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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need help, think it’s a confidence problem. During marks, my dog will spin really fast counterclockwise 1 time about 60 yards out if she looses sight of mark. This happens in all types of cover which has been from low cut yard to hay fields. When dog spins, her head is up in a posture as if she is looking for the mark, her tail is also up. When she comes out of spin she continues on a line to pick the mark up. Sometimes she is on line for the mark and gets lucky and sometimes not and then eventually confuses herself to the point that she comes back in to the heal position. How in the world can this be fixed. Thanks
 

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This is a very complex and complicated problem for which there is no quick or easy solution. Every time she spins it becomes more deeply ingrained. I would be very cautious about experimenting with internet cures, you could make it worse. For the immediate quit doing marks, run blinds and if she spins apply an appropriate correction which could be a verbal back to unspin her or a whistle collar correction before she completes the spin. Bill Eckett devised a drill which has been detailed here to address a different problem but it might be applicable for this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is a very complex and complicated problem for which there is no quick or easy solution. Every time she spins it becomes more deeply ingrained. I would be very cautious about experimenting with internet cures, you could make it worse. For the immediate quit doing marks, run blinds and if she spins apply an appropriate correction which could be a verbal back to unspin her or a whistle collar correction before she completes the spin. Bill Eckett devised a drill which has been detailed here to address a different problem but it might be applicable for this problem.
Think you so much. I agree with internet answers. I have got several recommendations on how to fix:
1. Apply a very low constant collar correction when spin starts and end the correction as soon as spin stops.
2. set a 5 leg pattern blind up with distances that exceed the distance where spin starts. Apply collar pressure during spin. This method was explained to apply pressure on blind so that is not a negative in the marks.
3. throw lots of marks where the dog is successful 100%. This method should take a long time. Repetition to show the right way and possibly replace bad with good

I should say that I threw some 160 yards marks Tuesday with 3” white bumpers on very short grass and was successful and extremely happy.Threw some 75s Saturday on same ground where bumper sunk in mud due to a lot of rain. Dog spun. Also I sit the dog and move out and throw left and right.

I am almost tempted to run out there and pick the dummy up as if I would when she would break.
 

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Think you so much. I agree with internet answers. I have got several recommendations on how to fix:
1. Apply a very low constant collar correction when spin starts and end the correction as soon as spin stops.
2. set a 5 leg pattern blind up with distances that exceed the distance where spin starts. Apply collar pressure during spin. This method was explained to apply pressure on blind so that is not a negative in the marks.
3. throw lots of marks where the dog is successful 100%. This method should take a long time. Repetition to show the right way and possibly replace bad with good

I should say that I threw some 160 yards marks Tuesday with 3” white bumpers on very short grass and was successful and extremely happy.Threw some 75s Saturday on same ground where bumper sunk in mud due to a lot of rain. Dog spun. Also I sit the dog and move out and throw left and right.

I am almost tempted to run out there and pick the dummy up as if I would when she would break.
If you choose to use pressure the timing is CRITICAL, if you are slow you can make the spin worse. I would exhaust other options before using pressure and then only with a person very experienced in dealing with the problem. This is one of those problems which should be addressed immediately, as soon as it rears it’s ugly head,
 

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Need help, think it’s a confidence problem. During marks, my dog will spin really fast counterclockwise 1 time about 60 yards out if she looses sight of mark. This happens in all types of cover which has been from low cut yard to hay fields. When dog spins, her head is up in a posture as if she is looking for the mark, her tail is also up. When she comes out of spin she continues on a line to pick the mark up. Sometimes she is on line for the mark and gets lucky and sometimes not and then eventually confuses herself to the point that she comes back in to the heal position. How in the world can this be fixed. Thanks

Is it a Golden by chance?
 

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She spins ONLY if she loses sight of the mark? That means through a cover change or terrain change? Will she do this on, say a 40 yd mark thrown at the top of a rise, where she is at the bottom of the hill and has to go up? Or, through a wall of cover at 20 yd, where the mark is 50 yd and in the open on the other side? I would TRY like heck to build her confidence on shorter marks with the same factors that are causing the spin.

