VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

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Higgins
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VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:30 pm

Here is a video from a while ago of a dog learning that steadiness pays off. Let me set this up. The dog has been shown, using a checkcord, that being steady and relying on the shooter to get the bird is the new strategy. This is not a pointing drill. I'm helping the dog build trust in the shooter. I want the dog to learn that the shooter is valuable and is needed for the reward (a bird in his mouth). In this video, the dog has now been released to see if he still wants to try it himself. He runs to the Magic Brushpile and tries to get the bird. He fails, comes back and asks for a do over. Neat stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/10000876327053 ... 8763270531

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Trekmoor » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:58 am

Brad, why do you think a dog needs to get a bird in it's mouth as a reward ? What I took from the video was that the dog knew birds were likely to be found in the magic brushpile from previous experience so the dog went there and "bumped" a bird . I see this fairly often if one of my dogs often finds a bird in a certain part of a field or wood. They tend to go straight to that place and may point or bump if they get careless. The "too careful" dogs tend to point the "place" without even being able to scent any bird that might be there.
I prefer my dogs to bump birds rather than point a "place" by sight.


I appreciate that you are trying to encourage the dog to include it's owner in it's hunt , I don't find it necessary to train artificially to achieve this however. My dogs seem to include me in their hunts just because I take them to where wild birds might be found.


I.M.O. it is a fallacy to think that well bred pointing dogs need to get birds into their mouths in order to have them hunt, point and include the owner as part of the hunting team. Dogs become very keen on hunting and pointing just by letting them find birds in your presence. Hunting and pointing become rewards in their own right.


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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by ezzy333 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:51 am

Trekmoor wrote:Brad, why do you think a dog needs to get a bird in it's mouth as a reward ? What I took from the video was that the dog knew birds were likely to be found in the magic brushpile from previous experience so the dog went there and "bumped" a bird . I see this fairly often if one of my dogs often finds a bird in a certain part of a field or wood. They tend to go straight to that place and may point or bump if they get careless. The "too careful" dogs tend to point the "place" without even being able to scent any bird that might be there.
I prefer my dogs to bump birds rather than point a "place" by sight.


I appreciate that you are trying to encourage the dog to include it's owner in it's hunt , I don't find it necessary to train artificially to achieve this however. My dogs seem to include me in their hunts just because I take them to where wild birds might be found.


I.M.O. it is a fallacy to think that well bred pointing dogs need to get birds into their mouths in order to have them hunt, point and include the owner as part of the hunting team. Dogs become very keen on hunting and pointing just by letting them find birds in your presence. Hunting and pointing become rewards in their own right.


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My opinion also. I have never felt I needed to be spoon fed to have a great meal with someone.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by DonF » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:27 am

About all I got from that was the dog went straight to what looked like a hay pile to me, bumped a bird out then go whoa'd and the guy walks back down the isle and pick's up a dead bird! What was the lesson here for the dog?
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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by averageguy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:49 pm

On the theme of good pointing dogs don't need a retrieve, I think that varies quite a bit with the Breed.

I find my GWPs absolutely benefit from a retrieve. To the degree that I find establishing clear linkage in the dog's head at an early age, that stopping at first scent, pointing and holding a point is the only path to getting a retrieve is the single best thing I can teach the young dog relative to pointing and holding a point. One good deed feeds the other. Once I have made that linkage it absolutely enhances the pup's tendency to hold a point for me to arrive, flush and shoot has been my experience.

I spent two days last week hunting some worn out public lands for the first time, which had an extreme shortage of rooster pheasants but good numbers of remaining hens. My poor dog had over 30 productive points with only two producing a shot on a rooster and the rest being hens. His frustration was becoming evident. He hunts to get a bird in his mouth which makes him very strong at recovering downed birds because of it, (as well as finding and pointing them ahead of that), and his steadiness is better the more it is rewarded with a downed bird to retrieve when he does his job correctly.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by polmaise » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:33 pm

I personally dont think the video showed any steadiness is paying off . For handler dog or anyone who would benefit from the video, but I am more eloquent in reply than my countryman Bill T . who says it more proficiently in text than I .
Good job the dog knows the cord is on .....? Not!
But hey , if it works it works in Training , then It works . ! ..
Brad , show us the same dog when it is done . (without any commentary of any unique style ) Just pure dog . Cheers .

