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FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:51 pm

I found another good thread on this topic, mostly addressing judging standards - after going through it, I still have a question dealing with this problem:

dog has started bringing me dead birds while running FT braces - result: DQs, no forgiveness from judges around here - but, I suspect he's not catching them (at least not all of them), just finding them (already dead) - not seeing a chase/catch scenario, just dog trotting back, dead bird in mouth - moreover, some are badly mangled, but he has a very soft mouth - never chomps them, not even cripples - I'm certain he thinks he's doing the right thing, as we train fetching with dead birds, and when I toss a really fresh one, before picking it up the first time, he often hesitates (probably thinking: is it really dead?), but not so if he sees it shot, picks it up right away, even if still fluttering

... so, Q: should I stop using dead birds to train fetching? train fetching only with bumpers and birds shot over him? should I try putting out some dead birds near pointing set ups and nicking him if he tries to pick one up - concern: could this lead to blinking live birds or retrievals ?!?
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby bustingcover » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:34 pm

Don’t shock the dog around dead birds. Stop playing fetch with dead birds. If your dog is already retrieving then stop training fetch so much.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:57 pm

@bustincover - thanks again - advice always welcome
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby birddogger2 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:08 am

I agree with bustingcover.

I would not do retrieves with dead birds any longer. In fact, in your case, I would lay off retrieves for a while and pretty much from now on, only accept retrieves that you have commanded the dog to do. If the dog does bring back a dead bird that you have not shot in the future, do not accept the bird. Tell the dog to drop and send him on. No correction...but no reward.
Make sure he is out of sight before you pickup and dispose of the bird. Make it a nothing, something to be ignored and he will.

You are, I think, quite correct in assuming that the dog is doing what he thinks you want him to do, so the task is to get the dog to realize that retrieves are situational...and with birds(or bumpers) it is YOU who initiate the situation... with a shot in the case of a bird especially.


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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby gonehuntin' » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:51 am

Only thing I'd add is that I think you're mis-reading the dog. I think he is killing the birds. Why would he be finding dead birds in the field? That doesn't make any sense to me. Especially since they're badly mangled. I think he IS catching and killing them. Perhaps because of pressure you have on him? May be a resentment reaction.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby shags » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:24 am

Several reasons for dead birds on course. Sometime throw down trial birds aren't very healthy to begin with and die from simply being put out especially if the weather is chilly or wet. Once in a while a dog on course will interrupt a hawk in the middle of a quail lunch and pick up the leftovers. Then there are stepped-ons, shot but not retrieved, killed by prior dog and

IME generally if the birds are cold and stiff, the dog has picked up a dead one. If the bird is warm and loose, assume the dog killed it. If he's picking up deads, treat it as a non event. If he's kiiling them, back to the breaking process :?
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:48 am

@birddogger2 - thank you and everyone for the kind advice - yeah weak FT birds probably too tempting - never jumps one in training, even in zero wind pointing almost on top of them - only blows up in competition - guess we gotta start driving out 2-300 mi. to train on wild birds, if I can learn where to do it - where it's permitted, legal, safe - upland country in Oregon ain't like Iowa, where I grew up - blank 'em off season, shoot 'em in season ... and agreed: no more dead birds (relief, simplifies field training)

as for fetching, dog shows curious behavior: distinguishes serious fetching from play - won't fetch a stick or a ball, just plays keep away - always fetches a bumper, really loves the hand-held power launcher - shot rivets him, always holds steady till released and brings it right back every time - one concern with that tool/toy: might induce delayed chase ? - I got it on recommendation of one seasoned handle with hundreds of placements - told me he trained a champion setter with that tool alone, never used birds, just the power launcher for steadiness - found it a little hard to believe - but why make up something like that...anyone ever heard of that ? thanks again
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Sharon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:57 pm

jtg wrote:I found another good thread on this topic, mostly addressing judging standards - after going through it, I still have a question dealing with this problem:

dog has started bringing me dead birds while running FT braces - result: DQs, no forgiveness from judges around here - but, I suspect he's not catching them (at least not all of them), just finding them (already dead) - not seeing a chase/catch scenario, just dog trotting back, dead bird in mouth - moreover, some are badly mangled, but he has a very soft mouth - never chomps them, not even cripples - I'm certain he thinks he's doing the right thing, as we train fetching with dead birds, and when I toss a really fresh one, before picking it up the first time, he often hesitates (probably thinking: is it really dead?), but not so if he sees it shot, picks it up right away, even if still fluttering

... so, Q: should I stop using dead birds to train fetching? train fetching only with bumpers and birds shot over him? should I try putting out some dead birds near pointing set ups and nicking him if he tries to pick one up - concern: could this lead to blinking live birds or retrievals ?!?



You've had good advice. Brought back some memories for me. I was sure my dog would never kill a bird in the field , but the judge(trial) said the bird was warm so ............end of that brace. :)
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:08 am

@Sharon - yeah, have to wonder: how warm is too warm ? killed in previous brace or by a hawk or a hard throw-down, as mentioned above ... who knows ? other thread discussed judging this scenario - one seasoned judge wrote: "can't judge what you can't see, so if you don't see the chase/catch/kill, how do you really know?" well, who knows ? I just know this: never argue with a judge - no doubt you'll meet again
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby shags » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:35 am

The question you must ask, How is it that *my* dog consistently finds all these dead birds on course, and the other dogs don't?