Is it possible she is doing this because she had a 'fire drill' to a long mark? Say the gunner shot and threw as she was running and the 'shot' echoed off trees/terrain? (BTW, I wouldn't use sound on firedrill type marks, except the initial throw). Or another throw from a launcher like a BB (that shoots/makes noise, no matter what).

Is it possible she heard a bird whistle and it confused her? (At a trial this weekend I heard a bird that sounded exactly like a come in whistle, LOL).

What other type of training are you doing right now?
 

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I don’t think spinning on marks is always man made but in general it is, the dog either misinterprets a correction or is inappropriately corrected. Perhaps it is confusion, it is an expression of loss of confidence or being over conscientious. I had a talented dog who would never spin in training but did on more than one occasion spin enroute to a long retired gun mark or in a very tight mark setup.
 

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I don’t think spinning on marks is always man made but in general it is, the dog either misinterprets a correction or is inappropriately corrected. Perhaps it is confusion,it is an expression of loss of confidence or being over conscientious. I had a talented dog who would never spin in training but did on more than one occasion spin enroute to a long retired gun mark or in a very tight mark setup.
THIS:
it is an expression of loss of confidence or being over conscientious.
 

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Have you tried a second bumper thrown while the dog is on it's way out, before the spin? You need someone to throw for you that will follow your direction to do this, and an agreed upon signal to throw the second bumper.

Does the dog spin if you throw a bird? You didn't mention that you have used any.

I agree with those that have said to nip this in the bud, and that adding pressure through correction is a bad idea. A habit is forming, or may already be ingrained. You didn't say how long this has been going on. -Paul
 

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First - I m a nobody and I don’t have any serious pelts. Anything I offer comes from me training our mutts for many years.
2nd / there are so many variables to your described issue. It’s impossible to cover from the internet.
most behavioral issues are things we did
3rd - some ideas
  • simplification as make it easier
  • use a different location
  • allow a friend to run the dog and see if it’s any different
  • don’t keep grinding expecting a different result
  • consider no training for some period of time ( allowing the dog to unwind and relax)
  • when u start back - easy stuff and don’t overdo - ease back into more difficult work
  • just because u haven’t had enough doesn’t mean the pooch wants more work
Good luck
Dk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
She spins ONLY if she loses sight of the mark? That means through a cover change or terrain change? Will she do this on, say a 40 yd mark thrown at the top of a rise, where she is at the bottom of the hill and has to go up? Or, through a wall of cover at 20 yd, where the mark is 50 yd and in the open on the other side? I would TRY like heck to build her confidence on shorter marks with the same factors that are causing the spin.

Is it possible she is doing this because she had a 'fire drill' to a long mark? Say the gunner shot and threw as she was running and the 'shot' echoed off trees/terrain? (BTW, I wouldn't use sound on firedrill type marks, except the initial throw). Or another throw from a launcher like a BB (that shoots/makes noise, no matter what).

Is it possible she heard a bird whistle and it confused her? (At a trial this weekend I heard a bird that sounded exactly like a come in whistle, LOL).

What other type of training are you doing right now?
I don’t believe any of this is a factor. I normally train on extremely flat ground, hardly any depressions or rises. I can manipulate cover by allowing pasture to grow. I also mostly throw singles, an attempt to polish marking ability. I am also training on blinds with her. Have even tried to increase her distance by using white buckets in lining drills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Have you tried a second bumper thrown while the dog is on it's way out, before the spin? You need someone to throw for you that will follow your direction to do this, and an agreed upon signal to throw the second bumper.

Does the dog spin if you throw a bird? You didn't mention that you have used any.

