Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

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Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby Densa44 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:33 pm

Well it has been so good to hear from other old retriever guys that I thought that I'd post this tip. Feel free to improve on it. IMO to succeed at the duck search the dog has a way better chance if she knows what a blind is and has practiced it a lot. I can't use water and set up a lesson very easily but I take the dog out with me every day, and she needs way more exercise than a 75 year old man does, at least this one. So... I began bringing dummies with me (3) and as she hunted ahead of me I'd drop dummies behind me on the path. When I dropped the last one, number 3 I'd call her in, turn her around, I was trying to teach her "handling" at the start line, so she could do it without drawing any unwanted attention from the judges. I let her sit for a few seconds to catch her breath and spot the #3 dummy. I put my hand down and say "back" I know that I should use her name, but old habits die hard. Now, as soon as my hand goes down she takes off. When she gets to the #3 dummy she can see #2, and she usually gives it a long look. I make sure that they are far enough apart so that she isn't tempted to bring two or switch, for her it is about 60 M. When she gets back, sitting to deliver on which ever side that I choose, I drop the dummy, every time! When I told this to the greatest PP breeder (who asked me how I was training) he exclaimed "You are making it fun!" yes he is right. Now when she retrieves a dummy or bird, if I drop it it barely hits the ground before she is handing it back to me.
When I move to the water, I'll put some dead birds in the marsh and give her a mark in the same area, and when she retrieves the mark, she is keen to go again for the rest of the ducks.
I should admit that all my UT dogs had an Alberta duck season prior to the test, the limit is 8 birds and possession of 24 . We go a few days after the opening and often get 24 birds, every time we go.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby sns2 » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:50 pm

And the winding creek you had right next door was a duck dog's dream. Hunting there with Nick that day was more fun than a barrel of monkeys and a winning bingo card!
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby Densa44 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:13 pm

I will admit that Alberta has lots of great places to both hunt and train. You should be telling us about that new dog that you have.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby SMAbby » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:39 am

That is how I always taught duck searches.......well... after my first dog.
I dont use a kayak most of the time. The water I use I can walk in about just below my chest. I place a white pvc pole out in the water and sprinkle ducks/bumpers all over the place.
Once they are getting the idea I mover the pipe tot he other side and sprinkle ducks even further apart. Always making sure I have way more than I need.

I like this way because I use ear pinch and if I need to get after the dog, I can without a kayak.

and then when it turns to search behind duck, send dog down wind, they hit the scent and the game is on!
VC Max vom Schutzenknapp VJP 75, HZP190, VGP 303 PI 4H Nose, NA 112, UT 204 Invite 196
Baja vom Wamsbach VJP 64, HZP 169, NA 112
Anka vom Loofkamp VJP 66, HZP 139,HZP 172, NA 112
Krystal Creeks Untamed Spirit ( Abby) NA 93 Prize III UT 200 Prize II
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby jlw034 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:30 pm

I caught a bit of grief from the duck search "purists", but I did sight blinds for my training. Used a 1 gallon white orange juice container as the mark, and gradually moved it across the land, then water, always with ducks around it. Once dog is reliably on the other side, start spacing ducks over the far bank. Duck only 'on' the bank at the very beginning, then ducks are placed in the water/weeds in a way the dog hopefully winds before exiting the water. Bank running is not helpful, even on the far side.

This made the transition to the invitation blind quite easy.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:48 pm

jlw034 wrote:I caught a bit of grief from the duck search "purists", but I did sight blinds for my training. Used a 1 gallon white orange juice container as the mark, and gradually moved it across the land, then water, always with ducks around it. Once dog is reliably on the other side, start spacing ducks over the far bank. Duck only 'on' the bank at the very beginning, then ducks are placed in the water/weeds in a way the dog hopefully winds before exiting the water. Bank running is not helpful, even on the far side.

This made the transition to the invitation blind quite easy.


That's what I do. Dog learns to take a straight line and search when it gets there. Which is really useful when actually hunting. I refuse to train a dog in ways contrary to what I find useful while hunting.

I should clarify. When I move to water I never put my ducks on the far bank. Rather I place them in a prominent piece of cover in the water near the bank. At that stage I do not want my dog going on the bank and I condition them the duck is always in the cover in the water.

If a live duck scent trail pulls the dog onto the bank, fine, but I don't ever place my dead or live ducks there.

Later, after running the UT, I will add blinds and marks which require crossing water and getting out on the bank. By placing my dead ducks at prominent features in the water it teaches the dog to focus on them when I line them up for the send and then take a straight line to them. When they do not find a duck there the conditioned response is to go look at the next closet prominent feature.