Hmmmm.....
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby gonehuntin' » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:31 am

And mangles them. Sooner or later, you may have to consider a mouth problem.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:32 am

@shags - actually on 2 recent trials others were bringing them too - one delivered by a champion - everyone complained about weak birds - one my dog brought was well soaked, out of a swale

@gonehuntin - the mangled one (only one) had a leg ripped nearly off - could have caught it running or taking flight which might have ripped it nearly out, but that bird looked pretty worked over - a piece of work that would have taken longer than it took him to bring it in - so dunno - more training for sure - no dead fetching dummies

again, thanks for all the supportive advice
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby polmaise » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:15 pm

jtg wrote:@birddogger2 - thank you and everyone for the kind advice - yeah weak FT birds probably too tempting - never jumps one in training, even in zero wind pointing almost on top of them - only blows up in competition - guess we gotta start driving out 2-300 mi. to train on wild birds, if I can learn where to do it - where it's permitted, legal, safe - upland country in Oregon ain't like Iowa, where I grew up - blank 'em off season, shoot 'em in season ... and agreed: no more dead birds (relief, simplifies field training)

as for fetching, dog shows curious behavior: distinguishes serious fetching from play - won't fetch a stick or a ball, just plays keep away - always fetches a bumper, really loves the hand-held power launcher - shot rivets him, always holds steady till released and brings it right back every time - one concern with that tool/toy: might induce delayed chase ? - I got it on recommendation of one seasoned handle with hundreds of placements - told me he trained a champion setter with that tool alone, never used birds, just the power launcher for steadiness - found it a little hard to believe - but why make up something like that...anyone ever heard of that ? thanks again

A pointing dog doesn't point dead game!
.............
The rest of the post appears all over the place
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:54 pm

@polmaise - thanks - wish the judge, that DQd my pup last year for failing to honor his brace mate on point downwind from a dead bird, concurred - pup didn't steal the point, just crossed in front acknowledging neither the pointing dog nor the dead bird - later back in camp, judge took me aside to reinforce the seriousness of the infraction - I agreed and thanked him, then quipped: "thank goodness it wasn't a gopher" - he wasn't amused, just said, "a point's a point." "understood," I said, "thank you again, we'll train that more intensely" ... and I thank you too, polmaise, for bringing us back on track - I really do appreciate all the great advice here - priceless
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby DonF » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:35 am

jtg wrote:I found another good thread on this topic, mostly addressing judging standards - after going through it, I still have a question dealing with this problem:

dog has started bringing me dead birds while running FT braces - result: DQs, no forgiveness from judges around here - but, I suspect he's not catching them (at least not all of them), just finding them (already dead) - not seeing a chase/catch scenario, just dog trotting back, dead bird in mouth - moreover, some are badly mangled, but he has a very soft mouth - never chomps them, not even cripples - I'm certain he thinks he's doing the right thing, as we train fetching with dead birds, and when I toss a really fresh one, before picking it up the first time, he often hesitates (probably thinking: is it really dead?), but not so if he sees it shot, picks it up right away, even if still fluttering

... so, Q: should I stop using dead birds to train fetching? train fetching only with bumpers and birds shot over him? should I try putting out some dead birds near pointing set ups and nicking him if he tries to pick one up - concern: could this lead to blinking live birds or retrievals ?!?


I judged field trials years ago and a dog bringing in a bird does not mean it caught it on the ground. If the judge see's the dog catch a bird alive, your gone but if the dog brings in a dead bird, no fault! Take the bird and go on.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby DonF » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:44 am

Sharon wrote:
jtg wrote:I found another good thread on this topic, mostly addressing judging standards - after going through it, I still have a question dealing with this problem:

dog has started bringing me dead birds while running FT braces - result: DQs, no forgiveness from judges around here - but, I suspect he's not catching them (at least not all of them), just finding them (already dead) - not seeing a chase/catch scenario, just dog trotting back, dead bird in mouth - moreover, some are badly mangled, but he has a very soft mouth - never chomps them, not even cripples - I'm certain he thinks he's doing the right thing, as we train fetching with dead birds, and when I toss a really fresh one, before picking it up the first time, he often hesitates (probably thinking: is it really dead?), but not so if he sees it shot, picks it up right away, even if still fluttering

... so, Q: should I stop using dead birds to train fetching? train fetching only with bumpers and birds shot over him? should I try putting out some dead birds near pointing set ups and nicking him if he tries to pick one up - concern: could this lead to blinking live birds or retrievals ?!?



You've had good advice. Brought back some memories for me. I was sure my dog would never kill a bird in the field , but the judge said the bird was warm so ............end of that brace. :)


Sad. A judge should always judge only what he see's.If a dog brought in a warn mangled bird, probably the dog did it but not seeing is not knowing, I'd give the dog a pass. As for why the other dog's didn't find it, who knows. Maybe they don't have as good a nose or none got near it. Judge only what you see. I picked up a dog I knew was a great one a few years ago for bringing back a dead bird but, I saw the dog catch the bird. Didn't like doing that as she was one of the best dog's I'd ever seen, but, you judge what you see! If you see a dog with a dead bird in it's mouth then all you see is a dog with a dead bird, nothing more. If you see a dog with a live bird in it's mouth, walk of shame time! If you see the dog catch a bird, walk of shame!
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:37 am

@DonF - thanks for your informed input - one of the most seasoned and winning handlers I know was ordered up at a major (30+ starters) last year when within minutes of the breakaway his FC/AFC/MH dog brought him a dead bird - nobody saw anything more than that - he didn't argue, just accepted the judges' discretion - judges himself, understands it perfectly

as for my posting, others here seem to think that I'm in some sort of "denial" when I write that I don't think he's catching them all - not so and agreed, even catching some is a problem - but the real problem is this: he only does it on field trials, never in training and more curiously, even training on birds left over from the same trials, same grounds, same weather conditions (but just the 2 of us running) shows perfectly handled finds (many out of sight - need the tracker to find him) and stop to flushes (many at 200+ yards, steady till I get there) - we occasionally train with others, running in braces, but not with horses and all other FT excitement - have heard from others outside this thread that it's a collar problem, but we've been moving away from the collar for over a year - now over half the time off collar, or tracking and flash collar only (FT/HT standard)

open for any recommendations - thank you in advance and thanks again to all others here for informed commentary and to GDF for maintaining such a useful platform
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Trekmoor » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:41 am

Not sure where I stand on this one ??? I agree judges should judge on what they see , not on what they think has happened. Where does that leave us when it comes to actual retrieves though ? If a bird fell 50 - 100 yards away into cover and a dog was sent for it in a trial , the judges would not be able to see the dog or what it did. If the bird was returned to hand by the dog but the bird was "mangled" should the judges just ignore this because they could not see the dog pick up the bird ?

