Switching?

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Switching?

Postby parshal » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:35 pm

What is it called in the retriever world when a dog is coming back with a retrieve and drops the object to grab another? Shopping, as I use it, is the dog picking up different objects at a pile or sniffing around until it finds one it likes. I'm calling it switching when a dog is already in the process of coming back and sees a live bird nearby. They drop the object in their mouth and head for the live bird. Is this just a different rendition of shopping?
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Postby Rick Hall » Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:06 pm

Your intuition was good: it's "switching".
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Postby parshal » Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:15 pm

How do you go about fixing it? My thought is to do pile drills and toss out a "poison" bird during the retrieve.

I've never had a dog that did this. If they did go to the live bird they would keep the first one in their mouth and, maybe, try to pick up both.
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:09 pm

That will work. You can also just throw two marks, the first one a live bird, the second a bumper. MAKE him go for the bumper. If he veers on the way in, bump him with the collar and command "NO, HERE!". It's a very easy problem to fix. Watch his eyes and head direction; he'll tell you when he's going to switch.
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Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:08 pm

I never get the "poison bird" thing right. In HRC, when your dog is coming back with retrieve they will throw and shoot a "diversion" bird from close to the line... some call it a "poison" bird. In AKC hunt tests they call the same thing a " bulldog". A "hot" blind (one that's sitting out there close to where a mark will fall) is also called a "poison bird". Another, and probalby the "true" poison bird is where your dog is supposed to ignore a mark and, instead, be sent for a blind off to the side.... the mark would be called the poison bird.


I'm working on this stuff right now because I've got the first Finished level HRC test coming up in a couple of weeks.... and my dog dropped a bird she was retrieving in the Seasoned level and went for the diversion bird. Fortunately switching is OK at that level.

Anyway, I work on it all very slowly by first throwing dummies in the air when she's coming back from retreiving a dummy (single or double) from the line... then send her for the "diversion". If she drops the dummy I make her pick it up and maybe even nick her and say "hold it". Then live birds thrown close to her on the way back from a dummy retrieve.

It's more a problem on land than water. She's not proofed on this and it's maddening because, after a tripple, walk up, hot blind and honoring, you sure as Hell don't want to fail on something so seemingly simple!

Switching is when the dog leaves the bird it's retrieving and goes for the diversion bird but it's also switching when the dog is searching for, say, the second of two marks and can't find the one it's looking for and decides to switch and go to look for the other. Fixing this latter problem is done several ways, but mostly involves creating a situation where the dog will most definitely switch and then correct it when it does. Maybe throw a clod of dirt instead of the dummy for the go-bird and correct it when the switch occurs.
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Postby crackerd » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:06 am

Bruce, you've done your homework. As the original post goes, per NAVHDA's take on it, leaving one bird to pick up another is called something like a dog "mishandling or abandoning game." But in simplest terms, it's still a switch. Seldom occurs in NAVHDA, obviously there are no multiple marks and very few times when more than one bird is shot over point at a time. GH has the quick fix for it with the direct pressure stimulation-"No, Here!", but it can also be done with a low intensity nick on "Here!"-(nick)-"Here!" as the dog's in proximity and temptation of picking another bird or object.

MG
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:27 am

The switch while coming in is easy to correct. A blind off a flier or between two fliers is the most difficult blind to train for. We used to train for it using "A five step back drill". The dog is NEVER allowed to pick up the flier without permission, even when standing over it. We'd do other drills with piles of live birds, handling the dog right to the pile, then casting it off to a different pile. That's control.
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Postby crackerd » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:24 am

That's pressure :wink: Ran an out-of-order quad last week with the flyer first bird down and then a double-blind before picking up the marks, one blind off the back of the flyer station, the second through AOF. Lord have mercy, the dog wanted out of its skin in the worst way.

This diversion bird deal, it's control too, but can be nipped when a dog's still in puppyhood with good obedience. And early repetition.

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Postby parshal » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:41 am

This dog in question has no problem on land and no problem with bumpers. It's live ducks in the water. Coming back with a duck if another is thrown or seen flapping on the water he'll drop the duck in his mouth and go for the other one. I figured it was easy enough to fix but wanted to know if there were other suggested ways.

There's actually a few places this can happen in a NAVHDA test although it is uncommon as mentioned above. One, it can happen in the INV shackled duck given how many ducks are left in the water by the second day. It can happen in the duck search but it's not likely. It can also happen on land where a dog retrieving or headed for a retrieve runs into another bird. Some dogs will point the second bird with the retrieve in their mouth. Some will try to retrieve the second bird as if it were the bird they were sent to retrieve. That's just a bad situation and I hope to never be in it. It will just be my luck that if I don't try to fix it I'll run into one of these situations.

