Steady then not

Post Reply
User avatar
bamanicksbd
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: Alabama

Steady then not

Post by bamanicksbd » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:49 pm

Nick is now 14 months old and is handling birds pretty well. We have been working on steady to wing and shot for a while. Im not on a time line of any kind understanding "it takes as long as it takes". Lately Im beginning to get the feeling that not only does he get it but that he is now deciding when to do it right and when to do what he wants.

A little background on my process so readers understand how we got to this point. I try to use the huntsmith program as much as possible. Nothing at all against anyone elses methods but I grew up with mr Delmar's book then later went to a couple of seminars put on by Rick Smith and it just made sense to me so thats how I do it. I started with the lead just stopping then making him stop before going in out etc. Then progressed to the check cord half hitch on his flank then to the whoa post. Then to the e collar on his flank once we had done some collar conditioning. We then transitioned to out in the training field then out and about. All else being equal he is pretty reliable with just plain whoa. I can usually stop him within a few steps at a run and he will stay until I release him.

He has not been force fetched yet. I am planning that for this summer.

Then on down the line we started on steady to wing and shot. Early on we worked some on the pigeon pole staying steady to flush then progressed to firing the blank pistol when the pigeon got to the bend of the string which usually gives a pretty reliable fall after the shot. If he held for flush and shot id let him fetch the pigeon sometimes but not always.

I have a whoa barrel near the pigeon pole and he is mostly steady to wing, shot and fall on the barrel. On other side i have a whoa board and after the barrel we go to the board then from board to the ground. If he does it right sometimes i let him retreive. Sometimes he goes to the bird picks it up and trys to make a victory lap sometimes with some encouragement he will bring it to me. (Definitely will need to do ff in the future)

Moving from there out into the field the wheels kinda fall off. He finds birds. Points and holds for me. Stays steady on flush, sonetimes depending on which way bird goes he will rotate but not advance, then after flush at shot he breaks. I can touch the flank collar and stop him almost immediately. If he breaks at all before shot then I dont shoot. When he breaks I always pick him up and bring him back to original point spot, while applying stem if he has flank collar on, and put him back there and make him stand. Up to now Ive gotten harsher with my tone but I havnt really been rough with him. If he breaks in the field i stop, hook him up and go back to the barrel then board. If he gets it right I stop for the day.

I believe that he throughly understands whats going on. I dont think he is confused at all. Ive backed up several times now but we keep getting to the same problem in the field. Im looking for suggestions on how to get this ironed out without creating another issue if at all possible. Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:04 pm

bamanicksbd wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:49 pm

I believe that he throughly understands whats going on. I dont think he is confused at all. Ive backed up several times now but we keep getting to the same problem in the field. Im looking for suggestions on how to get this ironed out without creating another issue if at all possible. Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
What does the program , or author say you do ? (Not familiar with it so can't say, but would be interested none the less) Thanks

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2552
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by shags » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:34 pm

Is this correct, that after Nick messes up, you leave the field right then and go work on your board/barrel?

If it were my dog, I'd make the correction and go work another bird to give him a chance to redeem himself. If he blows it, correct and go home.
To me it's like a kid learning ABCs...gets it down and goes on to reading. He reads OK, but gets a word wrong every couple of pages. Would you make him recite the alphabet to correct the reading error? Making your dog repeat basic lessons away from the field, lessons that he knows and gets correct, isn't advancing the newer lesson.

I think I'd stop the retrieves until Nick is good and steady. It's like advancing allowance to the kid ^^^ then he doesn't remember do his chores but has already spent the money.

birddogger2
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:15 am
Location: Lower slower Delaware

Re: Steady then not

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:42 pm

Another thought on the dog breaking...

If you have a remote release trap, you could pop a second bird if and when the dog makes a move at the flush or shot, and then hit the stim. If you do not have a remote release trap, you can toss a pigeon from where the dog cannot see and then do the correction.

I would consider(at some future time) setting the dog up on a bird and letting go two, three or four pigeons as you are "flushing". If the dog moves a toenail, re-position, issue a correction and toss another pigeon...right in front of the dog...sort of daring it to make a move. If it does..re-position and correct. If it stands high and tight... he got the memo.

I also agree that not allowing the dog to retrieve...until it gets with the program, is probably a real good idea. A dog lives to wrap its gums around a bird. It is the ultimate reward.

RayG

User avatar
bamanicksbd
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Steady then not

Post by bamanicksbd » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:20 am

Thanks for the input everyone. The program would say basically back up a step more reps till were sure he gets it then move forward being sure each step is secure before building on it. I have a remote release and will sure give that idea a try. Ive been using tip up releases because the remote release seems to hang up on us at just the wrong times but ill try to tune it up and give it a go. I do need to trap some more pigeons. About a month or so ago a hawk got into my pidgeon loft and wiped me out. Ive been keeping some good flying quail in the johnny house.

The stopping after the break has been to back up to a more controlled situation where I can tether a bird on the pole and use barrel and board but I do see the point of staying in the field and continuing. My thought was that like the retrieving going into the field was a reward like an athlete playing on game day. If you keep jumping off sides cause youre too eager I bench you and we go back to practice. Do it right like we practiced and youre the starter. Idk i look at breaking as lack of control. Not an effort mistake where the wind got hinky and we bumped a bird or just a murphy it happens kinda thing. Like D lineman who is lined up right over the dang ball which hasnt moved but he jumped cause the qb used a hard count.