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:24 pm

Averageguy makes a valid point, I believe. Some dogs DO rank getting a bird in their mouth as a VERY high reward value. They can actually get pretty upset without the anticipated opportunity to retrieve! On-the-other-hand, some (E.) pointers I have worked with are happy to find and point all day but will struggle through having to retrieve but they know it is expected. They also know that once the retrieve is complete, they get to go find more birds!
That said, I think the underlying message was lost by virtue of the fact that most other traditional methods (on this side of the pond) don't provide the dog with a choice. Most often traditional pointing training is about "This is what I expect or you get corrected." (No...I didn't say everyone does...) Of course, if you have a healthy supply of native wild birds you are at a distinct advantage there-by the process/learning curve is unique unto itself.
I am at a loss as to why the majority here-in feel the need to surgically dissect Mr. Higgin's methods when he is simply sharing his personal approach in a medium designed for exactly that?!? Obviously, at the end of the process he/his customers enjoy the resulting successes, OR HE WOULDN'T DO IT for long now would he?
So here is what I saw without sharing how "I do it better" than Mr. Higgins:
- the dog chose to go investigate the brush pile that he/she assumed had bird(s) rather than pointing as expected (through association rather than correction). As a result a bird "wild" flushed and the dog got to witness the unobstructed escape....period.
- subsequently - and the key here is, of it's own volition - the dog elected to redo the process (smart dog!) which provided a result much more palatable to the dog aligning itself with the handler/owner/trainer expectation.
That's it people...no more...no less. No, it's not how I do it but....that's irrelevant.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by mask » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:56 pm

Featherfinder wrote:Averageguy makes a valid point, I believe. Some dogs DO rank getting a bird in their mouth as a VERY high reward value. They can actually get pretty upset without the anticipated opportunity to retrieve! On-the-other-hand, some (E.) pointers I have worked with are happy to find and point all day but will struggle through having to retrieve but they know it is expected. They also know that once the retrieve is complete, they get to go find more birds!
That said, I think the underlying message was lost by virtue of the fact that most other traditional methods (on this side of the pond) don't provide the dog with a choice. Most often traditional pointing training is about "This is what I expect or you get corrected." (No...I didn't say everyone does...) Of course, if you have a healthy supply of native wild birds you are at a distinct advantage there-by the process/learning curve is unique unto itself.
I am at a loss as to why the majority here-in feel the need to surgically dissect Mr. Higgin's methods when he is simply sharing his personal approach in a medium designed for exactly that?!? Obviously, at the end of the process he/his customers enjoy the resulting successes, OR HE WOULDN'T DO IT for long now would he?
So here is what I saw without sharing how "I do it better" than Mr. Higgins:
- the dog chose to go investigate the brush pile that he/she assumed had bird(s) rather than pointing as expected (through association rather than correction). As a result a bird "wild" flushed and the dog got to witness the unobstructed escape....period.
- subsequently - and the key here is, of it's own volition - the dog elected to redo the process (smart dog!) which provided a result much more palatable to the dog aligning itself with the handler/owner/trainer expectation.
That's it people...no more...no less. No, it's not how I do it but....that's irrelevant.
careful there, the voice of reason is not always appreciated here. :lol:

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by shags » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:33 pm

For as long as I can remember in training, shooting a bird for a dog was a way to get a dog pumped up and over some hurdles in training.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by polmaise » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:47 pm

