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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to teach my 1.5 year old lab doubles and its not going so well. Wondering if I could get a few pointers.

I setup today on a flat mowed field, I tossed one bumper at about 60 yards, and the second at about 20 yards. he nailed the short bumper as expected, but when he returned and delivered, lined up for the second (memory) mark I sent him, and he kind of just wandered off, sniffed a bush, took a potty break, etc.

OK so then I figured maybe he just didnt remember it, so I tested his memory. I would toss a mark, then take him for a short 30 second walk in a circle returning to the line. Then I would release him and he would pick up the mark easily. I repeated this several times varying the distances and the walk times and each time he picked up the single mark. So memory didnt seem to be the problem.

Any ideas on getting him to fetch the second mark? I realize I can command fetch and I could pinch his ear all the way out to the second bumper, but hey, we are doing marks! isnt this what these dogs live for?
 

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Start by doing bird-in-mouth marks. Throw a mark, pick up the mark, heel the dog, leave the bumper in its mouth, throw the second mark, take the bumper, send the dog. Rinse and repeat a few dozen or so times(over a week or 2). After this is going pretty good, toss in an easy 90 degree double. It helps to use a divider of some sort between the marks and use bird throwers(kids or buddies) to add some excitment. Give that a shot.
 

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I'm not a pro so take this for what it is worth. In my training group for puppies and dogs that are just starting to do doubles we have the thrower hay-hay the dog to the memory bird. After so many times they seem to get the idea that there is more than one bird out there.

Terri
 

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Newf,

I have no advice as I am in the same situation. I also have a dog almost 1.5 yrs old that has big trouble with doubles. The memory bird just doesn't do it for him! He runs off into no no land!

Looking forward to the advice you get! Thanks for posting this subject!

I also wanted to wish you good luck! I think we need it!
 

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Bird in mouth drill is great. Do this for a while. Setup you had was backwards. Here's the sequence. Do memory bird as a single first. Have a birdboy or stickman at gunner site. The memory bird at very first should be the short one. Almost to the point where he can see it from the line say 20 yds. The go bird can be a little longer.
As he catches on you can extend distances.
 

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As a pup would your first mark be a 100 yarder? Nope. Shorten up your memory mark, building his confidence then gradually stretch the memory out as well as the go.
 

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Fo' sho'...mine usually are 20 yarders to begin at the most. Highly visible, high success.
 

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For what its worth for young dog just starting multiples we will "teach" the memory bird first as a single. Then I will throw a double with the single we just taught them as the memory bird. I do this for teaching doubles, triples, and quads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Probably should have added this before, and I dont know if its worth mentioning or not, but unfortunately train alone 99% of the time.
 

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For what its worth for young dog just starting multiples we will "teach" the memory bird first as a single. Then I will throw a double with the single we just taught them as the memory bird. I do this for teaching doubles, triples, and quads.
Do the above, it works.

I train alone most of the time too. Throw a single several times until the location is familiar, close, and easy to see. Then throw a double, with the first bird in a new spot, and the second in the familiar spot. Keep both easy until he's getting it. Then gradually go farther and farther until his confidence is built up.
 

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Is the dog birdie? Try using birds or a bird as the memory. If he like birds give him the real deal and see if it changes his mind set on the memory mark. Still do all the steps the others are suggesting and keep the memory bird short with no cover.
 

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Probably should have added this before, and I dont know if its worth mentioning or not, but unfortunately train alone 99% of the time.
Try to set up a few sessions with extra help to get through the new concepts it will go smoother. I use some of the tossing methods used for "puppy doubles" but with older dogs more success with the taught doubles. Use the bird-in-mouth on multiple singles, and when you re-heel be facing your next mark. I don't limit this either I use it until the dog "gets it." I think it also helps the handler by slowing you down, not snatching the bird away and reinforcing good hold habits. For the taught double, same as Wayne described. Run your short memory as a single. Next, call for the double, BUT he may stay focused on that memory bird, so be sure to turn his body/head to face the go bird if you have to, be sure he sees it. Extra noise by the gunners will help. He might need a little help on the memory at first but they usually catch on quick because they've been there already. If he's hesitant/no-go's be ready to have the gunner fire a shot/hey-hey and throw another bumper if necessary. You can see the need for some help out in the field with this. Eventually it smooths out and like everything they get more confident. Then you can move on to taught triples ;-)
 

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For what its worth for young dog just starting multiples we will "teach" the memory bird first as a single. Then I will throw a double with the single we just taught them as the memory bird. I do this for teaching doubles, triples, and quads.
Do the above, it works.

