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NTTF

 

No I did not work her whilst I was sick she just played with the terrier in the yard

 

The rest seems to have done some good, whilst trying to sort out some film for you to study like last time (I have a new phone/vid) things strated to go right.

 

Took her out this weekend and only shot a few birds but she worked very well on right, left and back and no faults at all, and found all birds. One was a blind runner shot by my bud on the next field that came our way and was at least 100 yards off to our right flapping away so I sent her out (back) stoped her at 70 yards then sent her back and right to get the bird....Fantastic

 

Do you think I did to much and overloaded her? should I restrict direction work if so how much should I do, We went to training class and they said she is good enough to go in the open class (top group) she is only 13 months and I dont want to overload her but at the same time why hold her back if she is good enough, what do you think?

 

cheers pavman

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Pavman;

 

She may have gotten bored, was she coming onto a heat cycle, or was she running a temperature with a "flu"? If she is running the commands well drop here back to a 20 minute session once a week for the next while. If she starts to slip you can always boost it back up. She obviously knows the drills . If you can still send a video and we will look at your signals just to be sure they are clean, if you have any great distance between you your hands and body can become very confusing.

 

Glan the rest did her good.

 

NTTF

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  • 2 weeks later...

NTTF

 

We have our first working test with appointed judges this Sunday under UK kennel club rules, There are 15 dogs entered and I was going to ask mrs pavman to take some footage for you (re hand signal advise) but on thinking it may distract Astra to see mrs p and cause a slip up!

 

I will be happy just to pass the test, a top 3 spot is not really a possibility I guess as we are up against some very experienced trainers but it should be fun.

 

Getting this far is in no small part down to your advise and for that I am most grateful. when we met last year she would not sit for more than 5 seconds.

 

She has come on great and will stop on the whistle 200 yards plus, will go out 200 yards and be directed left and right (most of the time) if required to find the dummy or game. She has, as would be expected in a young lab a tendency to run in on shot game in the field, but not on the training ground and we will work on this.

 

Wish me luck and lets hope it smiles not tears come monday ;)

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Pavman,

 

Good luck with the working test, I'm sure with all the training and good advice she'll be fine.

 

Don't count yourself out of position either, if you and Astra work well on the day who knows?

 

I'll put my name down for a pupm from Ftch Astra of pavman

 

Cheers

 

Martin

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It went pretty well until the last test!

 

The standard was a lot tougher than I anticipated, 19 dogs ran the top 4 where all pro trainers, some came from a long way off to enter.

 

We got marked down on a few points along the way, she drifted ahead at heel on the walk up (I was advised not to talk to her once the test started) so I could not heel her or tap my side etc. She did very well on seen marks, we struggled on one blind due to some pesky bunny getting up, but she did stop and pull back to command. Her stop whistle and lefts and rights where top notch for a young un. A few dogs went out for running in on gun shot, we did not which was great.

 

Last test put more than half the field out, we had a water retrieve followed by a long ish memory from a meadow, What I did wrong was not turn her to see the 2nd dummy go out, I saw it and marked it but she did not! To my amusement a lot struggled with the water and failed at that point.

 

Her water retrieve was fine but she dropped the dummy short to shake, then when I put her out for the last she could not find it despite being almost on top of it twice, we then ran out of time and I was told to bring her in.

 

All said and done a great day, she was almost the youngest dog at 14 month the top four where all just in as puppy which ends at 2 years, so they had an extra 8 months training behind them.

 

NTTF, I sure wish you where there she did us proud, I made a few mistakes but will learn from it. We have another test this Sunday which is a cold game novice test, a big step up in class but I want to give her the run out in competition for us to learn together.

 

The biggest lesson gained from it all is, no matter what you do with your dog, if you do not crack the basics 100%, you are going nowhere fast in good company. A point NTTF has made time and again. It may seem harsh but in tests and trials they are looking to separate to good from the not so good, a foot out of place at heel, a nudge forward on shot it all counts against.

 

Young Pav came to support and take pics but supporters where to far off to get any good shots, I will try again.

 

Sunday looms large, and the nerves are twitching all ready

 

pavman

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Well done Pavman,

 

Things will only improve I'm sure. One thing I have learnt in the short time I have been around gundogs is there is a lot of people who take trials very seriously.

 

I attended my first serious Gundog training meeting on sunday and what a nightmare. Merlin may just as well have been a stray mongrel that I picked up on the way.

 

Everthing I thought he would be ok on he made me look daft. Even retreiving a tennis ball he picked it up and ran off with it and chewed it to pieces. He has never done that.

