Extending Your Retriever on Marks
by Geoffrey A. English
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0:05 Good girl, hold. You know, unless you shoot like Tom Knapp, there's going to be times when you're going to wing a bird and it's going to go further, much further than you'd like it to. Today we're going to show you how to extend your dog out on marks to retrieve those long birds.
0:17 Now when we first start a young dog off on marks, we tend to do a lot of hand thrown singles. Now, that's fine until the dog gets older. But as they get older, we're going to want to extend them on their marks. When walking singles, we're going to need the help of a thrower. Initially I have the thrower step back about 40 yards or so which is the distance that the dog has been accustomed to retrieving.
0:35 Now after each retrieve, we're going to have the thrower move and slowly angle away from us, increasing the distance of the marks. Now I like to extend the dog out to about 150 or so yards. That way on opening day if I hit a long bird, I have a good chance of getting that bird.
0:51 Now it's important to set this drill up so that the wind is to your back. Make sure your thrower starts moving to the next position immediately as the dog makes the retrieve. Now this is critical because as we move our dogs into multiple marks (whistle blows) we don't want the dog to be in the habit of returning to a previous fall. Sit.
1:08 As you can see this is a great technique for extending your dog on those long marks. If you do this drill during the off season, you're going to have a dog that runs with confidence on those long birds. For more information, videos and products to help you get the most out of your hunting dog, please visit GunDogsOnline.com
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