Hand signals and HZP

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Hand signals and HZP

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:59 pm

We are finishing up our HZP training, and retrieving is finally improving. Her search has been fantastic and we are working on moving to new ponds for the blind retrieve.

Recently Vegas has been failing to sit on the return, she holds very well, doesn't drop, and comes within 2 steps. I've got plenty of time for polish, but should she regress at the test, do hand signals, even very crisp clear command by hand signals, still count as commands? Or should I save my commands for a soft verbal sit at the end of the retrieve?

Thanks!
Alinda
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby 3drahthaars » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:15 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:We are finishing up our HZP training, and retrieving is finally improving. Her search has been fantastic and we are working on moving to new ponds for the blind retrieve.

Recently Vegas has been failing to sit on the return, she holds very well, doesn't drop, and comes within 2 steps. I've got plenty of time for polish, but should she regress at the test, do hand signals, even very crisp clear command by hand signals, still count as commands? Or should I save my commands for a soft verbal sit at the end of the retrieve?

Thanks!
Alinda


Alinda,

I've seen this before and my solution is positive reinforcement... use treats to get her to start closing the distance until and after she starts doing it out of habit.

Take a little pressure off, make it fun, because a pup that had a good hunting season last fall sometimes easily becomes bored with the HZP training regimen.

As for the PO... "sit without or with a single soft command"... I train for the automatic sit... use the command when needed. That's all part of handling, i.e. reading the situation, having a fall back, and reacting.

Also, train for both a hand and voice command individually, then overlap them. At the test if you accidentally use them simultaneously it's not a double command... shouldn't be. But, most books I've read say that dogs are more visual than verbal... so, the hand signal probably carries more if not all of the weight.

Good luck,

Bob
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:58 pm

She sits very well by either command, it just isn't as habitual as it was early on. The recall has always been superb, she got props for her recall and sit at VJP, but the send out and picking up of the retrieve has been a significant battle for us the past few months. I suspect she was dropping during the sit, and I negatively reinforced it by correcting immediately. I wish I had video to go back and look. She's not dropping anymore, but she's not sitting either.

I just wanted to know what would be better at HZP so I could make it habitual for ME as well as attempting to perfect her performance.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby TobyTx » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:38 pm

So when do you take the retrieve item of she doesn't sit? I hadI think a similar issue but never took the game until they wereclose enough to me. When I take the item, it ends.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby DrahtsundBraats » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:55 am

First remember that if the dog comes within a step and doesn't sit, you will probably lose 1 point. All the Manner of Retrieve scores are averaged.....so the total deduction at the end of the day will be 1 point.....a 9 instead of a 10. That said, when the retrieve is not polished, things can go south during the test.

An old handlers technique is to take one step back as the dog comes to you and then one step in front of the dog as you give the soft command.

Heed 3ds comment....at this point in the summer, what you are describing is a classic sign of pressure. Find a way to relieve the pressure and see if that works first. BTW, as the dog comes and is within 50 yds, it is acceptable to clap your hands and give a good "Atta girl!!"...in other words, make it fun.

If you have not completed FF, its getting late to put pressure on .... you will have to find another method. Just remember at this point, and if the dog delivers all 5 retrieves as you describe, your deduction will be minimal.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby Georgia Boy » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:17 am

DrahtsundBraats wrote:First remember that if the dog comes within a step and doesn't sit, you will probably lose 1 point. All the Manner of Retrieve scores are averaged.....so the total deduction at the end of the day will be 1 point.....a 9 instead of a 10. That said, when the retrieve is not polished, things can go south during the test.

An old handlers technique is to take one step back as the dog comes to you and then one step in front of the dog as you give the soft command.

Heed 3ds comment....at this point in the summer, what you are describing is a classic sign of pressure. Find a way to relieve the pressure and see if that works first. BTW, as the dog comes and is within 50 yds, it is acceptable to clap your hands and give a good "Atta girl!!"...in other words, make it fun.

If you have not completed FF, its getting late to put pressure on .... you will have to find another method. Just remember at this point, and if the dog delivers all 5 retrieves as you describe, your deduction will be minimal.

All good advice but a couple things worth mentioning are, many judges interpret things differently so it's best to ask ahead of time and know what they deem acceptable as far as praising a dog during retrieves. Praise is considered acceptable if the dog is not missed behaving, which means has the game in its mouth and is returning to you. If you "praise" it under any other circumstance expect your score to drop
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby largefrag » Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:34 pm

Also, at theist judge Continuing education it was explained that a soft sit command and a simultaneous hand signal are considered one command and not two so you should not be penalized if you do both but as others have said before, always discuss with your judging team beforehand.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby 3drahthaars » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:38 pm

Georgia Boy wrote:
DrahtsundBraats wrote:First remember that if the dog comes within a step and doesn't sit, you will probably lose 1 point. All the Manner of Retrieve scores are averaged.....so the total deduction at the end of the day will be 1 point.....a 9 instead of a 10. That said, when the retrieve is not polished, things can go south during the test.

An old handlers technique is to take one step back as the dog comes to you and then one step in front of the dog as you give the soft command.

Heed 3ds comment....at this point in the summer, what you are describing is a classic sign of pressure. Find a way to relieve the pressure and see if that works first. BTW, as the dog comes and is within 50 yds, it is acceptable to clap your hands and give a good "Atta girl!!"...in other words, make it fun.

If you have not completed FF, its getting late to put pressure on .... you will have to find another method. Just remember at this point, and if the dog delivers all 5 retrieves as you describe, your deduction will be minimal.

