Intermediate Skills

Building Confidence On Blind Retrieves

14 Steps Intermediate

Masterclass Details

Building Confidence on Blind Retrieves  is an area where many handlers come unstuck or confused by their dog’s behaviour and reaction to true blind retrieves.

A blind retrieve is a retrieve where the dog does not know the retrieve is there. This means they have not seen the retrieve fall and mark its landed place (a marked retrieve) or the dog hasn’t seen the retrieve be put down and then walked away or been sent to do something else (a memory retrieve). A true blind retrieve requires the dog to trust you that where you are pointing they will find a retrieve. Let’s explore many ways on how you can build your dogs confidence on blinds.

Downloadable Booklet with Exercises 

Masterclass Feedback

Step By Step Guide

Step by step guide on how to prepare your dog, advice on understanding why the dog is behaving a certain way, tips to ensure you are doing all you can with your stance etc to be consistent, clear exercises to follow.


I am very satisfied with this masterclass

I am very satisfied with this masterclass. Claire is a wonderful trainer and breaks everything down to the minutest detail. She explains things in a very calm and thorough manner and her friendliness shines through. She has given me several ideas for training my 2.5-year-old WCS and I look forward to implementing them in the field. Thanks so much, Claire. From the training, I found that I may have been rushing my little dog to do things she perhaps isn't too confident about yet. I have now learned to take things much easier and to work with her rather than ahead of her. Although I knew it, I found it helpful for Claire to reiterate that every dog is different and works at their own pace and to their own capabilities.

Gill V

Awesome Masterclass

Easy to follow incremental steps laid out to build confidence and success. Good recapping on every stage and points where things could go wrong and how to correct them. Claire gives very clear instructions and the videos to back up the theory were really useful. Awesome masterclass. Thank you


Course Structure

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Step 2 – Preparing for Blind Retrieves

  • How to prepare for blind retrieves 
  • How do you know when your dog is ready for blind retrieves?
  • Preparation work for blind retrieves
  • Consistency on cues
  • Practical Demonstration 
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Step 3 - Setting and Casting Off

  • The importance of setting the dog and how you cast off/send the dog
  • Some of the most popular ways to set your dog up for a blind retrieve
  • The pros and cons of some of the most popular ways to set your dog up for a blind retrieve
  • How your body position communicates a language to the dog
  • The importance of your dogs head and body position
  • Practical Demonstration
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Step 4 - The Vocal Command

  • The Importance of The Vocal Command used for blind retrieves 
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Step 5 - Generalising and Proofing your training

  • The importance of the three Ds in training
  • How to proof and generalise the training 
  • Practical Demonstrations
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Step 6 - The Early Days Of Training Blind Retrieves

  • Start Short
  • Distances
  • Dummy Choice
  • Places To Train
  • Using The Environment
  • Teamwork
  • What Can Go Wrong
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Step 7 – Knowing and understanding the dog you are working with

  • How to get the best out of the dog you are working with, whether that be an overconfident or underconfident dog. 
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Step 8 - Over/Under handling on blind retrieves

  • What is over handling
  • Handling with confidence
  • When to handle and when to let the dog use its natural ability
  • Practical Demonstration Video 
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Step 9 - When things go wrong

What to do when things go wrong 

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Step 10 - Exercises to develop your dogs confidence on blind retrieves

Multiple ways to develop your dog's confidence in blind retrieves and exercises to support this. Downloadable PDF for you to use in your training. 

Society Members Only

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