Blind Retrieve issues

Discussion in 'Sporting Dog Training' started by remington77, May 22, 2005.

  1. remington77

    remington77 Remington77

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    <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;&nbsp; Sometimes my 4 yr old lab veers off&nbsp; line as soon as I cast him on a blind retrieve. As I kneel beside him , line him out&nbsp; with my arm , he will look off to the right or to the left. When he does that , I can bet he will veer off line. </P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Sometime the duck or dummy will be in plain sight out&nbsp; on the water [ long retrieves ] but I can't get him to look the right direction . White or black, doesn't matter. </P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Any Ideas</P>
     
  2. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Run lining drills on land until he takes a straight line up to 150-200 yds.&nbsp; He needs to do this with a visual first, and then slowly take away the visual aid so he is taking that line on a blind.&nbsp; Do not expect this to happen over night.&nbsp; When he is confident and has the pattern of taking that line until he comes upon the bumper or bird, now you can go to water.&nbsp; When a dog hits the water, the item has to be large enough to see if you are counting on him seeing the mark all the way to the fall.&nbsp; Get into a pool and bring your head down until the water level is equal to your chin or mouth.&nbsp; You will see that without a chop or wave action, you will lose sight of that bumper&nbsp; beyond 30 - 50 yds.&nbsp; Your dog does not see in the water, what you are seeing upon the shoreline.&nbsp; He has to have the pattern or confidence to continue that line until he sees or smells the bird or bumper.&nbsp; If he starts to look around, that is his first hint that he does not know the mark.&nbsp; If the dog is in the water or heavy cover, he uses up a lot of energy on the lining process as compared to low grass or bare ground.&nbsp;&nbsp; A long water or cover retrieve makes him feel like he has gone a long distance regardless if he initially made the mark.&nbsp; His/her personality will dictate how this energy comsuption effects the willingness or drive to continue.&nbsp; It is like the dog has a meter that tells him the bumper should be right here because this is how I felt when going this distance.&nbsp;In actuallity, it is not the distance, but the amount of energy comsumed because of the cover or water. As an example, if you are throwing bumpers as far as you can, and then one day you decide to use a launcher or a buddy to toss bumpers, you will most likely find that the dog will automatically pull up at that distance you have been working him at regardless of the fact he seen the bumper fall futher out.&nbsp; These factors is a result that a dog learns by patterns.&nbsp; Even on a physical as well as mental foundation.&nbsp; </P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">You need to make sure he can see that mark in the water by using a large white bumper or even better, set up a long retrieve with a partner on the other side of a large pond to assist.&nbsp; If the dog goes off line (I'm taking for grated he does not handle) your partner should blow a duck call to get his attention to get back on line with the bumper.&nbsp; He will not learn to rely on this, but will develop the pattern of continueing the line until he sees, hears or smells something.&nbsp; Once he takes a line on the blind retrieve, and actually learns to hunt, then handling drills will finish off the process.&nbsp; Keep swimming him on long marks, but persue perfection on the blind retireves ( lining) on land first.&nbsp; 'Feel free to contact me and I will walk you through the process.&nbsp;&nbsp; god Bless.........Jim</P>
     

  3. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Randy,<br> <br> Has your dog been through force fetch?<br> <br> <br>
     
  4. remington77

    remington77 Remington77

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    <P>&nbsp;my dog has not been FF trained. </P>
     
  5. remington77

    remington77 Remington77

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    <P>Jim,&nbsp; I think that I understand what you are telling me. I guess the bottom line is that I did not spend enough time on the basics of casting on line . I can back up and see how it goes. Thanks for the advice</P>
     
  6. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>Let me know how you are doing and I will walk you through any issues you have with him.&nbsp; Jim</P>
     
  7. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    As I have stated before, FF is the foundation that everything else is built upon in retriever work.&nbsp; This sounds like avoidance behavior to me.&nbsp; I don't think that the dog/handler connection (forged through FF) is there.&nbsp; I call this "freelancing".&nbsp; "I'll do it if I feel like it, and if I look away, I don't have to deal with it.".&nbsp; Jim has given good advice, but I would first go back and establish the foundation that has never been built.&nbsp; At four years old, it will be tough on both of you, but I think it needs to be done, and done properly.&nbsp; Just my opinion.<br>
     
