Hard headed dogs?

Post Reply
User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:27 pm

I have been thinking about this term for quite some time. I have always uesd the term "hard headed" or "stubborn" when talking about certain dogs or breeds, but we know dogs don't have a human brain and most of us know that dogs don't have the ability to think in the same way we do. Some dogs take to training and pick up things more easily than others but are the others being hard headed or is it our lack of proper training techniques and being able to read the dog, as somebody touched on in a recent thread. So, my question is, is there really such a thing as hard headed dogs? I sometimes wonder because as I became older and more experienced, I began realizing that the dogs I would be getting angry at because they appeared to be stubborn maybe just weren't understanding what they were supposed to do and that with some things it isn't a choice but rather a command that must be obeyed.

I doubt that a dog has the ability to think "I know what he/she is telling me but nobody is going to tell me what to do". I think it has to do with the amount of prey drive, the attention span and just the fact that some dogs are smarter than others [as far as dog smarts go]. One of the best dogs I ever owned was what I called the most hard headed dog I ever owned and I used some drastic measures on her. But looking back, it was probably mostly me that was the hard headed one. I remember a quote from Paul Longs book where you say I'LL SHOW HIM!!! and Paul says don't show him, "teach him".

I also believe that sometimes when a dog seems to be ignoring a vocal command, he/she may just be so focused on something else that maybe they honestly don't hear you, hence the benefit of the e-collar. I don't mean to say that I don't still use corrections and discipline to the level that it takes, but since I changed my way of thinking over the years and began trying to understand things from a dog's perspective, training is more enjoyable with a lot less stress and my dogs and I bond more and have a lot more fun. I would just like to hear others opinions on whether dogs are actually being hard headed or is it something else?
Thanks,
Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
nikegundog
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1508
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:21 am
Location: SW Minnesota

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by nikegundog » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:44 pm

Have you ever seen that crinkly hair on Chesapeakes? That's not from genetics its made by 2x4s, if that's any help. :D

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by kninebirddog » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:47 pm

Hard headed
Willful
Willing to pay the price to get what they want
Absolutely unwilling to be part of a pack and does its own thing
Will go through everything you have to rip out a bird was like it as a pup and as she got older she got worse and there was no collar that would stop her..Miserable to hunt behind and no way to trial her

Was one to definitely cull out of a gene pool
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

User avatar
Onk
Rank: 4X Champion
Posts: 693
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:26 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Onk » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:54 pm

Dogs IMO all have differant personalities and temperaments. I believe dogs can think and problem solve but not rationalize. I think most of the hard headed dogs you speak of just have a very independent personality. We had one Irish Setter back in the days of my youth that was as hard headed of a dog as you will ever see. Many times I saw my dad put the leash on this dog an drag him, picture dog in seated position, back to the truck for not listening and wanting to hunt his way. This could explain why my dad never had anymore dogs except EP's. Dad always had EP's before, during and after the failed setter times. Funny part was that was the longest living dog we have ever had, 16 yrs old at death! I kind of always thought he lived so long just to be a painful reminder to my dad of the stress filled days in the fields! There were times dad would walk by the dog start mumbling under his breath and shaking his head and I swear I often saw the dog smiling when this happened! :D
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/genview.php?id=3600

"I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better." -George Bird Evans " Troubles with Bird Dogs"

User avatar
quanah labs
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:17 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by quanah labs » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:03 pm

I don't have enough experience with gun dogs to even start to answer this question, but I find this post very interesting and I look forward to reading the responses this forum is sure to give. GOOD POST!

User avatar
gittrdonebritts
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1252
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: Malta,IL

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by gittrdonebritts » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:00 am

kninebirddog wrote:Hard headed
Willful
Willing to pay the price to get what they want
Absolutely unwilling to be part of a pack and does its own thing
Will go through everything you have to rip out a bird was like it as a pup and as she got older she got worse and there was no collar that would stop her..Miserable to hunt behind and no way to trial her

Was one to definitely cull out of a gene pool
Must had some setter in her

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by kninebirddog » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:24 am

gittrdonebritts wrote:
kninebirddog wrote:Hard headed
Willful
Willing to pay the price to get what they want
Absolutely unwilling to be part of a pack and does its own thing
Will go through everything you have to rip out a bird was like it as a pup and as she got older she got worse and there was no collar that would stop her..Miserable to hunt behind and no way to trial her

