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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I have gone thru FF and my little Brittany is fetching with great consistency. I want to move forward from here and would think that teaching "take a line" would be one of the first things I must do. Could someone please outline briefly how I get the dog to go out in a straight line to pick up the dummy.

Best Regards,

Leon
 

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There is alot to it, and I would reccomend that you look at the purchase of the Evam Graham Smartworks book/DVD's as a guide.
 

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I can tell you what a friend does with a young dog that is force fetched - you can teach sight blinds. Start by walking the dog out on the path you intend to send it on and drop a bumper. Heel the dog back on the same path, turn around, line the dog up, and send it. Start out with visible bumpers so the dog gets the idea.

Then you can work into obstacles like light cover, logs, straw bales, ditches, creeks, side hills, etc. Obviously you start out really short and easy, sending the dog up close to the obstacle so it pretty much cannot avoid it, and then start gradually backing up as the dog begins to "get it." He starts his dogs out this way at a really young age and continues it throughout their lifetimes.

We ran some qualifying stake type blinds last night across side hills and in and out of water through a winding creek, and his dog that's gotten lots of this work did a wonderful job. Mine, that hasn't had so much of this work got it done, but it wasn't nearly so pretty. :oops: He suggested that I might want to get busy...
 

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One that I like once the dog has learned pile work is to lay out bumpers, spaced 10-15 yards apart in a straight line out to about 125 yards. Send the dog for the first bumper, about 15 yards out, return, send for the next and so on. Work the dog to the end of the lone of bumpers. DO this for a day or three until the dog is making it out to the last bumper in a nice straight line. I will continue working this same drill, but will move the distance of the first bumper out to about 50 yards and the farthest to about 150 (more if you like). I do this until the dog is taking a good line. I then start removing the closer bumpers and leaving more in the farthest pile until finally the dog is running only to the last bumper (I uses a pile) at the 150 mark or so. Then I will do the drill with only a single pile (identify if you need to) at 150 yards. After a couple of days of this I usually will see the dog running a pretty good line.



Line >>> 15 yards>> bumper >> 15 yards >> bumper……..>> bumper (125 yards)

Line >> 50 yards>> bumper>>15 yards bumper>>15 yards bumper>>…>>bumper (150)

Line >>75 yards >>bumper>>15 yards bumper>>15 yards bumper>>…>>bumper (150)

Line>100 yards>>bumper>>15 yards Bumper>>15 yards bumper>…>>bumpers (150)

Line >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>150 yards>>>>>>>pile of bumpers
 

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Has anyone noticed cheating singles helping their blind work (running straight)? I would think that one would help with the other. My dog's style on blinds has decreased along with running straight so if anyone could add some more ideas on this subject it would be great.

Thanks

Brock
 

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No expert but found the opposite - my dogs seem to learn to run straight by teaching to line blinds across obsticles perhaps because GSPs are very hard going and want to gothe fastest way (in their eyes!)
 

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swainsons said:
I have gone thru FF and my little Brittany is fetching with great consistency. I want to move forward from here and would think that teaching "take a line" would be one of the first things I must do. Could someone please outline briefly how I get the dog to go out in a straight line to pick up the dummy.
Leon
IMHO the "first thing" is the first step the dog takes and that comes with precision heeling.If they get up straight they can go straight.
I teach pivot heeling such that keeping my heels together I turn in a circle and have the dog pivot without standing up at heel clockwise and counterclockwise. This will allow you to make the fine adjustments needed in true lining.

Tim
 

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Brock Winston said:
Has anyone noticed cheating singles helping their blind work (running straight)? I would think that one would help with the other. My dog's style on blinds has decreased along with running straight so if anyone could add some more ideas on this subject it would be great.

Thanks

Brock
Yes that can be true. I've been employing that theory on my younger dog lately. I heard from some pro but can't recall which one.
 

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Brad B said:
Brock Winston said:
Has anyone noticed cheating singles helping their blind work (running straight)? I would think that one would help with the other. My dog's style on blinds has decreased along with running straight so if anyone could add some more ideas on this subject it would be great.

Thanks

Brock
Yes that can be true. I've been employing that theory on my younger dog lately. I heard from some pro but can't recall which one.
I would think that would be true. But what the guy was asking about was something for a young dog, and the guy I was talking about does those sight blinds with young dogs to teach them to be honest with factors early.

What I would be interested in hearing from Leon is, what program are you using? Is walking fetch, stick fetch, and pile work part of your program? Because that's all part of it... Those things lead to handling, which will allow you to do cheating singles.

All along, I'm assuming that you (Loen) are talking about doing marks, and your dog is flaring factors - not running a straight line... Is that correct?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello Buzz and all others,

Nope... not using stick fetch and the like. If I was training for field trials I would go thru all that, but I am just a rough shooter so dont think I need all that. For now I just want a dog that will go out in a straight line. Blinds can follow. My first Brittany never went thru any of this and he is good enough in the field, I can count on one hand the birds he has not retrieved/ found in 5 yrs of shooting.

