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Tues evening was spent trying to get her not to take my outstretched arm as a release command, this was a fundamental error on my part during early training when knew no better.

 

Give her a touch on the stop whistle before you line her up with your arm, then line her up (with the whistle) a couple of times and lift your arm away before sending her. Don't do it too often or she'll probably get confused and sticky but enough that she doesn't associate your arm movement with a command to go.

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Night and day, well done.

 

As scotslad says find what works for you and what you want from your, I'm training for trials and (on dummies) tests as well as good shooting dogs so I want to be able to "drive" them with a bit more accuracy than a shooting or beating dog.... doesn't always work that way and not what everyone wants but you've got to have something to aim for.

Thanks WGD, your advice was bang on, I am pleased that you were able to see an improvement.

 

Re the arm, got it 👍 sounds like a plan. Entirely my fault that she takes the hand / arm from heel as a release command.

Mrs ips is currently getting more involved as she intends to do some picking up whilst I am shooting on the syndicte shoot (stand one walk one) so I am thinking this may be useful as she wont be as used to being handled by lynn, not in this way anyway, so she may learn quicker as its a different context. 😉

 

Thanks again

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:good:;)

 

WGD Was just wondering do u have slightly different hand signals for when u want ur dog to go straight back or back but slightly to te left/right?

 

For me it just seems an overcomplication,

Ii take a bit of extra time in setting the dog off and if it does veer of i'll just stop it and redirect with it going at 90 degree.steps, as long as ur stop whistle is working u will always get there

Even most working dogs can't really do that on a shoot day

 

I'm quite boring when it comes to dogs and just like seeing dogs do simple things well.

If ur dog does that it will always be 1 of the better dogs on a shoot, even at working tests or FT's apart from the very very top dogs most are lost or won with dogs messing up on simple things or doing them poorly

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WGD Was just wondering do u have slightly different hand signals for when u want ur dog to go straight back or back but slightly to te left/right?

 

For me it just seems an overcomplication,

Ii take a bit of extra time in setting the dog off and if it does veer of i'll just stop it and redirect with it going at 90 degree.steps, as long as ur stop whistle is working u will always get there

Even most working dogs can't really do that on a shoot day

 

I'm quite boring when it comes to dogs and just like seeing dogs do simple things well.

If ur dog does that it will always be 1 of the better dogs on a shoot, even at working tests or FT's apart from the very very top dogs most are lost or won with dogs messing up on simple things or doing them poorly

 

 

If I want the dog to go straight back it's very unusual, there's normally a bias right or left and I'm probably lucky I have a dog at the moment that can read that bias from the angle of my arm. I have a younger dog that I would do as you say, send it the distance and then handle left or right. I've another that is terrible at lefts and rights but will keep going back until it goes round the globe and meets you coming back... it will, however, go over the "correct" shoulder every time so I can effectively steer it down a tunnel.

 

You're quite right though, many if these nuances are over complications, but they're over complications that can win you a trial and ultimately that's what I'm after.

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Aye i know where ur coming from.

I think the point i'm trying to make is it really is quite advanced technique and while it could be handy occasionally in my opinion a dog that runs straight back and handles left/right easily is easier to train to that standard and it will be used often even just during a working day.

 

In theory ur asking the dog to do 3 similat things (ie back straight or back at a tangent to 1 side or other) yet its hard to alter the commands to suit.so the dog can tell the difference and also hard to correct if ur at distance without confusing the dog.

 

 

In the past i've played at working tests and i usually host a working test on my shoot and have thrown dummies for them loads over the years as well as shooting in training days and FT's, so i appreciate where ur coming from and the standard ur geting ur dogs too.

But while that wee bit of class ur talking about might make a difference, but 9 times out of 10 its the the dogs that do the simple things very very well that are they're or they're abouts when the prizes are handed out. And even the classiest flashiest dog will usually be put out be messing up something relatively simple.

 

And even at FT/working test level it surprises me how many dogs (more so the poorer dogs) can't do the simple things all the time, sometimes u can see the dog is having an off day, but esp at working tests u can tell some dogs have no clue wot the handler is asking it to do esp with go back's and up/overs for fences obsticles and when the dog doesn't ubderstand the 1st command they then give it a 2nd completely different command to do the exact same thing (not unusual to see a dog not jumping a fence/obsicle, and handler switches from over, up, get on, get back, get over while the dog is looking confused??)

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Question.

Wgd, sonething just occurred to me.

