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MOP and I were texting this morning regarding scalloping and cast refusals. It was a great discussion and I thought it might be good for this forum. Anyone want to talk about the difference between the 2 and how to correct for either or both?



MOP, care to chime in on what your thoughts are regarding scalloping and cast refusals?



And yes I have problems with cast refusals, oh and last weekend, we can add whistle refusals (too many I lost count).
 

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MOP and I were texting this morning regarding scalloping and cast refusals. It was a great discussion and I thought it might be good for this forum. Anyone want to talk about the difference between the 2 and how to correct for either or both?

MOP, care to chime in on what your thoughts are regarding scalloping and cast refusals?
I look forward to this discussion!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
MOP HaHa! Not all of us have a great dog like you do.


Here's my descriptions, I don't know if they are close, but here goes.
Cast refusal: Dog is running a blind. Dog sits on whistle. You need the dog to do a left angle back. Dog goes right angle back or right over. Meaning the dog from the beginning of that cast, doesn't attempt to go in the direction of the cast. Basically flips you the paw. Sometimes cast refusal will be combined with a crooked sit, where the dog isn't facing you when you whistle sit them. And sometimes can be combined with a dog that won't look at you when they whistle sit, instead looks in the direction they are going to run once you send them. And often is combined with a handler that doesn't wait for the dog to even come to a complete stop and sit, before the handler throws and arm into a cast direction without waiting at all.



Scallop: I thought dogs scalloped because of wind pushing them, or terrain changes. Strong winds that move a dog, especially on water. Or a steep side hill that makes a dog drop down a hillside or move up. But sometimes they scallop because they are really going to go in the direction they wanted to go in the beginning. But they initially took your cast and went in that direction, then slowly faded into the direction the dog wanted to go. So you whistle sit the dog, and you realize the line they've run in hasn't changed at all, they are still running on the same line. So I guess I put scalloping into 2 different categories, one that is terrain/weather driven and one that is driven by a dog that wants to go in another direction than the handler wants them to go.


So how to fix all that is the question.....
 

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a great dog like I do.....ha ha ha.....you know Proof is the devil incarnate on blinds...

The way I finally fixed it and MAINTAIN it is I don't give proof any more "chances" except on critical casts that pressure would perhaps be counterproductive.

When he was younger he got a lot more chances and I was just not recognizing scallops as he was making progress to the blind. I just didn't "get it" and it was super frustrating to me. I really couldn't see my blinds objectively because I was so wrapped up in running it. I can still get wrapped up in a very hard meaty blind and forget what proof is doing and focus too much on other things but I am better than I used to. Like I said to you if you are lifting the same arm over and over even if your dog finally makes it to the blind, your dog never took your cast. If I am not recognizing that my trainer will comment, is your right arm tired yet? lol...then I realize I have been casting him right right right. Proof was the master of scallops and my new pup is too, I call her potatoes because how much she loves the scallops. But she is very young so she gets "chances" until she is more solid. Proof is much older and he knows better.

Now, he takes a scallop or a cast refusal and he gets a correction. It has helped tremendously. Honestly, it is if Proof never understood it as a team sport before and now he is aware he has to work with me...He took advantage of those chances and when I stopped giving them he realized he has to just do it when I say do it, rather than after the third or fourth time I asked....
 

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Alaska



Is your dog confused? He took a cast, changed his direction, but not the way you wanted. Okay then what did you do? When I think there is confusion I go back to basics. May not be the best way but I will tell you the dog takes the correct cast after that. Basics being a review with casting drills.
 

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What MOP said!
We are on the zero tolerance for nonsense protocol here. I know that Flyer knows he is to stop on a whistle, take the direction of my cast AND carry it. So correction comes into to play fast and this is not mamby pamby correction. He is still learning to fight suction/factors so it doesn’t have to be the perfect cast, he can overcast but he has to take my cast. As we are working through this our lines are getting better and there is less and less choppy blinds.
Flyer’s marking did suffer for awhile after I finally went to zero tolerance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alaska

Is your dog confused? He took a cast, changed his direction, but not the way you wanted. Okay then what did you do? When I think there is confusion I go back to basics. May not be the best way but I will tell you the dog takes the correct cast after that. Basics being a review with casting drills.

