Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

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JonBailey
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Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by JonBailey » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:31 am

Typical shotgun range in the field is a maximum of 55 yards, for goodness sakes!

I would want my dog to just expeditiously deliver my bird to my hand undamaged.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by polmaise » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:39 am

Are you saying You can't or don't want to ?

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by shags » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:44 am

Because in competition, you're looking for maximum performance, not average performance.

If you have a stake with 40-50 dogs entered, and they all can retrieve undamaged birds to hand, how would you sort them out? Would they all win? Trophies for everybody? Or would you make the requirements trickier and tougher in order to sort out the dogs with superior ability?

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by averageguy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:48 am

I hunt upland and waterfowl approximately 100 days annually. I recover a very high percentage of the birds brought down using highly skilled and well trained dogs, and have never seen a 500 yard mark or blind while hunting. I have had dogs track and recover wounded birds for 500 yards, and I have walked my dog over to a long distance fall and asked it to "hunt dead" and recovered the bird, but that is not the same as a 500 yard handled blind retrieve. The cover in the hunting I do will seldom to never allow it as there is no line of sight for those extreme distances. There are some places where 500 yard distances are possible (rice field or a much larger and flatter agricultural field than where I hunt) but not where I hunt.

I am currently working with my GWP to get blind retrieve handling skills out to 150-200 yards and am confident that will meet our hunting needs. Training your dog to mark, hunt dead and retrieve will recover far more birds than will the blind retrieve work, but all are for the best. I am not above walking my dog to the area of the fall for an occasional bird that falls past these shorter distances and "hunting dead" whenever needed. Get the basics down right with your dog and you will have huge success in the field.

The incremental work to get a dog to handle at 500 yards is large compared to an extremely small percentage of retrieves while hunting that will ever utilize those skills at those distances. Folks who pursue that level of work enjoy the training and performance of their dogs but notions 500 yard handled blind retrieves come into play much while hunting is not consistent with my experience in the field, nor is it the only way to address those few instances where a bird falls that far out.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by JonBailey » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:09 am

Probably what I should have asked is, "Do hunters really NEED a dog that can run such long-distance retrieves?" in spite of how field trials are operated.

I would think field trial standards might be overkill in terms of real-world field performance.

But I am all for a dog that can go the distance to recover a wounded bird.

I don't think hunt tests and field trials are ever set up for the wounded-bird field scenario not have trial/test inventors ever taken that into consideration.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by fishvik » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:32 am

JonB and average, one must remember that field trials are games and not real hunting. There are lots of things that I feel could be tested in trials that would add to breeds ability to retrieve, rather than handling at 500 yds. Dealing with moving water, not having to swim or run straight lines (instead using a shoreline to run back), more emphasis on hunting dead (to increase scenting ability) and marking. and adding a stop watch to retrieves because let's admit it getting a bird back to the blind quickly is one of the most important aspects to a hunter. Handling is important, but let's be honest you can teach a German Shepard to handle.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by slistoe » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:12 am

It is not a common occurrence, but I have certainly had winged birds that covered a good 400+ yards while out hunting, both in the uplands and waterfowl. At the time I was heavily hunting waterfowl I had a lab that would mark "way out there" and it was a treat to simply send the dog and wait. None of the upland dogs would ever mark past normal shotgun kill range so when a leg drop sharpie sets its wings and goes down on the other edge of the quarter there is no choice but to walk over to last seen location and send the dog hunting close, hoping they pick up on the bird. As for the long blinds - very valuable when hunting ducks over large ponds 2-300 yards across. A wounded bird that swims to the reeds on the far side is a tough recovery otherwise.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Timewise65 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:23 am

That distance only happens in AKC Retriever Field Trials, which are competitive. The long distances and complex diversions are necessary to separate the true top performers from the very good performers. They do not focus on imitating hunting conditions, but finding the very best dogs to be champions of the breed!

If you want to 'test' your dog and his training start out with Hunt Tests, which are not competative where you run to a standard of performance. All that meet this standard, pass the tests....Hunt tests try to simulate hunting conditions, although even their you will find 200 yd marks and blnds. I hunt waterfowl every year, and in some conditions a wounded bird can glide and then swim out 100-200 yds, a good dog will follow them until they are retrieved and delivered to hand....


