level of training

Post Reply
bagofdonuts
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:02 am

level of training

Post by bagofdonuts » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:53 am

I know this won't apply to field trialers, but for hunting purposes does your level of training (i.e. broke to wing and shot) depend on the dog? Are there instances we're accepting a lower level of compliance results in a better hunting dog?

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8318
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: level of training

Post by Sharon » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:11 pm

Welcome to the forum.

Better?
Many folks want their dog to break on the shot thinking this will allow the dog a quicker chance to retrieve/find the bird. I'm not convinced that's true.
For safety's sake I'd never want a dog breaking on the flush.

"Are there instances we're accepting a lower level of compliance results in a better hunting dog?" quote

I vote no but will be interested in other opinions.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: level of training

Post by shags » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:33 pm

How can a dog not complying with the owner's wants/needs be considered to be "better"? :?

Training to the level you desire results in "better".

Unless, of course, the training is clueless and heavy-handed, resulting in a sulky, timid, or shut-down dog. That is never "better".

RayGubernat
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3191
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Central DE

Re: level of training

Post by RayGubernat » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:04 pm

bagofdonuts wrote:I know this won't apply to field trialers, but for hunting purposes does your level of training (i.e. broke to wing and shot) depend on the dog? Are there instances we're accepting a lower level of compliance results in a better hunting dog?
There will always be the argument that a totally steady dog is "better" for hunting. There are situations and scenarios, but for the most part, a dog that will point a bird and wait for you to get there and to flush the bird...is all that most hunters really need. There is no question in my mind that a dog that breaks at flush is in a better position to nail down and retrieve a wingtipped bird. The is no question that a dog that breaks at flush is at greater risk of injury from shot, especially when the quarry is penraised quail.

There is also NO question that a staunch dog...one that breaks at flush...is much easier to train and keep trained than a steady dog.

A dog that is trained to be steady to wing, shot...and fall...is certainly better trained than a dog that is trained to break at flush... BUT... better trained does not necessarily mean "better".

I see the issue from both sides. I hunted for years before I got involved in field trials.

There are pros and cons, plusses and minuses. Your dog... your choice.

RayG

User avatar
will-kelly
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:28 pm
Location: Philadelphia Suburbs

Re: level of training

Post by will-kelly » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:07 am

bagofdonuts wrote:I know this won't apply to field trialers, but for hunting purposes does your level of training (i.e. broke to wing and shot) depend on the dog? Are there instances we're accepting a lower level of compliance results in a better hunting dog?
I think your asking two separate unrelated questions. A lower level of compliance means you have resistance on the part of the dog. This will certainly lead to unwanted results so I would say the answer to this question is no.

It Sounds to me like we're talking about pointing breeds. As for the not having a fully broke dog I think the hunting style and cover make this decision. In really thick grouse cover or hedgerows of brindle that hold quail there is often a scenario that does not allow the hunter to get even remotely close. It's to thick. Having a dog that will reset itself to try and pin down the birds so they don't move off can end up being an vantage in many hunting situations but would never play well in the world and field trials. Fully break a dog and he'll stand there looking at you while you're looking at him wondering why you're staring at each other.

bagofdonuts
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:02 am

Re: level of training

Post by bagofdonuts » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:36 am

I've always heard that for everything you ask of a dog you're taking something away.
I have a dog now that is a fine hunting dog, but hunts with more intensity, points with more intensity and is better handling when allowed to break at flush. Each off season I reign her back to steady-to-shot, but then see things I don't like ( she becomes "sticky", checks back too much, maybe confused). My question, I guess, is are their dogs that just for lack of intelligence or something can't quite get it and are better left at the level they can handle or is it me (i.e. all dogs, if trained correctly, should be held to same standard).

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3813
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: level of training

Post by DonF » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:55 am

bagofdonuts wrote:I know this won't apply to field trialers, but for hunting purposes does your level of training (i.e. broke to wing and shot) depend on the dog? Are there instances we're accepting a lower level of compliance results in a better hunting dog?
First question is no. Most dogs can be trained to the same level. Instances of accepting a lower level of compliance? I'd call that no too. You train your dog in the training field, you need to expect the same level of performance hunting. No again. Allowing two different level's of performance give's the dog conflicting ways to perform. Don't practice giving command's in the field, allow your dog to do what you trained it to do, don't be a handler. Your dog just might surprise you doing something really good that you've never trained it to do! The dog will figure out the hunting rules with experience, don't second guess it. But it must conform to the rule's you set! Hope that make's sense.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

User avatar
gonehuntin'
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4574
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: NE WI.

