Daisy's "target testing behavior"
Daisy's "former testing behavior"
If a testing dog is "wild" when going to
It's all about expectations.
Quite some time
ago, a couple of statements from one of Mike Lardy's articles in The
Journal (Jan/Feb 1999) struck home. They
convinced me to change and be more consistent.
"It is my experience that most problems stem from a lack of
high and consistent standards."
The Retriever Journal.....Mike Lardy
"If a trial or test problem
does develop, your best bet is to quit running
competitions altogether for
quite some period. You'll want to
completely eliminate the problem and have new ingrained
habits before you run your dog at a trial of hunt test."
The Retriever Journal.....Mike Lardy
My issues were defining the "quite some
period" and changing my approach to training. Daisy
spent over a year (no tests) "ingraining new
habits". The progress was painfully incremental.
Awareness proved to be real "pain in the
behind".....for both of us. We both needed to adjust.
Here's what helped to "turn the corner" for
Daisy after deciding to NOT run tests until new "stuff"
became "ingrained" She did not run in any tests
after May, 2009 until August of 2010. In her
case, this seemed to fit the bill for
competitions altogether for quite some period.
My other three dogs ran the same routines which have proven to be effective
with the exception
of Kooly's penchant for vocalization at the line...when least
desirable. Several other expectations
added to the 24/7 mode. My youngest seems to have benefited the
most because Gunny
received a steady diet of the
correct expectations dealing with going from the van to the line.
Remaining quiet, being cool, expressing calmness and being
aware must become expectations.
This only happens when they become the
primary focus of every activity.
Responsiveness is the key.
Teaching Daisy to learn how
to deal with adrenalin was a critical component of training.
The Hide Steady
Routine (Link) and
The Kwick Long
Wait Drill (Link)
The following video is a
short excerpt from a two dog, Kwick Long Wait Drill.
If you listen carefully, the "Gunz Up" CD can be heard in the
It is an example of what to do in training so as to "ingrain" new expectations.
& Kate - The Long Wait Drill (Link)
Training setups were altered often enough to keep
Daisy wondering what's next?
addition, behavior was kept at a high
standard. Daisy functions with this mindset,
"Whenever you are ready.......I'm
This keeps the handler (me) in charge and her responsive.
The total package becomes empowering for the trainer.
insightful, free video link
My High Drive Dog Will Never Settle and Be Calm,
What Can I Do? by Michael Ellis
(copywrite - 2011)
"more quotes to ponder"
trainer and friend one day made this very significant comment,
"If you aren't
duplicating the issue in training....you aren't trying hard enough."
On another day in that same time-frame he "mentioned"
"It's not the dog."
More recently, a pro trainer on RTF stated,
your dog is perfect in
training but not at tests."
"The Significant Conclusion"
Wouldn't it be a lot easier (proactive) to show a pup how to relax
in the "heat of battle" from the very beginning?
update: Daisy passed three
straight HRC Seasoned Hunt Tests for an HR title in late August
However, the third test was on the end of a back to back and hints of old
began to surface. Well spaced out tests will be the maintenance solution.
This may not seem like that big of a deal, but if you'd seen her a year
Seasoned, it was a huge turn around. I still have nightmares about
update: In 2011-2 we ran zero hunt tests.
Justifying the expense of running tests and why? were the issues.
This summer (2013), we may be running HRC Finished.