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    1. #11
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      WE DID IT!!! You could knock me over with a feather. (Especially because I’ve just finished some wine to celebrate and calm down.).

      They started with 56 dogs.. They brought 49 back for the water triple. They went to the third series with 35. I didn’t count how many completed but I don’t think they dropped many dogs after that. The last series was a land water triple with a walk-up.

      Now, Rocket Dog is one of those a-thrill-a-minute sort of dogs. And as the event wore on, she was cycling higher and higher, getting herself totally keyed up. The way this last series worked, you took your lead off in the last holding blind, picked up your “shot-gun” and walked to the line. You walked out of the blind... presumably together... and when you reached a certain point they sent a bird into the water just in front of and 10 yards off to the left of your dog. Big splash. Then they did a duck call and shot and threw a duck about 50 yards away on land under some trees. Then the go bird was up an mild incline, in a clearing also preceded by a call and a shot.

      I was sort of brain dead about where I was in the line up. I was moving to the far holding blind when Rocket got a big look at the throw of the bird into the water. Uh oh! So she was in the final holding blind while I was taking her lead off, fully aware of what was about to happen. And boy was she excited about it! She was in front of me the whole way to the line bouncing up and down trying to get the guy to THROW-IT-THROW-IT-C’MON-C’MON-HURRY-THROW-IT. But, when it went off, I yelled, SIT! And she did. And she marked those other two birds. Slammed the marks. The judge told me it was a real “creep-a-thon” and I couldn’t disagree with his assessment.

      So, the weekend illustrated two things: 1) We’re ready to run with the “Big Dogs” and 2) We still have to work on a lot of critical things.

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    3. #12
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      Congratulations on the pass. Just reading your account my heart was racing. The noise , the short marks and the excitement level of a hunt test really get to me and the dog. Those short marks and the calls wind M up like nothing else. I am much more confident she won't break at a field trial.
      With dogs like RD and M you have to be on your toes at all time just to keep them under some form of control. You should be very proud of your handling. I am not sure if you ever get that "let me at'm out of a high powered dog. A friend had one that beat him to the line every time and by third bird down he had bounced his way off the line about 10 feet. He did become an AFTCH and FTCH. But getting him to sit still was a real challenge.
      Keep up the great work and keep us in the loop. We may get in the field by the end of April.

    4. #13
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      I am on a property that accommodates people who come to TX from wintery places and one of the FT folks here is a gal from Alberta. And though NV is not nearly as bad as where you live, I know we won’t be in the water there until late April.

      So, about rehab-ing a 6 year old rip-snorting creeper/breaker: I can’t say I have. I know I lost points on “trainability” in the judges’ books because of line behavior, but she probably aces all of the “style” points. Pick your poison. Working with the pro down here, I think I know better how to improve her teamwork, and that will have to be our goal. If we every day make it a little more habitual, then we’ll be getting consistent and that’s gotta be enough.

      I am pleased about the ribbon because the pro at home couldn’t get her to stop breaking in the third series. At least we have so far gotten that out of her system.

    5. #14
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      Congrats on the pass!!!!!!!!! Sounds like it was a tough, but fair test!

      I know exactly what you're dealing with as I have the same issues with Brooks. Our club had a training day this past Saturday and we did 4 series with the junior/senior dogs. I wasn't too concerned with the easy marks, as all we've been working on is getting from the holding blind to the line. He was ok on the first series, but got worse and worse at each series, on the fourth he was so vocal and out of control I took him off the line and put him in the truck, denying him the mark. I gave him a good scolding in the car while we were driving to where the master dogs were running, telling him how disappointed I was and how his behavior was unacceptable. My turn finally came to run the master series, which I decided to run as all single marks, going to and from the holding blind for each. I kept him on leash going to the line for the first bird, he was being quiet and heeling pretty good. I took the leash (slip lead) off and called for the first bird. He did creep a bit as the bird fell, but came back to heel as I called him and took two steps back. Once he was at heel, I waited about 10 seconds before I sent him. He was a quivering mess, but stayed at heel and was quiet until I sent him. He pinned the mark which was about 100 yards from the line. Upon returning with the bird, we went back into the holding blind and repeated the process off leash this time, and he was pretty good, actually was quiet and stayed at heel as I called for the bird. He crept a bit as the bird fell, so I took two steps back and called him back to heel, which he did. Again I made him wait about ten seconds before sending him, making sure he stayed at heel and was nice and quiet. He pinned this mark, about 80 yards with the bird landing at the edge of a cut corn field. We repeated the same process for the third mark, a 20 yard in his face bird. He stayed at heel this time, but I still made him wait for about 5 seconds before sending him.

      So I can definitely empathize with you on these issues, and like you, I'll be working hard to fix them!

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    7. #15
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      Congratulations!

