Touching a dog while on point?

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gambel
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Touching a dog while on point?

Post by gambel » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:29 pm

I wanted to throw this question out there because I think there are a myriad of opinions amongst trainers as to whether to touch a dog that is on point or not? I know that some are proponents of kneeling beside a dog and stroking the dog while on point? We have probably all seen someone walk up to a dog on point that is not standing high and either stroke the tail up or even lift the front end up? Many will push the back end of the semi-intense dog towards the bird to hopefully create resistance and stiffen the dog up? We have probably all seen a dog that is on point and when touched breaks concentration momentarily and they kind of turn towards where they are being touched? Walking up to the dog and stroking the tail up is quite a common practice but I think there are varying opinions on whether to put your hands on a dog or not while on point? This is meant as a legitimate question. I know people that are advocates of not touching a dog at all while on point and others that put their hands on them quite a bit, especially to style them up? I would appreciate some opinions and maybe explanations as to why it should be done one way or another?

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BigShooter » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:44 pm

I really don't see anything wrong with styling a dog up on point during training, especially a young dog. Training is teaching and dogs, especially young dogs are capable of learning.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by snips » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:56 pm

I never touch a dog on point. I will stroke a dog for honoring. Or stroke them after the bird flew.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BigShooter » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:52 pm

Maybe we could have someone who shows & field trials explain why show dogs are styled up but one might not want to style up a young field trial prospect on point.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by gonehuntin' » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:52 pm

I'm with Snips.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:02 pm

interesting-
never have seen any reason not to walk up to one of mine on point and run my hand down their back- or even to kneel alongside them- specially young ones- course I talk to mine some also- did it a lot with these two pups when I got them into pheasants at 4 months- I like to think of it as reassuring them- I sure don't style them up- could care less how they are locked up

now if I was hunting with someone who was always styling theirs afraid I'd walk away and hunt someplace else

if you need to train for style, then train for style- don't think it belongs in the bird field while hunting

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by birddogger » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:36 pm

Shadow wrote:interesting-
never have seen any reason not to walk up to one of mine on point and run my hand down their back- or even to kneel alongside them- specially young ones- course I talk to mine some also- did it a lot with these two pups when I got them into pheasants at 4 months- I like to think of it as reassuring them- I sure don't style them up- could care less how they are locked up

now if I was hunting with someone who was always styling theirs afraid I'd walk away and hunt someplace else

if you need to train for style, then train for style- don't think it belongs in the bird field while hunting
Personally, I don't try to style my dogs up when they are on point, but I certainly want a dog with style. What I am trying to say is that style is what makes bird hunting so enjoyable to me. If I have a dog with no style, I will not be hunting with him/her very long. Fortunately, all the birddogs I have owned, had pretty good style. I know style is in the eye of the beholder and a cranked head and 12:00 tail mean nothing to me, but I do want a fairly high head and tail and a good intense and solid point. I know this post is a little off topic, but after the last sentence in your post, I had to reply. If all I wanted was to bring meat home, I would hunt something bigger than a bird. :wink: :D

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Coveyrise64 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:26 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:I'm with Snips.
I have, don't do it very often though. In pictures of the Smith Method, most of the handlers are kneeling beside their dog with an arm wrapped around the dog. I think Yawallac even has a video on here of lifting and styling a pup on point. So tell us why you shouldn't touch your dog on point.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by snips » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:51 pm

I figure if talking to a dog distracts it, then touching them distracts them more. If I was standing there with my nose full of bird, consentration full bore on the bird, why would you want someone touching you? It only distracts from their focus IMO. (Plus I do not think it helps, I think how a dog points is how a dog points).....
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Ricky Ticky Shorthairs » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:08 pm

snips wrote:I figure if talking to a dog distracts it, then touching them distracts them more. If I was standing there with my nose full of bird, consentration full bore on the bird, why would you want someone touching you? It only distracts from their focus IMO. (Plus I do not think it helps, I think how a dog points is how a dog points).....
I agree 100%.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with styling them up away from birds via a barrel or some kind of stand still training like Dave Walker does.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Blue Dawn Kennel » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:26 pm

