Mini schutzhund blinds - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Mini schutzhund blinds

Have any of you used them to teach blind searches? I have been looking at buying a couple blinds for my house to practice with, and the mini blinds seem like they could be a better option. I have even seen some with ball holders. What's your experiences?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 10:26 AM
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I don't care for traditional schH blinds. They are too small and fall over too easily. They are overpriced and often the shipping on them is very high. You would be better off making your own blinds out of wood. You can be creative. You could use damaged privacy fencing cut in half from Lowes/Home Depot. You can use 4x4 post to anchor them or something less sturdy that makes them moveable. Hinge them at the corner so they fold in half and are easiler to carry. Also, wooden blinds have more applications than traditional blinds when training other aspects than the search.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 10:29 AM
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I hope to make my own mini blinds soon. I haven't used mini blinds yet personally, but I know of quite a few people who use mini blinds for training purposes with much success, and making them yourself is a whole lot cheaper than buying them.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 11:54 AM
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I used a refrigerator box and a teepee thing I made out of branches and a bed sheet. If you're just introducing the concept of the dog going around things, you can use anything. I've also just use camping chairs to train a dog to go out and around where I direct (the default behavior for me is that the dog returns to me and platz in front of me, he keeps going to another object if I direct and command as he's returning to me).
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. While teaching to go around I use a trashcan when at home. What I run into though is a dog that just "runs" the blinds and doesn't search them. At the field I use blinds and tuck the toy further and further in as the dog understands the concept. That way the dog is actually checking/going into the blinds not just running around them. That's where I think mini blinds could help.

Oh and Liesje I have them run back to me as well. Since you play in SDA as well, you know they have to come back to the handler. We can't just cast them to the next one.

Last edited by mycobraracr; 06-21-2013 at 03:32 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 03:53 PM
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I kind of teach it from two separate "angles", if you will, and try to marry the two before a Schutzhund trial. When I train them at home, I'm not training the dog to search. I am simply training them to be directed around any object in any order with the default being back to me. Personally, I train so that rewards come from *me* as much as possible, so I've never put toys in blinds (or had the dog run to snatch a toy off a send out tree, or pair food with scent in Nosework, and even tracking I only put food in footsteps for a short time until the dog has learned articles off the track and then after that, articles = chances for me to stop and reward on the track). Nothing wrong with doing it that way, just not how I train. With blinds specifically, I don't like the blinds themselves to have any value. Lately I've seen a few dogs blow off send outs and retrieves in order to run a blind. I've found that training the dog to take direction around objects doesn't exactly translate into "searching" blinds, like you say, but I disagree that putting toys in them will achieve this. My dog is in a totally different place, mentally, in protection. When I want searching (checking in the blinds) then we just put helpers in all the blinds and then randomize, but I don't necessarily need this to introduce the concept of being directed out and around things and coming back to me. I like to do the obedience part of it first and start that at home using anything. Then if we are preparing for a trial, we run blinds "hot" with 3-4 helpers helping me out and put the two concepts together.

Last edited by Liesje; 06-21-2013 at 03:55 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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How I do it is teaching a search. Searching and tracking are very different. When I send my dog in my house to find the guy hiding under the bed I use the same command as a blind search.

Here is how I do it. Starting out I use a ball or tug and have the puppy watch me run around the blind while I drop the toy(ball on rope or tug) in front of the blind. I then run the puppy around the blind and it picks up the toy meets me on the other side and a big game of tug (reward from me). If the puppy doesn't come to me, then no tug with me and it has to do it again. The tug game is the reward not the tug/ball. As puppy gets it, distance starts to get added. Then a second ball is introduced and it becomes a game of two ball basically. As we progress, the ball gets put further and further into the blind. Every run the puppy has to come back to me to play tug. I play the shell game to. Putting decoys in random blinds. I have used and seen many methods, this is just the one I have seen the most consistent results with.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 09:16 PM
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Well, my dog is not going to run blinds out of happy happy joy joy~I'm running around things. He does it to get to the end result. I've taught him the go rounds and directionals but in the end the only reason he'll listen or work for me(in this exercise) is to get a good bite on. And when we train the blinds....he isn't getting a game on fight, but a sleeve slip, so the reward isn't really of value to him. But he understands he needs to do what is asked regardless. When it comes to protection, my dog isn't into working "for me" but working to get his bite on. I don't take that away from him. He just needs to understand the end goal.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycobraracr View Post
How I do it is teaching a search. Searching and tracking are very different. When I send my dog in my house to find the guy hiding under the bed I use the same command as a blind search.

Here is how I do it. Starting out I use a ball or tug and have the puppy watch me run around the blind while I drop the toy(ball on rope or tug) in front of the blind. I then run the puppy around the blind and it picks up the toy meets me on the other side and a big game of tug (reward from me). If the puppy doesn't come to me, then no tug with me and it has to do it again. The tug game is the reward not the tug/ball. As puppy gets it, distance starts to get added. Then a second ball is introduced and it becomes a game of two ball basically. As we progress, the ball gets put further and further into the blind. Every run the puppy has to come back to me to play tug. I play the shell game to. Putting decoys in random blinds. I have used and seen many methods, this is just the one I have seen the most consistent results with.
I think there's lots of ways to *introduce* it but when it comes to actual protection, we can probably all agree the dog needs to be searching for decoys/helpers/bites to really be searching. Regardless of whether the toy is in the blind or on the person when it's introduced I think once the dog starts blind searching during *protection* they are seeking a helper. You can train a dog to run blinds tight and even look in a check without ever introducing it with either toy method first and likewise I don't think the dog is really looking in the blind for a toy when he's already cued into the protection phase.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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At training today a friend of mine told me he just made 6 blinds for his house for $100. I think I'm going to go that route and just make my own. I figure I have made tugs, altered scratch pants and what not so I should be able to handle some blinds.
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