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 How to get a dog look long.
Written by Michelle Linnane

 Shoot your flyers long as memory birds.
 About 60 % of my flyers I shoot as a memory bird long. Normally we don’t have enough people on the flyer station so I will place and 2 Ivan out there so it looks like a real flyer station with 3 people.The dogs will have to look thru short guns to see the long bird. I will do this for dogs that  are about 11 to 18 months till they are good at picking out the far gun.  As the dogs get older we take away the Ivans and start using them on the short guns. So we now they will have to look past 2 Ivans and a person. Also I don’t shoot any of my flyers in training  short. I figure that the dogs get enough of that at
trials. The only time I shoot a flyer in training short is as diversions or a  bulldog. Or if I do shoot a flyer short I don’t have any other guns involved at all. I would do this work on a steadying  problem or honoring  problem.

 Use wing clipped pigeons out of thrower.
 If you can not shoot flyers, buy some pigeons and clip their wings. You need to use a thrower as it is almost impossible to have the pigeon go in the same spot. The thrower will make it more exciting, if you can use a
shotgun shot twice while the bird is in its arc. Any dog who has any brains will get the idea after you do this about 6 or 8 times that something great is going to happen on the long station.

Using a Max or Bumperboy
  The one feature of the Max that can be very handy is that is press the remote button twice, it will shoot and throw and then immediately shoot and throw a second later. This  keeps the dog looking long. I have done this
many times by accident and the dogs really do watch the bird better. If you are using a bumper boy you can do the same thing.

Use plenty of white tape on your long birds.
  Dogs will not want to look long if they can not see the bird. Make sure the birds is easy to see. Remember it does no good to teach them to look long is they can not see the bird. This also applies to your flyers. Don’t be
afraid to use white tape on your flyers, we are trying to get the dog excited about looking!!

Give your dog the chance to learn.
  Dogs are not born being great at looking long. It is a skill that is developed and nurtured with careful training from the time they are young. Most people are not patient, they do something with a dog a dozen times and
expect them to do perfect. Even when the dog has had a problem looking long all it's life.   When I am teaching a young dog, about 12 or 13 months and they are almost finished with  double T and starting to run
pattern blinds I still don’t handle the dog to a long bird I just have the guns keep throwing more bumpers. I don’t beat the dog up if they can not do a long mark.  I will assume most of the time that they can not do it and make sure my gunner knows that they are to keep throwing more  bumpers the minute or second the dog looks like it is going to break down.  It is not until the dog has had a great deal of training do I assume they are educated about looking long. Going out and doing this a dozen times does not mean you have taught your dog this concept. Expect to work on this for the rest of the dogs life.

Don't get upset with poor lines.
 As the dog gets better the lines will improve don't handle the dog for a poor line. This will break momentum just have the gun help and as the dog gains experience the lines will improve. Also it might not hurt to do this
in a big big baseball field were the dog can see the bumper or bird from a long way away.

How do I start an older dog with bad habits to look long?
Do many long singles first  I do many singles and I often do the long bird first. Another thing I do is have the short guns use an umbrella to hide a little at first as the dog learns to focus and look past the short guns the
umbrella is not needed as much. But the idea is the dog is supposed to have success. So if needed,  have the short gun cover a little at first. As time goes on you will have to do it less and less. Also my older dogs do the long bird first a great deal and they do it tight. But if I was starting this with a dog I had not trained from a puppy I would do marks that are not tight. Also I would start on just doubles.

                                 Trained Older dog setup
                                      Gun               Bird

               Gun        Bird                                   Gun            Bird
                            Inexperienced Older Dog Part 1

                                    Gun                   Bird

                                                                                                               Gun            Bird

 Start with a double and  spread the marks out till the dog gets used to doing the long bird first. Once your dog gets good at this bring the short gun in tighter to the long gun, if you have trouble spread them apart again. Don't be in a rush to do tight marks. And don't be in rush to do triples.
                         Inexperienced Older Dog (as they get better Part 2)

                                               Gun          Bird

                                                                                                 Gun      Bird

Don't always throw the short bird
 I have one dog who is not real great about picking out the long guns  with short gun under her nose which you sometimes get in a trial. If the mark is short and I don't feel she will getting anything out it I don't throw the
short mark. I have the gun stand there like he is ready to throw it(bird in hand and standing), but I only do the long mark and then leave the without ever throwing the short one mark. I don't do this a lot but I do it
on occasion. Use your head when you do things like this, read your dog and make sure you are not causing a different problem.  

Hope this helps with getting your dog to look long!


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

518-868-4566 Night



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