Jump to content

Hitting the panels

20 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_SoloRiver_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 20 April 2003 - 05:23 PM

OK -- promise not to laugh? This is a handler problem, not a dog problem, and perhaps a problem specific to me, but since there's a market for those yellow sunglasses, probably not.

My depth perception is lousy. This hasn't been an issue in trials thus far, since my dog and I have been wearing through the panels in Novice/Novice, but I would like to start driving in preparation for moving up. The problem is that at this point it's a total crapshoot whether or not I'll manage to hit the panels if they're at any distance. I'll turn the sheep too high, or too low, and I mean either really really high, or really really low. Not only would this lose points in a trial, but it stresses out my dog, as I whistle Fly all over the place trying to figure out where the panels are, and, well, it just looks really stupid.

Other than being nearsighted (but I wear contact lenses) there's nothing wrong with my eyesight. Is there anything I can do, other than get a lot more practice, or maybe a pair of yellow sunglasses?

#2 Guest_tucknjill_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 20 April 2003 - 06:51 PM

Hi Melanie!
Well I must say those glasses do help a great deal..I also am absolutely horrible at hitting panels. Some things that have helped me get what little success I have had are really looking for markers when the cross drive line is walked, and watching several runs of handlers I KNOW ususally have a good line. Also at home, I do have panels set up but I really only use them AFTER my dogs are trained. I dont like practicing courses and I dont advocate it for people straight away for the simple fact that they get too caught up in trying to hit the panels vs watching how their dog is working example: they might let the dog off with not stoping or flanking improperly just to make the panel in practice..that is a very bad habit to get into. However, if all the mechanics on your dog are going well, you as a handler do need to practice making panels (JUST DONT LET THINGS GO IF YOUR DOG MISBEHAVES!) Try doing the crossdrive with the dog not to far from you and slowly back the distance up as you get better at seeing the line...also you should continue on with the the premise that your dog should be holding a line vs just flanking where you tell him to. With you doing at a distance you can see, you can practice just calling your dogs name to pull him back on line if he starts to drift... also another thing..at a trial, when you are watching the runs, try and sight in on the sheep when they go thru the gates, see what the picture looks like..example..do they look like they are walking towards the upper or lower panel as they go thru...it is definately difficult, but with practice you can get better..Hope this helps a bit.

#3 Guest_Heather_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 20 April 2003 - 08:35 PM

Just to clarify how this "ask the expert" forum will work, I think it's fine (it's great!) if anyone else wants to jump in with another question or comment. Sam is our expert du jour, but I hope other people might have a comment or two.

#4 Guest_ardruinna2001_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 17 May 2003 - 04:55 PM

About those Yellow Sunglasses. Does anyone Know how you go about getting them? I saw them on a website along time ago being promoted by Alasdair Macrae but cant find them or the website since.

#5 Guest_tucknjill_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 18 May 2003 - 10:56 PM

Hey Last I mentioned it to Alasdair he wasnt selling them anymore, but I know he originally got them from David Hill in Florida...David used to have an ad in ABC mag, it you dont have back issues let me know and I will check and see if I can get his number for you.

#6 Guest_Deb_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 30 June 2003 - 09:21 PM

Boy, I hate to rain on this parade, but the research just does not support the use of yellow-tinted lenses to increase "visual acuity".

Not my conclusion - this is the finding in research conducted at the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL). An abstract of the article follows:

"The Role of Yellow-Tinted Eye Wear in Visual Performance

William E. McLean Clarence E. Rash, Elmar T. Schmeisser & Barbara S. Reynolds

There is a persistent perception that visual performance can be improved through the wearing of yellow tinted (blue-blocking) glasses, visors, etc. A review of past studies was conducted to identify a trend in performance effects. An additional series of laboratory and field investigations was conducted to evaluate performance with color identification tasks. The general findings support the conclusion that while performance for a specific task under specific environmental conditions may be enhanced through the wearing of blue-blocking filters, blanket use of such filters would result in more tasks and conditions where performance is degraded than those where performance is enhanced."

