Controlling Range

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mmannuzza
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Controlling Range

Post by mmannuzza » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:28 pm

Hey Everyone,

I have a 10 month old Llewellyn Setter. This is his first hunting season and I have had him out about a half dozen times so far and have shot birds over him each time. I worked him on pigeons and a few pheasants throughout the summer and into the fall up until the season started. We also did a lot of yard work with basic commands and responding to the whistle. Generally, I am very pleased with the way things have gone so far, with the exception of one trait that I need to correct, but am a little uncertain about how to go about it.

The dog generally responds to commands very well in the yard, and even in the field until he hit's bird scent. Once he get's birdy, he gets crazed and is off to the races. If the bird is moving, he tends to run way ahead (sometimes a couple hundred yards) and invariably, ends up pushing up a bird out of range. (I should mention that we have been hunting pheasants). When he does this, he does not respond to the whistle or any verbal commands very well. Oh yeah, and he chases flushed birds which I plan to address between seasons working with a remote bird launcher.

I have not done a whole lot of e-collar training with him - he is a sensitive dog and figured it best to wait until he is a little older - but he has been introduced to the E-collar, and he responds well to it when not on bird scent. I set the collar to a very low setting and generally only use it when he is not obeying the command "Here". I have not applied it to many other commands yet.

So here is my dilema: I am reluctant to use the E-Collar on him when he is on bird scent. Obvously, his bird drive is a plus and I don't want to discourage this, but I don't know of any other way to bring him under control in this situation. If anyone has any words of wisdom to offer I would be very appreciative. Am I being too cautious about using the E-Collar in this situation for a dog of this age? I would hate to take a step backward.

Thanks. You're comments are welcome.

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:54 am

Sounds like you're not using any pen raised birds on him. Training starts in the yard, not the field. I would suggest you buy the Perfection DVD set.

You'll have to work him off a CC before the collar. Start him in the yard making him stay at whoa on flighted pigeons. If he breaks, tip him over and put him back on whoa.

Then move to the incidental flush, where you just walk along and throw a bird or pop it from a trap without him scenting it. Make him stand at whoa whenever he sees a bird go into the air.

Sounds like you really haven't done much work with him yet. When you hit that whistle, the dog should spin and come to you or stop what he's doing immediately. Until you have his respect and have taught him this, you won't teach him much in the field.
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Chukar12
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by Chukar12 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:40 am

I am of the opinion that you can hunt ... or you can train, it is very difficult to do both. Forums are difficult because of limitations in communication, but based on the information provided it appears that you are trying to hunt with a young and untrained dog. An e-collar is only used to enforce learned commands, not to teach them.

Does the dog know whoa?
Does the dog stop to flush in training?

Over time, your dog may stop rooting up birds on its own if you dont shoot them when he/she breaks on them. However, your best bet is to purchase one of the DVD's suggested on this forum a number of times and get yourself on a structured program so that when something breaks you have steps to go back to.

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Ditch__Parrot
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by Ditch__Parrot » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:08 am

mmannuzza wrote:Hey Everyone,

I have a 10 month old Llewellyn Setter. This is his first hunting season and I have had him out about a half dozen times so far and have shot birds over him each time. I worked him on pigeons and a few pheasants throughout the summer and into the fall up until the season started. We also did a lot of yard work with basic commands and responding to the whistle. Generally, I am very pleased with the way things have gone so far, with the exception of one trait that I need to correct, but am a little uncertain about how to go about it.

The dog generally responds to commands very well in the yard, and even in the field until he hit's bird scent. Once he get's birdy, he gets crazed and is off to the races. If the bird is moving, he tends to run way ahead (sometimes a couple hundred yards) and invariably, ends up pushing up a bird out of range. (I should mention that we have been hunting pheasants). When he does this, he does not respond to the whistle or any verbal commands very well. Oh yeah, and he chases flushed birds which I plan to address between seasons working with a remote bird launcher.

I have not done a whole lot of e-collar training with him - he is a sensitive dog and figured it best to wait until he is a little older - but he has been introduced to the E-collar, and he responds well to it when not on bird scent. I set the collar to a very low setting and generally only use it when he is not obeying the command "Here". I have not applied it to many other commands yet.

So here is my dilema: I am reluctant to use the E-Collar on him when he is on bird scent. Obvously, his bird drive is a plus and I don't want to discourage this, but I don't know of any other way to bring him under control in this situation. If anyone has any words of wisdom to offer I would be very appreciative. Am I being too cautious about using the E-Collar in this situation for a dog of this age? I would hate to take a step backward.

Thanks. You're comments are welcome.
Put the whistle down, bite your tonge and let the dog work the bird. The bird will teach him what not to do. When he chases a flushed bird let him learn that it doesn't do any good.

I agree with gonehuntin' get the Perfect Start Perfect Finish DVD's.

Also using the e-collar around birds is very risky. IMO you can't be cautious enough.
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by RayGubernat » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:03 pm

I agree with gonehuntin' here. If the dog does not come when you call it... It is not sufficiently trained. The only exception to that is if the dog is already on point.

This is NOT a range thing...it is an obedience thing and obedience is NOT optional.

The dog needs to listen and respond, pretty much no matter what it is doing. Anything less than that will get you into all sorts of trouble down the road.

If you cannot call your dog off ahot scent...you cannot call your dog. If your dog will not stop and grow roots when you holler "whoa", then your dog don't whoa.

