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I'll give it a shot Andy.

1. Why did you shoot the marks in the order of left, middle, right?
2. Why did you make it a point to throw the middle mark sharply angled back to the left?
The wind and terrain dictated the order on that day. (Not that it couldn't have been done a little different)
The middle retired was thrown sharply back to keep it in the cover on the edge of the timber. The wind blowing into the timber would not give up the bird if the dogs did not mark it well and dig in to find it.

3. Why did you have Jake pick up the middle mark second?
I think it increased the difficulty. Picking up the left bird second would have created some push toward the middle. I wanted to leave the left side open as a temptation.
3.a. Was the middle mark shorter than the right mark/go bird?
About the same in this set up. A long go bird with a shorter retired is something we work on frequently though.
4.. Give us a little more explanation as to why you left the left gun out until Jake picked up the middle (retired mark)?
It creates some pull away from the middle retired. For an inexperienced dog it can be a huge concept. Jake is used to it but you need to always maintain and reinforce the concept.
4.a. What would you have done if had Jake swerved over to the left mark after you'd sent him to the middle mark?
Jake really locked in confidently on the middle retired so if he had swerved to the left it would have been blatant disobedience and dealt with accordingly.
If he had shown any confusion at the line I would have handled if he made it most of the way out. If he drifted left soon after leaving the line I would probably have brought him back, talked him into the middle bird and resent.
When he was less experienced I may have had the gunner stand out for a second and retire again. Sometimes you can have the gunner throw another bird. Of course the gunners can always help, give a "hey hey" to keep the dog in the area. With young dogs you need to keep the success rate high but also challenge them.

I would not run this as a full triple with a young dog. Better to break it down into singles or a double and a single, we run many singles off multiple guns with experience dogs as well.

Interested in hearing what others think.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
Thanks SRW, great explanations as the "whys"!

With regard to Q #1, I have a few additional thoughts/comments (these re largely from a judge's perspective). In this set up, the most difficult of the three marks is typically the short retired middle mark (for the reasons stated by SRW). By having it thrown second, it becomes even harder for a few additional reasons: (a) the primacy-recency effect comes into play, (b) the handler/trainer cannot have the dog staring down that middle gunner when it is shot, and (c) if the right hand/last mark is a flyer, there's a chance that the dog will swing its head/eyes all the way from the left mark to the right mark without pausing to watch the middle mark thrown.

I train my two mutts on this concept on a fairly regular basis. One of my dogs "gets it," the other one simply hasn't caught on yet; these dogs are littermates, having the same trainer and exactly the same training (subject to slight variations due the particular/peculiar needs of the individual dog). That makes training interesting to me.

FTGoldens
 

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A flier on the right would have been great. If we had a larger training group that day could have put two gunners there to simulate a flier and create more pull.
For those interested in getting into field training and competitions, many trials are won or lost on retired guns.
FT Goldens asked if the middle retired was shorter than the go bird. The reason, after running to a long bird a dog typically wants to run long again and will blow past a short retired ending up in no mans land. I suspect everyone that has ran field trials has been there a few times. People worry a lot about the distances of marks in field trials, very often it is a short retired mark that eliminates the most dogs.
To make it even more difficult, you have to be prepared for loooong retired birds as well. Often the line will take the dog close to a short gun or through cover and terrain changed that tend to push the dog of line or break down and hunt short.

there's a chance that the dog will swing its head/eyes all the way from the left mark to the right mark
Head swinging and how to prevent/minimize it, that's a big part of field training. Definitely a bigger challenge for some dogs than others. I count myself as very fortunate with Jake. It has never been a huge issue for him, I am still very diligent about watching for it though.
Head swinging is one of the reasons you need to be careful about throwing too many multiple marks for a young inexperienced dog. They need to watch those birds all the way to the ground and then some.
 

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FT Golden’s and SRW thanks for the diagrams and detailed explanations. Selection is something I have really worked on this winter as my young female has a mind of her own, she may primary, secondary and ideal select during a trial, from long bird first/last, to retired first/last and go bird/flyer first/middle or last you can name it she does it. It can drive you crazy on the line at a trial. It usually works out but as we move to the AM this spring I needed more control on the process. Now the 15 month old just wants to run 500 yrds for a mark🙂 thanks again.
 
