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After a day to reflect on a seasoned test failure, I thought some people new to this game might get something out of my observations that will benefit them in training and eventually preparing them to run the seasoned test.
I will cut right to the point: (These are things I saw or experienced)
1) If your dog has a control problem, either walking to line line off or on lead- he isn't ready. Because you are not going to correct him, his problem will not get better. If he has any issues, multiply by 5 or 10 with all the excitement. Don't test.
2) If your dog occassionally doesn't respond to a whistle stop and wants to blow you off sometimes, don't test. He won't magically fix himself.
3) If you are not 100 % confident your dog can run a double, consistently, without switching birds, don't test him.
4) Ask yourself, does your dog take your cast reliably? If yes, great, if not, go back to work. The dogs are amped up, hot and distracted to a level that you can't replicate.
5) Practice the test with a real shotgun. Safety has to be a non-thinking issue. If you are concerned about that (safety warning) you are taking your mind off your dog and stupid things occur right before your eyes. Trust me on this.
6) Be relaxed and confident - the dog feeds off that. I watched some very relaxed guys and their dogs did well. Others didn't.
7) Have fun and have a sense of humor.
Bottom line - Don't rush into these test. When you are ready to run it, you'll know it and it will a lot more fun than watching things collapse in front of you.
feel free to pile on. There is a lot to learn!
Semper Fi
 

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Ain't gonna pile on. Been there, done that, and a t-shirt doesn't cover the embarrassment at the time. They're dogs and we're humans. I would think it would be worse to not learn from what happened, which it looks like you're learning so it'll get better.
 

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Sorry about your test but it sounds like you have a good handle on the situation. I thought this might be a good place to mention realistic group training. My old retriever club did a great job of replicating the sights and sounds of a hunt test. As a dog waits his turn at the line they invariably get jacked up. Add the fact they do not have a collar on it doesn't take long for a dog to realize misdeeds will likely not be corrected. During group traning the sights and sounds can be replicated and your team members can assist you with line manners. Take the collar off the dog and give your heeling stick to the club member acting as judge and make sure he keeps it behind his back - you can give the verbal correction and your team mate can reinforce it. In your face marks - real birds - diversion birds - long honors all help to get a dog ready for the real thing. A session with a good correction followed by praise IMO is often better than a clean run.
 

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Don't tell Your dog to fetch, if he's dropped the bird at your feet, and the diversions sitting right in front of you.

Replaying this several times I think it'd be better to turn and back way, or walk sideways and call the dog to heel, that they'd be more likely to pick up the correct bird

But the fetch, no heel, fetch, no heel game of pickle is pretty embarrassing ;)

Also don't say dogs name while adjusting them for a blind and then wonder why they're half way across the pond ;)
 

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Don't tell Your dog to fetch, if he's dropped the bird at your feet, and the diversions sitting right in front of you.

Replaying this several times I think it'd be better to turn and back way, or walk sideways and call the dog to heel, that they'd be more likely to pick up the correct bird

But the fetch, no heel, fetch, no heel game of pickle is pretty embarrassing ;)

Also don't say dogs name while adjusting them for a blind and then wonder why they're half way across the pond ;)
Don't even worry about switching on the diversion. In seasoned a switch by it's self is not a failing fault, only a mark down. I can't figure out why they even have a diversion in seasoned.
 

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Great ideas/checklist. Something every newbie should be aware of!
 

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Don't tell Your dog to fetch, if he's dropped the bird at your feet, and the diversions sitting right in front of you.

Replaying this several times I think it'd be better to turn and back way, or walk sideways and call the dog to heel, that they'd be more likely to pick up the correct bird

But the fetch, no heel, fetch, no heel game of pickle is pretty embarrassing ;)

Also don't say dogs name while adjusting them for a blind and then wonder why they're half way across the pond ;)
The saying fetch when the diversion is in front of you when dog just dropped the bird is a great one. Lol. Just went thru that in training set up last week. I just shook my head and said, well he did what I told him...
 

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Makes me chuckle to read this. I did this to my dog in front of my pro while he was supposed to be honoring. He turned and said "I don't believe I'd do that again." I said "What's wrong with - ohhhhhhhhhh. Gotcha"

Once again, dog training is an humbling experience.

add: don't call u're dog's name to get their attention for the second bird! That was a mistake i made ONCE
 

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After a day to reflect on a seasoned test failure, I thought some people new to this game might get something out of my observations that will benefit them in training and eventually preparing them to run the seasoned test.
I will cut right to the point: (These are things I saw or experienced)
1) If your dog has a control problem, either walking to line line off or on lead- he isn't ready. Because you are not going to correct him, his problem will not get better. If he has any issues, multiply by 5 or 10 with all the excitement. Don't test.
2) If your dog occassionally doesn't respond to a whistle stop and wants to blow you off sometimes, don't test. He won't magically fix himself.
3) If you are not 100 % confident your dog can run a double, consistently, without switching birds, don't test him.
4) Ask yourself, does your dog take your cast reliably? If yes, great, if not, go back to work. The dogs are amped up, hot and distracted to a level that you can't replicate.
5) Practice the test with a real shotgun. Safety has to be a non-thinking issue. If you are concerned about that (safety warning) you are taking your mind off your dog and stupid things occur right before your eyes. Trust me on this.
6) Be relaxed and confident - the dog feeds off that. I watched some very relaxed guys and their dogs did well. Others didn't.
7) Have fun and have a sense of humor.
Bottom line - Don't rush into these test. When you are ready to run it, you'll know it and it will a lot more fun than watching things collapse in front of you.
feel free to pile on. There is a lot to learn!
Semper Fi
"It's better to have run and failed than to have never run at all!"
(JMO)

All the holes get exposed, but you seem to have taken it with good nature.
Your dog had fun and now you know what to train on!!