 

If you send her out as in my vid and she is going a few degrees off line you say to stop and redirect her. Is this were the turning on a specific shoulder could be useful, would turning on a shoulder help line her up ?

As in she is a few degrees to the right so stop her and turn her on her right shoulder rather than a left to effectively get back on line a bit or am I totally missing the point ??

Good perception, Ian - indeed, that's a major step (the left- or right-arm "Back!" cast) toward precision handling.

 

Also, Will noted:

"With experience on game and in training you advance your training so the dog knows when its being sent and left to its own devices and when you are intending to send it and tell it where to look. Both very much have their place in the field."

 

We use a cue for blind retrieves: Softly saying "Dead bird...dead bird" whilst the dog is looking out. Then, when the dog's spine is aligned with the dog's head pointing to where we want it to go, the next cue is "That's it...that's it." and then "Back!" Most helpful on water blinds, which call for more precision, but also good for going overland as sent.

 

MG

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You wouldn't have, not really used over there, and probably not a lot of need for cues anyhow. But distinguishing between blinds and marked retrieves is of great import for our handling, especially in competitions. And as our dogs are expected to run as hard - and straight - for blinds as they do going for marked retrieves, it's instilled in them from a very young age. Keep on with what you're working at - Will's giving you some good Bobby Moore on the retrieving.

 

MG

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Cheers, onwards and upwards 👍

Ps

Getting her to follow the direction of my arm when casting (I think that's the right term) her off and not taking the outstretched arm as a release cue is coming on well 👍

 

PPS

You have PM

Edited by ips
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Question

Will a dog run a straighter line into a head wind or downwind. I have started to try and take more notice of wind direction and I suspect the latter.

 

 

You're right, a hunting dog will want to quarter into the wind - Tom Brechney told me that many years ago and he knows a thing or two about wind direction.

 

It's another consideration when sending your dog for a blind, when you line it up do so so it heads downwind of the dummy unless you know it's going to go pin straight over exaggerate so if it runs a little off line it won't be the "wrong side of the wind" and possibly miss the retrieve for the want of a couple of feet.

Edited by WGD
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Understood, deliberately send off line downwind of retrieve so dog picks scent up 👍

More to this than meets the eye. As I said earlier I have not taken wind or scent into account until lately but I think I am beginning to appreciate that it plays a big part.

I have noticed that she quarters a closer pattern into the wind. 😉

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This may sound a strange thing but i have learnt an awful lot just by throwing dummies for the local gundog working tests.

 

It gives u a good oportunity to observe both the handlers and dogs from the oppisate viewpoint.

It's amazing how similar the good handlers are but also how many of the poorer handlers many have the same faults as each other.

 

Ur on about scent, 1 very good handler who is usually in the prizes with his lab, and now FT's them, handled it spot on to the dummy that i threw, seen retrieve (i think) i could see the dummy it was on the edge of a wheet rut slightly raised in cover, the dog had its eye/nose literally inches from the dummy at eye/nose level, but never picked it, he recalled the dog 5m stop and sent it back downwind and u could see the dogs body lanuage change from a good 2-3m out as it winded it.

U honestly wouldn't believe how close that dog was to the dummy without picking it yet with the wind in its favour winded it from well out

 

Basically never underestimate either wind or scent, ask any huntsman or follow a hound pack if u want to learn about scent how the hounds/scent can come and go across a field.

 

 

Its been a while since i trained a spaniel (and possibly wgd will tell me the right way or possibly the modern way) but with both my springer and hpr i would only ever hunt them into the wind when training them to quarter.

The proper old fashioned way for a dog to hunt a downwind beat is for the dog to run out 15-20m and hunt back towards u so still hunting into the wind.

 

Do they still hunt like tht in FT wgd? The few i've been to they tend to just hunt a tidy tight pattern in front of handler where ever the wind is coming from

I have heard some of the older trainers moan about it

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Interesting scotslad, and makes sense yes I have noticed sometimes that she has been right over the dummy but seemed unable to find it. I never really gave it much thought I just thought on those occasions she was having a "blind as a bat moment" but of course I now realise its the scent not the sight. I am going to really pay attention to wind from now on and send her off line downwind as wGD advised, summat else for me to have to remember 😁

 

More to this gundog mallarkey than you think, if you want to do it properly, which I do 👍

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With experience on game and in training you advance your training so the dog knows when its being sent and left to its own devices and when you are intending to send it and tell it where to look. Both very much have their place in the field.

WGD

Do you use a different command when sending the dog on the above two scenarios or is it a case of when handler and dog gain working experience the dog just knows its on its own so to speak due to fact that you haven't stopped it for a while ?

