Mark and honor

Doc and Mia wait while I set bumpers.

Doc and Mia wait while I set bumpers.

I spent a few minutes with Doc and Mia on retrieving, combining honoring with marking. My diagram is inspired by Two Brown Dawgs and the nice retriever diagrams they post in their blog.

We ran 3 sets of bumpers with the first 2 sets placed on bare ground behind clumps of grass; this allowed the guys to see the bumpers as they approached. The third set of bumpers were hidden in taller grass which forced them to use their noses. In the following diagram, “1” represents the first set of bumpers, “2” the second set and “3” the third set.

diagram

The first set of bumpers were placed about 25 feet apart, with the first bumper set at about 75 feet. Doc honored while Mia retrieved each of the 3 bumpers and then I reset them so that Mia honored Doc as he retrieved each of the 3 bumpers.

Doc honors Mia on the first set of bumpers.

Doc honors Mia on the first set of bumpers.

The second set were placed about 50 feet apart with the first bumper set at about 100 feet. Once again, I had each dog honor as the other retrieved all 3 bumpers in that set.

Mia honors Doc on his first set of retrieves.

Mia honors Doc on his first set of retrieves.

For the third set, the bumpers were set about 25 feet apart with the first bumper set about 50 feet out. This time I alternated Doc and Mia between bumpers so each had the opportunity to retrieve 2 bumpers.

Doc honors Mia on her last set of retrieves. The bumpers were placed in the tall grass in the background.

Doc honors Mia on her last set of retrieves. The bumpers were placed in the tall grass in the background.

They did a nice job honoring and retrieving, and I noticed that Doc quarters during his retrieves rather than taking a straight line. I’m not sure how that would be scored in a retriever test, but I think it’s practical for hunting and likely to reduce the amount of casting that the hunter would have to do. Regardless, it’s not something I plan on correcting at this time.

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4 Responses to Mark and honor

  1. Love following all you do with the dogs Robert. Very nice!

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  2. Great diagrams. 🙂 For marks on a retriever test they would need to go in as straight a line as possible to the fall. It is not as big a deal at the junior level, but for the higher levels where marks may be close together, it can be an issue. If dog goes to an old fall, you are out. If they switch on a mark, you are out. They also score style and a dog gets a higher score for the straight line. In blind retrieves, the straight line is a must. This is for retriever tests. The straight lines really come with training and running marks over time. Freighter is finally taking a nice straight line and not hooking or zig-zagging. Just took practice and maturity. Doc is still young.

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  3. Thanks for the clarification. Since Spinone are allowed in retriever tests, I’m thinking of entering Doc and Mia in Jr. retriever tests this year, so I may be getting in touch with you. I’ve never participated in retriever tests and have only watched an occasional master test TV.

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