Blind retrieve interpretation

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Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Dale Marshall » Sun 11 Mar 2018 8:07 pm

All judges that are judging at Restricted / AA or Championship level, can you State how you judge a blind.
Rule Book-Under retrieves in number 28 states, part thereof- It should be possible at least in theory, for a dog to find a well- planned Blind Find Retrieve on the initial line from its handler, The test should be so planned that the dog should be in sight at least until directed into the area of the fall, as a blind retrieve is a Test of Control and a dog that is out of sight for a considerable period of time cannot be said to be under control.
Question (1) is
If a dog takes a line straight to the item of game is that a test of control or a very good dog holding a line—- at no time was a test of control was shown.
Question (2)
If a dog is sent on a line, holds the line but is on wrong side of wind, handler stops dog, commands it on to the game.
Which dog scores the highest for that leg of a run.

I have asked these questions to many judges, the answers may astound quite a few- none are consistent

Two years ago Bill Petrovish visited Australia, watched the state and Nat in NSW, we were training and he set a blind for my dog, approx 200 mtrs, the dog lined it with no commands, Bill asked was I pleased, big grin and yes I was, his answer was “you are out of the trial, “ why? At no time did I show a “test of control’ if I had stopped the dog , gave him a command to pick up the item- would have been a top score.
Some will say we are not in the USA but the rule states- a test of control- be brave how do you judge it or hide behind the score sheet
Dale Marshall
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue 21 Jan 2014 8:38 pm

Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Lynette Lennell » Wed 14 Mar 2018 10:41 am

Interesting Question Dale, I'd also be keen to hear some answers on this one
Who needs kids when you can have 2 Black Labs
Lynette Lennell
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Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Karl Britton » Wed 14 Mar 2018 4:45 pm

Dale this is a very open ended question with several conations that can be produced depending on the blind, the ground, distracting factors and other natural elements.

I will try and answer parts of your question using the guidance and interpretation of ANKC Retriever Trials for Gundogs; rule 28.

Using the guidance of rule 28 and keeping in the spirit of the sport, I personally would try and set a test where the dog at some point will be required to be handled from the FP to the area of the fall of the blind retrieve.

You can do this easily by using the surrounding ground when setting up your test, the fall, contours, gully’s, side of a hill, logs, dry creek lines, other bits of natural cover etc. You can also add additional distractions particularly in All Age, by having a concept set up in such a way that it can pull a dog off line; e.g. over the arch of the line to the blind either a mark, or a mark to either side of the blind. Rabbit drags where the dog must run over the scent trail or a poison piece of game, strategically placed that will encourage the handler to tackle the obstacle presented on line to the blind, thus having to handle the dog and demonstrating control.

Some judges unwittingly set a test in such a way that dogs act different to what you the judge expect a dog to do, as a judge you can’t interpretate what each dog is going to do, but you can plan a test in such a way, a trained dog at that standard will handle that test and tackle the obstacle presented on the blind. It’s your ability as a trainer to be able to train for all manner of blinds whatever you may come across in a shooting scenario or field competition, the better the control of your dog and the better the dog is at handling the more chance you will succeed in doing a decent job of that part of the test and as such scoring highly by showing control and working together as a team.

[i]Your 1st Question:

If a dog takes a line straight to the item of game is that a test of control or a very good dog holding a line—- at no time was a test of control was shown.[/i]

Lining a blind: Occasionally and it is indeed a great thing to watch that despite all the obstacles you have put in that dogs way, a dog will line a blind. This invariably is not because of luck but because of training that dog has received throughout it’s life, some dogs indeed have that built in game sense and know where to go or where a bird could be tucked up and hiding. I would not penalize a dog for doing this quite the opposite, I would consider certain factors, the line the dog took to the blind, the wind, possible drag back scent, surrounding distractions was it an obvious straight line to the blind, we have all watched a good trained All Age dog smack a 150 mtr blind off the line and I certainly applaud the sanacity of the dogs that can do that. The dog and handler in my eyes in this instance did demonstraight control by the dog ignoring all the other competing distracting factors in my test and the handler setting the dog up for success for that blind.

Your 2nd Question:

If a dog is sent on a line, holds the line but is on wrong side of wind, handler stops dog, commands it on to the game.
Which dog scores the highest for that leg of a run.

Both dogs would score very well depending on all the other factors that I would be considering as a judge, the initial line, stopping taking a command, the dog using its own initiative, the wind, the terrain other distractions tackling the natural obstacles in front of the dog or where they trying to run around or go for a different piece of game.