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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by JONOV » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:14 pm

JonBailey wrote:Typical shotgun range in the field is a maximum of 55 yards, for goodness sakes!

I would want my dog to just expeditiously deliver my bird to my hand undamaged.
They can sail quite a long ways. Especially bigger birds like pheasants, geese, ducks...I've also seen ducks shot, turn around apparently unscathed and fly away, and then fall out of the sky 12 seconds later (heart shot or something.)

But as has been explained, the dog games oftentimes become their own end that isn't as strictly applicable to actual hunting, though those dogs certainly make great hunting dogs.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:08 am

JONOV wrote:
JonBailey wrote:Typical shotgun range in the field is a maximum of 55 yards, for goodness sakes!

I would want my dog to just expeditiously deliver my bird to my hand undamaged.
They can sail quite a long ways. Especially bigger birds like pheasants, geese, ducks...I've also seen ducks shot, turn around apparently unscathed and fly away, and then fall out of the sky 12 seconds later (heart shot or something.)

But as has been explained, the dog games oftentimes become their own end that isn't as strictly applicable to actual hunting, though those dogs certainly make great hunting dogs.
Was 3 or 4 years ago we had a rooster sail almost 1/2 mile and collapse. I could see where he fell on a nice snow bank on top of a ridge and my 2 Britts went with it. Time found it, and brought it back, across two creeks. We could see her all the way as the land she had to cross was a blue grass pasture. I took about a dozen pictures as she kept getting closer and closer. Was an amazing 15 minutes or so and having the pics helps keep memories alive.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Trekmoor » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:42 am

My lab retrieved a grouse up on the hills at about 600 yards ….but that was 40 years ago. I remember trying to claim to my mates who saw this blind retrieve that the distance was 1/2 a mile but they voted me down ! :lol: She was the best handling dog I have ever owned but even though I did a lot of tests and trials back then I only trained handling out to about 300 yards ….I saw no need for more than that. I was surprised to see that she would, if necessary and on the right sort of terrain, handle out to 600 yards.

Every shooting season when I went "picking-up" on a local shoot I got placed by the keeper out in a huge deer park where lightly wounded birds plane on and on over slightly undulating ground. I used to send my Brittany bitch for those birds. She could see the direction they took but not see where they eventually landed ….and then often ran like stink. Her technique was to run a few hundred yards out from me after the bird and then simply "sweep" the park until she hit the birds scent then follow it. She was exceptionally good at this and she had no interest at all in the herd of fallow deer out there which is why the keeper always placed me out in the park.....but it wasn't really either a marked or a handled blind retrieve …..the bitch just did what came naturally and quartered the ground for wounded birds.


She was finding wounded or sometimes dead birds at least 500 yards away from me. She did what handling could not do under those circumstances , she found the birds I could not actually see fall or land.


I still do not train for really long distance marks or blinds , but I would if I wanted to compete in U.S. retriever trials. I'd have to if I wanted to win.


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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by DonF » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:29 am

I've got my own theory on these thing's. Years ago when I started trialing pointing dogs, I watched a call back where the dog jumped out of cover to mark a fall, stopped on it's own. They picked the dog up! The rules say a dog may jump out of cover to mark but never forward. I questioned an old timer about that and he said that the dogs were all so equal that that was something they used to seperate the dog's. I'll call bull on that. A dog moving to mark a bird is actually good dog work. A dog that doesn't mark well is bad dog work. But I believe the leaving cover to mark is a easy way out of making a decision.

