Creative Lining Drills

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Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:45 pm

Howdy folks,

A little background so I can get your best feedback possible. I have a 14 month dog that is currently beyond a senior level dog and working towards master he just needs more advanced marking concepts and some work on the tricky stuff I.E. poison birds and such. The program I currently use is a combination of Lardy TRT and several other books one of my favorites being Tom Quinns working retriever. I also work part time for a gun dog trainer mainly doing obedience and basics/ bird throwing. My dog is through TT swimby water pattern blinds 16 spoke wagon running past white bumpers to get the orange bumpers. He does fairly well on cold blinds as well. He handles beautifully for a dog his age (in my not very humble opinion).

However admittedly for egos sake I want a freaking lining machine. I am interested in running the grand Master national and Quals so I really want a dog that is confident and capable of holding difficult lines with lots of suction. My gut says I need to do more pattern blinds on difficult terrain (hard to find on coastal prairie) having to run through stakes and or chairs as a point of reference for running straight lines. I know that whistles followed by a cast signifies to the dog your going the wrong way dig in and fight the factor however as he is still young and I am wanting to build momentum for QAA blinds I would prefer to use drills that don't require a lot of stopping. Also I don't own a lawnmower so running short grass pattern blinds which my pro thanks is foolish isn't an option.

He is already a very admirable hunting companion and is exceeding my every expectation especially for my first dedicated hunting dog. (running blinds at 6 months picked up 42 dove on first hunt) I know that I would not be where I am today with my pup if it wasn't for all you old salts guidance. SO thank you in advance!
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:00 pm

JMO but time and maturity excel at higher stakes. So does learning both the right and wrong in training.

I love to run long stuff in building momentum. Long complex stuff requires handling (dog making wrong decision) at times.

Don't know how you're going to get Qualified complex marks without having to handle. Except I would run many different factors and use some attrition on distance to begin successful.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:13 pm

Thank you I agree completely that qual/ complex marks will certainly require handling. Those complex marks and that lvl of training is my end goal and I know I will eventually get there. However between now and then I'm looking to build lining ability and momentum as we grow towards that distant goal. My impression from your post is that you suggest running long blinds so that the dog has the ability to enjoy taking and holding long casts and pushing himself into the distance. Do you recommend these run as pattern or cold blinds. When to pull the trigger and abandon pattern blinds and focus on cold blinds is difficult for me to determine. He goes generally with confidence and takes cast well up to about 200 yards if its cold a cold blind. At least that is approximately the distance I notice control eroding with cold blinds.

Also I assume your comment that time and maturity rule at higher stakes is a reminder to be patient.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:02 pm

One useful "trick" is to introduce long blinds through factors as what the Brits would call "memories," rather than as cold blinds, per se. Take Pup with you when you plant the bumper or bird, then walk him back with you to the line. Then run it as though it were a blind, and knowing where the line he's given leads should encourage him to follow it on through the introduced factor(s), thus giving him confidence and bolstering the habit of pushing through or past them for when they are introduced in true cold blinds.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Yea these have worked really well for me I've referred to them perhaps incorrectly as walk around blinds unfortunately walking or establish line is a little difficult in the water either way significantly more momentum is present when I take this route as opposed to dropping him into the abyss.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby Indaswamp » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:59 pm

Rick Hall wrote:One useful "trick" is to introduce long blinds through factors as what the Brits would call "memories," rather than as cold blinds, per se. Take Pup with you when you plant the bumper or bird, then walk him back with you to the line. Then run it as though it were a blind, and knowing where the line he's given leads should encourage him to follow it on through the introduced factor(s), thus giving him confidence and bolstering the habit of pushing through or past them for when they are introduced in true cold blinds.

also, run marks one day.Come back the next and run those marks as blinds retrieves, putting the bumper in the exact same spot.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby crackerd » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:01 pm

What's your gundog pro say? - or does he not run field trials?

