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Hi folks. I have a 28 month old BLM that just passed his Senior Hunt Test series yesterday (first test of the year) but in doing so he displayed some errant behaviours that I need to correct before carrying on. I do not want a dog in my hunting blind with these behaviours.

He is out of Creek Robber and a daughter to Lean Mac. I have heard that Creek Robber pups take a while to mature and I am thinking his behaviours are related to being young and super eager. The morning before the second day of the test I ran him on long memory blinds and re-enforced the sit/stay command with the healing stick in an effort to avoid the behaviours, he did fine on the school field but it did not work during the tests. I am very happy with the control/lack of noice when training by myself or with a coupe of other folks. I also play the "Gunz Up" CD in the car on the way to training and during training in an effort to acclimatize him to the sights and sounds of a HT.

I train with 2 Derby Double Bumper Boys. I have one bird basket for launching dead/live birds that I have not used. I'm thinking I should start using it and buy another to try and ramp up the excitement level of a HT and use dead ducks instead of the bumpers.

I don't have access much to large training groups to simulated the excitement at a hunt test so it's been difficult to emulate the conditions. He was a different dog this weekend so I sure he knows when he's at a hunt test and can not be corrected at line for bad behaviour.

The problems include noise at line, during the blind and creeping/flattening (has not broke "yet"). He also gave out a bark when I gave him an over cast on the blind, something I had not seen before.

Last year when we were hunting a night shoot with other hunters and the guns were going off and many birds were flying overhead he could not help himself and was verbal. I came down hard on him everytime he did it but he shook it off and continued. I must correct this problem.

I want to be careful though and not over do it and impact his desire for the sport and HT game so I am looking for help with how to correct the problems.

I started using the place board for the steadyness and I will go back to in and do a better job of enforcing it.

He's a very soft dog and will cower if I raise my voice, he wants to please a great deal as well so I think I have a good foundation to work with. He is well collar conditioned.

I have noticed when doing the same memory blind for ~5 x extending the distance on the 4-5th run he will let out a bark like he's amped up and can't wait to get to the pile. He also sort of flattens/lowers his body on the line when I say "dead bird" as he's so eager to go to the pile. I appreciate his enthusiasm and I want to be cautious the I don't create another problem when trying to correct the first problem.

Thus why I have turned to the board for assistance and advice.

I can't move forward onto master with a vocal/creeping dog. It may just be a thing of letting him mature and taking it easy for a while or......?

I look forward to your suggestions and ideas!

Thanks!
 

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Raise your standards. Use a lead in training as you would a HT, when the lead comes off expect perfect compliance to the line and at the line. ANY movement at the line use stern crop correction and a soft voice. The soft voice being at a HT you can raise the volume when needed w/o it being considered intimidation. I would do only singles until you get the issues corrected.
 
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