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Discussion Starter #1
I have been told that Pilot is an excellent marker. He has very little experience but always finds his mark. For example, the last time I took him the "bird" was on the other side of a channel. He ran out, jumped in the water, up the other bank to the "bird". I'm actually focused on obedience with him but I feel like this is kind of a crossover thing.

I tell him to mark, which he does, but after that he looks up to me waiting on my next command. I am being told that he shouldn't look up at me but continue to focus on the mark. I have been told that he could forget where I want him to go. I do plan to get a JH or WC on him eventually. I will never have the time to go further than that probably. This photo is after I threw a bumper for him and he's waiting to be sent. He did this with doubles and got both of them. He's kind of a natural since I've never trained doubles with him.

Is this really something I need to fight him on? I see it as looking to me for direction.
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the party's crashing us
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Looking up at you in heel position should be really discouraged in field work. Say mark when he's looking at the thrower, signal for the bird, and they should throw right away, send him immediately.
Please watch my upcoming webinars on FB they will address this specifically.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I’ll definitely watch! It will be all about timing with this one. He doesn’t do well with corrections. It really needs to be a battle worth fighting before I do anything.
 

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the party's crashing us
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There should be no corrections. It's a timing issue with you or your throwers. If you're lining him up and saying mark and waiting too long to signal, or if your gunner is farting around and not throwing right away, that's on you.
Also -- at this stage -- he should ONLY get marks from LIVE HUMANS walking and throwing bumpers and not behind holding blinds or cover. NO electronic throwing devices, no hiding the gunner, and no multiple guns. I cannot stress this enough. If you're doing anything other than this, that is the cause of the issues. All of those factors are awful for inexperienced dogs.
He is used to getting rewarded in obedience for looking at you, so it's not unexpected. In field, simply do not reward it. Only say his name to release him for the mark. If he looks up at you, don't make eye contact. Have the gunner constantly make motion (swing bumpers) so he focuses on them instead of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the advise! Next time I get to train with a group, I'll ask someone to help me with that. Now that I think of it, this was completely skipped over with him at the trainer. Most of the other dogs were beyond that level. Please let me know when you plan another webinar! I had to miss the last one. Last minute family get together.
 
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