I don't see anything wrong with talking and or walking up and styling up a young dog or a dog that might have some small issues in some areas. We don't do it hardly if any at all, the way the dog points is the way the dog points and that's how it is your really not gonna change anything with them maybe just help with self confidence. JMO.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by ACooper » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:59 pm

I think it would depend on the intensity of the dog, some dogs are unfazed by anything, others get unereved easily so imo it would depend on being able to read the dog you are working. But what is the point really what are you gaining? Seems mostly unnecessary.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by gonehuntin' » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:48 am

Again, I agree 100% with Snips. People are always yapping at their dogs, petting and stroking them wonder why they flag on point. If a dog is concentrating on what it's doing, don't break that concentration and give it something else to think about.

As far as "styling a dog up" goes, God gives that dog style or lack thereof. Not much we can do about putting style into a dog, but there's a lot we can dog about taking it out of a dog.

In other words, I keep my mouth shut and my hands in my pockets.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:44 am

to better explain my point of view- I don't obeience train, nor have I yard trained on these two-
he's 1.8 years old, she's 5 months- I came up behind the pup liking that she was steady- ran my hand down her back speaking softly to encourage- then while watching her I moved to flush the bird- I didn't try to style her- just wanted her to know she did it right






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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by 578SLE » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:11 am

Again, I agree 100% with Snips. People are always yapping at their dogs, petting and stroking them wonder why they flag on point. If a dog is concentrating on what it's doing, don't break that concentration and give it something else to think about.

As far as "styling a dog up" goes, God gives that dog style or lack thereof. Not much we can do about putting style into a dog, but there's a lot we can dog about taking it out of a dog.

In other words, I keep my mouth shut and my hands in my pockets.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by RayGubernat » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:40 pm

I do a fair amount of styling and stroking of my dogs as part of their yard training.

During birdwork in the field I do make every effort to avoid distracting the dog either verbally or by my actions on approaching the dog or during the flush. I do not routinely stroke or even touch a dog on point.

That being said, if I perceive the need to touch a dog, to reposition, restrain or such, I would expect that any distraction such physical contact may cause would be mnimal and transient. The presence of the bird and its scent should re-focus the dog's attention almost immediately if it in fact even slipped.

If someone did not do a considerable amount of stroking and styling during yard training, I can see where any physical contact with the dog on point could be very distracting.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BoJack » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:41 pm

I always handle my dogs while pointing and have did so since the mid 70's when I got my first one(English Setter).I run my hand against the grain of their coat from tail base to neck while telling them what a great dog they are.Take my hands and nudge them behind their haunches towards the bird some making them resist and more intense.Stroke that tail up(if they have one).It makes them feel good in my opinion and if done enough will make them stand Tall and Proud on point.It would probably help some of these dogs that look like a limp noodle on point if it was done by their owners.Don't know why some think it's so Taboo to handle your dog on point.I do it when they're to the point of holding their birds.If it distracts your dog then he or she's not very focosed on that bird scent.There's not much I know of that'll distract a dog with a strong pointing instinct when they're engulfed in that scent cone.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:51 pm

RayGubernat wrote:I do a fair amount of styling and stroking of my dogs as part of their yard training.

During birdwork in the field I do make every effort to avoid distracting the dog either verbally or by my actions on approaching the dog or during the flush. I do not routinely stroke or even touch a dog on point.

That being said, if I perceive the need to touch a dog, to reposition, restrain or such, I would expect that any distraction such physical contact may cause would be mnimal and transient. The presence of the bird and its scent should re-focus the dog's attention almost immediately if it in fact even slipped.

If someone did not do a considerable amount of stroking and styling during yard training, I can see where any physical contact with the dog on point could be very distracting.