George,
hard to do a correction at a test. What I should do is stop him before he gets to a place that might be a problem. Then cast him through it. What I did was wait until there was a problem. I should have taken control. But I didn't.


Yes I do need to go back to some drills. I always do wagon wheel and some drills before a test in the morning. Try to make sure we're on the same page. Obviously my morning warm up didn't work.



FTGoldens,
Can you help us?
 

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aka Shelby
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I know that Flyer knows he is to stop on a whistle, take the direction of my cast AND carry it. /QUOTE]

Exactly....

Stacey you and George can do drills all day long but at some point you have to get off the pot. Like Holly said they know the rules so there is no reason you shouldn't challenge them and put those rules to the test in training. I think a big problem for both of you is you have very high driving dogs but you guys are too soft on them. You both can't bring yourself to really correct them. And that is okay, its what you are comfortable with but you can't expect these highly intelligent master manipulating high rolling dogs to do what you want them to with very weak consequences.

Drills for Proof is fun time. He is perfect on drills. He LOVES to do drills with me and prances along perfectly for everything. Put him out in a big open field where he is free he is a different dog. He LOVES blinds but he loves to run any way. Point is I'm simply not able to get the same corrections on him that I am on a long cold blind especially with lots of terrain changes where it is impossible for him to line it. I personally like drills for things that don't need any corrections. Like doing blinds around gunners or going over logs and stuff. I like to go back to my pattern blinds to work on casting. He knows where the blinds are and I can stop him and switch things up. Plus my pattern blinds involve keyholes and roads and so forth so I can keep it in his head.

Your problem with your dog is disobedience and your inability to recognize what you are doing wrong and then fixing it. This was my problem and something I still need to get better at. But it finally clicked (thank God my trainer didn't get sick of me) for the most part so I know how to recognize what I did wrong and correct it next time. Before I didn't know what I was doing wrong at all and often times would think the blind was good and my trainer would draw it out on paper and it was a completely different blind than I thought I ran! Perhaps this could help you too? have someone draw every thing you do and the line on paper. Videoing on my didn't work cause I still wasn't recognizing what was wrong. the line on paper blew my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MOP,
Drills are something Riot is also good at. He’s close to me in a drill and knows all about how to be a good dog when I’m right there. That’s why he’s such a good obedience trial dog. That High in Trial shows it.

What I was thinking about for a drill was a little different. I was thinking of using some big open mowed fields with no features in the area. Set out a pile 300-400 yards away that Riot doesn’t know where it is. Then running a blind with him. Remove all the factors except him and I. And just say here we go, we’ll drill through this. Then I’d like to gradually increase distractions and terrain features as we get better over time.

I don’t think returning to double T will make a difference. I don’t think swim by will make a difference. He knows those drills. There will be no surprises. He’s a good drill dog. I know I need to be a lot harder on him.

The one thing I’m not totally sure about is getting better on water blinds.
 

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aka Shelby
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STACEY NO MORE PILES with Riot for awhile!!!!!!

You are simply reenforcing his idea that he knows where it is. The first time is a cold blind but after that he is just going to start lining them.

Only cold blinds right now. Get those corrections in and teach him that you are the leader and the only one that knows where the bird is. Stop making excuses for everything. Riot was sent off to a Pro for basics. He knows what is expected and since you don't hold him to the same standard I guarantee Steve did he takes even MORE advantage of his mama.

the Bottom line is that none of this is going to work if you don't hold him to a higher standard.
 

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With Winter I ran a lot of drills. I used them to keep her confidence and momentum up. She’s a dog that would have benefited from a scoop of confidence. On her way to the Master title we ran memory and lining drills all the time and it gave her a boost to look out and know she was right and that helped us. I also was careful with correction. We were always building momentum in her. I’m still doing it in the obedience ring.
FlyBoy, well he came packed with confidence. I don’t think about building in momentum. I work hard at building in control.
It’’s took me awhile to stop giving Flyer the benefit of the doubt, he’s not sure, he doesn’t know, yada, yada, yada. Once I raised the bar I found out Flyer did know and that’s when our blind work got better.