Featherfinder wrote:Averageguy makes a valid point, I believe. Some dogs DO rank getting a bird in their mouth as a VERY high reward value. They can actually get pretty upset without the anticipated opportunity to retrieve! On-the-other-hand, some (E.) pointers I have worked with are happy to find and point all day but will struggle through having to retrieve but they know it is expected. They also know that once the retrieve is complete, they get to go find more birds!
That said, I think the underlying message was lost by virtue of the fact that most other traditional methods (on this side of the pond) don't provide the dog with a choice. Most often traditional pointing training is about "This is what I expect or you get corrected." (No...I didn't say everyone does...) Of course, if you have a healthy supply of native wild birds you are at a distinct advantage there-by the process/learning curve is unique unto itself.
I am at a loss as to why the majority here-in feel the need to surgically dissect Mr. Higgin's methods when he is simply sharing his personal approach in a medium designed for exactly that?!? Obviously, at the end of the process he/his customers enjoy the resulting successes, OR HE WOULDN'T DO IT for long now would he?
So here is what I saw without sharing how "I do it better" than Mr. Higgins:
- the dog chose to go investigate the brush pile that he/she assumed had bird(s) rather than pointing as expected (through association rather than correction). As a result a bird "wild" flushed and the dog got to witness the unobstructed escape....period.
- subsequently - and the key here is, of it's own volition - the dog elected to redo the process (smart dog!) which provided a result much more palatable to the dog aligning itself with the handler/owner/trainer expectation.
That's it people...no more...no less. No, it's not how I do it but....that's irrelevant.
Yea , Own volition ? ..with the check chord ?? still attached ...and a wee tiny bit taught ..I thought ? :lol:

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by nikegundog » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:38 pm


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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:58 pm

I appreciate your post Featherfinder. You read the video well.

For those interested, here's more fuel for the fire. :)

VIDEO: The Higgins Method and the Magic Brushpile Revisited
https://youtu.be/a7lMP9SF_dQ

Enjoy

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Trekmoor » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:01 am

Thanks Brad. I noticed in your later videos that you now train your clients dogs to flush on command rather than have the handler go in front of the dog to "kick it up." When and why did you decide to change from the method shown in this video ? Or is having the dog make the flush a later development from using the brush pile ?

I have never trained in the way you seem to. I just hunt pups onto wild birds and develop things from there. It works well enough to have won me a few trials but it is not a quick way to reach the standards I want from dogs. As you know , in Britain it is always the dogs job to flush birds on command ...not the handlers. We believe the dog can make a better/easier job of flushing than the hunter ….what led you to that same conclusion ?

Steadiness to flush, to shot and to fall I have always found pretty easy to teach without even the use of a checkcord . I teach this by training these things separately before putting them all together. If a dog has been trained to stop/sit to every one of those three individual "cues" then every time a bird is flushed, fired at and brought down , the dog has received three separate commands to stop/sit with each succeeding one backing up the cue before it.

Doing this means I never have to use things like brush piles or bird release traps to achieve a very steady dog but I will admit it takes more time and effort to achieve that end result than your brush pile does !

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by averageguy » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:25 am

I was a blank slate when first exposed to "Magic Brushpile". I watched it numerous times looking to learn something, as well as I went to Mr. Higgins blog to read what he provided there.

Unless this is limited only to cheerleading, my reaction remains several fold. The videos very often does not match the narrations' claims for results, the methods are not nearly as unique as claimed to be, instead they borrow heavily from others who have gone before as all dog training does, and the methods/results are not a road I choose to go down.

Sight pointing a brush pile is not an early development method I want to use and then have to wean a dog off of for example. And my GWP puppies would have chased the first launched bird to the horizon in that extremely low cover surrounding the brush pile and they would have headed towards it on a dead run the next time they were brought to that field given they would have been upwind of it and had no scent to bring their pointing instincts into play.

