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Discussion Starter #1
I really want to steady Bracken up. Now that I've seen what a joy it is to have a dog that came ready-made steady (thanks Jill!!) it's doing my head in having Bracken being so un-steady!

She'll sit fine while I lob dummies around and over her, and she'll leave a dummy if I'm heeling her back for a memory. When it comes to marked retrieves, she isn't steady at all.

It's as though she views the steadiness exercise of dummies being thrown around her as different from the real thing.

How do I integrate the two?
 

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Retrieve them yourself! :lol:

Seriously, the way to steady up on marks is to not let her believe every one, or even most, are hers. Also be careful of her viewing Boots as competition, because that will destroy any steadiness you ever had!

Regards, John
 

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Fully agree with John - and it keeps you fit too :lol: Don't need a gym membership when you're doing gundog training :wink: :wink:

Natasha
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ah, ok. I think I perhaps see the error of my ways. I've been working on trying to get her running straight out and back (she was tending to arc back) and I've probably given her too many retrieves in doing so.
 

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Do you know, I never even realised that was something I was doing right! With Tau, something I do an awful lot is chuck stuff around her, pick it all up myself, and then have a blind ready for her to retrieve, or finish and let her run in for retrieves.
 

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In addition to picking them by hand, have someone throw for you (as if you are throwing them they are memories rather than marks by the time you are back to her and have sent her, and so will give you a false sense of her steadiness when someone actually chucks one for you! ;-) ) and keep her lead on. As it hit the ground, heel away. Then sometimes pick by hand, sometimes send her. If you can heel away WITHOUT the lead better still.... then its a little more 'seamless' sending her.

For a unsteady or young dog I'd pick 4 of every 5 that come out by hand, allowing them only a couple of actual retrieves a week.

If you have someone throwing for you, also, you can alternate with them throwing and YOU picking, with them throwing then THEM picking it up, and you heeling her away. Keep them guessing, thats the key, never be predictable ;-)

The truely steady dog is the dog that naturally thinks without great stress 'IS it mine?' As opposed to 'It IS mine'.

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, Bracken thinks everything is for her (unless Pasco is on the scene and then she doesn't bother because he's Linford Christie on 4 legs and she knows it's a wasted trip pitting herself against him :wink:)

I'm thinking I need to get someone roped in to throw for me. I train alone, so all tends to go well when it's just me and her - pootling along, working on memories. I can't always have her off lead, but on a good day, she does really well - is pretty steady (I think memories take the excitement out of it for her....no bangs, brrrrrs etc... so it's all quite low key). Then when I go somewhere were there is opportunity for marks, it all goes t*ts up!

Right, I need to get a proper training plan organised and then go forth!

Thanks all :D
 

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Also when you pick up dont be tempted to just pick the close ones. They very soon get an idea that the close ones may be yours but the longer ones will be his!! Dogs will always find a pattern if there is one!

Regards, John
 
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