Handling: at what point in development?

Post Reply
User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:51 am

At what point in development do you feel a dog becomes a "handling dog"?

Image Click on image for video clip

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:25 pm

I really was unfair in even posting the video because it does more to distract from the real question. At what point in training/development do you believe your dog deserves to be called a handling dog?

Does that help a bit?

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

Maurice
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:36 pm
Location: piedmont sc.

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Maurice » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:38 pm

When me and my pointers ride home in the same truck at the same time, that's handling ;o)

Mo

User avatar
birddog1968
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3043
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Wherever I may roam

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by birddog1968 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:19 pm

Maurice wrote:When me and my pointers ride home in the same truck at the same time, that's handling ;o)

Mo

LOL ! excellent !!!
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

Hunters Pale Rider

Hunters Branch Jalapeno

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Neil » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:35 pm

birddog1968 wrote:
Maurice wrote:When me and my pointers ride home in the same truck at the same time, that's handling ;o)

Mo

LOL ! excellent !!!
A great dog trainer and a comedian!

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:32 pm

Three replies so far; no one with a clue?

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

Trekmoor
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1848
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Trekmoor » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:33 pm

:lol: I liked the fun reply but more seriously I think I call a dog a really good handling dog at about the time it does things with the minimum of handling.

Bill T.
The older I get, the better I was !

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Neil » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:20 pm

Evan.

It is rhe difference in retrievers and all the other gun dogs. I like Mo's answer.

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:52 pm

Trekmoor wrote::lol: I liked the fun reply but more seriously I think I call a dog a really good handling dog at about the time it does things with the minimum of handling.

Bill T.
True enough. If the dog takes fewer handles he must be taking accurate ones. If he's doing that in a cold blind application he is then a handling dog. This question came up due to numerous questions asked of me recently that reflect a belief that once the dog is sharp on his T work (and perhaps Swim-by) that he is now a handling dog. That is not so in my estimation.

A dog handling on basic handling drills like single and double T is only going to pre-identified piles of bumpers. That's fine because those are basic drills. What he's really learning there is to go, stop, and cast as told. With those basic tools he can now be trained to become a handling dog; going to unknown destinations as commanded. That requires a very different mindset - total reliance upon direction from a handler.

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Neil » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:01 pm

Evan,

Not only are there different ways to train dogs, there are different types of dogs. We do not all have retrievers.

There are no absolutes in dog training.

User avatar
GunDogAdventures
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:23 pm
Location: Rockwall County Texas

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by GunDogAdventures » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:38 pm

As an amateur, I'll throw this out for comment:
When your dog can be handled by someone other than the person that trained him/her.
A dog on point.....steady, yet trembling,
Breathing in and tasting the gentle breeze.
Take a moment for yourself to soak it all in,
All the training, the hard work.....it really has paid off.

Lily: http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigree. ... erations=4
Chevy: http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigree. ... erations=6

Trekmoor
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1848
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Trekmoor » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:57 am

I think there is a lot of confusion about what a "handling" dog is. I once competed in a Novice field trial with one of my labs. One of the other competing dogs had 3 retrieves during the trial and was handled onto every one of them even though two of those retrieves were marks. There was a little trophy awarded at the trial to the "Best Handling Dog" and the 4 guns were to decide which dog received that award, the trials judges had no say in it.

The award was given to the dog that had needed to be handled the most . I think just about everybody there apart from the guns knew the trophy had been given to the most handled dog and not to the "best handling dog." Where handling is concerned it should be a case of "Less is more."

Bill T.
The older I get, the better I was !

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:46 am

Here's why I asked this question. I tend to get a lot of training questions, and lately many have indicated that newer trainers appear to believe that once a dog has gotten sharp on T work (and perhaps Swim-by) that he's now a handling dog. All too often that leads them charge out and start running cold blinds, and into one or more of the predictable problems that often follow.

I have long held to the belief that when dogs come off the T they have the tools to learn how to handle, but do not know as yet that handling actually sends them anywhere. They've simply been going to one pre-identified pile or another as they have been directed. That's fine. That was Basics. They needed to be clear on that so they can now learn how to go places they didn't know ahead of time; "cold".

Until a dog learns to change course, relying on a human to get them to a bird, they don't really handle yet. See? It's not that complicated.