RayG
I agree with you. I attended another Rick Smith seminar this past Feb and someone posed this same question. Aside from what you said bout restraint, Ricks comment was "Would you rub the neck of a Bomb expert when he was trying to dismantel one? Would you stroke the back of a diamond cutter when they were ready to make a critical cut on a 5 Kart stone? " He does not like to break the concentration of a dog on a point. He does not think the dog should be distracted by the handler if he is doing everything right.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BoJack » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:10 pm

Different strokes for different folks I guess.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by asc » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:15 pm

Paul Long wrote that stroking the belly of a dog on point induces confidence and tranquillity. It doesn't seem to distract mine.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by gambel » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:24 pm

Thanks to everyone that has responded. I think there has been some great incite so far. I think one thing for sure we have found is that there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to the question and that a person's perception of what is right or wrong is based on the way they were taught, something they have seen or read and most of all personal experience one way or the other. Please continue to post. I can't speak for anyone else but for me it has been very informative and has given me some things to think about, possibly even change?

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by 578SLE » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:10 pm

My experience has taught me that many dogs will tolerate and/or not be negatively affected by the things that trainers do to a dog on point, such as stroking up a dog, standing a dog up, talking to a dog, whoa-ing a dog etc... But then there are also a great deal of quality dogs that are deeply affected by such things and these practices can sometimes lead to man-made problems such as flagging and/or laying down on point. As a result, I am of the school of thought that believes you should not even talk to a dog that is on point, much less stroke them up, style them up, or interfere with them in some other way.

On the other hand, I recognize that there are some very good trainers who do these things and get great results. These guys produce some excellent dogs. It just seems to me that these trainers are usually working with the kinds of dogs that respond positively to such techniques and when they do run across a dog that responds negatively, they are either keen enough to quickly change their approach and make the required adjustments to their training program or the dog becomes a cull. A good friend of mine has a very nice dog that one of the local pro-trainers told him would make nothing more than a nice pet and sent him home with the idea that if he wanted a gun dog he was going to have to get another dog. Instead, he took his time training that dog, used a tender hand, and with some help from some of the other members of our club, developed a very fine gun dog out of it. IMHO, training a truly "polished" pointing dog is no easy task. It takes good flying birds, quite a bit of patience, some skill, a big "tool" box, and a lot time working and learning to read dogs.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by birddog1968 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:54 pm

I think alot of it has to do with how the dog was brought up by his handler.

Heavy hands during upbringing and training will probably negatively affect a dog on point.

A dog that has no negative association with the handlers touch will probably not be affected negatively on point.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BigShooter » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:15 pm

You know almost everytime we have one of these types of threads people are quick to point out "it depends":
1. upon the individual dog
2. upon how well you can read a dog
3. the skill level of the trainer/ handler
4. how the method or technique is being applied ( hard or soft, often or infrequently, ....)
5. what works for one under one set of circumstances may not work for another under a different set of circumstances
6. etc., etc. etc.

I think of the above as "givens". I guess we could all just respond and add the above caveats. " I do or don't do it and it works or doesn't work .... however remember 1. through 6. above" or "if you're a rookie I wouldn't try this at home". It's funny though "how common sense just isn't that common any more". Maybe we should just have a rating system with our responses: B = okay for beginner, I = okay for intermediate, A = okay for advanced, P = use this at your own risk unless you are a pro

Remembering 1 - 6 above there are some very good trainers that know how & when & with which dog, etc. that have success doing it (I know at least one of those guys) & there are other trainers that don't. If you're a beginning trainer or are just training a good ol' huntin' dog it'd be one of the last things that'd I'd mess with if 'n I were you. To me it should be understood or "common sense" that it's one of the advanced tools in a trainer's tool kit and if you don't know how & when to use this tool don't mess with it. JMO
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Sprig » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:30 pm

gambel wrote:I wanted to throw this question out there because I think there are a myriad of opinions amongst trainers as to whether to touch a dog that is on point or not? I know that some are proponents of kneeling beside a dog and stroking the dog while on point? We have probably all seen someone walk up to a dog on point that is not standing high and either stroke the tail up or even lift the front end up? Many will push the back end of the semi-intense dog towards the bird to hopefully create resistance and stiffen the dog up? We have probably all seen a dog that is on point and when touched breaks concentration momentarily and they kind of turn towards where they are being touched? Walking up to the dog and stroking the tail up is quite a common practice but I think there are varying opinions on whether to put your hands on a dog or not while on point? This is meant as a legitimate question. I know people that are advocates of not touching a dog at all while on point and others that put their hands on them quite a bit, especially to style them up? I would appreciate some opinions and maybe explanations as to why it should be done one way or another?