Sometimes its easy to get csught up in thinking like a person and not understanding what the dog is thinking and working the issue from his perspective.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3883
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: Steady then not

Post by DonF » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:38 am

If I'm breaking a dog out I use a different method. For whoa I use the original Delmar method. I'm pretty sure the flank hitch works but I try not to mess with anything that already works. From the whoa post I go to stakes driven in the ground and dog on the check cord. As I'm CCing the dog around I hook the dragging CC on a stake now and then with the whoa command and flip the CC off the stake and tighten it up to snap the dog if need be. Later on i move from the cc to the e-collar. Whoa is very important to me. When I'm ready to brek out the dog, I go back to the training field and the CC and e-collar. I CC the dog around a bit then whoa the dog. Let it stand a moment and throw a bird. Dog will move and that get's it bumped under the chin and we start over. I keep doing it till the dog stands through the thrown bird and every now and then move the command closer to the thrown bird until finally I eliminate the voice command and then the bird flying means whoa. Now start over with a dead bird and do the same routine but use a dead bird. Same routine but the bird doesn't fly off. Once the bird is stopping to the dead bird come the harder part but it is saved for last intentionally. The last time is a pigeon with the flight feather's pulled and leg's hobbled so you can catch it. When you start here, drop the hobbled bird on the ground behind you. Lot of temptation there and you need to be between the dog and bird a few time's. Same ole same ole, get to where you replace the dropped hobbled bird without a voice command and let the bird loose become the command. The idea is simply a bird flying falling or walking means whoa. You can also use the same routine with the blank gun. You still have a taught command but without a voice command. When your finished up, remove the CC and use the e-collar as needed to correct the dog.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

User avatar
bamanicksbd
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Steady then not

Post by bamanicksbd » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:52 am

Makes sense. Thank you for sharing.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


User avatar
bamanicksbd
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Steady then not

Post by bamanicksbd » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:58 am

He is a good looking rascal when it all comes together. [IMG]//uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/202001 ... 56a5d4.jpg[/IMG][IMG]//uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/202001 ... 9aafa9.jpg[/IMG]

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2552
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by shags » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:37 pm

Yeah, .I'd say he's worth working with :D

User avatar
bamanicksbd
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:06 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Steady then not

Post by bamanicksbd » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:10 am

Had a really good day today. I have been working with some of the methods shared ie process of flush stop and shot stop allowing the flush and the shot become "whoa" prompts then going back to working planted birds. Other than a little adjustment in place to keep the flushing bird in sight he is really getting idea.

The moments when you start to see the light bulb come on when a young dog really begins to get it really warm my heart.

Thanks again to those who took time to respond and offer input and suggestions.Image

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


User avatar
Featherfinder
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:02 am

As many know, my take on things can be....diverse.
So Bam, here is a perfect example of why I rarely use "Whoa" when hunting my dogs (which are completely steady and retrieve).
Whoa, as has been stated on a number of occasions is an obedience command. Perhaps it's just me but obedience has it's place when walking your dog, loading your dog into your vehicle, in the home, recalling, heeling, possibly even retrieving, etc.
Hunting is NOT an obedience command (perhaps one reason why I'm not a NAVHDA follower). In-other-words, if you have to say "whoa" YOU (not your dog) already failed in my eyes. I have seen dogs that are SO steady but become dependent on "whoa". Without it....no whoa. This has little to do with the dog. In fact, whoa - as I see it is - is a precursor or notice to your dog that your house of cards is teetering. It's another reason why I was successful in trials - because many of my bracemates that stressed under duress (ie. dog on 3rd find and almost "time" typically at BIG trials) ended up crashing. When they did find their dog standing, guess what the first word out of their mouths were? Guess what that tells the dog? "Oh...oh, look out, oh no!?!?!" Dogs will not follow lost leaders. Good ones actually will take the lead in an effort to save their boss. Sadly, it is not always what the boss wanted but...
Don't you find it interesting how a dog can hunt the most dense forest for grouse, completely out of sight, find them, point them BUT once their owner shows and approaches, they creep or break or chase or....? Perhaps that philosophy needs revisited rather than the dog -which we established ALREADY held point.
Launchers can be used to resolve issues, or you can simply carry a few extra homers in your bird bag/pockets. I keep wild pigeons and homers separately for this reason. Why? To break up the predictability the trainer introduced. It breaks the anticipatory lessons YOU already taught him. Your dog is on point. As you approach, toss a bird....then another. after the flush walk slowly towards your dog as if to release him but instead, flush yet another. A truly steady dog won't care how many or when they flush. :wink:
The other issue in the processes such as books/videos meant to teach bird dog trainers is that you don't get the expertise of an experienced trainer. The experienced trainer will initiate a process and then retool/stop/back-up/alter/defer, etc., based on his READ of the dog's perception as opposed to the trainer's intent. By this I mean, you yourself gleaned over a series of processes for steadying the dog. Here is my question to you? Aside from the flank line, e-collar on the flank, barrel, platforms, pigeon pole process, etc. etc. the underlying lesson is an obedience based, fairly predictable one for a dog with reasonable intelligence. You are proof that, it doesn't work this way. All that aside, you HAVE taught your dog this when not in one of the aforementioned processes:
- I go plant some birds,
- you get prepped,
- I cut you loose for a run,
- you find/point the bird,
- I flush and then shoot a bird. Repeat, repeat, repeat....
Let me task you with this. Complete the first 4 steps BUT then, as you approach but are still off to one side of your dog, fire a blank from a reasonable distance. I'll be surprised if your dog doesn't jump out of his fur, and then look back and forth at you, and the scent of the bird, flex his muscles as if to say, "This is when I normally break/retrieve!?!? I'm confused?!?
Why?
(Obviously your dog is well adjusted to the gun.) It's because that is not what he has learned from you. You BROKE his anticipatory thought of the process!
And so I ask you, if I want to shoot first, during or even after I drop a bird, why does that matter to a truly broke dog? If it does, your dog isn't reliably steady....period.
Re-visit how YOU do things. I am confident you will get results AND become a better trainer.
Some great suggestions were offered.

