Training to back and silhouette

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Nmhuntr
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Training to back and silhouette

Post by Nmhuntr » Thu Nov 17, 2022 1:59 pm

Does anyone know if anyone sells just a silhouette to aid in training to back? My drawing skills are not great but I want to try this with my dog and see if I can get her to understand the idea.

Thanks a lot
Last edited by Nmhuntr on Thu Nov 17, 2022 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sharon
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Re: Training ti back and silhouette

Post by Sharon » Thu Nov 17, 2022 2:34 pm

Hmmm Can't believe that that is a good idea. Dogs aren't stupid; they won't believe it is a real dog - no smell etc.
Is there a dog club near you? Then you could train backing with another dog.

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Nmhuntr
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by Nmhuntr » Thu Nov 17, 2022 2:35 pm

I thought people used the pop up version a fair amount or they wouldn’t make them. I just dont want to pay for the pop up part of it. I figured it was worth a try. Maybe not

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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by ckirsch » Thu Nov 17, 2022 3:13 pm

I trained a dog for the Invitational years back using a silhouette. Drew out a GSP on a sheet of 1/8 plywood, put handles on both sides so that it could be propped facing either direction. Cut it out and painted one side roan and the other white with liver spots. Employed the services of my nine-year-old daughter to lay behind yucca, hay bales, or whatever other cover was available. We'd have the launcher set up in front of her, situated so that the dog came around a corner, she'd pop up the silhouette in sight of the dog. If he didn't stop and honor, I'd launch the bird and scold the dog a bit, setting him back to the spot where he should have honored from. Took about three reps and he was backing like he'd been doing it all his life. When he backed, I'd launch and shoot the birds, then reinforce steadiness and reward him with the retrieve. When Klaire got older and went to college, I started just propping the silhouette up in spots where the dog rounded a corner and got a sudden view of it. That seemed to work as well as having her prop it up.

FWIW, I never let the dog investigate the silhouette much, unless it was laying flat on the ground, in which case he had no interest in it.

The dog earned his VC a few months later as a two-year-old and was a reliable backer for the remainder of his life.

Nm - PM me and I'll send you a photo of the silhouette. I'm still using it ten years later.....

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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by shags » Thu Nov 17, 2022 3:59 pm

We've done similar to ckirsch, set up the silhouette around a corner or on the other side of a rise or hill. If there was help around, they'd 'handle' the silhouette and flush, then the dog's handler would heel off and the helper set the silhouette down.
We had two, one a long tail and the other a stub, and would set both up for one session, apart from each other. Each was painted on both sides in different breed colors.

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Sharon
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by Sharon » Thu Nov 17, 2022 4:16 pm

I was wrong nmhuntr. Listen to the experts. :)
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by SwitchGrassWPG » Thu Nov 17, 2022 5:36 pm

If you can get your dog to lay on its side, you can trace a general outline on a large piece of cardboard and cut it out. If you have multiple pieces of cardboard, you can make multiple in different colors. You could also go to a sign shop and pick up a sheet of corrugated sign material and cut out. Either way, you can use some #9 wire pushed into the "feet" to stake in the ground.
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by Coveyrise64 » Thu Nov 17, 2022 8:49 pm

An important note about backing. A dog should back at first sight no matter how far it is from the pointing dog. If the backing dog is in the scent cone it isn't a back and could lead to steadiness problems with one or both dogs.

I used a method similar to ckirsh. For me, if I'm using a silhouette and launchers, a prerequisite for the backing drill is stop to flush. I didn't have a helper, so I used 2 launchers. One launcher was placed a few feet behind the silhouette in-line with the direction I would be approaching from. The second launcher would be placed a few yards in front of the silhouette like it was a pointed bird. I'll lead the dog towards the silhouette and as soon as I think the dog is looking towards the silhouette, I will flush the 1st launcher. A bird coming up directly in line with the dog will draw the dog's attention directly towards the silhouette and if properly trained the dog should stop to flush. If the dog isn't stop to flush then stop the dog with the check cord. If the dog is steady, I walk to the second launcher and release the bird. As the dog focuses on the launched bird, I'll lay the silhouette down and walk back to the backing dog and heel it away. If the dog isn't steady, then a helper is useful.

I've used a couple of other methods to develop a reliable honor.

*A solid whoa command can be used to stop a dog in a backing situation when hunting with other dogs. I wouldn't advise using an ecollar in this situation. It could lead to blinking.

*I have ran two young dogs together that were both good with stop to flush. I would call one dog to me and give it a whoa command, then whistle the other dog to come my way. As soon as it was looking at me and the other dog I would toss a pigeon in the air. The dog should stop to the sight of the tossed bird. I'll then alternate the same drill with the other dog. There are other parts of steadiness training that can be incorporated into this method as well.
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Nmhuntr
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by Nmhuntr » Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:01 pm

ckirsch wrote:
Thu Nov 17, 2022 3:13 pm
I trained a dog for the Invitational years back using a silhouette. Drew out a GSP on a sheet of 1/8 plywood, put handles on both sides so that it could be propped facing either direction. Cut it out and painted one side roan and the other white with liver spots. Employed the services of my nine-year-old daughter to lay behind yucca, hay bales, or whatever other cover was available. We'd have the launcher set up in front of her, situated so that the dog came around a corner, she'd pop up the silhouette in sight of the dog. If he didn't stop and honor, I'd launch the bird and scold the dog a bit, setting him back to the spot where he should have honored from. Took about three reps and he was backing like he'd been doing it all his life. When he backed, I'd launch and shoot the birds, then reinforce steadiness and reward him with the retrieve. When Klaire got older and went to college, I started just propping the silhouette up in spots where the dog rounded a corner and got a sudden view of it. That seemed to work as well as having her prop it up.

FWIW, I never let the dog investigate the silhouette much, unless it was laying flat on the ground, in which case he had no interest in it.

The dog earned his VC a few months later as a two-year-old and was a reliable backer for the remainder of his life.

Nm - PM me and I'll send you a photo of the silhouette. I'm still using it ten years later.....
Thanks a lot
That is the technique I had read about

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Nmhuntr
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by Nmhuntr » Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:02 pm

Sharon wrote:
Thu Nov 17, 2022 4:16 pm
I was wrong nmhuntr. Listen to the experts. :)
No worries
One thing I have learned on this forum is there is a huge amount of experience to draw from. All opinions are welcome.
Thanks a lot

ckirsch
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by ckirsch » Thu Nov 17, 2022 10:54 pm

Sharon isn't "wrong" very often.....

I'm far from an expert but this worked for me. I think CoveyRise was kind enough to give me the idea all those years ago. First dog went fast, subsequent dogs not as quickly but we eventually got there.

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mm
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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by mm » Fri Nov 18, 2022 5:16 am

I had a picture of my dog on point blown up to life size. I cut it out and glued it to a sheet of plywood and trimmed the plywood around the picture. I made a stand for it out of wood blocks. From a distance people think its a real dog. it works and is easy.

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Re: Training to back and silhouette

Post by cjhills » Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:18 am

I trained many MH dogs with a silhouette. I didn't have a launcher in those days. I set the fake dog some place where the training dog would come on it by surprise. Planted a bird and let the dog hunt, I had hinged stakes so I could tip it over after the flush. Never had any problem with the honor, My dogs are all natural honoring dogs, so it was more to train them to steady to wing, shot and fall......Cj

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