How many birds per training session ?

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K9luke
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How many birds per training session ?

Post by K9luke » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:29 pm

The more good advice I get from here the more I want. I have read books and watched video's and come up with a mixed method using what I consider to be the best from each.
A typical training session goes like this for me;

Plant 3 birds for the dog.

Get her out of the vehicle and do a short obedience(sit stay and walk away for a few minutes) exercise. Then walk back take the lead and heel for 20-30 yards toward the area where the birds are.

Have her hunt em up (she is still on a CC) and retrieve downed birds working on being steady on point. I don't shoot all of them but do shoot random birds.

I do 3 retrieves with a dead bird at the end allowing her to carry the last one to the vehicle and taking it before I tell her to mount up.

Drive a half mile or so and repeat.

Would it be better for her planting all six birds (or more) in one field or keeping it to three at a time??
Her biggest fault is not staying on point while I flush the bird. She does good and getting better but still has a long way to go. I have been working on that with live birds and "whoa"
training but on the ground not on a board.

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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by slistoe » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:45 pm

I will use between zero and a dozen.

Most times less is more.

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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by topher40 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:53 am

1 bird is all you need. If the dog does it right once, put em up. Why give them a chance to screw up on the other 5 birds you have?
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gonehuntin'
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:22 am

If she' not steady on birds in the training yard, she won't be in the field. I don't like to use more than three LOCATIONS for birds. There may be 1-3 birds at each location. If I have a problem dog and it does it right, I'm like Topher; I put the dog away while it's done it correctly.

In general though, I really want to see that the dog understands what I want so I use at least two locations, about 100 yards apart.
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mudhunter
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by mudhunter » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:45 pm

quality over quantity when it comes to birds. One good bird contact is better than 4 mediocre or bad ones any day. A good bird contact doesn't mean it was handled right either, a good bird contact to me is one that if the dog made a mistake the correction was timed right and the dog knew why it was being corrected!

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K9luke
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by K9luke » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:25 pm

gpblitz wrote:Back up in your training and teach your dog stop to flush first. If you don't have launchers buy some. By teaching Stop to flush you'll correct this problem and will help work toward steady to wing and shot.
She does great when training at home. That's what is so frustrating to me. when I take her out to train in the woods or fields, I think she gets so jacked up she loses it some times. Thus the obedience and heel work before we go "hunt" to calm her down and let her know who's the boss. The first couple of birds is when she is likely to lunge, after that she settles down and works great.

I think after reading different topics on here and asking a few questions that launchers will solve the problem.

I greatly appreciate your input, Thank you.

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AzDoggin
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by AzDoggin » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:37 pm

Luke, I had a young Brittany where that first couple years I'd have her run along the truck for awhile before we started hunting. I called it "running the boogeries out." Seemed to settle her down - and she'd still hunt hard all day. With her, it was a different problem too - she started every hunt with a runoff or two. :oops: :oops:

I was young, she was young...both had a heck of alot of fun, though, and killed alot of birds together.

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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by snips » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:19 am

I do not kill any birds til they are completly steady to the flush and watch a bird fly off, then come off to hunt the next bird....Then they get a reward......
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by doco » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:44 am

My dogs only get one bird, always in launchers, as pups as a rule. As they age and understand, they maybe two in the same place to tighten them up. Then once they know EXACTLY what is expected, as many as it takes to get it right, by correction!

Roading is another issue for me, I have one that I roaded for three hours in 75 degree heat, kept her hydrated and wet and put her in a walking stake 1/2 later, and she was still jacked up. You can't put it in em, but boy when they got it you sometimes wish they had a little less.

Good luck,

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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by phermes1 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:20 am

doco wrote: You can't put it in em, but boy when they got it you sometimes wish they had a little less.