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3883
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: Steady then not

Post by DonF » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:34 pm

I like feather finder's stuff but one flaw here for me. Whoa is an obedience command but without it you simply substitute another command. We know what whoa means, we teach the dog what to do when it hears the command. In order to attain steady to wing and shot and especially kill, we have to have some type voice command or hand command in the beginning to stop the dog, we are not always in a position to catch it. Perhaps when the break start's he say's something like "no". Human being's are like that. Much as we may preach to keep your mouth shut there are time's we simply don't! There's a lot of people that do not teach their dog the whoa command for what ever reason but I pretty much guarantee they have something to say to stop some unwanted action when it start, to stop it and the term used is generally always the same. A command has to have some meaning to the human to work. Perhaps it's not a term but a body movement, same as a term if the dog understands it! I suggested using the bird to replace the whoa command. The command is still the same; stop and stand still! Ever watched a true UD obedience dog run? There are no words used, only hand signals. But the meaning of the hand signals must be taught to the dog to get the desired response. The bottom line is you cannot get a response you want without a command. It is seeming likely that what feather finder does in some fashion is get to where he can control his dog and get in front and to stop the dog use's some kind of hand signal. Get in front and stop or hold a young dog just learning and hold up your hand and it means pretty much the same as the whoa command, stand still. The difference would probably be if his dog is out and running, he may not be able to stop the dog. After all, it may be that the only time the dog see's the hand used that way is in the presence of a bird. Once again I do like what he has to say about training!
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:46 pm

Often Threads Morph to what individuals would do with their dog .
It is more often than not , what the posters dog is doing with their dog and if all could/would meet ...The dog would probably be the same if not better ,the poster would probably not be on here for a while at least ...until or if they gained success at whatever .

User avatar
Featherfinder
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by Featherfinder » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:14 am

Quote: "In order to attain steady to wing and shot and especially kill, we have to have some type voice command or hand command in the beginning to stop the dog, we are not always in a position to catch it."

DonF, I appreciate there are many processes for steadying a dog. That aside, it is my philosophy that is diverse from yours and many other trainers for that matter. If a dog I'm training breaks, I don't need to "catch it". Nor do I instill the verbal "whoa". Dogs don't have a need to hear "whoa". They need to point steady in order to get the ultimate reward - such as but not restricted to - a bird in mouth.
I suggest that if your dog won't hold without active intervention from you/the owner/the trainer, you might want to revisit your steadying process. I re-iterate, FOR ME, if you need to support (for lack of a better word) your dog when on point, he/she is not reliably broke. It's that simple.
I honestly believe "whoa" is a human dependency, not canine - a dependency introduced by the human/trainer. Don't introduce it. This way, your dog will not need it to remain steady.
Now, if you want whoa, stay, stand, wait, whatever, for obedience purposes...have at 'er.

averageguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Steady then not

Post by averageguy » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:49 am

Pointing is good genetics combined with opportunity, at least we sure hope it is relative to pointing dog breeds.

My pups learn to point with no commands from me, physical or verbal. I use pigeons in launchers and exposure to wild birds to provide opportunities for the pup's pointing instinct to develop. I remain silent and back while the pup works the bird. The experience is 100% between the pup and bird until it is standing and holding point and then I enter the picture to flush.

Steadiness after the point, to flushing, flying and falling shot birds is trained Obedience, (at least for every retrieve hungry pup I have worked with).

Steadiness requires trained obedience as the behavior is 100% opposed to the dog's natural instincts to chase the bird.

Most people make their training efforts more difficult by not using gentle shaping methods on very young puppies that accomplish amazing results when done right.

User avatar
Featherfinder
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by Featherfinder » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:58 am

Aaahh...Averageguy, you mimic what I was trying to say. So, I'm not alone.
I like to complete the silent process for my dogs, that's all. They soon learn that complete silence actually means a shot bird (if I don't miss :oops: but that is part of the learning too). Then again, I might even carry a dead bird or two with me...even if I don't miss. :wink:
They also learn that if I have to speak, it is not rewarding for the dog. They enjoy the silence because in-of-itself, it communicates VOLUMES. It's more natural/supportive of them when we hunt wild birds as well as allowing them to focus. In conjunction, it provides them with the opportunity to stay with the task and mark a fall quite well - better than if they break on the flush/shot, normally.
DonF's way will work too, I have no doubt. Nice to have the choices!
When you actually list them, the salient parts of a bird dog's life are not at all complex. Our problem is that human relations/perception can be EXTREMELY complex/convoluted. It can sometimes be challenging to remove ourselves from our world to train dogs. I like the client that came to me with an obstreperous dog claiming she had "offended the dog earlier in the week" and that's why it was being difficult.
Although she was being sincere.... ??? And, yet the dog DID sense the negativity in the owner which it processed as most dogs would.

