Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

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porochi
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Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by porochi » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:10 pm

My GSP is great at finding live birds but not so great at finding dead ones. Today we flushed 4 coveys of quail and while I was looking for the downed ones he was off chasing singles. I can get him to come over to where the bird fell but he'll do one or two passes then he's off tracking down the rest of the covey. What's the best way to teach your dog to focus on the area where the bird fell? He's too impatient, he wants to track down the rest and can't be bothered to look for the downed birds for very long, if at all. Suggestions?

ddoyle
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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by ddoyle » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:24 pm

Stole this idea from someone on this board i believe...throw treats into the grass and then bring them in the area. I they begin working scent and finding the treats tell them hunt dead. Just a couple of times and the will learn to get their nose to the ground.

porochi
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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by porochi » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:25 am

When hunting my dog pretty much ignores treats though. He's usually food motivated but when hunting he won't respond to treats until we're back at the truck.

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by fishvik » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:26 pm

You might try freshly killed birds while in the field, or try wings from birds you may have killed and frozen. I'm kind of the belief training while hunting is a good idea and am willing to take some time out from pursuing birds to work on things the dogs is slipping up on. When the dog breaks to hunt for single instead of hunting dead, nick them and give them the command for hunting dead. It is an obedience thing.

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by polmaise » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:28 pm

Retrieving separate from Hunting .
Then put them together .
.....
Hunt dead (would be in my mind search and rescue) ....So perhaps the translation is not understood.
A shot Bird , or a thrown bumper and Fido fetch ..I am sure the dog has enough chase/prey drive to go get .
...
A command "Hunt" search/find /Go find /pick up dead bird /etc ..etc .... Should be easy ,if the dog knows what it is scenting for ?....
Like ...Training Sniffer/detection dogs or search and rescue or Drug detection ..or even Cancer ? ..You can Google this process .
Or even .....Maybe Not ! ...Gun dog work . Without a dummy/Bumper .

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by averageguy » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:26 pm

Porochi, I laid out my program to building a strong Hunt Dead in my "Start em Young" thread. Has worked very well for me but I also started when they were babies. I think the same approach could still be done with your dog but it would have to be done while training not while hunting to start with because otherwise the lure to go off and search for new birds will be too strong of a draw. The approach I lay out is make the dog believe that putting forth effort to Hunt Dead will always result in the finding a bird. For dogs which like to get a bird in their mouth it works very well. When a dog is young I will never allow it to fail to find a bird when I ask it too. If it looks like the dog is not going to come up with the bird after doing a very through search effort, I will toss one of my dead birds down when the dog is not watching and make sure the dog gets to find a bird. I want the dog to always succeed which builds tenacity for the task.

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:44 pm

A dog needs two things to train fast: fun and success. You first ave to decide what command you want to use. Let's say you want to use "dead". When the dog is away from you a bit, back to you, drop a dead bird in the grass. Fire a blank gun and when he comes in to you (he will), command "dead" and point toward the ground. He should find the bird right away. Tell him "good dog!" And give the bird a short toss so he has fun chasing it. Your next step is to substitute the dead bird for a clip wing pigeon and the sooner the better. Do the same thing EXCEPT drop the clipwing in the grass and walk 20'. NOW fire your blank and when the dog comes in, give the "dead" command. He will have a ball chasing the clip wings. Gradually increase the distance from the bird. The bird will also walk around a lot and the pup will then learn to track him. That's all there is to it. The dog's love the drill and learn the command in just a few days.

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by birddogger2 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:14 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:A dog needs two things to train fast: fun and success. You first ave to decide what command you want to use. Let's say you want to use "dead". When the dog is away from you a bit, back to you, drop a dead bird in the grass. Fire a blank gun and when he comes in to you (he will), command "dead" and point toward the ground. He should find the bird right away. Tell him "good dog!" And give the bird a short toss so he has fun chasing it. Your next step is to substitute the dead bird for a clip wing pigeon and the sooner the better. Do the same thing EXCEPT drop the clipwing in the grass and walk 20'. NOW fire your blank and when the dog comes in, give the "dead" command. He will have a ball chasing the clip wings. Gradually increase the distance from the bird. The bird will also walk around a lot and the pup will then learn to track him. That's all there is to it. The dog's love the drill and learn the command in just a few days.

That is an AWESOME progression.

The ONLY thing I can add is that, in the field, YOU must insist that the dog hunt dead until the bird is found. I HATE to lose shot birds and I will make the dogs search for a half hour for a downed quail. My dogs know that they ain't goin' nowhere until they come up with that downed bird. I think they know it by now... so they do the due diligence and come up with the bird fairly quickly so they can get back to running. You need to insist, especially with dogs that want to be out there finding more birds.

RayG

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by polmaise » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:22 pm

How do you guys do it ..without a shot ?
Like say ,You want the dog to hunt an area to find a dead bird that there has not been a shot fired ,that the dog has had reference to?

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by ddoyle » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:13 pm

porochi wrote:When hunting my dog pretty much ignores treats though. He's usually food motivated but when hunting he won't respond to treats until we're back at the truck.
Sorry. To clarify I do this in yard work not while hunting. What you really are trying to do is get the dogs nose to the ground and this is a great way to get them to do it.