I know if this were to happen during a trial in Britain for spaniels, retrievers or any of the versatile breeds , that dog would be eliminated for hard mouth. I realise that what took place in the O.P.'s trial happened during a pointing dog trial .....but do the rules about hard mouth not apply to any dog used to retrieve ?

I too think judges should see "it" before they eliminate a dog for "it" but this is a bit of a grey area in some situations.

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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:13 pm

@Trekmoor - thanks for your commentary - these are pointer trials (retrieval on call back only - no birds shot on course) - understood, retrieved birds should never be mangled ever, in trials or hunting - in trials, dog should ignore all dead birds unless sent to retrieve - my original post about training fetch with dead birds has been well-addressed and I accept my culpability

I probably induced the behavior by doing fetching drills with dead birds as a reward for perfectly executed finds on live-bird training set ups - collaring off 180º from the flushed bird's flight, stopping at about 50 yds., commanding whoa, tossing and blanking a dead bird, waiting 5 sec., then releasing to retrieve - for the last half-year or so virtually perfectly - never mouthing - nevertheless, I am discontinuing this reward - unless otherwise convinced, will only execute retrieves on birds shot over the dog...a bit sad - he loves the retrieval reward in the training field - loves fetching drills in the yard - loves the power launcher - keeping it fun strikes me as essential to successful training - maybe I'm wrong, advice welcome
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Trekmoor » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:02 pm

Sorry, I'm not really qualified to give advice on this subject as our tests and trials are very different to yours.
Only at the end of one of our Open HPR (Versatile dog trials) would a dog ever be required to retrieve a bird planted by a judge in advance of a dog being sent for it. This is always done as a blind retrieve from the far bank of a river or a pond . The idea behind it is simply to see if a dog will swim on command and go in the right direction. The actual retrieve has very little to do with it ....yet judges often still check the birds used for signs of hard mouth !

Personally I think this is wrong. Any bird used for that purpose is very likely to have been retrieved as a fresh shot bird during the trial or maybe the day before if pigeons are used. The birds will already have been in a dog's mouth and that dog may have damaged it before the water test ..... so why bother checking these birds for signs of hard mouth during the water retrieve ?

If a judge at any of our trials , no matter which breed, was seen planting a bird for a dog to retrieve that judge would be in very serious trouble .............not only dogs mouths can put a birds ribs in !

Live birds are never planted at our pointing dog trials. So what happened to you, in theory, could never happen here. Every bird pointed and shot will be a wild bird .....if you can call pheasants reared in a pen and then released from it only a few months before any trial, a truly wild bird ?

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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby polmaise » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:00 pm

Trekmoor wrote:Only at the end of one of our Open HPR (Versatile dog trials) would a dog ever be required to retrieve a bird planted by a judge in advance of a dog being sent for it. This is always done as a blind retrieve from the far bank of a river or a pond . The idea behind it is simply to see if a dog will swim on command and go in the right direction. The actual retrieve has very little to do with it ....yet judges often still check the birds used for signs of hard mouth !


If a judge at any of our trials , no matter which breed, was seen planting a bird for a dog to retrieve that judge would be in very serious trouble .............not only dogs mouths can put a birds ribs in !


Bill T.

Planted , Mark, or anything in between ...''A stick will get fido in the water'' . Those judges are thankfully no longer required in the UK .!
If that's what you want to see.
Hopefully some good folk whatever side of the pond (In this case ) have the training and development of their breed ,in the Training and development of that breed as a pre-requisite . .. This wee puppy ..is doing fine thanks 'UK Judges ' . He doesn't require a ribbon ...Yet :wink: ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86-Qy9QPqNw
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Sharon » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:49 pm

You even make him jump a fence?! :) Great video. Thanks.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby DonF » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:45 am

Trekmoor wrote:Not sure where I stand on this one ??? I agree judges should judge on what they see , not on what they think has happened. Where does that leave us when it comes to actual retrieves though ? If a bird fell 50 - 100 yards away into cover and a dog was sent for it in a trial , the judges would not be able to see the dog or what it did. If the bird was returned to hand by the dog but the bird was "mangled" should the judges just ignore this because they could not see the dog pick up the bird ?

I know if this were to happen during a trial in Britain for spaniels, retrievers or any of the versatile breeds , that dog would be eliminated for hard mouth. I realise that what took place in the O.P.'s trial happened during a pointing dog trial .....but do the rules about hard mouth not apply to any dog used to retrieve ?

I too think judges should see "it" before they eliminate a dog for "it" but this is a bit of a grey area in some situations.

Bill T.


If the brd was mangled. Good question! Years ago I was judging a call back for retrieving. Had a dog go out and bring a bird back. I could see the dog munching on the way back in. Dog got to the handler and was running in circles around him and he finally reached out and got the bird and yanked it from the dog's mouth. I got the bird from the gunner and the breast was completely torn out of the bird. When some AKC guys around here train, they don't give a lot of thought to retrieving. Huge mistake. Most judges don't care about anything other than did the dog somehow get the bird back. I like to think I judged the whole thing. I wanted to see a good mark on the down bird and a dog go quickly to it and quickly back with a gentle mouth and give the owner the bird soon as it's asked for. It's all a part of good dog work and even if the judges you have don't grade it, you should train for it! Judge the whole performance!
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:56 pm