There are obviously numerous ways to train dogs, and having more than one is good as dogs vary. If this approach works for others more power to em.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:17 am

polmaise wrote: Yea , Own volition ? ..with the check chord ?? still attached ...and a wee tiny bit taught ..I thought ? :lol:
Hello Polmaise,

In addition to the dogs, I train hawks and falcons to hunt with their owners. A major difference in my method is that I use the line as a *creance ( a falconry term), not a checkcord. I don't call it a checkcord because a checkcord is a different tool used in a different way. Dogs that have learned with my method don't see the creance as an obedience or training tool. I can go into more depth if anyone is interested.

I always talk about giving the dogs free will to make choices and decisions. I use the creance in the beginning to slow the dogs down and show them how I can help them be successful in getting that bird in their mouth. I believe they need to see the final goal first, so they have the information necessary to begin making decisions. I want them to know what success looks like first (I guess from the point of view of the obedience based methods, I would be seen as training a dog backwards). Once they have some experience and understand how to be successful, I remove the creance. I never punish them for trying things or making mistakes. There is no “whoa”. The only punishment used, if you could call it that, is in the lack of success. And that’s between the dog and the bird. I’m still the good guy!

*Creance: “A line or cord attached to the hawk during early training”. This is how I use a “checkcord”. It’s not about obedience. Once I show them how to be successful using the creance, it is removed and they are “flown free”. There is no pressure or obedience here. In early training, I’m simply managing success.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by polmaise » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:27 pm

Call it what you want , creance ,string, chord,lead or Rope .
Next it will be a "Wonder Creance" like Delmar :wink: ..
Like any tool used incorrectly it will be just a piece of rope.
I tink it twas a bit taut to be taught ,said the Irishman next to me . :lol:

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by DonF » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:54 am

polmaise wrote:Call it what you want , creance ,string, chord,lead or Rope .
Next it will be a "Wonder Creance" like Delmar :wink: ..
Like any tool used incorrectly it will be just a piece of rope.
I tink it twas a bit taut to be taught ,said the Irishman next to me . :lol:
I believe Rich made the Wonder Creance, Delmar is his dad! :mrgreen:
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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:01 am

Actually, Delmar initiated the Wonderlead principle. Rick/Ron marketed it.
Your are 100% right Mr. Mask. This should be no more a cheerleading medium than a vicious critiquing one. We all have an opinion. It is after all, "a forum". We all take from it what we shall and leave the rest behind.
Trekmoor, I tip my hat to you Sir. You ask a great question(s) and you did so respectfully. Mr. Higgins will no-doubt address your questions. Also, you are again correct in your identifying the logical advantages of having your dog flush for you. This is especially appreciated on this side of the pond when hunting grouse or woodcock in the nastiest, thorny, virtually impassable-to-humans cover that exists AND you are hunting by yourself! But that is not typically how it is done here. Sorry, no logic beyond that.
It can emanate when an owner wants a dog that he can trial as well as hunt. In our pointing dog trials, the handler does the flushing...period. For the answer to this, I take you back to my response above, which is basically....because.
At least Mr. Higgins is developing dogs (regardless of who he echoes/imitates/follows/re-massages/etc. ) as most ALL of us have while serving his customers.
Trekmoor, you identified a key aspect of what might be a part of Mr. Higgins goals. TIME, in-of-itself, is a critical aspect of any pro trainer. The owners of dogs-in-training obviously want lasting results in the shortest training time possible for many reasons (only one being cost). So, if Mr. Higgins has a process that meets the aspirations of his customers in a timely fashion, kudos to him.
Perhaps I am more aligned with Mr. Higgins by virtue of the fact that I like to provide my pups/dogs with learning ops that are based on choices, as well. That is also why dogs I have trained work with me out of volition with minimal verbal intervention and absolutely NO whistles. The hacking/whistles might work in a trial with planted birds or on a hunt club (again with pen-reared birds) but where I hunt wild birds it means you won't need to carry a shotgun. :wink:

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by polmaise » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:07 pm