I suspect that 500+ yd retrieve's whit labs is littler more than just that, easy way to keep from making a decision! I suspect that there has never been a retriever make a 500+ yd retrieve without getting handling from it's handler. I also think that over 200yds +/- will be about as long a retrieve as any dog can mark well! Even so, there are still a good number of dog's at 200 yds that will require some handling. Most all pointing dog's make mistakes in the field but most are overlooked, why? Well my belief is that the judge's don't want to have to work that hard for an answer. Rather use, at time's really good dog work as in marking, some minor mistake as an excuse to not use a dog. As a result, there are time's when the best dog get's left behind. I'm pretty sure the same thing happen's in all dog's trial world. Field trial results should be taken with a grain of salt. If you want to know about a pup your looking at, look at the parents!
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by averageguy » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:38 am

I use a Leica Rangefinder routinely associated with my archery practice and hunting. I think without using a range finder many 150-200 yard retrieves will be retold years later as 300, 300 as 500 ... Military training has well documented our inability to accurately judge distances with the naked eye, particularly the distances being discussed in this thread.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by bustingcover » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:18 pm

Competitions are about extremes and the best possible performance. They want to breed a dog who can complete 500+ yard marks and blinds so that the mediocre dog is still serviceable.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Sharon » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:00 pm

[quote="DonF"]I've got my own theory on these thing's. Years ago when I started trialing pointing dogs, I watched a call back where the dog jumped out of cover to mark a fall, stopped on it's own. They picked the dog up! The rules say a dog may jump out of cover to mark but never forward. I questioned an old timer about that and he said that the dogs were all so equal that that was something they used to seperate the dog's. I'll call bull on that. A dog moving to mark a bird is actually good dog work. A dog that doesn't mark well is bad dog work. But I believe the leaving cover to mark is a easy way out of making a decision. ................................................................................quote Don

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that is bothered in trials by seemingly ridiculous behaviours. . Talking about pointing breed trials............. The dog is on point, not crowding the birds , however the birds decide to move on a bit. The dog relocates - why would the dog stare at an empty bush? Certainly what you would want when hunting. "Pick up your dog please."
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by slistoe » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:27 pm

averageguy wrote:I use a Leica Rangefinder routinely associated with my archery practice and hunting. I think without using a range finder many 150-200 yard retrieves will be retold years later as 300, 300 as 500 ... Military training has well documented our inability to accurately judge distances with the naked eye, particularly the distances being discussed in this thread.
When there is a fence every 800 yards it is pretty easy to be relatively sure about the distances as being discussed in this thread.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:22 pm

slistoe wrote:
averageguy wrote:I use a Leica Rangefinder routinely associated with my archery practice and hunting. I think without using a range finder many 150-200 yard retrieves will be retold years later as 300, 300 as 500 ... Military training has well documented our inability to accurately judge distances with the naked eye, particularly the distances being discussed in this thread.
When there is a fence every 800 yards it is pretty easy to be relatively sure about the distances as being discussed in this thread.
You are absolutely right if, I say if, the average hunter knew how far apart the fences are
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Trekmoor » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:43 am

Sharon wrote:
DonF wrote: The dog is on point, not crowding the birds , however the birds decide to move on a bit. The dog relocates - why would the dog stare at an empty bush? Certainly what you would want when hunting. "Pick up your dog please."
I sympathise Sharon ! There was an "A" Panel hunt-point-retriever trial judge on the go here when I began trialing these breeds. He would down mark a dog severely if birds moved away from the pointing dog , he claimed it meant that the dog's point was not intense enough.

I argued with him about this quite angrily. He maintained he was right until old age forced him to stop judging . I still think that some birds will move away simply because they can. A cautious dog will point from several yards away and if those birds want to creep away then they will.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by averageguy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:33 am

ezzy333 wrote:
slistoe wrote:
averageguy wrote:I use a Leica Rangefinder routinely associated with my archery practice and hunting. I think without using a range finder many 150-200 yard retrieves will be retold years later as 300, 300 as 500 ... Military training has well documented our inability to accurately judge distances with the naked eye, particularly the distances being discussed in this thread.
When there is a fence every 800 yards it is pretty easy to be relatively sure about the distances as being discussed in this thread.
You are absolutely right if, I say if, the average hunter knew how far apart the fences are
I hunted 6 states and one Canadian Providence last season. Not once did I encounter terrain and standardized distance fencing that would allow accurate range estimation with the naked eye at those distances. The vast majority of it had rolling terrain and cover that prevented consistent visual on a dog at even half those distances. Unless a person has been there before and ranged features it would be highly suspect and prone to error to estimate with the naked eye.

Certainly not impossible but it will be as rare as authentic 500 yard marked retrieves while hunting.

