How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

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Thornapple
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How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:04 am

I would like to ask some of you more experienced trainers a subject that has been bothering me for sometime. That is what is boldness in a puppy, can it be subdued, and then "reactivated"?

About 15 months ago I picked what appeared to be a bold puppy (Spinone). He showed all the signs of drive and boldness playing with other puppies, with a shot quail on a line, etc. But he now at 16 months underfoot in the field. In a NAVHDA NA test he got a 1 for drive and boldness in field work (pretty darn low) and simply will not push out and search as we all would expect a retriever to do. A trainer friend of mine said recently the dog simply lacks drive and any desire to hunt while watching him in a field with planted birds.

So my question is this. I wonder if just putting lots and lots of pigeons, chucker, quail, etc. out for him to hunt by himself will get him to push out more; do this repeatedly over and over again? Just let him find birds, establish the fun of this, not worry at this point his steadiness, but just re-instill a desire, and fun of seeking birds? In truth I believe I created this situation by using the beeper on his e-collar to call him in as we do our daily walks around the property. This is for control and discipline to not chase deer, turkeys, fox, etc. I may have inadvertently created a situation that he now will not explore too far in fear of getting a beeper (not an e-collar nick!) call back. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by shags » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:49 am

You're right, it sounds like you overdid it with the control and discipline for a puppy by making his safe zone under your feet.

You might be able to undo it by encouraging your dog to regress to the stage where he was when you put the brakes on him. Take the collar off, put lots of birds out, keep your mouth shut, and let him rip. If he reawakens his drive, be careful about balancing independence and control. Keep the obedience stuff to a minimum; use it when you have to, but don't drill.

When (if) he regains independence and drive, start his field training as you would a young pup. Slow and easy, and set up for success.

Good luck with your dog :)

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Vman » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:13 am

Thorn, I do believe you have made every mistake a person could make, but I will take a stab at it.
I would like to ask some of you more experienced trainers a subject that has been bothering me for sometime. That is what is boldness in a puppy, can it be subdued, and then "reactivated"?
Depends on the dog. With a breed like a Spin, which isn`t known for its desire, Good Luck is about all one can say.
and simply will not push out and search as we all would expect a retriever to do. A trainer friend of mine said recently the dog simply lacks drive and any desire to hunt while watching him in a field with planted birds.
They are a Pointing breed not a retriever.
So my question is this. I wonder if just putting lots and lots of pigeons, chucker, quail, etc. out for him to hunt by himself will get him to push out more; do this repeatedly over and over again? Just let him find birds, establish the fun of this, not worry at this point his steadiness, but just re-instill a desire, and fun of seeking birds?
Steadiness is the least of your problems, you need something too steady first. I would take a pigeon in your hand and show it too him, get him interested in it, try and get him worked up and excited about it. If you can get him too jump up and want the bird badly then drop the pigeon and let him chase after. Or at least encourage him too chase after. Don`t hold him back in any way. Continue this until he is bonkers about the pigeons. If he doesn`t want to chase the bird or shows no interest you may try a wing taped duck on land. If you do this do it in your yard or a mowed area that the duck really can`t evade the dog. You want the dog too chase and catch the duck. If that doesn`t get him excited you may try a wing clipped chuckar in the same yard. Chuckars can turn on dogs when other birds won`t. Hopefully one of these species of birds will trip his trigger.
You are trying too build him up. If you succeed you will have a bird chasing dog that is bird crazy. Once you have that you can start to put some control on him but not until.
In truth I believe I created this situation by using the beeper on his e-collar to call him in as we do our daily walks around the property. This is for control and discipline to not chase deer, turkeys, fox, etc. I may have inadvertently created a situation that he now will not explore too far in fear of getting a beeper (not an e-collar nick!) call back. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Thornapple
The beeper is not for recall. It is for locating the dog when he is hunting /pointing. The E-Collar is used for control and disipline to not chase deer and turkey and ect.
Leave the collar at home for now while on your walks. If he gets out and away do not call him back, let him go. He needs to chase something at this time and I would let him chase anything he wanted too at this time as long as it is safe.
I beleive you have a very confused dog. His genes say GO and you are saying NO and if he could talk you would be getting an ear full. Just let him roll with everything he has and don`t hold him back. There is plenty of time later for control.

If you think I sound harsh on you it is not my intent. Just trying to help you out with some honesty.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by SpringerDude » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:27 am

I think you have assessed your situation accurately. It sounds like a trained behavior.

First thought is Lots of birds but the way you use the birds will be most beneficial. When training spaniels that learn that "birds are out there", we start running the dogs on birdless courses and then we toss the birds out close to us as we move through the field so the dog finds birds close to the handler. This teaches dog to stay close.

So, in your case, you want the dog to get out away from you to find birds. I would pick a place out in a field and play fetch with your dog there. Each time you go to this field, go to the same place and let the dog play fetch with a bird in this spot. You will be teaching the dog that this is a fun place to be. As you see pup opening up with some bird desire, then you can walk out their without the dog and place a dead bird for him to find. You should see him start to run to the spot when you let him loose because that is where he always finds birds. You are training him now to be comfortable being a distance from you. Hope this makes sense.

I think dead birds would be best since he would not be busting a flyer and chasing birds. As you progress, a flyer would be nice for him to get him excited.

I would only do a few retrieves each time but a consistent routine multiple times will help more than once a week with a box full of birds.

I would also remove the collar and get comfortable with him being without it. This could help open him up some more.

Might be better ideas and drills. Key is make it easy for the dog to be successful at finding birds. Always putting the bird in the same place will help a lot in building the confidence. Stay quiet and not "hack" at the dog with your voice commands.