Was one to definitely cull out of a gene pool
Must had some setter in her
actually was a HTA HT Rack bred bitch

She even as a pup would look dead at you then look back at where the scent of the bird was coming from after a beautiful point and Take it out whoa post and some other more corporal punishment didn't change her mind at all, you could light her up like a Christmas tree after the flush or before she would go right through it she would just tighten her muscles wild bird hunting MISERABLE to hunt behind nothing like a nice hard point to be followed with a nice hard Rip . We gave her to a buddy in Texas who said he liked Hard headed tough dogs...After 6 months he to said CULL...
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

User avatar
Ron R
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:51 pm
Location: Bethalto, IL

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Ron R » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:09 am

birddogger wrote:is there really such a thing as hard headed dogs?
I think so but I beleive alot of the dogs that are being accused of being hard headed are just poor learners. I know that it's hard to do anything with self-hunters and some dogs just take so much more work than others. I think one example of a dog being hard headed would be a dog that refuses to come to you and load when you're finished working or hunting them. The dog understands what you want from him and makes you chase him down and catch him (until the ecollar).
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/4genview.php?id=2786

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

User avatar
tailcrackin
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: Crab Orchard, Kentucky

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by tailcrackin » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:47 am

Dogs do think, and dogs do learn. It isnt hard headed at all, its when and how people try an change the rules, dogs are creature of habit........like derbies for should have been 2 years but usually 3 for x amount of time, the dog could run an do as it pleased, with very lil guidance, or work. Now, the handler gets a wild hair and we are gonna break it, or steady it.......now in the dogs world, everything has changed, the rules are now, different. people dont adjust theirselves to help the dog, its usually you are gonna be broke now, no matter what.
Dogs again, do think, they will show you buy their actions......meaning, one time, there was several of us working dogs, and someone brought a young dog in, and let it free run.........On the first bird, the dog was allowed by the handler to get in to tight on the trap, and bird. When you watched things evolve, the dog was within a foot of the loaded trap.......person went out front like 6ft or better, and was acting like was flushing........launched the bird, and dog was off to the races, went back an forth from where bird was, to were bird went. Alot of things could have been easily prevented, IMO.

Now, here is where the dog was thinking, in my eyes, he/she showed it in its actions.........the second find,was loaded launcher also......now dog was prolly 2ft maybe 3ft off the launcher, you could watch the dog..........it would lean into the area, or stretch into to try an get more scent......enjoy it a little more.........and then would lean way back like .......oh crap this thing I am pointing is gonna get me...........then would go back in, and back out. That shows you a dog can an will think, because 5 min before, this son of a gun, blew up in my face, and the dog, a young dog, shouldnt have been put in that sort of situation. IMO..... the handler was lucky I had changed the launcher springs, the situation for the dog that was allowed, could have very easily went sour in alot of venues, in a blink of an eye. So was this particular work out, the dogs fault?? IMO, now, the handler could have walked the dog to the area, he would have had control, of the dog to some sort, and did have full control of the launcher. He could have very easily dropped the cord, and still allowed the dog the find on its own. If the dog wanted to creep or figure things out to much, handler could have launched bird, and kept things in a better learning situation for the dog......or we can say a better thinking situation.
Dogs arent hard headed, people are to set in their ways, the average, always thinks it has to be force, it doesnt. I adjust my touch, timing, everything, everyday, to work with each dog I put my hands on.......I dont tell them to point, and I dont tell them to stand there, they dont understand english, why not teach it, instead of speak it.
I always thought the tougher dogs, were more like a "HIGH MAINTENANCE" style of dog......what I mean, is when they finally get broke, you always gotta train on them, and keep them broke, always, always, working on them..........the softer dogs, seem to me, to show, once they are broke, they stay broke, it takes very little if anything, to keep them in the "broke" state. IMO......

