Blind Retrieve Training

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Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:11 pm

The Duck Search subject is getting alot of air play at the moment. I weighed in explaining my approach and why - that being I wanted to lay a foundation of taking a line at the start of the duck search (and all subsequent resends), as a foundation for working basic blind retrieve handling once we have completed Duck Search and UT test (which we have).

As commonly noted, the habit of independent self direction on the part of the dog, built and required for the UT Duck Search does present some challenges for subsequent training for handling. Or at least it has to some extent for me. We worked baseball drills, walking baseball, T drills on land for several months now (with some interruption for turkey season).

I have been working to move from land to water. Which is more difficult. One reason being it is not nearly as easy to correct the dog when it does not take the signal given. And for Spud, there has been some genuine confusion on what I am asking him to do, vs the prior training for Duck Search, where he worked independently seeking out objectives and searching to them on his own.

I need some shallow water where I can get in and go towards him for corrections if needed. So we did a long hot march into this shallow area this morning and worked two blind retrieves. It went well and I did not have to enter the water.

While we were on the opposite side and Spud was out searching the land and cover for raccoons and turkeys, I tossed two dead birds along that bank. Then we went across the dam to the opposite bank and I sent Spud on the first of two retrieves.

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

This is the second send. Spud took the line I sent him on and when he did not find a bird he started to my right. I stopped him with the Whoa whistle I use for dual purposes and then gave him a left Over voice and hand signal. He took it and was successful in doing it. Hoping it will be something to build on. My experience is as distance and cover increase things get tougher, so working on a foundation of success to proceed on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgrln1nBOA4
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:25 pm

nice dog ... and dog work. Looks like you're on your way!
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:30 pm

Thank you Bruce. GH and Yourself have done some beneficial behind the scenes consulting and it is appreciated.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby ANick » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:33 pm

AG,
It sure looks like you are well on the way!
Loved the line on the way out, not to mention the speed and certainty Spud's going for it!
From the looks of Spud on your 'over', I have to think that if he hasn't put 2 and 2 together, it isn't far off! I suppose he could do better... I just don't know where or what!

Looking danged sharp!

Nice work to the two of you. :)
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:35 am

Thank you, Sir.
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:38 am

Gave Spud a mental break on yesterday mornings run. Only thing I asked him to do was loadup, otherwise he got to run and search with no requirements from me. I find it helps to give a dog a day off at times.

This morning I setup a land Blind run so that I could work on the Back command and build more distance into it, both between Spud and I and Spud and the bird I was sending him towards. I used the mowed path as at this stage the cover is too inviting for Spud to go searching in, particularly at longer distances, and I used a dead bird but set it off to the edge in cover. There was very little wind movement and tossing that bird into the edge of cover vs in the path proved more difficult than I had planned. Spud took the Back perfectly but ran by the bird and then came back towards me searching. I let him go for a short bit to see if he would go back on his own. He was drawn to the natural cover where he had found many a rabbit and an occasional quail, so I stopped him and sent him back again. He missed the bird again but hit it as he turned back towards me. I am sure it looks rough to some, (which it is), but is a huge positive to me in that he is showing an increased understanding and willingness to let me stop and direct him. Using the bird is a step up from a bumper which is why I used it, and I was very pleased with his demeanor. I stopped there. Short and Sweet and something I think we can build on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-CspAoPlFs
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Densa44 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:58 am

If this is for hunting, remember that you will be reloading, ducking down in the blind and may have no idea where the bird is. That is one reason for the duck search. I'm on the fence but IME when the duck is belly up on the pond they find it without help and when it is in the weeds, they also find it without my help.

We hunt a lot and the dogs are pretty much self taught for these skills.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:45 pm

Yes, This dog is 2 years old and had a good bit of waterfowling opportunities in his first two seasons (including Alberta last fall). We trained for all the UT subjects last summer and passed his UT Prize 1 in August 2017. Now we are working on some basic land and water blind retrieve handling skills so I can send him in the right direction into the area of the fall before he begins searching.

I trained for the Duck Search in a way that conditioned Spud to take some pretty clean lines when sent and then search cover when he arrived. I want the best of both worlds - a dog with strong independent search but an understanding and willingness to let me direct him within reason as to where to begin his search.

I can walk up to many different bodies of water and send him on a clean line on a blind retrieve out to a little over 100 yards as seen in this blind we ran one morning this week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51ss3qWP6a0

But it gets tougher as the distances increase. Here was a blind I setup and ran the day after the video just above. It was our longest distance water blind to date. There was good vegetation all around the edges of that large pond and Spud spotted some to his right and really wanted to go search it vs taking the line I sent him on.

If I was actually hunting and had no ability to redirect him, he would have gone over to his right and searched for a very long time and then gone who knows where after that, vs having an ability to redirect him to where I knew the duck had fallen and he did not.

He gave me a look as he veered right and I used it to give him a BACK verbal and hand signals. He wandered a bit making up his mind and then complied with the direction I had given him and we succeeded in the retrieve, with him using his nose and his eyes to direct himself once he was on the right line. Hopefully something to build on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNl36ORQpRc
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Re: Blind Retrieve Training

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:34 am

Dogs always head for the nearest land and have to be a trained to follow your directions instead. Your dog is a very strong swimmer and responds nicely. Too many finger prints erode independence but too few are in other ways just as bad.
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