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That title sounds all wrong but hear me out. HRCH level lab that is an excellent marker and handles well on blinds. But on that occasional very challenging long mark - as in last Fall Grand - judges wanted me to handle him to the last mark which unfortunately is a weakness. When the boy is in hunt/mark mode and at distance his handling breaks down and I get refusals because he thinks he's supposed to hunt and knows where the mark is (i.e. overconfidence). So my question is, other than just continuing to work on long distance handles on blinds (which doesn't really duplicate his mindset when on a mark) can anyone offer a training tip that might help this specific issue? I suppose I can try to induce failure by making a very difficult mark and then handle him w/corrections as needed but I don't want to start a popping problem either.

Thanks
 

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Sounds like the bread down was on the long mark! Therefore, I would work more on long marks, with similar complexity and length, and avoid setting him up to handle, as that is a failure in confidence in the pup on long marks and could lead to bigger problems. Once he has long marks nailed consistently, I would start to lengthen his blinds. In time he will handle well on long blinds, which would then lead to good handling if he has a bad mark in a test....
 

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Cheating singles since water/land is a clear, black and white teaching lesson.
They can be long cheating singles, but the lesson should be black and white....
handle to correct the route, do not handle in the area of the fall.
 

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Cheating singles since water/land is a clear, black and white teaching lesson.
They can be long cheating singles, but the lesson should be black and white....
handle to correct the route, do not handle in the area of the fall.
You could still be handling in the AOF on a down the shore mark....


There is this huge phobia out there about handling on marks. It was already a thing when I got in the game 9 years ago. But like everything, balance is everything. There is nothing wrong with handling on marks when needed and correcting to make them take the cast, but you cannot handle on every mark, or you will get side effects. Just like you have a side effect of the dog not casting cause I'm assuming, you don't handle on marks. Balance, balance, balance.
 

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Maybe a longshot, but how do you finish your blinds? Do you get him near the end then toot-toot to let him loose to hunt it up, or do you handle all the way to the bird? Work on control at the end of your blinds. Cast him past, bring him back. Stop him 10 ft from the bird. Control. Box him around the bird even if he knows where it is. He may be used too much freedom.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think you may have a point there - do stop him as he approaches blind from time to time but not really perfect at long distance so definitely can use work on that. Thx
 

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I have the same problem with my 4 year old HRCH/MH female. She is an ok marker but a great blind runner. The problem is, her handling ability on blinds does not carry over to when she has trouble on a mark in a test. Her few fails have been because of this, her not coming up with a mark and then trying to handle her to it. She goes into "hunt mode" and blows me off.
 

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Handle the instant the retriever makes an incorrect decision in route.
For example, in this down the shore mark, handle at A, not in the Area Of the Fall B.
Handling at A informs the retriever he just made an incorrect decision enroute.
Handling at B after essentially giving the retriever permission to swim to land sends an unclear message,
and might lead to poor persistent in hunting, popping, avoidance of marks tight to a gun, etc.
86183
 

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I agree with Mark's approach. It is a simple and black and white.

Use a pile of birds and insist on control all the way to the pile at a distance.
 
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