Retriever Trials are run on grounds which have been selected and groomed for line of sight that is uncommon in many areas of the country. The Marks are thrown by persons wearing white jackets to make them visible to the dog. At 500 yards it is highly likely that is all the dog can make out vs the bird being thrown. It is a game which has evolved to an extreme. Impressive to watch and has yielded some excellent advances in training techniques but still a game whose distances at the extreme have next to no application while hunting. That is why the Retriever Hunt Tests use distances of 100 yards and less.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by slistoe » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:58 am

averageguy wrote:
ezzy333 wrote:
slistoe wrote: When there is a fence every 800 yards it is pretty easy to be relatively sure about the distances as being discussed in this thread.
You are absolutely right if, I say if, the average hunter knew how far apart the fences are
I hunted 6 states and one Canadian Providence last season. Not once did I encounter terrain and standardized distance fencing that would allow accurate range estimation with the naked eye at those distances. The vast majority of it had rolling terrain and cover that prevented consistent visual on a dog at even half those distances. Unless a person has been there before and ranged features it would be highly suspect and prone to error to estimate with the naked eye.
Whatever. :roll:

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:27 am

If you're talking about AKC Retriever trials, they have little to do with hunting and everything to do with ability and training. You are competing against the greatest dog's in North America and there has to be a way to separate them. This venue is for a very limited few, the elite of retrieveredom, however it produces the fountain heads of all future generations. If you think that's too extreme, compete in the hunt tests. They may be more what you're looking for.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by crackerd » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:00 am

JonBailey wrote:Probably what I should have asked is, "Do hunters really NEED a dog that can run such long-distance retrieves?" in spite of how field trials are operated.

I would think field trial standards might be overkill in terms of real-world field performance.

But I am all for a dog that can go the distance to recover a wounded bird.

I don't think hunt tests and field trials are ever set up for the wounded-bird field scenario no(r) have trial/test inventors ever taken that into consideration.
And you would ascertain this how, exactly - through the received (or is that perceived) wisdom that color all your gundog posting here and, rather laughably, elsewhere?

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by crackerd » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:08 am

Scott, averageguy's given a great précis here -
averageguy wrote:Retriever Trials are run on grounds which have been selected and groomed for line of sight that is uncommon in many areas of the country. The Marks are thrown by persons wearing white jackets to make them visible to the dog. At 500 yards it is highly likely that is all the dog can make out vs the bird being thrown. It is a game which has evolved to an extreme. Impressive to watch and has yielded some excellent advances in training techniques but still a game whose distances at the extreme have next to no application while hunting. That is why the Retriever Hunt Tests use distances of 100 yards and less.
Only revision would be that hunt tests have upped the ante on their distances too - at least that goes for AKC retriever tests, and I'm pretty sure HRC and NAHRA have followed suit.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by DonF » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:20 am

Sharon wrote:
DonF wrote:I've got my own theory on these thing's. Years ago when I started trialing pointing dogs, I watched a call back where the dog jumped out of cover to mark a fall, stopped on it's own. They picked the dog up! The rules say a dog may jump out of cover to mark but never forward. I questioned an old timer about that and he said that the dogs were all so equal that that was something they used to seperate the dog's. I'll call bull on that. A dog moving to mark a bird is actually good dog work. A dog that doesn't mark well is bad dog work. But I believe the leaving cover to mark is a easy way out of making a decision. ................................................................................quote Don

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that is bothered in trials by seemingly ridiculous behaviours. . Talking about pointing breed trials............. The dog is on point, not crowding the birds , however the birds decide to move on a bit. The dog relocates - why would the dog stare at an empty bush? Certainly what you would want when hunting. "Pick up your dog please."
One of the thing's I judged when I was judging was location. The dog is supposed to accurately locate the bird for the handler. They don't I don't pick them up but I did make note of it. It was the same in callbacks to retrieve. I've heard most people look at it as a pass or fail set up. I didn't, the dog had the mark the bird well, go right to it, pick it up right away and return it gently to the handler. Some of the dog's are very good at this and some, well, suck! Seem's hard to some to look for the things that make a great bird dog, that to me is failure on the part of judging. We know what we expect a bird dog to do but set to much of it aside for the sake of trialing! Accurate location, marking, keeping the bird located ect. I know a young guy years ago, pro handler now, that taught his dog's to point at first scent. As a result he had point's way off from the bird and had a lot of trouble putting them in the air. I training he put the bird down and knew where it was, at a trial he had a terrible time producing some of the birds, poor location. I like this thread!
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by polmaise » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:32 pm

crackerd wrote:
JonBailey wrote:Probably what I should have asked is, "Do hunters really NEED a dog that can run such long-distance retrieves?" in spite of how field trials are operated.

