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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i wanted to pick your brains for training exercises i can use to improve coal's memory. He's getting there with distance and time on the single memory retrieves.
But the problem comes with multiple dummies. If you put 2 out, he some times seems to struggle to remember there is a second one out there. Just after any exercises that will help improve this :)
i've got some from my trainer but be useful to hear any more :)
variety is the spice of life and all that lol thanks
 

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My guess is that maybe he needs more practice on blinds?

What I mean is - do single memories in the same place, and after a few memories do a blind - in exactly the same place - builds up his trust that if you send him there will be something there.

Then, hopefully, doing multiple memories might work because he gets one and then you send him for the next.

or I might be off at a tangent and this isn't what you wanted! :wink: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i'm doing that sort of thing but wondered if i need to be doing something to improve the marking of multiple thrown dummies. He seems to get blinkered to just one. If that makes sense?
 

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I think dogs can struggle with remembering. All can remember one, most have no trouble with two, three starts to get more difficult and four reallt takes practise to build the memory.

But time is as hard as quantity. For time, after I've finished training proper I'll set her up, put a memory out and then go for a little walk. When we return, probably 20 minutes later I'll send her for the memory. (Anna used to get well round the walk then dissappear, to arrive back a few minutes later with the dummy. (You forgot that one dad!")

For numbers, I use a line of dummies spread across in front. Dont rush it, start with two and dont move up to three until he's remembering two on MOST occasions. Don't worry if he occasionally gets it wrong, he's not a machine, but if it's working most times then start to move up to three dummies. Help him by working into the prevailing draft so the scent is wafting back to him. Whistle him back as soon as he picks a dummy to avoid the risk of swapping. Remember, when he starts trying to remember three, two will be easy!

Regards, John
 

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As in all training, I believe that if you increase difficulty on one side, you have to decrease difficulty on another.
F.e.: If you train a sit (& stay) in the garden with no distractions you might let him sit for 1 minute. If you do the same in a field with a bit of distraction, you only let him sit 15 seconds. Just to make sure he has a high chance of success.

Likewise with retrieving. When I go from one dummy to two, the distance is decreased a lot for the first tries until I'm confident he will have success and we can move on.

An exercise I use to introduce multiple dummies without possibility to switch is this one:

I sit my dog next to me at point A. This point A is the starting point of the exercise. I walk him to point B, drop a dummy, turn around (dog between you and dummy!) and walk back to point A. The distance is only 10 to 15 meters (I have no idea how much this is in feet) so really really short. I line my dog up next to me and send him to point B for the retrieve. When he comes back to me I take the dummy, ask him to heel again and turn around 90 degrees and walk the same distance to point C where I will also drop a dummy, turn around and walk back to point A. I then send my dog to point C to retrieve the dummy. If the basics are there, this will go without a problem. However, make sure that point B is on the left from point C. So in an L-shape, point A would be the bottom left angle, point B would be the top and point C would be the right. Never the other way around!
I will practice this a few times so the dog knows both places. Then I would move on. Place myself and the dog at point A, walk to point B, throw a dummy, turn around and walk back to point A. Then, walk to point C, throw a dummy, turn around and walk back to point A. Never walk from point B to point C.
Then I line him up towards point B and send him for the dummy. The reason why point B should be the top of the L-shape is that when he walks to heel on your left, the logical dummy for him is the one in point B, not the one in point C as he than needs to go around you. When he is succesful, take the dummy, line him up towards point C and send him for the retrieve. If you hesitate it is possible to do this exercise on the outside of the corner of a fence.
Once it is well ingrained, you can built up the distances on both sides or you can go to another part of the field or another field and try it again.

I have tried John's exercise but I have found that if you put both dummies too far apart a young dog lingers in the area he found the first dummy in and won't go further. Whereas if you put them too close together he might start to swap or starts hunting with a dummy in his mouth because he picks up the scent from the second dummy after he has taken the first.
I'm not saying the exercise doesn't work, just that it doesn't work for me. And in the end, you have to figure out from all the possibilities handed to you which one suits you and your dog best.

Also, I do something similar to what John does. Once I a dog is learning steadiness I put out a dummy on my way to the training field on a field where I have possibility to send the dog 50-60 meters (again, not sure of the distance in yards or feet). I stop at the start of the line, walk my dog until the end of the field, throw a dummy, turn around and walk back to the starting position. Always in a straight line, I don't go across the field in a diagonal to save time, always straight.
Then I move on to the training field and do my training. When I come back from training my dog will be free running (although they usually stay very close to me) and I will stop at the start of the field and walk in a straight line to the point I have dropped the dummy. Meanwhile I keep an eye on the free-running puppy to see if he remembers this dummy at all. If he does, I let him hunt for it, and call him in when he has picked it. When he doesn't remember, I'll call him back to heel and from a disctance of 5 to 10 meters I will line him up and send him for it. Because of the short distance they normally will be in the area and have found the dummy (as I put it out in very short grass or on a dirt surface) before they realize they have no idea what to do.
I do this a few times and built up the distance to the beginning of the field very gradually. Because of the time between the moment I've put out the dummy and the time he retrieves it, it builts memory very well. Also, since your training sessions are very short in the beginning and gradually increase in time as you move on, the memory will be longer and longer while the exercise stays the same.