Yielding a dog which takes a straight line on the send, looks there and expands as needed. I salt the area with multiple spread out dead ducks when training so the dog never fails to find a duck for its efforts.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby SMAbby » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:12 am

Same, I think it is a ton easier and makes sense tot he dog.
VC Max vom Schutzenknapp VJP 75, HZP190, VGP 303 PI 4H Nose, NA 112, UT 204 Invite 196
Baja vom Wamsbach VJP 64, HZP 169, NA 112
Anka vom Loofkamp VJP 66, HZP 139,HZP 172, NA 112
Krystal Creeks Untamed Spirit ( Abby) NA 93 Prize III UT 200 Prize II
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby orhunter » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:17 am

A dog won't do well at the Invitational if it can't take an extended (way out there) straight line.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby crackerd » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:44 am

Y'all are improvising nicely with your sight blinds - and truth of the matter is, sight blinds can be a part of even a retriever FC's training routine.

The only hitch in moving from the duck search to the straight line (no factors or hazards) blind at the Invitational is differentiating or delineating a command that means blind retrieve ("Back!") and the other that means search ("Search!"). As Densa and perhaps AverageGuy know, a blind retrieve for retrievers is cued by the handler alerting the dog of what's to come by saying "Dead bird...dead bird" even while they are in the holding blind. This enables the dog to focus as it's going to and gets to the line and is aligned by the handler with the blind destination dead ahead.

Once that positioning is good, the "Back!" command is given (too often it's "barked" out by the handler, which can cause a dog to flare and get offline with its first move, but that's another story). If I were training for the duck search today with the intention of running an HPR/versatile in retriever Master Hunt tests once its NAVHDA career had culminated with passing the Invitational, I think I would use the "dead bird" cue while in the holding blind and on the way to the line, then "Search!" as my send command after the dry pop from the line is made to alert the dog that it is meant to locate a crippled duck instead of a dead duck at a predetermined and known (to the handler) location.

In retriever tests, there may be a dry pop in the field after a dog picks up marks ahead of running a blind, but it's never done at the line. The dog can quickly learn the difference between the gunshots at its side and at a distance, and by moving into retriever hunt tests having used sight blinds for NAVHDA (and undergoing the yard work of force to the pile and maybe the single-T and swim-by), your transition can become a whole lot smoother. Still unaware of any V-dogs that have gone on to become AKC Master Hunters since they were allowed into the game 10-12 years ago but maybe they're out there.

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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby jlw034 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:30 pm

crackerd wrote:Y'all are improvising nicely with your sight blinds - and truth of the matter is, sight blinds can be a part of even a retriever FC's training routine.

The only hitch in moving from the duck search to the straight line (no factors or hazards) blind at the Invitational is differentiating or delineating a command that means blind retrieve ("Back!") and the other that means search ("Search!"). As Densa and perhaps AverageGuy know, a blind retrieve for retrievers is cued by the handler alerting the dog of what's to come by saying "Dead bird...dead bird" even while they are in the holding blind. This enables the dog to focus as it's going to and gets to the line and is aligned by the handler with the blind destination dead ahead.

Once that positioning is good, the "Back!" command is given (too often it's "barked" out by the handler, which can cause a dog to flare and get offline with its first move, but that's another story). If I were training for the duck search today with the intention of running an HPR/versatile in retriever Master Hunt tests once its NAVHDA career had culminated with passing the Invitational, I think I would use the "dead bird" cue while in the holding blind and on the way to the line, then "Search!" as my send command after the dry pop from the line is made to alert the dog that it is meant to locate a crippled duck instead of a dead duck at a predetermined and known (to the handler) location.

In retriever tests, there may be a dry pop in the field after a dog picks up marks ahead of running a blind, but it's never done at the line. The dog can quickly learn the difference between the gunshots at its side and at a distance, and by moving into retriever hunt tests having used sight blinds for NAVHDA (and undergoing the yard work of force to the pile and maybe the single-T and swim-by), your transition can become a whole lot smoother. Still unaware of any V-dogs that have gone on to become AKC Master Hunters since they were allowed into the game 10-12 years ago but maybe they're out there.

MG


That's a very interesting insight, thanks for sharing. So many ways to skin these cats. Maybe when I'm 80 I'll have it figured out.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:43 am

Introduced Tess to a live duck yesterday. 10 minutes of long distance yipping and swimming that I have not uploaded.

Gave one to ole Spud in heavy cover after that. Turkey dropped the duck when he shook but I was still happy with him. I should have given him a hard heel when he hit the bank. Training is for corrections and I got one. Was pleased with his search. Had not given him a duck search outside of hunting in over 2 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ryC8sYINcI
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby orhunter » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:56 am

Great video.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:34 pm

orhunter wrote:Great video.


Thank You Harvey.
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby orhunter » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:33 pm

Kent. I might be bringing Spuds mom (The Tater) home to hunt with this winter. Gotta make a decision.....
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Re: Sight blinds and the UT Duck Search.

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:18 pm

orhunter wrote:Kent. I might be bringing Spuds mom (The Tater) home to hunt with this winter. Gotta make a decision.....


That's a no brainer Harvey! An offer you can't refuse! I love that Tater dog. She has put so many nice puppies and wild chukars on the ground.
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