Good luck

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by ezzy333 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:36 am

I think V-Man laid out a program for you that is as good as it gets. Forget any kind of field training and let the dog be a pup. Sounds like he has missed that stage of life.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by rinker » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:40 am

I suspect you have an uphill battle, and I have no specific experience with this. I would try to find someone that has a young dog that will run a little, ask if you can run your dog with theirs.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:36 am

vinman,
Thanks for the thought and suggestions. It is good to hear yours and others ideas. The dog does like to chase game and will run after birds, but not search for them. Also, you are right a Spinone is a pointer. They are also retrievers. Meaning they are versatile dogs. After writing I was wondering who would pick up on that. :)
thanks for the advice, Thornapple

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:03 am

Well, I asked for good advice and I got what i asked for.

What I find interesting is that I thought I knew how to use and e-collar, I did not! In particular the beeper locator button that I miss used. All of you said, take it off in the field! I will do that.

Vinman, I like the idea of the pigeon. I have homers for training and I can seed the field in launchers and throw a "flyer" in front of him as we walk along from the bird bag. He is steady and is probably the most trainable dog (least stubborn) I have owned, so I am not at this point concerned about his remaining steady on the flush. It is as you very aptly pointed out letting him get back his drive is the most important goal. In retrospect I also recall letting him hunt behind a seasoned dog that hunts big for pheasants twice a week all last season. I did this thinking he would learn from the more accomplished dog. He obviously deferred to the older alpha dog and he is backing off as a result. Not just with the more seasoned dog, but in general.

It sounds to me reading everyone's comments that there is confidence issue that needs resolution. I will work on that!
Thornapple

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by kninebirddog » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:34 pm

Lots of good advice

Go back to puppy 101
Let him get that excitement about birds.
Some dogs like birds and to do things only if it is something they want to do and shut down when they can't have their way..kinda like that screaming brat at walmart that didn't get what they want.

once you are back to building the drive and desire ...You will also nee to change your approach with the dog more as a team leader versus a being boss/ drill sergeant

You need to make sessions short and no matter how short if you have that awesome session STOP THERE End on that note Stop with the dog wanting More and then put him on a stale out or the kennel to let that last super fun in the field be what is in the dogs mind
every time you do this the dog is left thinking that the field is fun not just another boring drill session
at home same thing watch for what you are missing there when you are trying to do something with him...Make sessions short sweet and FUN ....
Biggest thing is be a leader not a boss
End on good notes ..it isn't about the Quanity of time spent it is about the QUALITY of time spent

and if you are getting frustrated back up to a fun thing and QUIT...frustration is picked up by your dog and your session will only set you back if you are frustrated and right now any frustration you are feeling will show up in the field

Good Luck
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:05 pm

kninebirddog,
I like your suggestions of birds in a short duration so he wants more and changing up the leadership role. On that subject, as much as most of us know better in the heat of the battle we fall into old bad habits. This includes some of the best trainers we know! It is always helpful to have another bird dog owner remind us and say, "Button that mouth of yours and speak as if teaching a one year old baby."
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by polmaise » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:25 pm

Aye!
and over here with a dog like that , there are many that I agree with that would put them in a rabbit pen and shut the gate! :mrgreen:

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Kiki » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:56 pm

I dont doubt I have less experience then a lot of folks here, but in this case I wouldnt suggest taking the collar off. I'd just leave it on while out in the field but change the experience and make having the collar on a fun time for him. Fight all temptation to use it and help build his confidence with birds and freedom. I think if you take the collar off you'll prove his point about the collar. Put it on every time you do something fun. In time he'll have a positive association with the collar. Good luck and have fun.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Winchey » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:20 pm

Have you ever got the dog on birds and let it hunt and find birds on its own?

I am not sure how you are classifying the dog as bold?

Either way the advice you have gotten is good.

I am also not sure how you steadied a dog that has no inclination to go find them, or at least I wonder why you did. Did he not get fired up at all when you worked.him on birds?

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by slistoe » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:28 pm

polmaise wrote:Aye!
and over here with a dog like that , there are many that I agree with that would put them in a rabbit pen and shut the gate! :mrgreen:
I was going to suggest a quail pen - and be sure he has not had his dinner.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:52 pm

Winchey,
Yes he is steady, but not to the flush. It is very easy to establish steadiness on point. Purchase a pigeon harness (Lion Country supply) or just tie a leg with a string. Next bring the dog up on a whoa table, barrel, or something that you do not have to bend over for and tie the other end of the string or harness to something adjacent. Bring the dog up and have him whoa. This is assuming of course you have taught whoa which must be one of your first taught commands anyway. i have done this with several dogs with quail, chucker, pigeon and it works effectively in just a few attempts. I have the birds walking between the dogs legs, they sit on top of the dogs head, fluttered in front of them all while on whoa. It works and is easy to do. It is an old training technique that works well.

Regarding "Bold". I mentioned it was Bold as a puppy a month or so old, but not now. boldness was determined by how it played with the other dogs, its leadership role, desire to chase a ball, and its desire to go after items thrown into the puppy play area that demonstrated a strong confidence; more so than other the other puppies. I mention this in the context of how it is not bold now nor does it show drive. It finds birds fine, but as all the very competent handlers and professional trainers on this forum will share there is a huge distinction between the two! This can be overcome, but it requires some repair work with lots and lots of birds.
Thornapple

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by shags » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:22 pm

So you steadied the pup before you had him absolutely and thoroughly bird crazy? Was he ever allowed as a baby pup to bump and chase? Or find and maul?

Here are some thoughts that have guided more than a few trainers :)

“The rule to follow is: Do as little breaking (training) as possible; try to encourage the dog to do the proper things and develop him as much as possible with the least amount of control.” C. B. Whitford, Training The Bird Dog, 1908.

“A pup must be allowed to experience puppyhood before it can become a dog.” Earl Crangle. Pointing Dogs; Their Training And Handling.

