Now that “Jessie” is an accomplished marker on singles, it is time to move to multiple marks. Puppy doubles. Again we go back to an open field and throw bumpers short enough so the pup can see each fall and the mark all the way out. We don’t want them to spend a lot of time hunting for a difficult mark. Start with 2 gun stations that are spaced widely apart but not too far out. Let’s start by having the left gun station throw Mark 1 to the left into the wind as a single. Please refer to the diagram below. If we have created the ideal setup, the first retrieve should be perfect. Now we teach the double. Have the left gun station throw the exact same Mark 1. Keep a leash on the pup for now and have him turn to the right to see the other Station 2 that will throw Mark 2. The station on the right should throw a bumper to the right. Get on your whistle so the pup comes straight back to you and not run to the left station. Line yourself so the pup is looking towards the left station or as we call it, the Memory Bird. Use your body so he cannot see the right station that is why we threw the left station first. Let him lock on to the left station and send him. Just a side note, many handlers always want to set up doubles or triples in training. This is not training a young dog, it is testing. We are here to teach. Run most of your marks as singles and then build to multiples. There are some very successful pros who run very few multiples, just singles. I remember one handler who said “I have to run multiples!” I said “Go ahead and run them, just don’t make the dog do it”.
Mark 1 Station 1
Station 2 (Go Bird)
After he is doing widely spaced doubles without a problem let’s complicate life. Below is a diagram of how to do this. These drills are for advanced dogs. Examine the diagram.
Throw the Memory Mark several times so he really knows where it is and his line to it is perfectly straight. Once he really knows the Memory Mark we advance to a double. Throw the Memory Mark, then Mark 2, the Go Bird. Send him on Mark 2 and as he comes in, line him up perfectly to the Memory Mark. Send him. If he gets confused a little help is in order. You can also move the line closer to the Memory Mark, SIMPLIFY.
If he is successful have the thrower move to Station 3 and throw Mark 3. Run the double. We are trying to teach him to run past the Go bird to the Memory Mark. See the diagram below.
Here is another drill that will teach him to run past shorter marks to the Memory Mark. Examine diagram below. The purpose of this drill is to teach the dog to run past short stations to the Memory Mark. Throw the Memory Mark and use the cue “Way Out”. Send the dog. Throw the mark to Short Station 1 and have him pick it up. Throw a bumper to Mark 2, run Mark 2. Have the throwers move to Stations 3 and 4. Repeat the throw to the Memory Mark. Run the dog using the cue “Way Out” to the Memory Mark. Then run Mark 3 and Mark 4. Again these are advanced drills for advanced pups. You are trying to get your dog to be able to run a test you will see in Master Hunt Tests or Field Trials.
Mark 3 Mark 4
Short Station 3 Short Station 4
Mark 1 Mark 2
Short Station 1 Short Station 2
Here are some examples of the finished product.
The teaching of Puppy Doubles is the foundation of all the variations we will cover later on. Some of the marking concepts are: Retired guns, in line doubles, hip pocket and reverse hip pocket doubles, 2 down the shore, check down doubles, interrupted multiples, and the out of order flyer multiples.
John Schulte DVM