marked retrieves

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marked retrieves

Postby harvey1b » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:21 pm

I've been working on marked retrieves with my dog. She does well with bumpers out to ~20-30yds, in short grass or thicker cover, water retrieves she'll do as far I can chuck 'em. She'll also do doubles in any kind of cover. I've been throwing singles farther in the short grass trying to increase her range. I try doing it by incrementally increasing the distance. Some she picks right up others she runs by and can't find. At times I can't tell if she can't find it or if she's just jerking around and I chalk that up to immaturity. When she can't find them I call her over to the area so she can find it, rather than leading her right to it. When she sees it she pounces on it and we go back to where I released her from. SO, is this like learning to hit a baseball or ride a bike in that you just have to do it and with time she'll figure it out or is there a way I can give her some "training wheels" on the longer retreives?

Thanks for any suggestions.

-Matt
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Postby shrpshtr » Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:14 pm

she must get a really good mark on short retreives and can go straight to it. it sounds like she is not using her nose to me. i have seen this with a couple of dogs. they get so used to visually marking birds/dummies/etc. that they won't put their nose to the ground (which is a lot more effective). depth perception isn't as easy for a dog as it is you or me (so i have heard, anyway.) it probably wouldn't hurt to get some scent or a wing and apply it to your dummies. work her where she can see them at first with the new scent for a couple of weeks. as soon as you can tell she "knows" that smell, go back to long retrieves in thick cover. continue to be gradual with the distances. you should see her look for it for no more than a second or so and then her nose should literally hit the ground. really work that angle and i think you'll be happy with the results. btw, this is key for blind retrieves. hth!
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Postby harvey1b » Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:19 pm

I'll give that a try shrpshtr. i think you might be right. Sometimes as she is running by them she hits the breaks and picks them up. I don't have any scent on them now and they are the rubber knobby ones so I don't know how much of their own scent they carry
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Postby gsphunter » Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:30 pm

Shrpshtr read my mind as I was reading through the original post. I'm going through this a little bit with my female. As soon as I get by the store and buy some scent, I'm going to give my canvas bumpers a bit of scent. This should cure our problems I think.
Brian
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Postby SteveInTN » Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:27 pm

Getting them accustomed to using their nose IS a key, and is definitely something you should work on. To help with marking visually, you should also mix up how the marks are thrown. Get someone to throw for you and put them at varying distances, angles, and locations. Also, a handheld (little to medium $) or remote launcher (big $) will help out tremendously if you can’t get someone to throw for you. It IS what you suspect, repetition and NOT letting the dog figure out the usual distance you can throw a bumper.

The dog should get a visual mark that is pretty darn close. Once in the area, they should use their nose & hunt it out. Talk to the dog when you know she doesn't have a perfect mark. FIND IT, FIND IT. This is a cue to tell them to go into hunt mode.

Just my opinion...
"I'll start spending less time with my dog and more with my wife when she starts fetching ducks for me"
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