Q blinds are not often loaded with factors - unless it's changed considerably. The land blind line may go through where the flier was shot, or backside it, but that's about it. Usually. The water blind is usually a channel, occasionally with a gunner sitting on shore for suction. Usually. Even then, you need to remember a blind is a handling test - if the suction succeeds in pulling the dog out of the water, and you can cast it back in, you're golden.

Lining or one/two-whistling a Q blind comes with the dog's exposure to the factors as described above, and the repetition in running them.

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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby crackerd » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:08 pm

Oh, and Rick - those "memories" are tough to run in water, ask me how I know. But then again, the Brits ain't got no water memories 'cause they ain't got no water in their field trials, period.

The next best thing, if you can't do on water as Rick advised on land, is to run sight blinds with the line taking into consideration what factors you want most to work on with the dog. Channels for Qs, in-and-outs/swimming past points/angle entries for AA dogs. Some of the more distinguished pros never take sight blinds away from their dogs no matter how accomplished the dog is.

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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby Indaswamp » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:13 pm

crackerd wrote:Oh, and Rick - those "memories" are tough to run in water, ask me how I know. But then again, the Brits ain't got no water memories 'cause they ain't got no water in their field trials, period.

The next best thing, if you can't do on water as Rick advised on land, is to run sight blinds with the line taking into consideration what factors you want most to work on with the dog. Channels for Qs, in-and-outs/swimming past points/angle entries for AA dogs. Some of the more distinguished pros never take sight blinds away from their dogs no matter how accomplished the dog is.

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me..I rather an old school trolly over a sight blind. PITA to set up, but imo much better to getting the point across, or rather "getting them past a point" with a high success rate first, then running the blind with just the over head rope pointing the way. This will carry a dog throughout his life if done properly.

Only problem I have ever seen from the use of the trolly is testing a dog on ground that has a highline. Dog gets confused with the overhead highline...
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:42 pm

crackerd wrote:Oh, and Rick - those "memories" are tough to run in water, ask me how I know. But then again, the Brits ain't got no water memories 'cause they ain't got no water in their field trials, period.


Know you can't see "Brit" without taking a shot at them, but I've found the practice useful with blinds including water, as well as land-only blinds.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby crackerd » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:04 pm

Rick Hall wrote:
crackerd wrote:Oh, and Rick - those "memories" are tough to run in water, ask me how I know. But then again, the Brits ain't got no water memories 'cause they ain't got no water in their field trials, period.


Know you can't see "Brit" without taking a shot at them, but I've found the practice useful with blinds including water, as well as land-only blinds.


So said as "useful," meaning you've walked the dog back with you through the water that the blind was to be run through after planting it? Or did the dog walk around water with you on the way back after planting?

Oh, and only some Brits can't I see without taking a shot at them - and they're generally pseudo-Brits to begin with. Got no problem a'tall with their trials and how they're run.

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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby gonehuntin' » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:06 pm

Many blinds have a "picture", some do not. It may be across a puddle of water, out to sea, through a clump of cover, over a log, between chairs, across a point, off a point, down a channel, hidden water, side hills, diversion birds, poison birds.

Work on the "pictures" first. That's what gives a dog confidence and speed. When they "think" they know where they're going. Then start adding the "blind" blinds where there is no picture.

I had one dog, Hubba Bubba, that ran Qual's at 14 months. One great dog that ran and finished six in a row at 18 months. Sounds like yours is coming along well.

To teach tough multiples and multiple concepts, run them as singles in the testing formation, then when he can do them as singles, occasionally put them together as a multiple. Great marking dogs are made through singles and lining drills. If are deadly markers on singles, they will be intelligent enough to put the multiples together.

Of paramount importance is that you teach the dog secondary selection. It is everything in a trial and will win trials that you otherwise may have lost. Even a great dog only THINKS he knows what bird he should get next.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:26 pm

crackerd wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:
crackerd wrote:Oh, and Rick - those "memories" are tough to run in water, ask me how I know. But then again, the Brits ain't got no water memories 'cause they ain't got no water in their field trials, period.


Know you can't see "Brit" without taking a shot at them, but I've found the practice useful with blinds including water, as well as land-only blinds.