Bill
Great quote, and so descriptive of what I'm dealing with right now with the dog in my avatar. :)
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Sprig
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by Sprig » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:58 pm

my philosophy is you dont need a lot of birds in one training session but get on a regular schedule for training and keep a consistent supply of birds in front of the dog. i usually only put a dog on a couple birds at a time but they are on a regular schedule so they get into a routine and once a dog is in a regular routine, the training goes much faster and more productive. 8)

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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by thunderhead » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:35 pm

As you said, she does great while training at home. I don't do my yard work at home in the yard. I do it in the field where the dog has learned is an exciting and positive place to be. A training session in the field does not mean you have to have birds planted. There is a lot to be gained by doing whoa training right in the field. The dog doesn't know there are not any birds, and you can periodically stop the dog during whoa training and work on handling and some of the obedience type training right in the field. Once the dog is solid on whoa training, you can start stop to flush and stop to shot training. This is an extension of whoa training, which is the foundation. After the dog is solid on STF and STS, you could bring the dog back in on planted birds and have the tools in place to expect the dog to stand. It sounds like you have her hunting the field, pointing birds, and would like to take a step to the next level. Take her off the planted birds, and put the building blocks in place to allow her to progress forward.
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by Coveyrise64 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:42 pm

thunderhead wrote:As you said, she does great while training at home. I don't do my yard work at home in the yard. I do it in the field where the dog has learned is an exciting and positive place to be. A training session in the field does not mean you have to have birds planted. There is a lot to be gained by doing whoa training right in the field. The dog doesn't know there are not any birds, and you can periodically stop the dog during whoa training and work on handling and some of the obedience type training right in the field. Once the dog is solid on whoa training, you can start stop to flush and stop to shot training. This is an extension of whoa training, which is the foundation. After the dog is solid on STF and STS, you could bring the dog back in on planted birds and have the tools in place to expect the dog to stand. It sounds like you have her hunting the field, pointing birds, and would like to take a step to the next level. Take her off the planted birds, and put the building blocks in place to allow her to progress forward.
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Re: How many birds per training session ?

Post by 4dabirds » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:41 pm

thunderhead wrote:As you said, she does great while training at home. I don't do my yard work at home in the yard. I do it in the field where the dog has learned is an exciting and positive place to be. A training session in the field does not mean you have to have birds planted. There is a lot to be gained by doing whoa training right in the field. The dog doesn't know there are not any birds, and you can periodically stop the dog during whoa training and work on handling and some of the obedience type training right in the field. Once the dog is solid on whoa training, you can start stop to flush and stop to shot training. This is an extension of whoa training, which is the foundation. After the dog is solid on STF and STS, you could bring the dog back in on planted birds and have the tools in place to expect the dog to stand. It sounds like you have her hunting the field, pointing birds, and would like to take a step to the next level. Take her off the planted birds, and put the building blocks in place to allow her to progress forward.
I also agree with this approach . Although I would add that you can use as many birds as you want if you guarantee the outcome. I use a drill where I may use as many as 25 birds in one day divided up into5 -6 sessions. If you set up several launchers 15 yrds behind a well planted scent bird you can bring the dog in to the scent bird across the wind on a check cord. When the dog scents the bird it will turn towards the scent bird at that exact moment say whoa, launch a bird. while the dog is standing there launch the other birds intermittently. The more you vary the time between birds the more you keep the dog in suspense. Because the dog is rewarded with the bird for standing still and he wants to see more birds he will learn to stay put on his own. If he moves on a bird give him a good tug on the check cord then when he is steady launch another bird. I use a thin string to tether the birds to the launcher with elastic shock cord at the end. This helps keep the birds from reaching the dog and keeps them in good shape for multiple use. This drill works as a stop to flush and steady to wing and shot drill. The more birds the dog sees and the more you vary the launches the longer the dog will stand on point. Sometimes the birds will land and then launch again giving you bonus birds on the setup I fire a blank gun every time a bird goes up. Once the dog is steady to wing and shot then throw in the retrieve but you go through a lot more birds once this starts. With the tethers I will use 6 birds one scent and 5 launchers, 5 setups 5 times 25 birds. The dog never gets board. your not teaching the dog to hunt just to stay steady, after he is steady then he can teach himself to hunt!

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