Rational Retriever Training
Initial Line Concepts

Initial Line Concepts

February 19, 2021

In this podcast, we outline a checklist of initial line concepts you can teach your dog while training.  Concepts such as barriers, no-seeum blinds, remote sends, targeting, and diversions from the line.  These concepts are important in running bind retrieves at Master Hunter level and in waterfowl hunting.

Teaching Your Retriever Cross-Wind Water Blinds

Teaching Your Retriever Cross-Wind Water Blinds

July 12, 2020

There are 3 phases to teach your retriever to master cross-wind water blinds:

  1. Lining into the wind
  2. Casting into the wind
  3. Succeeding in a gradient of cross-wind water blinds

 

Your Retriever’s Perspective

Your Retriever’s Perspective

February 8, 2020

Sometimes the human or trainer's perspective may differ from the dog's perspective.

This can result in problems.  In this podcast, we give five examples where the retriever's perspective was very different than the trainer's perspective. 

As you get better and better as a trainer you will think more and more from your dog's perspective...

 

 

Retriever Tune Up Drills

Retriever Tune Up Drills

November 10, 2019

A tune-up drill is a series of land or water blinds run on successive days.

Tune-up drills can be useful for at least 4 reasons:

  1. They get your retriever comfortable with multiple blinds 
  2. They teach your retriever go straight in a blind corridor.
  3. They are useful to teach your retriever advanced blind concepts.
  4. They help you develop as the handler to be proactive and reactive to keep your dog in a tight blind corridor.

 

The Inital Line: Barriers, Bugging, Spot Bowling,  No-Seeums, Lining Bias

The Inital Line: Barriers, Bugging, Spot Bowling, No-Seeums, Lining Bias

October 2, 2019

In this podcast, we discuss training drills for working on lining with confidence.

As a handler you need to "spot bowl" with your retriever's spine, eyes, and nose perfectly focused on a spot in line with the distant blind destination.

Barriers and no-see-um blinds are setups that your retriever should be exposed to in advanced lining.

Bulldogs, Dry Shot Pops, and Other Diversions

Bulldogs, Dry Shot Pops, and Other Diversions

September 14, 2019

Diversions are required at Senior or Master AKC Hunt Tests.

In this podcast, we discuss how diversions can be easy or 

difficult from your retriever's perspective.

Contrasting Marks

Contrasting Marks

August 4, 2019

In this podcast, we look at why contrasting marks can be difficult to untrained retrievers.

A contrasting mark is conceptually very different than a previous mark.  Contrasting marks could be back to back singles in a Junior hunt test, or a memory mark in Senior or Master hunt tests. 

Sometimes a hunt test setup looks like it will be easy.  Yet it turns out to be difficult to inexperienced retrievers due to contrasting marks.

Improving Your Retriever’s Memory Marking

Improving Your Retriever’s Memory Marking

July 7, 2019

In this podcast we discuss how you can improve your pup's memory for multiple marks such as doubles, triples, and quads.  

Here is an example of a simple yard application where the retriever has 6 hand-thrown marks to retrieve from 6 new locations:  Marking Mechanics: 6 Marks

Training Alone Compared To Group Training

Training Alone Compared To Group Training

May 5, 2019

In this podcast, we discuss advantages of training your retriever alone, just you and your dog and training with a group of other trainers.  There are advantages of training alone and there are advantages of training with a group.  Ideally you should balance training alone with group training.

Double Marks and the AKC Senior Hunt Test

Double Marks and the AKC Senior Hunt Test

April 27, 2019

Double marks and the Senior Hunt Test are a big step from single marks and the Junior Hunt test.  No longer do you "turn him loose and see what happens".  Now you as the at-the line handler you need to develop a marking routine that 1) prevents head-swinging, 2) prevents switching, and 3) help pup focus on each mark and properly align and cue pup on that memory mark.

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