Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

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bamanicksbd
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Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by bamanicksbd » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:38 pm

Nick is a year old. Finding and pointing planted birds well. We are working on steady to wing and shot. He is pretty well broke to whoa. We have used barrel whoa board etc. When we started on steady i used the barrel and launched pigeon then board then ground. Then using pigeon pole with barrell then board then ground with flushes and 209 blanks first with the flank collar on then off. Also added in the backing silhouette once off barrell and board. He did well and then we moved back to planted birds. He finds points solid and holds well. I walk around him in circles stomp around etc. Here is my question? Btw I do plan to run him in field trials eventually hopefully both both with retrieving and with just blanks fired. So off barrell and board on planted birds when the bird flushes he doesnt break to chase but if the bird doesnt flush straight out front he will rotate or turn to watch the bird. He stays for the shot and even after. From a practical perspective i think that it makes perfect sense for him to rotate or turn to keep sightline on the bird. Down the road i want him to mark the bird down and then retrieve. My concern is that in trials where the bird doesnt get shot but only blanks fired are judges going to consider any movement on flush as negative or not totally steady? Or do trial judges apply common sense that we want the dog to keep his eyes on the bird so as to mark a shot bird??

As always any help, advise or input is appreciated Image

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by Sharon » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:57 pm

Good question. A lot depends on the judge and some rules have little to do with smart hunting. :)

It has been my experience that turning the head is fine, but any other movement is frowned on , including re locating moves.
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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by shags » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:32 pm

Some judges don't want to see any movement at all.
Others are fine with the head turning but don't want any feet moving.
Then there are those who think turning to mark is OK as long as there isn't any forward movement (toward the flight of the bird).
Don't forget the judges who will forgive whatever they consider a little bobble if the rest of the dog's performance is stellar.
The best you can do is give it a shot until you figure out who likes or dislikes what, then only show your dog to the ones that match up. Or pay your money and take your chances 8)

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by cjhills » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:20 am

Nobody on God's green earth, who actually hunts over their dog, would want him to stand like a zombie while the flushed bird flies over his head. I always allow my dogs to do what it takes to mark the bird down. If his view is blocked he can take a step or two. With a dog that is not allowed to retrieve I suppose it is not that important.
AS stated you can try to avoid judges that would not allow the dog to mark, hope the situation does not come up or let him mark while hunting but not while training. The same as you would for retrieving....Cj

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:05 am

I used to do all manner of nasties while training such as flying a cripple (tethered) bird, walking the bird towards the dog, flushing back towards the dog, having a young pup rip a bird the trainee was standing, verbal release ("Ok...Break!!...Fetch!!...Alright...Let's go..."), etc. And, that was coupled with developing a rigorous muscular and cardio training regimen. Train for over-achievement. It serves your dog and YOU mentally in your candor/swagger/confidence around dicey situations. Your dog can sense your composure in a situation that might otherwise seem volatile.
Then....take what you get AND....remember to have a blast!!!
The hardest aspect of field trials is getting it in your head that the best dog doesn't always win. No...it isn't politics or anything like that. You are paying for the opportunity to run your dog under judgement of a person(s) that can only respond to what she/he sees and makes decisions dovetailed with their experience....period.
Any trial is only as good as it's weakest link, be it grounds, birds, bird planters, etc. Judges are simply at the forefront. The real challenge is getting experienced judges that have run the gauntlet of developing successful dogS themselves.
As already offered (and I've done my fair share of judging in a variety of venues since 1982, including 2 championships) I would need to assess ALL the critical factors before taking out a dog that "marked" a bird. There are MANY factors to consider along with the marking itself. As for placements, I would have to further consider what this dog was up against. To say that marking (meaning no forward motion towards the flushed bird) is an immediate disqualifier would more reflect the judging than the dog.
As a wild bird hunter, I expect my dogs to remain steady. As such, marking is a critical factor towards a successful retrieve - even more-so than a dog that is allowed to break on the flush or shot, in my opinion. The worse case scenario is the trial dog that is allowed to break when hunted but not when trialed. I'm not saying they aren't capable of that. I'm saying that dogs can somehow pick the worst times to get them confused. :wink:
Last edited by Featherfinder on Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:29 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by Meller » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:10 am

Try your best to always flush the bird to the front, or as near the front as possible, then accept the results as they come as you know and trust your dog, as only you can!