DonF - thanks again - AKC regs state clearly that retrieved birds should be delivered to hand in good condition - this should never be ignored

the UK guys (polamise and Trekmoor) seem to have missed the point of the original post - it's not about retrieving in competition, rather about bringing back dead birds while running the course (cause for immediate DQ, but provisional as you've detailed above) - I mentioned a mangled bird, because the pup never does that when retrieving - made me suspicious as to whether or not he'd killed it - nevertheless, he should ignore dead birds on course - why I've stopped training fetch period, at least until he starts blowing retrievals of shot birds - as mentioned, sadly so, because he so much loves that reward when training on set ups - we'll see how he does on a hunt test next month

polamise and Trekmoor seem confused about AKC FT pointer standards: find, point, steady to wing, shot, release and no delayed chase (no chase period) - as you know, AKC trials are now done mostly with retrieval recalls - set ups, usually for the top 4 dogs, after the running, specifically to test retrieval - I think just to cut the cost of paying for gunners on course all day - Brittany trials, again as you probably know, abandoned retrieval (even recalls) over a decade ago

as for the planted bird issue, not many AKC trials run any more on wild birds - maybe a few on pheasants and prairie chickens in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas - anywhere else, not enough wild birds to do it efficiently - imagine trying to run a field trial on wild chukars

here's a UK trial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=578eGcF4cu8 - barely resembles an AKC walking trial, and if we're really seeing wild birds, I invite polamise and Trekmoor to weigh in and confirm it - thanks again one and all for the respectful exchange
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby shags » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:16 pm

JTG,
I can see how you're really stuck...you don't want to extinguish your dog's retrieve, but he's not competitive if he keeps bringing you dead birds. And he thinks he's being such a good boy when he brings you one.

I don't know but very little about retrieve training, thank heaven and saints above that setters don't have to in trials here.
But I wonder if there is a way that you can retrain him so that he retrieves only on command? Like set him up with a dead bird or two in the yard or training field and if he picks it up you can tell him "Leave it"? Then other times shoot a bird, or toss a dead one, and send him for it? Maybe a versatile guy will weigh in on this, I hope.

One thing I would definitely think about if it applies...if a particular club consistently uses poor quality birds for their trials, just don't go there any more. It doesn't help you or your dog to get into trouble with that mess. For myownself, I've given up a couple of otherwise good trials because their bird planters put birds 10 feet of the horse path and rarely put any in good likely cover that will hold birds. You know how it is, dogs remember where they find birds, and a dog finds a bird on or near the path, and that's where he's going to be looking. Lots of time, money, and energy goes into training, and I won't let that get undone by path birds. With relatively few trials around, it's hard to give them up, but I think it's for the good of my dogs and their training.

Good luck to you, I hope you find a way to work things out.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby polmaise » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:25 pm

The internet and selection of info from it can be confusing . Especially if one selects the wrong intel.
The you tube clip is probably the worst example to be shown in relation to the thread , but then maybe that's why it was chosen . (It's a Pointing test,not a Trial) .
I'll gleam that the OP has their own agenda ,but they are more than welcome to show a hunt point ,get in , steady to flush and shot and fall,and deliver tenderly to hand when all is done .
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby shags » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:49 pm

All I know is that trialers across the ocean look so upper-crust and spiffy, like an Orvis catalog come to life.

Over here, a good part of the time we look like we live under a bridge :lol:
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby polmaise » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:18 pm

shags wrote:All I know is that trialers across the ocean look so upper-crust and spiffy, like an Orvis catalog come to life.

Over here, a good part of the time we look like we live under a bridge :lol:

8) :lol:
In reality 'Shags' .The Real ones look like they build bridges :wink:
...
Shortbread tins and images of Whisky bottles with Grouse have had a great impact on exports ...of whisky ,shortbread and Grouse shooting.
Unfortunately it done nothing in favour of the dog work. (imo)
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:28 pm

OK guys, sorry for the weak choice in video demo of UK trialing - this '2008 Championship' (with ample commentary) has got to be the "real deal" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0sQa9K13Xg - and the birds do appear wild, unless they were liberated the week before - again, any confirmation welcome

Shags: I've thought about your suggestion - putting down what Lab guys call "poison" (stale) dead birds for proofing the "leave it" concept/command - as previously noted, no collar correction though - too risky - I never use the collar ever when he's on live bird scent anyway - not since we had some very bad luck a few years back in his derby season - a guy I met on the training field offered to be my "mentor" - made the mistake of turning the controller over to him - he smacked the pup so hard when he was charging in on a pigeon set up, afterwards he was blinking set ups for 6 months - we worked through it and are now working through this one - most likely my fault - we'll make it - thanks for the kind advice

PS: when I told my brother what I was getting into, he offered to buy me an English shooting jacket - I told him to forget it, the blaze orange safety vest required here would render it totally unimpressionable
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby polmaise » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:43 pm

You have a nice day now :wink:
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:06 pm

polmaise wrote:You have a nice day now :wink:

likewise, cheery bye

ps: by comparison, here are winning performances from the 2009 Ames Plantation Championship - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9FukGHrhm0
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Trekmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:56 am

JTG.....both of the u tube videos shown were of pointer/setter field trials held in Britain and Ireland. The hunting was being done on grouse moors and the birds seen in the film clips were "Red Grouse." That means that they were most definitely completely wild birds.....nobody raises grouse for release . I know of only one man who ever succeeded in raising grouse chicks as pheasant chicks could be raised but he had a grouse moor to do it on ! That man is Billy Steele (the elder) known for his Lab retrievers. He used to be a gamekeeper on one of Scotland's premier driven grouse moors.

I suspect the two vids of those grouse trials were made in either July or at the start of August before the "Glorious 12th" ---- before the start of the grouse shooting season. In our pointer/setter trials no birds are shot and pointers and setters are never required to retrieve in trials.

Many of the grouse in the videos did appear to be a bit "tame" but that is probably because the trials took place prior to the disturbances of the shooting season. ---- Try getting up that close to a grouse by the time October comes around ! :lol:
What tends to happen is that the birds begin to get up at ever increasing distances from men and dogs as the shooting season progresses, the dogs then compensate for this by pointing them from further and further away. It can be very difficult to get within gun range later in the grouse shooting season.

