Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Please

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Tests

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Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Please

Postby centershots » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:18 pm

Hey all, I've been reading all the posts on the Invitational because this year will be my first run at it. I've garnered some good info...

No more duck searches.
Try to get an early placement because the fields get too filled with birds.
Work on steady to flush a lot because of so many birds are in the field.
Start working with lots of other breeds in the fields because your dog may not back a breed it hasn't seen before.
For the long retrieve send the dog downwind to help it locate the bird faster on the shore.
Start working with signals so if your dog turns back on the long retrieve, you can stop it and direct in back out. (Will deduct a point, but better than a fail.)
Go early and train around the test area to get your dog exposed to the cover, weather and surroundings.

I plan to get there about 5 days before the event, is that early enough?
Do any of you have any other suggestions or tips, I'll take any I can get.
Any insight on where I can train, or who to contact when I get there early.

Again, any and all info would really be appreciated. I'd like to give my girl the best shot at it if possible.

Thanks very much, George
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby Coveyrise64 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:07 am

~ Here are a few other things to keep you busy.....!

Double marks with distraction shot (from both sides, the memory bird could be thrown to either side). Same for the honor at the water.

Acclimate to the sound of a winger, at the double and the honor they are set up pretty close to the dog. Can be a distraction.

Obedience, obedience.....you'll have to heel into and out of each water event off lead.

You will be the one to flush all birds in the field. In your training your dog needs to be seeing you out front. Let someone else make any corrections if necessary.

I don't like using blank pistols for training, I prefer to use live rounds or poppers in the field and at the water.

Don't be afraid to give an early correction in the field if needed, you should have multiple opportunities to make up for it.

Stop to flush....the gunner or judges might accidently flush a bird or there isn't a safe shot after the flush.

Stop to shot.....in case the gunner misses or there isn't a safe shot the judge might have the gunner fire in the air. Some do, some don't. I have had it both ways.

Walking birds.....there will be some, prepare for it.

There will be water tubs in the field but I like to carry water as well.

Good luck on the early placement, you have no say in that one. If the dog is in heat you will run on Sunday or in a designated field for females.

They usually have designated training areas, all other test sites (bird fields and water) are off limits.

Birds might be available by reservation, information should be in your test packet or on the Invitational Website.

You don't want to peak to early, nothing worse than a bored dog.

Metronidazole or FortiFlora.....traveling that far you don't want to deal with dog stomach issues.

Breath......! It will be a long day. :wink:

Howie can probably add some more.....Very good resource!

cr

centershots wrote:Hey all, I've been reading all the posts on the Invitational because this year will be my first run at it. I've garnered some good info...

No more duck searches.
Try to get an early placement because the fields get too filled with birds.
Work on steady to flush a lot because of so many birds are in the field.
Start working with lots of other breeds in the fields because your dog may not back a breed it hasn't seen before.
For the long retrieve send the dog downwind to help it locate the bird faster on the shore.
Start working with signals so if your dog turns back on the long retrieve, you can stop it and direct in back out. (Will deduct a point, but better than a fail.)
Go early and train around the test area to get your dog exposed to the cover, weather and surroundings.

I plan to get there about 5 days before the event, is that early enough?
Do any of you have any other suggestions or tips, I'll take any I can get.
Any insight on where I can train, or who to contact when I get there early.

Again, any and all info would really be appreciated. I'd like to give my girl the best shot at it if possible.

Thanks very much, George
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby Fun Dog » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:24 am

What is the proper protocol for if the dog encounters walking birds? Stop to shot, does that mean the dog stops on the shot or the dog stays put on the shot? Or both?
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby SwitchGrassWPG » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:05 am

Depends on how the judges want to handle it. If your dog encounters a walking bird and points it, they will work it. If your bracemate needs a back, they'll try to work that if the other dog is close enough.

Five days may be too early. At past Invitationals there was just one bird field of about 40 acres to work in.

Remember to handle your dog exactly as you do in training. While training, add in a group of five or more people to walk the fields and at least three to stand behind you during the water work.

Plan to have potentially long stretches of waiting between events for your turn.

Jay
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby Coveyrise64 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:49 am

Fun Dog wrote:What is the proper protocol for if the dog encounters walking birds? Stop to shot, does that mean the dog stops on the shot or the dog stays put on the shot? Or both?

Walking bird -- as Jay said, if the dog sight points, it should be handled just like a pointed bird. If I see a walking bird and the dog doesn't I will avoid it unless the judge tells me to work the bird. A wreck waiting to happen....!

Stop to flush -- A bird in the air means "stop" and don't move until released. A visual cue to "stop".

Stop to shot -- Stop at the sound of the gunfire and don't move until released. No judging criteria for stop to shot unlike stop to flush. An audible cue to "stop".

I include both the "stop to flush" and "stop to shot" in my steadiness training. They are nothing more than cues for the dog to stop and don't move....one visual, one audible that both translate to the field (steady to wing and shot) sequence without me having to give a verbal. The stop to shot is also beneficial for steadiness at any of the water events where a shot is fired, both UT and Invitational.