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3883
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: Steady then not

Post by DonF » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:09 pm

I think I get what your saying featherfinder and if I do, I agree. But I've been thinking steady after the flush. Up to there it's hands off and mouth shut for me. I use the remote trap's, think you do to. To start out I don't give the dog much chance to point the bird. The dog come's into scent or should and I pop before the dog can point. Dog soon learns that it his movement that cause the bird to flush. Once t's flushed, I don't try to stop the chase. To do that I do move back to the yard and do whoa training to get stop to flush, to bird on the ground and sometimes I do stop to shot. Yea, my method requires the whoa command. One thing about getting the dog pointing as I do it, I have to know exactly where the bird is and where to air is moving. Only then can I rally have an idea when the dog will hit scent. Also no matter where the dog is, even up wind, it get's to close and I pop the bird, even if it can't smell it. Doing that is the same as a wild bird might do in the same situation. Whoaing a dog into a point would be a no no. Now do I whoa if the dog takes a step on point, then I pop the bird and the message to the dog is it's movement moved the bird. I think you do something similar.But then at some point I do find whoa very beneficial. Years ago someone let one of my dog's out of the dog box in back of the pickup. went home and found her missing so went right back to where it happened. She was standing on the side of a very busy road looking to cross it seemed. Rolled down the window and gave her the whoa command and stopped her right there. That one incident convinced me the value of a command to get a dog to stop and stand still. Call it what you want, still works out to whoa for me. Then too, want to un-teach whoa? Try stopping a dog that chase's on the flush or shot with the whoa command. A command you can't enforce when needed is un-teaching the command.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:29 pm

DonF wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:09 pm
Try stopping a dog that chase's on the flush or shot with the whoa command. A command you can't enforce when needed is un-teaching the command.
..Maybe ' whoa or Bananas , word command is interpreted as slow up there , as in a wagon with a horse , rather than Stop ? , then again, maybe some see it as a necessary command in a dog that creeps on scent , or even , maybe one that moves with the game , when the game moves ? ...planted birds don't move of course ! and set ups clinical for every set up , gets a result ..Dogs are real smart! ..
Didn't know where this wild rooster was , but the dog started to pull ...on the scent ...Let it go and not letting it Go is like riding a 750cc racing bike off road looking for all the hazards and pitfalls that are Not on a race track with safety marshalls I suppose ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjUT0-r ... e=youtu.be

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8453
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: Steady then not

Post by Sharon » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:46 pm

Not sure what you were saying, but I really enjoyed that video . Looks like you had better be very quick/accurate with your shot withe a spaniel. :)
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:12 pm

Sharon wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:46 pm
Not sure what you were saying, but I really enjoyed that video . Looks like you had better be very quick/accurate with your shot withe a spaniel. :)
If the dog stops on the flush , without being handled or told to do so , as a Shooter you have all the time in the world to shoot the bird accurately and safely ...You tend to enjoy the sport more also , and have a more productive day in the field ,for both get things in their Gob :lol:

User avatar
Featherfinder
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:06 pm

LOVE watching the fire in that springer Polmaise!! Thank you Sir!
Yup, there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat. At the end of the day, the LESS uttered while achieving lofty results - the better!
Wild birds don't appreciate strangers in their proximity, especially loud blabby ones! This much I do know.
And so, I base the foundation of training here on learning to speak dog which is for the most part, rather silent. And yet, they communicate volumes!!
I'm still learning...…
To DonF's point, there is a viable/salient application for the obedience command that stops your dog in it's tracks, be it whoa, stay, stop, wait, stand, etc. I re-iterate....an "obedience command". I am admittedly weak in my dog's obedience commands. I am VERY proud of my dog's here in terms of their uncompromised performance afield.
I personally don't enjoy mechanical dogs, or dogs that do parlor tricks as it applies to bird hunting. I personally enjoy a dog that understands teamwork, a fiery gait, a fancy point, a relentless work ethic, savvy/smarts in terms of how/where it applies itself regardless of habitat, weather quarry.
That slow, mechanical, plodding, dependent, pointing dog that is patterning within gun range will not get a second meal at my house.
I should add that I have trained a select few flushers/Labs for wild bird hunters. There again, there was no need for the whistle/overhandling by the owners.

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2552
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by shags » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:10 am

^^^Is there a like button for the above? ^^^
:)

averageguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Steady then not

Post by averageguy » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:14 am

Training a dog to Whoa in no way equates to making the dog slow plodding or boring when done correctly in the right settings, and subsequently used in the right ways.

The notion that training a dog to Whoa equates to a slow plodding, boring dog assumes some combination of poor training methods and inappropriate use of the Whoa command while the pup is working birds before it's genetic potential for searching for and handling birds has been developed.

I seldom use my trained Whoa command while hunting, or any other verbal command. We run silent. You will hear me praising my dog as it sits at heel with a shot bird off its find and point, but that is about it. But the trained Whoa command plays a critical role in teaching steadiness to WSF in preparation for testing/hunting once the pup has shown it is ready for that standard of performance. The goal is to train and engrain steadiness behavior such that the audible command becomes unnecessary. Similar to my dogs running back to me the moment they pick up a bird without me having to call them ...