The full article can be found in the AMEDD Journal. I can track down the web site and specific link if any are interested in reading the complete article.

Now I will duck under my desk...


#7 Guest_tucknjill_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 30 June 2003 - 09:41 PM

Oh come on Deb, we arent wearing them to hit panels, they are just so sporty..that is why we all wear them...Hate to disagree with the study, but it sure does lighten everything up for me and help me see...Quite possibly just brainwashed though! :rolleyes:

#8 Guest_SoloRiver_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 30 June 2003 - 09:43 PM

Hey, thanks for the info. You've saved me the $15 I would have spent at Sunglass Hut!

#9 Guest_pwarne_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 30 June 2003 - 09:56 PM

Only $15???? I think not.

But, seriously, color isn't the thing.... It's depth perception. And I wonder if any tests have been done on that.

#10 Guest_SoloRiver_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 01 July 2003 - 08:30 AM

I got curious about improving depth perception, and did a (web) search on raptors since they have such amazing depth perception. Seems like depth perception is dependent on a bunch of variables that, unfortunately, we can't really manipulate, like having proportionately more cones (as opposed to rods) and multiple foveae.


Oh well. Guess I'm just screwed.

#11 Guest_Pipedream Farm_*

Guest_Pipedream Farm_*
  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 01 July 2003 - 11:27 AM

Skiers have been using yellow lenses for years (under certain conditions). In overcast conditions the lighting creates poor contrast on the snow. This can get so bad that you can't see any topographical changes on the slope. One bad day my father actully moved 2 feet and fell down a dip he didn't even see. Yellow lenses are then used to increase the contrast. This same principle is used in B&W photography; amber filters are used to increase contrast.

So when the lighting conditions are poor (poor contrast) amber lenses can help you see features in the field and this may help you "hit the panels".

I believe shooters also use amber colored lenses in their safety glasses; probably to increase the contrast of the clay pigeon and the sky.

#12 Guest_pwarne_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 01 July 2003 - 02:37 PM

Well, the yellow lenses helping contrast may be the key, not actually affecting depth perception per se. Now that I think about it, I have a feeling that our depth perception is based on our binocular vision (because our eyes are in the front of our heads, not unlike those of raptors and very unlike prey animals such as -- hmmmmm sheep??). However, this advantage probably decreases with increasing distance so that, at a distance of 100 yards or so, we're relying on acuity (which may be helped by enhanced contrast) to determine the relative position of objects rather than on depth perception per se.

Well, it sounds like a theory anyway ;-)


#13 Guest_SoloRiver_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 01 July 2003 - 03:29 PM

Depth perception is dependent on binocular vision, which explains why all primates (who evolved as tree dwellers) have eyes in the fronts of our heads. At distance I guess less of the right and left fields would overlap, which means peripheral depth perception would certainly suffer, but as long as what you're trying to look at it in the center where they are still overlapping I'm not sure what effect distance would have. I am no expert in the mechanics of eyesight, so hopefully someone else can explain this to me.

Part of the thing with raptors is that not only do they have ridiculously binocular vision, they also have enormous eyeballs (their eyeballs are about the same size as ours) that take up almost all the space in their heads (which is why they will never rule the world). So they get a picture that is way magnified compared to what we see at a distance (the size of the lens and retina and everything else that makes the image is relatively huge) -- the physiological equivalent, I guess, of having a telephoto lens in your head.

Another interesting bit of eyeball trivia is that all dogs, regardless of breed or body size, have eyeballs that are about the same size (according to Serpell), which explains why toy dogs often look like space aliens.

#14 Guest_Deb_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 01 July 2003 - 08:49 PM

The study did evaluate depth perception - specifically the ability of military combat pilots to fly a rotary wing aircraft (helicopter) and hit targets down range with an assortment of weapons. As you would expect, this requires very good depth perception (flying / putting steel on target).

The findings showed some help blocking blue light under some conditions (fog / mist), but did not support the use of such lenses under all conditions for all tasks. It's been many months since I read the full article, but the impression it left on me is to save my money for some other purchase then yellow lenses. The study was done to determine what, if any improvement, could be made by the use of yellow-tinted eyewear becasue pilots brought the same stories to work: "Hey, shooters wear yellow lenses and say it helps them hit the target. I want yellow lenses, too."

