Boarding Facility - Game & Shooting Preserve - Gun Dogs & Training - Falconry Hunts - Special Events - Puppies

Taking advantage of a big group
   Written by Michelle Linnane
 Over the winter when we train sometimes we have as many 8 people come to train on a Sunday. There are a few things you can do like break into two groups, but we normally stay together. We are always doing land.  We have a mixture of dogs from junior hunt test dogs to a field champion.
Here is an example of what we setup with that many people. Six people in the field and two run marks and everybody gets to honor.

                  X                             X                                                               X
Gun1                                                         Gun3                   Gun4

               X              Gun2                                                               X


                    Line        Honor                                                                                          Gun6

This is a setup we did  one day and I don't think any one person in our training group did it the same way. The longest mark in this setup is maybe 175 yards if that. I ran 4 dogs on this setup. I ran my yellow bitch De who is running major stakes. She can be a bad head swinger and does not always watch long birds down. With her I wanted to work on watching the long bird to the ground. So I did all the long guns as a single and retired them, as soon as the gun threw they raised their umbrella. So I started with Gun 1, Gun 3, Gun 4, Gun 6, then the shorter marks Gun 5, Gun 2. Doing the short bird last and retired with the longer guns exposed is good training for short birds. Also I am practicing my easy queues while I am running the shorter marks. Another thing I might do with De is not give her the shorts marks in a setup like this. Also I had De honor the next dog, just good practice and we generally don't always have enough people to get in an honor. Another important fact is everybody should be standing and have a bird
in their hand ready to throw when doing singles. Other wise the dogs just focus on the person standing with the bird in their hand.

 With Bud my other open dog, he is a high,  high dog. I did all six down with Bud to make him concentrate. He broke on the third bird we picked them all up and started over again. I made him watch all birds down to a count of 4. I normally don't do something like this, but every so often maybe once or twice a year I will shoot all 6 off. With Bud it makes him think also it is helping stretch his memory. I did one short bird retired  and then all the long birds retired. The order I shot it in was Gun6, Gun5, Gun 4, Gun 3, Gun 1, Gun 2.
Also this is good practice for you as a handler to make your dog watch the birds. Bud did a remote honor on 4 singles and I thought he did enough. Again I dont do this many marks that often as mutiples. (I dont think it is a good idea).

  With Tess who is 13 months old and has finished the yard program. Tess has a ton go and she might not go in the correct spot on marks, but get out of the way she is going to go someplace.  And is doing basic blinds. She is watching  her birds to the ground very very well. I am starting to teach her multiple marks. I wanted to take advantage of being able to repeat the triple on the other side, so I did 2 triples I did Gun3, Gun1, Gun 2. She picked up the last bird down no problem, when I sent her for Gun 1 next. She started to break down going through the old fall, the gun made and arm motion which made her keep going. I did not allow her to break down all the way I read that she was going to stop and establish a hunt. so I had the gun make an arm motion and just a little noise. Before I sent her for the last bird I had the gun3 rethrough the bird silently and then retire. I am teaching not testing so I really don't mind showing the dog what I want. The other side of the triple I did Gun6, Gun4, Gun5. Tess got the go
bird no problem, then I sent her for Gun 4 and this time she did not break down going through the old fall, but she did over run  the mark  a little. When I sent her for Gun 6 she hooked the gun but no big deal. As this was her 4th  or 5th triple she has ever done  I was pleased. I honored with Tess and she needed many corrections on the honor the person I honored did all singles so we really got a great deal of practice.

 With Foxy she is two years old and just coming off puppies so I ran her on three singles and that was enough. It did not matter what side I did as it was the same thing. I was just trying her in shape, the point I am trying make is you don't need to do all the marks just because they are in the field. One of my training partners has a Chessie that has 2 senior legs and he called asked me "how should I do this"? When I have this many people in the field I will do a triple or double to start off with and then end on singles to make sure they are watching the birds to the ground before putting them away. So he did Gun1, Gun3, Gun2. Gun 3 is retired. He gets the go bird and then gets Gun1 and then we throw a silent bird at Gun3 before sending the dog on Gun3 which is retired. Now he does the other side as singles. And of course this dog does an honor.

 Another person in our training group has a dog who is 2 years old that  has trouble going by a short gun. She seems to go back to old fall mostly on multiple marks. She is still very fuzzy on multiple marks. She is mostly used as a gun dog, and has not had a great deal of training. Nor does she have collar basics. He did  Gun1, Gun3, Gun4, Gun6 as singles without doing the
short ones and at this point there is bird scent on the ground as we always use birds and many dogs have run at this point. Then we did a little triple with Gun5, Gun2 and bird thrown off line. We also honored with this dog. One thing we did not do that I wish we had done was pluck the birds a little on the short marks so even the first dog had feathers and some scent.

 Another person in our group ran their young dog who is  1 1/2 years old doing short multiples, is just starting blinds but is not a collar dog and more than likely may not handle out of trouble. Vince turned to me and ask how should we do this with Blue? Vince wanted to do a double with the young dog. So we had Guns1,3,4 cover with the umbrella so now there is no white coat showing at that station. We have Gun 6 as the memory bird and Gun 2 as the go bird. Now the dog is doing a double and also he has to go by a gun he has not picked anything
up at that station which in my mind makes it hard. The dog does ok on the double but he did start to break down on going by gun station so we just gave a little arm motion and he continued. Now we do another double with Gun3 as the memory bird and gun 5 as the go bird. Again we are getting the doube concept and also going by a gun that is not involved in this double. He does that fine. And now we do gun 4 as a single and gun 1 as single. We end on  singles and also we are running through old falls and scent to the bird. One word of caution the dogs must be  in shape.  I jog my dogs with the ATV. Also, it needs to  be cold. If the dog appears to be tired don't  run all the marks. When a dog is fatigued they make more mistakes then normal. Don't misinterpret fatigue for lack of effort.

Michelle Linnane
2616 State Rt 162
Esperance NY 12066
518-488-8489 Day 

518-868-4566 Night



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