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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hypothetically speaking, if you have 4 weeks before a your second HRC seasoned test (your dog already has 1 pass), how would to approach training? what drills would you concentrate on leading up to the test?
fyi, the hunt test will be pasture for land, and swimming water.
 

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First off remember the goal is not the second seasonedass, the ultimate goal is a well trained dog that can run about any ht set up. Keep on your regimine, or program. Leading up the week before maybe a touch extra OB and if you can get witha group training day. Only other thing would be if you have access to similar terrain, use it leading up tot the test... Remember though the goal is not one test.
 

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How do you feel about your first pass? Did your dog run through it like a champ or were there some problem areas? Focus on the problems first. After running a HT ask the judges what their suggestion is to run a smoother test. I think throwing a lot of marks is a consistent plus... jmo
 

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This will sound a bit simple but....

Three things:
1. Those things he was somewhat weak on during the first test...steadiness, swinging with the gun, behavior, etc.
2. Lots of marks. Not lots of repetitions of a few marks but lots of different marks.
3. Cold blinds.

IOW, what got you to this point, you seem to be on the right trail. Keep on keepin' on.
 

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Normal training. Keep developing marking skills and blind work. If the dog did well on the first test by the second you should smash it if you continued your training. Don't forget holding blind drills and walk up drills.
 

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Until your dog is through what is referred to as basics and transition, focus your training efforts finishing that. For your marking set ups, try to design these to work on weaknesses of the dog. If you have no specific weakness, but just want to work on a range of things, I'd set up three marks. I'd run a double with a middle distance go bird and sort memory bird. This works on checking down on a short bird after going longer. Then I'd run a long single tight past the middle distance bird. This works on driving long past an old fall. I'd mix in running this same set up (not in the same location) as all singles. This will work to prevent head swinging.
For blinds, I'd set up 3 to 5 peat land and water blinds. Not repeating the same blind, but repeating the same concept. Examples are angling a ditch or road with each blind taking a tighter angle. Cross wind, angle water entry, etc. repeating the concept is much more effective than just trying to recreate a seasoned test where you run your two marks then a blind.
If your dog isn't at a level to run these types of marking and blind set ups, stay home and train!
 

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hypothetically speaking, if you have 4 weeks before a your second HRC seasoned test (your dog already has 1 pass), how would to approach training? what drills would you concentrate on leading up to the test?
fyi, the hunt test will be pasture for land, and swimming water.


Hypothetically speaking…….
How about just train the dog….Your though process is ass backwards, hypothetically, as are many of the trainers-to- be, thinking that the ribbon is more important.
Besides….I believe the dog will do just fine considering the short fall, it’s usually the handler who will cause the dog to fail.
Your choice though……..:)

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I plan on staying with my training regime, and continuing to work on our issues from the spring test. I like the idea of using holding blinds during training sessions, and 3 peats for blinds. Read somewhere that a week before, lay off cold blinds and work on singles, plan on doing that as well. Capt. i like the different types of singles you mentioned. i could do those with the ABC drills and W drills i use for marking. glad to see that me and another trainer to be had the right idea about working in areas that will be replicated during the test.
@BJ, you had a excellent post right up till you... started typing anything. How about next time, try answering the questions and not be a smart ###.
 

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I plan on staying with my training regime, and continuing to work on our issues from the spring test. I like the idea of using holding blinds during training sessions, and 3 peats for blinds. Read somewhere that a week before, lay off cold blinds and work on singles, plan on doing that as well. Capt. i like the different types of singles you mentioned. i could do those with the ABC drills and W drills i use for marking. glad to see that me and another trainer to be had the right idea about working in areas that will be replicated during the test.
@BJ, you had a excellent post right up till you... started typing anything. How about next time, try answering the questions and not be a smart ###.
How about you developing a thick skin and actually think what is being said. You want to be a trainer? ;)
 

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If there were issues in the last test work on those. Stick to your program. Teach and have fun!!!
 

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If you haven't done much pasture type work, that's where I'd be training. Many pastures will be big enough that it creates a featureless background, & a dog that hasn't done much work in that type of environment, might have marking issues when first exposed. I also like to work on marks & blinds that are much further out than what test distances are going to be, because if a dog can work reliably out to 200+ yds., it makes 100 yds., on test day, look like an easy training session.
 

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If he hasn't been exposed to pastures pls do so. He will have to experience and learn to ignore cowpies. Hank tried to pick up a cowpie once. It was awful. Lots of water to get the crap out of his mouth.

Pls don't respond to what you consider smart alec remarks in a negative fashion. If you don't like the response just move on. Remember you asked and will get all kind of responses. Just some grandfatherly advise.

Hope this helps.
 

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My best advice is not to train for a test, or certainly not with any time consraint in mind. Train for performance. If something is seriously lacking, train - don't test. Keep a journal so you can see trends in behavior forming, and manage your daily training to address those items, whle keeping your overall regimen balanced.

