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I was second to run the test so I didn’t have a good feel for what to expect. I wanted to pick the middle mark up second because I knew my dog had not watched it very well. I thought I could pull him to the right without any fear of going back to the old fall since he had just been there. Turns out it didn’t matter what I wanted.
Jake isn’t a dog that appreciates a lot of help on marks. That gets back to why we train on selection, although obviously not enough.
 

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To both of you: Why?
My dog is young and with the water being the way it is on the middle bird, if I bear down on her in an attempt to punch her out there, she’s probably going to think she needs more water. I’d rather her memory be pretty fresh and have her relaxed for the middle bird and hopefully outweigh her desire to get in too much water and potentially hunt all over that hill behind the gun, especially with more memory being eroded if we tried it last.
To me and for my dog, the left bird seems pretty straightforward and I think I can get her out there without too much trouble if we tried it last.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
from the photo, it is hard to see how the terrain really lays. Do you think picking up that bird last also influenced dogs in that direction? If picked up second, perhaps the memory of the right hand mark would influence the dog a little more right also.
I thought that the true line to the middle bird involved no water and was on the left edge of the dark green hump at the end of the land bridge. It was a very hard line to get. For an All Age Dog, I would expect push not suction from the right hand go bird - if you went there second. I would expect less push if you went there third. I thought from the beginning that the middle bird was the money bird
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
To clarify.... most people chose to pick up the middle mark last? Even though dogs struggled with that order? Were dogs choosing the middle bird themselves or were the handlers choosing for them? Was there success for any dogs that chose to pick up the middle bird second, or was the outcome the same?
Bill Burks went middle second. I went middle second. I think we were the only ones out of 12 to go middle second. Bruce Ahlers said that he wanted to go middle second, but his dog wanted left second.
 

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Bad / inexperienced handler making a response here.
In training ,,next shortest after go bird, next shortest after that.. consistency the reason…
At a test , don’t get into battle with the dog.. most dogs tend to like outside,outside, middle. The few dogs I have had, this Suggestion seems true… Don’t fool with dogs confidence…
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Were dogs choosing the middle bird themselves or were the handlers choosing for them?
That brings up another selection question. When do you let the dog decide?
 
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I believe that it is my job to choose the next bird and to persuade the dog that the bird I want is the bird he wants.
 

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Saw this at Idaho RC about 25 years ago, less upfront but more where the birds landed.
Done on a mountain meadow with a creek flowing before middle bird. Left hand bird was
wider & dogs had a tendency not to stay on that bird as the flyer was quite sweet. Lots of
dogs with letters in front of their names did not find bird #1. Middle bird was on the creek
bank & if your bird landed on the downwind side the dog easily blew through as they exited
the creek. All birds turned out to be hard due to circumstances. A well set mark in a 75 dog
field, only draw back was the senior judge interfered with the handlers about his view that
they were blocking their dog to hold them on the LH bird. You needed to be sure your dog
saw the LH bird down & then take it second. Lots of multiple handles on all 3 birds.

I would take the middle bird 2nd in this setup.
 

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Again from a hunt tester view point..
Some HT venues can designate an order of pick up on the marks, so a dog in that venue has to be comfortable with selection. Usually the scenario is a crippled bird, trying to escape.

I always took the meaning of “ next shortest” to mean distance. I think the dog when he comes back, MAY show you what bird he “wants” next. Unless there is a very good reason to argue with him, at a TEST , probably not worth the battle.. For Hunt Testing, that way of thinking has generally worked well..
I think a proficient HUNTING dog should be comfortable with his handler POSSIBLY making the selection of order… It is a valuable tool.
 

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So in a hunt test situation, All that is required is that you and your dog perform to a written standard. If you meet that standard you “Pass”

You are not competing against other dogs and handlers. You don’t have to beat another dog and handler..Other HT dogs may pick up the marks “more cleanly” than yours does, but quite possibly both dogs get a “pass”. Maybe one dog gets an “A” grade on a triple, yours gets a “C”. … both dogs get a pass on their marking. So, imho, in a test environment, and considering many folks are somewhat inexperienced, it’s best not to get in a battle with your dog at the line on his marks,UNLESS , you have a very good reason…
Different “Real World” situations out there..

jmho.
 
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