I can’t tell, where are you with Riot?
Does he always stop on your whistle? take a cast? initial line?
 

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There's so much already covered in this thread that I'm going to go back to the original questions/issues. Maybe this will cause us to head in another direction.

As for the definitions of scallop and cast refusal, Alaska pretty much covered them in post #4. (A cast refusal is much more severe than a scallop ... and I judge them as such.)

Alaska also mentioned that she is having some whistle refusals, that's fodder for a different thread ... but "sit" means sit. You cannot get a good cast without a good sit.

Correcting bad casts/bad casting habits is an issue which plagues us all! Even dogs which run great blinds will hit a point where they stop casting well. So there's no sure fire, permanent "fix it," but here are some thoughts, as well as come questions, about casting on blinds.

1. Does the dog REALLY know what he is supposed to do when he's given a cast?
> We will assume that he does because he's been taught in basics ... T, TT and swim-by. If there's any doubt, revisit basics.

2. Why isn't he casting properly?
>This is where "reading" your dog is critical; similarly, as MOP pointed out, reading the blind (i.e., recognizing the factors/influencers in a blind) is equally important.
> Is he being stubborn? If so, what must you do to get him to understand that you are the boss; it's not a request, but it's a command; that he'll not get the reward/bumper/bird if he doesn't comply with the command.
> Is he influenced by certain factors? Look for them, including wind, terrain, cover, visibility, shoreline, "big" water, etc. Maybe he handles some of them well, and others not so well.

3. Consider simplifying your casts to only backs and overs for a while (no angle backs) ... make it clear to the dog, this also makes it clear to the handler if the dog isn't complying with the command.

4. KEY POINT: This has been mentioned, but it deserves repeating ... when running a blind in training, the purpose is to get the dog to TAKE THE CASTS GIVEN, it is NOT to get the blind in the fewest casts possible. Example: You are running a water blind, the bumper is on the dam; the dog is 10 yards from the dam, even if the dog is on line, stop him and cast him to the right so he must swim parallel to the dam; odds are that he'll want to swim toward the dam, but don't let that happen ... stop him, call him in a bit if necessary, then repeat the cast; repeat the cast to the right until he submits (or understands) and starts swimming parallel to the dam. Once he's taken the cast, stop him and cast him to the left, keep him heading left until he gets past the bumper, then cast him back to the right; then you can either let him get the bumper or keep casting back and forth.
Also, don't nit-pick on the blinds, whether on land or water. Give a cast and let the dog carry the cast for 10, 20, 30 yards, even if the dog has crossed the actual line to the blind. This is very hard to make yourself do, but it's better training for the dog.

5. If the dog doesn't take the cast given, stop him as soon as you realize that he didn't take the cast, then you should probably correct (which may be a collar correction or simply a loud "NO"), then repeat the cast; keep this up until you get the cast ... DO NOT GIVE UP ON THE DOG OR THE CAST, stick with it until you get it. Note that you may have to call him in a bit if he's gotten too far off line. ALSO NOTE, bringing him in, even a little bit, will break his momentum, which has been taking him in the wrong direction, so that's a side-benefit. Again, insist on THE Cast.

6. Run blinds downwind, into the wind, right cross-wind, left cross-wind, quartering headwinds and tailwinds; run them on sides of hills, across roads, across rows, etc. Be sure to get good casts in every circumstance.

Alaska, as for Riot, I'd not let him line a blind for a couple weeks, even if he's dead-azz on line. He must realize that he won't get his bumper/bird unless he listens and obeys THE BOSS.
And regarding blind drills, I'd hold off for a couple of weeks on these as well, and when you start them again, I'd have a minimum of 5 - 6, maybe more, piles in the field at varying distances (so he'll have to run past some of them), marked with flags or stakes if you'd like. Line him to one, but stop him and cast him to another.

Those are my initial thoughts, maybe some are worthwhile, some probably aren't.
Looking forward to further discussion.

FTGoldens
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I’ve been reading and thinking about this since FTposted. I think I give up sometimes, not every time. I think when he goes the way he wants to go. I think I give in and find a way to make it work. Not every time, but enough of the time to keep him thinking that if he continues to blow me off, eventually I’ll give up.

