MPR HRCH UH Kwick Taffey of Joemac's MH
                                              The skill to wait patiently is gold. Nurture the treasure.
Hunt tests and hunting are similar to some extent.  However, the differences are quickly recognized by a dog.  In addition, training for hunt tests or hunting presents another set of expectations. Teaching a dog to deal with all three requires a balance.

The question becomes.....Are all rules the same in a dog's eyes and mind?

To teach a dog to wait and be patient while training would require slowing down the process.  By doing so the training session becomes more like hunting (and not practical).  While hunting waterfowl there are times when not much is happening. A dog has time to recognize "not doing anything" is normal. However, hunt tests build to a specific burst of effort which is over quickly. Waiting and "doing nothing" is not an expectation. The concept of focusing and being patient is foreign. The dog's focus is singular......excitement.

Therefore, it would seem reasonable to allow a dog to learn how to deal with excitement by slowing the "ups and downs" in the moment.  Not knowing how to deal with excitement causes issues........repeated behaviors create expectations. Faulty expectations are difficult to extinguish. Therefore, the Long Wait Drill is an attempt to blend training, hunt tests and hunting into a "semi-unpredictable" routine so as to build positive expectations. Waiting is the focus and anticipation is tempered with experience.

The setup for the Long Wait drill consist of three remote wingers, one or two cold blinds placed according to a dog's experience, a few positions from which a dog will work from (a dog hide, Ruff stand and/or an HRC bucket), a popper gun (using primer loads), duck/goose calls, full body duck & goose decoys, "faux" shrubs (to hide the wingers) and at least two holding blinds. Creativity is based on available equipment.

If the drill is going to be run by more than one trainer (many dogs), they have to be willing to take the time....easier said than done. Thirty minutes per dog is a lot longer than most realize.  Recognize time as the most critical component of the drill. 

It is not a marking drill. Factors are not important. Distance is close for a reason, and
real birds are necessary.  Marks can be thrown as singles or multiples.  Blinds can be influenced or not.  How the drill develops depends on the skill level of each dog.  There are dry pops which can later be used for the cold blinds. A blind may be run poison, or straight up or not at all. Sometimes, the mark (or marks) remain on the ground for many minutes.

The dog can be kept in the hide, be called out to retrieve or sit beside the bucket. The dog is never allowed to use the line as a launching pad.  The dog learns things are not always the same.  However, retrieving is by invitation.  You are calling all the shots (so to speak).  

The dog can easily be taken back to a holding blind and start over (at any time). OB reminders are normal..........just stop and do a quick "review".  Since the marks are close in, there is no reason a trainer cannot just go out and pick up a bird as the dog watches from the line (if it is a land setup). There is no rush............that's the critical component.

The dog is given time to think about what is expected based on your selection and  learns how to deal with adrenalin.  Performance is not driven by a predictable "ready" - 'set" - "go" mode.  D
ogs seem to take on the attitude of "Whatever you want to do next....I'm available."

The really cool part about this drill is the trainer learns how to slow down, pay more attention to the dog and see what's going on with his/her emotions as well.  If you look closely at the first photo, there is a video camera in the picture. Observing yourself in action can be very revealing.

This has become a once a week drill and because of its's fun.

               note: another drill was a precursor to this page 
Steady Training Session (link)

   Here's the You Tube link to an eight minute segment of a Long Wait Drill (2 dogs).

                                       Daisy & Kate - The Long Wait Drill  (Link)
                                                             (August 13, 2010)
                                                                 related link
The Hunt Test Wise Dog

                     3/4 remote wingers,
                decoys, popper gun, cold
            blind(s), real birds, duck/goose
              calls, HRC bucket, dog hide,
               holding blinds, Gunz Up CD
                         (15-30 minutes)
                      flexible variations
                depending on skill levels
                 focus on steady, waiting,
                     control & patience

       "Long Wait Drill"
             April 5, 2010 
          (training journal)
April 2010 (Link)
       "Long Wait Drill"
          April 12, 2010
        "Long Wait Drill"
    (August, 2009- 1st time)


         "early evolution"
             (water, 2007)
          "poison birds"
           July 13, 2010
        "water - 2 dogs"
         August 13, 2010