Dogs do listen, and arent stubborn, most people just dont take the time, to hear what they are saying. Thanks Jonesy
"Don't make it happen. Get it ready and let it happen"
- Ray Hunt
www.jonesysgundogs.com

User avatar
Ron R
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:51 pm
Location: Bethalto, IL

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Ron R » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:35 pm

tailcrackin wrote:you could watch the dog..........it would lean into the area, or stretch into to try an get more scent......enjoy it a little more.........and then would lean way back like .......oh crap this thing I am pointing is gonna get me...........then would go back in, and back out.
Are you sure that the dog was thinking "oh crap this thing I'm pointing is gonna get me"? It sounds like the dog was just being tempted to take steps.
tailcrackin wrote:one time, there was several of us working dogs, and someone brought a young dog in, and let it free run.........On the first bird, the dog was allowed by the handler to get in to tight on the trap, and bird. When you watched things evolve, the dog was within a foot of the loaded trap.......person went out front like 6ft or better, and was acting like was flushing........launched the bird, and dog was off to the races, went back an forth from where bird was, to were bird went.

That sounds familiar. I will let a pup free run, point a launcher and then chase the released bird. What would you have done? The reason I don't checkcord them into launchers at that time is because I like them to hunt and find the bird with little help from me.
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/4genview.php?id=2786

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

User avatar
tailcrackin
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: Crab Orchard, Kentucky

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by tailcrackin » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:29 pm

I dont remember what all happened with your dog.

If that situation would have occured while I was working a dog, I wont let them free run into traps, or at least the young dogs I wont. You cannot be exact on your estimation, on where the trap is, or where, or how close the dog is to the trap. I try an keep it as successful as I can, in all venues. I dont worry so much about the pointing aspect in some circumstances, because if the dog dont smell it in the first or second pass, I will pop it, and allow it to think on things, and realize it messed up, and there are birds here. You can see the wheels turning when you do that a time or two, ol dog wants to hunt, an have the find........but when it comes out running wild, or acting wild on the cord, imo, it isnt trying to do a thing for us......with its reaction, it is doing everything for itself. You arent gonna accomplish a thing for both of you, and todays workout, you are gonna fuel its fire, to do more for itself, than you and the dog together. It would the same if a dog goes on point, and the trap malfunctions, why walk to the front, and try an fix things......that changes the rules with the dog work sometimes.........dog isnt ready for you to go to the front an flush......so ya do, and all heck breaks loose, the dog blew up, birds in trap on ground, and dog has gone into fulltime, chomper mode. And the bad thing is, the trap is prolly gonna knock the crap out of the dog. I think it would be just as easy to reach down, and pick up the dog, and walk away, and or put it up, and figure out what, or why things went wrong. When you pick them up, you are not making a physical, negative correction on its job. You are covering yours, an the dogs butt from some bad possibles. IMO
We worked on this, I talked and showed, at the weekend training day, and at the recent seminar in Missouri...........We were all talking on the stop an stand, all it was, was a conversation, about a dogs reactions with it. I showed, I took a dog, and tried showing it how to stop and stand, dog wanted to move a lil, I made a slicght correction, and asked again.....dog moved an corrected again........asked again, and dog still didnt comply, and moved..........Not a biggie, the dog was unsure of what I was asking, and how to do it. So, I allowed the dog to forget things for a bit....with the corrections, and failure, the dog was actually forgetting to think, and was more getting nervous.......and failing worse. So, I tapped it an me an dog walked around for a little bit, and I allowed the dog to get away from nervous area, and I walked myself up the cord, and reasked to stop an stand. The dog done it, not great, but it did what I wanted. I tapped an walked on. Let it loosen up for a bit, and walked up the cord, and reasked.......it done it again, alot better this time, I even took, and laid the check cord over its back, and stepped a step to the side, and to the butt end of the dog, I didnt go to front, becase the dog wasnt and isnt ready for that, it would have failed, and I didnt wnat it in that situation. But the dog done everything else pretty dang nice.....I tapped it loved it up lil, and went an gave an oppertunity to point a bird. And we put it up. What this allowed everyone to see, was the dogs "want to" it wanted to please, just didnt know how. I helped it by being fair, it had no idea on my whats an whys, and got nervous, instead of confident.........I helped the people see the confidence start....and slowly build. I will still say that dogs think, some dont think as well as we want them to...<BG> but they do think, some it takes lil longer to process, so be it, its not a perfect world, work with what ya got......it will teach you, as well as you will teach it. Thanks Jonesy
"Don't make it happen. Get it ready and let it happen"
- Ray Hunt
www.jonesysgundogs.com

User avatar
C.painter
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:13 pm
Location: Madison WI

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by C.painter » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:23 pm

Jonesy, I remember u working that gsp at the training day... and I watched as you walked her off.. and how she csme around to u lead. Great write up as that is exactly how I remember it going down... and I learned a ton watching it unfold!

