by M J H
"For marking it is all about the dog having confidence in himself. YOU
saw it go down. YOU know where it is. YOU go find it. Don't look to me
For cold blinds, it is all about the dog having confidence in the Handler. You
didn't see it go down, YOU don't know where it is. I do know where it is,
So, YOU must not think for yourself, but YOU must turn over control to ME
and I will get you there.
Success on TRUE blinds establishes and builds confidence in the dog in
YOUR ability to get him there.
In the transition phase, we start the dogs on pattern blinds, sight blinds,
(etc.) to teach them the mechanics of blinds. But you must understand that
these are NOT really blinds, in that the dog knows the final
destination and as such runs them confidently. From the dog's (and new
handler's) perspective, transitioning to true cold blinds is a quantum
leap. It can be ugly for a period of time, but with care and persistence,
they will catch on quicker than you may think.
Unlike many, I feel it is counterproductive to go back to pattern and
sight blinds to "build confidence or momentum". I feel most trainers
overuse them as a crutch that doesn't really help the dog. I feel it
only serves as a placebo to soothe the handler.
I'd suggest you forget about pattern and sight blinds for a long while.
Set up blinds in as featureless field as you can find. I would run
fairly long blinds and have them planted at the end of the field so as
to build the dogs expectation to look out and run far.
Focus on MOMENTUM & Don't knit pick too much for good lines. Put out 8 or
10 or more bumpers individually scattered across the end of the field.
If Fido starts deviating, let him run. He will run onto a bumper and
have success. Be prepared to follow him out. If you are running a 300
yard blind and have to follow him out 250 yards and get some miscasts,
who cares? FIDO doesn't know he picked up a bumper 50 or 75 yards from
the one you originally wanted.... PRAISE!!! You want Fido to like
Always run multiple blinds as this gives FIDO a chance to improve and
finish on a good note. Gradually start raising your standards and
tightening up your lines, but remember to emphasize MOMENTUM
over precision for a while."