“The first three or four months of life are arguably the most important time in a dog's life. Born with a powerful urge to learn about the world around them, dogs adjust during this period to whatever type of environment the find themselves born into...John Bradshaw, “Dog Sense. How The New Science Of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend To Your Pet” 2011.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by mountaindogs » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:53 pm

YOu have to give the dog some trust. You bought the dog to hunt for you. But your dog doesn't know it's his job to find birds. Do as so many have suggested. Go back to puppy stuff. YOU have to be willing to let him, chase, grab, munch, pounce, or whatever he wants for a few sessions. Get his confidence SKY HIGH. SNIPS drilled it in me, but it's taken some time for me to see. mistakes on my part. Too much obedience too early in a bird dog is trouble. It's the biggest downside to NAVHDA. The UT is so so controlled.

I'd plant some tethered pigeons or quail, and let him catch them. YOu are creating issues later, but if your dog will not find birds, you've got nothing to start with. If you have a flagging dog that is hard to steady later SO BE IT. AT least that dog will hunt. SO go back to Happy Timing and stay there for a ling while. If by some miracle he gets too far or starts chasing something let him go. Let him go. You'll most likely see him looking back alot to see if you are following. He will be worried that you do not want him so far. Try your hardest to avert your eyes when he looks back and seem UNCONCERNED about what he is doing. The only form of call back I would use is to physically turn and walk away QUIETLY. He is so tuned on you he'll notice. and do this rarely!
To be fair, in my limited experience you picked a lower drive breed. At least as far as the upland portion goes. SO you started with a slight disadvantage in odds if nothing else. I am not downing them, just saying don't compare your dog to an english pointer or something. With breeds or lines (say a show bred GSP) that I have any doubt about drive at all, I'd plan to give extra time before adding the obedience.

Good luck. Find a trainer (birddog trainer not a retriever trainer) to help.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:32 am

Shags,
That is a very interesting point about not establishing steadiness before the dog has developed its innate desire to hunt. I clearly forgot that one can not learn to drive if there is no gas in the tank. Yes, it makes sense in retrospect, but hindsight proves nothing. Other than a lesson remembered and hopefully learned.

Mountaindogs,
I was wondering when you were going to chime in here. As an old (and I mean old) Ryman owner I can have long arguments with you into the evening about the virtues of Rymans, Old Hemlocks, and Spinone for grouse/woodcock hunters. That with a three finger Jack and some local branch. Suffice it to say I am too old to go running to point across slash and fighting the second battle of Khe Sanh. I have done both in my 70 plus years. I will leave that to young fellows such as yourself! :)
You and Shag along with several thoughtful fellas have provided excellent ideas, even if you have to pull briars out from all those feathers after a hunt!

Your comment about NAVHDA is an interesting one. I had a long conversation with a well known NAHVDA judge and friend this last week that most guides that I know, many of my old partridge hunting companions would ever subject themselves or dogs to NAVHDA. I said this because their spouse is one of us, an old coot that shoots with an ancient Pahkah (guess where he is from?) that has seen and shot more pahtrudge than most boys dream about. In yet he agrees. We all learned the old fashioned way to train dogs; let the younger one trail behind the older. Not the best and certainly not the most reliable method. I have found that if one is careful after all these years we can still learn new ideas, some forgotten and need young fellows like Shag and Vman to remind us what we forgot. NAVHDA is a good organization, but like much going on today over zealousness has its cost. However that is another whole subject!
Thanks to both you, Shag, VMan and all the rest for great ideas. I will let you know how it turns out.
Best, Thornapple

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by mountaindogs » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:26 am

[quote="Thornapple] As an old (and I mean old) Ryman owner I can have long arguments with you into the evening about the virtues of Rymans, Old Hemlocks, and Spinone for grouse/woodcock hunters. [/quote]

You would have a hard time arguing with someone that already AGREES 8) . nowhere in that comment did I mean to imply a personal preference for high drive big running dogs in every venue. My favorite range is about 50 -75 yards bounding "snappily." Grouse hunting is a bit different and takes an adaptable attentive dog not blindly running I'd imagine. I was just pointing out the end game hunting style is of a very different nature. With run not being the primary goal in that breed. But you know.

I also think NAVHDA is the best organization out there right now for dogs and trainers and think HIGHLY of the goals and people invovled. I just think there is a tendancy to push dogs in obedience too much. I think you should be able to gently talk to and remind your dog on the returns and heeling among other things. But

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by mountaindogs » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:34 am

Posting issues....
But admittedly a more utalized mid level would help. Or more defined UPT standards perhaps. Anyway its not a NAVHDA fault so much as a fault of its application by some. Some venues have the near opposite slant. Thankfully NAVHDA is non competative and the most accepting of breed differences of any venue. Super supportive to new people and just an all around great club.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by mountaindogs » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:59 am

I'll shut up after this... swear!
I have worked with several dogs now who were low on the get out and search factor. Who knows what they "could have been?" We can never truly say it was there and pushed out or maybe it wasn't there and we misread it. But all the above mentioned going back to freedom and fun seemed to help. And time and practice. Its confidence and realization of the need to look. Maybe the dog thinks bird "come from you" maybe the dog thinks you want it close. Who knows. But if the dog loves birds up close I think you have a good working potential. I certainly would keep trying with fun free happy timing with and without birds.
My dog Jed will work closer, and flag when held to high steadiness expectations. (Some long history here... more than I alude to) After years of hunting we have found a balence with steadiness until the shot works best for us. I would like more, but it takes too much style out of him and so we meet in the middle and a nice working team we are.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:01 pm

Kiki wrote:I dont doubt I have less experience then a lot of folks here, but in this case I wouldnt suggest taking the collar off. I'd just leave it on while out in the field but change the experience and make having the collar on a fun time for him. Fight all temptation to use it and help build his confidence with birds and freedom. I think if you take the collar off you'll prove his point about the collar. Put it on every time you do something fun. In time he'll have a positive association with the collar. Good luck and have fun.
Good advice, just leave the transmitter in your glove compartment of your truck.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Higgins » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:20 pm

Here is a video of a young pup learning about birds and hunting. I don't put any pressure on them. It starts with his first bird contact and ends shooting a pheasant over him that he chooses to retrieve. He is now ready to steady.

http://vimeo.com/56924329

There are lots of ways to train gundogs. This works for me.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:32 pm

Higgins wrote:Here is a video of a young pup learning about birds and hunting. I don't put any pressure on them. It starts with his first bird contact and ends shooting a pheasant over him that he chooses to retrieve. He is now ready to steady.

http://vimeo.com/56924329

There are lots of ways to train gundogs. This works for me.