But, and this is why your question is open ended, there is a big difference with a dog lining a blind and one that is just going out in the general direction, goes past all the obstacles on route/line and disappears for a bit comes out behind or to the side of the blind and winds it, then hooks in, that in my school of thought is you have failed the test, you did not take the line of natural obstacles I presented as a judge and you the handler did not demonstraight any control/obedience in trying to get your dog onto the most direct line to the blind. This is particularly important with saturated areas of ground game dense cover where the most desirable way of picking or finding that game without undue disturbance to the ground is going direct from the FP to the area of the fall. It may not be the most efficient way but is the preferred and most desired route.

This may not totally present a black and white answer to your question as there are several factors to each type of retrieve I would be taking into account and it would depend on those competing factors of that run on that day.
I would be considerate of all I have mentioned above and making my assessment as a judge on the run/test that I had set. This is why judge’s seminars are so important so we can discuss this kind of topic in an open forum and garnish a collective solution and answer.

[i]Rule 28. On Blind Find Retrieves, where possible, the course should be planned in such a way that advantage is
taken of natural hazards. It should be possible, at least in theory, for a dog to find a well-planned Blind
Find Retrieve on the initial line from its handler. The test should be so planned that the dog should be in
sight at least until directed into the area of the fall, as a Blind Find Retrieve is a test of control and a dog
that is out of sight for a considerable period of time cannot be said to be under control.
Karl Britton
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat 01 Mar 2008 4:05 pm
Location: Lady's Pass, Victoria

Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Ron Jackson » Thu 15 Mar 2018 6:48 pm

From Cathie: Thanks for asking Dale. Thanks for answering Karl. I enjoy hearing knowledgeable answers, am eager to learn more and hear varied opinions. Hope others feel courageous enough to ask and answer so we can all learn and grow.
Ron Jackson
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Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Dale Marshall » Tue 20 Mar 2018 7:17 pm

Thanks Karl,
Possibly a way to know how a judge will interpret and judge a run on a blind is —- prior to the run a judge explains in detail how in their eyes would be a high scoring run, what they expect and what you will be penalized for.
If this was the standard way it may alleviate any confusion.
Most triallers that are experienced handlers , will have competed under most Championship or AA judges, do these judges all judge consistently—- .?
This might stir a few up but the answer is “no” we would like to think so but they all interpret differently.
Some handlers will not run under certain judges, reasons are plentiful, they don’t like them personally, think they cannot win under that judge, type of dog they run, type of runs they put on, they are a cheat, good mates with the judge, everything is out of sight and the trial is lottery,
I ask questions regularly of experienced judges in general conversation, one in particular , how do you judge a mark?
Answers= handle on a mark you lose half your marking points, then 2 every time you blow a whistle, lose 2 points, interesting thing is say on a triple mark, handler handles on every leg , but still gets a score of 55, impossible if that is the way they judge adjudicates , to handle the dog it must be off line losing points for line out, let alone there is hardly a dog that has perfect line manners, heeling, delivery, steadiness etc
Every triallers in Australia at some stage would have thought they have been ripped off.
If every judge took 7:5 points off on a handle on a mark- in All stakes- and 2 for every command thereafter is that fair to all, some will say that won’t work, I say it would as every dog has to do the same run, conditions may vary from 1st to last dog but- “a mark is a mark”
There are plenty of AA judges in Australia but reluctant to post answers—- why is that?
Dale Marshall
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue 21 Jan 2014 8:38 pm

Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Bill Hepburn » Wed 21 Mar 2018 7:59 am

Hi Dale
I will offer you my interpretations.
In my opinion the moment you set your dog to send for a blind is when the test of CONTROL starts, remember you are sending your dog for something that it hasn't seen so you are in CONTROL of the dogs actions, if the dog holds the line and
faces all the obstacles in its path then it will score highly if the handler gives a command when the dog is in the area then i term that as working as a team BUT if the dog is indicating to me that it has scented the blind but the handler intervenes just for the sake of proving they have the dog under CONTROL then i will penalise for what i deem as unnecessary commands. If the dog when sent for the blind heads of in the wrong direction ie: heading for a mark it has just seen(we have all had a dog like that) or is avoiding the obstacles etc and has to be handled back on to the line then that then becomes a handling test as well as a test of control as i believe the two are intertwined and the dog should be assessed on how well it obeys commands to get it back into the right place or whether the handler is actually working with the dog as a team or is over handling and working the dog as a robot.Above all working on a blind is a matter of teamwork.