I seen some Cow pokes using a rope .........In an old 1950s Western .
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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by cjhills » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:34 pm

polmaise wrote:I seen some Cow pokes using a rope .........In an old 1950s Western .
Merry Christmas :)
I can't see how anybody invented the wonderlead. It does the same as a choke chain or any kind of slip lead only a bit stiffer. We used a piece of and old lariat to get the stiffness ,long ago. weren't smart enough yo market it though. The Wonderlead does not work well for me......Cj

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:49 pm

Trekmoor wrote:Brad, why do you think a dog needs to get a bird in it's mouth as a reward ? What I took from the video was that the dog knew birds were likely to be found in the magic brushpile from previous experience so the dog went there and "bumped" a bird . I see this fairly often if one of my dogs often finds a bird in a certain part of a field or wood. They tend to go straight to that place and may point or bump if they get careless. The "too careful" dogs tend to point the "place" without even being able to scent any bird that might be there.
I prefer my dogs to bump birds rather than point a "place" by sight.


I appreciate that you are trying to encourage the dog to include it's owner in it's hunt , I don't find it necessary to train artificially to achieve this however. My dogs seem to include me in their hunts just because I take them to where wild birds might be found.


I.M.O. it is a fallacy to think that well bred pointing dogs need to get birds into their mouths in order to have them hunt, point and include the owner as part of the hunting team. Dogs become very keen on hunting and pointing just by letting them find birds in your presence. Hunting and pointing become rewards in their own right.


Bill T.

Hello Bill. The way I read the dogs, I see the point as part of a stalk. The point is the pause before the pounce. The pounce is an attempt to get the bird in their mouth which would be the ultimate reward. I believe it's the reason they pointed. If I can help them get the bird in their mouth, they will see me as a valuable and necessary part of their hunt. This is why I find building trust to be so important. That's the main reason for the Magic Brushpile. To build trust in the shooter. The dogs learn that cooperation leads to success.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:04 pm

Trekmoor wrote:Thanks Brad. I noticed in your later videos that you now train your clients dogs to flush on command rather than have the handler go in front of the dog to "kick it up." When and why did you decide to change from the method shown in this video ? Or is having the dog make the flush a later development from using the brush pile ?

I have never trained in the way you seem to. I just hunt pups onto wild birds and develop things from there. It works well enough to have won me a few trials but it is not a quick way to reach the standards I want from dogs. As you know , in Britain it is always the dogs job to flush birds on command ...not the handlers. We believe the dog can make a better/easier job of flushing than the hunter ….what led you to that same conclusion ?

Steadiness to flush, to shot and to fall I have always found pretty easy to teach without even the use of a checkcord . I teach this by training these things separately before putting them all together. If a dog has been trained to stop/sit to every one of those three individual "cues" then every time a bird is flushed, fired at and brought down , the dog has received three separate commands to stop/sit with each succeeding one backing up the cue before it.

Doing this means I never have to use things like brush piles or bird release traps to achieve a very steady dog but I will admit it takes more time and effort to achieve that end result than your brush pile does !

Bill T.
Hello Bill. The Magic Brushpile is just to help the dogs learn a new strategy of using the shooter to successfully get the bird in their mouth. It's not related to scent, pointing, flushing, retrieving, etc. That all comes in after the MBP work. We go back to the field and begin our training hunts on pre-released gamebirds. As you stated, I believe it's the dog's job to flush the bird or "present the bird to the guns". They do a much better job of it. I changed from the shooter kicking up the bird to allowing the dogs that job because it is much more natural and creates an even steadier dog.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Trekmoor » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:37 am

Higgins wrote:
Hello Bill. The way I read the dogs, I see the point as part of a stalk. The point is the pause before the pounce. The pounce is an attempt to get the bird in their mouth which would be the ultimate reward. I believe it's the reason they pointed. If I can help them get the bird in their mouth, they will see me as a valuable and necessary part of their hunt. This is why I find building trust to be so important. That's the main reason for the Magic Brushpile. To build trust in the shooter. The dogs learn that cooperation leads to success.
Hi Brad, I agree that the point is part of a stalk ....as is the final "pounce." I don't think many people would disagree with that. It is what many predators do to catch their prey.

