Double Falls

For discussion on anything retrieving related - trialing, training equipment, news, etc.

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Postby Wayne Parkinson » Sun 01 Jun 2003 5:58 pm

What do you do with the dog that sees the second bird, stops to shot and then looks at the handler?
Wayne P.
Wayne Parkinson
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Postby Pat Thorn » Sun 01 Jun 2003 6:32 pm

Wayne Parkinson wrote:What do you do with the dog that sees the second bird, stops to shot and then looks at the handler?
Wayne P.

In answer to your question, it depends on the definition of the double fall and what it is designed to test.

I would say that the dog has been trained to stop to shot.

I need to ask a question here.

What is the object of a double fall retrieve?

This is where the rules are not at all obvious, and where they can be interpreted any way one chooses.
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Double falls

Postby Noel Eltringham » Mon 02 Jun 2003 7:55 am

Whilst I can appreciate everyone's opinions of how to stop or not stop a dog on a double fall there is usually a major flaw on double falls that influences how handlers indicate to their dogs the double fall has occurred and it is usually as a result of how the run has been set up!

In good faith the judges set the run, however what IMHO occurs is that the run is immediately flawed as the judge has to rely on either the steward to release the bird at a specific time either as indicated by the judge or at a point that the dog is sighted by the steward. The double falls are usually set as part of land runs and time and time again we see fast dogs go past the point of release for the double fall before the bird is in the air so unless the dog has eyes in the back of it's head or elsewhere there is no way the dog will have seen the bird and is therefore severely disadvantaged. The run should be fair and equitable to all and the only indication the handler can give the dog is by using the whistle. I have seen judges been caught unawares by quick dogs and they have only indicated for the release of the bird after the dog has passed the point of release - not a particularly fair scenario.

The most successful double falls that I have seen in recent times are those set when the double fall is cast when a dog is in the water. If the dog has avoided the water and is running the bank when the bird is cast then this can be reflected in the score sheet.

Rather than discussing how or how not the run should be scored it really should be looked at how the run has been set up as to whether or not it is fair and equitable to all dogs and handlers and before the run is started discussing concerns with the judge!
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Re: Double falls

Postby Pat Thorn » Mon 02 Jun 2003 8:07 am

noel eltringham wrote:The run should be fair and equitable to all and the only indication the handler can give the dog is by using the whistle. I have seen judges been caught unawares by quick dogs and they have only indicated for the release of the bird after the dog has passed the point of release - not a particularly fair scenario.

Good to see a judge has responded to this.

Whilst I agree in principle Noel, I don't agree with the whistle bit, it takes away the "test" of the double fall.

Judges should take more time in setting up the run, taking into account fast dogs, terrain etc., else it's not fair to all.
Pat Thorn
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Postby Noel Eltringham » Mon 02 Jun 2003 10:19 am

It wasn't Noel that replied Pat, it is what I have observed from watching trials as a spectator under many different judges across the country. As a spectator rather than a competitor you get to see a lot more of a run and how the mechanics of it work for all of the dogs involved which is how I have made my observations. I do not like to see any dog disadvantaged and if the handler uses the whistle to even out the playing field if their dog is one of the "quick" ones that has no realistic chance in seeing the double fall so be it. Why should they be disadvantaged as a result of the flaws in the mechanics of the run. If the whistle is used as an indication to the dog that there is "something" else shot IMHO I would rather see that than the handler who doesn't use the whistle but gives the dog a line to the double fall.

Noel Eltringham
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double falls

Postby Kirsty Blair » Mon 02 Jun 2003 3:12 pm

Well said, Kate. I agree with you entirely.
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Postby Kerry » Mon 02 Jun 2003 10:15 pm

I have just caught up on the posts for this topic, and wonder if all of the authors actually have run a dog in an All Age trial with a Doublefall as part of a run.

When I first started in A/A I considered a doublefall the most difficult of all the runs. Difficult to accomplish by handler and dog, and extremely difficult for a judge to set up correctly and fairly.

As Kate has pointed out, so much depends on the speed of the competing dog, and if the point for release of the doublefall is dependant on the steward sighting a dog at a certain point, then often, the fast dog is well past this point when the throw occurs. I actually had this happen last weekend, and my Labrador was well past the area pointed out to us as being when the doublefall would be released. I did not, this time, whistle him to stop, and consequently he had no idea where the bird had fallen.
Yes, he did need one command to pick it up, but next time I will whistle him to stop after I hear the thrower.