well this is certainly open to interpretation Firstly the MARKS should be MARKS not cast blinds and in every case some dogs will nail the marks others will have trouble with them whether it be the terrain poor training whatever the reason. If the dog marks the area of fall but due to terrain etc needs a handle to pick up the bird then that's team work and i make a note of that and probably deduct a point as you have to allow for the dog that absolutely creams the mark . If a dog is being handled continuously because its out of area etc then i have a certain number of commands that i have set for that particular mark and if they are exceeded before the dog gets to what i deem as area of fall then i will bring the dog in if the dog is in the area of fall i will let the handler continue on if i think the dog can succeed in the retrieve but the score sheet will reflect and the time in the area will be limited . Again these are my interpretations and other judges will assess differently and interpret differently and i think that the differentiation between judges is one of the endearing factors of our sport .

There are many factors that judges have to assess that come into both marks and blinds that are not clear cut and one of those is tracking or back scenting how do judges mark that ,the gallery may think what a great job the dog has done as it has lined the blind but the judge may make the call that the dog is tracking and mark accordingly( once again something that is open to interpretation ) and at presentations the gallery can't understand why this dog hasn't placed higher as it aced the blind.
You have asked the question on why the all-age judges are reluctant to voice their opinions ,i cant speak for all of them but if you have been in the sport long enough and worked your way up to all-age and championship level you would have received some "judge bashing" at some time in your career and sometimes its better not to comment than to leave yourself open for more on an open forum such as this .
Bill Hepburn
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Location: tasmania

Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Diane McCann » Thu 22 Mar 2018 7:22 pm

Hi Dale,

Depends on what you mean by lining the blind.

To me lining the blind means that the handler has given the dog the correct line and the dog has taken it and held it all the way to the game and has then scented the game and picked it up - this would gain top points. Compared to a dog that is the wrong side of the wind at the end and goes past the game and needs to be stopped and handled at that point, there would be a couple of points difference depending on how clean the pick up was after the handle.

If the dog picks up the blind without a command but did not hold the line all of the way, deviated and then hunted and used the wind to find the game, or was deliberately sent on an incorrect line by the handler even though a direct line was possible, then it would lose considerable points.

In between would be the dog that takes a few commands to remain on line and obeys relatively well and at the bottom would be the dog that ignores the initial line and / or requires many handles to stay on line. The dog that refuses to stay on line at all would be eliminated.

Marks - I don't think you can have a set penalty for handling on a mark as to me it depends a lot on when the handle is required and whether or not the dog has demonstrated that it has a fair idea of where the mark fell or no idea at all.

Diane McCann
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Location: Pearcecdale Vic

Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Dale Marshall » Fri 23 Mar 2018 2:04 pm

Thanks to Bill and Dianne for giving their thoughts and imputs, the way I see this is for non judges(competitors) to understand how the rules are interpreted and judged as well as new judges like myself.
As discussions with some by phone that do not want to comment on this site, a few things that have come up are: right or wrong most are in the eye of the interpreter.
Difference of opinion on "the Test of Control"
where does it start-- when the lead comes off----- as you have 5 points between the pegs to lose--- sitting the dog in the blind--- is that part of control or judged separately. Another was -- the blind is judged once "sent" from the line ,,,as line out is judged --line back is judged, whatever happens in between is a deduction as the rule states the dog should hold the line until close to item of game,
Yet the score sheet in the ANKC rules (page 17)does not mention line out or line back. Most judges that I have spoken to have developed their own score sheet , mostly I believe do that to micro analise a leg of any run, totally understandable as "a point" can mean 1st or 2nd
Dale Marshall
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue 21 Jan 2014 8:38 pm

Re: Blind retrieve interpretation

Postby Trevor Stevens » Mon 09 Apr 2018 8:09 pm

Hi Dale
I think Karl Bill and Diane have covered the issues pretty well. In my view a dog that lines a blind has exhibited ultimate control. If it ends up upwind of the game then the handler has given the wrong line or the dog has taken the wrong line. If it has to be handled onto the game it will not score as well as a dog that does not have to be handled.

As a general rule I take the view that handling on a mark has to be penalised heavily and all marking points are lost when the handler blows the whistle the first time. Handler is indicating that the dog doesn’t know where the game is and has to be helped. An exception would be on (say) a double where the dog’s initial line is to the wrong item of game but the handler promptly corrected the dog (penalty for line out) and it then nailed the mark.

It isn’t black and white and different judges have different interpretations. That’s why we choose to run under them, or not!
Trevor Stevens
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Joined: Thu 22 Jan 2004 2:38 pm
Location: Melbourne

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