Cory

User avatar
Ron R
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:51 pm
Location: Bethalto, IL

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Ron R » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:55 pm

tailcrackin wrote:but when it comes out running wild, or acting wild on the cord, imo, it isnt trying to do a thing for us......with its reaction, it is doing everything for itself. You arent gonna accomplish a thing for both of you,
I agree with that but I was refering to a pup that already has a handle put on him. That's all, keep up the good work.

Thanks
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/4genview.php?id=2786

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:14 pm

Dogs do listen, and arent stubborn, most people just dont take the time, to hear what they are saying. Thanks Jonesy
This is pretty much what I am talking about and how my thinking and training has changed over the last several years.

Thanks,
Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
Cajun Casey
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4243
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:59 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:12 pm

There are stubborn dogs. Usually they are smart and talented. What I've seen of them, they tend to mature late and most people don't stick with them long enough to develop their potential.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by kninebirddog » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:43 pm

birddogger wrote:
Dogs do listen, and arent stubborn, most people just dont take the time, to hear what they are saying. Thanks Jonesy
This is pretty much what I am talking about and how my thinking and training has changed over the last several years.

Thanks,
Charlie
Then there are those dogs being evaluated all a long for breeding purposes and 3 years later the owner finally wises up and seeks a better more biddable prospect for breeding purposes
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:15 pm

Then there are those dogs being evaluated all a long for breeding purposes and 3 years later the owner finally wises up and seeks a better more biddable prospect for breeding purposes
Certainly dogs are all different and some are more biddable than others but that is really not what I am talking about or asking. I don't know whether I am right or not about the term"hard headed" but just something I have been thinking about for a long time and have a different opinion on it than I used to. I am not going to argue the point but just wanted to hear others views on it.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by kninebirddog » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:27 pm

birddogger wrote:
Then there are those dogs being evaluated all a long for breeding purposes and 3 years later the owner finally wises up and seeks a better more biddable prospect for breeding purposes
Certainly dogs are all different and some are more biddable than others but that is really not what I am talking about or asking. I don't know whether I am right or not about the term"hard headed" but just something I have been thinking about for a long time and have a different opinion on it than I used to. I am not going to argue the point but just wanted to hear others views on it.

Charlie
That was this dog Hard headed Will full...She knew her job but elected not to do it..even as a pup she had a natural nice initial point but never wanted to hold her point. She would stare at you will figuring out how to get what she wanted ..

as an adult she would go on point and then turn see where you were at look you dead in the eye turn to the bird and Let her rip even when she knew correction was coming and it didn't matter...the guy we gave her to said he never seen anything like her before and never cared to see another. You could literally light her up and she would just tighten the muscles and Let her rip for what she wanted wouldn't slow her down for a second. IF another dog had something she wanted when she was a pup she would latch on to the item even if the other dog would about rip her head off . So we to keep her separated when she was a pup for her own good then as an adult I would almost have to wonder if she would have ate her young Thankfully there will be no finding out.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:52 pm

Sounds like a dog from heck. Fortunately, I have never experienced one like that.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
hosejockey2935
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:16 pm
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by hosejockey2935 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:09 am

Cajun Casey wrote:There are stubborn dogs. Usually they are smart and talented. What I've seen of them, they tend to mature late and most people don't stick with them long enough to develop their potential.
I am hoping that's the problem with mine...she's smart and biddable. She just chooses to not remember what happened to her last time she did something wrong. She usually does very well with correction at the moment.
Sir Ta' Mater of Chaos - Mater

Firebrand's Smoke & Mirrors - Kenzie
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/genview.php?id=3358

User avatar
Vision
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:01 pm
Location: rocky mountains

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Vision » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:26 am

I like the term "blackhearted" instead of hard headed. I've had several and they were the most precocious pups in the litter. By 2 they were blackhearted run off's doing there own thing. One would run through a number 6 of an A1-70 and act like nothing was happening. You could tell he was feeling it by his slight twist of his head.