Brad Higgins
HigginsGundogs.com
Nice video Brad. May I have permission to cross post using your business name?

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by displaced_texan » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:59 pm

Kiki wrote:I dont doubt I have less experience then a lot of folks here, but in this case I wouldnt suggest taking the collar off. I'd just leave it on while out in the field but change the experience and make having the collar on a fun time for him. Fight all temptation to use it and help build his confidence with birds and freedom. I think if you take the collar off you'll prove his point about the collar. Put it on every time you do something fun. In time he'll have a positive association with the collar. Good luck and have fun.
I was taught the same thing. My dogs always have a collar on when we're doing anything that resembles training, even if I don't have the transmitter, which I frequently don't.
I have English Pointers because they don't ever grow up either...

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Higgins » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:10 am

Sure AZ.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:29 am

Higgins wrote:Sure AZ.
Thanks

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:24 am

Mountaindogs,

I understand completely what you wrote only because I too lived a few generations of wonderful pals, my Rymans. I use the description Ryman's here only to describe what I am referring to, but they were much closer than the type of Setter implies, but you know that and I do not need to explain!
I am going to raise an issue here for all those who wrote through Higgins response which I know will create a lively discussion. At least I hope it does. I would like your input as well.

Higgins, Shags, Vman, Springerdude, Winchey, Shistoe, AZ Brittany Guy, and Mountaindogs,

Higgins thanks for the video. Let me move away from the topic of this heading to another more direct and pointed topic; what breed makes the best upland dog and why did you choose the breed you are now hunting with?

This is a topic much like who has the best kid, athlete, or smartest child. I know this topic is very personal, and can be emotional. So I hope to see if I can get away from that to some sober thinking.....after a couple of bourbons of course! That is for courage! :) Let me share the background on why I ask the question to get it going.

I have owned only upland dogs. This included an Elhew pointer, English Setters (Rymans), a German Shorthair Pointer, a Brittany, some mutts, and now two Spinoni (a bitch and a 16 month male puppy). I grew up in a time when I could not afford a professional dog trainer and in the 1950s there were few around, at least in New England. My parents and I certainly I could not afford one anyway. So training was done the best one could by books, learning from an older dog, or by a neighbor with, "all the answers". That was the extent of training for most of us at the time. NAVHDA, AKC did not exist for hunt training or testing at the time, and Field Trials were for the very wealthy held first on a plantation in Mississippi and later in Grand Junction, Tenn. Not a place for a farm kid from Vermont or Vietnam Vet working his way through college. Just having a hunting dog at that time was not only a privilege, but very expensive. So now that I can afford what I want, I chose Spinoni after owning some wonderful breeds. The purpose of my question for this August body of gun dog owners/trianers/breeders is that I have found my taste, desire, and bird hunting has changed, and as has my interest in breeds of dogs to be my pals in the field.

This gets me to upland pointers and versatile dogs today. I am leaving out flushing dogs Springerdude only because I simply do not know them well enough. My and other's loss for sure!

So here is the question. Why did you choose the breeds you like hunting with now and why? Notice I wrote, "Now," only because as I have gotten a little long in the tooth, I have seen young bird dog handlers train and hunt with breeds of dogs that change in time as they age. So, why did you chose your favorite breed of dog, has it changed in time and why?
Let er rip!
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by BigShooter » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:11 am

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:26 am

My story is on this forum somewhere. It could have just as easily been a pointer, setter or Shorthaired. All good dogs. An old friend who hunts with Britts convinced me to try on after years and years of Springer's.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Winchey » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:10 pm

Stuck on Setters because of the look and I have the opportunity to go watch a bunch of them and pick a breeding I like. There are some nice Pointers and Britts around too, but I like the look of the setters better, britts are a bit handicapped for the coverdog trials as well.

The rest of the breeds I don't see enough to be able to pick a breeding and be pretty sure my pups gonna be something I am happy with.

I have also seen a few trial bred setters and pointers that some guides own and have reeled them right into about 50 yards because that is what their clients want. Seems easier to do that then try to convince a dog to hunt IMO.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by slistoe » Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:06 pm

I was always liking the Brittanys. Still do and still hunt them. As I get older I may soften a little and buy a Pointer - I just don't have the energy to walk as many miles anymore and my experience tells me that it will be far easier to get a dog with the range, handle and instincts in the ranks of the All Age Pointers than with the Brittany.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:18 pm

I find that my friends who are getting a little older are stating to trade in their EP's for French Britts. I love my American Brittanys but have to admit that the Pointers are awesome. I have spent too much time learning the breed to switch over the another breed. My guys are bid-able, great around the house and hunt like crazy. What more could I ask for?