I disagree that ensuring a pup/dog gets a bird in it's mouth is a neccessary part of a hunt though . My pups and dogs probably find and do commanded flushes on at least 100 birds for every one bird they ever get their jaws around....while hunting. This has always been the case for me but my dogs still hunted very keenly and pointed well enough to win field trials. The dogs hunting and pointing and flushing were all "rewards" in their own right. They also co-operated with me and trusted in me ..... I think this co-operation is built upon the work I put into them during retrieve training ??? Not entirely sure about that but it is likely to be the case.

Here is why I think that. I don't train F.F. and very , very seldom ever put a check cord on a pup. I've never found these things to be neccessary. My pups see no reason not to trust me as they teach themselves that being out with me is very interesting, very exciting and great fun. I am included in their "fun."


I am not sure about the retrieve being so important either but I will give an example of what I've seen when it is not taught to a pup.

I occasionally was asked by bird of prey folk to help them train their pointing dogs. All went well except for in a few of the instances where these people point blank refused to train their pups to retrieve because a retrieve is not needed for a bird of prey dog.

What happened was that if the dog was a nice "easy going" dog then all went well but if the dog was a bit of a "rip-roarer" ...the kind of dog I like.... then that dog would become hard to control and it's owner had very little to back up his commands , no real working bond had formed between man and dog. The dog still got the rewards of the hunt, the point and the flush but they were all "self employed" rewards. The dogs worked for themselves and could not easily be controlled as they hunted. At least two of those bird of prey dogs had to be worked while wearing an e-collar for the rest of their lives. (I don't use e-collars either although I am not anti e-collar.)


This out of control behaviour did not happen if a retrieve and directional retrieves had been taught separately from the hunting and pointing.

I would agree that much of this is pure conjecture on my part but this "method" ...if it can be called that....worked very well for me and for those hunters and those bird of prey people who gave it a good try. I think good retrieve training is a very good "way" of gaining a dog's trust and it's co-operation.

I suppose it is the several different ways in which the final product of a good dog can be achieved that makes dog training so interesting ....and argumentative ! :lol:

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Trekmoor » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:53 am

Brad, I have another question to ask. I think my own dogs would be very interested if the bird given to them after they had shown cooperation during the brush pile hunt was a live one but a dead bird ? - - - Not nearly so much. I think my own dogs would greatly prefer to just be allowed to hunt on again as a reward rather than return to me to hold a dead bird. I think my dogs would think holding a dead bird to be far more of an obedience exercise than a reward !

So ….. if a dog had little or no interest in holding a dead bird , what would you give the dog as a reward ? In America you can give a dog a live bird but doing that is to break the law in Britain. What reward would you give instead ?

I give my dogs another hunt as their reward ….. would doing that work for you ?

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

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Urban_Redneck » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:51 am

Having the dog walk in (on command) with handler for the flush is common in Europe. Obviously that's not going to get you a ribbon in a trial or test but, hunting I can see the merit.

One thing I've noticed in Brad's video's is the dogs often seem to be creeping on, or crowding the bird. A follower of his method that is known to me constantly calls this "managing" the bird, perhaps it's her birds or terrain/climate that makes it acceptable but, I doubt her dogs would produce many ruffed grouse for the gun. The managing narrative begins sound like packaging wanting what you have, as having what you want.

In any event, kudos to Brad for posting the video and meeting his critics.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:23 am

Trekmoor wrote:Brad, I have another question to ask. I think my own dogs would be very interested if the bird given to them after they had shown cooperation during the brush pile hunt was a live one but a dead bird ? - - - Not nearly so much. I think my own dogs would greatly prefer to just be allowed to hunt on again as a reward rather than return to me to hold a dead bird. I think my dogs would think holding a dead bird to be far more of an obedience exercise than a reward !