I would think field trial standards might be overkill in terms of real-world field performance.

But I am all for a dog that can go the distance to recover a wounded bird.

I don't think hunt tests and field trials are ever set up for the wounded-bird field scenario no(r) have trial/test inventors ever taken that into consideration.
And you would ascertain this how, exactly - through the received (or is that perceived) wisdom that color all your gundog posting here and, rather laughably, elsewhere?

MG
'Elsewhere' isn't a rough crowd , merely one that can smell a rat in a hole a mile off. Much like a good 'Earth Dog' - Terrier' (Thanks for the e-mail btw 'MG' Hope you are well and enjoyed the 4th')
.........
One's that want to run 500+ marks and blinds do it because they can ! One's that can't, sit back in the chair because they don't want to.
That doesn't make any 'One' Retriever owner/handler/trainer/Hunter/Shooter or Boat owner Indifferent ,so that 'We' in the original post/thread by our learned poster who doesn't have a dog ,doesn't shoot , doesn't hunt,doesn't compete in any games,doesn't have experience doing anything with any hunting /flushing/retrieving breed ....'Other than what Granddad said' when he was a boy. but they now have modern certificates of paper 'In the class of wanting to learn more'....
The Inter sure brings fools as they trawl with a net .
So that 'We' Is not really 'All' .Just 'One' .....Who probably ..nae should have listened to 'Grand Dad ' .(who never had the internet)
...
Glad to see the 'Tabulation' is now gone from the originator .
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....
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by fishvik » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:58 pm

polmaise wrote:'Elsewhere' isn't a rough crowd , merely one that can smell a rat in a hole a mile off. Much like a good 'Earth Dog' - Terrier' (Thanks for the e-mail btw 'MG' Hope you are well and enjoyed the 4th') .........One's that want to run 500+ marks and blinds do it because they can ! One's that can't, sit back in the chair because they don't want to.That doesn't make any 'One' Retriever owner/handler/trainer/Hunter/Shooter or Boat owner Indifferent ,so that 'We' in the original post/thread by our learned poster who doesn't have a dog ,doesn't shoot , doesn't hunt,doesn't compete in any games,doesn't have experience doing anything with any hunting /flushing/retrieving breed ....'Other than what Granddad said' when he was a boy. but they now have modern certificates of paper 'In the class of wanting to learn more'....The Inter sure brings fools as they trawl with a net . So that 'We' Is not really 'All' .Just 'One' .....Who probably ..nae should have listened to 'Grand Dad ' .(who never had the internet) ...Glad to see the 'Tabulation' is now gone from the originator .As Calligraphy goes it shows mental situation.....I like 'Flyball' ,ain't those dawgs great ?
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by crackerd » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:28 pm

Most appropriate shout out to Polmaise - but you should also know that he was but a whisker away from having himself a Boykin to train for making those 500-yard retrieves of native haggis. With an infusion of American-style training on the older, domesticated and more leathery haggi first, of course.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by polmaise » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:12 pm

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The Internet and all the experts said to use Cones as markers 'MG' .
So I followed their advise :lol:
I'm not so sure how the dog interpreted it from text ? :roll: :wink:

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by fishvik » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:30 pm

polmaise wrote:
IMAG0019.JPG
The Internet and all the experts said to use Cones as markers 'MG' .
So I followed their advise :lol:
I'm not so sure how the dog interpreted it from text ? :roll: :wink:
I think that is what is known here in the states as a "Yellowline Laborer Retriever". A good breed to have here during the summer road construction season. :D