I'll see if I can track down the full report. If I am successful I will post the link so you can make up your own minds.

#15 Guest_SoloRiver_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 01 July 2003 - 10:53 PM

The correct issue should be downloadable as pdf here:


I'm saying "should be" because, be warned, the file is 35 MB and I didn't even try to download it since I'm on a dial-up.

#16 Guest_Michele_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 03 July 2003 - 09:35 AM

Well,I'm doomed! To say I have poor eyesight would be kind.With corrective lenses I have 20/60 at best. The crossdrives are pitiful for the most part. I can't tell if am through the first drive or in front,on line or off on the cross during many of my runs. Flat ground is much worse for me,I sometimes even think my dogs are crossing in front on long outruns! Thankfully they are pretty solid there.<sigh> I have a few different sunglasses that help a bit, a hat is a must. I have a bad glare problem with my contact lenses(any one else have that problem with contacts ?)
Betty Levin uses binoculars on the drives...hmmm..I wonder how that would work,and are there any rules about using them?

#17 Guest_Lori_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:41 PM

Last year, at a handlers' mtg, a well known judge told the group of open handlers that someone was requesting to use binoculars because of poor eyesight. The judge announced that this was "against the rules" but if no handler objected, he would allow it. No one openly objected, tho there were tons of private rumblings later. Personally, I thought this was poor form. If indeed this is a "rule" somewhere, it shouldn't be waived by this kind of vote.

#18 Guest_Deb_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 03 July 2003 - 08:39 PM

I don't recommend using the AMEDD Journal site as it makes you download the entire journal - all 35MB of it.

You can get the tech article from the USAARL site - it will download faster. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view it.

Go to: http://www.usaarl.army.mil/

Select "Technical Reports" (left side of page)

Select "Search for Tech Reports", which will open a new window.

In the "Report Number" field put 2000-20 and hit the "Search" button.

That will bring up a window w/ the report abstract.

If you click on the report number (2000-20) in the upper left of that abstract, the report will open automatically. You can read it on-line, download it, or print it from this window.

Lori- Binocs? Now that is a new one on me...! Have fun at the Lynch's trial - w/ or w/o amber lenses!

#19 Guest_workindogs_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 03 July 2003 - 09:00 PM

We had a trial in Oregon recently with a 700 yd outrun on a completely flat light green field. The letout crew complained that they couldn't see if the handler was at the post. Handlers complained that they couldn't see if the sheep were set or not (even standing on a hay bale). It was pretty much a blind outrun for the dogs....most with many redirects.

The judge allowed a person who asked to use binoculars to check to see if the sheep were set. The binoculars were used by only one person to check the set...but they were not used during the run. I think the judge was using binoculars too.


BTW This was my first Open trial ever...lucky me. However, my dog did eventually find his sheep.

<small>[ July 04, 2003, 01:09 AM: Message edited by: workindogs ]</small>

#20 Guest_Michele_*

  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 04 July 2003 - 09:50 AM

Hi Lori,I remember the trial you mentioned.I went on the USBCHA site and could only find training tools are not aloud.Nothing about tools to help a handler.Nothing on NEBCA. I was really just kidding about the bioculars. I have used them,not while running a dog,but to take a look at other dogs while at the Finals or trials with large outwork. I doubt my eyes could adjust in time for it to be a useful tool for me personally.I have a funny story ,I was visiting Barb Levinson a while back and we were standing in front of her house before I headed home.A man who was going door to door for some charity came up and was chatting with us. I said "well gotta go" and got in my car to head home. The man was astonished. Barb came over to my car and mentioned he thought I was blind! There I was with my dark Ray Ban glasses,my white training stick,that I just happened to be tapping on the ground on my way to the car. I told her to tell him drive using braille!

Reply to this topic


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Copyright: All posts and images on this site are protected by copyright, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without permission. Banner photo courtesy of Denise Wall, 2009 CDWall. For further information, contact info@bordercollie.org.