Good story Bill. I'm not sure why, but people often tend to wax overly-scientific about simple dog training questions sometimes. Similarly, once they learn how to train a dog to handle, many of them do it to death, and then wonder why their dogs don't mark anymore. :roll:

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

jimbo&rooster
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1252
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Sullivan IN

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by jimbo&rooster » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:44 am

Evan,

During a dark period of my life I got into retrievers, and during that time I wanted to learn everything I could, so I started to hang out with a succesful local ameture. During that time I saw some VERY good dogs, and some Very poor dogs and an awful lot that filled the middle ground.

From what I saw over those years I'm not convinced that a dog has to be finished to 'handle" and I'm not sure all finished dog will be a "handling dog". I think it comes down to a willingness to work ultimately, but from a training stand point I feel like a dog that will more or less reliably take a cast without being whistled to death, and is taking those casts with the handler in mind rather than just charging off and waiting for the next whistle.

Im not sure if that makes sense......

As far as pointing dogs I'm right there with Mo.

Jim
A limit on the strap is nice, but the kill has nothing to do with tradition.

User avatar
Grange
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:24 pm
Location: Green Bay, WI

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Grange » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:46 am

For me with when I trained my lab by the time she was a year old I had her reliably handlings on multiple marked retrieves and less complicated blinds. I could stop her and tell her which way to side turn around with a whistle and hand signals. I could control her direction with hand signals. By the time she was two I could handle her over obstacles, I had to stop her and handle her over the obstacle. If there was an easy way around she would still naturally go to the easy way rather than stay in a straight line. One thing I was impressed with was using water as an obstacle was never a big issue. I could get her into the water easily enough when there was a easier way on land. I was vertical obstacles that gave us trouble. Also by two I could used distraction and handle her past mark retrieves to blind retrieves.

With my setter I had started from the get go using my voice to Keep her going with me. I'll never forget in our first cover dog trial we were in a puppy stake. At one point the course too a sharp turn to the right and I had just sent her out straight ahead. My setter was heading up a hill at full speed when we made the turn. I made one call as I turned to the right and without missing a beat my setter turned with me and went right to the front. I think that move alone may have been a big reason she won the stake that day. She was about a year old at the time so I would say she was handling well by that time.

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3771
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by DonF » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:17 am

All the years I've had dog's, I've never heard the term "handling dog" before. I've heard of good handling dogs but never just handling dogs. Read through this stuff a couple times and still don't get it. is this retriever language? Only retrievers I ever worked with were simple hunting dogs, they would sit in a blind and fetch or push ducks up and fetch.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:10 am

jimbo&rooster wrote:Evan,

During a dark period of my life I got into retrievers, and during that time I wanted to learn everything I could, so I started to hang out with a succesful local ameture. During that time I saw some VERY good dogs, and some Very poor dogs and an awful lot that filled the middle ground.

From what I saw over those years I'm not convinced that a dog has to be finished to 'handle" and I'm not sure all finished dog will be a "handling dog". I think it comes down to a willingness to work ultimately, but from a training stand point I feel like a dog that will more or less reliably take a cast without being whistled to death, and is taking those casts with the handler in mind rather than just charging off and waiting for the next whistle.

I'm not sure if that makes sense......

As far as pointing dogs I'm right there with Mo.

Jim
Yes Jim, that makes sense. Although I'm puzzled why working with retrievers is regarded as a dark period? I treasure all the years of working with those bright, loving, willing dogs. I hope I can shed some light here for all who have kindly responded, especially those who don't think pointing dogs can handle and still be great bird finders with ample independence in the field.
DonF wrote:All the years I've had dog's, I've never heard the term "handling dog" before. I've heard of good handling dogs but never just handling dogs. Read through this stuff a couple times and still don't get it. is this retriever language? Only retrievers I ever worked with were simple hunting dogs, they would sit in a blind and fetch or push ducks up and fetch.
Don, the term "handling dog" is a broad term relative to breeds of dogs, and simply means a dog that has the skills to functionally handle in the field. I'm referring more specifically to differentiating a dog that is only doing basic handling drills and exercises from one that is reliable when it's for real. So, here's what I posted about.

I tend to get a lot of training questions from lots of trainers, and lately many have indicated that newer trainers appear to believe that once a dog has gotten sharp on T work (and perhaps Swim-by) that he's now a handling dog. All too often that leads them charge out and start running cold blinds, and then get into one or more of the predictable problems that often follow.