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:42 pm

DonF wrote:
Sharon wrote:
DonF wrote:I've got my own theory on these thing's. Years ago when I started trialing pointing dogs, I watched a call back where the dog jumped out of cover to mark a fall, stopped on it's own. They picked the dog up! The rules say a dog may jump out of cover to mark but never forward. I questioned an old timer about that and he said that the dogs were all so equal that that was something they used to seperate the dog's. I'll call bull on that. A dog moving to mark a bird is actually good dog work. A dog that doesn't mark well is bad dog work. But I believe the leaving cover to mark is a easy way out of making a decision. ................................................................................quote Don

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that is bothered in trials by seemingly ridiculous behaviours. . Talking about pointing breed trials............. The dog is on point, not crowding the birds , however the birds decide to move on a bit. The dog relocates - why would the dog stare at an empty bush? Certainly what you would want when hunting. "Pick up your dog please."
One of the thing's I judged when I was judging was location. The dog is supposed to accurately locate the bird for the handler. They don't I don't pick them up but I did make note of it. It was the same in callbacks to retrieve. I've heard most people look at it as a pass or fail set up. I didn't, the dog had the mark the bird well, go right to it, pick it up right away and return it gently to the handler. Some of the dog's are very good at this and some, well, suck! Seem's hard to some to look for the things that make a great bird dog, that to me is failure on the part of judging. We know what we expect a bird dog to do but set to much of it aside for the sake of trialing! Accurate location, marking, keeping the bird located ect. I know a young guy years ago, pro handler now, that taught his dog's to point at first scent. As a result he had point's way off from the bird and had a lot of trouble putting them in the air. I training he put the bird down and knew where it was, at a trial he had a terrible time producing some of the birds, poor location. I like this thread!
Love it, Don, as you nailed my observations for many years perfectly.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by polmaise » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:50 pm

Hunting/Flushing or pointing has nothing to do with Marking at 20 yards let alone 500 . I'm pretty darn sure it has even less to do with Blind retrieving at any distance

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by cjhills » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:29 pm

polmaise wrote:Hunting/Flushing or pointing has nothing to do with Marking at 20 yards let alone 500 . I'm pretty darn sure it has even less to do with Blind retrieving at any distance
Right On!!…………..Cj

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by slistoe » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:17 pm

crackerd wrote:Scott, averageguy's given a great précis here -
averageguy wrote:Retriever Trials are run on grounds which have been selected and groomed for line of sight that is uncommon in many areas of the country. The Marks are thrown by persons wearing white jackets to make them visible to the dog. At 500 yards it is highly likely that is all the dog can make out vs the bird being thrown. It is a game which has evolved to an extreme. Impressive to watch and has yielded some excellent advances in training techniques but still a game whose distances at the extreme have next to no application while hunting. That is why the Retriever Hunt Tests use distances of 100 yards and less.
Only revision would be that hunt tests have upped the ante on their distances too - at least that goes for AKC retriever tests, and I'm pretty sure HRC and NAHRA have followed suit.

MG
95% or more of the retrieves that my Lab would make when I was actively waterfowling were well inside of 40 yards. Most of them inside of 20 when the birds were decoying well. By that standard the Hunt Test Folks are out to lunch with their distances they run the dogs at. But it sure was nice to just send the dog for the cripple that swam to the far shore of a 250 yard waterbody :wink:

Buy my :roll: was for his judging distance thing and the apparent lack of concession that people would hunt where there are fences.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by averageguy » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:02 am

I train for longer distance blind retrieves so that the routine ones will be easy. Waterfowl hunting does present some long range retrieve opportunities if hunting open water or a flat field. Here was one from last week. Camera lens is zoomed in, on the way back you I zoom back out to normal and you get a correct perspective on the distance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvLq_8O5gL4

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by averageguy » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:24 am

While shooting my bow yesterday I snapped a couple of photos with my 20 MP Iphone.

The far white gravel end of the driveway is 150 yards.

Image

Standing in the same spot looking west. The Martin House Colony is 120 yards and 15 feet in the air. Note now the terrain undulation puts it very near the ground. There is a 15 foot tall Horse barn and corral below it that cannot be seen at all in the photo. The cover is Little Bluestem and Forbs ranging 3 to 5 feet tall. The trees to the right of the Martin Colony at the far end of the field are 452 yards per my Leica Rangefinder.