Thanks

my two cents.....if your dog is properly whoa trained you can touch him. he shouldn't break point or lose focus just because you touched him. i think it is a good thing to have a "hands-on" attittude when training a gun dog, touching a dog can reaffirm positive aspects of training and is a reward to a dog. if the dog loses focus then the dog needs more yard training and whoa training to give him the concentration he needs. 8)

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:37 pm

Bigshooter- that is good- some shouldn't even be talking or going near a dog on point

could say- if you've raised 3 pups to be good pointing dogs you might know what you are doing-

I'm sure there are a few here who could lift their dogs up and set them back down- still on point

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:06 pm

Shadow wrote:
I'm sure there are a few here who could lift their dogs up and set them back down- still on point
Why would you want to?
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:11 pm

you've never done it with one of yours I can't explain it

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Ron R » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:25 pm

Shadow wrote:I'm sure there are a few here who could lift their dogs up and set them back down- still on point
I can and do fairly often during training, so what's your point :roll: .

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:50 am

my point- imo- a staunch dog on point can be touched

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Ron R » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:26 am

Shadow wrote:my point- imo- a staunch dog on point can be touched
Then we are in agreement sir :D 8) .

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:35 am

Seems to me that this is just a subject to argue about and nothing more. Of course a dog can be touched while pointing but just can't think of a reason why you would want to. And it only makes sense since there is nothing to be gained then why do it. It also seems natural that the more distractions you cause for the dog the more apt it is to lose intensity and or style. So we get back to the original question I guess. Why do you want to touch or talk to the dog if it's not necessary? I have done it when training a pup if I wanted to insure the pup stayed steady or if the bird was sight pointing and moving but the goal still is to have a dog hold it's point with minimum contact from the handler and that is what we work towards. Just seems obvious that the goal of good training is to never need to touch a dog on point.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BigShooter » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:44 am

Ezzy,

Maybe if your dogs had longer tails you'd understand. :P :lol:

Seriously though, I do not touch my dogs on point but I'm not a pro. I have watched it done on young dogs by the winningest pro in our area with over twenty years of experience, numerous FCs & a handful of NCs under his belt. I've watched the technique applied by a pro & observed his long term training results.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:18 am

BigShooter wrote:Ezzy,

Maybe if your dogs had longer tails you'd understand. :P :lol:

Seriously though, I do not touch my dogs on point but I'm not a pro. I have watched it done on young dogs by the winningest pro in our area with over twenty years of experience, numerous FCs & a handful of NCs under his belt. I've watched the technique applied by a pro & observed his long term training results.
I agree there can be reasons during training a pup and I also agree it used to be a common practise to style the pups up while on point. But this was all during training sessions, But I do not think it applies to older trained dogs.

And I do agree a longer tail makes it a whole lot easier to pick up the dog especially if you tie a knot in the end of it so it doesn't slip through your hands. Of course you need to be careful you don't get a tail burn when it does. :P

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Ron R » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:24 am

ezzy333 wrote:I have done it when training a pup if I wanted to insure the pup stayed steady or if the bird was sight pointing and moving but the goal still is to have a dog hold it's point with minimum contact from the handler and that is what we work towards.
But this is the training section of the forum :wink: .
ezzy333 wrote: Why do you want to touch or talk to the dog if it's not necessary?


I agree 100%. When the dog is doing it right, hands off/mouth shut :D . I could not picture somebody petting or praising there dog every time it pointed a bird, not saying that it doesn't happen :lol:.

Stroking the tail up doesn't count as touching right :lol: .