I think this particular type of run could be a nightmare for a judge to score on. We have dogs who stop to shot, acknowledging the fall of the bird, then receive a back to continue on to the mark. Others barely falter in their stride, but acknowledge with a quick turn of the head; then there are the ones that run in on the D/fall.
Personally, I like a dog to acknowledge the d/fall, stopping to shot, but I cannot see any fault with a dog being whistle stopped on the throw of the d/fall.
Pat, I don't think you have read the rule regarding doublefalls. I fail to see which "test" you are referring to. The rule states in part, "While the dog is on the way out to retrieve, the second game is cast and a shot fired so the dog may mark or hear the fall of the game."

Now, obviously judges would design the run with the intention of having the dog see and mark down the fall of the d/fall. I have always seen this run as a temptation run for the dog. How well trained a dog is, is the decider in many trials, and for very quick dogs, if a whistle gets the result, then so be it. I don't think they should be penalised because of it.

As some have said, I think we must agree to disagree on this subject, but, I will definitely leave the scoring of this run up to the judges and have no inclination to state whether or not a dog stops to shot or the whistle should receive more or less in points. Every time this run is set up it is a challenge, and if it is well set, then it is a joy to watch the well trained dogs complete it.


Postby Wayne Parkinson » Tue 03 Jun 2003 9:34 am

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away.
Sorry sick sense of humour.
I remember an AA where the judge stated every dog would be given the oppotunity to see the bird.
So you sent the dog on the first mark stopped the dog at a certain distance and then the judge called for the second bird.
If the dog stopped and looked at the handler when whistled the bird was in good view.
I seem to remember a lot of dogs having trouble being recast to pick up that first mark.
Wayne Parkinson
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double falls

Postby Guest » Tue 03 Jun 2003 4:20 pm


I think from reading the posts on this topic, the majority of contributors agree with what you say. This is regardless of whether they have, or haven't run a dog in an AA trial.

As I stated earlier, I will do whatever I have to do in a trial to maximise the ability of my dog to see all marks. Whether this is stopping him with the whistle if he's moving too fast or leaving him be if I think he'll get a clear view of the bird.

With regard to leaving the scoring up to the judges - I think its a shame that you should say this. I always have believed open discussion between members of our trialling fraternity is essential. ESPECIALLY when it comes to how judges are going to score runs. As stated by Maureen in another thread, we need to strive for consistency with our judges and the only way to do this is to question how and why they score as they do.

I don't believe that well thought out queries from handlers who aren't necessarily actively trialling in AA should ever be discouraged. Its those Novice and Restricted handlers who will be tomorrow's All Age competitors.

Postby Kerry » Tue 03 Jun 2003 9:37 pm

To the un-named "Guest", I'm glad we agree that we as handlers should do whatever is best suited for our dogs in completing this particular run successfully.

Regarding leaving the scoring to the judges, every judge has a preference as to how they see this run being done in the ultimate way, therefore, some love a dog that stops to shot, then goes on to retrieve the mark, others may be impressed with a dog giving a sideways look at the d/fall, while others quite like a dog that is whistle stopped. What I was saying, is that there will always be differences of opinions on what is correct with this run, but the rules do not state whether a dog should or shouldn't stop, simply that the game is cast & shot fired so a dog may mark or hear the fall. The scoring by judges will be influenced by which method that particular judge wishes to see performed by dogs, with the other options, possibly getting slightly different scores.

So, what I am saying is, I am not going to dictate to anyone that a dog stopping to shot then retrieving the mark, should or should not receive a higher score than a dog that doesn't acknowledge the d/fall with more than a slight flick of the head.

Obviously, you haven't seen too much of my input to this site, but I also encourage anyone and everyone to query any aspect of retrieving they wish. I also am active in helping new triallers in training their dogs each weekend, and instruct them to ask questions, and ask more questions.

You are preaching to the converted; just see my post under Maureens thread !


Postby K Normanl » Thu 05 Jun 2003 5:01 am

What exactly is the definition of a "double fall"....

I'm reading it as a dog sees a single mark and as he is proceeding to the area of fall (AOF), he is presented with another mark, he must proceed to the original AOF and complete the retrieve and then proceed to AOF #2 and bring back the last bird down????

Here in the U.S....when a dog is sent and is diverted by a second fall, we either handle off or allow the dog to complete the retrieve. It's not really called a "switch", it's more of a "diversion".

