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    1. #1
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      Handling Confusion - anyone do obedience AND field work?

      Not sure this post will get much traction here as I don't think anyone does both upper level field and obedience, but I could be wrong! I'm polling a few places/people to get some ideas on signals for field work when they are already being used for obedience. I'm planning on using four-handed casting. For example, right back is my drop on recall command. The word back means back-up, a foundation exercise for dropping. The right and left hand signals are my over signals for directed jumping. Someone told me that Janice Gunn, who has MH and OTCH dogs, uses these signals and her dogs get it contextually. I need to reach out to her for details. And, I'm not sure if it makes a difference which came first, obedience or field. Current field trainer knows nothing about competitive obedience and current obedience trainer hasn't done enough field work to have an experienced opinion.
      Last edited by Labradorks; 03-27-2017 at 02:59 PM.

    2. #2
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      I don’t know enough about fieldwork to address your specific questions, but keep in mind that in Obedience, you can use whatever signal and/or command you want, so you can completely customize what you do for what works for your dog.
      Annette

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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by Annette47 View Post
      ...keep in mind that in Obedience, you can use whatever signal and/or command you want, so you can completely customize what you do for what works for your dog.
      Right. So, for us, all of these things are a done deal in obedience. Linus is completely trained through Utility and we're just polishing and proofing now. I had no idea we'd do field work and then go this far in field work...so I didn't take everything into consideration when I started training for obedience.

    4. #4
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      Oh I hope you do go forward for a Senior Hunter! You'll be on the cutting edge of the training envelope if you do and do so WHILE doing obedience and using non-e-collar methods.

      A few thoughts. Let's say you're going to use conventional field handling, for example. You can move into your cast with your body. (I'm not sure you can do that in the ring.) So, step forward as you put up your hand... if you want an angle back... you can put your hand at a 45 degree angle and take a small step to the right or left. If you want the over... no problem... give a walk-out over.

      In the beginning, that will make your signals very different from the ring (I think.)

      The down-side is that when you use your body, you tend to push the dog and get more than you want. But it might be a way to start field handling and once Linus gets the context, you can use less and less "body English".

      It's just a thought.

      I like the way Linus marks and he enjoys his birds! I hope you can do it. It would be cool!

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Oh I hope you do go forward for a Senior Hunter! You'll be on the cutting edge of the training envelope if you do and do so WHILE doing obedience and using non-e-collar methods.

      A few thoughts. Let's say you're going to use conventional field handling, for example. You can move into your cast with your body. (I'm not sure you can do that in the ring.) So, step forward as you put up your hand... if you want an angle back... you can put your hand at a 45 degree angle and take a small step to the right or left. If you want the over... no problem... give a walk-out over.

      In the beginning, that will make your signals very different from the ring (I think.)

      The down-side is that when you use your body, you tend to push the dog and get more than you want. But it might be a way to start field handling and once Linus gets the context, you can use less and less "body English".

      It's just a thought.

      I like the way Linus marks and he enjoys his birds! I hope you can do it. It would be cool!
      Good point...I can take steps unlike in obedience where you have to be completely stationary. Sometimes I forget that we can do that! And, if my hand is not straight up but angled and I step, that should make a difference. Perhaps I can spread my fingers, too. Just little things that tell him "this is different". Also, if it is out of context, like in a field with bird or bumpers, not in the house or in the training buildings I use sans bumpers and birds, that should make it easier to differentiate. Another person I know uses the word "run" instead of "back" which I think can work, but I'll double-check.

      I did try traditional casting signals in the kitchen with a toy just to see how he responds. For the right back I got a drop (expected) and for the left back I got a sit, which is not correct but he was trying to understand what I wanted (left hand going up like a wave with elbow at side is the actual signal for sit). Such a good boy; he tries so hard!