Image

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by DonF » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:58 am

I think that if you want to have a good 100yd retriever you do need to train at some farther range, pretty sure that is right. I had a couple Labs years ago and I was just thinking how hard a long water retrieve really is on the dog. To make those retrieve's the dog must handle and take direction from the handler. If it doesn't, what is out there that the dog could use to help mark the fall? Perhaps the reason for the 500 yd retrieve is to test the ability and/or willingness of the dog to handle and take direction? I suspect that any dog could make a 500yd retrieve if, it handles well and takes direction. Then the only thing to concern yourself with is if the dog in in good enough physical condition to swim a thousand yds. Kind of like the National at Ames Plantation. Lot of dog's could win that if, IF, they could maintain the pace for three hours and hunt for the hunter. You need find's, a dog still running after three hours and a dog that actually is in judgement at the end of three hours. Has little to do with finding birds although the dog with the most finds normally win's! All the dogs that go there are in great shape but, the smart dog will learn to pace itself. I think I read when Sunsrise came close that in a interview, Rich Robertson claimed he was running Sunrise four hours at a time. Make's three hours a lot easier!
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by rinker » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:07 am

Typical shotgun range in the field is a maximum of 55 yards, for goodness sakes!

I would want my dog to just expeditiously deliver my bird to my hand undamaged.

I haven't read all the posts, so maybe this has already been said. You want to breed dogs that are capable of extreme things, to make sure that the pups are easily able to do average things. If we quit breeding the 'extreme' dogs, the entire gene pool would suffer in just a few generations.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by JONOV » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:38 am

polmaise wrote:Hunting/Flushing or pointing has nothing to do with Marking at 20 yards let alone 500 . I'm pretty darn sure it has even less to do with Blind retrieving at any distance
As I understood DonF's comments, the point is that, at some point you aren't judging "Good, Better, Best." You're judging "Excellent, Superb, and Outstanding." And, the differences between CH and RuCH aren't necessarily those that make a "better" dog by functional metrics. Is Ms. Minnesota any less pretty or intelligent than Ms. Georgia? So, things like a relocation etiquette mistake are unlikely to mean anything to anyone outside of a trial environment.
DonF wrote:I think that if you want to have a good 100yd retriever you do need to train at some farther range, pretty sure that is right.
Yes and no. It depends on the drive and marking ability of the dog. A driven dog that sees it will go that far easily and then some. The challenge is when you send it and it didn't see it, or there are multiples, etc...

Like anything, if its important to you you need to practice.
DonF wrote:I had a couple Labs years ago and I was just thinking how hard a long water retrieve really is on the dog. To make those retrieve's the dog must handle and take direction from the handler. If it doesn't, what is out there that the dog could use to help mark the fall? Perhaps the reason for the 500 yd retrieve is to test the ability and/or willingness of the dog to handle and take direction? I suspect that any dog could make a 500yd retrieve if, it handles well and takes direction. Then the only thing to concern yourself with is if the dog in in good enough physical condition to swim a thousand yds. Kind of like the National at Ames Plantation. Lot of dog's could win that if, IF, they could maintain the pace for three hours and hunt for the hunter. You need find's, a dog still running after three hours and a dog that actually is in judgement at the end of three hours. Has little to do with finding birds although the dog with the most finds normally win's! All the dogs that go there are in great shape but, the smart dog will learn to pace itself. I think I read when Sunsrise came close that in a interview, Rich Robertson claimed he was running Sunrise four hours at a time. Make's three hours a lot easier!
It tests the dog's marking ability, which by many accounts is somewhat genetic, also the ability to handle a dog at 500 yards. Not unlike an AA Pointer, the ability to perform independently yet collaboratively at such a distance is what they look for.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by polmaise » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:26 pm

I'm sure everyone (everyone that has actually experienced many different Hunts/shoots that is ) would agree that 'Semantics' plays a huge role when discussing Marks/Blinds/handling /shooting distances ,fences and distances etc .

