Join Date: Oct 2012
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I really disagree with you about derbies being about straight lines and not about marking. AT least down here in the south. My mentor says that when dogs are very good markers they do good in derbies. Dogs that aren't superb markers but are good at learning concepts can do well in the higher stakes. These dogs can learn how to mark better. Derbies are under two. You can't teach a dog how to mark that well in that little time if they can't mark. Super good markers that are ten months old can beat older dogs even without being trained on concepts. I've seen it with my own eyes. And I've seen dogs place that cheated ponds or take banana lines. Shoot, Proof has done things like that in trials. It just depends on what the other dogs do. If a dog takes the straightest line to a mark and pins it they should do better than a dog that goes all over the place and then goes right to the bird.
Now, that being said. Concepts are taught to my dog. I teach him to hold his angles on hills, not to square ponds, hold lines against the wind, not to go behind a gun and so much more. All of this is so he can not break down so to speak and lose his mark. It is more about helping him get to the mark even through obstacles. But if he can't look out and mark a bird 400 yards away and perceive the depth of that mark and then go on to remember that mark after picking up a crippled exciting bird then I have nothing to work with in the first place. Marking is the most important thing. Furthermore, some dogs just take good straight lines naturally. Ben can back me up when I say Proof has always taken a really straight line to his marks. Sure he had to be decheated on water but he still naturally had no problem going over points or swimming past points depending on the line of the mark.
And as far as handling. I RARELY handle Proof to a mark. OMG I rarely. I mean maybe once a month if even that. Maybe even less. I will rerun a mark but unless its a very hard far water mark, little booger needs to come back in and watch that bird again. He obviously didn't mark it very well. Handling is just going to make him dependent on me, possibly create a popping issue, and not make his own decisions. It also breaks down his confidence in my opinion. Let him get a correction and try again. Think about it, i'd rather get corrected and come back and nail it, proving that I can do it, then get handled to a mark and going into the truck, not doing anything but telling me that I can't do it on my own.
Right now I'm on my second week of training with Proof since he got back. The first week we didn't train and the second, right before our first derby back, Proof had an injury that prevented us from training. He healed a day before the trial, ugh. We've run a few derbies but we are still getting our groove on again. its more like me being so rusty. Oh well, they are fun to run, I enjoy seeing some friends I've made since I started and Proof loves them. I guess losing is something I have to get used to, he is gonna be losing quite a bit in all age stakes, ha ha!
Last edited by MillionsofPeaches; 10-11-2016 at 05:24 PM.