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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby cjhills » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:00 am

Not sure if you are talking test or trial or both.
In a hunting test most judges will allow the dog to bring back a cold dead bird. A warm bird means you are out. The, "you can't judge what you don't see" is a theory.
If you run late in an event there might be quite a few dead birds on the course. If it is a wet cold day, quite a few half dead birds. Every one of my hunt test dogs will bring me a dead bird or nearly dead bird if the find it, some will grab a bird if they see it on the ground. They don't point dead birds, but they will point feathers. Sometimes it costs me, sometimes not.
In one test my bracemate wanted a point on a dead bird to qualify as a find. That did not work.........................Cj
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Trekmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:08 am

Just watched the little clip of the Ames Plantation Championship and enjoyed it. The thing that struck me most though was the very noisy handling. Any handler making even a fraction of that noise here would be eliminated or at the very least marked down so far they'd never get back up again.

In Britain we use whistle more than voice for any gundog purpose but overuse of the whistle is also a fault in our trials.

In Scottish tests and trials there used to be a wee saying ……."One toot and yer oot !" :lol:

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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby bustingcover » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:12 am

cjhills wrote:Not sure if you are talking test or trial or both.
In a hunting test most judges will allow the dog to bring back a cold dead bird. A warm bird means you are out. The, "you can't judge what you don't see" is a theory.
If you run late in an event there might be quite a few dead birds on the course. If it is a wet cold day, quite a few half dead birds. Every one of my hunt test dogs will bring me a dead bird or nearly dead bird if the find it, some will grab a bird if they see it on the ground. They don't point dead birds, but they will point feathers. Sometimes it costs me, sometimes not.
In one test my bracemate wanted a point on a dead bird to qualify as a find. That did not work.........................Cj


In a HT a pointed dead bird should certainly be counted, if I were the handler I'd fire my blank gun and shove the bird in my vest. In a HT a retrieved dead bird should be a non event, take the bird and send the dog on.

As far as FT, don't allow your dog to pick up random dead stuff. Personally I'm a fan of teaching your dog not to pick up random dead stuff regardless of the venue.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:29 am

Trekmoor wrote:...
In Britain we use whistle more than voice for any gundog purpose but overuse of the whistle is also a fault in our trials.
Bill T.


whistles common here too, and likewise, one can be judged down for overuse or over-hacking (too much vocal command) - Master Hunter standards permit no hacking, not even whoaing - as for handling an all age dog at 1/4+ mile, many prefer to "sing" to let the dog know where they are or to try to shape the run - what's heard in the Ames video - when hunting, many of us leave the training collar on and use the beeper - of course, can't use it in competition

running range aside, main differences I see in competition are:

1) pointing - your setters are allowed to hug the ground - here that's considered bad form - according to Brad Higgins, that AKC standard is BS - he considers it perfectly natural and absurd to train it out - also, tail in the air - Higgins claims a pointer's tail is naturally straight out when on point, not straight up

2) behavior at the flush and after - in your trials dog is sent in to flush and seems to be allowed a little movement at and after the flush - in AKC pointing-breed trials, standard is zero motion from point till released, either to relocate runners, or sent on to make the next find - turning to mark is by judge's discretion - self-release never permitted

3) flushing - in one of those UK-trial videos a dog was DQd for instigating a flush before pointing - here that's permitted if the dog stops and doesn't chase and if the judge determines the flush was wild (dog did not make game, otherwise up and out), but on a 'stop to flush' must hold steady as handler shoots and arrives to release - year ago, we got DQd on a 'stop to flush' when dog took one step at 200 yds, whoad him, OK, but took one more as I got to about 100 yds - no chase, just a step, up and out

as for shooting, in AKC competition, shooting and retrieval is only in hunt tests for all breeds, or in trials run by clubs of the Germanic or Hungarian breeds (go figure) - Italian Spinone, don't know their FT/HT requirements

so, no horseback handling on the isles ? somehow I figured that tradition was imported from England to Southern Plantations, where bird-dogging first took hold here - not well enough informed - first-hand knowledge or informed commentary from anyone welcome - pertinent, informed history makes us all richer - thanks again
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby cjhills » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:34 am

bustingcover wrote:
cjhills wrote:Not sure if you are talking test or trial or both.
In a hunting test most judges will allow the dog to bring back a cold dead bird. A warm bird means you are out. The, "you can't judge what you don't see" is a theory.
If you run late in an event there might be quite a few dead birds on the course. If it is a wet cold day, quite a few half dead birds. Every one of my hunt test dogs will bring me a dead bird or nearly dead bird if the find it, some will grab a bird if they see it on the ground. They don't point dead birds, but they will point feathers. Sometimes it costs me, sometimes not.
In one test my bracemate wanted a point on a dead bird to qualify as a find. That did not work.........................Cj


In a HT a pointed dead bird should certainly be counted, if I were the handler I'd fire my blank gun and shove the bird in my vest. In a HT a retrieved dead bird should be a non event, take the bird and send the dog on.

As far as FT, don't allow your dog to pick up random dead stuff. Personally I'm a fan of teaching your dog not to pick up random dead stuff regardless of the venue.