We all make allowances, excuses and let stuff slide now and then, but the cold hard fact is...if you call and the dog don't come... RIGHT NOW... unless the SOB is on point, it needs you to go get it, administer a correction and do some repetitions or you are going to pay for it down the road.

RayG

mmannuzza
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by mmannuzza » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:06 pm

Thanks for the input all. But aside from buying the DVD you recommended, I'm not sure I see a clear path forward here. No doubt it is a discipline issue. Maybe it would help if I explain that the dog obeys commands awsomely in the yard - command is given one time, dog expediently responds (here, sit, whoa, etc.)- it is a thing of beauty. But in the field when there are birds it is another matter. How can I bring him under control in those situations? Should I zap him? I am reluctant to do so. Are there drills I can do in the yard to simulate this situation? Should I do yard training with a locked wing pigeon sitting 6 feet away? Do you think this problem will work itself out as I train him to be steady to wing & shot with the launcher?

How did you all get your dogs to pull off of bird scent at come in at the first whistle? I assume it didn't happen naturally.

Thanks again for responding guys.

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Chukar12
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by Chukar12 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:42 pm

I dont think they were suggesting that they pull their dogs off scent with the whistle. I am not sure you want that. You want the dog to point the birds until you get there correct? Then you want the dog to handle even with the excitement and pressure of bird scent and contact in the field? If so, that's what we all want. IMO you first need to accept that the dog is 10 months old and I personally don't believe it is ready to be broke. If that is the case then you are still training and yes you need drills; pointing drills with launchers, stop to flush with launchers, bird contact and field experience with the collar where your primary mission is training and not shooting.

Running pheasants are not the "started dogs" friend. I would either let the dog go this whole year, order a video and finish the dog over summer, or stop now with the wild birds, get a launcher and your chosen video and start a structured program.

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Winchey
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by Winchey » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:45 pm

Just because a dog knows something in environment A does not meen it knows it in environment B. (or doesn't feel it applies in environment B for some reason) Master things in the yard first as it is easyest (less distractions), then take it to the field and reteach, and maintain the same expectations as you do in the yard in those environments. My girlfriends folks own a pet supply and training warehouse and you hear all the time, "he is actually really good at home" while there dog is acting a fool in the store or in a class/test. You need to generalize his training to many different environments.

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Re: Controlling Range

Post by 4dabirds » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:49 pm

I think everyone here gave you great advice. One thing i might add is that dogs do not generalize easy and they are place oriented . What this means is you need to train your dog for each command in different places. He or she will not understand what you want in the field when it was only taught in the yard . Start by getting your dog into as many places as you can and reteach those commands you taught in the yard. You should be using live birds in a controlled environment before you take the dog off a check cord in the field . If the dog will not whoa on a bird in your yard how can you expect it to whoa on a pheasant in the field. I used the hickox video but i ended up going to his seminar which I found to be excellent , and well worth the money.

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Re: Controlling Range

Post by RayGubernat » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:47 pm

mmanuzza -

You have a puppy that you are working with. A 10 month old setter puppy. By allowing the puppy to run around berserk and do whatever it wants to do in the field you are setting the stage for a conflict later on if you are not careful.

I personally would do one of two things.... I would either let the dog run and bump and do whatever it wants and keep my mouth shut... or I would take the dog off birds until it was reliable in the field on recall. My choice would be to take the dog off birds, except in a controlled, training situation, but that is me and I am not focused on producing a dog for hunting.

Since you seem to want to hunt over this dog at this time, this is what I suggest. If you have wild birds they will teach the dog that it cannot do certain things and get away with them. If the bird gets pushed up out of range you need to turn in a new direction and walk away. Don't call, don't give any commands ...nothing...just walk on. Let the birds teach the dog and let the dog know that if it wants to hunt for itself, you ain't gonna chase it. If it knows(which it probably does by now) that it takes the gun to get feathers in its mouth, it will most likely figure out eventually that it has to hold the bird until you get there, for it to get a taste of those feathers.

RayG

BTW, the dog is very likely too young for e-collar corrections in the field under hunting conditions. Some few ten month old pups can take that kind of pressure, but most of them ain't setters.

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Re: Controlling Range

Post by BigShooter » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:53 pm

RayGubernat wrote:Since you seem to want to hunt over this dog at this time, this is what I suggest. If you have wild birds they will teach the dog that it cannot do certain things and get away with them. If the bird gets pushed up out of range you need to turn in a new direction and walk away. Don't call, don't give any commands ...nothing...just walk on. Let the birds teach the dog and let the dog know that if it wants to hunt for itself, you ain't gonna chase it. If it knows(which it probably does by now) that it takes the gun to get feathers in its mouth, it will most likely figure out eventually that it has to hold the bird until you get there, for it to get a taste of those feathers.

RayG
I wouldn't disagree with Ray's advice however I would caution you to not expect that the dog will learn completely on its own. Frequently the young dog will learn to be very satisfied with just bumping birds & chasing after them. Re-training a dog after it has developed ingrained bad habits is a tough task. Take option one, back off of the hunting and do the yard training.
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mmannuzza
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by mmannuzza » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:19 pm

Thanks for your help everyone. This is all great stuff. Much appreciated.

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Hattrick
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Re: Controlling Range

Post by Hattrick » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:38 pm

I`m new to training and have a GSP.. The one thing i was told in the beginning (and i followed )was timing is everything with correction and exspecialy the ecollar. Following this rule i can call my dog off any and every situation and have been able to since ecollar intruduction at 5 months. For the most part i only use low setting, but you need to use as much as it takes for response.. Shes birdy as they come. Thats my 2cents

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