Re: level of training

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:26 am

A lower level of training will NEVER result in better hunting performance from a dog.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

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

Re: level of training

Post by EvanG » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:48 am

gonehuntin' wrote:A lower level of training will NEVER result in better hunting performance from a dog.
This is what is called "profundity" at its finest.

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

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: level of training

Post by shags » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:53 am

bagofdonuts wrote:I've always heard that for everything you ask of a dog you're taking something away.
I have a dog now that is a fine hunting dog, but hunts with more intensity, points with more intensity and is better handling when allowed to break at flush. Each off season I reign her back to steady-to-shot, but then see things I don't like ( she becomes "sticky", checks back too much, maybe confused). My question, I guess, is are their dogs that just for lack of intelligence or something can't quite get it and are better left at the level they can handle or is it me (i.e. all dogs, if trained correctly, should be held to same standard).


Your problem is one of two things.
One could be your training method. Too much too soon, too heavy-handed, too something you are doing to cause the dog to become unsure of itself and what you want from it. A happy confident dog doesn't get sticky and clingy.

The other can be that your dog just doesn't have the mental makeup required to take training. Some folks call it biddability. The dog does fine as long as it is allowed to do whatever it pleases, but shuts down, balks, refuses, or quits when required to do things your way.

IME the former is much more common than the latter. Don't lay the problem at the dog's feet until you have really given some thought to your methods.

User avatar
gonehuntin'
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4574
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: NE WI.

Re: level of training

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:34 pm

EvanG wrote:
gonehuntin' wrote:A lower level of training will NEVER result in better hunting performance from a dog.
This is what is called "profundity" at its finest.

EvanG
I appreciate that Evan, but I had to look it up to make sure you weren't swearing at me! :D
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8318
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: level of training

Post by Sharon » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:54 pm

DonF wrote:
bagofdonuts wrote:I know this won't apply to field trialers, but for hunting purposes does your level of training (i.e. broke to wing and shot) depend on the dog? Are there instances we're accepting a lower level of compliance results in a better hunting dog?
First question is no. Most dogs can be trained to the same level. Instances of accepting a lower level of compliance? I'd call that no too. You train your dog in the training field, you need to expect the same level of performance hunting. No again. Allowing two different level's of performance give's the dog conflicting ways to perform. Don't practice giving command's in the field, allow your dog to do what you trained it to do, don't be a handler. Your dog just might surprise you doing something really good that you've never trained it to do! The dog will figure out the hunting rules with experience, don't second guess it. But it must conform to the rule's you set! Hope that make's sense.
Reminds me of what Shadow Oak Bo did at the Championship. Robin relocated him , and the dog seemed to leave the area. Even Robin who knew the dog WELL was taken a -back. Bo went around the edge of the area and stopped on point. He knew the birds were running North and he wanted to stop them . No training there ,, just tremendous bird sense.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

bagofdonuts
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:02 am

Re: level of training

Post by bagofdonuts » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:30 pm

Ok. I had kinda come to the same conclusion (just looking for excuse to accept less).
More questions. I hunt only wild birds and almost always alone. It is extremely difficult (read impossible) to pay much attention to the dog when flushing and trying to shoot wild birds (even staunchly pointed ones). The older I get the faster the birds get. So, the dog back slides throughout the season.
It seems I have three choices. 1. find a hunting partner/gunner (and hold dog more accountable while hunting - not really what i want to do)
2.find a way to amp up the excitement for the dog during training to make sure it holds during the season.(any suggestions would be appreciated) I don't believe I'm over-handling the dog and don't think I'm over-correcting. Maybe confusion due to letting it slip during season or boredom with training.
3. keep doing the same. (i.e. slip during season, correct in off-season)

User avatar
gundogguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 968
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:22 pm
Location: southern Michiganistan

Re: level of training

Post by gundogguy » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:29 pm

EvanG wrote:
gonehuntin' wrote:A lower level of training will NEVER result in better hunting performance from a dog.
This is what is called "profundity" at its finest.

