with his/her ability to mark a fall.
As a handler it's your call on how to handle a dog on a mat. I'm willing to give a dog it's number even if he/she has crept. I would hope to see a handler re-heel and get their their dog under control, but it's their choice.
As a judge it's my responsibility to make a judgment on a repeated action. I wouldn't drop a dog for poor line manners, but you can be sure at the end of the day that a dog that demonstrates a repeated looseness on line will have a comment on the sheet.

What I believe to be most important is the question of standards. Is a creep acceptable for you? If it's OK for you, then don't worry about it.

My preference is to use a mat as a training tool for my own level of accepted behavior. A creep is never acceptable for me and hope to never have one , especially, in a 4th series.
 

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STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR NON-SLIP
RETRIEVER TRIALS
In order that trials may be conducted as uniformly as
practicable, standardization of objectives is essential and,
therefore, all Judges, guns, contestants and officials who
have a part in conducting trials should be familiar with and
be governed so far as possible by the following standard:
BASIC PRINCIPLES
1. The purpose of a Non-Slip Retriever trial is to determine
the relative merits of Retrievers in the field.
Retriever field trials should, therefore, simulate as nearly
as possible the conditions met in an ordinary day’s shoot.
Dogs are expected to retrieve any type of game bird
under all conditions, and the Judges and the Field Trial
Committee have complete control over the mechanics
and requirements of each trial. This latitude is permitted
in order to allow for the difference in conditions
which may arise in trials given in widely separated
parts of the United States, which difference may well
necessitate different methods of conducting tests.
No live game bird, or any other species of bird or fowl,
shall be used in a test while under any form of restraint
or physical impairment at any sanctioned, licensed, or
member club event for Retrievers.
26
2. The function of a Non-Slip Retriever is to seek and
retrieve “fallen’’ game when ordered to do so. He
should sit quietly on line or in the blind, walk at heel, or
assume any station designated by his handler until sent
to retrieve. When ordered, a dog should retrieve quickly
and briskly without unduly disturbing too much
ground, and should deliver tenderly to hand. He should
then await further orders.
Accurate marking is of primary importance. A dog
which marks the fall of a bird, uses the wind, follows a
strong cripple, and will take direction from his handler
is of great value.
 

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Breck, as long as we're quoting the rule book, I thought it might be helpful to post up the list of faults.

You implied earlier that you would have a handler just pick up it's dog for poor line manners. Is elimination from the stake warranted based on the category that particular fault is in? How "severe" must the infraction be to put it into the serious fault category?

Man, I have a terrible time editing and formating posts with this new and improved interface...

I. SERIOUS FAULTS. (Serious faults listed cover all those instances where the Standard describes conduct of the dog which in and of itself justifies elimination from the stake. There are in the Standard three descriptions of handler misconduct justifying elimination from the stake i.e., blocking a dog’s view of a mark, throwing objects to encourage water entry and carrying exposed training equipment and other excessive restraint of the dog. While these are certainly to be enforced, they are not listed here under serious faults demonstrated by retrievers. The failure to list handler misconduct under serious faults in no way means that such misconduct is less serious or does not justify elimination from the stake.)

1. Repeated evidence of “poor nose.’’
2. Failure to enter either rough cover, water, ice, mud, or any other situation involving unpleasant or difficult “going’’ for the dog, after having been ordered to do so several times.
3. Returning to the handler without the bird where not called in, except on a marked retrieve where the dog was confused as to whether it was sent.
4. Stopping the hunt or ignoring a bird when found and leaving it.
5. “Switching birds,’’ i.e., giving up after a hunt in the area of the fall for one bird and going to and hunting “the area’’ of another “fall,’’ or dropping the bird being retrieved, and picking up another.
6. “Out-of-control,’’ i.e., paying no attention to many whistles and directions by the handler.
7. Extreme “freezing,’’ i.e., refusal to release a bird on delivery for an unreasonable period of time or until com- pelled to do so by severe methods.
8. Retrieving a decoy, i.e., returning to land with it — mandatory elimination under the “STANDARD.’’
9. Breaking mandatory elimination under the “STANDARD.’’
10. “Hard-mouth,’’ or badly damaging a bird, which, in the opinion of the Judges, was caused solely by the dog without justification — mandatory elimination under the “STANDARD.’’
11. Loud and prolonged whining or barking.
12. Unauthorized watching of the location of a fall for another dog or the planting or retrieve of a blind — manda- tory elimination of the dog under the “STANDARD’’ and possible elimination of the handler from the stake or trial.
13. Failure to find a dead bird which the dog should have found.
14. Breaking for a fall for a dog under judgment by a dog still in the stake but not on line under judgment where, in the opinion of the Judges, the breaking dog or its handler interferes with the normal conduct of the stake.
15. Returning to the area of an old marked fall and hunting.
16. Failure to go when sent on a blind retrieve. 17. Handling on a mark in the Derby Stake.

