Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
the party's crashing us
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey! Okay so I have to report on my assignment :)
Weather is cooperating so today my training partner and I went out and had a go at BB blinds.
VERY COOL
I think we ran it correctly. I used little red Home Depot flags to mark the places of the bumpers, mainly for us so we knew where to walk to, and orange bumpers. The dogs clearly could see neither because several times they blew by them within feet and we had to stop and handle in to them.
Both dogs would focus on the BB but once sent in the right direction the BB was no longer a factor.
What was interesting is that both dogs regressed or should I say, common issues cropped up, so it was GREAT to have an opportunity to work on them without any other factors of terrain or suction.
For example, and maybe you have some insight on this, Fisher is very antsy on the line -- he DOES work with me to get him lined up but has ants in his pants. I know this is due to anxiety (we had a bumpy start to T work and this is a scar from it), I keep things low key, never use pressure at the line for this. I keep a tab on him to hold him in place (he wants to creep before being sent on a blind) but that gets cumbersome. The first two blinds of the drill today were fine but as we moved on he got more antsy.
The only thing I had to correct Fisher on was at one point, he tried returning to the previous bumper's spot, I blew the whistle, he ignored it, I blew it again and nicked, no reaction, BLEW IT AGAIN and burned on a high 3 -- at this point he was within a few feet of the old spot (where there was no bumper) and finally stopped when he saw it was not there. I called him in and resent him for the correct one (at this point they were 80-100 yd blinds) and he handled very nicely, two casts and he was there. I feel bad for burning him but he was clearly blowing me off.
Same phenomenon with my training partner's dog, the first few went great but then once fatigue or pressure crept in on the later ones, old issues cropped up -- a few no goes, and not going when sent on remote casts. However like me he was able to work it out and overall was a very positive experience.
I really like this as it allows us to do many blinds in one setting, and removes all the factors -- it is rank lining and handling and we need that. Our dogs really have gotten good at the blind "game" -- but usually when we train in a group we do some marks, and run maybe one or two blinds, they do great - but there is not much opportunity to get in many reps AND I think the dogs get into the groove of, "Okay we did the marks, now we do a blind, this is easy." Well, the BB drill took it out of context and made them depend solely on the handler.
My question now is, how often do you run these, I know it's not a drill like the T or something that you can say, I've done it and perfected it and now we're done, I see this as something that can be used throughout the dog's career.
Thanks again for your encouragement and I am curious to hear your response!

Here is a picture of the two boys after today's training:


"Bark" on the left is my training partner's dog, aka SHR Morninglo Tea For Two JH WC -- one SH leg and one HR leg.
My Fisher is on the right, we have three SH legs and two HR legs.

And lastly, a cute photo I took the other day at home :)


Clockwise from top, Sophie, Harvin, Slater, Fisher
 

·
They get it
Joined
·
4,446 Posts
Okay, now I don't want to sound dumb but what is a BB blind?

Your pictures are beautiful, especially the second one with all the cute Golden faces!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
Hey! Okay so I have to report on my assignment :)
Weather is cooperating so today my training partner and I went out and had a go at BB blinds.
VERY COOL
I think we ran it correctly. I used little red Home Depot flags to mark the places of the bumpers, mainly for us so we knew where to walk to, and orange bumpers. The dogs clearly could see neither because several times they blew by them within feet and we had to stop and handle in to them.
Both dogs would focus on the BB but once sent in the right direction the BB was no longer a factor.
For those playing along at home, who may not know what this drill is, BB Blinds aka Bird Boy Blinds is one of the earliest Transitional drills we commonly use to transition from pattern blinds to cold blinds. It's a progressive drill, in which each blind is planted individually by a helper whom we call a "bird boy" in this application. I'll outline more detail soon, but first to our questions.

I hope this will help your next fieldwork. BB Blinds work best on closely mown, flat (if possible) fields like parks so each bumper is clearly visible to you and to the dog. There should be only one bumper planted at a time.

Start your drill each time with white bumpers, not orange. Also, start with very short blinds that the dog can see from the line. You're building the kind of confidence that will grow into a steady expectation of success. Each time your dog leaves the line he should expect to meet with success. Only change to orange when the dog is driving his lines hard and straight and for more distance.

Your bird boy walks a course at your direction that makes each blind just a bit longer than the previous one. Watch this clip and let me know if this makes more sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1il0xaGTXm4
The only thing I had to correct Fisher on was at one point, he tried returning to the previous bumper's spot, I blew the whistle, he ignored it, I blew it again and nicked, no reaction, BLEW IT AGAIN and burned on a high 3 -- at this point he was within a few feet of the old spot (where there was no bumper) and finally stopped when he saw it was not there.
Keep corporal corrections to a minimum, and be slow to use your e-collar. I'm not chewing you out. :) The dog does need to go, stop, and come as commanded. If he's doing that he's working with you. It is vitally important that you praise your dog for doing the right thing.
I called him in and resent him for the correct one (at this point they were 80-100 yd blinds) and he handled very nicely, two casts and he was there. I feel bad for burning him but he was clearly blowing me off.
Very good. Attrition is a great tool.
I really like this as it allows us to do many blinds in one setting, and removes all the factors -- it is rank lining and handling and we need that.
It's one of my favorite drills, both for transition and for maintenance.
My question now is, how often do you run these, I know it's not a drill like the T or something that you can say, I've done it and perfected it and now we're done, I see this as something that can be used throughout the dog's career.
Thanks again for your encouragement and I am curious to hear your response!
In the early going, I run them every day for about 10 days to two weeks. then just mark for a few days to give them a break, and so that this does not become a parlor trick. You want to give your dogs a generalized set of skills they can use anywhere.

How are we doing so far?

EvanG
 

·
the party's crashing us
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hi Evan, thanks for the response.
Both of the dogs (Fisher & Bark) are well out of transition and running cold blinds pretty well. So do you think I should have used white bumpers?
The field we ran them in is large, flat and featureless, and as you can see from the photo of the 2 dogs sitting, mowed pretty close.
I know the white bumpers would have cleaned up any need to handle at the ends of the blinds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
It would be a reasonable presumption for fully trained dogs to start with orange bumpers in most cases. But, one of the benefits you'll get from starting with white is the promotion of confidence. Even on some of your longer blinds at first, your dogs will begin soon to line harder and straighter, at which point you can make the switch to orange.

Try it out and let me know what you see after a sesison or two, okay?

EvanG
 

·
the party's crashing us
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Will do! I go to my trainer's tomorrow then we have a week until our next tests ( Okeechbee HTs).
Thanks again,
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top