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:10 am

Big Shooter,
Thanks for the information. The chart is not surprising information and I am sure useful to someone starting out. The first thing that came to mind however was a conversation I had with one of the top breeders of GSHPs, John Rabidou owner of Uodibar Kennels in Texas. John is one of the top breeders and trainers of GSHPs in the country with many dogs winning National titles in Field trails and NAVHDA. I mentioned to him how GSHPs are simply taking over the upland dog world. As a professional scientist and breeder he thought for a minute and said this. "Short hairs are one dimensional dogs with determination, which is good for most handlers as they focus on the task and have the ability to learn quicker than many breeds. However they like others can be very hard headed. The biggest problem facing the breed are those "walking in circles." These are the confirmation folks wanting what is an expensive dog. It is taking dogs away from the average hunter and ruining the gene pool. It is now requiring the younger breeder with money to go to Germany to pick up a puppy as their requirements for training and breeding are far more strict than ours." I then asked him what has more style, a pointer or Short hair? He said, "A pointer, but by and large the reason for the explosion of interest in short hairs is the ease of training for first time handler."
Slistoe, Winchey, and AZ Brittany Guy,
You three picked a Brittany and English Setter. Both classic dogs whose breeds have been around for generations. The reason I asked is that I notice how the selection of breeds for handlers and gunners are changing as I travel around the Country to hunt and for NAVHDA and AKC Master Hunt tests. Winchey, the English setter that was popular in New Brunswick and the northeast US has changed from a big dog to a smaller breed. Through cross breeding the English Setter has gotten smaller, faster and I will say a bit easier to train. My male setters were always close to if not over 100 pounds, classic styling n the coverts for those of us that appreciated such things, slow moving and great for what we hunt, grouse and woodcock. The newer faster breed was developed for field trials and now it is hard to find a male over 50 pounds and looks like a cross with a pointer, which it may have been.
Slistoe and Az Brittany Guy,
Brittany's are wonderful dogs. I would have one due to their size (the older you get smaller dogs have an appeal) temperament, and finally what our wives will accept - a major factor for many bird hunters! I notice in your comments how we all select dogs; that is what we are familiar with and become comfortable around. Also Slistoe it is interesting as we are exposed to more dogs, see what they can do, become familiar with style, technique, learning ability our taste and interest in dogs changes. Your interest for example in Pointers.

I notice for example how many more and different breeds of dogs are being hunt tested and show up at Grouse camps or those I meet along the dirt roads of Pheasant Country. The English Cocker is becoming popular for older hunters in the South and Midwest for its versatility. The same with the Boyken which is making a resurgence particularly in the south. However the Weimaraner, that used to be popular in the 1950s and early 1960s is not as prevalent as an upland bird dog. I asked one of the foremost authorities on why this is and Dr. Virginia Alexander said, "Change in taste and interest." She confirmed that some breeds simply are easier to train. The younger handler with little time between familial responsibilities and work does not have the interest to train has hard as some breeds require, thus the explosive interest in the Shorthair as an example. For older fellas such as myself I love to see a big Gordon or Ryman (English Setter) find a flight of woodcock with a tall feathered tail straight as a flag pole not moving a muscle, or a Elhew pointer stop on a dime, solid as Gibraltar, on a covey of quail.

I suppose what I was looking for in this was any shift in interest in dogs. Particularly as our lifestyles change. Today one has to travel 10 to 48 hours or more to find great hunting. In my youth one could find pheasant,quail, or grouse hunting in the suburbs of Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta, New York, Boston, or St. John, NB (that is for you Winchey!). The days of an afternoon with your puppy in the fields or woods are over for most of us. A dog that can perform well after spending a lot of time and money training and getting to our destination is important. I wonder are we becoming more interested in a return on investment rather than the experience as a result? We age and like me I can not, nor will I run to a pointed dog anymore. So a slower dog that hunts close has appeal. Also versatility has become more important. That is having a dog that will retrieve in water and point.
Obviously there are no answers, and for those of you who are younger, which are all if not most of you, you will continue to see many more great dogs out in the prairies, coverts or fields pointing birds.
Best, Thornapple

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:27 am

Nice post Thornapple. I am not sure I buy your premise that GSPs are becoming the dog of choice or the flushing dog is better for us older people. Much of what we believe comes from other peoples opinions, what we read and a small amount of what we observe. I know a person who owns an Am Brittany (all age) who hunts the canyons of Sonoita and Patagonia, AZ for Mearns. He uses his GPS and waits at the canyon mouth until his dog goes on point then walks to where the birds are and flushes and fires. I personally think a good ranging dog (200) yards or more will find more birds for you than a 25 yard dog. The key is the longer dog needs to stay in visual contact with you. You can spend un-necessary time with your close dog quartering a field that is unproductive and the dog is not hunting, just leading you around a field. A longer dog will find the bird and hold it while you spend your energy walking to where the bird is. You know what they say about opinions :) Here is mine.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Winchey » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:47 am

Still lots of birds around Saint John. Did you live here?

About setters being crossed with pointers and vice versa there were setters closly resembling our trial setters more than 100 years ago, back when they were kicking pointer "bleep".

Everyone I know up here involved in coverdogs are first and foremost hardcore grouse and woodcock hunters. We try to cram our trials into September because by October everyone just wants to go hunting. The trials are about finding dogs that excel at hunting and trialing and producing dogs that are at least good hunting dogs.

I am not sure what kind of criteria the ryman type use for evaluating breeding stock and ability, but head to head competition has done us well IMO. There are a lot of trial bred setters that are larger dogs, 50-60lbs. Mine is about 55 when in perfect condition. Some of the coverdogs are smaller snapier and fancy as all get out, but many are going bigger stronger and smoother gait to power through the heavy cover of the North East day in and day out.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by slistoe » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:50 am

That is quite the summation and like all opinions they are based on our own myopic vision. All I can say is I have never run to a dog on point and don't plan to in the future. My musing about a Pointer has to do with my hankering for longer and faster in a Bird Dog as I age - more work from the dog and less from me.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:47 pm

Thornapple wrote:...I suppose what I was looking for in this was any shift in interest in dogs. Particularly as our lifestyles change. Today one has to travel 10 to 48 hours or more to find great hunting. In my youth one could find pheasant,quail, or grouse hunting in the suburbs of Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta, New York, Boston, or St. John, NB (that is for you Winchey!). The days of an afternoon with your puppy in the fields or woods are over for most of us. A dog that can perform well after spending a lot of time and money training and getting to our destination is important. I wonder are we becoming more interested in a return on investment rather than the experience as a result? We age and like me I can not, nor will I run to a pointed dog anymore. So a slower dog that hunts close has appeal. Also versatility has become more important. That is having a dog that will retrieve in water and point. ...
Only 61, but my setters will hold a point till I get there, pretty much anyway....hustling or trotting to a point may be more about the need of killing stuff than a requirement set up by dog choice and that attitude can easily be well independent of hunter age.
Scampering does appear a plus in the Run & Gun tennis shoe -type trials.