I guess you must have more lenient judges than we do. I have never seen a judge count a dead bird as a find. It will likely lower your pointing score in a Master test. Master dogs should not point dead birds, off game or false point and they should not catch birds on the ground. What would the judges be doing while you were blanking the dead bird and pocketing it.
If the dog brings back a dead bird every judge I have in seen in hundreds of test will ask to see the bird. If it is cold he will likely let you send the dog on. If it is warm he will DQ you. This is as it should be. Master dogs are called Master for a reason it is not supposed to be easy..........
Don't know about trials. Like Trekmor, I did not like the vocal handlers in the couple I tried. I was not prepared for that and neither were my dogs. My choice was change my dogs or not do trials. I chose the latter.......Cj
.............Cj
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby bustingcover » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:50 am

cjhills wrote:
bustingcover wrote:
cjhills wrote:Not sure if you are talking test or trial or both.
In a hunting test most judges will allow the dog to bring back a cold dead bird. A warm bird means you are out. The, "you can't judge what you don't see" is a theory.
If you run late in an event there might be quite a few dead birds on the course. If it is a wet cold day, quite a few half dead birds. Every one of my hunt test dogs will bring me a dead bird or nearly dead bird if the find it, some will grab a bird if they see it on the ground. They don't point dead birds, but they will point feathers. Sometimes it costs me, sometimes not.
In one test my bracemate wanted a point on a dead bird to qualify as a find. That did not work.........................Cj


In a HT a pointed dead bird should certainly be counted, if I were the handler I'd fire my blank gun and shove the bird in my vest. In a HT a retrieved dead bird should be a non event, take the bird and send the dog on.

As far as FT, don't allow your dog to pick up random dead stuff. Personally I'm a fan of teaching your dog not to pick up random dead stuff regardless of the venue.

I guess you must have more lenient judges than we do. I have never seen a judge count a dead bird as a find. It will likely lower your pointing score in a Master test. Master dogs should not point dead birds, off game or false point and they should not catch birds on the ground. What would the judges be doing while you were blanking the dead bird and pocketing it.
If the dog brings back a dead bird every judge I have in seen in hundreds of test will ask to see the bird. If it is cold he will likely let you send the dog on. If it is warm he will DQ you. This is as it should be. Master dogs are called Master for a reason it is not supposed to be easy..........
Don't know about trials. Like Trekmor, I did not like the vocal handlers in the couple I tried. I was not prepared for that and neither were my dogs. My choice was change my dogs or not do trials. I chose the latter.......Cj
.............Cj


It’s definitely subjective because not written out in the rule book so would have to come down to the judge.

If I’m judging, SH the dog gets a pass for picking up dead birds in the back field and retrieving them I don’t want to see it in the bird field though. MH I’m judging the dog as a deadbroke finished dog that I would want to hunt with. In this case that dog should not be retrieving unless sent on a retreive. If sent on a field search it should be hunting and finding birds if they’re out there. If the dog doesn’t point a dead bird then fine, if it does point a dead bird then that’s also fine because a dead bird is still a bird but it better go find a live one if it wants that retreive.

When I’m out hunting I don’t want my dog running back to me with dead birds it just randomly finds it’s a waste of energy he should be using hunting. I also don’t expect him to point dead ones either but I would rather get up to a point, see a dead bird and send him on vs a 500 yard retreive with a bird that’s been gone for who knows how long.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby cjhills » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:58 am

If you count a dead bird as a find and the dog does not find a live bird, the dog should get a set up retrieve. He has a find. You could give a low score in bird finding ability but you still have to give him a retrieve. All a dog needs is one find to get a passing bird finding score. So the dog could pass with no live bird. That is one reason why no judge I have seen gives a find for a dead bird. Should you count a rabbit as a find? That would be much better than a dead bird........Cj
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby bustingcover » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:06 pm

cjhills wrote:If you count a dead bird as a find and the dog does not find a live bird, the dog should get a set up retrieve. He has a find. You could give a low score in bird finding ability but you still have to give him a retrieve. All a dog needs is one find to get a passing bird finding score. So the dog could pass with no live bird. That is one reason why no judge I have seen gives a find for a dead bird. Should you count a rabbit as a find? That would be much better than a dead bird........Cj


Yes the dog could get called back for a retreive but most people hate Call backs and rather get it done in the field. So if the handler wants to avoid a call back they need to go find live birds. But in the case all he finds is the dead bird and gets called back for the retreive and gets it then I’d score his bird finding very low. But yes he would pass because he found a bird.

A rabbit is not a bird so no.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Trekmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:12 pm

jtg wrote:
running range aside, main differences I see in competition are:

1) pointing - your setters are allowed to hug the ground - here that's considered bad form - according to Brad Higgins, that AKC standard is BS - he considers it perfectly natural and absurd to train it out - also, tail in the air - Higgins claims a pointer's tail is naturally straight out when on point, not straight up

2) behavior at the flush and after - in your trials dog is sent in to flush and seems to be allowed a little movement at and after the flush - in AKC pointing-breed trials, standard is zero motion from point till released, either to relocate runners, or sent on to make the next find - turning to mark is by judge's discretion - self-release never permitted

3) flushing - in one of those UK-trial videos a dog was DQd for instigating a flush before pointing - here that's permitted if the dog stops and doesn't chase and if the judge determines the flush was wild (dog did not make game, otherwise up and out), but on a 'stop to flush' must hold steady as handler shoots and arrives to release - year ago, we got DQd on a 'stop to flush' when dog took one step at 200 yds, whoad him, OK, but took one more as I got to about 100 yds - no chase, just a step, up and out

as for shooting, in AKC competition, shooting and retrieval is only in hunt tests for all breeds, or in trials run by clubs of the Germanic or Hungarian breeds (go figure) - Italian Spinone, don't know their FT/HT requirements

so, no horseback handling on the isles ? somehow I figured that tradition was imported from England to Southern Plantations, where bird-dogging first took hold here - not well enough informed - first-hand knowledge or informed commentary from anyone welcome - pertinent, informed history makes us all richer - thanks again


Yes our pointers and setters are permitted to hug the ground when they point.....it is felt that by doing this the dog may be trying to reduce the threat levels birds might feel and cause them to fly off or run off before the handler reaches the dog. I've only owned one dog that did this, a Brittany. She was hunting and pointing partridge by 4 -5 months old and those were all wild birds and very jumpy. She began to do the belly down type of point and she must have thought it worked because she continued to do it when hunted for every other gamebird species.