 

The only thing he was good with was the sit stay and wait.

 

Cheers

 

Martin

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Pavman:

 

Sounds like the pair of you did well :good:

 

Trials are a whole differant ball game and they are designed to show not only the dogs weak points but the handlers as well. It sounds like you paid attention not only to Astra but to yourself as well. Not only did the pair of you make it to the 4th test, but you understand what you did wrong, WELL DONE, you should be proud of Astra and yourself.

 

Dont dwell on next weeks trial too much as the easiest way to make it through them is to keep it fun.

 

Well Done to you both

 

NTTF

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Thanks guys

 

NTTF

 

Is there anything I can do to switch her onto her nose? she very much works on sight (if she see's it fall she will work till she finds it) but she wont believe her snoz at times. Is this just a function of maturing?

 

I have often herd folk say they don’t develop and trust the smell sense until after there first year in the field which I can understand but can you assist to develop it?

 

I would also like to switch my hunt up command to the whistle, at present when she is in the area I shout Lost, Lost, Lost this gets her fired up and she quarters till she finds.

 

In the test the top dogs/handlers used the whistle as it carries further and with clarity, are you familiar with this and can advise me please. It’s to late for Sundays test, so I am continuing to lengthen her out on blinds and go back (her comfy zone is 60 yards) and I have to push her after this.

 

cheers pavman

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Martin, I would pay good money to see Merlin do that

 

Do what? If it is make me look daft just come over anytime B)

 

If it is run off and chew up a tennis ball I don't think we will try that again, for some reason the instructor didn't seem to happy :good:

 

That said, she did offer to give me one to one training, so that's where we are going tomorrow night.

 

Cheers

 

Martin

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Pavman:

 

IN answer to the can you help her develope her scenting.....yes. Give me till later today and I will get a couple of exercises up for you.

 

As to switching her hunt up to the whistle.....yes.....give me the whistle seqence you want to use and I will get the start of that one up today as well.

 

NTTF

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NTTF

 

Ref hunting up command on the whistle, the pros here are giving two tone almost like an owl twit tawoo

(this is not a point for you to **** take Highlander) I have tried but need to hear it again, I guess as long as it differs from other commands its ok?

 

I only use one long peep for stop and three peeps repeated for recall, left, right and back are hand signals. Come in and hunt toward me (closer if overshot the mark) is recall whistle with hand signal if required for left or right but changed to a waving underarm motion as opposed to at 90deg to the body. Just like a cricket umpire signals four runs in a test match, Hope this makes sense?

 

pavman

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To help with her scenting you need to do 3 steps. and I would suggest you use a dokken mallard or pheasant dummy, as they will not get as stinky as a regular canvas dummy. You will need the dummy, a bottle of which ever scent you want to work with and a seringe with needle head.

 

To start you just want to familurize her with the scent and dummy. So draw up around 3 cc's of scent into the seringe and inject it into 2 or 3 spots on the dummy. Only push the needle in about 1/2 an inch. and then just throw some retrieves for her. do this for around a week.

 

Second step you will need a rag covered with scent....I find a small piece of cotton or flannel works good for this. Keep it in a zip lock bag and pour a good amount of scent onto it. Also I find if you tie a small piece of strong cord around the middle of it and leave a loop on the end of the cord this allows you to snap a drag line onto it.

Start by thrownig your dragline out and making a slow drag back to where you are going to have the dummy land. Be sure to mark this spot with a small flagging tape or some way so that you know your target area. Make your drag about 30 feet long. If she will do it as a blind either place your dummy or toss your dummy to your target spot....the end of your drag line.

When you send her , send her to the beginning of the drag and let her work the line out. Do not try to handle her once she is on the dragline area. If she gets well out of the area handle her back to the drag line not the bumper. You want her to put scent line and the bumper together, so that it clicks in her head.

Work this for 1 or 2 weeks then if she is ready you can move to step 3

 

Third step just throw the scented dummy out on blinds and site retrieves and let her find it.

 

[/b]SOME NOTES

Be sure that she gets to work into the wind...if the wind is blowing the wrong way and you are handling be sure to send her past the mark so that she will hit the scent pool.

 

Hot weather depresses scent and it takes much longer for a scent pool to develope.

 

Scent rolls over the top of a slope about 3 feet off the ground, so be sure to bring her into the scent below the crest of the hill.

 

Re-scent your dummy each training session.

