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    Thread: concepts

    1. #1
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      concepts

      Got some concept training in yesterday. Day did not look promising but by 10:00 it had cleared so we went out and did a couple of setups. The first was a mark across a gap in cover and then a blind under its arch. Dogs tend to want to get through the gap, which most did and then had to hunt back to the other side of the cover to pick up. M's first attempt at the blind was pretty hacky so we ran a second mark that was a pheasant then reran the blind. She wasn't wearing her collar but I was really happy with the whistle responses and her effort.
      The second set up we ran as a poison bird, blind then a retired gun. She needed 3 whistles to pull off the poison bird but took all the casts and improved her line each time. The two marks were no problem. One thing she can do is mark.
      Wednesday we will get out again and work on these types of concepts, if the weather co-operates.

    2. #2
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      wow- sounds like making them really think.
      it didnt really get "nice" down here until about 6:30. It certainly wasn't a horrid day, and cooler than we've had nice for the dogs... the weekend wasnt nice at all, lots of downpours. training got canned, which was just as well as the show we were entered in was moving along really quick and had i showed up when originally planned after training, may have missed the 1st class.
      which it turned out wouldn't have mattered a bit, he refused jumps in both classes sat, and in 1st class sun morning, so pulled him from the other 3 classes. somethings going on with him but not sure what, nothing obvious...off to the osteopath if she can fit him in this week.
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    3. #3
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      Hope there is nothing physically wrong and he was just having a bad weekend.
      Not only the dog has to learn to think but the handler. You really have to look at the test or the set up to see what is in it. The first time I was ask to name all the factors in a mark I looked at Bill with a blank stare. Had never really given a thought to bird placement and what was between the line and the bird. At the last hunt test the junior handlers were questioning why the dogs were over running a mark and breaking over a hill. If you thought carefully and got down to the dog's level you could see why. The mark was breaking the skyline and the crown of the hill as the dog watched it down. It looked like the bird was landing at the top of the hill when really it was landing on the slope. The blind was also trick. It was only 57 yds long but set at right angles to the marks. As you came up to the line a dry shot was fire behind you and to the right (first suction), you lined the dog up a right angle to this and then had to cross a road that curved up hill to the right (second suction). Once the dog was across the road the winger station was very visible, again up hill to the right ( third suction). So in that short 57 yd blind there was a great deal of suction to the right that the handler had to be aware of and ready to stop the dog for a left hand cast. These are all concepts that need to be practised. Just crossing a road can be a problem.

    4. #4
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      i suspect something pulled/tweaked, unfortunately...I've gotten his weight down this spring and summer, but he's not in the fitness condition i'd like, and starting to get up there in age i'd better work toward that-nothing like a fit healthy weight dog to better handle the aging process.
      however, i believe some rest is in order, at least no heavy running/darting/direction changes for about 3-4 days, and certainly no jumping.... he actually did show a bit lame off and on for brief moments this morning on a front leg... but there's a decidedly warm spot on his lower back just above his hips, so we'll see.

      see, that's whats so fascinating about this stuff. there is ALWAYS something that is waaaayyyy more involved than it 1st appears. I have really really enjoyed the few hunt tests that i've been to: watching, and listening, and asking some of the folks running the more advanced stuff to explain what they're seeing on the tests. some things are more obvious to me (like roads -heck, that was a biggie in the xcountry horse world, as were shadows and light, so i figure it should translate for dogs), but some stuff, no idea there is that influence... so very very interesting. I really appreciate reading what you write about what you're doing, and hearing some of the other experienced folks share. one day, one day, i'll be able to dig back and apply some of it i hope!

    5. #5
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      Well, it sure sounds like a thought challenge for the dog. I am noticing that Ram Jet Rocket Dog is perhaps showing signs of being less of a puppy and more of a dog. (She has her 3rd birthday on the 30th.) I have to keep her engaged mentally. Oh, sure, she'll run a wagon wheel drill until there's a beaten path marking all the spokes. But you can tell she's bored. I am not sure how to describe the difference. Anyone else would think she's running with wild abandon. But I can tell.

      RD and I won't be in the field until the group gets back together in (probably) January. So we are just working on basics in the local parks. After so much work on line behavior, her handling had gone down hill. We're working on getting the whistle sits quick and crisp and getting the angles and straight backs down. Today I was lining her to a pile, she was stopping smartly and I was getting good casts. Meh. It's a park. But if we can't do it there, we won't be doing it in the field when the time comes.

    6. #6
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      I know I'm going to sound kinda dumb here, but what is a "retired gun". I'm just getting into the whole HT thing, and a lot of the things that are done are very foreign to me.

    7. #7
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      In FT trials the bird throwers wear white and are visible to the dog and handler when lining up for the marks. A retired gun is when after all the marks have been thrown one or two ( sometimes all three) of the throwers disappear from the field of vision. They go behind a hay bay bale, bushes, blind etc.. The dog no longer sees the white jacket out in the field and must remember which way the bird was thrown and where it landed. In most HT tests the throwers are all ready retired (hidden) and the dog's attention is attracted by a duck call.
      You are right there is a whole bunch of jargon that goes with the sport. I can remember being confused by the term "hip pocket" set up and the other day I came across another set up term called "off the heel" The first is when the throwers are set up so that the one throwing the short bird lands the bird
      in an area that is off the hip pocket of the first thrower. The second shortens the distance of the second thrower to the line so that it looks like his bird is landing in the area of the heels of the first thrower. I know this is all clear as mud but as you get out with a group you will see these types of set ups.

    8. #8
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      Barry... are you thinking about doing some HT's with the new pup? I'll bet you both enjoy the heck out of it.

    9. #9
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      I am seriously thinking about it. Bruce was well on his way to competing at the junior level before his untimely passing. Brooks is a much higher drive dog, and there is no doubt in my mind he could do very well in the field. The biggest obstacle I face is the lack of land and access to water for training. I train with a small group once a week from May til October, the land owner does guiding waterfowl hunting during the season and we can't train while hunting is going on. I have a small park in my neighborhood and can do retrieves of 30 yards or less. There is a school across the road from us, and I can use the practice fields when they aren't in use, normally Saturday's and Sunday's.

      MY main focus for Brooks will be Obedience and Rally. HT will just be for fun for us, I know he'll love doing them, and I really enjoy watching the dogs work.

    10. #10
      Best Friend Retriever
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      You will have fun doing the field work. A friend just put a WC and a JH on is obedience champion golden. He did the JH with very limited training. The dog just loved to work in the field.
      Having said that M had a terrible, nasty, horrible, no good, very bad day today. My excuse is that she was riding next to my sister's dog that is in full season. Anyway M's brain just was scrambled. Things she did the other day with no problem were just beyond her today. She didn't want to take a cast, pouted when I gave her a correction and just generally was a brat. We are going to run the same type of concepts tomorrow and I hope she has a better day.

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