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As a new trainer I realize theres a little bit of thought that goes into planning and setting up marks for your dogs. Various factors that cause marks to be easy,difficult, fair, learning experiences etc. (wind, terrain)

to date most of my mark training has been hap hazardly throwing marks all over the place, and to be honest I mostly just consider how tall the grass is.

Hoping a few of the more experienced folks on here might be able to offer a few pointers on factors to consider when setting up marks.
 

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Get Mike Lardy's Total Retriever Marking and subscribe to Dennis Voigt's Retrievers ONLINE.

Lardys TRM has excellent information on building marking concepts. How to set them up, how various factors affect the difficulty of marks, and how to run them. What to do and what not to do in order of throws, etc...

Retrievers ONLINE is the single best source of information on retriever training basr none. Retrievers ONLINE has articles of covering everything to do with the dog games but I really like the articles on marking set ups for training. If you read a few issues of Retrievers ONLINE you'll get countless ideas on how to set up quality marks that teach the dog how to deal with various concepts.
 

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I agree Lardy's has some excellent info on building on marking concepts. You might even consider looking into a local AKC or HRC club to help with the marking aspects. There seem to always be a knowledgible group of guys around the clubs!
 

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some things that I look for are terrain, wind, cover, and distance - first and foremost you want to make sure the dog can see the mark- then if you want to make it easy then light cover like mowed grass, a little more difficult would be add terrain like rolling hills in mowed grass then to add more difficulty add cover like taller grass on flat then move into rolling/ hilly terrain then to add even more difficulty make sure the wind is at your back. then work out distances slowly move out from throwing from his side to making him sit and then walk away from him and throw it then walk back to his side then send him, i think that works on concentration- I forgot to add number of marks slowly add more marks up to 4 or 5 but that is after many weeks of training/ teaching

good luck
 

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Try "Retriever Training Tests" by James Spencer.......
And this,Building A Retriever: Drills & More
By Carol F. Cassity


john
 

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All of the above is great advice. I'm fairly new as well and here's what's helped me.

1) Train as often as you can with people who are more experienced than you and ask they WHY they setup marks the way they do. If they're worth training with, they will be happy to explain their thinking.

2) Retrievers Online; and get as many back issues as you can. There's an index online. Browse it and order any that look like they talk about marking.

3) Retriever Field Trial Judging - A Manual - found here:
http://www.theretrievernews.com/Store
Don't be scared by the name. There is a TON of great information regarding marking setups in here. It really provides a bunch of useful information on dog's natural tendencies as they relate to factors and how to design tests around that relationship (natural tendencies to factors). Even if field trials aren't your game, for $20 this is also a must have.

4) Total Retriever Marking is good, and I could be wrong here (someone please correct me if I am) but I'm not sure it's a really good source for learning about actual bird placement. Don't get me wrong, it's a great resource, but I remember it helping more with the progression through marking (singles to doubles to triples to retireds, etc) than actually looking at a field and figuring out where to place the birds. If I had to choose between getting TRM or getting $150 worth of Retriever's Online back issues, I'm pretty sure I'd take the Online back issues.
 

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I'm totally new to this so my opinion isn't worth much, but I was given a great piece of advice by someone and I keep it in mind all the time...

"Easy to get to, hard to find. Hard to get to, easy to find."
 

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I'm totally new to this so my opinion isn't worth much, but I was given a great piece of advice by someone and I keep it in mind all the time...

"Easy to get to, hard to find. Hard to get to, easy to find."
I prefer "hard to get to, easy to find". That is, a dog that works hard to get to the right place is rewarded with a bird.
 

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I live in Alaska -- lots of snow. Any idea how to set these up -- the only places that have snow removed is parking lots and the street -- rolling fields right now are covered in 130 inches of snow. We are working the parking lots right now but very limiting,
 

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Some of the snow dumps have been worthwhile in Anchortown. They're getting very full though. I haven't seen them this full in the 21 years I've been training. Same with the valley hay fields, just not wind blown enough this year.

The good thing is is that all the drills for basics, except swim by, can be done in parking lots, or in the house.
 
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