I agree with those that have said to nip this in the bud, and that adding pressure through correction is a bad idea. A habit is forming, or may already be ingrained. You didn't say how long this has been going on. -Paul
Yes, the dog is very fast and has a lot of power in her run. With this in mind, it is obvious when she is breaking down and about to spin. Which allows for additional bumpers to be thrown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
does she spin on blinds?
Have not seen it yet. But I also have not got to that distance yet. I am really cautious in training and do not race the clock. I have never been interested in having the youngest HRCH or close to it.
 

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I watched a handler at a master test a couple of weeks back run a pair of golden retrievers. The dogs looked just alike. I never asked but assumed they were closely related. Both dogs spun on every mark. Sometimes 15 yards from the line, sometimes 100 yards from the line. What was funny to me is they were the happiest looking dogs at the test. It almost looked as if they were showing off because despite the spinning they actually marked the birds pretty well.

I'd never condone this but I thought it was interesting to watch.
 

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Many years ago, I took my two young grandchildren for their first piano lesson. The parent stayed
for the first session. The most interesting comment made that day involved practice vs. making
mistakes. The warning was striking. "For every mistake you make it will be necessary do that
step correctly ten times in a row to get back to even." The usual problem is mistakes are not
all that obvious when one does not know what one looks like......until later.

Therefore, if the dog has been "spinning" regularly, the process is not going to be corrected until
the dog begins NOT spinning (obviously). This means that training must become more about thinking
outside of the box......not continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result. :geek:

Corrections and pressure will not work because the dog does not know what it is supposed to do.
In addition, the dog has a well established, conditioned response that is unacceptable. Therefore,
any kind of session where the dog is expected to move away from the trainer is not going to be
effective. Wishful thinking has never been a very effective process.

Does the dog spin on a recall "Here"? (probably not). What if the bumper is eventually thrown in front
of the dog pointed toward you, running at you (from close, remote sits with "here")? Even taking the
bumper from your hand on the way by maybe even eventually past you on a very short toss....eventually.
There is the much needed reward. It would wise to think about how long eventually should be.

I am guessing eventually will not be a few days......shouldn't test to find out. Mostly because solid
conditioned response are usually a good sized number of correct, incremental reps. One hundred
reps sounds like a lot.....for starters, but it is not in the grand scheme of conditioned responses.

Here's an example.....doing a training session in the yard (often) using remote wingers/mallards. The
concept is eventually "duck in the air means sit" (a walk-up)....dog doesn't sit......no retrieve. However,
the teaching session involves phasing out the verbal sit or the whistle sit. A retriever in a test doing
a walk-up can be given only one command. The choices are a verbal "sit" or a "whistle sit". By
teaching "bird in the air" sit, I get two. :love:

note: "sit to flush" (even if it is out of range)

http://web.archive.org/web/20120603223340/http://www.northernflight.com/steadinesstoflush.htm
 

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Dog is not doing anything wrong, it's just not doing it right. Regards 'Bubba' :LOL:
 

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This is a very complex and complicated problem for which there is no quick or easy solution. Every time she spins it becomes more deeply ingrained. I would be very cautious about experimenting with internet cures, you could make it worse. For the immediate quit doing marks, run blinds and if she spins apply an appropriate correction which could be a verbal back to unspin her or a whistle collar correction before she completes the spin. Bill Eckett devised a drill which has been detailed here to address a different problem but it might be applicable for this problem.
i agree. I had a chocolate lab that would spin when sent for the blinds. By the time he finished spinning he was very far off line. In his case it was stress-my first field dog and I was nervous and he was nervous. Bad combo. We would train and train. Seminar we attended (can’t remember who) said a very difficult problem to correct. The only recommendation was stop the dog and cast back the opposite direction from which they were spinning. But timing is critical.

Never resolved the problem. Retired him from competing but continued training him the rest of his life. He loved the work!

Never had the issue again with any other dog. I calmed down. My next 3 dogs had/have Master titles and many passes. Never an issue.

I suspect the two Goldens are overly excited from the descriptions. If the can still mark properly why fight it? If their performance is good, leave it be.
 
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