II. MODERATE FAULTS. (Infractions in this

category may actually be so slight as to warrant their consideration as only a “minor’’ fault, or they may be so severe as to warrant their consideration as a “serious fault”; also, repetitions of a “moderate’’ fault or combination of several of these faults may readily convert the total infractions into a “serious’’ fault.)

1. Failure to mark the “area of the ‘fall,’ ’’ requiring that the dog be handled to the bird; worse on the first bird retrieved than on subsequent birds.
2. Disturbing too much cover either by not going to the area or by leaving it.
3. Reluctance to enter rough cover, water, ice, mud or other situations involving unpleasant “going’’ for the dog.
4. Hunting in a slow and disinterested manner.
5. Poor style, including a disinterested attitude, a slow

or reluctant departure, quest for game, or return with it.
6. “Popping,’’ i.e., stopping and looking back for

7. Not stopping for directions, after two or three whistles
which the dog should have heard.
8. Failure to take lines and directions or to hold lines

and directions more than a short distance.
9. Moderate whining of short duration.

10. Going out of the way by land to a “fall,’’ to an excessive degree to avoid going into the water on a water
retrieve.
11. In any stake other than an All-Age stake, a slight

break after which the dog is brought immediately under control.

III. MINOR FAULTS. (Either severe, or repeated, or combinations of these “minor’’ infractions may summate into a “moderate,’’ or even a “serious’’ fault. Also, they may be so slight as not to warrant any penalty at all.)

1. Going out of its way by land, to an excessive degree, on the return from a water retrieve.
2. Lack of attention.
3. Poor line-manners; “ heeling’’ poorly; not
immediately taking and staying in the position designated; dropping a bird at delivery; jumping after a bird; not remaining quietly on-line after delivery.

4. Slow pick-up of a dead bird (except when fluttering or badly shot-up); dropping bird; handling game in a sloppy manner.
5. Unsteadiness on-line, including creeping.
6. Not stopping at the first whistle that should have been heard, but stopping at the second or third.
7. Popping on a blind retrieve where there are no extenuating circumstances such as distance, wind, shallow (running) water or other conditions which make it difficult to hear the handler’s whistle.
8. Occasional failure to hold the line or take the handler’s directions for more than a few yards.
9. Slight “freezing,’’ or reluctance to give up a bird.
10. Slight short whining or one bark, on being sent to
retrieve.
11. Roughness with game.

 

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"
The issue isn't with the dog, but whether the hadler is moving right with the dog."
I haven’t seen handlers actually “follow” a bad creeper very far. Maybe they’ll take a step or two forward, since dog has trained them heel means to stay in step with the dog not vice versa, but if dog continues to creep these handlers will generally stop moving forward and let the dog go.
On the other hand you will see handlers who will step over, behind, and dance circles around the dog while barking commands.
 

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Yea Buzz I know where you're coming from, but in my opinion a dog that does not assume the position, ie sit at heel right here on this black mat, could be considered "out of control" if he does not. A Major Fault.
Anyway, in Field Trials judges don't necessarily need to justify eliminating dogs by citing elimination faults from the rule book.


6. “Out-of-control,’’ i.e., paying no attention to many whistles and directions by the handler.
In my opinion this can interpreted as "paying no attention to many commands" as in handler commanding "heel" 20 times after judges as creeping dog to heel. No different than a cast refusal really.
 

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Yea Buzz I know where you're coming from, but in my opinion a dog that does not assume the position, ie sit at heel right here on this black mat, could be considered "out of control" if he does not. A Major Fault.
Anyway, in Field Trials judges don't necessarily need to justify eliminating dogs by citing elimination faults from the rule book.
If it takes 10 "heels" to get a dog on the mat, sure you could say it's out of control... No, you don't need to justify a drop based on elimination faults, but I think that when I judge, I like to keep things in perspective by referring to the list of faults so I'm not unfairly penalizing dogs based on my personal prejudices.
 
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