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by kninebirddog » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:40 am

Vision wrote:I like the term "blackhearted" instead of hard headed. I've had several and they were the most precocious pups in the litter. By 2 they were blackhearted run off's doing there own thing. One would run through a number 6 of an A1-70 and act like nothing was happening. You could tell he was feeling it by his slight twist of his head.
Coal Black hearted would sum it up
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

User avatar
tailcrackin
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: Crab Orchard, Kentucky

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by tailcrackin » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:37 am

I've had several and they were the most precocious pups in the litter. By 2 they were blackhearted run off's doing there own thing. One would run through a number 6 of an A1-70 and act like nothing was happening. You could tell he was feeling it by his slight twist of his head.
I would like to have watched these grow up, I question, what caused them to dislike you and wanna run off, or do their own thing. You dont think they were running away from the ecollar when you were using a 6 on them? Just sorta puts some question in mind, or thought. Thanks Jonesy
"Don't make it happen. Get it ready and let it happen"
- Ray Hunt
www.jonesysgundogs.com

User avatar
MTO4Life
Rank: Champion
Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by MTO4Life » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:13 pm

I know this is a legitimate topic, but one one britt is literally 'hard headed'. I have clocked him at an honest 30 mph full out running, and I watched him run head first into a truck hitch at full steam. Caught is right between the eyes and it floored him. I was pretty sure he gave up the ghost right there. He jumped up, shook his head and kept going. It rocked the truck he hit so hard and he only weighed 28 lbs at the time. Pretty crazy...

Sorry for not quite following the topic, but when I read the title, it reminded me of my little guy!

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:19 pm

Now that was one hard headed dog!!! :lol:

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
Vision
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:01 pm
Location: rocky mountains

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Vision » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:17 pm

tailcrackin wrote:
I've had several and they were the most precocious pups in the litter. By 2 they were blackhearted run off's doing there own thing. One would run through a number 6 of an A1-70 and act like nothing was happening. You could tell he was feeling it by his slight twist of his head.
I would like to have watched these grow up, I question, what caused them to dislike you and wanna run off, or do their own thing. You dont think they were running away from the ecollar when you were using a 6 on them? Just sorta puts some question in mind, or thought. Thanks Jonesy

Sorry Jonesy, but there are black hearted dogs, stupid dogs, soft dogs, too smart dogs, rebels, dogs that won't point, retrieve etc. Don't give me this "there are no bad dogs, only bad owners crap" straight out of the PETA manual. Some breedings, and I happened to have one out of a breeding that produced a bunch of them that were black hearted run offs.

User avatar
tailcrackin
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: Crab Orchard, Kentucky

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by tailcrackin » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:55 pm

Don't give me this "there are no bad dogs, only bad owners crap" straight out of the PETA manual

Never said there was or wasnt, just questioned your post, Thanks Jonesy
"Don't make it happen. Get it ready and let it happen"
- Ray Hunt
www.jonesysgundogs.com

User avatar
jarbo03
Rank: Champion
Posts: 333
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:30 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by jarbo03 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:22 pm

There are hard headed dogs, my last lab was one of these. A well trained dog that always made me pull my hair out, but he always got the birds also, hard to complain about that.

User avatar
displaced_texan
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:57 pm
Location: Mobilehoma

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by displaced_texan » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:48 pm

Buddy of mine has a hard headed dog. White pointer, great bird dog, big runner, but you can rein him in if needed.

Unless there are deer. 6 years old and LOVES to chase them. He knows it is gonna get him lit up with the e collar, and most likely beat when he comes back, but he still chases them every chance he gets. It's almost funny to see him come sulking back, it's like he is trying to say "Daddy, I was bad. I chased those deer. Go ahead and rough me up a bit and I'll look for birds till I find more deer, and we can do it again!"
I have English Pointers because they don't ever grow up either...

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:05 pm

displaced_texan wrote:Buddy of mine has a hard headed dog. White pointer, great bird dog, big runner, but you can rein him in if needed.

