Tanner01 wrote:NAVHDA test have what they call a duck search and I am not sure if all of this retrieving work will be a problem. Duck search is independent hunting in a retriever type setting...
... how do you separate out the different skill sets.
I take advantage og the dogs' tendency to be situational learners and compartmentalize their training until both handler oriented and independent activities are well established separately before bringing them together in the field - and thereafter strive to maintain a balance that keeps both up to par. (I began doing this for the benefit of pointing pups I wanted to be wide ranging in upland cover that called for it, yet handle well for waterfowling, but have found it beneficial for my retrievers, as well) That means that we establish a set of areas where all activity is handler controlled and another set where Pup is as free as safety permits to explore and learn lessons only the field can teach without my intrusion.
Even relatively young pups soon see that doing what I want is "the only game in town" in the handler oriented areas and begin devoting their focus to what I want to do next, rather than craving release to go see what's happening beyond the hedge. And by the same token, when in independent search areas, they're free to focus on the field, rather looking to me for instruction.
Beyond fostering independent search while handling is also being taught, that sort of separation by location may help your gal understand the difference in the control expected when sent "back" (or whatever your cue is) on a blind and the independent nature of "find it". Of course, you can also foster a DIY attitude on "find it" by initially making it quite easy to do so without looking to you for help through salting the area with bumpers or birds and gradually making success more difficult as she becomes more driven to search on her own.
But, on the flip side, if you try to do blind training and duck search work in the same area before good habits are well established for each separately, you shouldn't be surprised if your gal to wants to follow her own muse when you want her to handle and/or is looking to you when she should be looking for the bird.
If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.