I see no reason to shift in dog interest with age. I did have a GSP but that was enough.
Setters are close to it for me with the setter being the smaller CoverDog-type rather than the Duals.
But, an English pointer is also right there at the preference top.
I do like to see a dog accelerate in the middle of a turn and toss dirt in the air in the turning.
But any who find fault or lack in any well-genetic-ed bird dog had best look closest at himself...or herself since there will be found the real deficit.

Versatility may appeal to some in a world where a growing percentage of upland habitat is reduced from a number of sources but speaking personally...not here.
The same with "hunting close."
I would guess that in areas where some shooting is for state-released birds in small coverts, ie Pennsylvania...a slower, closer dog would make the shooter less worried re roads, etc and that may drive a legitimate purchase decision. Would that represent a trend...possibly, don't know. Limited I expect, if so.
Mostly though, I think that calls for "a close dog" stems from hunter worries and a lack of confidence and trust in the dog....much more than the oft-heard..."I like to see my dog work". This last may be more cover for fears than anything.
As to those Dual or old Ryman-type...you might well find that today they are not always tracking the over-done generalization of their manner of hunt.
In fact, I expect many would not always recognize some of George Rymans dogs as Rymans...if compared to the so-termed Rymans of some present day kennels.

Pick what dog works for you...in hunting, looks, actions or in filling a need to be different.
Like scatterguns and boots...not many do not perform well enough for government work

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:13 pm

will respond tomorrow to all, I have work to do outside.
No Winchey I did not live in St. John, I almost got arrested by the RMC at the airport for spying! Yes, that is what i said! They thought I had something suspicious in my salmon rod tube and brought me in for interrogation. I was with some Defense Contractors on vacation. So much for protecting the salmon solar!
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Winchey » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:19 pm

Ya, they can be dicks to Canadians too, most of my problems going to and from the states are at the Canadian borderlol.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by BigShooter » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:44 pm

Thornapple - for you I thought the pages of comments held more interest than the chart. I too have been on this earth for more than an insignificant amount of time. We have owned and hunted behind Brits, Labs, Weims, GSPs, Setters, Springers, Pointers & GWPs. I know who John is and he is certainly entitled to his opinion. However, I always prefer to get opinions unfiltered, direct from the horses mouth, so to speak. The only point I may run too is that of a dog not yet broke. As others have said I like a dog who covers the country for me & will wait on point all day if necessary until I saunter over. I like what I have but for me the search for a perfect dog will likely never be over. Generalizations about breeds is foolish sport & fodder for inconsequential banter.
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:31 am

I promise to get back to this later. i should have known better than have two posts while try to run a business, train a dog, cook dinner, do the wash, vacuum the floor and most importantly take care of a very sick puppy!
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:57 am

Mountaineer, Az Brittany Guy, and others,
My comment on running to a dog on point has more to do to two criteria than anything; one is age the other not being stupid! The not being stupid part is that i normally prefer to hunt alone with my dogs. Hunting alone is a whole separate subject of which we can discuss at another time. However when alone it means I can not find myself flat on my back or with a bungee stick through my boot miles from the truck. So safety is paramount when hunting remote areas of the US or Canada. Running through the woods over cut slash and thick hemlocks is out for this reason. When much younger and 100% smarter than I now am, I literally ran into a bull moose while trying to get to my Setter that I thought was on point. Understand for those of you that do not live in Moose country hunting season is rut season and that experience alone was enough to make the most bold timid! That is why grouse guides up in Jackman, Maine wear S&W 44 caliber long barrel pistols with shells to stop a 1600 pound animal. A 20 or 28 gauge with number 8 shot does not quite cut it! Second, I can not Az Brittany Guy, recall a grouse holding still while my dog is on point and i am some distance away. In my experience they will flush before I get there, maybe not for others, but they do not hold for me. I have never had the privilege of hunting Mearns so I can not comment, but Timberdoodles (i.e. woodcock) will hold, forever, and ever!! You could almost step on them, if you can see them, before they do their helicopter escape.
NAVHDA and its adherents has always brought up an interesting conversation in grouse camps, particularly with guides and the older hunters such as myself. I happen to find that my dog is now a better "finished" dog as a result of her NAVHDA training. I also like the idea that I can get my dog to enter a beaver pond for a shot downed bird and find it. That was not always the case with the dogs I had before. Additionally I can take my Spinone duck hunting and I do not need to bring along a friend's lab that is ill behaved in the blind - in fact too many ill behaved dogs to count. As most do not take the time to train their dogs! That is the other thing, NAVHDA trains you and your dog to understand proper behavior in the field and blind. If you do not understand what I just wrote then you have not done a lot of bird/duck hunting! You are right Mountaineer, obedience is the single most important quality practiced with NAVHDA, but for good reason. And I will say, it took me quite a long time to understand this as I was stuck for a long time on the old method of training. So as fellows in the grouse camp that come in from Boston, New York, Chicago or Atlanta without dogs (or with!) ask repeatedly on the side if they could hunt with my dog, I know it is a compliment to her and her NAVHDA training, but I still prefer to hunt alone!
.....and yes, the e-collar remains in the truck during training season now for the puppy and I am forced to spend a lot of money on birds, more than anticipated as a result! Thanks all for confirming what i knew I needed, but it is always good to get it from this group!
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Mountaineer » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:27 am