      Thanks for the encouragement. We haven't done field work, really, since before I went to Italy in September. Other than this winter being atrocious, my trainer is in Montana from October through January and he decided to focus on upland since he's been having a lot of success in trials lately; cleaning up, really. While his schedule worked for JH, I already knew it wouldn't work for SH. I was going to give it up and do nosework or maybe get back to agility. I decided to give it one more try to find a trainer, which is what I've been doing the past month, and I found someone who is experienced, successful, local (45 minutes versus two hours each way -- score!) and really open-minded. On the phone she wasn't completely sold but she was way more open to it than the others and wasn't condescending to me. She did say that she thought it would take a lot longer and if it's not an issue for me, it's not an issue for her. She was setting my expectations, not being a jerk at all. My goal is not time, but success, learning and fun, and I haven't been on a certain time-track for this anyway. The dog never met a bumper, let alone a bird, until he was over a year old. So, I told her I couldn't care less if he was getting his first SH leg at ten years old. Anyway, we went out for our first lesson and were doing some drills we'd never done before and he rocked them, so she decided it shouldn't take very long, after all. We'll see... I have to figure out this casting stuff first!

    6. #6
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      That sounds GREAT. I mean, your dog just likes to work... especially for you!

      Some of the skepticism might arise because of the way we use (the bad words are coming...) Force Fetch. It is where the FF is actually finished, but you're increasing the distance to the far pile. It just reinforces the GO... GO OUT.

      On the other hand, that isn't a problem for Bill Hillmann. He just harnesses the dog's excitement and drive, which I think Linus has in spades.

      I'm glad you found someone willing to work with you. Keep us posted.

    7. #7
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      I found that the field signals transferred fairly easily to the obedience. I used the angle back signal for directed jumping and the word back for the go out. Drop on recall for Open was a little harder to teach but we combined the signal with a voice command at first then extinguished the voice.
      Your trainer should start you on some pile work and then move to the T and double T patterns. This will get your dog stopping on the whistle and handling left and right. With the group that are crossing over from obedience I tell them to use as many of the known commands as possible when doing the field work. Always simplify if you think the dog is confused.
      Good luck. You should find the transition is not that difficult.

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Anna Scott View Post
      I found that the field signals transferred fairly easily to the obedience. I used the angle back signal for directed jumping and the word back for the go out. Drop on recall for Open was a little harder to teach but we combined the signal with a voice command at first then extinguished the voice.
      Your trainer should start you on some pile work and then move to the T and double T patterns. This will get your dog stopping on the whistle and handling left and right. With the group that are crossing over from obedience I tell them to use as many of the known commands as possible when doing the field work. Always simplify if you think the dog is confused.
      Good luck. You should find the transition is not that difficult.
      The back command, with the hand straight up, is already his DOR and signal to drop command. He is trained to Utility and is pretty solid in his skills; just proofing and polishing and fixing things that break now and then. He takes his drop signal very seriously and I can do it from any situation -- so I'm not sure if it's something we'll be able to undo (or will want to undo). Still figuring out what is transferring over and what might get messy.

    9. #9
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      Found this pretty good article about my situation: Giving the Dual-Purpose Dog Unambiguous Signals

    10. #10
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      There are more than four directions for directing a dog in the field. Think of it like a clock. If the blind requires the dog to take a "2 o'clock" line vs a 1 or 3 oclock line, that's the cast you give them. The dogs know the difference in angling 30 vs 45 degrees back, etc.

      Anyway, my down signal for obedience looks very different than a straight back signal for field.... because as a young dog my guy would launch over ring gates in a very honest effort to dig back. Oops

      My directed jumping signals looks like an angle in cast. I only raise my arm about 45 degrees, while most raise their arm to 90. If I raised it 90 my dog read it as an "over" cast and would launch into the neighboring ring.

      And the word "back" means run, fast I can't tell my guy to back up in the obedience ring without some confusion.

      Most dogs aren't like mine though, they know what venue they are playing in and are not confused. My guy is pretty young though, and a very honest guy to boot, so keeping commands different has helped him.

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