It is true what Mr. Higgins says about the way British dogs hold their tails. We think a tail pointed skywards spoils a dogs general "look" but as far as I am aware if a dog did this in a trial (I have never seen this in any trial) it would not be downmarked. We don't "style" dogs for an upright tail and we certainly do not breed for it.

Yes our pointing breeds are all required to flush on command . Some dogs behave as you like your dogs to do and are very difficult to train a flush to. We call those dogs "sticky" and our dogs are downmarked or even eliminated for this behaviour..... I believe stickiness to be a handler induced fault …… too much fuss has been made of a dog for pointing and holding the point.
"Fuss" would include styling a dog on point ….something that seems to be very common on your side of the pond ?
The pointer/setter folk train their dogs to drop flat after flushing birds …… I think this is just an old tradition from the era when guns were still muzzle loaders . It gave the hunter time to recharge his gun with the dog under control. The command used for this was traditionally "Down-charge."

In our trials for the versatile breeds , what we call the H.P.R.'s - hunt, point, retrievers, we expect the dogs to flush on command and then sit as the birds fly away but it is not a fault if the dog remains standing just as long as it makes no attempt to chase. Since these breeds are also expected to retrieve following a point and flush we want the dogs to be able to see the bird or birds fall to the shots. This the dogs can more easily do if they do not drop to flush.

I'm not saying that nobody ever handles from horseback in Britain but there are definetely no horseback trials. I think that , traditionally, pointing dogs have always been hunted on foot here by gunners but maybe the falconry folk once upon a time used to hunt ancient pointing dog types from horseback ?

In an earlier post I noticed a reference to our ways of dressing at shoots and at trials . We can wear just about anything we like but jeans ! :lol: Nobody bothers if I turn up at a shoot or a trial wearing old, dirty , torn shooting clothes but jeans are a big no-no . I was told 50 years ago that wearing jeans and maybe a street type jerkin was to show disrespect to the shoot or trials host.

Very recently I was told a man who'd worn a baseball cap to a shoot had been told to take it off or go home ! :lol: He'd gone to an ultra - posh shoot ! :lol:

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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby polmaise » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:27 pm

Any side of the pond or any place in the world .
Dead birds are dead , and live birds are live. Pointing breeds point Live birds ,and retrievers bring back shot birds . Pointing Breeds should and can do both.
Training 'fetch' however ..gets some in-difference .
..
I know one thing however, A trained dog of any breed knows the difference between a live shot game bird and a shot or lame /dead bird .
It ain't gonna be fixed in the yard ...or here .
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby averageguy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:05 pm

This has been a very interesting thread. I have been at a loss as to how to train a dog to not retrieve a dead bird it finds while hunting independently, while still expecting the dog to retrieve all shot birds eagerly/well. I understand the real issue was whether the dog killed a live bird which it should have pointed, but from jtg's comments he feels that is not what happened, which then would seem to bring the issue back to a dog being dinged for retrieving a dead bird it ran across while hunting.

That is a foreign concept to me as I develop my puppies from the ground up to retrieve things to me. The NAVHDA UT test includes a drag of a dead duck or pheasant that is 2-300 yards long with a sharp bend. The dog is brought to the line where a pile of feathers exist and sent with one command to fetch. The track leads the dog into cover and out of sight of the handler where a judge hides downwind to see what the dog does when it reaches the bird. It is expected to immediately pick up the bird and carry it with a soft mouth directly back to the handler. If the dog chews on the bird, tries to bury it, leaves it without retrieving it, it will not pass the test. And there are marked water retrieves, a 10 minute or longer Duck Search started from a Blind Retrieve command with the dog expected to continue to search swimming depth water and cover in water to produce a live duck which has been released somewhere unknown to the dog or the handler and not in the direction the dog is initially sent, and the Upland portion of the test requires the dog to search and point birds, be steady to WSF, retrieve birds shot off its points on command and back to hand with a soft mouth.

My dog passed that test Prize 1 at just shy of 18 months old and retrieves dead and live stuff to me regularly. I know how to train all that, but I do not know how to keep a dog trained in that fashion from picking up and retrieving dead birds it comes across while hunting independently. We encourage vs discourage it.

The videos of the Trials in Scotland on the red grouse are very entertaining as are Trekmoor's comments. Following are two photos of my now 2 year old GWP when he was a baby. To my eye he had/has a nice intense natural style but his tail is not at 12 oclock and I do not mess with it when he is pointing.

Image

This is that same puppy laying down when it encountered a Killdeer doing her wounded bird routine on open bare ground. He instinctually would lay down in a predatory move to make himself small and not scare the bird away. I thought it fit well with Trekmoor's comments on how their dogs work and that is why I am sharing it here.

Image
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:47 pm

Trekmoor wrote:...a man who'd worn a baseball cap to a shoot had been told to take it off or go home ! :lol: He'd gone to an ultra - posh shoot ! :lol:

Bill T.


thanks for the informed commentary and heads up: should I ever get an invite to a "posh shoot" I'll remember to sport my snap-brim...as for denim, typical isles ground cover seems not to need such a tough fabric - just got back from training and was grateful for my jeans, as they stood up well to the blackberry bramble I had to fight through to get back the training bird
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby bustingcover » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:30 pm

averageguy wrote:This has been a very interesting thread. I have been at a loss as to how to train a dog to not retrieve a dead bird it finds while hunting independently, while still expecting the dog to retrieve all shot birds eagerly/well. I understand the real issue was whether the dog killed a live bird which it should have pointed, but from jtg's comments he feels that is not what happened, which then would seem to bring the issue back to a dog being dinged for retrieving a dead bird it ran across while hunting.