    8. #16
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      Congratulations!
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    9. #17
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      Congrats

    10. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      Congrats on the pass!!!!!!!!! Sounds like it was a tough, but fair test!

      I know exactly what you're dealing with as I have the same issues with Brooks. Our club had a training day this past Saturday and we did 4 series with the junior/senior dogs. I wasn't too concerned with the easy marks, as all we've been working on is getting from the holding blind to the line. He was ok on the first series, but got worse and worse at each series, on the fourth he was so vocal and out of control I took him off the line and put him in the truck, denying him the mark. I gave him a good scolding in the car while we were driving to where the master dogs were running, telling him how disappointed I was and how his behavior was unacceptable. My turn finally came to run the master series, which I decided to run as all single marks, going to and from the holding blind for each. I kept him on leash going to the line for the first bird, he was being quiet and heeling pretty good. I took the leash (slip lead) off and called for the first bird. He did creep a bit as the bird fell, but came back to heel as I called him and took two steps back. Once he was at heel, I waited about 10 seconds before I sent him. He was a quivering mess, but stayed at heel and was quiet until I sent him. He pinned the mark which was about 100 yards from the line. Upon returning with the bird, we went back into the holding blind and repeated the process off leash this time, and he was pretty good, actually was quiet and stayed at heel as I called for the bird. He crept a bit as the bird fell, so I took two steps back and called him back to heel, which he did. Again I made him wait about ten seconds before sending him, making sure he stayed at heel and was nice and quiet. He pinned this mark, about 80 yards with the bird landing at the edge of a cut corn field. We repeated the same process for the third mark, a 20 yard in his face bird. He stayed at heel this time, but I still made him wait for about 5 seconds before sending him.

      So I can definitely empathize with you on these issues, and like you, I'll be working hard to fix them!
      Denial is a tricky issue. I can’t disagree with anything you did. (Especially the firm talking to which though I didn’t hear it, was probably Barry fussing at Barry. I know that when I’m talking firmly about these things to Rocket Dog she hears “Blah, blah, stay blah blah, sit, blah, blah, etc.) But when the dog is out of control, the cardinal rule is they cannot be rewarded with the retrieve. But you just gave Brooks a bit of a time out and it seems to have caused a little bit of self-reflection.

      I’m going to put the blame on myself, but I think because of the logistics of the training group I’m with... I probably used denial way too much, putting Rocket Dog up when she was a jerk because I didn’t know any better way, and/or didn’t know how to use the e-collar in a constructive way rather than a very punitive way. What I created was the creeping-dancing issue she has... one side of her brain says, maybe I can dash out and get it before she puts me up forever and I die of old age in my crate never smelling duck feathers again... and the other side is telling her to hold still... and it’s like holding a car on a hill with the clutch. Not healthy! What I think I’m picking up from the folks with whom I’m training is that there are these proximal good things. It’s GOOD, you’re in position, GOOD, your butt is on the ground, GOOD you’re sitting still paying attention to me, and before you know it, you get your duck.

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    12. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Denial is a tricky issue. I can’t disagree with anything you did. (Especially the firm talking to which though I didn’t hear it, was probably Barry fussing at Barry. I know that when I’m talking firmly about these things to Rocket Dog she hears “Blah, blah, stay blah blah, sit, blah, blah, etc.) But when the dog is out of control, the cardinal rule is they cannot be rewarded with the retrieve. But you just gave Brooks a bit of a time out and it seems to have caused a little bit of self-reflection.

      I’m going to put the blame on myself, but I think because of the logistics of the training group I’m with... I probably used denial way too much, putting Rocket Dog up when she was a jerk because I didn’t know any better way, and/or didn’t know how to use the e-collar in a constructive way rather than a very punitive way. What I created was the creeping-dancing issue she has... one side of her brain says, maybe I can dash out and get it before she puts me up forever and I die of old age in my crate never smelling duck feathers again... and the other side is telling her to hold still... and it’s like holding a car on a hill with the clutch. Not healthy! What I think I’m picking up from the folks with whom I’m training is that there are these proximal good things. It’s GOOD, you’re in position, GOOD, your butt is on the ground, GOOD you’re sitting still paying attention to me, and before you know it, you get your duck.
      When we were done for the day a guy I've seen a previous training days, but don't know, came up to me and introduced himself. We chatted a bit and at one point he told me, "I know what your dealing with can be very frustrating, as we've all dealt with it, but I'd rather have a dog with too much drive, it's easier to take drive out, that put drive in. Just keep working on it".

      One of the things I've learned in the past couple years working first with Bruce, and now with Brooks, it it seems like everyone in this game (HT/FT) is dealing with some kind of issue with their dog. That's why we train, train, train, then train some more.

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    14. #20
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      congrats! great job

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