Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

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MSU Aggie
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Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by MSU Aggie » Thu May 26, 2016 7:57 am

I am in need of some advice. I have an 1 year and a half old GSP female that I am preparing for the NAVHDA UT test. I have all the confidence in her field ability as well as retrieve of dragged duck and steady by blind. However I can not get her to take the back command across water for the Duck search. She will run a cold blind on land every time I give the back command, so I know she understands there. But for some reason I haven't been able to get her to make the transition to water. She will run out till she is chest deep and then just stand there looking at where she is supposed to go. I realize that is will probably not be a quick fix and that this test might be a wash because of it, but I would rather fix the problem than just get her test ready.

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by gundogguy » Thu May 26, 2016 8:38 am

I would shorten the distances. and then add the factor of distance as she develops the confidence in the search command to go farther to be successful.
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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by MSU Aggie » Thu May 26, 2016 8:57 am

I will be going to a different location today that has a wider variety of distance options.

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu May 26, 2016 11:53 am

Hide someone in the weeds across a small pond with a duck. Command BACK to the dog and send her. When she starts to get tentative, have your helper stay hidden but throw a duck in the air so it lands in the weeds and water. Do this a few times at a few different locations and remove the helper. If she won't go yet, try wading across with her and encouraging her. That's all it should take.
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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by volraider » Thu May 26, 2016 11:54 am

Take a live wing clipped duck, with her right at the water, turn the duck loose and let her watch the duck swim off, turn and heel her away from the water. She will be trying look back at the duck, when she quits looking back take her straight back to the water and give her the search command. Searching for a duck should be just like hunting in the field. Plant 2 or 3 ducks in the water in cover just like you plant birds in the field and if she has the genetics she will start searching after the proper intro. Main thing is to let her have success each time she's in the water.

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by cjhills » Thu May 26, 2016 12:01 pm

Is she comfortable with water. Sounds like she needs more water work....................Cj

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by MSU Aggie » Thu May 26, 2016 12:30 pm

Thanks guys, I will give all of your suggestions a shot. She has an amazing search in the field so I know one I get her across its going to be good

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by deseeker » Thu May 26, 2016 4:01 pm

cjhills wrote:Is she comfortable with water. Sounds like she needs more water work....................Cj
X1

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by MSU Aggie » Thu May 26, 2016 4:56 pm

Got out this afternoon on smaller pond and had success. Took a little bit of her looking confused till the desire took over. Then it was like a switch flipped. She is good with water. But can always use more water time.

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by crackerd » Fri May 27, 2016 7:24 am

MSU Aggie wrote:... I can not get her to take the back command across water for the Duck search. She will run a cold blind on land every time I give the back command, so I know she understands there. But for some reason I haven't been able to get her to make the transition to water.
The "transition" is water training, specifically, such as water-forcing and swim-by - not a dog "naturally" carrying over its blind skill set from land. That just doesn't happen, even with the best-pedigreed performance Labs.

On the NAVHDA duck search, "Back!" is not the command I would use; it would be "Search!" and I would've trained for the duck search by planting dead birds in the water and letting the dog know there were dead ducks (and eventually live ones) in the water so the dog would have the conviction that every time it's sent on the duck search, there's a duck to be found.

Why would you not use "Back!" when sending on the duck search? Because you might at some point want to train your versatile breed to run real water blinds, where you handle them in the water, with precision, to a blind retrieve destination. A water blind is where you know that destination, but the dog does not, thus relies on you the handler for getting it there, and cooperates with you in making the blind retrieve. The duck search is not a blind retrieve because there's no handling involved and, theoretically at least, the dog is supposed to use its nose and "independence" not its handler's commands for assistance, in finding (and retrieving) the duck.

MG

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by cjhills » Fri May 27, 2016 8:41 am

If I understand what NAVHDA people tell me correctly, the duck search is not about finding and retrieving a duck.
It is about searching for the a duck. So, I would think you would get her really comfortable in the water, maybe by doing dead bird retrieves. Then use some command such as search,find or whatever you might like,but not any retrieve commands because it is not retrieving.
The way I get it you would score higher with a dog that searched hard for a half hour than you would if your dog goes into the weeds and comes out immediately with a duck.
I have a highly NAVHDA bred dog who will thrash a cattail swamp all day searching.....................Cj

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by polmaise » Fri May 27, 2016 9:02 am

Useful with a helper on the other side ,but if he/she is a good thrower they can throw a duck in the water at the edge attached to a piece of rope ,let the dog see it then cover it's eyes,helper reels in the duck then you can 'command ' the dog to the proverbial 'Hi-Los' or seek/search' voila' the dog believes it is there but can't find it !! overlay/encourage with the 'Hi-Los' as it's in the area 'searching' when it starts to loose interest or goes outside the search area the helper places the duck in the area without the dog seeing it .hey presto ,repeat and rinse.

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by crackerd » Fri May 27, 2016 12:45 pm

cjhills wrote:If I understand what NAVHDA people tell me correctly, the duck search is not about finding and retrieving a duck. It is about searching for the a duck.
Yes and no, cj. It's about perseverance on the water in searching for the duck, and if the opportunity presents itself through the search, retrieving the duck as gundogs generally are known to do. But a lot of "NAVHDA people" don't want their dog retrieving a duck because if it botches the retrieve, the dog's judged on that too - whereas if the dog simply pursues the duck for 10-15 minutes (no such thing in the test as a half-hour duck search) and then is called off the search by its handler, it gets a high score for perseverance (and cooperation) even if it never came close to finding (and retrieving :oops: ) the duck.
cjhills wrote:The way I get it you would score higher with a dog that searched hard for a half hour than you would if your dog goes into the weeds and comes out immediately with a duck.
Again, basically correct but not a matter of fact. If a dog finds (and retrieves) a duck within a couple of minutes of starting the search, it must be resent and judged on the second search (the resend) for perseverance, too. I've seen many dogs that "succeeded" in getting the first duck but wouldn't resend with any enthusiasm - would go out a short distance (if at all) then turn around and come right back to shore. That's where the advice from volraider, GH, polmaise and gundogguy comes in handy: The dog must "believe" that every time it is sent on the "Search!" command, there is a duck out there to be found, and thus its perseverance gene must kick in with the resend, instead of its attitude of "Awww, man - I already found the duck once, why should I go after another one when there might be not be another one out there to go after?" Succeeding in the duck search also has a little something to do with what we call "water courage" in retrievers.

MG

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Re: Help with NAVHDA Duck Search

Post by Fun dog » Sat May 28, 2016 10:13 pm

A good portion of beginning duck search is just retrieves across water. Start with Dog sees handler throw duck. Then move to handler in sight dog doesn't see duck thrown. Then the handler disappears as well. This is a gradual process. The dog is learning that when you send it out in water it will find something. When the dog is going reliably you can start making things harder and moving to different ponds. Somewhere there is a lesson plan for duck search. I have had good success following the plan. After awhile it's all you can do to hold your dog back before the send.

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