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by Trekmoor » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:57 am

polmaise wrote:Retrieving separate from Hunting .
Then put them together .
.
I completely agree. I have always done this and I have done it so often with so many dogs, always successfully , that it never even occurred to me that other people might not be doing the same. When I read the original post I was a bit puzzled as to what the problem was because I've never had that problem.

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by crackerd » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:28 am

Trekmoor wrote:
polmaise wrote:Retrieving separate from Hunting .
Then put them together .
.
I completely agree. I have always done this and I have done it so often with so many dogs, always successfully , that it never even occurred to me that other people might not be doing the same. When I read the original post I was a bit puzzled as to what the problem was because I've never had that problem.
Apropos of that "separateness," GH was applauded for his sequence for "Dead," but I have it on good authority that he withheld his best stratagem up there in the Green Bay environs - a variation on the dirt clod drill used by retriever trainers (which I'm sure he will be happy to explain :wink: ) that calls for throwing a big ball of cheese curds into an area that becomes "salted" when they hit the ground and break into littler cheese curds. I think he got this trick from Fuzzy Thurston instead of Rex Carr or Dave Rorem but he will have to confirm that.

MG

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by birddogger2 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:03 am

ddoyle wrote:
porochi wrote:When hunting my dog pretty much ignores treats though. He's usually food motivated but when hunting he won't respond to treats until we're back at the truck.
Sorry. To clarify I do this in yard work not while hunting. What you really are trying to do is get the dogs nose to the ground and this is a great way to get them to do it.
FWIW, I do this as well, in the yard with puppies. Pointers are notorious for not wanting to stick their noses on the ground and this drill gets them in the habit of doing just that. I want them to get in the habit of responding to the command in the yard, so I can order it in the field and the dog will transition from searching for treats to searching for feathers.

I have never done it in the field with treats. Just birds.

Honestly, the dogs seem to transition to searching for feathers pretty seamlessly.

RayG

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by averageguy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:20 am

As laid out in my Start em Young, thread, I start when they are babies using treats in the yard, tossed while puppy is looking and when they rush over to find the treat in the short grass I am giving my hand signal and saying "Dead, Hunt Dead". Then I move to tossing the treat while the puppy is not looking and giving the hand signal and command "Dead, Hunt Dead". The puppy will come to the area, use its nose, find and eat the treat. Then I start pitching into taller cover. Then I start using dead birds and or a bumper with wings zip tied to the bumper. Then I combine the drill with a blank gunfire while the puppy is out hunting. Call it back and ask it to hunt dead. They love it! I am programming them from a baby to hunt dead and that gunfire means there is a bird to find.

On our first hunts I will throw down a bird from my vest if it looks like the pup is not going to come the bird. I want the pup to always succeed. Just got home from hunting rooster pheasants in heavy cover, 100% recovery of every bird hit. The system works really well.

If I had a dog which had not been developed in this way as a young puppy, I would still approach the training in the same way as it first builds the key understanding and desire to put its nose down and use it to find something good. And it teaches a hand signal and voice command associated with the desired behavior which recovers downed birds as the training progresses to the field.

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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by DonF » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:00 pm

I don't recall ever knowingly teaching dog's to hunt dead but over the years I've had a few shorthairs that no cripple cold get away from. Always seemed that if the dog saw the bird go down and went to that spot, it would either pick up a dead bird of find the scent and go after it. A problem I had was if the dog started leaving the area of the fall, I'd call it off! Finally had a dog that I could not watch stay in the area and a cripple down. Drifter was gone a long time and bet's were he wouldn't get the bird, he did! Sometime's it's hard to remember that the dog has a better nose than you do! Dog's were leaving the area because a cripple bird was leaving the area.

Never tried sending the dog's to looked for a wing clipped pigeon before, have to try that! I suspect the secret is setting up the situation right in the first place. I'll have to give this some though! You obviously cannot get a dog to retrieve an object at 100yds that it won't retrieve at 20'! So I'll start in the open near cover nd throw the bird to the edge of cover hoping the dog see's the bird go into the cover. Then move toward the cover and then into it as the dog progress's? I do give my dog's a line when retrieving and suspect that is necessary on a blind retrieve unless the dog goes with the shot. In that case I'd think the dog would get there and not finding the bird start hunting dead on it's own. Now where I'd get stumped is if the cripple went down and the dog didn't see it. First you'd have to get the dog to the area! I have never trained a retriever and I think this is a lace it would come in real handy to know how to send a dog on a blind!

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Best way to get a dog to hunt dead?

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:47 pm

crackerd wrote:
Trekmoor wrote:
polmaise wrote:Retrieving separate from Hunting .
Then put them together .
.
I completely agree. I have always done this and I have done it so often with so many dogs, always successfully , that it never even occurred to me that other people might not be doing the same. When I read the original post I was a bit puzzled as to what the problem was because I've never had that problem.
Apropos of that "separateness," GH was applauded for his sequence for "Dead," but I have it on good authority that he withheld his best stratagem up there in the Green Bay environs - a variation on the dirt clod drill used by retriever trainers (which I'm sure he will be happy to explain :wink: ) that calls for throwing a big ball of cheese curds into an area that becomes "salted" when they hit the ground and break into littler cheese curds. I think he got this trick from Fuzzy Thurston instead of Rex Carr or Dave Rorem but he will have to confirm that.

MG
Hah! And waste a cheese curd? Dog would have to fight me for it!

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