So said as "useful," meaning you've walked the dog back with you through the water that the blind was to be run through after planting it? Or did the dog walk around water with you on the way back after planting?


They walked around with me, then gladly took their given lines through.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:42 pm

Man thanks for all of the great advice!

First off my gun dog pro used to run heavily in both field trials and hunt tests but having "made it' largely sits back and focuses on gun dogs so he is a useful resource for sure however I pretty much know his program and was hoping yall might have something we never thought of or just don't do. Due to our conflicting schedules hes also difficult to pin down on such matters. He's also kind of the Mr. Miyagi type so getting a clear picture isn't easy.

Right now when I train with a group usually they run qual to AA marking set ups and I just tackle them as singles or at least the money bird as a single. Inda the idea of running a blind to what was a previous mark makes me a little bit nervous for fear of teaching its ok to return to old fall.

Gonehunting when your talking about developing these pictures do you mean making them sight blinds first then run with orange bumpers ?

If qual blinds may be in our future is it pretty important to strech them out on their regular blinds consistently or can you still get the work done teaching concepts at shorter distances than a typical qual set up
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:51 pm

MG, Rick, - Y'all just tickle me to death when you're sticking your toungues out at each other , too funny! :lol3: MG- easy to forget where Rick hunts and how he hunts...and trains-
.....in those flooded rice fields..where you really can walk the dog to a trailing memory blind in water. After a long time of not really appreciating Mike Stewarts' approach to cold blinds, finally could meet halfway with the concept...the Brit concept that is.. :wink:
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby gonehuntin' » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:06 pm

GarDuck wrote:
Gonehunting when your talking about developing these pictures do you mean making them sight blinds first then run with orange bumpers?


Yes. Teach him the blinds by walking them like Rick said, or gradually lengthening them 50 yards at a time until you can take him out cold, tell him back, and he'll roar out and line the blinds. Once he knows these, you can add poison birds and diversions to them and he'll still line the blinds.

The easiest way to teach a difficult blind is with obstacles.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:34 pm

I did this in our technical pond starting with a white bucket and moving and walking with him to different locations that tested diff concepts as he began lining these i removed bucket then went to orange bumpers. Then ran from where bucket was to the various stations. This certainly helped teach concepts like get on a point get off a point big swim past a point channels and I'm sure he handles better as a result of our work but the distance was all within 80 yards or so and I didnt come away feeling like he had quite the momentum I desire or capacity to carry really long straight lines. Probably need to do something similar on other ponds.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:36 pm

Do any of yall do pattern blinds on 45 degreeish slopes running perpendicular of the slope
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:39 pm

Do any of yall do pattern blinds on 45 degreeish slopes running perpendicular of the slope seems like running multiple parallel blinds on one slope might be useful may just be uncomfortable.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby gonehuntin' » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:50 pm

With a young dog, run concepts he can understand. It's hard enough doing long marks on a ridiculously steep slope like 45 degrees. I couldn't walk a straight line across a slope like that. It would teach a dog nothing but sure could get him in a lot of trouble.

If you train for the ridiculous the trials will come easy, but that does NOT mean you train on impossible things that will have no bearing on a trial.

Just to give you an idea how steep 45 degrees is, when I lived and skied in Jackson Hole, Wy., Rondevous Bowl was 45 degrees. People would take a look down it, put their skiis on their shoulders, and walk back to the tram.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby GarDuck » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:00 pm

Haha note taken unfortunately I have been running these pattern blinds along the side of our local reservoir hopefully I'm miscalculating the slope.
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby Indaswamp » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:11 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:With a young dog, run concepts he can understand. It's hard enough doing long marks on a ridiculously steep slope like 45 degrees. I couldn't walk a straight line across a slope like that. It would teach a dog nothing but sure could get him in a lot of trouble.

If you train for the ridiculous the trials will come easy, but that does NOT mean you train on impossible things that will have no bearing on a trial.

Just to give you an idea how steep 45 degrees is, when I lived and skied in Jackson Hole, Wy., Rondevous Bowl was 45 degrees. People would take a look down it, put their skiis on their shoulders, and walk back to the tram.

