Blind Retrieve Training

Pointing, retrieving, flushing, tracking, behavioral issues, puppy training, etc.

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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:32 pm

Thank you, Bruce.

We ran this water blind through cover this morning. In my posts above I described how I was unable to push Spud through that standing Flooded Timber the first time we tried it. He was not ready for the challenge I threw at him that day and his Duck Search training predictably sucked him into searching the flooded timber and heading towards a bunch of equally sexy search cover extending from there clear to the back and both sides of that body of water.

We have done a bunch of work since then and we had success on this our second attempt at that body of water.

Very pleased with my dog and the work we have put in. Without independent search he would not have found the duck placed in vegetation in the water on the far side and without training clean lines and handling he would have never pushed through all the sexy search cover to get past the halfway point where we broke down in our first attempt. I am sure the debate will always continue, but I think this demonstrates the need and value of both skills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xok9ssXYhIQ
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby crackerd » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Thank you, Bruce.

We ran this water blind through cover this morning. In my posts above I described how I was unable to push Spud through that standing Flooded Timber the first time we tried it. He was not ready for the challenge I threw at him that day and his Duck Search training predictably sucked him into searching the flooded timber and heading towards a bunch of equally sexy search cover extending from there clear to the back and both sides of that body of water.

We have done a bunch of work since then and we had success on this our second attempt at that body of water.

Very pleased with my dog and the work we have put in. Without independent search he would not have found the duck placed in vegetation in the water on the far side and without training clean lines and handling he would have never pushed through all the sexy search cover to get past the halfway point where we broke down in our first attempt. I am sure the debate will always continue, but I think this demonstrates the need and value of both skills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xok9ssXYhIQ


Good assessment, AG. You mentioned elsewhere that for this blind you weren't wearing a white coat, which you must know is the garment of choice for retriever field trialers. The reason for that, obviously, is visual. Many handlers who run hunt tests in required camo will train in white coats because they - because you, the handler - want to help the dog succeed. Thus if you are trying to handle while in the shadows wearing dark garb, it's probably going to end badly (unless Bruce's "power whistle steering" method is invoked, of course).

I remember the first time I ever saw retriever field trialers at a trial, they were all parked along an East Coast wildlife area where a NAVHDA training session was also being held and where I liked to go for the opportunity of working a versatile breed on the duck search. I happened to recognize one of the trialers, who was my veterinarian, and practiced whilst wearing a white smock, as doctors used to do. I remember thinking, "Wow, here I am training my dog on the same ground where they're having a veterinarians' conference! And they all have dogs - black Labs! Odd!" Then somebody gave me the rudimentary explanation for the white worn at retriever field trials - and later, for training retrievers for ny competition - which was to help the dogs see you, and respond to your visual commands on handling, and it made perfect sense.

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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:27 pm

Thank You MG. I am going to start wearing white T shirts now for the reason you state.

I ran my first GWP in a Junior Hunting Retriever test many moons ago. A good friend's Lab was in training at DL's and running at the Senior Level that day. I took my GWP pup with me, naively thinking we could sign up and run. It was mostly a Range Rover crowd of well heeled gents paying pros to train and run their dogs in that era. Their reception of, for many, the first GWP they had ever seen was a little frosty.

I was informed the Test was for "Retriever Breeds Only".

The country boy training and running my buddies Lab told me to stick around I could run my dog after the official entries had run. As I approached the line a guy we passed said "We want to see if that Bird Dog will get in the water.". I responded, "Well you be sure to watch, then."