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A training test from yesterday. I drew the lucky number and was in charge of setting up the tests. A little pressure when you are training with very experienced field trialers.
A loooong go bird in the right with two retired guns on the left. The short retired bird is the main concept here. This was the last setup of the day and the dogs did pretty well overall. We ran the same concept in a different place earlier. The days off due to weather had the dogs amped up but a little rusty and out of shape.
Back at it today, we have two weeks to polish up before the first trial.
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Discussion Starter #87
With the horrible weather in our region (uncomfortable for people,unsafe for dogs), training was on hold for 10 days. Quite unfortunate timing because I am running a trial this coming weekend! (Admittedly, there's never a good time for the disastrous weather we just went through!)
It warmed up a bit yesterday, so the pups ran a three long but straight-forward blinds and a key-relationship drill, largely to get their minds back in the game.
Today they ran three "concept-y" singles and two fairly long blinds with a couple of factors in each blind.
Tomorrow, I think I'll set up a couple of tough retired singles and pull them off the marks to run a blind before letting them get the singles, just to make them use a little bit of memory.
I suspect that a bunch of other folks running the trial find themselves in the same situation ... lots of stuff to do to sharpen up marking and handling, with little time to do it before the trial.
FTGoldens
 

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Yes the weather has been horrible here in MD also. Everything finally thawed out from snow,sleet,ice and rain etc. but the fields are nothing but mud. Our just turned 4 yr old just got spayed on the 9th so she will be out for another week or so. The nutcase 16 month old really needs to get work in. She is a pacer and has adhd🙂, so she is bouncing off the wall and up at 2:30 am. Hopefully the 4 yr old will be ready to trial the first week of April and the nutcase for a Derby the first week in May. I need to revisit swim by and more complex water multiples with her.Keep the faith Spring is on the way!
 

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Discussion Starter #90
Although the water was cold, the air temp was around 65, so I ran the mutts on a short down-the-shore water blind with a pretty severe angle entry.
Then I ran them on a couple land doubles, one with the long gunner retiring, the other with the short gunner retiring.
Tomorrow I won't have much time to train, so I'll probably do some line behavior drills (like wagon wheel) and a casting drill.
FTGoldens

(I need to learn how to post pics like SRW!)
 

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well, the sun came back to GA. I am just out of quarantine from having Covid and yesterday was my first day back. I am nervous as hell because I have all the neurological symptoms and it is really confusing me a lot when I think too hard. So that being said, running blinds was scary yesterday. ha. For some reason we have been doing a lot of double poison bird blinds in training lately so that's what we've been working on. Now with the sun, water will be 95% of training from now on. With the younger pup its crazy reteaching and remembering all that I have to train her on. Right now she is 13 months and she is really doing well but big big water marks spook her out so no pressure and breaking them down or showing her the line through casting. She just developed this fear right before I took my test on this mark so now we've been working on them as singles again and yesterday I was proud of her. She had her old confidence back, excited to look out long across several pieces of big water and took off. I showed her the line instead of getting on her when she turned off a dike instead of crossing over it but then we reran it as the double and she lined the long mark. So it looks like she is back to it. She is a real balancing act. She is very gifted in a lot of areas so training her is definitely desirable and she has so much go and loves to work. But she is very sensitive and I learned my lesson with Proof. I am going super super slow and easy with her and it is paying off!!!!
 

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It was my day to direct the training yesterday. This was the first setup.
These are long marks. Go bird in the middle and retired guns left and right. I believe the right mark was about 580 yards. The ground is relatively flat but there are many subtle dips and slopes that influence the dogs much more than one would expect. We train in very hilly terrain often and the dogs learn to hold their lines and not climb or fade down hill. Here these subtle terrain changes can influence a dog and they don't realize it.
After the first few dogs struggled with the long retired, handlers started breaking down the test and running the right mark as a single. Need to build confidence in running this far for marks.
Our next setup was a double with 250 and 500 plus yard marks. Everyone ran them as singles with stand out guns. With the conditions yesterday it is unlikely that the dogs were seeing the long marks other than possibly at the top of the arc. Experienced dogs will run to the gun and hunt where the mark should be when they don't see it from the line.
There are drills to teach this.
881058


Here are three blinds we finished the day with. The distances are very deceptive. The shortest, on the left, is over 300 yards. The other two are quite a bit farther.
881059
 

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trial weekend past. Proof no good in first series. Shelly did super first series and pretty good on her land blind but water blind she wouldn't cast towards the dry pop gunner on a no see em blind. SO>.....she also had done this at her last trial and also was a jerk to Al while he was running her on a land blind/water blind with a dry pop in the open. So three dry pops in past three trials and shelly says dry pop = don't have to do what you say.
I am assuming if you've read this far you know exactly what I'm working on this week.....
 