This situation arose on a shoot . I was behind the guns at approximately (yes) the range of a shot dead bird from the gun .
There had been several (seven +) birds shot and lying dead in front of us ,which the dogs had all marked . I noticed one of them start to move (just behind the white post) but the dog didn't !
The dog had to be handled away from the other dead birds in the heavy cover,and directed to the one I seen move.
She did locate it ,just as it found the strength to lift with one broken leg and 'plain' down that gully ! ......Now, I know how long that gully is because I have walked it many times for many years . This was 'Cassie's' first time and that young dog sure can cover ground pretty fast . 'Fences' You speak in the semantics ? ..This one had a Stone wall then a wire fence further on ..en route the cover is higher than the height of the dogs head . That gully goes down hill a fair bit ,and anyone that knows pheasants ,knows that when they get a bit of a lift ,'they just hold them wings out and 'Plain' '.
Give the dog 'credit', that route she had to take also had 'Live game which landed in all that area which were 'NOT' shot !

So , 'Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds? ' ................(The original post/question was loaded and I can guess why)
In a straight line on set up scenarios which are the same for every handler and dog ,perhaps should have been included ?...
Now that's a different game :wink: .. Many Hunters/shooters either can't or don't and that's a different game :wink:

Neither game is superior to the other . Both are a wonder to watch when it's done . :)
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by averageguy » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:48 pm

Nice work. Beautiful country.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Trekmoor » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:14 am

Nicely done Robert. You closed your gob when you needed to and let the dog do the rest.

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Sharon » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:15 pm

averageguy wrote:Nice work. Beautiful country.
X2
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by DonF » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:16 am

I'd have liked to have watched that retrieve on the cripple! My old Drifter, GSP, made one of thse years ago in a heavy grass field in front of a bunch of guy's. I did not handle him, just sent him. Was a pretty long fall and Drifter went right after it. About ten min later someone on the other end of the line yelled that Drifter was coming in and he had the bird! Heard about that for the rest of the weekend and didn't stop anyone from telling it over! :-) His mother was almost as good but not quite. Those were two dogs that never lost birds! BTW, I didn't train them to do that, it was natural!
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by averageguy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:37 am

Ran this water blind this morning. Much work to get to this point preceded it. My Dog holding a clean line and then independently using his nose on the far side was why it worked. I was not wearing a white shirt and it is highly unlikely any dog could have correctly discerned handling signals through that standing flooded timber visual obstruction and distance anyway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xok9ssXYhIQ

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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Sharon » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:37 pm

Very nice video.
I was out on the lake today and watched cock-a-poos retrieving like crazy. Not hard to believe as cockers and poodles love to swim.
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by Oscar » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:30 pm

Very nice blind line your dog take. Congratulations.

Other watter blind my dog take some days ago . Some 350yard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evzxcnTdZ7Y

and his father ( my dog Nikon NFC Eba son )

I could retrieved at the distance they speak. Here taking a blind many yard on the ground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8ifudCmC9g
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Re: Why do we want retrievers to run 500+ yard marks and blinds?

Post by duckn66 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:36 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:If you're talking about AKC Retriever trials, they have little to do with hunting and everything to do with ability and training. You are competing against the greatest dog's in North America and there has to be a way to separate them. This venue is for a very limited few, the elite of retrieveredom, however it produces the fountain heads of all future generations. If you think that's too extreme, compete in the hunt tests. They may be more what you're looking for.
Spot on!

These dogs are the elite of the elite and the trainers are as well. Not only are they required to mark multiple very long distance marks but there may be a retired gun thrown in also. Actually depending on the stake that’s a gimme. They are required to run a certain line to the mark. Dog has a little sliver of water but it’s requied he get in it on the way out and back and that sliver of water May be 200 yards from the line. If the dog hunts for a mark for to long or doesn’t take a particular line out and back to one of the marks can be the difference in getting called back or not.

Field trials have very little to do with hunting. Although I promise you that an open all age type dog or any field trial dog will be the best duck dog anyone could possibly hunt over.

These very elite and exceptional athletes are what gives us the exceptional hunting dogs we have today.

If field trials aren’t your thing then maybe hunt tests are. And even in a retriever hunt test it requires a pretty good dog to go very far.

What’s not to like about a finished retriever that is capable of marking multiple falls at long distance and is capable of running complicated, long blinds?

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