Regards

Dave


Regards

Dave
 

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I think you often have to get an idea firmly ingrained into a dogs mind before progressing onto levels of complexity. So to start with you give really easy multiples, just to get the dogs to understand the concept. Try not to up the levels of complexity until the dog is telling you in its actions that it really understands what you are trying to do.

I'm always looking for a dog to go out on a mutliple, a memory or a blind with the same pace and drive that I would expect on a single mark. That tells me that its ready to take a slightly more complex set up.
 

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10 to 15 meters (I have no idea how much this is in feet)
Dont worry Dave, these "Bright young things" all understand the metric system, it's just the old "Wrinklies" like me that have trouble. :wink:

1 yard = 3 feet or 36 inches

1 meter = 39 inches

So effectively 1 meter is about 75mm over a yard. (or near enough the same thing when talking about retrieve distances.)

But when I talk about the old measurments the young's eyes glaze over.

1 Rod (Perch or Pole are the same thing) = 5.5 yards

4 Rods = 1 chain (or the length of a cricket pitch)

10 chains = one furlong

80 chains = 1 mile

An area of 10 chains by 10 chains = 1 acre

But of course, if you live in Scotland it's all different! an English acre was 4,840 square yards, but in Scotland it was 6,150 square yards and in Ireland 7,840 square yards. (Was it any wonder I was confused at school?)

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dave79 said:
I have tried John's exercise but I have found that if you put both dummies too far apart a young dog lingers in the area he found the first dummy in and won't go further. Whereas if you put them too close together he might start to swap or starts hunting with a dummy in his mouth because he picks up the scent from the second dummy after he has taken the first.
This exercise works well with Finn but not with Coal as if they are 2 close he will try and bring both back.

Thanks for your 'L' shape exercise, Dave. will certainly be trying that one. You explained it well and think that will work well for Coal.

Thanks to everyone else too... some great tips.

John - lol at the list of all the measurements... you sparked quite a discussion in the office! :lol:
 

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Please may I ask, how important is it that dog's remember where multiple marks are, as long as the handler remembers (and any tips for how the handlers can improve their memory of where dummies fall please?!) as if the handler remembers, they can point the dog in the right direction and then handle them onto the area, can't they? Or is that not what's supposed to happen? I think I've got in a muddle again (!) as I was thinking that maybe, in some respects, it's easier if the dog doesn't remember where all the dummies have fallen otherwise they may be more drawn to retrieving the one that you don't want, or swopping, or other things that loose marks. And if the dummy that you are sending the dog to isn't the last one thrown, do you then treat it as a blind every time?

Am I being Miss 'missed-the-point-once-again' here?! :oops:

Becs and The Gang

(Sorry Sam for butting in. :oops:)
 

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This is the whole point Becs. I have a job even remembering where to collect my pension. If my dog cant remember where the birds are I'm in deep cleggy stuff!

In fact, a double marked retrieve is quite common in working tests.

Regards, John
 

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JohnW said:
This is the whole point Becs. I have a job even remembering where to collect my pension. If my dog cant remember where the birds are I'm in deep cleggy stuff!
:lol: So, with a double mark, would you line the dogs up to both dummies in turn in whatever order you want them retrieved, and send them out to both of them with 'back' rather than by name, treating them as blinds rather than marks, or would you just have the dog sat and facing the right way and sent by name as a mark? Or does it depend on the distance, or how different the directions of the dummies are to one another, or whether you are sure that your dog marked both dummies or not (or whether the handler can remember where the dummies are!)

Becs and The Gang
 

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John,

I can remember something similar in the way of expressing distance, however I can't remember something similar for counting.
I can't explain the first part though as I'm too young and it has not been used since ages.

Becs,

It all depends on what the purpose of the exercise is, the distance between both marks, etc... F.e. a double mark, one behind you and one in front of you and the last mark needs to be retrieved first. I would just send the dog by name on the first one. Once back, line him up for the second one and send with a 'back' command. If the first one thrown is the first one to be retrieved I would line the dog up for both of them and use the 'back' command.
For me the difference between a mark and a memory is the action you take inbetween. If there is no action inbetween the fall and the retrieve (so dog is always focused on the dummy, you don't turn or walk or retrieve another dummy) I send a dog by name. If there is an action inbetween (whatever that may be) I line the dog up and send with a 'back' command.

Regards

Dave
 

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Thanks Dave, that's sort of what I thought, but your explanation has made it much clearer in my muddled head!

Becs and The Gang
 

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This exercise works well with Finn but not with Coal as if they are 2 close he will try and bring both back
Sam, just to add Basil tried this the first time I put out 2 dummies close together....and I had started out with them wide gradually bringing them in.
It's not very gundoggy but I think you mentioned Coal was clicker trained?
What I did with Basil was put 2 other items out (not dummies, I think I just used 2 toys). I then ignored the attempt to retrieve both and used our nil reward word (for us it's 'try again') and then clicked when he brought only the one i'd asked for back.
I found the penny dropped instantly and i could then ditch the clicker and do the same exercise straight off with dummies.
I'm sure he just thought he was being clever/ helpful trying to bring both back :roll:
 
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