So ….. if a dog had little or no interest in holding a dead bird , what would you give the dog as a reward ? In America you can give a dog a live bird but doing that is to break the law in Britain. What reward would you give instead ?

I give my dogs another hunt as their reward ….. would doing that work for you ?

Bill T.
Hello Bill,

I agree with your thoughts about using a dead bird. The birds we use must be alive to simulate the predator prey relationship. If I use dead birds, I'm training a scavenger. :D This has become an issue in the past with my UK members. If we must keep the anti's happy, I change it up a bit and we do what I call "Fair Chase Gundog Training". It's the same idea of building trust as the MBP, only we do it with pre-released, wild acting birds. We checkcord the dogs to the birdy areas. When the dogs point, we send a gunner out front. The procedure is very similar to the MBP training from this point on. After just a few birds, the dogs are steady and I remove the checkcord.

After we're done training for the day, I put out a recall pen to collect up all the bird we didn't shoot.

In order to show that we don't waste anything, we eat all the birds we shoot referring to their social movement of "Field to Fork".

Merry Christmas to all.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:03 am

Urban_Redneck wrote:Having the dog walk in (on command) with handler for the flush is common in Europe. Obviously that's not going to get you a ribbon in a trial or test but, hunting I can see the merit.

One thing I've noticed in Brad's video's is the dogs often seem to be creeping on, or crowding the bird. A follower of his method that is known to me constantly calls this "managing" the bird, perhaps it's her birds or terrain/climate that makes it acceptable but, I doubt her dogs would produce many ruffed grouse for the gun. The managing narrative begins sound like packaging wanting what you have, as having what you want.

In any event, kudos to Brad for posting the video and meeting his critics.
Hello Redneck,

When I talk about bird management, I'm referring to stalking. A predators goal is to get as close to the prey as possible without causing it to run or flush. When he decides he is as close as possible, he stops, points and pounces in an attempt to get the prey in his mouth. If birds are nervous and won't tolerate any movement on the dogs part, the dogs will stop as soon as establishing scent with no stalking or movement (management). The birds teach this and the dogs pick up on it in just a couple of birds. The dogs have the talent, they need to be given the freedom.

You mentioned creeping or crowding birds. That is a whole different subject. The dogs goal there is to get closer to the bird in order to see it, flush it or chase it. Completely unacceptable. That's not managing the bird for the gun.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by polmaise » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:31 pm

Trekmoor wrote:
I suppose it is the several different ways in which the final product of a good dog can be achieved that makes dog training so interesting ....and argumentative ! :lol:

Bill T.
Only when One States This or that is unique and different .
Tying a hog can be done by many and not by some. I am sure if the hog is tied ,the job is done . lol
Merry Christmas .

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:28 pm

Polmaise, I done seen a lot tings two. But what does that have to do with Mr. Higgin's offerings? Heck, I see posts that are nothing short of overt advertising and narry an unpalatable word is spoken!
My assessment is that more cowpokes are caught up in the verbiage rather than content.
I'll run this by you. If I stumble upon a concept, I am not lying when I call it a new concept. Perhaps, to make sure absolutely no-one is importuned or offended, I should call it a new-to-me concept? Call it what you like. Tell me how it works!
In North America, I can vouch for the fact that many of Mr. Higgin's processes are in fact......unique. You can see that for yourself by virtue of how they are received by many. Perhaps we in North America are eons behind the rest of the world? If that means ending up where "rough shooting" in Britain is today", I hope the Good Lord takes me first.
Personally, I don't train like many of the pros I know here in North America. I prefer to provide my dogs with learning ops that have choices. I would love 1 single dollar for every time I hear, "I do the same thing too except...." Their "same thing" doesn't even remotely align itself with what I'm doing but I understand how it serves them to say so. What is even more amusing is that they actually don't see the difference! They will say I call it a different name for an age old process. I like that actually. It keeps them in the dark and me....right where I need to be. The real value is in the subtleties.
Truth be known Mr. Higgins, I prefer that you not make your processes public. :wink:

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by mask » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:42 pm

A very merry Christmas to you feather finder and to Brad Higgins as well.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by polmaise » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:51 pm

Featherfinder wrote: Truth be known Mr. Higgins, I prefer that you not make your processes public. :wink:
Good Advice ! :wink: .Send or broadcast in Private :roll: ....How did you be learned ....from these Processes btw ..FF ? :lol:
Merry Christmas .