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by bamanicksbd » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:48 am

I enjoy the field trials and in my area at least they have birds. Otherwise its buy birds and create my own or pay to hunt a preserve. One of the things I’ve always been frustrated by in trials is that some of the things they judge on just don’t make sense for what a real bird dog should be doing. I know the answer is either learn to like it or go somewhere else.

I plan to go through trained retrieve with him this summer and next year run some trials where he will retrieve. I want him to be steady to wing and shot and retrieve on command. I think if we get a sideways flush and he rotates to watch to mark he is doing what a true bird dog should do. As long as he doesn’t move forward as if in an effort to chase.

I’m not a judge obviously, but if I were I would reward that in a bird dog. I can’t see knocking a dog for doing what a true bird dog should be doing. I guess my definition of “real bird dog” is my hang up. I grew up with hunting dogs not show dogs. If I could still turn out behind my house and find two or three coveys before lunch I wouldn’t be going to field trials. As mentioned earlier I started going to field trials because they had birds.

Seems to me that if were just judging who has the prettiest bird dog statue that’s what confirmation type events are for. Ok doggie hop up here and look good but don’t move.

I hope to be able to travel some in the upcoming years to areas that still have wild birds to hunt. In the meantime I’ll run trials and be proud of my dog if he hunts hard and shows true bird skills. At the end of the day I’ll take the dog that I’d want to go hunting with.

Actually in one of my early field trials years ago I asked a judge who hadn’t given my dog good scores,

“ Tell me judge, if we were going to load up this afternoon and actually go bird hunting, which dog would you want in the truck?”

The judge looked at me kinda sideways and said,

“Well son it really ain’t about that.”

As my dog, who had found 4 of the 5 birds available and retrieved each to hand after I shot them, proudly licked my face I turned to him and said,

“Well there you go.”


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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by shags » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:14 am

“Well son it really ain’t about that.”

That's it. If ya wanna go hunting, go hunting. If ya wanna trial, trial. One isn't other and vice versa.

Play the game ya got.

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by nevermind » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:57 pm

I don't trail, but have watched a few different venues. Do you have a NSTRA club near you? I've watched a couple of their contests and to me it's more of a hunting contest, that's maybe close to your liking.

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by Sharon » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:46 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:05 am
I used to do all manner of nasties while training such as flying a cripple (tethered) bird, walking the bird towards the dog, flushing back towards the dog, having a young pup rip a bird the trainee was standing, verbal release ("Ok...Break!!...Fetch!!...Alright...Let's go..."), etc. And, that was coupled with developing a rigorous muscular and cardio training regimen. Train for over-achievement. It serves your dog and YOU mentally in your candor/swagger/confidence around dicey situations. Your dog can sense your composure in a situation that might otherwise seem volatile.
Then....take what you get AND....remember to have a blast!!!
The hardest aspect of field trials is getting it in your head that the best dog doesn't always win. No...it isn't politics or anything like that. You are paying for the opportunity to run your dog under judgement of a person(s) that can only respond to what she/he sees and makes decisions dovetailed with his experience....period.
Any trial is only as good as it's weakest link, be it grounds, birds, bird planters, etc. Judges are simply at the forefront. The real challenge is getting experienced judges that have run the gauntlet of developing successful dogS themselves.
As already offered (and I've done my fair share of judging in a variety of venues since 1982, including 2 championships) I would need to assess ALL the critical factors before taking out a dog that "marked" a bird. There are MANY factors to consider along with the marking itself. As for placements, I would have to further consider what this dog was up against. To say that marking (meaning no forward motion towards the flushed bird) is an immediate disqualifier would more reflect the judging than the dog.
As a wild bird hunter, I expect my dogs to remain steady. As such, marking is a critical factor towards a successful retrieve - even more-so than a dog that is allowed to break on the flush or shot, in my opinion. The worse case scenario is the trial dog that is allowed to break when hunted but not when trialed. I'm not saying they aren't capable of that. I'm saying that dogs can somehow pick the worst times to get them confused. :wink:
Where were you when I needed a good judge? LOL

Dog is on point . I'm about 100 yards away. I see the birds leave and go about 20 feet away to settle in again. Dog moves turning to re point. Judge says, "pick up your dog- disqualified." Apparently the dog was to stay pointing where there were no birds until I searched the no bird bushes , and then signalled her to relocate. Up to that point she had been perfect in her work.