EvanG
:D :D Very Good! Teach force and maintain standards, Steadiness also resolves any 'Independant contractor behavior" that usually resides in a dog that is allowed to break or run in!
Steady early steady often, :D you will never regret it
I'm 100% in favor of LGBT - Liberty, Guns, Bacon and Trump.

RayGubernat
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3191
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Central DE

Re: level of training

Post by RayGubernat » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:36 pm

bagofdonuts wrote:I've always heard that for everything you ask of a dog you're taking something away.
I have a dog now that is a fine hunting dog, but hunts with more intensity, points with more intensity and is better handling when allowed to break at flush. Each off season I reign her back to steady-to-shot, but then see things I don't like ( she becomes "sticky", checks back too much, maybe confused). My question, I guess, is are their dogs that just for lack of intelligence or something can't quite get it and are better left at the level they can handle or is it me (i.e. all dogs, if trained correctly, should be held to same standard).

All things being equal, the more steadiness you require from a pointing dog...the more pressure you need to apply to get to and maintain that steadiness. Some dogs can handle the increased pressure...some may not.

Some trainers know how, when and how much pressure to apply to get through to the dog without impacting their performance...some may not.

I would say that most well bred dogs can be successfully trained to be steady to wing and shot.. and probably lots more stuff than that as well. I believe it is very often the human portion of the equation which is the issue. Many folks do not have the time, the knowledge, the facilities, the desire, the willingness...or some combination of the above which will keep that dog from being trained to the highest level it is capable of.

The real fundamental reason why a trial dog is, and nearly always has been expected to be steady to wing and shot(and in the case of AKC continentals and hunt test dogs, steady to fall also) is simple. It is a genetics thing.

If the dog can be shown to have maintained its style, independence, boldness and joy under the pressure and scrutiny of judgement where it must also demonstrate impeccable manners on game, that is the best guarantee you can get that pups out of that dog will be able to do the same.

If a dog can consistently demonstrate that highest level of performance, in the crucible of judgement, the hunter who may never need or attain that consistently highest level will generally be very well served in the hunting field by its progeny. At least that is the plan.

RayG

User avatar
Tooling
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:32 am

Re: level of training

Post by Tooling » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:53 am

Keep in mind that I have been hunting Pheasants primarily w/my shorthair.

Without a doubt we are more succesful (for better or worse) when my dog is not 100%.

That is not to say that he doesn't need to throttle it back at times (which is another story) & I don't ever quit working toward the end game w/him but it is often conflicting big time.

Not always quite sure just how to handle it..I mean, how do you argue w/success :?

Meller
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:28 am
Location: Missouri

Re: level of training

Post by Meller » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:44 am

Just my opinion, I think it is better to train to the highest standard ( steady to shot and fall ) then if you want let them backslide to shot if wanted, than never to have trained for the shot and fall. I think you will have a more cooperative hunting companion.
I also agree with Ray on both his post's.
Just my opinion!

User avatar
Tooling
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:32 am

Re: level of training

Post by Tooling » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:26 am

Meller wrote:Just my opinion, I think it is better to train to the highest standard ( steady to shot and fall ) then if you want let them backslide to shot if wanted, than never to have trained for the shot and fall. I think you will have a more cooperative hunting companion.
I also agree with Ray on both his post's.
Just my opinion!
Could not agree with you more - it's a balancing act though

User avatar
gonehuntin'
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4574
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: NE WI.

Re: level of training

Post by gonehuntin' » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:35 am

Tooling wrote:Keep in mind that I have been hunting Pheasants primarily w/my shorthair.

Without a doubt we are more succesful (for better or worse) when my dog is not 100%.

That is not to say that he doesn't need to throttle it back at times (which is another story) & I don't ever quit working toward the end game w/him but it is often conflicting big time.

Not always quite sure just how to handle it..I mean, how do you argue w/success :?
I believe that the only time you can be more successful is when you dog is relocating. Now, I'm not sure what you mean in your post, but some people consider relocation a fault. Generally though, the more well trained and well enforced a dog is, the more successful you will be.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

RayGubernat
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3191
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Central DE

Re: level of training

Post by RayGubernat » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:37 am

gonehuntin' wrote:
Tooling wrote:Keep in mind that I have been hunting Pheasants primarily w/my shorthair.

Without a doubt we are more succesful (for better or worse) when my dog is not 100%.