Hope that helps....!

cr
VC TJ's Highfalutin Hawkeye MH, UTI

VC TJ's Miss Filson MH, UTI R.I.P. 5/13/03-10/15/14

Thunderhead's All Jacked Up R.I.P. "My Buddy" 9/9/09-1/27/14

"I'd rather train for perfection than fix the problems of mediocrity" ~ Me

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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby GPBLITZ » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:38 pm

Terry has given you some very sound advise . Work on multible Flushes , 3,4, 5 birds at a crack., easily happen at the invitational. I've hit multible flushes at every invit I've been to. We were in Ohio field B and come over a hill down below about 50 yds out was maybe 50 bird covey. Judge had me handle away from the birds . Had to hack the heel out of the dog to keep him on top of the ridge so he wouldn't roll to the bottom and come on glued , judges advise. If you see your dog pumping up to much call your dog in , water and calm the dog down. Never be afraid to correct no matter how far your into the field work. Take the hit , things could get a lot worse if you don't make the correction. If your unsure of a situation , ask the judge what he would like to see. the judge will tell you. Keep a cool head , stay calm. good luck!!! George , I don't show up until the day before my dog runs. I look at it as the dog has seen so much in hunting and training that the cover terrain shouldn't matter. Tha'st just me though. As far as showing up 5 days early to train, unless you have private grounds to train on I'd check with NAVHDA about training on test grounds. Were not allowed to train or test on the grounds for X amount of month before the invitational. I'm thinking the designated training grounds don't open up until the test starts.
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby Fun Dog » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:16 pm

Dogs do pass this test.....don't they?
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby centershots » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:35 pm

Thanks for all the great info and tips, I really appreciate it...

Went out early this morning to drain on the blind retrieve. First time out for that... I stopped duck searches, but duck hunted most every weekend during the season, which included a lot of searchers. Season is over, so I'm starting work on that blind retrieve.

My dog Cota got it real quickly. We had a pond that was about 100 yards across, I sent her out the first time and after going almost all the way across she turned back and started to swim back. I gave her the out signal and she turned around and went the entire way, found the bird and came back perfectly.

But... the next time out she went straight across the pond, searched for the duck, found the duck and then ran around the edge of the pond back to me and delivered the duck to hand.

This pond was not very wide, but it had the 100 yards across that I needed. Would that have been a fail on the test? Do they have to swim back once they find the bird? She's a smart dog and was back to me in less than half the time it would have taken her to swim. I stopped after that because I didn't want her coming back that way... especially if that's a fail on the test.

I'll have to look for a larger pond. Please let me know about the return on land if you would.

Thanks again for helping out, really appreciate it, George
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby Coveyrise64 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:43 pm

When I start the blind across water I place the bird close to the waters edge. I want to see what is going to take place before or after the retrieve (think mauling, burying, or urinating on the bird) and to help encourage a quick re-entry. The first few attempts at the blind I won't hesitate to use commands especially the recall. The dog always hears the send command but seldom the recall, followed by plenty of praise if done properly.

At first it is about getting them across and completing the task. Start with easy tasks, once they get consistent increase the degree of difficulty.

cr
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VC TJ's Miss Filson MH, UTI R.I.P. 5/13/03-10/15/14

Thunderhead's All Jacked Up R.I.P. "My Buddy" 9/9/09-1/27/14

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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby Fun Dog » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:19 pm

All this talk of water has me itching to get going. Can't wait for things to thaw.
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby marysburg » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:01 am

Fundog, it's nice to dream of training, but it was -47 wind chill this morning and I'm a long way south of you! Working on fetch with our GSP pup, and going to sign up for an indoor agility class to give her something to think about until the weather smartens up. We're rooting for you at the invitational. It's so nice to have all this training info shared by those with lots of experience. Hope spring comes early.
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby gwp4me2 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:26 pm

Just gave NAVHDA my credit card for the $400. Nothing compared to the 1900 miles each way to get there and back :shock: That is without the side trips my wife will want to take along the way. The questions I have are about Mingo for those who have tested there previously. For example where I live and test there is no such thing as a lily pad. A tree is a land mark. 3 trees together is a grove. Good cover is up to your shins. I was able to run Brownell's in IA a few years ago. How does Mingo compare? Some of my concerns are with the dog deciding to hunt grouse instead of the field or not being used to a pond with a bunch of water plants. Any thoughts those of you who have done the invite here before? Anybody else from the west going?
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby Fun Dog » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:48 pm

Well I'm going from Alaska. Entry turned in. Plane tickets bought, thank heavens for air miles. Lily booked to fly. Rental car reserved. Hotels reserved. Now I get to concentrate on training. Check out www.rickholtphoto.com for some pictures of the 2013 invite. It may answer some of your questions. After a snowless winter, it has snowed just about every day this month. Most water still frozen.
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Re: Info and suggestions on this year's Invitational... Plea

Postby centershots » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:28 am

I'll be driving in from Californian 2500 miles. Got my DNA done and entry fee paid. Not much water left in ca to train at. I'll head to Idaho in July to train at some friends properties. I'll be working on lots of field work and some water work here in ca until I head north. Looking forward to meeting you all there.
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