Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Treading water is an important skill for water blind retrieves.
I think the ability to stop a retriever and have it tread water
and wait for your cast is important for at least 2 reasons:
1) Your control is enhanced if the retriever must wait and focus
on you as the handler.
2) The retriever is more likely to "change his mind" and
take your cast if he has to wait for your cast.

How do you teach your retriever to tread water for a long time?

On land, sometimes a retriever ends up behind a bush so he can not see the handler.
This is common in AKC land blinds where the blind corridor is a series of "keyhole" shrubs.
Some retrievers are smart and "peek" so they can see the handler.

How do you teach a retriever to "peek" if he ends up out of sight while running a land blind?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I think both are skills a dog learns on its own through experience and repetition. Treading water should be learned during swim by. Lots of double T leading up to swim by will make it a known concept, we are just sitting in water now. If a dog swims slowly toward the handler instead of treading water in place its not a big deal.


Peeking, finding the handler will come naturally to a dog that is comfortable with blinds. Use the minimal pressure on blinds and handling drills. A dog needs to trust that the handler will guide him to the bird. It takes a great deal of time and repetition to build the confidence and trust a dog needs to handle well on cold blinds that may be a few hundred yards. It is very important to remember and recognize the difference between mistakes and disobedience. If a young dog takes the wrong cast stop and recast, wrong again move closer and cast again until he gets it correct. At first it is much more important for a dog to stop on the whistle and take each cast with enthusiasm than with precision. A dog that is excited about taking the next cast will naturally try to find the handler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
Dave,
Great, thought provoking questions!

SRW,
Good answers!

My best dog never learned to peek around for direction, so I'd just give a Hollywood-cast and fix his position when I finally saw him. And, of course, when I gave a Hollywood-cast, he'd turn the wrong way 90% of the time (largely due his having momentum in the wrong direction, so he'd just continue going in that direction if he didn't see my cast).
My second best dog learned to peek around obstacles when she reached 6 or 7 years old. I could almost hear her say, "You are the worst handler in the world, didn't you see that hay bale!" She wasn't particularly forgiving. :)

FTGoldens
 

·
the party's crashing us
Joined
·
4,190 Posts
I finally started pressing the button with the come in whistle when my obstinate dog took to magically sitting precisely behind a hay bale or tree on a regular basis. It absolutely 100% was deliberate. Button pressing solved it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Getting out of your sight does seem to be a trait pups are born with.

Objects, cover lines and terrain changes pull dogs of line. As a young dog runs past a patch of cover. a round bale, a mound etc. he will tend to fade toward it. The dog probably thinks he is going straight, it's just one of the many factors a dog has to learn to overcome. In training the handler needs to recognize and anticipate why and when the dog is going of line and stop and cast at the appropriate times on both marks and blinds. Remember, minimal or no pressure, young dogs make mistakes. Your dog starts to fade of line running past cover, a mistake. Stop him quickly, bring him back to the point he went off line, stop again and cast. Keep it positive, no collar pressure, he made a mistake but then did several things right. Repeat the same concept on different marks and blinds. With repetition the dog will learn to fight the factors and stay on line.
Recognize when the dog is making an effort to hold a hillside or fight the wind and other factors, that is far more important than a perfect line.

With a young dog on blinds, don't be to worried about precise casts. It is more important that the cast is taken with enthusiasm. As long as he takes a nice line somewhat close to the cast you give let him go a ways before stopping and recasting, he needs to know he is a great dog doing great things. Constantly stopping a dog quickly will break his confidence and make him tentative about casting. Blinds and handling have to be fun, nothing worse than a dog that runs blinds tail down, fearing correction. You are on the right path when the dog perks up and gets exited with a "dead bird" Q.
Getting back to "peaking". The collar tone button is a good way to teach "Find me" on blinds. Keeping it fun will make your dog want to find you, excess pressure will make him try to hide.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,489 Posts
Hi Dave! Great questions! It was great seeing you in August at the spaniel hunt tests, I hope you enjoyed our tests. Delta Junction is a beautiful place in August.
Sometimes down the shore blinds where the reeds are thick and the dogs can't see me. If I have no idea where they are, which is frustrating, all I can think to do is give them a verbal "back". Then I hope they pop up in view again. I have faked it more than once. Heck one test I even pretended to see Riot for several backs until I finally saw him again. He didn't overrun the blind, so we did it and passed the test. But darn it can be scary. Riot doesn't need eye contact, so I worry about him more. Lucy will peek because she's more into eye contact. I guess it's up to the dog.
 

·
aka Shelby
Joined
·
1,562 Posts
I get frustrated at the rules sometimes when it comes to "peeking" on blinds. So I watched a handler (very lets use the word, famous) get dropped on a blind because on a dike she blew the whistle and the dog slid down the other side due to the momentum he had. He climbed back up the dike on the other side just enough to pop his head up and wait for her cast. To me this shows signs of every trait you'd want in a dog. Intelligence, biddability, ect. The blind was super good too. But the judges said the dog coming back in even a few feet showed no progresses to the blind. I think this is BS. I've heard a bunch of folks discuss this topic. Some judges feel that this is in fact the correct way to judge others say no way would I drop a dog that came in a few steps to help his handler out and be ready to work with the handler on the blind.

