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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok guys, what's on the calendar for the upcoming week???
 

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More off leash heeling around the area. We have training on saturday. I am going to go out twice a total of 4 birds I plan to do this all off leash and after we have done that I will decide if I want to run Jige in the upland test. The guys I train with think he is ready my sister thinks he is ready but I am worried he is going to mess up and I will just be out that 120$. Maybe I should quit thinking about the cost of it and just do it to have fun.
 

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The plans are to do the same set-up we had last week tomorrow. Advanced dogs will the do the hip pocket double with the diversion bird thrown somewhere in the middle. intermediate dogs will do the hip pocket double. Beginners just singles. Then a flower pot double.

Having gone through the 'I'm learning doubles so all I want to do is doubles..oh crap now my dog is head swinging stage' I've learned to be more careful about how often I practice multiples. Last week I ran the flower pot singles for that reason. So I think I am going to try a diversion bird since we've been practicing it and run those as singles. Then do the flowerpot as a double but build it. It just isn't going to be nearly as beneficial to run it as singles. It's so hard trying to find that balance of multiples and singles. Hmmm...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We truly need to get out and train, I've been so slack about it. We haven't been to Dan's in 3 weeks (bad weather) and not sure about this week. In fact, we haven't really done anything.
I want to enter him in a double SH test the end of March (very, very early for this area for water, but we'll see) and I'm thinking that wishing he would be ready to enter isn't going to get him ready....
 

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Marks tomorrow morning. T work afternoon
 
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Well I caved and did two both doubles today (hip pocket and flower pot) since I felt like both were good teaching moments. I ended with a single for measure but next week I have to not let myself do any multiples. Scout did great.

We also did our modified t and she did great. No problems...but then I knew if I wasn't mixing backs and angles it wouldn't be a problem. Hmm. Now I need to find time to visit Pete's which is hard.
 

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Well, I may have a line on someone to work field with. He is not a pro but has trained several dogs (labs) for field trials. If he will work with me just to make sure I understand the different drills, I think I can do better than just trying to wing it on my own. Plus, he throws bumpers/birds for me, I throw them for him (my biggest issue-having someone to throw for me)!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We do have some coming up, a bit closer, but to be honest I have no idea at all what to expect from a SH test, never even SAW one, or from Tito at a SH test, and I don't know how many tries it might take him to title?? I've set a time frame on myself that I want his SH by mid-August, because I want to show him in the "hunting retriever" class in the breed ring at National, which is the first week of September. You have to be at least a SH to show as a hunting retriever at National.
So that's the hurry!
<hanging head> no, didn't train yesterday. Not going to train today. Or tomorrow.
But Wednesday looks kind of promising!


Barb do you have other hunt tests later in the year close to you? What's the hurry to enter him?

PS Did you train today? ;)
 

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Well Barb I think you should go for it in March -- first off I think you will be underwhelmed by a SH test, and secondly, you will learn A LOT more by running one than just watching one! Unless the dog has some sort of training hangup that bombing a test might perpetuate or encourage, I say run him.
 

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Barb,
If you are diligent about going out and running blinds every day you should be okay for that early Backwater test. The Senior judges are quite nice--I know and/or have run under three of them and would say they will set up fair tests. Maybe working towards that test date as a goal will be the motivation to get your tuckus in gear!

Blinds are something you can do on your own without travelling to Dan's, so long as there is not so much snow blowing that Tito cannot see you! Most dogs that fail Senior do so on the blinds, at least that has been my experience when I have the pencil in my hand!
 

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We got out for the first time in two weeks yesterday. Had 6 stickmen out and threw three different long-short combinations: gunners in line, throwing out with a cross-wind; gunners inline both throwing l-r for inline marks; and gunners outside throwing in for a pinched in-line, and then a blind to be combined with each pair of marks. We ran everyone on the concepts first as singles, running long then short. Breeze did a good job on the first set, then did not want to check down on the short bird in the second, and a good job on the third. Butch and Bonnie also wanted to go long on that one, so checkdowns are something we obviously need to do a little more work on.

Days are starting to get a bit longer, so also plan to be getting Bonnie out to finish her basics work. I have just enough light to get her drills in after work, but not enough time to get marks set up for everyone.