Popping is defined as a dog stopping and looking at the handler for direction. It is most often the result of confusion. Popping can occur when running blinds when the dog gets confused or is repeatedly called back for a poor inital line. Usually, it's best to let a young dog carry a mediocre initial line when beginning the teaching of blinds. For older dogs, you really have to watch their body language. If you read the intent to pop, back-nick-back (or just a stern verbal "back" if you aren't using an e-collar).

Popping can also be from something external in the environment. I've had my pup pop when she has heard a mockingbird whistle just like my "sit" whistle (red-winged blackbirds are really bad for this, they sound EXACTLY like a whistle)....I've also had her pop when she is driving through running depth water. She can't hear very well with all the commotion and so she THINKS she hears me whistle. No collar correction for this, just a stern "back".

Popping can also occur in marking situations. Usually, a fast young dog that is used to pinpoint marking can get into trouble. They get to the AOF and set up a quick hunt and then, pop, "Where's my bird?" Too much easy success can lead to popping too. Using lots of dead birds in medium cover encourages a good hunt.

CS - who has lots of questions about Australian trials
K Normanl

your definition

Postby retriever staff » Thu 05 Jun 2003 9:01 pm

your definition of our double fall is spot on. we get very few of them in all age in Australia. Most of the judges that I have seen who put on double falls usually do so when the dog is in water. When are you coming out to Australia to have a look at our trials????? Were a friendly bunch and we'll do our best to make you welcome. Your definition of popping is identicle to ours. How about giving us an insight into your hunt tests and how you prepare for them?
retriever staff

Postby Guest » Fri 06 Jun 2003 2:12 pm

Cat Squirrel hi.

You will not doubt be very confused in what you read about Australian retrieving trials.

Our runs (series) are very different to what is required in the US - FT/AKC hunt tests/UKC hunt test and NAHRA, but surprisingly your training drills and concepts suit our training. The handler at our line uses a double barrel shot gun, with poppers/blanks. No gunners in the field required and on marks no attention seekers.

I, when observing an US FT (and learning the rules before my trip) could not translate the descriptions until many many hours of homework. For instance, out of order flyers, bull dogs (that one really confused me until I learnt that it was different in FT and hunt tests),primary selection, secondary selection, poison bird blinds, retired guns, unretired guns, even head swinging (if Australian dogs head swung on marks they would really have no chance to see any marks).

A few of the major differences in our retrieving competitions are that judges select order of bird pick up on marks (our marks are cast from silent hidden wingers), poision bird blinds are a way of life after novice standard, diversions and suction birds etc etc. Our terrain is also much heavier than in the US. The length of our runs are supposed to be no more than 150 metres.

I hope I have not confused you MORE!!!! I have a spare rule book which I would be more than happy to send to you, as I have noticed your name from time to time when browsing the US sites. I also have a video (NTSC) which shows some Australian series and terrain. I will swap you for the latest edition of FT news. LOL. For me to buy a yearly subsciption it would cost me AUS $250.00.

your videos

Postby Peter Betteridge » Fri 06 Jun 2003 4:41 pm

I know we have strayed from the topic of double falls ,but we are intensely interested in old australian videos. John palmer has quite a few from the 1980's. Geoff Cole also has some from the 1970's. I have some footage of Bill Bailey running his legendary dog "Cass" I eventually would like to digitalize some of them and put snippets on this website. Perhaps there are others like you who have old home footage that we could use in building a library? I have seen Barry Baker, Bob Tawton and Jake Christiansen at different times taking videos. like alot of Australians ,I own all the major american productions ,Lardy ,Rorem Carr and the Australian Jim Swan seminar tapes. I am happy to loan them out but would like to copy old Australian footage. it would be nice if people like Cat Squirrel could see what we do. Julie how about detailing your trip to pre -national training in the USA I'm sure alot of people would be interested in your observations.
regards Peter Betteridge
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Postby Guest » Sat 07 Jun 2003 1:20 am

Well hello Julie (Aussie)!!!! :D

Yep, I enjoy checking out differnt training methods and am always fascinated by British and Australian trials and training methods. Variety is the spice of life they say!!! 8)

I can't send you a copy of FT News cause I don't subscribe (right now) but I can see if I can get a copy or two of "Hunting Retriever" (the UKC publication) sent your way.

I'm no field trialer... more of a hunt tester (which is very similar to Au. FT's)

Back to the topic of double UKC Finished level hunt tests, a dog that is sent out and RETURNING with a bird is not allowed a switch. However, a dog that is being sent FOR a bird is allowed to pick up the "diversion".


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