That GWP pup was the class of the JR dogs that day, crashed the water and came back as hard as he went. The gallery clapped and cheered when we were done. It was a fun day.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Willie T » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:26 am

AG, been busy lately and have not checked in on the forum for a while. This one will be pretty easy to get where you want. As with most dog training, simplification is how I approach it. I teach hunt dead. Then I overlay that with two whistle blasts. Work a familiar area. I start by working close to search the area. Then sit the dog and back away, release him from distance. Then give him a line to the area, whistle sit or whoa, let him settle, then whistle command to hunt dead. When he has it, skip the sit/whoa. When he has that, shorten the range and tie into new cover. Initially, salt the area pretty good. You want the dog to "find it" until he has the concept. The dog is going to want to hunt and that will motivate him. They pick this up pretty quick. After he gets it, it is a great way to finish up a session. A simple line followed by the "hunt it up" whistle where there is not as much control is something my dogs look forward to.
Nice work by the way.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Kiger2 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:58 am

AG,

Very nice! You are building a bit every day. Not sure how anyone could watch this and not see how valuable a tool handling is? In fact , I suspect that in a few years with an objective evaluation of the results you will come to the conclusion that search and handling are important, but more handling is far better than more search.

Its really difficult to see in the video, but it looks like the search was confined to a fairly small area in comparison to the size of the water. I think that shows you dont need a huge search, just get the nose to where you saw the bird or think it is and have the dog search.

Willie T gave a very good drill to use in combination with handling. Also want to point out to others how Willie builds on the skills.

AG, Lastly a bit of constructive criticism, mostly for those following along. I did cringe a bit when at the beginning of the video you sent the dog on "fetch". During FF we train the dog that Fetch means move and get the object in your mouth. But we transition to "back"" which means GO! We dont need to tell the dog to "fetch" he's going to do that (or should do that automatically ) when he gets to the bird.

Only having one term can cause confusion. The dog gets lots and lots of repetition when training handling. Each time he hears "fetch" he's being told to move!. Now imagine any scenario where the dog has dropped a bird or bumper, when you say fetch, are you telling him to pick up the bumper or go get another bird?

Thats why we transition to "back" and keep "fetch" in our back pocket for those times when the dog drops a bird. Its a big infraction and should get an immediate correction.

Anyway, really good work keep it up!
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:08 pm

Willie T, Thanks for viewing and laying out the approach on teaching a que for remote Hunt Dead. I use two short blasts on the pea side of my whistle for Come and one long blast on the pealess side for Whoa. I ordered a shepherds whistle for teaching this long range Hunt Dead que as I want something with a distinctly different sound to avoid confusion.

Kiger2, Thank you also for viewing and commenting. I used "Fetch" when I trained Duck Search and the dog responds very well to it. If and when he drops a bumper or a bird he is self correcting and diving to get it back into his mouth immediately so I am not using the word "Fetch" in that context for quite awhile now.

Not seeing any confusion or problems coming from the concern you raise thus far but I appreciate your comment/caution. At this point I expect I would create confusion where none exists now if I switch that command.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby PL_Guy » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:54 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:...

My favorite dog's i ever owned or trained were Honcho dog's. Tractable, smart, naturally talented, drive beyond description. ...
I heard once that they still have some frozen semen from Honcho. Anyone know if that's true?

Your comment about Honcho dogs brings tears to my eyes and puts a smile on my face.

Alma Bottom Smokin' Storm, the dog in my avatar was several generations removed, top and bottom, so only had a fraction of Honcho in him - but your description fit him to a Tee (by my admittedly probably ignorant standards). Not only tractable but cooperatively tractable, a total joy to work with, and the best friend I've ever had as well. He only lived to 10 1/2, died of hemangeosarcoma as he bled out internally in my arms on July 4th of 2010. I cried like a baby for months! :( I'd try and clone him if I were younger and richer!

I did a search for frozen Honcho semen but could not find anything. EdA posted in one thread I saw and didn't mention any. There were some Raider straws available in 2013. Probably all gone by now but it would be interesting to try a Raider X bitch as closely descended from Honcho's dam, Doxie Gypsy Taurus, as could be found.

EdA started a piece titled "The story of San Joaquin Honcho" and posted online. He put up two parts and promised a third but, to my knowledge, never posted it. What he said convinced me I had seen more of Honcho in Storm than the simple statistics would predict. I can probably find a link to the story if you haven't read it.

