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    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Well... we're off to Medford!

      This is really crazy. I'm running my MH in Senior at Rogue Valley. I have NEVER run a dog in my life. She got her title and went to the Master National (but did not complete) with a pro. So this weekend, we have a Master dog and a less-than-junior handler running in Senior.

      Gotta tell you, I'm nervous. I made a list on a 3x5 card to review in the holding blind.

      1. Dog’s name = BRIDGET. Marks = “BRIDGET”
      2. Pick near-ground marker for line to memory bird.
      3. Line dog up on that marker. MARK! SIT!
      4. Shoulder gun (Don’t point at judges). Whistle handy
      5. Call for marks, and shut up.
      6. Watch dog watch marks. No pulling off until bird on ground.
      7. Only then, step back, open dog up or move up and push dog... depending
      8. WAIT for your number
      9. Send for go-bird: “Bridget” = Marks
      10. Gun back on rack (or to judge).
      11. Receive dog back, line up for memory bird, say "Mark”
      12. Take bird. Send dog “Bridget” = Marks
      13. Hand bird to judge
      14. Thank the judges as you leave
      15. Hope you get called back for blinds.

      Big sigh....

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
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      Good luck! I am sure you both will do wonderfully.
      “Don't allow your happiness to be interrupted by overly judgmental people. The problem is not you, because even if you do good all the time, they would still find a way to judge you wrongly.”
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    3. #3
      Senior Dog
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      POPTOP's Avatar
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      Good luck and have fun!

    4. #4
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Try to enjoy the experience. It will be great fun and let the dog help you. Remember to watch your dog, she has the experience and you will know when see is ready for release. Don't over think the process.

    5. #5
      Senior Dog
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      20 Entries. 9 Finishers. We got our first ribbon together. She was sterling on the land series. Walk-up... only I sorta stumbled and she was in front of me. I'm thinking... that's OK. She's locked onto the memory bird. But then they started to shoot the flier. She didn't pull off and look (very tall grass, short dog...) and I'm thinking "Oh sh*t" and ran up to block her view of the first bird and push her to look at the flier. She hammered both marks and one whistled the blind.

      Water series not good. She eye-balled both birds to the ground. Left like a flash for the go bird, got it, came back and WOULDN'T SIT. Cr*p. I didn't know that on water marks she wants the bird out of her mouth and wants to shake before she'll do anything. (Like look at the memory bird.) And she's a delicate little flower who doesn't like to sit in icky stuff. So I did not get the look I wanted and sent her anyway and she went between the gunner and the bird got out of the water and drove hard for the state of Washington. (She's a Master Dog and, I guess she couldn't believe the mark would be w/in 50 yards.) So I whistled her back and put her on the bird. She aced the blind and she typically dozes off on the honor. So... that was our first experience.

      Tomorrow is another day. Hope it's not raining as hard and as dank and cold. Desert rats from NV are not used to that.

      I'd also like to compliment all the folks in Rogue Valley Ret. Club for their hospitality. They're putting on a fine Hunt Test

    6. The Following User Says Thank You to TuMicks For This Useful Post:

      windycanyon (04-12-2015)

    7. #6
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Congratulations on your first ribbon. You are now hooked on running your own dogs. Good luck with tomorrows test, the ice is broken so to speak and you know what to expect.
      I get to sit in the judges chair tomorrow for a picnic trial. We will do one set of land hunt test and one set of field trial marks. No water as it is still too cold here. The ice just left our front pond this morning and there is still a little left on the swim-by pond and the concept pond.

    8. #7
      Senior Dog
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      What a good idea. One series of FT and one of HT marks/blinds. I would like to suggest such a thing for our club.

    9. #8
      Senior Dog
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      Congratulations. I was hoping too after reading your "notes" that you knew not to send her til the judges said DOG too (in case they didn't use numbers). Also, you forgot that note to "BREATH".
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    10. #9
      Senior Dog
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      Well... we qualified again. But the water series wasn't anything I'm proud of. (But truly... we haven't run water since late last summer.) The judges set up a very salty Senior Water series. With a couple of variations, it could have been turned into a reasonable Master test.

      Again, I had difficulty getting her to sit in the slime. And they put a mat down so handlers didn't slip. Oh, my... delicate little flower didn't like the mat. Whining and looking up at me. I told her to mark... finally she looked out and got a good look at the memory bird (across the pond) and the go bird up a steep bank to the right. Then... she glanced away, began the whining and bugging. She had pulled off the go bird, looked at the memory bird. I figured, heck... don't fight her. She was looking long so I sent her. She walked into the water, swam in a circle (popping) and eventually swam right and picked up the go bird.

      When she came back for the memory bird, she was bugging, but when I thought she was pointed in the right direction I sent her. She split the difference and began swimming in between the marks.

      So I started handling. It had to have been 50 whistles. BUT she answered each one.

      Then the blind. It was a big league blind, down the length of the pond. Parallel to the shore. Handlers were told to keep the dogs in the water. OK... it was a lot of tweet-over-tweet-back-tweet-over-tweet-back. But again she answered every whistle, took every cast.

      So, Bridget and I have some work to do on water marks. Unlike Rocket Dog, Bridget is soft and will want to fold. (Which is why I tried to find a hotter breeding and ended up with RD.) I think problem solving with the softer dog is difficult. But when warmer water comes along... who knows, the problems may just go away.

      So... HA! Bridget has her MH title. Three more Seniors and I may have MY Senior title.

    11. #10
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Congratulations I'm sure as the water warms up and you get more time with it all will be well. Sounds like the partnership is on solid ground as she didn't blow you off or give up. I like that in a dog. As long as the effort is positive then you are ahead of the game.
      We have got two days of marks in. Sunday I got to run my dogs as well. Chant the old girl did her usual steady job, even got a round of applause when she lined the blind. I think all the boring drill work over the winter has paid off as she lined the one we set up today too. I was pleased with M's marking but there was a little forward motion on the long mark, but there was no noise. Her blind Sunday was pretty ragged but my excuse is she hasn't really done any cold blinds and I had no business asking her to run one. Today we built the blind and she picked up on it really quickly. We ran singles on the first set and she locked onto the long gun and completely missed the short throw. When I finally got her to acknowledge the short gun I had the gunner wave in the direction of the throw and sent her. She took off like a rocket an went right to the area of the fall. When the thrower ( M's breeder) came in I teased her that she had sold me a dud. Next set she did a double with no problem.
      When I first got involved with field trails the experienced handlers were always telling me to slow down on the line. I think that message is finally sinking in as I really have to move slowly with this dog or she is gone.

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