The dog will run a straight line in a seen retrieve, the moment it is even slightly blind she starts hunting very short from where I let her off. It seems the answer is to to more seen retrieves but get the distance to increase.

Regards,
 

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Buzz said:
I can tell you what a friend does with a young dog that is force fetched - you can teach sight blinds. Start by walking the dog out on the path you intend to send it on and drop a bumper. Heel the dog back on the same path, turn around, line the dog up, and send it. Start out with visible bumpers so the dog gets the idea.

Then you can work into obstacles like light cover, logs, straw bales, ditches, creeks, side hills, etc. Obviously you start out really short and easy, sending the dog up close to the obstacle so it pretty much cannot avoid it, and then start gradually backing up as the dog begins to "get it." He starts his dogs out this way at a really young age and continues it throughout their lifetimes.
This is what I did w/ Finn from a young age (he wasn't ff'd). He really enjoyed it & would burn out as hard as he would for a mark. I'm sure what the trainer has done since then has benefited him far more than this, but I like to think this "game" created an initial & long lasting love for being sent for blinds. That certainly seems to be the case. I think that doing this type of thing before you ever introduce pressure or force instills a good attitude that helps them through when you do start that process.

Oh-as for Tim's thoughts on lining-I feel I recently learned so much about how important that is. Between push/pull drills & really identifying "markers" on the line to the blind.

M
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Brock Winston said:
Has anyone noticed cheating singles helping their blind work (running straight)? I would think that one would help with the other. My dog's style on blinds has decreased along with running straight so if anyone could add some more ideas on this subject it would be great.

Thanks

Brock
Yes, in fact that's what it's all about... You use your cheating singles to teach them to carry a line through factors. And you reinforce that with your blinds.

You can actually use one or the other to teach concepts. When you use cheating singles, it CAN help maintain a good attitude because it's a "mark" (keep in mind that if the dog has a tough time, you can kill attitude, so you have to be careful).

I like to teach most things (cover walls, angle entries, sidehills, etc.) as singles first (and often walking singles where each mark is the same concept with increasing difficulty -- so you throw a down the shore mark, dog does well, gunner just goes "x" feet or yards beyond that fall and throws another, more demanding mark, and so on and so forth).

THEN follow up with multiple blinds in the same manner -- increasing difficulty on the same concept, longer each time -- in a set of 3-4 or more blinds in one session.

So they are absolutely complementary and you can use a balance of them depending on your dog's attitude and ability and how they respond to each (as far as which makes it easier for them to be successful).

As far as your dog's style decreasing... I'm not sure how long you've been running blinds. But in general, a bad attitude often comes from demanding too straight of a line too soon. For the first cold blinds (often for a couple of months or more), we are only working on MOMENTUM and CHANGING DIRECTION -- NOT on a perfect line. My rule is this: Let the dog run as hard and fast for as long as possible -- JUST BEFORE the point at which I feel he couldn't recover with a cast. This point may be a good bit off line, but that's OK for a young dog. Because you're working on momentum and attitude. THEN once you have the momentum, attitude and ability to change directon (just to change direction, NOT a perfect cast).... THEN you start tightening up your line OVER TIME. If you demand a fine line too early in training, you can sour your dog because you're having to stop them more frequently. The point is to let them run as much as possible. THEN ease them into a straight line by requiring better and better casting over the however many months after they start running cold blinds.

It is also helpful if you've been consistent in your line mechanics from the time they were a puppy and throughout their yardwork. If you've been aware of and careful that they are properly lined up, this is a tool in your box to communicate the destination to them. If you area sloppy handler and your dog is off kilter as you're lining him up for a blind, then expect sloppy work and a dog that may not clearly understand what you're asking because of your inconsistencies...

-K
 

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swainsons said:
Hello Buzz and all others,

Nope... not using stick fetch and the like. If I was training for field trials I would go thru all that, but I am just a rough shooter so dont think I need all that. For now I just want a dog that will go out in a straight line.
Every skill we teach in those structured programs is a building block in the foundation that a handling dog can be built upon, force fetch is the cornerstone. Ultimately a dog learns to run straight lines doing cheating singles. There are a lot of building blocks that go in between force fetch and cheating singles. My buddy starts simple sight blinds and gradually increases the difficulty as the dog matures because he feels that it helps turn the light on for the dog when cheating singles come along.
 

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Wow, thanks for your help Kristie, I think I am requiring a straight line too soon. His attitude was great in the fall and after the time change and duck season I was unable to train consistently. But, I am back at it. I have been running blinds for a while but I think my dog is slow to mature. I will take a step back and try to establish confidence before I move on. I think inconsistency at the line adds to this problem also. I need to make a pre-blind routine and stick to it. (Kind of like in golf with a pre-shot routine)

Thanks Again

Brock
 
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