JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

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JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Peter Butterfield » Wed 07 Oct 2020 12:08 pm

A new paper on advanced techniques for Judging Blind Find Retrieves has just been added to the RA Resources for Judges archive. Open or Download it as a Pdf here.

Enjoy
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Trevor Stevens » Thu 15 Oct 2020 2:39 pm

Hi Karl
240 views and no opinions on your thesis.
It’s relatively easy to consider these scenarios out of 10 points, but lets look at what we are faced with on the scoresheet.
It allocates 10 points for Style Eagerness and Action, 10 for peg work, and 45 for the retrieve.
I divide the 45 points into the retrieve components as follows.
Direction out 10
Marking 15
Nose Eyes Ears 5
Perseverance 5
Direction in 5
Carriage and delivery 5
Others may allocate the points differently.
So for a mark that is pretty straight forward to score. For a Blind less So.
I score a blind in a similar way that you have proposed in your paper in that I like to see a dog take a good line before it has to be handled. I would score that in the “direction out” column. I would use the “marking” column to make deductions for obeyed and disobeyed commands. The “NÉE and Perseverance” columns are gimmies for a dog handled accurately on to the game, but may come in to play if it is handled to the vicinity of the game but has trouble finding it.
Note that although the bottom of the scoresheet provides penalties of up to 10 points deduction for failure to obey command/direction, I only start there [and then only sparingly] if I have exhausted all Marking points. The reason is that in a triple retrieve a one point deduction below the line has three times the impact of a deduction above the line.
Now, lets look at the last three examples that you gave in your paper. In the first scenario, lets say the dog had to be handled 5 to 10 times down a channel. I wont put numbers down, but from me it would have low points for direction out as it had to be handled fairly soon after leaving the pegs - then deductions for every handle. For the third dog, it may have been allowed to swim wide or run the bank to avoid the challenge set by the judge- probably no points for direction out - then deductions for the handles to get it back to the game. As you point out in your other paper “Improving the Judging Standard” (that got 565 views and no critiques) under the heading Interpreting Scoresheets - Blinds, this handler may have avoided the challenge and should be penalised accordingly. The second dog has taken on the challenge and only been somewhat offline, and needed fewer commands. It was probably the better dog.
It’s a bit difficult theorising about these things without the actual terrain in front of you, but I would be interested to get views from other judges as to how they would score these scenarios and, more generally, how they allocate the 45 points for a blind.
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Robert Tawton » Thu 15 Oct 2020 6:51 pm

The underlying methodology for assessing the relative merits of the examples provided in Karl's paper is difficult to fault. The aspect that is not addressed is the assessment of the dog's return to its handler to complete the exercise. In my experience the assessment of the return is an area where Judges in Australia have significantly differing views. There are those who are looking for the dog the return to its handler on the line to be considered "perfect" on the way out. Then there are some who pay little or no attention to the route the dog takes on its return and only look for style and action. And there are others who favour the dog who seeks to return by the route that requires the least amount of effort, which in most cases the quickest. In other words the dog displays sagacity. Robert Tawton
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Trevor Stevens » Fri 16 Oct 2020 11:29 am

And what would you be looking for Bob.
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Robert Tawton » Fri 16 Oct 2020 9:17 pm

Hi Trevor,
I would give credit to the dog that uses its sagacity to return to its handler in the most efficient and quickest way possible. My approach takes into account Run No1 which, amongst other things, stipulates that a Trial should emulate as closely as possible conditions which would be found whilst hunting. It is without question that all duck hunters want their dog back to them in the shortest time possible in order to be ready for the next retrieve. I also bring to mind a situation that occurred in a National some years ago. In this case the dog was required to angle swim across a river basically swimming with the current to locate the bird on the far bank. One dog that had been slavishly trained to return to its handler on the line out, entered the water but could not make progress against the force of the current. After a about 10 minutes of swimming the dog made little or no progress and was clearly nearing exhaustion. In the end the Judge had to instruct the handler to go down the near shore and to then call the dog in. All the dogs that successfully completed the Retrieve in question used their sagacity and either crossed the river immediately after picking up the game and returned via the near shore or came along the far shore before crossing the river.
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Paul Hamson » Mon 19 Oct 2020 5:35 am

Great practical example of sagacity/intelligence/wisdom vs blind obedience Bob. Should we also apply the same logic to a water body with no current e.g. dog returns back along the bank instead of down the channel/river thereby being quicker and more efficient or do we penalise them for being intelligent? Do we require the same demonstration of control on the return as the way out to a retrieve? I know which option most hunters would prefer but I am not sure that correlates with the view of many triallers and judges.

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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Trevor Stevens » Mon 19 Oct 2020 10:01 am

Good point Paul. I don’t think many judges would be expecting the same level of control on the return journey. In any event, I only allocate a small proportion of points for direction in and a dog that doesn’t swim all the way back would not get hammered by me.
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Robert Tawton » Tue 20 Oct 2020 10:10 pm

Hi Paul,

In response to your question regarding the dog returning its handler. When the dog is sent to retrieve it does not know where the object to be retrieved is located and therefore is reliant on the handler for direction. Given that the exercise is is one of demonstrating control and that, in theory at least, the dog should be able to locate the game by continuing on the initial given it by the handler. Dogs that avoid water, or fades with cross winds, etcetera should not be scored as highly as those that hold the line. On the return journey the dog knows where is has to go and if is does so by using sagacity to return via a more efficient route it should, in my opinion, be rewarded.
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Paul Hamson » Wed 21 Oct 2020 6:04 am

Thanks Bob. That approach is very logical.
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Re: JUDGING BLINDS by K.Britton

Postby Joe Vella » Wed 21 Oct 2020 12:09 pm

Hi guys I have read your posts with interest and my opinion on this topic is as follows.
I am all for a dog which uses its Sagacity going from the handler to retrieve or returning to the handler with the retrieve.

But I ask,should the following be ignored by judges?
Perseverance.
Returning directly to the Handler.
Not to disturb too much ground.

My opinion is that Sagacity and Perseverance go hand in hand and a dog when returning to the handler with the retrieve should persevere through the obstacle/s which it has already negotiated and it should use its Sagacity when negotiating the obstacles as it did going for the retrieve.

I suggest that when you are on the swamp hunting ducks and you have hunters close by to each other surely you would want your dog to return directly to you with the retrieve and not run around the bank upsetting other hunters and their retrievers as it makes its way back to you.

I do not find it logical that when a dog displays this attitude its being sagacious, I believe it is displaying a fault which is, that it is not returning directly to the handler.

In competition this dog should be scored accordingly.

My opinion differs from the above posts but I enjoyed reading your comments.

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