I have long held to the belief that when dogs come off the T they have the tools to learn how to handle, but do not know as yet that handling actually sends them anywhere. They've simply been going to one pre-identified pile of bumpers or another as they have been directed. That's fine. That was Basics. They needed to be clear on that so they can now learn how to go places (destinations) they didn't know ahead of time; "cold".

Until a dog learns to change course, relying on a human to get them to a bird, they don't really handle yet. Why do we handle our dogs in the field? To change their course. If they had been on the right course there would have been no need to handle them. Think about it. A dog just off T work doesn't understand this yet. See? It's not that complicated.

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

Maurice
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:36 pm
Location: piedmont sc.

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Maurice » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:51 am

You take a retriever hunting. A pointing dog takes me hunting, there is a difference. I expect my finished dogs to go with me and include me in the hunt. I do not believe in micro managing a pointing dog. If they have been develop right they know more about where to look for birds than the hunter. Just a backwoods pointing dog trainer imo. Your mileage may vary.

Mo

jimbo&rooster
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1252
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Sullivan IN

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by jimbo&rooster » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:04 pm

More of a joke than anything Evan. I truely enjoyed the time I spent playing with retrievers, but it just wasn't my box of cookies.

Jim
A limit on the strap is nice, but the kill has nothing to do with tradition.

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:06 pm

Maurice wrote:You take a retriever hunting. A pointing dog takes me hunting, there is a difference. I expect my finished dogs to go with me and include me in the hunt. I do not believe in micro managing a pointing dog. If they have been develop right they know more about where to look for birds than the hunter. Just a backwoods pointing dog trainer imo. Your mileage may vary.

Mo
I respect (but do not agree with) your opinion on this. But how, and in what way does it answer the question? I asked at what developmental point do you assess a dog as having become a handling dog, and you (and a couple others) simply want to argue over the merits of handling a pointer. (?) Those are two different topics. If you don't want to teach yours to handle, or are unable to accomplish it, that's fine by me. It just has nothing to do with the question asked.

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

User avatar
birddog1968
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3043
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Wherever I may roam

Post by birddog1968 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:03 pm

I've got a pointer that will do blinds tho he will not handle like a finished retriever...and I really can't think of a reason I would want him to. He has brought back birds dropped an hour prior but sailed off a couple hundred yards or more. I can line him up , send him and he does the rest. Not sure why anyone would want to put advanced retriever work on a pointer....the joy of a pointing dog is its independent nature .

Most american pointing dogs weren't developed over time , like retrievers to be able to work thru pressure like a retriever although I have no doubt alot of them in the right hands could be trained to do so.
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

Hunters Pale Rider

Hunters Branch Jalapeno

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re:

Post by EvanG » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:15 pm

birddog1968 wrote:I've got a pointer that will do blinds tho he will not handle like a finished retriever...and I really can't think of a reason I would want him to. He has brought back birds dropped an hour prior but sailed off a couple hundred yards or more. I can line him up , send him and he does the rest. Not sure why anyone would want to put advanced retriever work on a pointer....the joy of a pointing dog is its independent nature .

Most american pointing dogs weren't developed over time , like retrievers to be able to work thru pressure like a retriever although I have no doubt alot of them in the right hands could be trained to do so.
I'm not suggesting the level of finesse that finished retrievers acquire. What you've done with your pointer is far better than most, and it's got to be a pleasure to have those skills when you need them. If he does as he's told when you tell him to, you've got more dog to take afield than many others.

What I don't understand is why so many pointers are denied those fundamental handling skills. But to each his/her own. As I view working skills, it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re:

Post by polmaise » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:25 pm

birddog1968 wrote:I've got a pointer that will do blinds tho he will not handle like a finished retriever...and I really can't think of a reason I would want him to. He has brought back birds dropped an hour prior but sailed off a couple hundred yards or more. I can line him up , send him and he does the rest.
I have a Retriever that does blinds ,it handles and is a finished retriever (what is that anyway?) I also really can't think why I would want to handle it when it is already doing the job. The job in competition however is different and some of those handlers and dogs require the handling skills to compete with all the other handling people and dogs in that competition?...Me, I just let the finished dog get the bird I asked it to get :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPvUQVgzTSE

User avatar
birddog1968
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3043
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Wherever I may roam

Post by birddog1968 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:32 pm

I think with pointing dog folks its a couple things, people don't see the need and are somewhat careful with pressure, maybe sometimes overly so. I teach all mine to love bumpers in water very young. Then I go to multiple marks in and across water. Then I just stretch it until they trust I know there is another bumper out there. I'm in no way an accomplished retriever trainer but I've had them all my life and waterfowl hunt them (we growing up just didnt have the training resources of today to lean on) so I just applied some principles to the pointing dogs to go to something they never saw fall. Its not been as useful Upland wild bird hunting as it has been in my years of guiding preserve hunts where birds falling can get crazy sometimes.
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

Hunters Pale Rider

Hunters Branch Jalapeno

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Neil » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:55 pm

You cannot put something into a dog without taking something out. There is a reason we want independence in a pointing, we find more birds with less steps.

And Evan, there is no reason to insult Mo because he knows things you do not. If he wanted Mo could train a dog to set the table and cook the meal, he just know what is important and what is games.

User avatar
birddog1968
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3043
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:40 pm
Location: Wherever I may roam

Post by birddog1968 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:20 am

"You can't put something into a dog without taking something out" this is an old saying that isn't necessarily always true. I taught the concepts of blinds, multiple marks, memory birds . without taking a thing out....on the contrary it put more into the dog, trust and built the love of the retrieve even more.

Maybe that saying should read you can't force ( as in breaking) something without taking something out......but I don't know if I 100 percent always believe that either. Certainly depends on the trainer to some degree.
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

Hunters Pale Rider

Hunters Branch Jalapeno

User avatar
crackerd
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1029
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:57 am

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by crackerd » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:39 am

Maurice wrote:You take a retriever hunting. A pointing dog takes me hunting, there is a difference. I expect my finished dogs to go with me and include me in the hunt. I do not believe in micro managing a pointing dog. If they have been develop right they know more about where to look for birds than the hunter. Just a backwoods pointing dog trainer imo. Your mileage may vary.
Great stuff. Don't know about mileage varying, but them's some mighty fine lines of gospel truth.

MG

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:47 am

Neil wrote:You cannot put something into a dog without taking something out.
If you believe that intellectually vacuous notion it's no surprise you believe the nonsensical stereotypical notions that keep trainers from working at a higher level. If YOU, personally, cannot figure out how to put something into a dog without taking something out, it's no wonder you can't train a dog to handle while retaining an independent hunt.No matter how hard you beat a drum, it doesn't play a chord.
Neil wrote:And Evan, there is no reason to insult Mo because he knows things you do not. If he wanted Mo could train a dog to set the table and cook the meal, he just know what is important and what is games.
If honesty is insulting to you that's your problem Neil. The question upon which this thread is based is a simple one. "When do you believe a dog becomes a "handling dog"?" For some reason that simple question could not be addressed without someone turning it into a debate over whether or not pointing dogs should handle at all. I asked nothing about that.

It's like asking a question about a point of religious faith, and the atheists in the group having to start an argument over whether or not there is a God. If you have no faith, why do you have a need to start an argument over religious tenets? It has nothing to do with the question, and adds nothing useful to the discussion. If you don't train handling dogs, what on earth do you care about this subject?

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

User avatar
mountaindogs
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2463
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:33 pm
Location: TN

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by mountaindogs » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:23 am

In the specific case of my retriever, I felt he was a handling dog when he could apply handing while hunting and our teamwork took him to the bird. When he applied this in varied and unexpected situations with ice, cripples WAY out and picking up ducks for another dog that he never saw... that's when I felt he was handling dog. Also you could see the change in him. That's when the teamwork, trust in the handler, and his own confidence really started to shine.

User avatar
mountaindogs
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2463
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:33 pm
Location: TN

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by mountaindogs » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:26 am

In the case of pointing dogs, when we work as a fluid team with minimal directionals needed, but when given they are taken snappily, without hesitation, and with trust and enthusiasm - rather than reservation and mere acceptance.

User avatar
AzDoggin
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1438
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: AZ desert

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by AzDoggin » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:57 am

EvanG wrote: If you don't train handling dogs, what on earth do you care about this subject? EvanG
Evan - that's a curious comment from a retriever specialist posting over here on a primarily pointing-dog discussion board.