 

Be sure that you mix in some unscented retrieves as well into your late stage training as you do not want her to become dependent only on her nose.

 

 

Keep things fun, and I find the easiest way to do this is to have some treats with you on walk outs....let her see the treat and then give it a toss into some grass or cover let her sniff around until she finds it.

 

REMEMBER TO PRAISE

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I would also like to switch my hunt up command to the whistle, at present when she is in the area I shout Lost, Lost, Lost this gets her fired up and she quarters till she finds.

 

In the test the top dogs/handlers used the whistle as it carries further and with clarity, are you familiar with this and can advise me please. It’s to late for Sundays test, so I am continuing to lengthen her out on blinds and go back (her comfy zone is 60 yards) and I have to push her after this.

 

cheers pavman

 

To swith her to the whistle is actually quite easy, but it takes some time so be sure to do this after Sunday .

 

What you do is set up a situation where you need to tell her Lost, LOst, Lost, then just before calling out to her give the command on the whistle. Be sure you have memorized the whistle pattern you are going to use as you will have to keep it the same through out. Now if she needs you to yell out lost again before she finds the mark blow the whistle pattern first again and so on.

 

Then it is just a matter of repetition so that she will put together the whistle together with the verbel command. As you start to see her responding to the whistle leave the verbel command off unless she needs that little bit of extra encouragement. In the end she will respond to just the whistle like you want.

 

NTTF

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You will need the dummy, a bottle of which ever scent you want to work with

 

NTTF that sounds great, I do not know if we can get sent in the UK and will have to dig about, I guess rabbit skin or wings off birds would be usefull

 

The drag line is a great idea but again I need sent or to drag a bird? If I can get a road kill I will try with that as its out of season.

 

Any you guys know about getting sent in the UK plz post

 

I will also work out a whistle command and follow the lesson after sunday, will let you know how the test works out later

 

cheers pavman

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Pavman,

 

The turn whistle that we were shown on sunday was two short pips on the whistle. This was explained as a "turn and come back to me" whistle then as the dog returns to you, you cast him/her off to the other side.

 

I could see the theory behind, in practise was something else.

 

The commands were, 1 short pip = Stop and sit, 2short pips = turn and come back to me, 4 short pips = recall.

 

Admittedly this was a spaniel only meeting and I don't know if they differ with Labradors.

 

Hope this helps

 

Cheers

 

Martin

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Mart

 

labs differ, I use 1 pip stop and face me

repeat 3 pips recall,

cast left or right is GET OUT with hand signal

go away from me is hand signal and BACK

come to me and hunt left or right is recall and hand signal like cricket umpire giving a four!

 

For Astras age I am very happy with the progress its normally me who screws up not her!

 

pavman

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NTTF

 

I was hoping you would not ask!

 

She was well under the weather, no enthusiasm or energy and lack of response bless her. She was well rested for two days prior, very little training, just basic heel work and some thrown dummies which I picked, as they always test for dogs that run in. I withdrew us on the 3rd test but stayed the day to support the other runners.

 

My bud who I train with did not run his dog as he was also under the weather and being sick the night before, I suspect the two of them had a bug of some sort???

 

She was the same Monday (was still sleeping when I went to her run) but tues she was fine, like nothing had happened. Took her training last night with the gundog club and she was back to her best.

 

Beats me what could have been wrong, we have our next test in Aug so time to prepare. However I really need to work on her sense of smell, the cold game tests all have nasty blinds. Our second test was in a wood, unseen gunshot 50 yards out down a track with a rabbit under a fallen tree just in some cover to the left with the wind the wrong side!

 

The trick was to send the dog through the cover the down wind side of the track so the dog got sent of the rabbit and worked up to it, most the dogs wanted to go down the track (as did Astra) I had to send her past the rabbit and work her back onto it into the breeze....it was hard work and we took to long so lost a lot of points. She is still very much on sight being so young, but it was a joy to watch the older dogs when they got wiff of roger rabbit they where like heat seeking missiles and just homed in from 10 to 15 yards off, no sight just smell....fantastic

 

Lots to learn and plenty of time...our day will come

 

cheers pavman

 

ps how the hell do we add a quote now all + and - :angry:

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ps how the hell do we add a quote now all + and - :good:

 

 

:angry: quote + and reply :angry:

 

Glad she is feeling better and has shaken the bug. Let me know if you need me to order you some bottles of scent as well.

Sometimes it is good to just go and watch to see what the tests are about. It lets you see what you are up against and where you have work to do.

 

NTTF

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