Yes it still bugs me . LOL
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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by birddogger2 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:08 pm

As others have said, there are various interpretations. In general, the more movement at the flush, the more likely it will be considered negatively.

You are absolutely correct that a dog that is anticipating a retrieve will want to mark the fall. If it means turning its head or swapping ends, it is still a turn to mark...to ME.

It is an unfortunate fact that an some judges, especially(I think) hunt test judges really do not have a good appreciation of what is expected of a good hunting dog, because they themselves do not hunt. There are others who apply different criteria to a dog under judgment at a trial than they would apply to a dog hunting in the field.

The scenario where the judge ordered the dog up because it moved and self relocated well before the handler got there indicates that the judge really had no business judging because they did not know the rules. That judge was dead wrong, but you never win an argument with a judge. A dog can do what it needs to do to pin a bird and must remain motionless AFTER the handler walks in front to flush. Up until the handler walks in front, they have the option to call the dog off and heel it out of there.

When I judge, I want to style and intensity on point. The dogs needs to establish and maintain a rigid point with zero movement. No "happy feet" during the flushing attempt. If, at the flush, the bird flies back behind the dog and it moves to mark, I look for two things. First and foremost there must be ZERO forward movement. But I also want to see the dog regain all of its style and intensity after it marks.

RayG

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:02 am

Nice pic Bammer!
There are horseback trials, walking trials, cover trials, tests, NAVHDA, NSTRA, etc. etc.
Find something you like and try to embrace the rules of that sport. I can find fault in just about every one of the aforementioned venues. I love certain aspects of all of the aforementioned venues.
I picked my poison and played by their rules. I have a rich past chalk full of wonderful memories and some not-so-good. Then again, that sounds a lot like life in general doesn't it? Hang on to the good stuff. Forget about the other stuff. It's how we process it that matters.
I mostly wild bird hunt now. LOVE it, but there are still rules.

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by DonF » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:58 am

There's quite a bit of difference between a good trial dog and a great bird dog. Great bird dog will probably get you picked up every time! Moving out of cover to mark a bird is allowed in the guidelines but not by judge's. Spending a lot of time searching for a bird the dog didn't mark is fine, retrieving is a pass fail venture. Moving to keep a bird well located will get you picked up after you've called point. Well located finds get no extra credit! Great dog work has no place in field trials!
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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by polmaise » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:47 pm