This thread reminds me of a discussion with my wife. She asks for my opinion on something, then wants to argue with my answer... :lol:

Maurice
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:36 pm
Location: piedmont sc.

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by Maurice » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:23 am

EvanG wrote:
Neil wrote:You cannot put something into a dog without taking something out.
If you believe that intellectually vacuous notion it's no surprise you believe the nonsensical stereotypical notions that keep trainers from working at a higher level. If YOU, personally, cannot figure out how to put something into a dog without taking something out, it's no wonder you can't train a dog to handle while retaining an independent hunt.No matter how hard you beat a drum, it doesn't play a chord.
Neil wrote:And Evan, there is no reason to insult Mo because he knows things you do not. If he wanted Mo could train a dog to set the table and cook the meal, he just know what is important and what is games.
If honesty is insulting to you that's your problem Neil. The question upon which this thread is based is a simple one. "When do you believe a dog becomes a "handling dog"?" For some reason that simple question could not be addressed without someone turning it into a debate over whether or not pointing dogs should handle at all. I asked nothing about that.

It's like asking a question about a point of religious faith, and the atheists in the group having to start an argument over whether or not there is a God. If you have no faith, why do you have a need to start an argument over religious tenets? It has nothing to do with the question, and adds nothing useful to the discussion. If you don't train handling dogs, what on earth do you care about this subject?

EvanG
Evan I do train or allow the pointing dogs to learn the handle. It starts early with younger dogs and it might include a whole litter learning at the same time. It takes boot leather, birds and time. The finished product should look like there is no handling from the trainer. The dogs should cue off of body language and movement. If I stop and stand still they should come in. I don't wear a whistle or carry a stick. Go watch a pointing dog trainer run a 8 to 10 young dogs at a time and notice how they influence direction, watch how they are able to gather the dogs at the end of a workout with no fuss. Watch them send a dog on a cast to get to a certain area, it is done with cues and influence. Make no mistake much training goes into pointing dogs and ground application. The finished product should still look like a free sprit and look like all the moves were his/her idea. More rambling from backwoods pointing dog trainer on a raining day

Mo

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:31 am

mountaindogs wrote:In the specific case of my retriever, I felt he was a handling dog when he could apply handing while hunting and our teamwork took him to the bird. When he applied this in varied and unexpected situations with ice, cripples WAY out and picking up ducks for another dog that he never saw... that's when I felt he was handling dog. Also you could see the change in him. That's when the teamwork, trust in the handler, and his own confidence really started to shine.
Excellent reply. And you've mentioned a perception that many miss in discussing handling dogs. Some are of such a manipulative mindset about it that they see handling as micro management. We see it as teamwork and ultimate communication between dog and man to accomplish mutual goals; the bringing of game to hand.
mountaindogs wrote:In the case of pointing dogs, when we work as a fluid team with minimal directionals needed, but when given they are taken snappily, without hesitation, and with trust and enthusiasm - rather than reservation and mere acceptance.
Again, excellent. And for the same reasons; teamwork & communication. Well said.
AzDoggin wrote:
EvanG wrote: If you don't train handling dogs, what on earth do you care about this subject? EvanG
Evan - that's a curious comment from a retriever specialist posting over here on a primarily pointing-dog discussion board.

This thread reminds me of a discussion with my wife. She asks for my opinion on something, then wants to argue with my answer... :lol:
I hear you on the wife thing! 36 years, and we still love each other, but still have those conversations! As you can see above, in spite of many pointing dogs on this board, not all of them are. And many versatile's are very nice handling dogs that also have excellent independence afield.

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:44 am

Maurice wrote:Evan I do train or allow the pointing dogs to learn the handle. It starts early with younger dogs and it might include a whole litter learning at the same time. It takes boot leather, birds and time. The finished product should look like there is no handling from the trainer. The dogs should cue off of body language and movement. If I stop and stand still they should come in. I don't wear a whistle or carry a stick.
Nice. I've seen that style of work a number of times. I love watching all kinds of working dogs, and have hunted over many fine pointers over the years.
Maurice wrote:Go watch a pointing dog trainer run a 8 to 10 young dogs at a time and notice how they influence direction, watch how they are able to gather the dogs at the end of a workout with no fuss. Watch them send a dog on a cast to get to a certain area, it is done with cues and influence. Make no mistake much training goes into pointing dogs and ground application. The finished product should still look like a free sprit and look like all the moves were his/her idea. More rambling from backwoods pointing dog trainer on a raining day