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BigShooter » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Loved the humor, ROTFLMAO. :lol:

Correction, I do touch my dogs on point ... to release them. :D
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:05 pm

well Ezzy- talk has been should you, why do you, is it good

old school- we wanted ours to be staunch on point- other dogs would come in and crowd and bump- so- we'd touch and even lift the back end up- can make for an awfully staunch pointing dog

the ones that don't like it- hunt yours with a couple other dogs who don't have manners- or the hunters without manners

now why would you want to lock up this thread

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by birddog1968 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:50 pm

BigShooter wrote:Loved the humor, ROTFLMAO. :lol:

Correction, I do touch my dogs on point ... to release them. :D
well thats easy, ya cut off what coulda been styled up :lol: :wink:
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Karen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:02 am

If just talking to a dog unnerves it, what does your bracemate's handler flying by whistling or screaming at his own dog do to yours? I've had this done to my dogs on purpose, but because of the way we train, it does not unnerve them, nor can the other handler pull them off point, no matter how hard he tries.

We'll style a dog up on point, especially AFTER a correction.

We'll also stroke their backs a couple times before we tap them on the head to relocate or to collar them after birdwork. The reasoning is that at a trial, it keeps them from anticipating you collaring them and them moving before you do.
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:52 pm

well said Karen- and in some cases such as NSTRA- a 4 wheeler coming screaming up right close to the dog on point- imo- steady dog on point- you should be able to walk up to- talk to- lift up- still on point- heck- nothing wrong with yelling- dog still locked up- good dog

wonder if some are afraid to approach, talk to, touch- without reasoning why others do it-

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Shadow wrote:well said Karen- and in some cases such as NSTRA- a 4 wheeler coming screaming up right close to the dog on point- imo- steady dog on point- you should be able to walk up to- talk to- lift up- still on point- heck- nothing wrong with yelling- dog still locked up- good dog

wonder if some are afraid to approach, talk to, touch- without reasoning why others do it-
Don't think anyone is afraid to touch their dogs but we have found there is nothing to be gained from it so we don't do it unless we have a reason to. And occasionally there is a reason.

Your points of other distractions that can take place is so true but if I need to desensitize a dog to any of them I would do it with those distractions and not by touching.

JMO

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Shadow » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:49 pm

oh yea Ezzy- I can tell you by me touching, lifting up their back end- ruffing them up- and they're still concentratiing on the bird is something most of you wouldn't know if you saw it- but then again- you folks train all year long to get yours steady to point

so you and I head out, mine goes on point, i talk to mine maybe lift their back end up and set it back down- mine is still staunch- you do that to yours and it jumps arround- who has the better dog

dog backing- exactly the same thing-

but that's ok- you don't think it's wise for any or all distractions to be ignored by a dog on point- cracks me up

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by birddogger » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:03 pm

Shadow wrote:oh yea Ezzy- I can tell you by me touching, lifting up their back end- ruffing them up- and they're still concentratiing on the bird is something most of you wouldn't know if you saw it- but then again- you folks train all year long to get yours steady to point

so you and I head out, mine goes on point, i talk to mine maybe lift their back end up and set it back down- mine is still staunch- you do that to yours and it jumps arround- who has the better dog

dog backing- exactly the same thing-

but that's ok- you don't think it's wise for any or all distractions to be ignored by a dog on point- cracks me up
Shadow, I know you have the best birddogs in the country, that do everything perfect without any need for training, but what makes you think that those of us who don't have a reason to touch our dogs on point, have dogs that would break point and jump around if we do touch them?? :P :P

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:41 pm

Shadow wrote:oh yea Ezzy- I can tell you by me touching, lifting up their back end- ruffing them up- and they're still concentratiing on the bird is something most of you wouldn't know if you saw it- but then again- you folks train all year long to get yours steady to point

so you and I head out, mine goes on point, i talk to mine maybe lift their back end up and set it back down- mine is still staunch- you do that to yours and it jumps arround- who has the better dog

dog backing- exactly the same thing-

but that's ok- you don't think it's wise for any or all distractions to be ignored by a dog on point- cracks me up
I think Charlie hit it right on the head. I didn't even know I had to train a dog to be touched. But if you do then most dogs I have seen have been trained pretty well. But once again I will try to tell you as clearly as I can that I find nothing to be gained by touching when I don't need to. Wish you knew just how much we all train before you tell us but I can say your dogs work about like most dogs and respond pretty much like most dogs from what you describe. For the people who do a lot of training are finishing a dog and that is where the time and repetions come in to play. But for a good hunting dog it normally takes experiece and a little natural ability. Think all of our dogs pretty much have that.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by BigShooter » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:59 pm