DonF wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:58 am
There's quite a bit of difference between a good trial dog and a great bird dog. Great bird dog will probably get you picked up every time! Moving out of cover to mark a bird is allowed in the guidelines but not by judge's. Spending a lot of time searching for a bird the dog didn't mark is fine, retrieving is a pass fail venture. Moving to keep a bird well located will get you picked up after you've called point. Well located finds get no extra credit! Great dog work has no place in field trials!
I can relate to this !!
Whilst many will be talking 'Bird Dog in the sense of 'Hunting,Pointing breeds', and yes I have had a few .
"Pressure" ..Pressuring the bird ? > Like some of the comments made by others ,it is a remarkable thing that a wise and learn'ed dog can do with a grouse that it has pinned and has 'eye contact' with ! ..the bird knows it , and the dog Nose it ! the bird has choices , and so does the dog ! (imo) ..if the bird blinks , or shrinks , or does it shuffle and move , does the dog stay there or ''Pressure" the bird to stay there ? ..(have a look at sheep dogs with sheep ) ? I'll take the one that uses pressure of movement and still to hold the quarry ,not stay and let the quarry make a choice .!
Steadiness is everyone's interpretation of it . (imo) No matter the breed ,and it just gets pure complicated when rules are written for perfect scenarios that are not written in words .
I was competing in an open Spaniel Trial many years ago , dog 'Bumped' . ie , nose punched a sitting pheasant from cover and immediately sat to the flush , the bird was shot and landed over a rise from where the dog flushed it , she watched it fall from the sky like a brick ,until it went out of sight on the fall, she moved 1 foot and raised her head almost 'Meerkat' to mark that fall . .. I was Out . 'Thank you very much ,hand your armband in . (x2 A PANEL KC Judges concurred (btw) :lol:
So , whether it is shooting or hunting or Good dogs or rules or ribbons or rules one wants to debate about ....I reckon steadiness in the presence of game is everything ...when one is shooting it . .Like this young lad at 18 months old on his first day after Training a year for it .. doing 300 yard marks and 150 yard blinds and lining and casting et'all ,yet here we have a High bird coming towards us and most folk would think that bird is stone dead !! ? , only 10 feet away , what's the point .right ? ..He done well , in the presence of the other two amigos at my heel all non slip ! , gained his first 'Spur' in the face too!! , still has the scar . :wink: ..I must increase the load in the gun perhaps ? :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmiLkNp ... e=youtu.be

Another two , on their First day , in the firing line and extreme pressure , Different Lab , and a wee black Cocker both finished school and out for a big day in the real world, can do it .
They have had all the shots and the drills , but they have never had the shouts and calls of untrained dogs and handlers , and they don't know what is likely to happen next ? ..lol The Cocker was given this one so we could reposition for the job in hand . (and to keep him happy lol )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsNb1m- ... e=youtu.be
That word 'tolerable' in the heading has a huge spectrum for not just the first time owner ,but also the judge and the experienced handler , the hunter and the trialler and well, just about anyone . .

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by DonF » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:05 pm

Sharon wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:46 pm
Featherfinder wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:05 am
I used to do all manner of nasties while training such as flying a cripple (tethered) bird, walking the bird towards the dog, flushing back towards the dog, having a young pup rip a bird the trainee was standing, verbal release ("Ok...Break!!...Fetch!!...Alright...Let's go..."), etc. And, that was coupled with developing a rigorous muscular and cardio training regimen. Train for over-achievement. It serves your dog and YOU mentally in your candor/swagger/confidence around dicey situations. Your dog can sense your composure in a situation that might otherwise seem volatile.
Then....take what you get AND....remember to have a blast!!!
The hardest aspect of field trials is getting it in your head that the best dog doesn't always win. No...it isn't politics or anything like that. You are paying for the opportunity to run your dog under judgement of a person(s) that can only respond to what she/he sees and makes decisions dovetailed with his experience....period.
Any trial is only as good as it's weakest link, be it grounds, birds, bird planters, etc. Judges are simply at the forefront. The real challenge is getting experienced judges that have run the gauntlet of developing successful dogS themselves.
As already offered (and I've done my fair share of judging in a variety of venues since 1982, including 2 championships) I would need to assess ALL the critical factors before taking out a dog that "marked" a bird. There are MANY factors to consider along with the marking itself. As for placements, I would have to further consider what this dog was up against. To say that marking (meaning no forward motion towards the flushed bird) is an immediate disqualifier would more reflect the judging than the dog.
As a wild bird hunter, I expect my dogs to remain steady. As such, marking is a critical factor towards a successful retrieve - even more-so than a dog that is allowed to break on the flush or shot, in my opinion. The worse case scenario is the trial dog that is allowed to break when hunted but not when trialed. I'm not saying they aren't capable of that. I'm saying that dogs can somehow pick the worst times to get them confused. :wink:
Where were you when I needed a good judge? LOL

Dog is on point . I'm about 100 yards away. I see the birds leave and go about 20 feet away to settle in again. Dog moves turning to re point. Judge says, "pick up your dog- disqualified." Apparently the dog was to stay pointing where there were no birds until I searched the no bird bushes , and then signalled her to relocate. Up to that point she had been perfect in her work.