That is not to say that he doesn't need to throttle it back at times (which is another story) & I don't ever quit working toward the end game w/him but it is often conflicting big time.

Not always quite sure just how to handle it..I mean, how do you argue w/success :?
I believe that the only time you can be more successful is when you dog is relocating. Now, I'm not sure what you mean in your post, but some people consider relocation a fault. Generally though, the more well trained and well enforced a dog is, the more successful you will be.
In a trial or test scenario, a dog that self-relocates once the flush is initiated... is done, so relocations of any kind are strictly controlled by the handler. How er, in the field, ESPECIALLY with wild pheasants, a self-relocation while the handler is flushing and the bird is making for an "exit stage left" on foot, is PRECISELY what is necessary to either re-pin the bird or "encourage" it to fly.

It is one of those scenarios where what happens in the real world conflicts...to an extent... with what is expected of a trial performance. I think a savvy dog, working to pin down a wily pheasant is a thing of beauty and a fair challenge, because, fairly often...the bird wins if the dog does not do it "just right". But when the dog does do it right, it is awesome.

Unfortunately, in a trial or test scenario, which standards of performance are much ore based on what a dog should do on a covey of tight sitting quail...such a performance would not be rewarded and would, in fact, be frowned upon. Keep in mind...a trial or test is a show...a performance, with rules and standards. A hunt is a hunt where the only real standard of performance is for the dog and handler to bring the bird to bag( or be in a position to and simply not shoot to kill).

RayG

User avatar
gonehuntin'
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4574
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: NE WI.

Re: level of training

Post by gonehuntin' » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:43 am

Yes, that's what I'm saying Ray. I just don't understand from Tooling's post what he's talking about.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

User avatar
Tooling
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:32 am

Re: level of training

Post by Tooling » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:56 pm

Sorry guys..got pulled away

What I mean is if my dog is not allowed to relocate we would have little to no success in the real world hunting Pheasants but on the same token it sure doesn't help with his steadiness..he still comes off the rails sometimes but what that seems to be is a lack of maturity and typically following virtually no bird contact after quite awhile...he's 2.5

Ray nailed it

He cruises the edges and then goes in once he thinks he picks up scent - it is in the thick where I can’t always see him or get to him so I rush up along side him as best I can along the woods edge - out comes a phez and I shoot. He retrieves quickly & turns back to the hunt. There are also times I am just not there and off goes a bird. This has not been a good season for Pheasants out in the fields where things are simply more visible which would make it easier.

I would define my dog as being green broke…he is steady in the yard and when we are training but he is restraining himself b/c he LOVES the chase and still has that youthful spunk.

We went out a couple days ago..

Early that day I came up to the begining of a hedgerow to find him on point inside the row to my left..sure enough there was the phez hunkered down and slithering through the thickest of thick (caught just a glimpse of the bird) - I stepped around to try & block for a flush and the bird just disappeared...I mean gone! While the bird was slithering & as I was coming around my dog took a cautious step to his left to block but stood..I gave him the ok (I say "again") to relocate and he circled further to his left and stopped again..I came in to kick around convinced the bird laid down but I could see it in my dogs point that the bird just wasn't there any longer..I kicked some more and he nosed in quickly only to turn and start working the area in larger and larger circles and then working back in to where I was - we got our butts whooped on that one plain and simple so kudos to Mr. Pheasant…I mean that bird just flat out disappeared.

Later that day I had just put my gun up & 40 yds away there’s my dog on point outside of a circular group of trees/woods about 100 yds in diameter.

Pup is a crafty little fella and has been known to “suddenly" become rather birdy when we arrive to the truck to leave. I thought to myself that maybe I should grab my gun but also thought he was just up to his clever little trick..

I walked over to his right around the wood line and turned in - he ran in (w/out an ok to do so) and pointed again - I entered the woods and he relocated to his left again..I literally watched him circle a Cock Pheasant panicked and trying to run but he pinned it solid - he used me as a wall once I came into the woods and circled the bird moving left and right until it just laid down - I saw the whole thing & it was absolutely amazing. Dummy me I didn't have my gun so I flushed the bird and off it went. Had to give him a mild whoa b/c he sprung back at the flush but he stood it the whole time so I just praised him up & called it a day. What he did was an absolute thing of beauty. Quail has always been my game but man am I fast becoming addicted to Pheasant hunting and it appears to me that a dog that truly knows how to handle them is one special sort of animal...unfortunately so much of it seems to be a contradiction to the traditional way of working a bird dog so it's often tricky to find that balance. I do not want another breed.