Jere
"Speak your truth quietly & clearly; ... Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
So much to learn, So little time!
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Willie T » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:44 pm

AG, use three whistle blasts. Spud will pick it up fine. For Cricket, one is sit, two is hunt dead, three is recall. It will be easier for both of you with only one whistle.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Kiger2 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:53 pm

AG,The point was to advise you and others as to why we use the terms the way we do. Not to advise you to change.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby crackerd » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:16 am

Kiger2 wrote:AG,The point was to advise you and others as to why we use the terms the way we do. Not to advise you to change.


Kiger, what about them sneak-thieves who get away with giving a double-whistle cast off a point or island in a trial! That's why I use the $!%*^#&$%! terms the way I do - to let the judges know (not to their face) that I'm, ahem, voicing my disapproval.

A hunt dead whistle (two toots) on a blind would be good in a spaniel "hunt dead," though, 'cause that's what they call a blind in spaniel hunt tests.

I have seen handlers give a hunt dead command in hunt tests for a "hunt 'em up" blind, but it was very (very) rare to see such a blind, and even at that, I've been out of HTs for 10 years.

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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:27 pm

Crackered.

Could you be more specific? You've lost me , though in my defense i had knee surgery last week and may not be fully functional cognitively right now. I guess 35 years of firefighting, elk, deer , chukar and steelhead fishing my whole life have put some pressure on my knee. Been a good knee! just need a few more years out of it1
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:41 am

Kiger2, Hope you get a swift and good result with the knee.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby PL_Guy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:15 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Crackered.

Could you be more specific? You've lost me , though in my defense i had knee surgery last week and may not be fully functional cognitively right now. I guess 35 years of firefighting, elk, deer , chukar and steelhead fishing my whole life have put some pressure on my knee. Been a good knee! just need a few more years out of it1


Mine was "fixed" about 20 years ago. It served me well through years of chukar hunting, post holing in deep crusted snow, trudging across deep sponge tundra and other tortures only now beginning to make itself known again. I, too, hope your's turns out as well or better.

Jere
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby crackerd » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:47 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Crackered.

Could you be more specific? You've lost me , though in my defense i had knee surgery last week and may not be fully functional cognitively right now. I guess 35 years of firefighting, elk, deer , chukar and steelhead fishing my whole life have put some pressure on my knee. Been a good knee! just need a few more years out of it1


Kiger, hope you're on the deep knee-bend mend.

Presumably you're asking about this well, shall we say, cryptic reference:
crackerd wrote:...Them sneak-thieves who get away with giving a double-whistle cast off a point or island in a trial! That's why I use the $!%*^#&$%! terms the way I do - to let the judges know (not to their face) that I'm, ahem, voicing my disapproval.


As succinctly - and with as much clarity - as I can put it, they try to parlay the sit-nick-sit sequence with the whistle (and without the nick, obviously, as retrievers cannae wear e-collars in FTs) to get two handles on a water blind for the price of one from the judges.

The dog, having been conditioned to sit (whistle) - nick - sit (whistle), hears the first whistle immediately followed by the second, and plops its behind on the ground pronto, trying to beat the nick - but also bringing the dog back to ground zero with clarity of "mind" for the next command (cast) by the handler.

Usually works a charm in a trial, with the dog complying by getting off a point or island with a decisive "over" back into the water. Unless it doesn't...when the judges penalize a handler for two casts *and* a cast refusal on the first command which must be what prompted the handler to blow the second sit whistle.

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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Kiger2 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:25 pm

Jere, Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. Im hearing good success stories about "new" knees and current technology is very good. Frustrating cause I cant work out and get ready for elk hunting in sept. Is what it is i guess.

Crackered, thanks and thanks for the explanation. Hadn't witnessed that one, but if you aint cheaten you aint trying!
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