Thanks!
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:26 pm

There is NO excuse EVER for a dog to DROP a bird it's carrying and go for another bird. When he does, it's NO, FETCH! and a strong nick with the collar. Tempt him incessantly if it's a problem. When he's on the way in with a bumper throw a bird three feet off to his left and command here. When he'll swim past that without a problem, close the distance until you can throw than live bird directly in his path and he'll complete the bumper retrieve, ignoring the duck. Don't let him then have the duck. Put him away. Train for the rediculous, the trials come easy.
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Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:53 pm

That's pressure Ran an out-of-order quad last week with the flyer first bird down and then a double-blind before picking up the marks, one blind off the back of the flyer station, the second through AOF. Lord have mercy, the dog wanted out of its skin in the worst way.


Field trial, huh? That test is a good example of where things have gone... over the top! I rationalize doing the hunt tests (pointing breed and retriever breed) because they require you to get your dog to a level that one would expect of an exceptional hunting dog... and because it gets you outside with your dog 3-4 days per week, year around. To go to the next level would drive me insane (but it's sure fun to watch others do it though).
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:34 am

Bruce Schwartz wrote:Field trial, huh? That test is a good example of where things have gone... over the top! I rationalize doing the hunt tests (pointing breed and retriever breed) because they require you to get your dog to a level that one would expect of an exceptional hunting dog... and because it gets you outside with your dog 3-4 days per week, year around. To go to the next level would drive me insane (but it's sure fun to watch others do it though).


There's a big diffeence in competing against a standard and cometing against anothe dog where "There can be only one". You have to have a way of separating the dogs. They are super dogs, the greatest ever bred. It takes very tough testing and talented training to separate them.
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Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:56 pm

A friend said that the current NAFC and NFC are both females. I figure that ought to dispel myths about males being easier/better to train.
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Postby Rick Hall » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:27 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:There is NO excuse EVER for a dog to DROP a bird it's carrying and go for another bird.


Fwiw, though I won't allow a switch to a dead bird or badly disabled cripple, I've always let my guys switch to escaping cripples. Wouldn't want to guess how many lost birds that practice may have saved us, could be a bunch, could be none, but I am confident in saying it has saved us a great deal of hunting time over not switching and having harder/longer hunts for the escaping birds. And time without deterrents to tolling new birds is an important commodity in the business of filling game straps.

Would also be at a loss to guess how many such switches we've seen, but my waterfowl hunters' annual take has been bouncing around the 1,000 bird mark for over twenty seasons, so it's safe to say there have been quite a few. And, to date, switching has cost us exactly one bird. Chien was the dog, the bird was a specklebelly, the place was flooded plowed ground on the Black farm, and it's been some ten years past. I don't recall many individual retrieves from over the years, but Chien was on his way back from hunting down a long fall that moved on him, when what we'd thought a badly goobered speck got up from where it was laid out in the decoys (trying to hide?) and caught some air. Chien dropped his first bird, made a long, successful chase on the second, and never was able to relocate the first. Which none of us locked into the chase had the presence of mind to watch slip off. My bad.

What we do more often see when one lively crip is dropped for another is a bit of a comedy act with a young dog running back and forth between the two. But that's why God made whistles.
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:08 pm

Rick; It would be my understanding we're more discussing training than actual practice. What a dog does in training is one thing. What it does in a practical hunting situation is another. You also have to remember that many people don't hunt in the type of water you do. If a dog is coming in in a river of large lake and drop's a bird, which may or may not be a cripple, there's a chance that bird will be lost. There are many more situations in which if a dog drops a bird and switches the original bird may be lost. Many field trial rules were originated to minimize loss of birds in hunting circumstances. These rules include the various ways a dog can switch, steadiness, etc. You tend to take a narrower view and seem to assume most people hunt in situations similar to yours. Some do, some don't. Doesn't matter. A dog that switches birds is a poorly trained dog. In a dog's lifetime, it'd be a pretty good bet that a dog that doesn't switch coming or going is going to be a dog that delivers more birds to the handler and loses less. Now, I've had dog's that I could do remote drops with and if when returning with a bird another is shot, can be commanded to drop, then handled to the fresh bird, picking up the original later. That's an entirely different scenario.
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