Great story, just so you know, you are not the LONE RANGER!!!:cool:


stan b
 

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Yeah buddy, those things will happen. Live and learn, its what its all about. When you get those items straightend out your gonna be one happy camper.
Iv'e been through all of that and more. Good training and keep going. I can't wait till ya get to finished. Live and learn again. Well thats how it went for me.:)
 

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I hate it that you didn't pass it, but based on your post, you learned a lot of valuable information. I ran Reese in the puppy class @ the BSS field trial test 3 years ago. Although we were in a small class, I still learned a lot of what I needed to train for, and what the expectations would be. Immediately, I realized that if we were ever going to have a chance, that we would have to train around as many dogs as possible. It isn't realistic to mimic a hunt test, but the more dogs you can get in a group to train around, the less distracted the dog will be in a test situation. Get the obedience solid when other dogs are around. One of my theories has always been to train marks & blinds much harder & farther than you will ever see in a test. Once you are able to reliably run those kind of marks & blinds, the test marks & blinds will seem more like a light duty training run.

Now I'm not experienced enough to truly say whether or not my theory works or not, but we ran our first hunt trial test at SOWEGA in the same seasoned class, and it worked then. We'll see how it goes the rest of the spring.

Good luck with your training. Hope to see you at another test soon.
 

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great post, thanks!
 

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That perp walk in front of the gallery is hard. Been there and done that. Keep on trucking it will get better.

My now retired dog, Hudson, was a pistol and had real control issues. I finally got him under control so he would walk to the line with me and not creep too bad.

I was at a master test once in the gallery and saw a handler and his dog walk to the line perfectly. Several of us said "I wish my dog was like that". Then we said "maybe not" as the dog didn't pick up a single bird without handling.

Good luck!
 

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After a day to reflect on a seasoned test failure, I thought some people new to this game might get something out of my observations that will benefit them in training and eventually preparing them to run the seasoned test.
I will cut right to the point: (These are things I saw or experienced)
1) If your dog has a control problem, either walking to line line off or on lead- he isn't ready. Because you are not going to correct him, his problem will not get better. If he has any issues, multiply by 5 or 10 with all the excitement. Don't test.
2) If your dog occassionally doesn't respond to a whistle stop and wants to blow you off sometimes, don't test. He won't magically fix himself.
3) If you are not 100 % confident your dog can run a double, consistently, without switching birds, don't test him.
4) Ask yourself, does your dog take your cast reliably? If yes, great, if not, go back to work. The dogs are amped up, hot and distracted to a level that you can't replicate.
5) Practice the test with a real shotgun. Safety has to be a non-thinking issue. If you are concerned about that (safety warning) you are taking your mind off your dog and stupid things occur right before your eyes. Trust me on this.
6) Be relaxed and confident - the dog feeds off that. I watched some very relaxed guys and their dogs did well. Others didn't.
7) Have fun and have a sense of humor.
Bottom line - Don't rush into these test. When you are ready to run it, you'll know it and it will a lot more fun than watching things collapse in front of you.
feel free to pile on. There is a lot to learn!
Semper Fi
Good points. I also ran the tests both days. Passed one and failed one with my puppy that I knew wasn't ready yet. I just ran it to have fun, and I was there anyway. If I were to have bet, I would have put money that my puppy would have broke on the walk-up, 1st mark and the blind. To my surprise, he didn't. He failed for his water blind, but I knew his blinds weren't ready for tests yet. I mainly wanted to see his marking in a test environment, which I was pleased with. We will be ready next Fall for seasoned and finished, which is were I like my dogs to be when I am running seasoned.

I thought the judges put together two very challenging but fair tests, and judged each dog fairly. I want to thank all of the judges, bird boys and handlers for coming. I had a great time. We had our normal snags that a small club has like our seasoned test dog running test dog in the wrong flight, but all in all, the test ended up being a blast.

Beside all of that, I am pleased to announce that our raffle and speed dog raised approximately $900 for the Lymphoma Society in honor of the land owner. Thanks to all the people that contributed money to the raffle and speed dog (especially Ellis Howard and Chipper for contributing their winnings back to the charity). This is one of the things our board decided to do a couple of years ago is to donate the raffle proceeds to a good cause. In three test, we have donated over $8,500 to a good cause.

Thanks to everyone.
 

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Another lesson learned...... be SURE and name your next dog a bad assed name like Bubba's : "Hold My Beer and Watch This" . Classic.

SOWEGA has some great people, all the way around.
 

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Also, another good point is when you get one pass away from a started title, RUN SEASONED and avoid a bath. :)
 
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