This dog will Whoa on a dime if I give the whistle or voice command to do so. I used the verbal Whoa command Friday and Saturday while reviewing some Steadiness to WSF after a long hunting season hunting. Three thrown birds Friday and two on the ground on Saturday and he was standing through the flush, shot and fall trembling with intensity waiting to be released to retrieve. The foundation was properly laid.

This is a brief clip of the dog hunting Prairie Grouse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-PSI_ownxU

Hunting Pheasants

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-eXupiIIGk
Last edited by averageguy on Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

averageguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Steady then not

Post by averageguy » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:29 am

Chukars and Hun Country

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnpeuqqtZik

Pointing a group of Pheasants 2 weeks ago.

Image

User avatar
Featherfinder
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:45 am

I apologize for not being clear Averageguy. I do that a lot trying to put racing thoughts into words for this medium. (Came with the gray hair, I think.)
I'm with you. Obedience commands - all of them - SHOULD have little to do with how a dog applies itself in the field. In fact, my dogs admittedly could use more practical obedience. Let me be clear on this. I expect a very high level performance in the field in every aspect.
Here is where I may have been unclear. Handlers typically invade/sabotage a dog's performance - be it while the dog is learning/developing experience or be it after a dog is supposedly trained. This is when I most often see - or should I say hear - the handlers.
I do not pull out cookie cutter practices when I get a new canine trainee here. We go through a journey together and I tailor the training to what the dog shows me. The only goals that are clear in my mind are that the dog be respected, handle productively with virtually no handler intervention/support, point steady to wing shot and fall, retrieve to hand. Now, they also recall, load up in crates, etc. etc. - all that other field driven stuff. Heck, neither of my dogs know the word "Sit"...I kid you not!
To say that I don't deploy well known methods from my past experiences would be ridiculous. However, which one(s) I deploy or whether I will dovetail any 2 or 3 or whether I need to develop something unique or change strategies in progress, is determined by the dogs. I DO have a clear understanding of where we will end up. My reputation supports this too.
Furthermore, you could ask my opinion on Monday regarding a specific something, then ask me again Friday and I might come up with something else. Neither is necessarily wrong. Then again, for "your" dog and what already might have transpired (that I'm unaware of), neither might be right! ...hard to say. :|
Man...that is one fancy dog Averageguy! I move that every response you make be supported by a pic. Let's vote!!

averageguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Steady then not

Post by averageguy » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:29 pm

Thanks FF. I posted that photo because I read somewhere recently that GWPs are ugly. Which is odd to me as I get compliments on him literally everywhere we go.

I don't think an amateur stands a chance most of time, reading online posts and attempting to train a dog based on them. I much favor recommending DVD programs, clinics and getting with the right folks for hands on Mentoring.

bamanickssd,

I read your post several times. Your approach is not my approach at all but I will offer some thoughts for you to consider.

I train the Whoa command when a puppy is a baby, on my training table. Simply stack them up and reward them for standing still. Get to the point where the puppy will stand still while I walk around and then back to it, for praise, a treat and release. Then we go to the ground and do the same, then overlay a whistle que as well. Practice Whoa when going through doorways, standing on the tailgate before being released to go on a run, walking at heel. Then in the field but not while working scent or birds.

So the Whoa command is trained, fully understood, in place and ready for use in Steadiness training when I decide to take that subject up with my pup. This includes on the ground in the field while moving when the Whoa command is given, where the ultimate test of the command will eventually come into play. I mention that because it sounds like your pup may not have made the transition from all the props you are using in the yard to compliance with a Whoa command in the field with no barrels, place boards or birds involved. If it has not gotten to that point I think you are not ready for bird work is my thought.

I start steadiness training to WSF by making it easy on the pup. My pups are used for doves and waterfowl at a young age so they have already been steadied to gun fire while in a sitting position before being released to retrieve so that gives us some foundation that carries over to working on steadiness in a standing pointing position on pointed/flown birds later on.

I whoa my dog, have my Wife walk downwind of the dog and release bagged pigeons starting maybe 30 yards away. If the dog moves I immediately say Whoa and give the dog the lowest level of stimulation that will stop its movement. The stimulation ends the moment the dog stops moving. Timing is very important as is using the right level of stimulation.

Then the Wife moves closer as the dog stands the flown birds. End up close to the dog throwing birds while it stands. There is no scent or point involved which puts less pressure on the dog. Then we add some blank pistol shots as the dog is standing well to the flown birds. Corrections are made for any movement until there is no movement.

Doing this prior to working scented/pointed birds puts a lot less pressure on the dog and has a much lower risk of taking style out of the dog. Only when the dog is 100% in this work do we move to pointed birds. The dog understands Whoa so well before that work is undertaken that the risks are low of creating a problem.

You post you believe your dog understands what it is supposed to do. GOOD! That is the first critical step in avoiding trouble.

I learned what I describe from Jon Hann at Perfection Kennel. In clinics when dogs move and we get good timely corrections in to address it, Jon reminds us that is a good thing not a bad thing. Well done and fair corrections have their productive place in training. If your pup has the proper foundation (sounds like it may) then I suggest you be comfortable with corrections when they are needed, until they are no longer needed.