I train alone most of the time too. Throw a single several times until the location is familiar, close, and easy to see. Then throw a double, with the first bird in a new spot, and the second in the familiar spot. Keep both easy until he's getting it. Then gradually go farther and farther until his confidence is built up.
+2

"teach" him where the memory mark will be (throw the single mark to the same spot a couple/few times, then throw a double with the memory mark being in the same spot he's already been to a couple/few times). Wouldn't hurt to throw the marks where the dog can actually see them from the line (i.e. throw them in a spot with no cover).

And be sure to put plenty of distance between the marks. You might even want to put a full 180* between them (9 o'clock position for the memory mark and 3 o'clock for the go bird).
 

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Try to set up a few sessions with extra help to get through the new concepts it will go smoother. I use some of the tossing methods used for "puppy doubles" but with older dogs more success with the taught doubles. Use the bird-in-mouth on multiple singles, and when you re-heel be facing your next mark. I don't limit this either I use it until the dog "gets it." I think it also helps the handler by slowing you down, not snatching the bird away and reinforcing good hold habits. For the taught double, same as Wayne described. Run your short memory as a single. Next, call for the double, BUT he may stay focused on that memory bird, so be sure to turn his body/head to face the go bird if you have to, be sure he sees it. Extra noise by the gunners will help. He might need a little help on the memory at first but they usually catch on quick because they've been there already. If he's hesitant/no-go's be ready to have the gunner fire a shot/hey-hey and throw another bumper if necessary. You can see the need for some help out in the field with this. Eventually it smooths out and like everything they get more confident. Then you can move on to taught triples ;-)
Bumper Boys can be used in place of a gunner.
 

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You are correct. Bumper Boys can be used and I often do. But be sure and put a white coated stickman at the BB locations when first teaching doubles.

If fact Lardy recommends using white coats even for hunt test dogs when first starting and then u can switch to camo holding blinds later. The white coats helps them learn to look out and pick up the multiple launch locations and later follow the gun for HRC test.

I did this for Hank (by Pirate) but have now switched to HRC style marks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Training today went MUCH better. Night and day difference! now it may have been a combination of a couple things but it was like a totally different dog today!

I went out and picked up a couple canvas bumpers (we always train with plastic bumpers) Well when I broke them out at first my dog took a couple quick sniffs and he got incrediably excited!

So to begin the trainign session a gave him a couple fun tosses with the new bumpers to see how he would handle them. All went well.

So I began with a couple hand tossed singles as you folks suggested. Shorter distances on the same mowed field. I would Toss a bumper, send the dog, then as he returned to heel I let him hold the bumper while I tossed the second bumper. Took the bumper from him and released him. He was tearing out of the gate to get the new canvas bumper! I did this for several reps, and it was going great. So I decided to try a actual double. He NAILED both easily. Practically pouncing on the bumpers to pick them up. So I'm not sure exactly what did the trick, new bumpers, or shorter distances or both. but whatever it was it may have worked! I'll keep this up for a couple days and see how it goes.

Now with that said, which is the best way to proceed as he gets better? should I extend the distance on the flat field? or should I add cover and terrain? or both?
 

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Are you hand throwing the bumpers from the line? If so the next step is remote launched/thrown dummies. Then extend distance in featureless field.
 

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Training today went MUCH better. Night and day difference! now it may have been a combination of a couple things but it was like a totally different dog today!

I went out and picked up a couple canvas bumpers (we always train with plastic bumpers) Well when I broke them out at first my dog took a couple quick sniffs and he got incrediably excited!

So to begin the trainign session a gave him a couple fun tosses with the new bumpers to see how he would handle them. All went well.

So I began with a couple hand tossed singles as you folks suggested. Shorter distances on the same mowed field. I would Toss a bumper, send the dog, then as he returned to heel I let him hold the bumper while I tossed the second bumper. Took the bumper from him and released him. He was tearing out of the gate to get the new canvas bumper! I did this for several reps, and it was going great. So I decided to try a actual double. He NAILED both easily. Practically pouncing on the bumpers to pick them up. So I'm not sure exactly what did the trick, new bumpers, or shorter distances or both. but whatever it was it may have worked! I'll keep this up for a couple days and see how it goes.

Now with that said, which is the best way to proceed as he gets better? should I extend the distance on the flat field? or should I add cover and terrain? or both?
Genious's aren't we...;) I like distance first, later on cover. P.S. Don't put too much stock in the canvas causing the turn around. It's all in the presentation. :mrgreen:
 

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Now with that said, which is the best way to proceed as he gets better? should I extend the distance on the flat field? or should I add cover and terrain? or both?
Eventually you want to work on both, but don't be so quick to add both at the same time.

For example, next couple sessions you might want to increase distance on the mowed field. Next week, you might want to shorten back up and add cover. Third week, add some distance AND some cover (My use of the term "week" is simply meant to be an example. Your dog might need more time, or less time).

And of course, if you have access to real birds...use em. Nothing seems to put a little extra pep in their step like real birds.
 
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