When I was running the trial circuit I followed advice given me by D.L. Walters; "Run them when they're ready to win." As pertains to a hunt test dog that would translate to "Run them when they're ready to exceed the standard, rather that just running them when the test date arrives."

Evan
 

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BJ gave you some good advice, regardless of the perceived manner that he gave it.

To me it is like trying to hit home runs in baseball. If you concentrate on that, you will likely hit some, but like Babe Ruth you will probably have to endure a lot of strikeouts. If you concentrate on learning the fundamentals of how to consistently make solid contact with the baseball, then the home runs will come - exactly at the level that you have the ability to hit them.

I am as competitive as anybody, and I have had to really learn that nobody wins a training day, so train your dog on what he needs to be trained on regardless of what everybody else is doing. In fact, I got another good lesson in that yesterday.

Same goes for ribbons. As my pro told me, the $2.50 ribbon is not worth allowing things that take $25,000 of time to train back out. He was specifically telling me to be prepared to pick my dog up if he broke, because he is a hard charger that I sometimes struggle to control as a first-time trainer. Your dog might have something like this, or maybe not. I believe that you cannot go wrong by consistently doing what is in the long-term best interest of your dog, regardless of what that means for winning a ribbon at a particular competition. But that is me; your belief may be different.

This post is probably worth exactly what you paid for it, so do with it what you will. As always, good luck
with your training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@BJ, you get called on being a Smart alec and in typical retort, you respond with "tougher skin". so original... you mad bro?
 

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Frankly, I don't think there is a set way to train before a hunt test. Dogs are not all the same. Some you may need to avoid conflicts and others might be better off taken down a notch. Well, maybe it would be better PC to just say take the edge off. In an extreme example, Taffey ran her best master tests when we succeeded in making her pop on marks in the Friday morning training session the day before a test. It depends.

Obviously, if you have four weeks, what you do will be different than if it were the week before. Common sense says maintain your strengths and shore-up the weaknesses. The issues that determine passing a Seasoned test are usually at the line. Focus and control make it easier for a dog to perform in the field. The same goes for the handler. "Experience at the line" is not just a dog issue. When the handler is confident, focused and responsive the dog will generally feed off that. Remember one important aspect of HRC tests - the gun.

Frankly, the week before a test, my dogs and I go into hunt test passing mode. We train to pass. They see what will be happening on test day....routines only become routines if you duplicate them. To repeat, marking and running blinds are usually not the issues, it's whether the team can function properly at the line which means keeping your mind in the game (both you and the dog).

Training is not all about marking, handling and running straight lines with factors........it's about being responsive, under control and focused. The great thing about empahasizing these factors daily is it carries over to test day.

One rule of thumb I practice the week before a test is we don't try to learn anything new. We simply review.

Why would anyone take a test if they didn't expect to pass it? So we work on those factors in the context of the routines we are most likely to see that weekend. The best approach is to be surprised if the dog fails.

Too often the motivation is "Let's see what happens." I know that one from personal history lessons and it leaves a hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach (for a long time).

It doesn't appear the OP has taken that approach. Good for him.
 

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Hypothetically speaking…….
How about just train the dog….Your though process is ass backwards, hypothetically, as are many of the trainers-to- be, thinking that the ribbon is more important.
Besides….I believe the dog will do just fine considering the short fall, it’s usually the handler who will cause the dog to fail.
Your choice though……..:)

Cheers
I did not see that the original post was indicating that the pass was more important than good training. It appears to be someone new to the game sincerely asking for constructive input.

It seems to be more forward thinking to me than "backwards".

Chris
 

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........ the week before a test, my dogs and I go into hunt test passing mode. We train to pass........

......One rule of thumb I practice the week before a test is we don't try to learn anything new. We simply review........
Words of wisdom right there….
Obviously train the complete dog
Obviously stick to your program.
Obviously do not enter if unsure.
A bit before a test, try to find larger training groups, with more dogs and trucks. Try to find strange grounds and new spots. Try to let the dog spend more time on the truck with
Other dogs running. Try to spend more time in holding blinds just in front of the line.
Train for the dreaded “Re-Bird and drink run” for the workers as you stand in the holding blind. Train for the dreaded “No-Bird” when you have to walk off line with no retrieve.
As both of those can be ruff on dog and handler. Try to up the number of live birds and fresh shot flyers your group uses and your dog receives. Try to add workers and crates to your live gun station. A test WILL Have 2 shooters, a tosser worker, a stack of live birds for all the dogs and if about to switch one or two random spare workers ready to pounce. Your every day training group will not have that. Or if it does I want to train with you.
The skills for the job your dog should have. The “Atmosphere” is what will cause difficulties. Have fun and thank the judges.
 

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@BJ, you get called on being a Smart alec and in typical retort, you respond with "tougher skin". so original... you mad bro?

Am I mad…Nope…Hopefully you saw the smiley face at the end of my first post. If I get mad at something which seldom happens, I walk away or not post at all.
The thick skin I mentioned has to do with having an ego. Ego and dogs don’t mix. Other than that, train first; test later…Emphasis on the training first.
Have a good day.:)
 
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