Seems like we've learned almost all of what we can about this subject and various opinions at this particular time. My sense is the subject has gotten too "touchy" and take a hint from me .... it's time to move on ......... :wink:
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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:13 pm

Mark,

Think maybe you are right. Been a while since any thing new has been posted that would help a newcomer. I am locking this topic and hopefully we all can move on to another aspect of training.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by ezzy333 » Sat May 01, 2010 7:38 am

Have had request to open this topic so they could add to it. It is a good subject if we all can keep it on topic without trying to belittle the people who do something different. I know most of you do so lets get on with it.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Yawallac » Sat May 01, 2010 9:46 am

Thanks Ezzy.

I tend to be in the Snips and Gonehuntin' camp until.... until the prospect is being finished out. When they are just learning about birds, not only don't I touch them, I don't even speak to them or let them see me. I want their complete and undivided attention on the bird. But, after the lust for birds has been completely instilled and they are ready to be broke, then I have no problem putting my hands on them. In fact, I tend to do a lot of hands on during the finishing phase to teach them proper manners on game. I want to desensitize them to the whole experience. I want them to learn to remain calm and intense and I want them to trust my hands. They need to become congruent with the process and I am a big part of that process. They need to learn cooperation and they need to learn that we are a team, that we are in it together.

If they take a step, I pop a bird and go to them and reset them with my hands. My hands are firm, but soothing and reassuring. It's a teacher/student relationship and the prospect trusts me. For me, putting my hands on the dog at this stage helps speed the learning process and gets them out the door quicker. :D

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by texscala » Sat May 01, 2010 10:00 am

So I touch and talk to the dog at times. I especially did this when she was younger and working on planted pigeons. 95% of the training I do is chasing wild birds and I believe they do more than I can anyway, we only plant birds a time or two during the nesting period. When I touch her it is to let her know she is doing well, if she takes a step I pick her up and set her pack where she started. If I thought this distracted the dog I might stop but the dog never even looks at me or moves her head. I never try to style the dog up just make sure she is steady and knows she is doing things right.

There are a lot of ways to get things done but this is what has worked for me.

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Re: Touching a dog while on point?

Post by Rich Heaton » Sat May 01, 2010 2:20 pm

I'm with the No Touch Camp. I really don't see what there is to gain from changing the focus of a dog from the smell of a bird to getting touched.

But I think the true guts to this question is "how to get better style" on point. And I bet the the owners know that there dog has the style (potential) to do it "right" but are not seeing it so "touching and strokin" them must be the answer. IMO all this stroking is probably because the dog isn't looking very good. Now if your going up stroking and petting a dog that already looks like a million bucks,,, well that's just plain stupid (that might hurt some feelings). From what I have seen wild birds can fix all this nonsense,,,, number one reason, wild birds won't stick around for all the fondling of this sort, so blank and get on to the next one,,,,, but I'll let D Favor do the follow up on this subject.

So if your going to work the planters,,,,,, IMO quit spending all that time out infront of the dog pretending to flush,,,, go to the launcher and release or release when your still a hundred yards back. But all that fake "kicking of bushes" when your out in front of the dog does more harm that good,,,, especially on dogs that already know the game. The dog has to be thinking "Hey Bub,,, You and I both know the bird is over here in this bush, so I'm just going to stand here and have a smoke until you decide to get your happy arse over here and release it".

So the training is in the standing there (dishrag or not),,, because "the man" has taught me that's the way I keep from getting in trouble. When the real lesson should be "I better stand berry berry still" or these birds will be outta-here before Slim has a chance to get here and blow them out of the sky.

In order to keep intensity ya got to keep the game intense,,,, nothing like the rush of wild birds,,,,,,, take it away Douglas.

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