My dogs know when we are close to training gounds and when we get close to home.
IMO - the number of dogs one works with over the years will change most opinions to "there are no absolutes" :). I look back through the multitude of dogs I have owned or vice versa & find the only thing they all wanted to do was retrieve. Each had their own way of preparing for & doing what they loved most regardless of their training. As one observes other dogs, & epecially the great ones, there is a calmness about their preparation that makes them unique competitors.
Originally Posted by EdA
I approach where I live from 2 directions, conditions are different on both roads, yet before I turn down the dead end asphalt road to our place there is always a woof.
We owned a boarding kennel many years ago - a dog was dropped off in the PM so they people could leave on their trip the following morning - the dog was kenneled & we all went about our business. The dog beat the owner home, 14 miles, through traffic, he had torn the gate off it's hinges. I believe they have a homing instinct similar to homing pigeons. As long as we kept the dog from the gate he would not bother anything in the kennel.
We had a heeler who could sense when someone was approaching us who did not have our best interests in mind.
& a FT prospect that became a real dog, that went up on his toenails at his 1st puppy trial.
I think that it has a lot to do with the level of excitement of the handler. When I am running a client dog I am cool as a cucumber and the dogs tend to act accordingly. On the other hand, when I am running a personal dog I am like a 17 year old girl on prom night and the dog acts accordingly as well. Same trailer, same kennel, same training. Who knows.
One of my dogs (Stella) is absolutely a different dog at a trial versus training. She is very compliant while training in a normal routine but also has very little interest. Not to the point of not doing the work with style but nonetheless much less powerful. The absolute best training she gets has been in the pre-national training week that she has received when we have qualified for national events. We come to the pre-nat'l training and it has the atmosphere of a trial - lots of dogs, flyers, tents up, judges in the chairs, a gallery, etc..but she is also wearing a collar so we get timely corrections too. Most important, she is required to go through 3 holding blinds (she hates it) - all akin to the example Chris gave in the initial post but it is a training environment & unlike weekend trials Stella peaks at trial time & stays on a high throughout - just like the pre-national training.
So the more you can make your training like a trial the better, IMO.
My first dog went every where with me . flying to visit, to work every day I was in (construction back then),,and on dates. We were literally inseparable. One weekend I left to go on an elk hunt and tied the dog up with a logging chain knowing he would try to escape. My room mates received a call the next day from the home owners where I had been working ,,,telling them that my dog was sitting in their front yard howling. This was about 3 miles from where I was living and I did not take the same route every day.
Years later I left the dog with a friend for a week because I could not take him with me. The dog escaped and went home 8 miles away where he was found by my friend.
Thats the condensed version
He was my first and a great bud for a teenage boy.
A PM Request to find this thread was received so I'll bump it.
To find it, I just used the regular RTF search, clicked on advanced search.
For username I entered my name.
For the search field I typed "scent of a trial". Up it came as the first item in the search.
I always thought my dogs knew we were going to a hunt test when they saw me write a check
Great article - I agree that they know the difference between big training day and test/trial.
Originally Posted by Chris Atkinson
I've seen my Bluetick Coonhounds carry a track across open water while blowin' every breath and never having seen the coon. I knew the coon had swum through there because I was standing listening to the hounds run with my light off and heard him hit the water. There was no handling on my part. A hounds nose is tied to his mouth. The warmer the scent the more intense his bark.
I know that my Labradors can sense and smell anxiousness on me...whether going hunting or to a HT. They react differently in both situations so I believe they know the difference through their keen senses, with smell being the first line of detection.
Walking a dirt road pheasant hunting we came on a set of tracks from right to left across the road. The wind was also from right to left so we were definitely upwind of any birds. What amazed me was my lab knew without any hesitation which direction the tracks were heading and turned to follow them.