Mo
I've done that Mo, and it was great fun! This makes me think of the old Willie Nelson tune, "Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys". One line says "He ain't wrong, he's just different." There are many styles and ways of establishing what could be called "handling". We've somehow missed that notion in this discussion. All I asked was "At what point in development do you feel a dog becomes a "handling dog"?" Some replies have been thoughtfully directed toward that question. Others have been geared more toward "the wife thing"! :D

I appreciate your fine post, and I'm sure your dogs are great fun to hunt over. As for the contrast in styles of handling, I get that too. But I hope you understand that having and accurate, retriever-style handing dog is not necessarily a result of micro managing. It was in the old days when I started. But, unless you're referring to top level field trial retrievers, it is far more an establishment of teamwork and communication. There I go...dragging myself off topic! :oops:

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:44 am

Maurice wrote:Evan I do train or allow the pointing dogs to learn the handle. It starts early with younger dogs and it might include a whole litter learning at the same time. It takes boot leather, birds and time. The finished product should look like there is no handling from the trainer. The dogs should cue off of body language and movement. If I stop and stand still they should come in. I don't wear a whistle or carry a stick.
Nice. I've seen that style of work a number of times. I love watching all kinds of working dogs, and have hunted over many fine pointers over the years.
Maurice wrote:Go watch a pointing dog trainer run a 8 to 10 young dogs at a time and notice how they influence direction, watch how they are able to gather the dogs at the end of a workout with no fuss. Watch them send a dog on a cast to get to a certain area, it is done with cues and influence. Make no mistake much training goes into pointing dogs and ground application. The finished product should still look like a free sprit and look like all the moves were his/her idea. More rambling from backwoods pointing dog trainer on a raining day

Mo
I've done that Mo, and it was great fun! This makes me think of the old Willie Nelson tune, "Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys". One line says "He ain't wrong, he's just different." There are many styles and ways of establishing what could be called "handling". We've somehow missed that notion in this discussion. All I asked was "At what point in development do you feel a dog becomes a "handling dog"?" Some replies have been thoughtfully directed toward that question. Others have been geared more toward "the wife thing"! :D

I appreciate your fine post, and I'm sure your dogs are great fun to hunt over. As for the contrast in styles of handling, I get that too. But I hope you understand that having and accurate, retriever-style handing dog is not necessarily a result of micro managing. It was in the old days when I started. But, unless you're referring to top level field trial retrievers, it is far more an establishment of teamwork and communication. There I go...dragging myself off topic! :oops:

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

DoubleBarrel GunDogs
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:33 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by DoubleBarrel GunDogs » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:13 am

EvanG wrote:At what point in development do you feel a dog becomes a "handling dog"?

Image Click on image for video clip

EvanG
Evan,

As long as you're off topic I had a question about the video in the original post. Why change the in heel/sit position in the dog from left to right? I can understand the value in a right side position, (line and relative gun position come to mind and possibly the need when handling from a blind or boat) but changing sides seems unnessesary and potentially confusing to both dog and handler. I can appreciate generalizing a behavior, but please explain if I'm missing something here.
I respect clients wishes to consistently work a dog either right or left handed, but I've never done both with the same dog. The only possible exception I can think of would be generalizing the kennel command.

Sorry about the topic derailment, but you did sort of ask for it. :wink:

Nate

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Handling: at what point in development?

Post by EvanG » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:58 pm

DoubleBarrel GunDogs wrote:Evan,

As long as you're off topic I had a question about the video in the original post. Why change the in heel/sit position in the dog from left to right?
Nate,

Two-sided heeling is, of course, a retriever thing. But it's a helpful nuance in several applications. For over a decade, Mike Lardy pretty much owned the National Open, and most of his winners were two-sided dogs, along with his finalists and others of course. This is not THE reason. But it's surely one of the reasons. I wrote an article on it titled "Two-sidedness". I'll see if I can dig it up.
DoubleBarrel GunDogs wrote:Sorry about the topic derailment, but you did sort of ask for it. :wink:

Nate
No problem buddy. I think we've gotten all we needed to out of this thread.

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

Post Reply