Thank God Louisiana is flat! :lol3:
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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby razorback » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:28 pm

GarDuck wrote:Howdy folks,

A little background so I can get your best feedback possible. I have a 14 month dog that is currently beyond a senior level dog and working towards master he just needs more advanced marking concepts and some work on the tricky stuff I.E. poison birds and such. The program I currently use is a combination of Lardy TRT and several other books one of my favorites being Tom Quinns working retriever. I also work part time for a gun dog trainer mainly doing obedience and basics/ bird throwing. My dog is through TT swimby water pattern blinds 16 spoke wagon running past white bumpers to get the orange bumpers. He does fairly well on cold blinds as well. He handles beautifully for a dog his age (in my not very humble opinion).

However admittedly for egos sake I want a freaking lining machine. I am interested in running the grand Master national and Quals so I really want a dog that is confident and capable of holding difficult lines with lots of suction. My gut says I need to do more pattern blinds on difficult terrain (hard to find on coastal prairie) having to run through stakes and or chairs as a point of reference for running straight lines. I know that whistles followed by a cast signifies to the dog your going the wrong way dig in and fight the factor however as he is still young and I am wanting to build momentum for QAA blinds I would prefer to use drills that don't require a lot of stopping. Also I don't own a lawnmower so running short grass pattern blinds which my pro thanks is foolish isn't an option.

He is already a very admirable hunting companion and is exceeding my every expectation especially for my first dedicated hunting dog. (running blinds at 6 months picked up 42 dove on first hunt) I know that I would not be where I am today with my pup if it wasn't for all you old salts guidance. SO thank you in advance!



Coincidentally I had this conversation with a training partner today with a handful of FC/AFCs to his name. We ran "3 parallel line drills" today. Had dogs ranging from 11 months old to a national finalists. Every dog did the same drills working on obstacles and/or poison birds. When we finished up I was picking his brain on the exact question you posed. My experience and he agreed that pattern blinds make the handler feel good about themselves, but after a the dog is consistently running them with momentum and minimal whistles they lose any real value outside of teaching PBs or others concepts.

Move on to cold blinds, start with "simple" blinds with a clear picture, keep momentum as a primary goal, not precision. Even if the dog is offline, but carrying a straight line let em go, if his line breaks down stop and handle. If your not hacking them, over time they develop the needed confidence to run the more technical stuff. It is also helpful to plant a shackled pigeon out there periodically to reward them.

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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby crackerd » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:48 am

swampbilly 1980 wrote:...MG- easy to forget where Rick hunts and how he hunts...and trains-
.....in those flooded rice fields..where you really can walk the dog to a trailing memory blind in water. After a long time of not really appreciating Mike Stewarts' approach to cold blinds, finally could meet halfway with the concept...the Brit concept that is.. :wink:


Swamp, appreciate the insight, but flooded rice ain't exactly got the factors the OP's looking to integrate into his blinds - points, channels, islands, etc. Which he - the OP - summed up in two words: technical pond.

Best of luck going forward, Gar-duck, and good advice from Razorback (and GH and Rick :wink: - though with those "memories," I prefer to save the dog's energy by letting it watch me plant the blind(s) from the line, rather than accompanying me along the way. That way they really, really "get the picture.").

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Re: Creative Lining Drills

Postby gonehuntin' » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:03 am

razorback wrote:
My experience and he agreed that pattern blinds make the handler feel good about themselves, but after a the dog is consistently running them with momentum and minimal whistles they lose any real value outside of teaching PBs or others concepts.

Move on to cold blinds, start with "simple" blinds with a clear picture, keep momentum as a primary goal, not precision. Even if the dog is offline, but carrying a straight line let em go, if his line breaks down stop and handle. If your not hacking them, over time they develop the needed confidence to run the more technical stuff. It is also helpful to plant a shackled pigeon out there periodically to reward them.

Consistency and patience, no magic bullets.


That says it all. You should tattoo that on your arm!!
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