Not having access to watching your dog that would be my input. Of course if you were to have someone take some good video of you working with your dog and post it we would all have a better read on it ... Keep on training and enjoying your dog.

User avatar
Featherfinder
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:50 pm

Wow...best comment I've read in a LONG time and I quote, "Keep on training and enjoy your dog." Now, that is...spiritual! We can ALL do well/better on that offering.
BTW - no-one/no dog gets it right 100% of the time. :wink:
I can't quite remember the exact words but I read something that went like, "I have learned to embrace the glorious mess that I am." :lol:

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:05 pm

polmaise wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:12 pm
Sharon wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:46 pm
Not sure what you were saying, but I really enjoyed that video . Looks like you had better be very quick/accurate with your shot withe a spaniel. :)
If the dog stops on the flush , without being handled or told to do so , as a Shooter you have all the time in the world to shoot the bird accurately and safely ...You tend to enjoy the sport more also , and have a more productive day in the field ,for both get things in their Gob :lol:
You should get one of these little dogs 'FF' ! .....If the ground cover dictates in your neck of the woods ...around 2:15 in this clip , an even more little critter comes out of nowhere ..and having a dog that can do both what the rules say in competition and what actually happens in the shooting field is a rare thing to have Trained . 8)
High octane ,rather than an open Plain . lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGjtm6u ... e=youtu.be

User avatar
Featherfinder
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:43 am

What a FIREBALL that dog is!! I love that! Don't tempt me Polmaise.... I might end up single again though if I bring home another dog.
I brought my Rita home to train then sell. My wife occasionally asks me, "So...when are you selling that dog?"
I just smile. She isn't going anywhere.
I recall walking down a laneway somewhere near the golf course in Largs. It was early evening and the hedgerows started crawling with rabbits! It appeared to be quite an issue. They NEED you and those dogs of yours Polmaise!

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3883
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: Steady then not

Post by DonF » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:47 am

polmaise wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:29 pm
DonF wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:09 pm
Try stopping a dog that chase's on the flush or shot with the whoa command. A command you can't enforce when needed is un-teaching the command.
..Maybe ' whoa or Bananas , word command is interpreted as slow up there , as in a wagon with a horse , rather than Stop ? , then again, maybe some see it as a necessary command in a dog that creeps on scent , or even , maybe one that moves with the game , when the game moves ? ...planted birds don't move of course ! and set ups clinical for every set up , gets a result ..Dogs are real smart! ..
Didn't know where this wild rooster was , but the dog started to pull ...on the scent ...Let it go and not letting it Go is like riding a 750cc racing bike off road looking for all the hazards and pitfalls that are Not on a race track with safety marshalls I suppose ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjUT0-r ... e=youtu.be
Nice dog! Best I recall from Springer trials here years ago at the flush the dog sat immediately but facing the direction the bird flew, not the handler. Really enjoyed those Springer trials! Big name dogs back then were Saightens dog's out of England, sure I spelled that wrong! Back then Sizzler was kind of like a God here and we had a local guy with Dewfield Brickcloe Flint. Everybody told his owner, Dr Chris Christensen, Flint wouldn't make it through the Nationals because he was to big so, Flint went ahead and won it twice back to back. Those were some really good times!

Funny situation from a fun day trial out there. Dr Christensen was running Flint and the gunner blew up a bird right in front of him. Chris came unglued and yelled t him, to doubt to anyone what Chris said. He was upset they weren't letting the birds get out farther before shooting. Well Flint put up another and the gunner's barely winged it! Christ looked at them fuming and one looked back and said, "that far enough for ya"? Bird came down in a hedge row about 400 yds off. Chris shook his head without saying a word. Looked at Flint and sent him. What a super retrieve Flint made!
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

User avatar
DonF
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3883
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Antelope, Ore

Re: Steady then not

Post by DonF » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:59 am

Featherfinder wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:45 am
I apologize for not being clear Averageguy. I do that a lot trying to put racing thoughts into words for this medium. (Came with the gray hair, I think.)
I'm with you. Obedience commands - all of them - SHOULD have little to do with how a dog applies itself in the field. In fact, my dogs admittedly could use more practical obedience. Let me be clear on this. I expect a very high level performance in the field in every aspect.
Here is where I may have been unclear. Handlers typically invade/sabotage a dog's performance - be it while the dog is learning/developing experience or be it after a dog is supposedly trained. This is when I most often see - or should I say hear - the handlers.
I do not pull out cookie cutter practices when I get a new canine trainee here. We go through a journey together and I tailor the training to what the dog shows me. The only goals that are clear in my mind are that the dog be respected, handle productively with virtually no handler intervention/support, point steady to wing shot and fall, retrieve to hand. Now, they also recall, load up in crates, etc. etc. - all that other field driven stuff. Heck, neither of my dogs know the word "Sit"...I kid you not!
To say that I don't deploy well known methods from my past experiences would be ridiculous. However, which one(s) I deploy or whether I will dovetail any 2 or 3 or whether I need to develop something unique or change strategies in progress, is determined by the dogs. I DO have a clear understanding of where we will end up. My reputation supports this too.
Furthermore, you could ask my opinion on Monday regarding a specific something, then ask me again Friday and I might come up with something else. Neither is necessarily wrong. Then again, for "your" dog and what already might have transpired (that I'm unaware of), neither might be right! ...hard to say. :|
Man...that is one fancy dog Averageguy! I move that every response you make be supported by a pic. Let's vote!!
An excessively handled dog is pretty boring to watch! Ever the few moment's the handler might be quiet the dog expose's itself as over handled, checking in to much! A dog that handles instantly Is in my view, over trained, dog listening for the handler to much.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

averageguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Steady then not

Post by averageguy » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:37 pm

DonF wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:59 am
An excessively handled dog is pretty boring to watch! Ever the few moment's the handler might be quiet the dog expose's itself as over handled, checking in to much! A dog that handles instantly Is in my view, over trained, dog listening for the handler to much.