What do you all think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I get frustrated at the rules sometimes when it comes to "peeking" on blinds. So I watched a handler (very lets use the word, famous) get dropped on a blind because on a dike she blew the whistle and the dog slid down the other side due to the momentum he had. He climbed back up the dike on the other side just enough to pop his head up and wait for her cast. To me this shows signs of every trait you'd want in a dog. Intelligence, biddability, ect. The blind was super good too. But the judges said the dog coming back in even a few feet showed no progresses to the blind. I think this is BS. I've heard a bunch of folks discuss this topic. Some judges feel that this is in fact the correct way to judge others say no way would I drop a dog that came in a few steps to help his handler out and be ready to work with the handler on the blind.

What do you all think?
If this was an AKC trial you saw some lousy judging. A dog that runs hard on blinds is showing style, courage and enthusiasm. A dog that comes back a few yards to find handler after a whistle shows experience and intelligence. Penalizing a dog like that rewards slow, piggish, over-pressured dogs that have no style .



Something to keep in mind when handling on long blinds and when there is a lot of cover. Your dog has no idea if you can see him or not. In training, and especially at a trial, give a cast even though you can't see your dog. You may be surprised how often your dog has found you even though you can't see him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hi Dave! Great questions! It was great seeing you in August at the spaniel hunt tests, I hope you enjoyed our tests. Delta Junction is a beautiful place in August.
Sometimes down the shore blinds where the reeds are thick and the dogs can't see me. If I have no idea where they are, which is frustrating, all I can think to do is give them a verbal "back". Then I hope they pop up in view again. I have faked it more than once. Heck one test I even pretended to see Riot for several backs until I finally saw him again. He didn't overrun the blind, so we did it and passed the test. But darn it can be scary. Riot doesn't need eye contact, so I worry about him more. Lucy will peek because she's more into eye contact. I guess it's up to the dog.
Hi Stacy,

Some Alaska dogs:
If you ever get a chance to watch Cindy Little with Bounce,
they usually do an excellent job of long treading in neutral on water blinds.

And Harold Strahle and Preacher are amazing with Preacher "peeking" on land blinds.
I think Preacher was winning all age field trials before 3 years old.

I am a big fan of prolonged treading water on each whistle stop in water.
With my pups I teach this even before swimby...I throw out 2 bumpers,
release the pup, let him swim halfway to a bumper, whistle stop,
then I yell "Good!" the instant pup turns and we have eye contact.
I then cast to the alternative bumper for success.
I do this 2 or 3 times each day, gradually increasing the duration of eye contact
before casting to an alternative bumper.
I like this because it focuses on prolonged treading water plus
the concept of after each whistle stop, eye contact and change directions.

If you watch Mike Lardy's Swimby in his Total Retriever Training DVD,
he also marks the water stop with "GOOD!" the instant pup stops,
turns, and makes eye contact.

We are lucky in Fairbanks that there are many locations where you can run
casting drills on land, then warm running water, then warm swimming water as the summer
progresses and the Tanana River water rises with hotter weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
I get frustrated at the rules sometimes when it comes to "peeking" on blinds. So I watched a handler (very lets use the word, famous) get dropped on a blind because on a dike she blew the whistle and the dog slid down the other side due to the momentum he had. He climbed back up the dike on the other side just enough to pop his head up and wait for her cast. To me this shows signs of every trait you'd want in a dog. Intelligence, biddability, ect. The blind was super good too. But the judges said the dog coming back in even a few feet showed no progresses to the blind. I think this is BS. I've heard a bunch of folks discuss this topic. Some judges feel that this is in fact the correct way to judge others say no way would I drop a dog that came in a few steps to help his handler out and be ready to work with the handler on the blind.

What do you all think?
That's a gross over-interpretation of the rule! At the risk of being accused of plagiarizing, "I think this is BS."
FTGoldens
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I finally started pressing the button with the come in whistle when my obstinate dog took to magically sitting precisely behind a hay bale or tree on a regular basis. It absolutely 100% was deliberate. Button pressing solved it.
That seems like risky advice to post on the internet.

Why?
Because this may to lead to "superstitious behavior" such as flaring hay bales, popping, no-goes, piggy running, etc. since the retriever is directly burned with come-in command. (Direct pressure)

Imagine a smart retriever that has been directly burned with a come-in whistle because he is behind a hay bale.
Next hunt test or field trial the blind is a tight keyhole blind between 2 hay bales.
Smart retriever flares the keyhole blind....

Use of an ecollar without preceding a command (direct pressure) is very risky unless
superstitious behavior is desired such as training a retriever to avoid snakes or porcupines.

A less risky approach is to use indirect pressure, always preceding any ecollar nick with a
known command such as sit-nick-sit.
 

·
the party's crashing us
Joined
·
4,190 Posts
Dave your words are wise ---
Trust me I attritioned and indirect pressured this to death until I was just sick of the dog deliberately sitting behind trees and whatnot. A few very direct pressures let him know I was onto his game....
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top