challenging the blind?

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challenging the blind?

Postby Tony Rowland » Wed 22 Jun 2011 10:50 pm

Hi All

Looking at the thread below and what we see in australian trials.
Is this the same theory judges use in australia and the way competitors try :twisted: :lol: and handle.
How far off line is acceptable?
Is less whistles king or is line? ... p?t=856613

tony :roll: :roll:
working with the grey ghost, can be like catching fly with chop stick''
Tony Rowland
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Re: challenging the blind?

Postby Peter Betteridge » Thu 23 Jun 2011 10:02 am

good topic tony
in my opinion u have to face whatever the judge puts in front of u within reason and that means sometimes u need a lot of whistles. Good judges reward good initial lines and some one who handles to a bird using literal castes should easily outscore some one who uses momentum only type castes,Also handlers that allow negative momentum on blinds should also be hit on the score sheet this is particularly true at the end of most blinds when the dog is in the area and attempts to leave it
anyone who lets there dog get significantly off line is not doing the test and needs to be scored accordingly.
Good judges don't always count whistles but they do take note of where the initial whistle takes place and how many caste refusals they observe
unfortunately in Australia we have a divergence of views on what does and does not constitute a top class blind; It would be very useful for the sport if we had a more defined set of parameters for competitors to follow
Peter Betteridge
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Re: challenging the blind?

Postby Gareth Tawton » Thu 23 Jun 2011 7:39 pm


"what we see in australian trials" is so varied you couldn't possibly compare the two. Just look at the range of standards around the country between Restricted and AA as well as State to State. How many trials have you been to that have had a huge number of dogs slip whistles?

On my recent trip to the US I watched about 50 dogs train daily. They ranged from 6 months (my bitch) to several amateur handlers getting ready to run in the US Amateur national. The one overwhelming thing I noticed was the lack of slipped whistles. They always attacked the line because they could. It really drove home to me the saying "ïf you can't stop a dog you can't train it". I would guess 99% of amateurs in the US train with an e collar and as a result the standard as far as whistle obedience is far higher than in Aust. That makes judging easier because in the US (from what I have seen) you only have to judge a couple of handles unlike here in Australia. We often have to take into consideration things such as multiple slipped whistles, dropping game, hard mouth, poor healing breaking from the hide and poor style eagerness and action just to name a few. In some cases a dog can have all of these, do a good blind, but as a result of the other indiscretions score poorly while under another judge score OK because they put a higher emphasis on the retrieve than those other facets. Personally, I like this side of our sport as it does allow for a various opinions.

Having said that I personally put more emphasis on having a go at the blind than skirting it. If that means an "over" is required to ensure you are attacking the obstacles within the blind (say a piece of water) then that would be much better than an angle back that takes the dog around the water. For me every run and every dog needs to be judged on its merits using a logical set of guidelines not a fixed predetermined formulae. However there are plenty of successful judges who do things differently from me. Its all just a matter of opinion.

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Re: challenging the blind?

Postby Diane McCann » Thu 23 Jun 2011 7:45 pm

Agree Gareth, while we obviously have rules and pre-determined score ranges for different aspects of work, here each judge has a lot of discretion as to how they allocate points and thier interpretation of what is or isn't good work. That is what makes our sport great, different judges, different opinions.
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Re: challenging the blind?

Postby Joe Law » Fri 24 Jun 2011 9:54 am

So who’s opening Pandora’s box! [1]
Clearly, there are considerable differences between Australian and American laws, dog training cultural methods, and rules of the game when it comes to retrieving tests. Rule 94 of our ANKC Retrieving Trial rules lists the principal points to be considered by the judge in assessing the merits of performances in competitive work. I agree that it would appear that there are huge differences in how these qualities are being interpreted and assessed around our country. It also appears to me that America is obsessed with control and the use of electric collars to gain that control and that these methods result in some extraordinary and impressive achievements. Is the American way the way our judges and competitors want our sport to go?
Personally, I am relieved that I am not on the NRAFT whose responsibility it is to see that the ANKC rules are both understood and applied. I have not witnessed much guidance or comment from the NRAFT body in this regard and I consider it will become increasingly difficult to promote the sport in Australia if we continue to adopt American values and methods.

[1] From Wikipedia:
“In classic Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create her, so he did—using water and earth. The gods endowed her with many talents: Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo music, Hermes persuasion. The gods also gave her the gift of curiosity. Her name Pandora means "all-giving."
When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus' brother. With her, Pandora was given a beautiful box which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her curiosity given to her by the gods, Pandora opened the box-jar, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing that lay at the bottom, which was Hope. Pandora was deeply saddened by what she had done, and was afraid that she would have to face Zeus' wrath, since she had failed her duty. However, Zeus did not punish her, because he knew this would happen.
Today, opening Pandora’s box means to create evil that cannot be undone. “
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Re: challenging the blind?

Postby Gareth Tawton » Fri 24 Jun 2011 1:16 pm

HI Joe,

Yes it seems anything to do with rules and judges interpretation does open a Pandoras box. What a shame.....

Something I did come to realise on my recent trip was that many/most Australians have a sever misinterpretation of US trials. We all seem think the yanks are " obsessed with control" when nothing could be further from the truth. Handles on marks are severley penalised. Dogs are expected to do marks on their own without any assistance from the handler. To avoid any confusion blinds are rarely run in conjuntion with marks. A marking test is just that and the dog is expected to use all its natural ability. However a blind is another thing. That is a test of control (just like our rules say) and the expectation is the dogs are under control all the time.

The US Amatuer National is curently being run. At run 6 they have picked up 9 marks (no handles expected) and 3 blinds (all about control). I would suggest that is a pretty good ratio of natural ability to control. On average dogs with more than one handle on marked birds throughout the trial are eliminated. Imagine if we did that in AA!!!!!

To suggest they are obsessed with the use of e collars to gain that control is another misinterpretation. Yes most people use a collar, they also use a lead, check chain, healing stick and whistle. Tools to help train the dog. I was amazed at how little the e colar was used when a dog was trained thru a logical step by step program. Several studies have shown that a combination of both positive and negative reinforcement is the most effective method of training a dog while still maintaining both the dogs mental and physical well being. Can this be done without an ecollar yes, can it be done without a lead yes can it be done without a check chain yes. Its just harder on both the dog and handler. Now each individual needs to decide what method and tools suit them and their dog. What is good for one may not be good for the other. Its all about choice..........

Gareth Tawton
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Re: challenging the blind?

Postby Tony Rowland » Mon 27 Jun 2011 9:45 pm

hi all
Such varied opinions ?

In the way of looking at a blind retrieve and comments about confusion in the rules.
The following words that stood out:
I looked at rule 94 where "control" stands out wrt blinds .
I also looked at rule 89 where the words "style and freedom as quickly and effectively as
terrain permits" stood out.
Rule 28 - "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"
Rule 2 - "retrieve quickly and briskly without unduly disturbing too much ground"

I looked back at the rule and these out takes. The rules loan them selves to a corridor that the dog should stay in so not to disturb excessive ground and the dog should, where possible, move with positive towards the bird,down the said corridor
(10-15m everside of the direct line to the blind + - with the difficulty factors).
The dog should take on the factors (not avoiding them). The line, where possible, should be achievable on initial handler instruction to the dog :lol: :lol: :lol: .

Personally I believe a couple of handles in the corridor beats the dog that runs the paddock getting there with less whistles.
It would be interesting to know if this makes sense to people about running blinds or challanging the blind or am I way off track. :roll: :shock: .
working with the grey ghost, can be like catching fly with chop stick''
Tony Rowland
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue 04 Apr 2006 9:35 pm

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