Over handling a pointing dog is not good. Not something I ever do. A dog being quickly responsive to a trained command is a good thing. Kinda of like those responsive Spaniels in the video you were admiring ...

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:28 am

DonF wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:47 am
Nice dog! Best I recall from Springer trials here years ago at the flush the dog sat immediately but facing the direction the bird flew, not the handler. Really enjoyed those Springer trials! Big name dogs back then were Saightens dog's out of England, sure I spelled that wrong! Back then Sizzler was kind of like a God here and we had a local guy with Dewfield Brickcloe Flint. Everybody told his owner, Dr Chris Christensen, Flint wouldn't make it through the Nationals because he was to big so, Flint went ahead and won it twice back to back. Those were some really good times!
Don ,that's an awesome story and a memorable recollection thanks for sharing ,was the dog 9 month old at the time ? otherwise it would be like saying 'Secretariat' was a great Racehorse while watching a Yearling.

averageguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Steady then not

Post by averageguy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:15 am

In case the obvious point is not obvious enough;

Dogs being well trained enough to be immediately responsive to a handler's commands in no way inhibits a dog's run and effectiveness at finding birds, assuming all the other pieces of the dogs' development are properly in place.

Every season I log some time hunting wild birds with Pro Trainer strings of dogs. The Pro Trainers compete and win at some of the highest levels of the FT venues with these same dogs. Breeds of dogs include EP, ES, GSP and Labrador.

The dogs' runs are thrilling to anyone Blessed to see it, and highly effective at finding and handling birds with style.

The dogs in all cases are immediately responsive to their handler's commands whether it be to bend their run at a distance, stop to a Whoa or a Wup, sit on a whistle and take a cast ...

Novices following along should not be mislead into thinking this is an either or proposition.

With proper balance it is very possible to have a dog with great search, run and effectiveness while also having a dog which is swiftly and consistently responsive in heeding its Handler's commands.

FF describes his dogs in this way, Polmaise's video of his Spaniels display it, Don F's description of his own dog being sparred on the side of the road fits as well.

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:27 pm

averageguy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:15 am

Novices following along should not be mislead into thinking this is an either or proposition.

With proper balance it is very possible to have a dog with great search, run and effectiveness while also having a dog which is swiftly and consistently responsive in heeding its Handler's commands.
In Bold ,would be one of those 'Golden Nuggets' that are often given on open boards such as this one ,and often widely missed or dismissed by many Novice in pursuit to achieve what the experienced ,and those with ribbons have achieved . (I see this weekly at many Training group sessions)
"Steady then Not" ..May Not be the best Topic heading by our OP ? ,,Because it is ambiguous .

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2552
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by shags » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:17 pm

averageguy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:15 am


Novices following along should not be mislead into thinking this is an either or proposition.

With proper balance it is very possible to have a dog with great search, run and effectiveness while also having a dog which is swiftly and consistently responsive in heeding its Handler's commands.

FF describes his dogs in this way, Polmaise's video of his Spaniels display it, Don F's description of his own dog being sparred on the side of the road fits as well.
I think the key is to allow the dog to work without relying on overhandling and nagging. There's nothing wrong, and something impressive, about a dog that obeys instantly and completely. But then, what's good about a dog that isn't allowed to work on its own, who relies on handler commands for every move?

One of the longest 20 minutes of my life was at a hunt test where I was judging Juniors. A handler broke his dog away with a "Ruger, Smell!" and followed up with "Here, here, over here!" accompanied with hand signals so violent his gloves came off. When the dog moused around in tufts of grass we heard "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" and when no mouse or bird was produced it was back to "Smell!" The whole time poor Ruger didn't range more than 20 feet and even that appeared to be too much for the handler

On other greater days, it was a pleasure to watch independently hunting dogs who appropriately turned, stopped, recalled, and went to heel with one quiet word from their handlers.

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:41 pm

shags wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:17 pm

I think the key is to allow the dog to work without relying on overhandling and nagging. There's nothing wrong, and something impressive, about a dog that obeys instantly and completely. But then, what's good about a dog that isn't allowed to work on its own, who relies on handler commands for every move?

One of the longest 20 minutes of my life was at a hunt test where I was judging Juniors. A handler broke his dog away with a "Ruger, Smell!" and followed up with "Here, here, over here!" accompanied with hand signals so violent his gloves came off. When the dog moused around in tufts of grass we heard "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" and when no mouse or bird was produced it was back to "Smell!" The whole time poor Ruger didn't range more than 20 feet and even that appeared to be too much for the handler

On other greater days, it was a pleasure to watch independently hunting dogs who appropriately turned, stopped, recalled, and went to heel with one quiet word from their handlers.
One of the longest 20 minutes is often reading a post from a Junior asking for advice .
....
"Nick is now 14 months old and is handling birds pretty well. We have been working on steady to wing and shot for a while. Im not on a time line of any kind understanding "it takes as long as it takes". Lately Im beginning to get the feeling that not only does he get it but that he is now deciding when to do it right and when to do what he wants.