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Discussion Starter #95
My trial report:
Open: In first series my male missed short middle retired and ended up 300 yards deep ... and it was even an UGLY pickup.
Qual: In first series, female had beautiful set of marks ... nailed the long retired that most dogs had big hunts on; second series land blind was good; third series water blind was fair, with a couple cast refusals off an island and into the wind put her a little left, but she finished strong; fourth series water triple with short retired on the shoreline and a long punch bird up the middle ... she nailed the flyer and punch bird but missed the short retired on the upwind side (the biggest disappointment was that she passed within 5 feet of the gun stand and didn't recognize it as a place to slow down).
Am: The first two series were in a combo ... with the two gunners standing, the dog goes to the line and runs a 350 yard blind tight behind the short gunner on the side of a HUGE dam, then after the dog comes back with the bird from the blind the gunners shoot a double with the long retiring gunner around 400 yards and the short gunner at 150. Female failed the blind ... she simply didn't understand what was going on and thought she just hadn't seen the short gunner throw a bird. Male had a decent enough blind to be invited to run the two marks, which he absolutely chalk-lined. Third series water blind was around 200 yards with a strong cross-wind blowing into the very nearby shoreline ... he bombed out.
Even though I didn't finish any stake, I was happy with the way that they ran in the trial ... they have been trained in the water a total of two times since November, so the lack of water work showed.
Next trial will be in three weeks ... hopefully the temps will be climbing enough to get them in the water.
FTGoldens
 

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Andy, yeah this weekend I was actually not upset about because of the water work. The first series in the open was weak as far as a set up. The middle bird, I'm not kidding you was the most contrary bird I've ever seen in my time doing this. It was Bruce Hall's front pond by the barn. The retired gunner on a mound throwing behind a pond with a u shaped inside. The end of pond is angled to your left about 150 yards. Flyer is middle right long retired. The gunner through left to right. The dogs were either swimming down the pond past the retired gunner and then hunting behind him or they were running around the pond straight to the bird. Shelly (MRS CHEATER) took a perfect line slicing the right corner of the pond and coming in right on the bird. Then the water blind Al ran her on she also sliced the corner of the ponds in the perfect spot. I was proud because I have her with me. Al hasn't run her by himself except twice when I had the covid. I've been busting ass on drills around my 1 acre pond about her slicing different angles in the pond. So to me, I saw a lot of really good work on that part. I forget that your dogs and Shelly are only a few months apart too. Its nice to talk shop.

Today me and al went out and replicated some of the dry pop blinds as best we could. He popped while I ran her. She one whistled them. He came back saying, **** I wish all the open dogs would run blinds that good so what's going on? I REALIZED up there that I didn't NO her off the gunner. Usually with a poison bird I say no heel and pull them off. Well I was doing the same thing with the dry pop without realizing it. This time I pointed her at Al and sent her and she pushed off just enough like she would with gunners in the field. So Al said, yes, I bet you were telling her no without realizing it. So HOPEFULLY we have this nipped in the bud. Al is going to do some hidden ones tomorrow to practice that concept as well and I'm going to do some no see em blinds around my pattern blinds here at the house. Hopefully we can get this stuff worked out in her head.

Proof we are going back to only singles in the field. I'm worried I've been working so hard on blinds that now his marks are down. its always something. I wish he hadn't been my first dog, lol. poor dude.

Dilly Dilly worked on long long long water singles to build her courage up. She came back on the first one and realized that Im to be a little more respected. After that she basically lined all the huge water marks even the triple pond ones. BIG water. So that is nice. She's running her first derby soon. She's young and I don't know if she's ready but its on our home grounds and I'd like to see. She's a major spaz at training but never ever breaks. I want to see what she does at a trial.....
 

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Today's last set up, two water marks. I think everyone ran them as singles. Trial coming up this weekend so most want to break down concepts, work on perfect marks with no head swinging. Hard to tell from the photo but there are several water re-entries on both, I think 4 on the left and 5 on the right. Lots of angles to deal with as well. The right mark could be thrown outward (easier) or inward (harder), I had it thrown in. Very happy with Jake today, that is him returning with the 2nd bird. His attitude is good and he was near perfect one everything we did today.
We did do a water blind after this set up. I handled poorly at the end of it but the hard part was the first two thirds and he did that very well.
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Today's last set up, two water marks. I think everyone ran them as singles. Trial coming up this weekend so most want to break down concepts, work on perfect marks with no head swinging. Hard to tell from the photo but there are several water re-entries on both, I think 4 on the left and 5 on the right. Lots of angles to deal with as well. The right mark could be thrown outward (easier) or inward (harder), I had it thrown in. Very happy with Jake today, that is him returning with the 2nd bird. His attitude is good and he was near perfect one everything we did today.
We did do a water blind after this set up. I handled poorly at the end of it but the hard part was the first two thirds and he did that very well.
SRW,
That looks like a nice piece of water!
FTGoldens
 
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