Last winter we had issues with casting. So I went through double T from start to finish in the snow. He knows the drills. He doesn’t lack confidence. It’s me that lacks confidence. So now we’re off to train and see if we can get back on track. I really don’t want to miss out on the last of the season hunt tests and field trials.
 

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my $0.02 and a few quick bullets regarding scalloping and CRs:

- Instead of drills run lots of cold blinds under lots of different field conditions. This will help to build teamwork and help you to understand how your dog works with varied terrain. With this experience you can proactively handle to prevent those cast refusals or scalloping later.

- Take your time when handling. There is no need to be in a hurry. Wait a few seconds (or more) before casting.

- I like using more attrition than correction especially with a golden. This will require more patience for you the handler. On a scallop or CR, whistle for quick stop, pause and recast. Blow another quick whistle and repeat until the proper direction is attained.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Last week Riot and I ran a lot of cold blinds. Shortest were probably 200 yards. Most were over 300 yards. Mostly on fields without much cover, but with lots of distractions (people, bikes, kids, other dogs). In the beginning Riot was a jerk and really blew me off a lot. He completely auto cast and really would even stop and look for the bumper if he thought there should be a bumper by a bush or something nearby. I didn't use attrition. I used pressure all the way. I've used attrition on him in the past, but he's past that now. Saying NO, does have an impact on him, but NO with a nick has the biggest impact. But after a few blinds, he started paying more attention to what I wanted. After a lot of blinds he finally stopped auto casting and quit looking for the bumper on his own. He finally decided I was in charge. Our battles aren't over, but they are a lot better. I did make sure I ran the blinds in all different directions. I really focused on getting that cast. If I gave him a right angle back and he took a left over. I'd whistle sit him, nick, whistle sit, wait a few seconds, call him here a bit, sit him again, nick, whistle. Then give that right angle back again. If I did this 2 or 3 times and didn't get the direction I wanted, I'd take a bumper out of my back pocket and toss it over his shoulder in the direction of that right angle back cast. I then would give him that right angle back cast. I'd stop him part way back as he returned with that bumper, walk back to where I was previously standing, then give him another right angle back. He'd have the hint then of what I was asking. I did set out several bumpers at each location, so I could re-run that same blind again. Even though he knew where the bumper was, I still stopped him part way once or twice. Sometimes I stopped him and sent him to a different blinds, which really messed with him. He's a very diligent hard working dog. He's smart and steady and really likes to work. He recovers well. After last week's hard work, we took last weekend off
 

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We also cast after he had the bumper.
 

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I like using more attrition than correction "especially with a golden."
I recognize that this is qualified with "I like," but this is a bit of a stereotype. Truly, it depends on the particular Golden. And from what I know about Riot, he'll take advantage of those second chances ... and third, and fourth, and ....
I'm not saying that he needs to be crushed if he fails to take a cast, but he knows what an "over" is and should be corrected if he ignores it.
But I totally agree that some dogs, whether black or gold, benefit more from attrition than a collar correction, that's where reading the dog is important.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We also cast after he had the bumper.
Oddly enough Riot has always handled bird in mouth. He’s never had a problem with it. He’s also a bit sticky lately though... If it isn’t one thing, its another when it comes to training dogs!

Last year I read a story about a dog running it’s last field trial. I think the dog was 12 or 13, so pretty old for running field trials. Anyway, dog is all happy walking to the line. Handler calls for the birds, and the dog broke on the flyer! There you go, breaking to the end. I bet that dog had a smile on his face!
 

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That doesn't surprise me, since he has the bird which is what he wants. We found it different with just bumpers. They seem always optimistic that there might be a bird out there!

Oddly enough Riot has always handled bird in mouth. He’s never had a problem with it. He’s also a bit sticky lately though... If it isn’t one thing, its another when it comes to training dogs!

Last year I read a story about a dog running it’s last field trial. I think the dog was 12 or 13, so pretty old for running field trials. Anyway, dog is all happy walking to the line. Handler calls for the birds, and the dog broke on the flyer! There you go, breaking to the end. I bet that dog had a smile on his face!
 
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