That is a foreign concept to me as I develop my puppies from the ground up to retrieve things to me. The NAVHDA UT test includes a drag of a dead duck or pheasant that is 2-300 yards long with a sharp bend. The dog is brought to the line where a pile of feathers exist and sent with one command to fetch. The track leads the dog into cover and out of sight of the handler where a judge hides downwind to see what the dog does when it reaches the bird. It is expected to immediately pick up the bird and carry it with a soft mouth directly back to the handler. If the dog chews on the bird, tries to bury it, leaves it without retrieving it, it will not pass the test. And there are marked water retrieves, a 10 minute or longer Duck Search started from a Blind Retrieve command with the dog expected to continue to search swimming depth water and cover in water to produce a live duck which has been released somewhere unknown to the dog or the handler and not in the direction the dog is initially sent, and the Upland portion of the test requires the dog to search and point birds, be steady to WSF, retrieve birds shot off its points on command and back to hand with a soft mouth.

My dog passed that test Prize 1 at just shy of 18 months old and retrieves dead and live stuff to me regularly. I know how to train all that, but I do not know how to keep a dog trained in that fashion from picking up and retrieving dead birds it comes across while hunting independently. We encourage vs discourage it.

The videos of the Trials in Scotland on the red grouse are very entertaining as are Trekmoor's comments. Following are two photos of my now 2 year old GWP when he was a baby. To my eye he had/has a nice intense natural style but his tail is not at 12 oclock and I do not mess with it when he is pointing.

Image

This is that same puppy laying down when it encountered a Killdeer doing her wounded bird routine on open bare ground. He instinctually would lay down in a predatory move to make himself small and not scare the bird away. I thought it fit well with Trekmoor's comments on how their dogs work and that is why I am sharing it here.

Image


AG that is a very cute looking pup you’ve got I’m becoming more and more partial to the wirehaireds.

When trying to train from keeping your dog from the picking up in the field it can usually be taught by not rewarding these retrieves. Telling the dog to drop it on the ground in a displeased tone and sending it on. Eventually the dog will get the idea. It’s like everything else you train for. You wouldn’t want a dog going into a duck search everytime it passes a body of water without command. The dog knows it’s supposed to fetch when you send it on a retreive.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby averageguy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:18 pm

Thank you. And yes that would be a way to discourage a dog from bringing you random stuff it runs across from the outset. Full disclosure though is I had an objective from the start to use this dog to hunt antler sheds in addition to all his other duties. Of course a bird is not an antler but it seems to me the cooperation behavior to bring me stuff he finds while out hunting is highly similar so I have encouraged vs discouraged the behavior.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:56 pm

averageguy wrote:...seems to me the cooperation behavior to bring me stuff he finds while out hunting is highly similar so I have encouraged vs discouraged the behavior.


I think Higgins would approve - his method is all about trust and cooperation - seems your problem is not so unlike mine: the difference between hunting, training and competing (FT/HT) - if not competing, no problem, but we do, so have to solve it - one seasoned handler told me his dogs know the difference and perform accordingly - seems that one's worth a study
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby Trekmoor » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:57 am

I don't know what I would do about training a dog NOT to retrieve a dead bird if I competed in one of your tests/trials. I train my pups to retrieve birds wings attached to bumpers and then I train them to retrieve birds that may have been dead for a day or two. I do this with all breeds of gundogs including all the pointing breeds.

I regularly do a form of gundog work that is common in Britain but , I think, very uncommon in the States called "Picking-up." This is going to driven shoots for bird species like partridge, pheasant, grouse mainly and my dogs job is to find the birds that have been shot and killed or shot and lightly wounded . It would not be unusual for one of my dogs to retrieve more than 20 birds in one day and I often work 2 to 4 dogs at a time. There are usually 5 or 6 drives in any one day.


Sometimes my dogs encounter a bird that was not found in the morning, late in the afternoon …..and I definitely expect that bird to be brought back to me even if it is half frozen by then. Even if the bird had fallen the previous day I'd expect my dog(s) to bring it to me.

It does sometimes happen, especially with inexperienced pups ( I take pups to shoots for the first time at anything from about 7 months old to 11 months old) that a pup will return to me with a pheasants wing or even a couple of wings attached to the skeletal remains of a long dead bird. I do not correct a pup for this , I just make a no comment acceptance of the birds remains. The pup has only been doing as it was taught earlier in it's puppyhood.


Somehow my pups notice my disregard of the bird remains they have brought to me and stop bringing them and stop picking them up....but I don't deliberately teach them not to bring back ancient bird remains. It works for me and I think most other "pickers-up" behave in much the same way as I do.

The pups notice I am pleased when they bring back fresh shot game and that I couldn't care less about older stuff , they sort of teach themselves what I want picked up and fetched. I quite often see my experienced dogs swing onto the scent of an old bird wing or carcase at shoots and then at once just run on to look for a fresh bird.


My hunt -point-retrieve pups have even more learning by experience than that to do at big driven shoots . They not only have to learn to not retrieve old wings etc. , they also have to learn that when picking-up they are not to point any of the pricked or any of the unshot birds they often encounter ! They learn this with experience ……. I do not go to their points when picking-up ! I blow recall or just tell the dog to hunt on . They eventually just go straight in on unshot birds and flush them then carry on looking for shot birds to retrieve.


This behaviour is something the "situation" teaches to a dog , it is something they only do when picking-up . I once went picking up on a Friday with my Brittany and she worked as a picking up dog all day long , retrieving dead and wounded birds and just flushing all the unshot birds.

The following day she was competing in an HPR trial and I admit I was a bit worried that she'd deliberately flush every bird she' found but she'd "read the different situation" and worked well as an HPR all day …..she won the trial.


I think that, given enough chances to learn by experience, most dogs will eventually do what is wanted to suit the situation.


Bill T.
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Re: FT dead bird retrievals and training fetch

Postby jtg » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:58 pm

Trekmoor wrote:I think that, given enough chances to learn by experience, most dogs will eventually do what is wanted to suit the situation. Bill T.

thanks - encouraging - seems to concur with Higgins - he posits (more or less) that these dogs have more talent than we typically acknowledge - with encouraging facilitation, they learn to make the right choices to succeed and ultimately to please us, e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38KGS9s4gzw
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