  8. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>No offense Orion, but I now have two dogs in my kennel that have been FF and now have issues that is a direct result of force fetching the wrong personality.&nbsp; One will take your hand off if you go near his mouth and the other is now afraid to let anyone go near him and is actually afraid of anything other than a tennis ball.&nbsp; The serous biter now allows me to handle him physically and sits, stays, heels, steady under the gun and retrieves to hand without fail.&nbsp;Shot three live flyers out of the duck blind&nbsp;Sat. over him.&nbsp;&nbsp;Steady, made&nbsp;all retrieves&nbsp;directly to hand (left side in sit positon) and followed up with a blind retrieve 110 yds across my pond to the adjoining field. &nbsp;It took two months to rebuild his confidence and to enforce the holding issue with another technique.&nbsp; This dog would have been a good all around hunting machine if his soft personality would have been evaluated before he was FF.&nbsp; To this day, if someone corners him and makes the mistake of reaching out to pet him, he will fearfully bite the person.&nbsp; A well known pro in NC followed the normal FF training procedure followed by the training process.&nbsp; This same trainer was just written up in a national publication for placing dogs in several major competitions this year.&nbsp; He is a great trainer, but, as I said before, the average person does not see the number of dogs that do not make the traditional training methods that are published or passed on to the retriever community.&nbsp;&nbsp; I have never had an issue with a dog refusing a retrieve because he was not FF.&nbsp; There is another underlying reason for that happening that is in direct response to a past experience, lack of the training process not developing the correct amount of desire or in some cases the FF scenario itself.&nbsp; FF for the right dog works every time.&nbsp; FF does not make but can break a retriever.&nbsp; Since I have been dealing more with the companion hunting dog and got away from the trials and recently cutting back on hunt tests, I am seeing more of these soft personality dogs which can do the job and make excellent companion and family members.&nbsp; I hope I am not ruffling feathers here, but I get into this debate way too much.&nbsp; It is just one more thing that I do different than most pros.&nbsp; As a young man, I hated to hear the trainer I was working with tell the client his dog was not going to reach the goals or performance level needed.&nbsp; For the companion hunting dog owner, that is the last thing he wants to hear.&nbsp; For competiton, then the attitude has to be different.&nbsp; The time and money involved dictates that you have to be dealing with the animal that can take the stress involved in reaching those levels in a timely fashion.&nbsp; I love the challenge of taking any retriever and making him what that average bird hunting guy/girl wants and needs from their companion hunting partner.&nbsp; Starting this year, in 2006, I will be putting all my efforts in specializing in that companion hunting dog.&nbsp; I will not be running hunt test, but will continue to prepare dogs for handlers interested in running their own tests or trials.&nbsp; I have another activity planned for the companion hunting dog owner that will be a fun, competitive situation for non pro handlers and intitled dogs.&nbsp; I will follow up with details regarding rules, prizes and possible locations.&nbsp; Jim</P>
     
  9. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Jim, <br> <br>Lack of force fetching, or incomplete/poorly done force fetching very likely will result in a myriad of problems down the road, including switching, no-go's, bugging and poor initial lines. Again, while it's only my opinion, if he tries to build on a weak or non-existent foundation, the dog will only work when he/she feels like it, and will do the job the way the dog wants to.<br> <br> -Kevin<br> <br>
     
  10. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>That is the key to reading that personality correctly.&nbsp; If handled properly, he/she will allways want to.&nbsp; That is what they live for.&nbsp; Properly evaluating that personality and building up the intensity and attitude to do the job because they want to and not because of the fear of correction will make a performer out of the softest dog.&nbsp; I have spent more time reversing the effects of force training than I have building up the confidence and intensity of a soft dog.&nbsp; If a person is going to train by the book and use traditional methods, they need to pay close attention to the pedigree to make sure they get that dog that can withstand the traditional training methods which include ff.&nbsp; Consistancy in correctly motivating that particular personality will produce consistancy in the performance of the dog.&nbsp; Jim</P>
     
  11. CMDUX

    CMDUX Member

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    <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Amen Orion.&nbsp; </P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">FF does not ruin dogs. FF one dog the exactly the same way you FF your last dog is indeed the issue.&nbsp; I agree with Jim when he says that you need to read your dog's personality, but, that's where I split with him.&nbsp; Read your dog's personality, and then FF the dog in a manner, at a pace, and with only the minimum pressure required to get the foundation laid.&nbsp; Some dogs will fetch and hold because you used those words during those fun months of puppy play and they know that fetch and hold is what master wants and it pleases master.&nbsp; Some need a pinch, some need a lot of pinch.&nbsp; I have never used the toe-hitch so I do not where it lies on the continuum.&nbsp; But again, Orion is right, control the mouth, control the dog.</P>
     