Unless there are deer. 6 years old and LOVES to chase them. He knows it is gonna get him lit up with the e collar, and most likely beat when he comes back, but he still chases them every chance he gets. It's almost funny to see him come sulking back, it's like he is trying to say "Daddy, I was bad. I chased those deer. Go ahead and rough me up a bit and I'll look for birds till I find more deer, and we can do it again!"
I understand what you are saying but what I wonder, is hard headedness what is really going on, or is he just so obsessed with deer that he just simply loses control and can't help it. Maybe he thinks he is getting beaten because he didn't catch it and wants to do a better job next time. :lol: Just kidding but hopefully you get my point.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
displaced_texan
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:57 pm
Location: Mobilehoma

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by displaced_texan » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:19 am

birddogger wrote:
displaced_texan wrote:Buddy of mine has a hard headed dog. White pointer, great bird dog, big runner, but you can rein him in if needed.

Unless there are deer. 6 years old and LOVES to chase them. He knows it is gonna get him lit up with the e collar, and most likely beat when he comes back, but he still chases them every chance he gets. It's almost funny to see him come sulking back, it's like he is trying to say "Daddy, I was bad. I chased those deer. Go ahead and rough me up a bit and I'll look for birds till I find more deer, and we can do it again!"
I understand what you are saying but what I wonder, is hard headedness what is really going on, or is he just so obsessed with deer that he just simply loses control and can't help it. Maybe he thinks he is getting beaten because he didn't catch it and wants to do a better job next time. :lol: Just kidding but hopefully you get my point.

Charlie
He knows better than to chase...


Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you are just trying to rationalize it now.
I have English Pointers because they don't ever grow up either...

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:42 pm

Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you are just trying to rationalize it now.
I don't mean to, I just wonder what is going through the dog's head. I use the term "hard headed" all the time and probably always will. I know some dogs are impossible and just wanted some thoughts on it. I know that in at least some cases what is called being "stubborn" turns out to not be the case at all. Just as an example....I once saw a dog that the owner gave up on because he was too hard headed to handle....Refused to recall, etc. The dog was given away and within a very short time, the dog was handling and recalling perfectly for the new owner and was a very nice dog. I don't want to argue or debate the concept of "hard headed", I just thought it would be interesting to hear thoughts or theories on the subject.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
Ahumphers91a
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 2:06 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Ahumphers91a » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:03 pm

The dog is only as good as his master! that's why I prefer to do my own training. Granted, im no expert and don't claim it, but if you just think a certain line is thick in the head because you or someone you know has had a bad experience, then I believe it you who is thick in the head.

User avatar
Chukar12
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2051
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Chukar12 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:16 pm

C'mon now...
Whatever you care to call it there are more difficult dogs to deal with than others. The question begs whether it environmental, genetics, or a combination thereof; I believe that given the right hands, time and patience very few problems cannot be solved. I will acquiesce there are some, why would dogs not be subject to their own brand of mental disorders just as humans may be? All of my disclaimers notwithstanding I still think a HUGE percentage of hard headed dogs are handled by people who don't understand how or are not willing to take the time to change behavior. I know way...way...way....way...way too many hunters and trialers (yours truly included on occasion) that hunt or trial a dog that is not broke or has a weakness in their training unaddressed and we try to "play through it." when we don't stop and go address the issue ... IT ALWAYS GETS WORSE. The behavior becomes cemented deeper, and it is the norm in the relationship between the primary handler and the dog. This is often why someone new fares better ...see Jonesy's 'rule change' comments...

I had to add this as well...a bunch of "soft" and or "hard headed" dogs are not treated like dogs. You will hear comments like "I have owned half a dozen dogs in my life and they all slept on the couch and or right in bed and never had a behavior issue." and then they do on the 7th dog because it has a propensity to be more dominant and we are confused...or we add a dog to a single dog family or worse when you get to more than two...and there are parallel worlds occuring. Heirarchy and communication between dogs that we don't pick up on or manage and it changes the dynamic of the house that existed before the extra dogs.

Joe

User avatar
Ahumphers91a
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 2:06 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Ahumphers91a » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:47 pm

Exactly, when the problem isn't addressed (BY THE OWNER/HANDLER) it just gets worse, or the dog becomes accustomed to being the way it thinks is OK to be.

User avatar
Chukar12
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2051
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Chukar12 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:51 pm

Having the owner deal with it is the best case scenario but not very many of them can recognize or address the issue from the root like a professional can. I would argue that the best solution is training and addressing the issue with both the dog and the owner in most cases.

User avatar
Ahumphers91a
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 2:06 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Ahumphers91a » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:54 pm

Yes, that's kinda what I meant by owner/trainer/handler, if the dog is trained and handled by the owner.