Thornapple wrote:Mountaineer, Az Brittany Guy, and others,
My comment on running to a dog on point has more to do to two criteria than anything; one is age the other not being stupid! The not being stupid part is that i normally prefer to hunt alone with my dogs. Hunting alone is a whole separate subject of which we can discuss at another time. However when alone it means I can not find myself flat on my back or with a bungee stick through my boot miles from the truck. So safety is paramount when hunting remote areas of the US or Canada. Running through the woods over cut slash and thick hemlocks is out for this reason. When much younger and 100% smarter than I now am, I literally ran into a bull moose while trying to get to my Setter that I thought was on point. Understand for those of you that do not live in Moose country hunting season is rut season and that experience alone was enough to make the most bold timid! That is why grouse guides up in Jackman, Maine wear S&W 44 caliber long barrel pistols with shells to stop a 1600 pound animal. A 20 or 28 gauge with number 8 shot does not quite cut it! Second, I can not Az Brittany Guy, recall a grouse holding still while my dog is on point and i am some distance away. In my experience they will flush before I get there, maybe not for others, but they do not hold for me. I have never had the privilege of hunting Mearns so I can not comment, but Timberdoodles (i.e. woodcock) will hold, forever, and ever!! You could almost step on them, if you can see them, before they do their helicopter escape.
Again, running can be a choice, not a guaranteed requirement.
Yes, ruffed grouse will move...all depends upon the cover, the grouse's age and, oddly enough, the dog as but a start.
And if the grouse does walk off....the world still spins for most of us.
Hunting ruffed grouse is not rocket science and another bird at some point, pun intended, will be in the mix....has been that way for me since '64'.
Now, if the dog in question was an old soul and any bird may be his last...I might hustle in knowing that sad fact or from a few other situations....but the hustling would not be dog breed-driven as those conditions would find the same hustling regardless, or irregardless, as they say hereabouts, of dog.
You might also consider that a ruffed grouse might get a bit inclined to move as a human comes dashing and crashing through the popple or greenbriers...they aren't wizards but they ain't dumb either.
Woodcock, ime, always moved but are definitely moving more now...trundling off is becoming more of a woodcock trait.
The ones that stay put are often the tired migrating woodcock, the short-flushers that also belie the idea that woodcock are always the corkscrew flight kings.
Generalization re any game bird is a very bad thing but...an Internet message board staple.
Happy the moose deal turned out well for you....gave a good story though and, even in moosey Maine...I'd pass on toting a long-barreld .44.....but, each to their own.

I have never found any need to be miles from a truck in hunting ruffed grouse, perhaps from the dog used, but I have hunted alone quite a bit.
Injuries can occur from all manner of accidents well apart from hurtling treetops or dashing out a ridge's top....sometimes even standing still in a high wind can be problematic.
Any running comment is likely more occasioned by the reasons I gave earlier.
And the non-hustle applies to pheasants as well....sometimes they hold and sometimes they don't...my dogs though are pretty good about remaining pat, again pun intended.
If they move they may have felt a need or are simply not perfect....perfect I do not require and I hope they do not require perfect of me.
'Cause they would be sorely unhappy a large percentage of the hunting day.
Thornapple wrote:You are right Mountaineer, obedience is the single most important quality practiced with NAVHDA, but for good reason.
Could be, for some points of the day, but I don't believe I said those words.
Thornapple wrote:..... So as fellows in the grouse camp that come in from Boston, New York, Chicago or Atlanta without dogs (or with!) ask repeatedly on the side if they could hunt with my dog, I know it is a compliment to her and her NAVHDA training, but I still prefer to hunt alone!...
The Boston, New York, Chicago and Atlanta angle may play into the reason for their repeated and implied plaintive asking.
Probably why I would never go to one of the Grouse Camps that held attraction for those folks.

*I think it is a punji stick. :wink:
Have a good season....wherever, however and with whatever works for you.

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by slistoe » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:30 am

Thornapple wrote:Mountaineer, Az Brittany Guy, and others,
My comment on running to a dog on point has more to do to two criteria than anything; one is age the other not being stupid! The not being stupid part is that i normally prefer to hunt alone with my dogs. Hunting alone is a whole separate subject of which we can discuss at another time. However when alone it means I can not find myself flat on my back or with a bungee stick through my boot miles from the truck. So safety is paramount when hunting remote areas of the US or Canada. Running through the woods over cut slash and thick hemlocks is out for this reason.
I dunno, did you read what was written. I haven't run to dogs on point. I don't intend to run to dogs on point. The need to run as a reason for having a particular breed of dog is a fabrication of your mind, not a reality.
Thornapple wrote:When much younger and 100% smarter than I now am, I literally ran into a bull moose while trying to get to my Setter that I thought was on point. Understand for those of you that do not live in Moose country hunting season is rut season and that experience alone was enough to make the most bold timid! That is why grouse guides up in Jackman, Maine wear S&W 44 caliber long barrel pistols with shells to stop a 1600 pound animal. A 20 or 28 gauge with number 8 shot does not quite cut it!
At the range at which your 44 would be effective, an ounce of shot from your 20 would be in a slug size pattern and would be much more effective in the face of a charging moose. You do realize that there are folks out there who purposely go in the bush during Moose rut and purposely make sounds like a cow in heat or a challenging bull armed only with a pointy stick and a stringed launcher?
Thornapple wrote:Second, I can not Az Brittany Guy, recall a grouse holding still while my dog is on point and i am some distance away. In my experience they will flush before I get there, maybe not for others, but they do not hold for me. I have never had the privilege of hunting Mearns so I can not comment, but Timberdoodles (i.e. woodcock) will hold, forever, and ever!! You could almost step on them, if you can see them, before they do their helicopter escape.
:) You don't live in Pensylvania do you? Those grouse are positively evil.
Thornapple wrote:NAVHDA and its adherents has always brought up an interesting conversation in grouse camps, particularly with guides and the older hunters such as myself. I happen to find that my dog is now a better "finished" dog as a result of her NAVHDA training.
Training with an goal and a purpose always results in a better dog. I have always said that the biggest benefit I got as a result of entering my dog in Field Trial competion was that I got to hunt with better trained and conditioned dogs.
Thornapple wrote:I also like the idea that I can get my dog to enter a beaver pond for a shot downed bird and find it. That was not always the case with the dogs I had before.
Perhaps has a little something to do with your training then and now? Certainly not breed specific.
Thornapple wrote:Additionally I can take my Spinone duck hunting and I do not need to bring along a friend's lab that is ill behaved in the blind - in fact too many ill behaved dogs to count. As most do not take the time to train their dogs! That is the other thing, NAVHDA trains you and your dog to understand proper behavior in the field and blind. If you do not understand what I just wrote then you have not done a lot of bird/duck hunting! You are right Mountaineer, obedience is the single most important quality practiced with NAVHDA, but for good reason. And I will say, it took me quite a long time to understand this as I was stuck for a long time on the old method of training.
You did mean "the old method of non-training" didn't you. I am glad you feel NAVHDA is working out for you, but they do not have exclusivity on how to get a dog trained. Why not find someone who has a MH Labrador Retriever and put your Spinone against it in the duck blind?
Thornapple wrote: So as fellows in the grouse camp that come in from Boston, New York, Chicago or Atlanta without dogs (or with!) ask repeatedly on the side if they could hunt with my dog, I know it is a compliment to her and her NAVHDA training, but I still prefer to hunt alone!
See Mountaineers post above.
Thornapple wrote:.....and yes, the e-collar remains in the truck during training season now for the puppy and I am forced to spend a lot of money on birds, more than anticipated as a result! Thanks all for confirming what i knew I needed, but it is always good to get it from this group!
And where were your NAVHDA buddies while you were developing a dog that had no idea what it's purpose in life was? Put the e-collar back on your dog and put the transmitter in the truck ( or carry it if you can control your impulse to bleep it constantly and use it when something imperative happens that you actually need it).