All I know is this - if I handle the dog we walk a lot of ground - if I just let him go to it birds suddenly come flying out of the thick…I wouldn’t shoot if I SAW that he was roading in.

Sorry if this is too wordy or not specific enough.

User avatar
hustonmc
Rank: Champion
Posts: 377
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:25 pm
Location: Eastern, OR

Re: level of training

Post by hustonmc » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:30 pm

I hunt 40+ days a year, my dogs are trained to be steady to flush, break at shot. Occasionally depending on the dog, they will break at flush. Never, ever, have I seen a situation even remotely close to causing harm to a dog. I easily see 200-350 productive pieces of bird work a year, maybe ya'll are getting more bird work then me and I need to get out more. But safety has never been a reason to keep my dog steady. If I shoot that dog is off to the races looking for a bird to drop, if nothing drops they come back around and continue on the course. If I choose not to shoot because covey was too small or never broke up enough to put a clean shot on a single, then the dogs stands, obviously some better then others, purely for trial reasons Would it take much to get them stone cold broke, probably not. But I have had more birds drop off the edge of a canyon that I didn't even know I hit, and have my dog come back with them then I care to admit to. That wouldn't happen with a broke dog.
Now in NSTRA having that dog that is steady until shot helps a ton because the last thing I need is a dog chasing a "safety" bird off into no mans land that I didn't shoot at, eating up my time. But if I shoot and drop a leg or tip a wing, I know with 100% confidence my dog will retrieve that bird and save us from losing that retrieve score.
That's my 2 cents, I've hunted over all different levels. A dog that stops to flush, holds at flush, breaks at shot marking birds on it's own, to me is as good as it gets.

User avatar
Tooling
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:32 am

Re: level of training

Post by Tooling » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:53 pm

hustonmc wrote:I hunt 40+ days a year, my dogs are trained to be steady to flush, break at shot. Occasionally depending on the dog, they will break at flush. Never, ever, have I seen a situation even remotely close to causing harm to a dog. I easily see 200-350 productive pieces of bird work a year, maybe ya'll are getting more bird work then me and I need to get out more. But safety has never been a reason to keep my dog steady. If I shoot that dog is off to the races looking for a bird to drop, if nothing drops they come back around and continue on the course. If I choose not to shoot because covey was too small or never broke up enough to put a clean shot on a single, then the dogs stands, obviously some better then others, purely for trial reasons Would it take much to get them stone cold broke, probably not. But I have had more birds drop off the edge of a canyon that I didn't even know I hit, and have my dog come back with them then I care to admit to. That wouldn't happen with a broke dog.
Now in NSTRA having that dog that is steady until shot helps a ton because the last thing I need is a dog chasing a "safety" bird off into no mans land that I didn't shoot at, eating up my time. But if I shoot and drop a leg or tip a wing, I know with 100% confidence my dog will retrieve that bird and save us from losing that retrieve score.
That's my 2 cents, I've hunted over all different levels. A dog that stops to flush, holds at flush, breaks at shot marking birds on it's own, to me is as good as it gets.
And there he is...I typically drop the bird dead but on this one notice the bird spurring my dog - he pushed the bird out of the woods and I took the shot..pup was on him in seconds yet he will stand to the drop until released while training. I am most often by myself w/the dog while hunting.

*Edited to say that he will stand to the fall while training but it is iffy sometimes so not totally there yet - that's my conundrum!!
Attachments
IMG_6281.jpg
IMG_6281.jpg (1.11 MiB) Viewed 12851 times
Last edited by Tooling on Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8318
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: level of training

Post by Sharon » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:09 pm

Nice picture.

"Without a doubt we are more successful (for better or worse) when my dog is not 100%." quote tooling

We do over control sometimes; I agree.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

User avatar
Tooling
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:32 am

Re: level of training

Post by Tooling » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:30 pm

Thanks Sharon..three days of that followed by three days of this...what a wonderful thing a bird dog is :)
Attachments
IMG_6412.jpg
IMG_6412.jpg (347.78 KiB) Viewed 12838 times

User avatar
gonehuntin'
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4574
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: NE WI.