User avatar
Cajun Casey
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4243
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:59 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm

Sometimes, they just need to grow up. The dogs. I am seeing this now with my two year old. His cousin didn't really come up for air until he was four.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

User avatar
Chukar12
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2051
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Chukar12 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:12 pm

I have no original material so please stand by as I plagerize others...George Hickox speaks of dogs being designed to "take a hit" His example is a wolf pack pursuing an elk, more often than they are enjoying tenderloin they are getting kicked, stomped and bitten...yet they return to task out of survival. Our dogs are hard wired with that prey drive back there someplace and when they get a reward for something (on their terms remember not ours) even if it is inconsistent many of them will default to the characteristic that carries them through the hand they are dealt with mother nature. Sooo...the earlier and more consistently there are negative consequences for the wrong actions and the more rewards they get for their positive actions the easier it is to keep them from becoming "stubborn"

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:19 pm

Chukar12 wrote:I have no original material so please stand by as I plagerize others...George Hickox speaks of dogs being designed to "take a hit" His example is a wolf pack pursuing an elk, more often than they are enjoying tenderloin they are getting kicked, stomped and bitten...yet they return to task out of survival. Our dogs are hard wired with that prey drive back there someplace and when they get a reward for something (on their terms remember not ours) even if it is inconsistent many of them will default to the characteristic that carries them through the hand they are dealt with mother nature. Sooo...the earlier and more consistently there are negative consequences for the wrong actions and the more rewards they get for their positive actions the easier it is to keep them from becoming "stubborn"
Excellent post!

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

Max2
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: Oneonta NY

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Max2 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:27 pm

My thoughts are that what some call hard headed is determination .Someone who is thinking they are going to do what they want to do. That being the pup . I also feel that if you could harness this determination and have it work to your advantage you may be pleasently surprised.

User avatar
Birdman250
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:41 pm
Location: NE Wisconsin

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Birdman250 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:40 pm

IMO, hard headed dogs are those who don't give a darn to its master/handler. But then again, he might think he's better quality then you are and thus, he tests you ever which way possible. I have a EP that thinks he can out smart me. I can't seem to get him to do what I want during trials. At training, no matter where we go to train, he always wing and shot, and waits for release. Trial dates and times are totally different situation. Some say he's trial smart..To me dogs do think. They might not be as creative as we are but they surely can determine what way is the best way to counter act our decisions and inputs.
A dog is the extension of its owner.

Paul : http://www.pmtkennels.com

User avatar
Sue
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:54 am
Location: Out in the Woods with the setters

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Sue » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:21 pm

Here's my take. I'm new around here, so not sure anyone will take me seriously, but here goes anyway, FWIW.

One way to look at training dogs is 4 main variables, and I put them in this order because I think this is their order of importance.

1) The skill of the trainer
2) The drive of the dog
3) The basic temperament of the dog, from "soft" to "hard"
4) The "intelligence" of the dog in terms of how fast he makes connections between his actions and the results.

So looking at these one by one.
1) Skill of the trainer. How well does the trainer read the dog? How good is the trainer's timing? How creative is the trainer in terms of problem solving? How well does the trainer perceive if what he is doing is working or not working, and can he quickly come up with an alternate plan if the dog is not learning? How patient is the trainer? How well does the trainer engage the dog's attention? How much useful feedback does the trainer give to the dog per unit of time? I'm sure we could all add to this list. The Skill of the Trainer is the most important variable in the dog's achievement, IMO.

2) The Drive of the Dog. We're talking bird dogs here, so they need to be crazy about birds. If we were talking about border collies it would be a different drive, but its the same idea. What is the dog's level of obsession! Birds must be a big motivator for our dogs. I don't need to say too much here. We all know this drive is inherited, but also can be built upon with proper exposure to birds from puppyhood.
One thing that is very important to understand is that a dog with high prey drive can appear to have a "hard" temperament, when in fact he may actually be extremely sensitive to aversive training and you can do a lot of damage before you realize it.