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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Winchey » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:32 am

I hardly ever get in front of a dog to flush a grouse unless I cut a wide circle, they almost always flush when I am 10-30 yards from my dog, so if you have a 50 yard do then yes, the bird will probably only sit there for a few seconds, depending on how long it takes you to walk 20-40 yards :idea:

I think the longest productive point I have had was about 450 yards, doesn't happen often, I don't like walking that far to a point, if the dog is off to your 3 or 9 then you really have to have a Garmin or you would never find the dog and chances are the bird will have moved, they will hold a while, but not forever. Needless to say my anger dissipates concerning my dog screwing off on if I walk to a point at a range like that and he still has the bird pinned.

I am happy with a range of anywhere from 50 to 200 in our cover, less then 50 my dog isn't searching good enough and I am likely going to end up scaring the bird off myself before he gets it pinned, anything more then 200 it gets sketchy keeping track of the dog, and I don't particularly want to trudge much farther than that through blow downs, cutovers, raspberries and alders.

I don't run to points either, but when that bell stops or the garmin ringer sounds and it doesn't put a little bounce in your step you need to find a new sport.

I have also also heard that those grouse up around Jackman like to sit a little better.

Obedience is a little over rated in the uplands, if the dog stays to the front, I can hear the bell, and holds its birds that is all that is really required. If a duck dog will sit in a duck blind quietly and get the ducks when sent, I am happy to hunt with it.

Thornapple
Rank: Senior Hunter
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:05 pm

Winchey,
My experience whether in Minnesota, the Up of Michigan, New England or NB is identical to yours with birds and dogs. The only difference is that in the midwest there are wolves to be concerned with now, and apparently a lot of them. This has changed in the last five or six years as the wolf population has grown dramatically in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Grouse hunters never had deal with that problem as it now exists. In fact several NAVHDA trainers and breeders will not hunt the northern reaches of this area for this reason. The area in which I hunt northwest of Grand Rapids, Mn had an attack on a 16 boy this last week that bit his head while camping. He is fine but it put a fright into the local population. That I believe is an aberration given the circumstance as I understand it, but last year not far from there a bird hunter shot a wolf ten feet from him as it was chasing his Shorthair. Fortunately they stay away most of the time as do the coyotes. I encountered two one morning north of Bimidji, Mn two years ago that were in the trail in front of us. They were big, bold, one a brindle color the other solid black and quite unafraid of me. I think they wanted my dog. It did make me make a quick exit from the area however. As a result I now am carrying slugs as a precaution where ever I go.
I can not say grouse in Jackman or around Moosehead Lake are any more "steady" than what I have experienced in and around your neck of the woods or over into Nova Scotia. They all seem to act and respond the same depending on the time of year. The same is true with birds up in the upper Midwest and Ontario.
Thornapple

BigShooter
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Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by BigShooter » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:45 pm

Thornapple wrote:Winchey,
I encountered two one morning north of Bimidji, Mn two years ago that were in the trail in front of us. They were big, bold, one a brindle color the other solid black and quite unafraid of me. I think they wanted my dog. It did make me make a quick exit from the area however. As a result I now am carrying slugs as a precaution where ever I go.
There have been substantial numbers of wolves in the Bemidji area since the late sixties & early seventies. What bothers me more is the cougar(s) that has been hanging around the last couple of years. Unarmed, having one hiss/roar at you from 30 yards away is a hair raising experience.
Mark

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Thornapple
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:56 am
Location: Maryland

Re: How to help establish a Bold dog that is under foot?

Post by Thornapple » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:01 pm

Mark,
I asked about cougars while in Grand Rapids for a few weeks and no one has seen any. Of course that does not mean anything. In fact a regional director for the National Park Service that just moved in from Colorado saw one jump a back yard fence in the suburbs of Washington, DC many years ago. One was killed in Connecticut by a car on a parkway with an Idaho insert tag this last year. Were these transplanted? According to all the accounts, no. They just are able to migrate long distances in search of mates and food. Lord only knows there are more deer in the suburbs of major cities than in most rural areas today. They seem to be everywhere in the lower 48 now, but elusive.

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