Re: level of training

Post by gonehuntin' » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:11 pm

Tooling, realize that MOST pheasant hunters HAVE to have a dog that relocates or they aren't going to shoot many pheasant. Most grouse hunters want a dog that DOES NOT relocate. Relocation, especially the way yours does it shows exceptional intelligence in a dog and not a lack of training. If you tell him whoa and he doesn't, that is a lack of training. Pick your bird, pick your poison.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

User avatar
Tooling
Rank: 3X Champion
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:32 am

Re: level of training

Post by Tooling » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:35 am

Thanks for that gh..it is funny that you say that - early in my career w/this dog I had become involved in some AKC stuff - never had prior but have always hunted w/differing levels of commitment and inconsistent levels of dog training which depended on the dog really.

I watched this dog at about 6 months do this same exact thing to a Chukar who had ended up in a sparse but large bush at the edge of a row - as I approached, the dog was in the woods and kept stepping/circling every time the bird tried to make an escape into the woods or an opening to take flight..I had never seen a dog do that before and I'm thinking "man, this is freaking awesome"!! The AKC guys told me not to let him move and I looked at them like they were nuts & expressed how incredible I thought that was, i mean he wasn't diving in - they told me I didn't know what the heck I was talking about and suggested a wing on a string...I saw red

I would love to say that I've seen him do this since that Chukar but I would be lying..I have ALSO watched this dog staunch as could be and then pounce at the last moment - I have been suspecting that when he pushes a phez out (and I can't see him) that he is jumping in but I'm not always so sure and it leaves me confused about what I should do but it's also conflicting b/c he IS putting birds in the bag & the times I am there to see, his manners are not horrible so I err on the side of the dog - then he did that. When a bird is in grass, he has been pointing them and I can see he is "on his toes" ready for them to make their move and a quiet whoa reminder seems to keep him planted for the flush...the quiet whoa seems like it's more for me than the dog but it does seem to offer him a little reminder which does help. I DO NOT want to take this intensity out of him - even if that means he is not fully developed as a bird dog until he is 4/5...it just seems to my novice eye that this dog has what it takes to become a straight bad a$$ if he is afforded the time to develop at his own pace to an extent and given the right hunting opportunities...every time I brag on him he makes me a fool but then when I seem to know better than him he shows me just who the expert is - I love this dog!

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3813
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: level of training

Post by DonF » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:08 pm

bagofdonuts wrote:Ok. I had kinda come to the same conclusion (just looking for excuse to accept less).
More questions. I hunt only wild birds and almost always alone. It is extremely difficult (read impossible) to pay much attention to the dog when flushing and trying to shoot wild birds (even staunchly pointed ones). The older I get the faster the birds get. So, the dog back slides throughout the season.
It seems I have three choices. 1. find a hunting partner/gunner (and hold dog more accountable while hunting - not really what i want to do)
2.find a way to amp up the excitement for the dog during training to make sure it holds during the season.(any suggestions would be appreciated) I don't believe I'm over-handling the dog and don't think I'm over-correcting. Maybe confusion due to letting it slip during season or boredom with training.
3. keep doing the same. (i.e. slip during season, correct in off-season)
Don't walk past your dog on point, circle to the front and take a line back on his nose. Look a little as you walk to the dog but mostly listen for the bird's to flush. You should know when your close by watching your dog, it's gonna get more excited, will bunch mussel's getting ready to go. It's eye's will maybe start to pop, seem to open wider. Go out in the training field and shoot some birds for your dog but while your there, learn to read the dog! If your in the area of a planted bird, kick the grass a bit and watch your dog, it's expecting a bird and it will react in some way. Learn to read your dog.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3813
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: level of training

Post by DonF » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:21 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:
Tooling wrote:Keep in mind that I have been hunting Pheasants primarily w/my shorthair.

Without a doubt we are more succesful (for better or worse) when my dog is not 100%.

That is not to say that he doesn't need to throttle it back at times (which is another story) & I don't ever quit working toward the end game w/him but it is often conflicting big time.