3) The basic temperament of the dog, from "soft" to "hard". This I think is the thing that confuses people the most, as it is complicated. A soft dog is sensitive to aversives in training. Aversives can be anything from a harsh voice to a choke chain to an e-collar to a yank on the check cord. A hard dog has a high pain tolerance. A soft dog is usually sensitive to both pain and emotional stress. Although this is where it can get complicated. You may have a soft dog, that under the right circumstances has very high pain tolerance so you might be fooled. For instance if the dog has a high prey drive, he may not even notice a laceration on his pad while on the hunt, but later that evening he may be three legged lame and feeling quite sorry for himself. This could be the same dog that winces with a low level stim from the e-collar during yard training. Circumstances matter. A "hard" dog does not equal a "stupid" dog, and again I think people get fooled. A hard dog is simply a dog with a high pain threshold, and perhaps also combined with very high prey drive. He's the dog who keeps chasing the deer even when you blast him with a level 10 stim.

4) The "intelligence" of the dog. Some dogs are faster at figuring out what gets them reinforcers than others. Notice how I did not say "faster at figuring out what we humans want." Which brings me to my main point...

DOGS DO WHAT IS REINFORCING for them. They are amoral, not immoral. What I mean is they don't have a concept of being a "good dog" or a "bad dog." (Humans invented that.) They do what is rewarding/reinforcing for them. They also learn to avoid what is unpleasant (aversives). They are motivated to DO STUFF by positive reinforcers. The ultimate positive reinforcer for our dogs is a bird in the mouth, but there are others too that are highly motivating such as running, chasing, smelling, getting to play with other dogs, and food rewards. We think of praise as a reinforcer, but it really is a fairly weak reinforcer for many dogs, compared to the above list.

For many dogs who are trained with a lot of negative reinforcement, praise has come to represent an assurance they are not about to experience an aversive, sort of an unfortunate back handed reward, as it were.

Aversives or negatives stop dogs from doing something. Negatives don't teach them what TO do, and I think that is one thing many people lose track of. What appears obvious to us humans, is not obvious to dogs. (For example, we think that by punishing a puppy for peeing inside, we are teaching him to pee outside, when in fact this is not an obvious connection for the pup. Instead he learns its dangerous to pee in the living room, so he sneaks to the bedroom, and so on.)

"Soft" dogs are easily ruined by too much aversives in training. You get a blinker, a gun shy dog, a dog who won't go forward and hunt for you but rather sticks too close with a forelorn look, a dog with tail tucked, a dog who is afraid of the handler, won't look you in the eye, and overall is not having any fun. Mistakes made while training a soft dog are more difficult to "fix." A skilled trainer is extremely careful with the use of corrections/aversives on a soft dog and focuses his training on motivating the dog through his drive, so that the dog experiences success after success, reinforcer after reinforcer, and ultimately builds confidence.

"Hard" dogs can be misunderstood and called "stupid" because they can withstand a lot of aversives. If we set up the training situations such that the hard dog still gets reinforced even when he's doing what we don't want him to do we say he's not a good learner, or he's stupid, hopeless or a "cull." Because he can withstand pain and punishment and not be bothered by it too much, he's out running down interesting scents while the trainer blasts away at the e-collar telling him to quarter or recall, but the dog just keeps doing what he's doing, because in his world, the reinforcement (interesting scents, getting to run free, etc) is of high enough value that it out weighs the aversives, to which he is less sensitive. A skilled trainer will use this dog's strong drive to set up situations for the dog to succeed and experience reinforcers in a way that builds the behavior patterns desired. Rather than relying on aversives to stop the dog from doing "other stuff", the wise trainer figures out how to break the training into small bits where the dog is not in position to reinforce himself by going off track.

So, this has been a long winded answer to the question "is there such a thing as a hard headed dog" (with the implication he is not trainable). My answer is NO. There are only trainers who have not yet learned how to be 3 steps ahead of the dog. When your dog is doing something wrong, its because you did not set up the situation where doing it right was the obvious path for him, then you lean on the e-collar or the choke chain. At best then you are then teaching the dog what NOT to do to get his reinforcer. You are leaving it up to him to play 20 questions with what he's supposed to do to get his reinforcer next time.

One thing I've noticed, the most experienced/skillful trainers, don't blame the dog.
Last edited by Sue on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by birddogger » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:37 pm

GREAT POST!!!!!

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

Max2
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: Oneonta NY

Re: Hard headed dogs?

Post by Max2 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:40 am

Excellent ! :D

Post Reply