A little background on my process so readers understand how we got to this point. I try to use the huntsmith program as much as possible. Nothing at all against anyone elses methods but I grew up with mr Delmar's book then later went to a couple of seminars put on by Rick Smith and it just made sense to me so thats how I do it. I started with the lead just stopping then making him stop before going in out etc. Then progressed to the check cord half hitch on his flank then to the whoa post. Then to the e collar on his flank once we had done some collar conditioning. We then transitioned to out in the training field then out and about. All else being equal he is pretty reliable with just plain whoa. I can usually stop him within a few steps at a run and he will stay until I release him.

He has not been force fetched yet. I am planning that for this summer.

Then on down the line we started on steady to wing and shot. Early on we worked some on the pigeon pole staying steady to flush then progressed to firing the blank pistol when the pigeon got to the bend of the string which usually gives a pretty reliable fall after the shot. If he held for flush and shot id let him fetch the pigeon sometimes but not always.

I have a whoa barrel near the pigeon pole and he is mostly steady to wing, shot and fall on the barrel. On other side i have a whoa board and after the barrel we go to the board then from board to the ground. If he does it right sometimes i let him retreive. Sometimes he goes to the bird picks it up and trys to make a victory lap sometimes with some encouragement he will bring it to me. (Definitely will need to do ff in the future)

Moving from there out into the field the wheels kinda fall off. He finds birds. Points and holds for me. Stays steady on flush, sonetimes depending on which way bird goes he will rotate but not advance, then after flush at shot he breaks. I can touch the flank collar and stop him almost immediately. If he breaks at all before shot then I dont shoot. When he breaks I always pick him up and bring him back to original point spot, while applying stem if he has flank collar on, and put him back there and make him stand. Up to now Ive gotten harsher with my tone but I havnt really been rough with him. If he breaks in the field i stop, hook him up and go back to the barrel then board. If he gets it right I stop for the day.

I believe that he throughly understands whats going on. I dont think he is confused at all. Ive backed up several times now but we keep getting to the same problem in the field. Im looking for suggestions on how to get this ironed out without creating another issue if at all possible. Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated"

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2552
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by shags » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:13 pm

LOL, reading and/or responding to posts is optional

Fulfilling judging contracts isn't :mrgreen:

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:29 pm

:mrgreen:
Judging a dog in front of you is a pleasure . even when the handler or dog is not what you can give credit for .
I see that ,as an opportunity for improvement :mrgreen:

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2552
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Steady then not

Post by shags » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:36 pm

Yep, it is an opportunity to learn because we have to focus on what makes or breaks a performance.
I don't know how many times I've thought "Wow, now that was a good move!" Or "Yikes,remind me to never do that".

It's also interesting to see how different methods of training - or lack of training - play out.

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2580
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Steady then not

Post by polmaise » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:19 pm

shags wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:36 pm
Yep, it is an opportunity to learn because we have to focus on what makes or breaks a performance.
I don't know how many times I've thought "Wow, now that was a good move!" Or "Yikes,remind me to never do that".

It's also interesting to see how different methods of training - or lack of training - play out.
TELL ME , TELL ME !! that would be great !! How You knew all this stuff on the very first time You ever encountered it Just like a Novice would ..That is absolutely amazing my friend . Kudos to You .
.....
As an aside and just having friendly gesture, I commented to an A panel KC judge on a shoot day .."How would you judge that retrieve?" .. He replied "8 out of ten" . I said " Field Trials are awarded on grades of Letters " . Listen Smart A*s* , you asked me how I would judge that retrieve, He said. .I replied " I know , and you answered like you would judge" . The dog btw , although it is inconsequential in many posts by people, actually went out when sent and picked the bird and retrieved it to hand !
Shags, You know I think you are great :)

averageguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Steady then not

Post by averageguy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:31 pm

shags wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:17 pm
averageguy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:15 am


Novices following along should not be mislead into thinking this is an either or proposition.

With proper balance it is very possible to have a dog with great search, run and effectiveness while also having a dog which is swiftly and consistently responsive in heeding its Handler's commands.

FF describes his dogs in this way, Polmaise's video of his Spaniels display it, Don F's description of his own dog being sparred on the side of the road fits as well.
I think the key is to allow the dog to work without relying on overhandling and nagging. There's nothing wrong, and something impressive, about a dog that obeys instantly and completely. But then, what's good about a dog that isn't allowed to work on its own, who relies on handler commands for every move?

One of the longest 20 minutes of my life was at a hunt test where I was judging Juniors. A handler broke his dog away with a "Ruger, Smell!" and followed up with "Here, here, over here!" accompanied with hand signals so violent his gloves came off. When the dog moused around in tufts of grass we heard "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" and when no mouse or bird was produced it was back to "Smell!" The whole time poor Ruger didn't range more than 20 feet and even that appeared to be too much for the handler

On other greater days, it was a pleasure to watch independently hunting dogs who appropriately turned, stopped, recalled, and went to heel with one quiet word from their handlers.
I agree.

I am silent while watching and admiring my dog in all three of the videos links I posted.

Lots of good decisions being made by the dog while working with no direction from me other than the direction I take when I move.

Post Reply