 

Apologies if that's a stupid or obvious question but it isn't obvious to me 😉

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Its been a while since i trained a spaniel (and possibly wgd will tell me the right way or possibly the modern way) but with both my springer and hpr i would only ever hunt them into the wind when training them to quarter.

The proper old fashioned way for a dog to hunt a downwind beat is for the dog to run out 15-20m and hunt back towards u so still hunting into the wind.

 

Do they still hunt like tht in FT wgd? The few i've been to they tend to just hunt a tidy tight pattern in front of handler where ever the wind is coming from

I have heard some of the older trainers moan about it

 

 

Personally I always hunt young dogs into the wind and I agree with you regarding a back wind but I do think the dog needs experience finding game and learning to use the wind for itself. I find it very difficult to "train" a dog to hunt a backwind, once they know how to use the wind and respond to the whistle they'll pull out on a backwind and you can pip them back across when they're far enough out. That's the theory anyway.

 

A lot of novice dogs and handlers hunt their dogs as if they're hunting a headwind all the time. I was at a training day last year when the organiser stopped the line specifically to explain to some the less experienced handlers why their dogs seemed to be pulling on. The handlers were getting on at their dogs when in fact the dogs were showing they knew how to use the wind.

 

I see a lot of people frightened to let their dogs get out and get on the with the job and I've been guilty of it myself. One comment that's stuck with me was a lab guy who has made up champions out picking up said "I'll just the youngsters rake, it teaches them what they're nose is for". I suppose the art of training is knowing how much free reign to given the dog without ruining it and knowing the nature of the dog you're training - one might be a dog that will take liberties at the first given opportunity, another might be as honest as the day is long and lacking confidence so needs left alone to find its way before you start shaping it.

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WGD

Do you use a different command when sending the dog on the above two scenarios or is it a case of when handler and dog gain working experience the dog just knows its on its own so to speak due to fact that you haven't stopped it for a while ?

 

Apologies if that's a stupid or obvious question but it isn't obvious to me

 

Not so much a different command but the same command in a different context. If I line the dog up for a retrieve I'll send it with "get out" and it can expect to be handled if I need it. If I'm raking about for something I'll just tell them to "get out" and walk in the direction I want them to generally look, without lining up.

 

I also make a point of ignoring a dog that stops and looks for help when I want it to get on with it on it's own, certainly with an inexperienced dog which can habitually look for help when it should really be putting its nose down and doing its job. If an experienced dog looks up to say "give me a clue dad" that's different, I know it's struggling or maybe not in the right area.

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Not so much a different command but the same command in a different context. If I line the dog up for a retrieve I'll send it with "get out" and it can expect to be handled if I need it. If I'm raking about for something I'll just tell them to "get out" and walk in the direction I want them to generally look, without lining up.

 

I also make a point of ignoring a dog that stops and looks for help when I want it to get on with it on it's own, certainly with an inexperienced dog which can habitually look for help when it should really be putting its nose down and doing its job. If an experienced dog looks up to say "give me a clue dad" that's different, I know it's struggling or maybe not in the right area.

Thank you that explains it very well 👍

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Just a suggestion ips and you may have done this already but in the last video you sent the dog across the field to the blind, why not use the fence line in the video. I know its probably wrong for the wind direction but it should help keep the dog running straight.

Edited by labstaff
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What I would do (and other more experienced people on here may disagree) is at the distance the dog goes into hunt mode I.e starts to go off line and hunt, I would place your dummy. Use the wind to help or a fence/hedge/track and stand the dummy up so the dog hasn't got to hunt for it. So the dog spots it before going off line and powers straight to it. Then when the dog is confident at that distance slowly start to increase. That should help with keeping a straight line.

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With younger dogs i'm always looking for any straight lines wether tight paths, tracks fences etc just for that.

 

I've even bought some random coloured dummies from that working gundog company, that are meant to be easier for the dog to spot just for occasions like that so dog can spot the dummy easily from a distance just as it losing confidence.

 

Does ur dog always veer to the left? If so try to get the fence line on its left so it can't and just keep repeating similar retrieves like that.

If ur really having problems or wantto fix it u could roughly stick a temp fence u alongside existing fence to make a retrieving lane, but to be honest if u look about nature provides them

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No not always left sometimes straight as an arrow. I think it may be because she knows the field too well and is guessing were the dummy is from experience. I think I will do more memory retrieves until she learns to follow my arm. It sounds more of a problem than it is, I just like perfection 😁

Cheers

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