I am ring stewarding at our club obed trial on Saturday, so will not be able to train then, so next Sunday will be our next time for marks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Anney and Shelly.
No, he doesn't have any training problems that bombing a test would make worse. At least not right now, LOL.
The only thing he has going on with the land series I *hope* we have worked through, it's been getting better. We ran so many blinds that he lost the CONCEPT of a multiple. I thought his memory was shot, Dan says no, it's outstanding (as evidenced by his being able to find an old AOF or go back to where a previous blind had been with no problem:doh::doh:).
He would go out for the second bird of the double, and seem a bit confused as to why he was heading back out, was it a blind or a mark? So we stopped mixing blinds and marks, I got very specific with my cues (Dan says I don't communicate with him nearly enough) in terms of "mark, where is it?" or "dead bird, back", and so on, and that seems to have fixed the problem :crossfing.
We've had 2 training sessions in which we worked on that issue, so we haven't had much time to fix it, but I think he'll be fine with that by the end of March.
Dan feels that Tito is running "finished level blinds" with no problem. So I'm assuming that those are at least as hard as senior level.
The real issue is the water.
He hasn't been in the water since early November, and it's doubtful he'll get any water training in between now and the tests. Our water is iced over.
We have done almost no cold blinds in water. Dan thinks if Tito's land blinds are 100% it will carry over to water enough to pass the tests.
I really don't know what to expect. If he has to get out and back in over 2 or more points of land, he's going to have a really hard time. (On a blind he'd have the problem; he'd be fine on a mark). Would I see that in a senior test? If there's just one point, I could handle him over it, but I think he'd fall apart with two.
If he has to get out and go through some heavy cover on the other shore before he gets to the blind, I don't know how he'll do. He does fine being handled thru heavy cover on land blinds, so maybe he'd be okay. If the blind is in a direct line with one of the marks, he may have a problem with it, may hunt the area of the old mark instead. The thing is, I just don't know what it will be like? If it's a straight swim, 100 yards or less, he should be fine. But if they start throwing in lots of suction or factors, well, we could have a problem.
It's hard for me to get weekends off, it will be a $500 weekend by the time I pay gas, hotel, entry fees, so I don't want to go if I'm sure he'll fail. But I sure do want to go if I think he has even a 50-50 chance of passing!
So I'd love to hear what to expect at a SH test!!!
 
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Derby doubles as singles today. Four stations in the field. Marking is showing a lot of improvement. Four more stations set out at varying distances, (worked on holding focus to the station I want,getting a little head swinging) modified ABCD.
Junior test coming up on 2/19
 

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Barb, not that I've seen every senior test in the world but generally they are pretty straight forward. Get in, swim and follow basic directions. I think you are more likely to have to get the dog to swim past a point rather than over it, and over two points would be one extraordinary senior test!
 

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Well shoot my car found black ice this morning and did a nice 180 on the road and slid over a curb to give me a flat tire and a torn rim. That's going to really limit my training plans this week until I get it fixed--I'm not driving anywhere on my spare that I don't need to go. Ugh.
 

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Barb, not that I've seen every senior test in the world but generally they are pretty straight forward. Get in, swim and follow basic directions. I think you are more likely to have to get the dog to swim past a point rather than over it, and over two points would be one extraordinary senior test!
That would be my perception of it as well, from the AKC tests I have run--my CKC Senior blinds were tougher! And from what I have heard Blake say, much of the water they use in the spring is running water as they are aware the deep ponds would be pretty chilly still.

If you get some good hard-pack snow on your ponds to provide traction and the ice is thick enough for it to be safe you could teach some concept pattern blinds at this point on the hard water, that you can come back to in the spring and incorporate into marking set-ups.
 

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I don't mind hearing about Senior tests also.
We just started water blinds last fall and still have a lot of work to do. We will probably try out our skills with a Seasoned HRC attempt first since we run both.
So hard to plan your summer when you don't know when your dog will be ready. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
thanks, that's good to know. I just don't know what to expect, and since Dan runs almost all HRC/UKC, he's not being much help.
edit to add....he also believes in being well into training for the next level before running in a test, so I'm not sure sometimes if we are training senior or master level concepts.
 
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