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Understanding "challenging the blind"

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by jwcbf, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. jwcbf

    jwcbf Elite Refuge Member

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    Hey Folks,

    I had a discussion with a Judge while helping set-up for our test this weekend and he brought up challenging the blind and what he expected to see. My understanding of his direction is one should not give a literal cast toward the blind when if the dog deviated from the line, but give an over to the line.... whistle sit.. and then a back... and repeat (if neccessary). I thought to myself that I must be misunderstanding him and asked questions for clarification but I guess I understood him correctly. I then had a club member (With a MH who has been doing this for 20 plus years) discuss it with me after I ran because I did not do as he suggested. I have drawn what I did with what he suggested (on the right) for clarification. Now I was purposely a little late with my whistles because I wanted to keep them down but all and all, he two whistled a 80 yard water blind with a diversion shot on the way out (and a bull dog on the way back).

    Am I yet again missing something here?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Lab Man

    Lab Man Moderator Moderator

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    I am curious, did you pass that portion of the test? If I was a judge I would be more inclined to be happier with your blind retrieve as there were less stops and casts to the blind, but I have never judged before so I will be curious to see responses from people that have previously judged. Was this a AKC or HRC or NARHA? Was this a intermediate or finished test?
     
  3. EvanG

    EvanG Elite Refuge Member

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    If your scale is correct, I wouldn't like either blind because both dogs are much too far off line - especially on a blind only 80 yards long. But, on the basis of comparative merit, I like the blind on the left because each cast improved the dog's relationship to the fall.

    I don't think a judge has a leg to stand on in asserting that an out dated "over & back" style handling is the only one acceptable. That is not only bogus reasoning, but has nothing to do with challenging the blind.

    To challenge the blind you should keep your dog on line (which you did not do thinking to save whistles). But it's even more important to challenge the factors in the blind, rather than to allow the dog to run around them, and to keep the dog on line, thereby challenging the route the judeges established.

    As I see the diagrams, and read your explanation, both you and the judges are in error here. I would also have given literal casts. But I would have handled much sooner, even if I ended up give a couple more casts to keep the dog on line. That is part of challenging the blind.

    EvanG
     
  4. jwcbf

    jwcbf Elite Refuge Member

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    This was an AKC senior test. The drawing is not to scale. My dog took a good initial line but started to veer to the left? I stopped him? gave him a literal cast? he took it very well. He then veered right at the very end squaring the shore? I let him. He then took a cast to the bird. There was a cross wind and the bird was past and behind a winger station. I did not see all the dogs run (maybe 20/30) because I was bouncing from stake to stake? but IMHO it was one of the best blinds run that day.

    Last weekend he started to pop on the memory bird. I believe because I was out of balance (doing too many handling drills). I gave him a day off then some simple singles. We followed that up with some doubles to regain confidence during the week? and NO handling. My thinking was to keep the whistles down? especially when I saw how others were doing.

    I see the other Judge at our training grounds and was going to follow up with him as well.
    JW
     
  5. Misty Marsh

    Misty Marsh Elite Refuge Member

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    I'd take the diagram on the left 100% of the time! Don't know the distance off line we are talking about in the test itself, but I wouldn't handle 90 degrees to the line, then 180 to the blind. Sure it's about handling, but it's also about progressing to the destination/ bird challenging the line not stepping on every imaginary line on the straight line there.
     
  6. jwcbf

    jwcbf Elite Refuge Member

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    I just wanted to add a note to my thinking... In keeping the whistles down. The last thing he did on these grounds (6 days before) was pop on the memory bird. They ran this blind before the marks. The marks were very long.. for water. Each dog took 20 minutes to run.

    JW
     
  7. rbr

    rbr Elite Refuge Member

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    For the most part on an 80 yard land blind a left or right over indicates that you are already in trouble. I don't agree with the judge at all about using literal angled casts. By the time a dog (and you) are at the MH level knowing the cast that you read appropriate should keep you in the game. On the other hand a silent back cast toward the side he has deviated from (or a no hands back) could adjust the dog's line enough. It's situational.


    Bert
     
  8. rbr

    rbr Elite Refuge Member

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    Also keep in mind,"challangeing the blind" does not mean worrying about a whistle count. It means keeping your dog as close a reasonable to a straight line from your side to the bird.

    Bert
     
  9. RF2

    RF2 Senior Refuge Member

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    This is challenging the blind.

    Good explanation EG, just wanted to emphasize your point. :tu
     
  10. straightline

    straightline Senior Refuge Member

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    Exactly. Every judge I've run under would rather you have a few extra whistles as opposed to getting off line and ping ponging with literal cast to the blind.
     

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