All good advice but a couple things worth mentioning are, many judges interpret things differently so it's best to ask ahead of time and know what they deem acceptable as far as praising a dog during retrieves. Praise is considered acceptable if the dog is not missed behaving, which means has the game in its mouth and is returning to you. If you "praise" it under any other circumstance expect your score to drop


Very good point... there are the Draconians, and then there are the hunter/judges. The HZP is evaluating pups of various levels of maturity. On my watch, once a pup is in sight and returning enthusiastically, he can be praised. As a judge, I will explain before the evaluation that you are OK to praise until I say "handler, that is enough...".

The handler and pup get every benefit of the doubt, but when I've said "enough" I've seen something that I don't want influenced by praise or a command.

It is a valuable lesson that I learned from the senior judge when I ran my second HZP. In fact, the judge commented that he thought my pup's name was "Good Boy". In reality, that pup bolted on the returns, almost ran through a judge and skidded 10 feet to a sit without a command on his final retrieve... He was SOLID! In general, most of the guys I've judge with have no issue with the praise as I've described.

However, there are the judges who do, and like GB says, you want to check first. Although, it's the judging team's responsibility to explain before the test what their expectations are, especially for those OB subjects like manner of retrieve where handling is concerned.

I think you'll be fine.

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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby vom Dufenshmirtz » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:48 am

Very informative wrt commands.
I am training for my first HZP too and what I'd do if I were you (OP), I'd go back a step or two.
I am sure you're familiar with DDD - distraction, duration, distance.
I'd go back to the yard (I assume you started in the yard) and work on all elements first separately and then together. I expect this should solve the problem in the yard, then move gradually to other location, first with minimal distractions.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby Deuce » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:25 am

Another thing to consider, while you haven't had any drop issues. If you're waiting on the sit in the test and it isn't coming/you're worried about the dog dropping it, just take the game.

IMO, the ding on the sit is worth it to avoid the bigger ding on the drop. Not that you want to enforce that habit in training, but in the test it's something to remember.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:52 am

Well training day went very well, so maybe I'm doing better than I thought.

She did drop the last duck on my toes, but it was after an exhausting search through lily pads and I gave her a pass on that one.

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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby CohanseyDD » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:37 am

Glad the training is progressing. Do not let that dog fool you though into thinking she dropped it because she was tired after a long search. I watched one from my kennel do a search and retrieve of duck from about 500 yards out. Brought it the whole way and dropped it at the handler's feet. If he didn't put it down on the way in from being tired, he shouldn't have dropped it when he got there. Same for your dog. FF isn't complete in my opinion.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby Chadwick » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:54 am

CohanseyDD wrote: Do not let that dog fool you though into thinking she dropped it because she was tired after a long search. I watched one from my kennel do a search and retrieve of duck from about 500 yards out. Brought it the whole way and dropped it at the handler's feet. If he didn't put it down on the way in from being tired, he shouldn't have dropped it when he got there. Same for your dog. FF isn't complete in my opinion.


If a dog retrieves an object all the way back and drops it at the handler's feet that is a very good sign. Many people get frustrated if their dog brings the retrieve object back and drops it at their feet. The dog just completed 99% of what was asked and then willingly relinquished the object to the handler. The dog should be praised. Then in a separate training session work the dog on the last 1% to get the polished delivery.

What I typically see when the drop occurs is the person will pick the object up, stick it in the dog's mouth, tell it to hold, maybe give it a few chin pops if the hold is not perfect, etc. The handler is doing an excellent job of teaching their dog to not get within reach of them. The handler just discounted the well executed 99% in favor of dealing with the 1%.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby CohanseyDD » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:55 am

Chadwick,
While I agree that a good portion of the retrieve was completed correctly, under the JGHV testing system her dog will be evaluated in...it isn't that simple. Imagine the scenario she just presented and the dog returns from a duck search with a live duck...which often happens. The dog shows some resistance to deliver...just like what was explained...and releases the live duck at her feet? This dog will fail the entire test because a live duck was not held, which could have allowed the live duck's escape.
The fact that the dog brought the object in and did not resist giving it up in any way IS a good sign. However, I hear way too many times that the only reason a dog dropped game at the handler's feet is that it was tired from the search, drag, etc. I'm not saying that is what Alinda is saying happened here, but it happens often...which glosses over the fact the dog is not done with FF.
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Re: Hand signals and HZP

Postby vom Dufenshmirtz » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:59 am

What I typically see when the drop occurs is the person will pick the object up, stick it in the dog's mouth, tell it to hold, maybe give it a few chin pops if the hold is not perfect, etc. The handler is doing an excellent job of teaching their dog to not get within reach of them. The handler just discounted the well executed 99% in favor of dealing with the 1%.


This is highly debatable 8)
If the dog comes with a retrieve (in training) and the handler continuously praises the dog, while it's performing correctly, the dog knows it's doing well. The moment the dog drops the object, the praise stops, depending on the dog's temperament and the training approach and the dog's level of training one of the following can be done:
- command the dog to fetch or hold,
- put the object in the dog's mouth either silently or with 'fetch/hold', apply pressure if you're so inclined
- walk away and the dog will, more often than not, pick up the object to carry with him

the moment dog picks up, praising resumes and the handler insists on a complete delivery.
So "99%" is never neglected/discounted and dog understands the complete sequence.
Anyway, just my newbie thoughts... :idea:
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