  12. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>The little guy in the picture here was eight weeks old when he was holding that full size dokken.&nbsp;He was one year old yesterday. &nbsp;Today, he retrieved constantly from 10AM to 2PM during an educational program for over 200 school teachers and their students.&nbsp; Bumpers launched from either end of the ponds (with 2 Max 2000's purchased two years ago from Orion) without one break, refusal or failure to deliver.&nbsp; Has never had an ear pinched or customary FF scenario.&nbsp; This was his first outing with that much distraction.&nbsp; FF is not the basis for producing a good retriever.&nbsp; It is one of the standard steps in the training process that should not be applied to all retrievers.&nbsp; Jim</P>
     
  13. CMDUX

    CMDUX Member

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    <P style="MARGIN: 0px">How has he done on crippled cock pheasants with 1/2 spurs?&nbsp; or that goose that "wakes up" half way back to the blind?&nbsp; or the mallard with a sharp broken wing bone poking him in the jowels?&nbsp; Throw bumpers for him all day, but they don't ever give him a reason to let go!</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Jim, I'm not really a grumpy disagreeable guy, I'm playing devil's advocate on the opposite side of an argument that always get a lot of "ink"&nbsp; here.</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">By the way, on behalf of all of us&nbsp;who love retrievers, thanks for exposing all those kids to our great breeds.</P>
     
  14. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>Cripples or nasty birds are no problem.&nbsp; Worked with 4,5 &amp; 6th graders today.&nbsp; After raising three daughters, I think I would choke one of these little boys.&nbsp; During our DU presentation they were fine.&nbsp; When it was time to run the dogs, they turned into little munchkins!&nbsp; Jim</P>
     
  15. Mightyduck

    Mightyduck Member

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    My Lab (yellow) Drake at 2 years old picks up all my birds for me, he has never been FF and never will be. He was brought up from a pup in the blind with me, he picks up geese and ducks even crips with no problem. The retrieve has always been a fun game for him and always will be. He sleeps at the end of the bed, and last year when he went for his first goose I slipped into the water, he returned to make sure I was ok,&nbsp; then returned to the retrive. In my opinion the companion retriever idea is more in line for what I want my dog to be. I use a lot of the game dog therory based on Mr Wolters books, and as he states in his books " he does not need the force method if he goes about his training properly.". I would much rather have a companion style dog(friend) than one who has been forced to fetch. This is my opion only, and I think Jim is more on the lines of training that I would prefer myself. Jim has always stated that each dog is different in his or her own way and trains them as individuals. I'm sure for every tainer there is a method, thats why I choose to train mine myself, if you make the dog a friend and family companion I think they develop more for retrieving to please you. Just my two pennys worth. <img src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/biggrin.gif" align="middle" border="0"><br>
     
  16. NBlabs

    NBlabs Member

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    Remington,<br> You did not give us much background on where your dog is in training. Have you done double T or pattern blinds. Has he been running cold blinds or are you just starting. I am assuming that he is new to cold blinds and basing my answer on that. If he has had T drill and understands basic casting, then the next step is pattern blinds. This should be done in a different field from his prior drill work. Pattern blinds is an introduction to field blinds and should not have the "drill" feel of previous yard work. I do not use a visible target, but walk the dog out to where you are going to place the first blind and let him watch as you drop a pile of bumpers. Then back off 15-20 yards and send him to the pile, if he runs straight to the pile then back up another 15-20 yards. The amount you back up will depend on your dogs momentum, you want a high degree of success and a straight line. If on the first send he does not go straight to the pile, then the next send move closer so he goes straight to the pile. Eventually you want to back off 100-150 yards. If may take a few days to establish the entire blind. Once you can walk up to your baseline and line the blind the first send then you are ready to teach a second blind about 45 degrees away from the first. Use the exact same procedure of establishing the second blind. When he can line both blinds from the baseline then teach a third. This is your three legged pattern blind. Eventually you should be able to talk the dog out of the truck and line all three blinds. You are NOT interested in handling at this point unless you really have to. After he has all three blinds down then you can start pattern blinds with diversions, this is where you will use handling to teach the dog how to handle diversions. That is another discussion.<br>