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Higgins » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:25 pm

Thank you Mask. Merry Christmas to you and everyone.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by polmaise » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:07 pm

Featherfinder wrote:Polmaise, I done seen a lot tings two.
Most probably . ..and like most ?

When some come along and say This is unique ..and it clearly is not ..then Some raise their ears ..and others raise hackles .
Just do what you do and show what you do .
I have a new concept in Pointing dogs I am about to launch on the internet ..It is called "...
Merry Christmas .
Robert

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:33 pm

Merry Christmas to you all and may the New Year bring with it peace, health and many fine tales to share!
Thank you all for the pleasure of your contributions that keep us coming back.
Let us not completely forget the reason for the season.

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Re: VIDEO: Learning That Steadiness Pays Off

Post by averageguy » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:52 am

One Man's "vicious critique" is another Man's plain spoken observations. And one Man's "Managing birds" is another's creeping in on birds. One man's check cord is another's falconer's leash?

Providing choices plays a critical role in my puppies' early development, as does limiting their choices in some areas.

Strong flying birds set in launchers in natural cover provide the puppy the opportunity to point, creep, follow its nose straight in, or a combination there-of. Letting the puppy work the setup in silence with zero intervention from me allows each puppy to learn that only pointing and holding a point ever gets a shot bird on the ground. Following its nose into the bird scares it away and no bird is ever caught using that tactic. The puppy controls their choice to point or road in on the scent completely, I just control the consequences of those choices presenting a reward for pointing (shot bird retrieve) and letting the bird fly up and away otherwise.

The puppies' free choice further comes into play in that work in that they can choose to go the direction I am walking or they can go in any other point of the compass as long as they are safe in doing so. Me walking in silence in the general direction I have set up a bird provides smart cooperative puppies the opportunity to reward themselves with a bird find by heading out in front of me in the direction I head out in at the outset. I do not want an overly dependent dog and so manage that with careful observation and I make the puppies hunt longer, harder and farther before they find a bird as they develop but the early development in silence consistently develops a dog which learns through its own actions that hunting in the direction I am walking (within reason and according to cover) yields benefits in finding birds.

I limit choices when developing play retrieve, by using a tunnel. The puppy only has one direction to run with the puppy bumper or bird I toss and that is back to me. Once that behavior has been engrained we move outside the tunnel. The puppy can choose to go elsewhere with the tossed bumper or bird but if it does the game ends and no more fun tossed objects to chase follow. They learn the game continues only when they return the object to me to toss it again.

A young puppy can pay some attention as to my whereabouts when we take a nature walk at a young age, they can completely ignore me or some combination of the two. Ignoring me completely will produce some instances where the puppy finds itself alone and then less bold because of it and in doing so will learn to keep track of me and check in once in awhile, least it find itself all alone. Key to that is doing it at a young age and a handler who keeps their mouth shut and their whistle around their neck vs in their mouth for the most part. I know where the wild birds and rabbits live and so I walk to those areas in silence. Puppies learn the benefits of choosing to go with me and ahead of me with little to no control from me in the earliest stages of that. I am taking advantage of the small window of time where the puppy is not yet bold enough to not care where I am to engrain a pattern of free choice behavior that there are benefits to them in caring where I am.

Those would be four easy examples of why I do not find a claim of training based on providing "choices" to be as unique as some claim it to be.

I find providing "choices" to be pretty standard stuff with good developers of good bird dogs.

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