Yes it still bugs me . LOL
I would be highly suspect of a dog pointing birds 100yds away. Rather I believe what happened is the dog got to close and the birds moved out! The dog has been trained not the move once establishing point, birds ran. In the real word and great dog work the handler goes right to the dog and flush's a well pointed bird. Moving out of cover to mark a fall is great dog work and it is allowed, or used to be, in AKC. But with every AKC judge I've ever known it's a no no and could get you picked up right there and certainly will not get you a placement. There's bird dogs and there is trial dogs, big difference. Happy feet will get you too. That's when a bird is flushed and the dog's front feet start moving up and down, normally the dog won't move but won't get used either. I got picked up one time when a bird flushed directly at my dog. He ducked to keep from being hit and spun in a circle to mark the bird. Great dog work got him picked up!
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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by shags » Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:15 pm

Sorry, Don, great birdwork DID NOT get your dog picked up...a dumba$$ judge got him picked up. The only thing a dog should be picked up for is interference with its bracemate. That's usually blowing a back or stealing point, less often drag racing and bumping kind of stuff. Turning to mark, happy feet, and that sort of thing might mean a dog won't get a placement but they aren't disqualifying.

Some handlers will voluntarily pick up their dogs if they know a bobble is keeping them out of the ribbons. Other times they'll use the rest of brace as groundtime experience.

I understand your frustration though. Once upon a time my dog's bracemate stopped to take a whizz and my dog was ordered up for not backing. Judge said, anytime a dog stops the bracemate has to back :evil:

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:40 am

Good grief Shags...tell me you're joking!?!?! "ANYTIME a bracemate stops your dog has to back." What a pile of hooey!!!
This is a reflection of the host club not getting a qualified judge. The trial host should have been properly/courteously informed for future considerations.

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by birddogger2 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:05 am

Featherfinder wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:40 am
Good grief Shags...tell me you're joking!?!?! "ANYTIME a bracemate stops your dog has to back." What a pile of hooey!!!
This is a reflection of the host club not getting a qualified judge. The trial host should have been properly/courteously informed for future considerations.
Featherfinder -

Unfortunately, I have witnessed, on occasion, some poor judging decisions, especially at weekend trials. Most often, those decisions came from folks who did not hunt their dogs, but only knew the "rules" of the particular game they were adjudicating. It is unfortunate that one of the major qualifications to be considered for a judging assignment is whether or not the prospective judge owns a horse. The cost of renting horses for a weekend trial in my area has risen to the point that it almost does not make sense to run the trial. I am quite sure that was a factor in my being asked to judge on several occasions. Unfortunately, my two horses have gotten too old for me to put them out there for others to use, so I have had to start saying NO. I need all that they have to give, just for myself, and when they are done...so am I.

It is an unfortunate reality that opportunities to go afield with a bird dog, in pursuit of game are severely diminished in many areas of the country, particularly along the eastern seaboard. Wild birds are increasingly difficult to find and even preserve opportunities are diminishing, so how does someone get the shoeleather experience they need to make good decisions in unscripted circumstances?

I don't know the answer to that one.

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Re: Steady? How much, if any, movement is tolerable?

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:34 pm

I hear you Ray. There have been HUGE changes in the game in just the short time since I bowed out. The sport is declining and the future does not look like it's going to improve.
There were a number of personal dynamics that contributed to my retiring from the field trial world. That said, I do still miss it sometimes and consider myself SO fortunate to have accumulated so many wonderful memories and made friends all over the USA and Canada.
I really don't have an answer to your question because in my time, you ran MANY trials. If you had decent dogs your reputation EARNED you that respect as a judge. It inferred that you had a healthy history of relevant experience, supported by a long list of ribbons/trophies. It wasn't as easy as whether you owned horses or not. We had wrangler horses at our disposal and they weren't that expensive. (I never owned a horse of my own even though I ran horseback for the most part.) And yet, in this litigation-dominant world, I get it. Sad, but.....here we are.
If you want experience hunting wild birds, you are going to have to travel....period. With travel comes two salient investments in both time and money. Thank God I've got time. 8)

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