Not always quite sure just how to handle it..I mean, how do you argue w/success :?
I believe that the only time you can be more successful is when you dog is relocating. Now, I'm not sure what you mean in your post, but some people consider relocation a fault. Generally though, the more well trained and well enforced a dog is, the more successful you will be.
I don't find relocation a fault. In trialing one of the thing's a dog should do Is "accurately" locate the bird. Once your to the dog, maybe it should not relocate again but as your walking up and the dog relocate's on it's own, I'd stop, probably get my dog picked up but in truth the dog is doing exactly what it should be doing. If the dog has the bird accurately located, you don't have to beat brush a whole lot to find the bird. You dog should be telling you right where the bird is! Now out in front and not finding the bird, look back at your dog. He intent or has he soften and glancing around a bit? If it's gone soft and it's glancing around, either the dog never had it in the first place or the bird has moved and you didn't see it. In a trial situation I stop right there and ask to relocate, your dog is telling you something. pretty much the same on wild birds except wild birds usually flush before running IF the dog has them pinned. If on the other hand if the bird does run, Most likely the dog pointed from to far off. It is the dog's job to accurately locate the bird, let it do it's job! Sometime's it will crowd the bird and bump it, the dog should learn something from it, ignore and go on.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: level of training

Post by birddogger » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:30 pm

DonF wrote:
gonehuntin' wrote:
Tooling wrote:Keep in mind that I have been hunting Pheasants primarily w/my shorthair.

Without a doubt we are more succesful (for better or worse) when my dog is not 100%.

That is not to say that he doesn't need to throttle it back at times (which is another story) & I don't ever quit working toward the end game w/him but it is often conflicting big time.

Not always quite sure just how to handle it..I mean, how do you argue w/success :?
I believe that the only time you can be more successful is when you dog is relocating. Now, I'm not sure what you mean in your post, but some people consider relocation a fault. Generally though, the more well trained and well enforced a dog is, the more successful you will be.
I don't find relocation a fault. In trialing one of the thing's a dog should do Is "accurately" locate the bird. Once your to the dog, maybe it should not relocate again but as your walking up and the dog relocate's on it's own, I'd stop, probably get my dog picked up but in truth the dog is doing exactly what it should be doing. If the dog has the bird accurately located, you don't have to beat brush a whole lot to find the bird. You dog should be telling you right where the bird is! Now out in front and not finding the bird, look back at your dog. He intent or has he soften and glancing around a bit? If it's gone soft and it's glancing around, either the dog never had it in the first place or the bird has moved and you didn't see it. In a trial situation I stop right there and ask to relocate, your dog is telling you something. pretty much the same on wild birds except wild birds usually flush before running IF the dog has them pinned. If on the other hand if the bird does run, Most likely the dog pointed from to far off. It is the dog's job to accurately locate the bird, let it do it's job! Sometime's it will crowd the bird and bump it, the dog should learn something from it, ignore and go on.
Right on Don and gh. These have always been my thoughts also, but I talk to a lot of people who will passionately disagree with this. I don't get it.


Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

JKP
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 968
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:14 pm

Re: level of training

Post by JKP » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:05 pm

I don't find relocation a fault. In trialing one of the thing's a dog should do Is "accurately" locate the bird. Once your to the dog, maybe it should not relocate again but as your walking up and the dog relocate's on it's own, I'd stop, probably get my dog picked up but in truth the dog is doing exactly what it should be doing. If the dog has the bird accurately located, you don't have to beat brush a whole lot to find the bird. You dog should be telling you right where the bird is! Now out in front and not finding the bird, look back at your dog. He intent or has he soften and glancing around a bit? If it's gone soft and it's glancing around, either the dog never had it in the first place or the bird has moved and you didn't see it. In a trial situation I stop right there and ask to relocate
A BIG THUMBS UP!!! IF...and that's a big IF....trial dogs are alos to be the best hunting dogs then a dog should always be required to relocate and produce game if possible. If I walk 2-300 yds to a dog on point, there had better be game in front of that dog. Dogs had better learn to relocate on their own and hold birds. Walking across the section to a dog on point that has allowed a rooster to run to the next section is of little use.

I have a young male that was steadied completely this year. Now he's learning that when I see him soften, he will hear me tell him to "FIND IT!!" and he's started relocating on his own...what I expect a hunting to do. When I see this up ahead, I know we have something in front of the gun.
Image

I appreciate the discipline of trialing or any competition/testing venue...I do it myself, but a hunting dog is a few steps higher up the ladder...IMHO.

Post Reply