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Thread: Heeling on both sides during hunting?

  1. #11

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    When hunting a creek bank or a make shift blind my dog heels on my left side, a much needed command. I can see how terrain could possibly dictate that the dog may need to heel on either side.
    Cut 'em

  2. #12
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    I've driven myself nuts this morning going through my original copies of Lardy Volume I, the reprinted version of Volume I (that just came out), and all of my manuals for TRT 2nd E, TR Marking and even TR E collar conditioning. I can NOT find the detail, in Mike's words to describe 2-sided heeling!

    I know I picked up much of what I do today from Mike's stuff. Maybe it is in one of the fireside chats on TRT?

    If anyone who has recently gone through the Lardy material can indicate WHERE he goes into detail on the topic, I'd love to know! Please post it or PM me.

    I don't know statistically how many serious retriever folks in NA are one-sided versus two. I do know that I enjoy 2-sided.

    I have 4 dogs that live in my home and all are 2-sided. Only one runs trials. I am still glad that the other 3 are 2-sided.

    When I had one-sided dogs, I can remember occasions where I would try to place the dog in a spot (usually in a duckblind) where he was uncomfortable as I was on the "wrong" side. It would all work out, but not nearly as smooth and quickly as if the dog was just 2-sided already and was therefore quite comfortable being in that spot.

    I have found that dogs can be very attuned to where the handler/trainer is, and that can dictate how comfortable they are lining up in a certain position.

    Note: there are many, many handlers and dogs, much more successful than many of us 2-sided fans will ever be - who are doing so with a single-sided (usually left) dog.
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  3. #13
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    from memory I am sorta thinking it is one of the fireside chats. starting from maybe Dennis asking why a dog was run from the side it was run on during the days work? same chat may go on to the easy start of 2 sides with young dogs.

    sound like what you are remembering Chris?
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  4. #14
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bora View Post
    from memory I am sorta thinking it is one of the fireside chats. starting from maybe Dennis asking why a dog was run from the side it was run on during the days work? same chat may go on to the easy start of 2 sides with young dogs.
    sound like what you are remembering Chris?
    Yes, I think there is a segment where Dennis or the hunt test lady asks something like:

    "Mike, you ran all the dogs from your right side on this setup except for FC/AFC XYAZABD. Why did you run him/her on the left?"

    I think Mike responds in there something like:
    • FC/AFC XYAZABD came in from another trainer at age X and was trained as a left heeling only dog.
    • It is not worth the time/effort to retrain a dog that age, who is already quite capable as a one-sided dog.
    • It is relatively simple, when teaching basic puppy obedience to teach left and right heeling simultaneously.
    • If a dog is not taught 2-sided at the beginning stages, they are generally not switched over to 2-sided.


    But, for some reason, I thought this was also called out in text in Volume I. Apparently I'm mistaken.

    It's funny how my mind works. I'd have bet big money that it is detailed in some text - some detail about 2-sided heeling in the Basics/Volume I. Yet all I've found thus far is the flowchart, which clearly states "2-sided" for heeling.

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  5. #15
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    For over ten years I've read this "same" thread - "two sided or not". The responses generally range between two descriptions - not necessary....or useful. The rationale for each is often detailed and at times emotional. Since my first retriever training experience required making choices (very often), I decided to go with two-sided heeling and the puppy I had was capable. Either way I was wrong.

    There is significant logic that one-sided is better because it is much more complicated to master both sides. The problem is there are two "groups" of experienced, successful trainers to influence the decision. How can a novice dismiss the choice of a skilled trainer (vast experience and repeated success) for either? Frankly, a novice is relegated to a coin flip. After being forced to choose, one can easily justify either choice with established support.

    I have my reasons for being two-sided. My pro trainer friend is not...........

    Here are a few reasons for my dogs being two sided. First of all, I have four and I often walk them on lead......together. Two on each side is much easier. Two sided gives me a significant control response when doing poison birds. At times there are "things" I'd prefer my dogs not see, so I can enhance the preferable view (by blocking). They are comfortable anywhere (either side in the duck boat) or in field hides. When moving around in a cluttered boat they are adept at moving to either the left or right (as I relocate).

    However, the most significant aspect of having a two-sided dog is this skill becomes a tool to emphasize responsiveness......it tends to "demand" that they pay more attention. One of the more significant aspects of retriever training (for me) is having a responsive dog. It took me quite awhile to come to grips with this issue. Focus and control depend a great deal upon how responsive a dog is.

    Many do not understand the difference between upland hunting and retriever performance. Each require contrary skills and genetic traits. Being free or under control becomes a balancing act when using a retriever. There is nothing worse than a non-responsive retriever in the uplands. "Freedom" is often disruptive when it dismisses control.

    Being two sided just might provide an edge. Then again.......the "other side" will probably disagree.

    Flip a coin and then build your justifications.
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 11-10-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    First volume before Van Engen shows FF he does two sided healing with same dog. It's shot inside of the barn and raining outside.
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

  7. #17
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    Hunting is much different then trialing or hunt testing...Some of the rules you might as well throw out the bathwater WITH the baby. I hunt for pure pleasure, if my dog is reasonably steady, doesn't run in front of the gun, left or right who cares, unless you want to heel on the side you are dominate, right hand shooter vrs left hand shooter. It's kinda like I used to wash my truck all the time after training, now, my dogs don't know if it is dirty or not. Don't wash it all the time. And no I don't have a two sided dog, used to train for both sides years ago found I wasn't smart enough to keep track of what side I should run the dog off of, so I just heel my dog on the left side easier for someone side challenged like me.
    Earl Dillow

  8. #18
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    Right.
    But, it still doesn't need to heel. And certainly not on both sides.

    Much ado about not much.

    A hunting dog needs to know whoa, sit, stay, place, or kennel. Any one of those, will keep the dog steady for whatever it needs to be steady for.
    unless there's another hunter's dog around, in which case it's nice to be able to put yourself between your dog and the other one, especially if yours is well trained and the other isn't
    Darrin Greene

  9. #19
    Senior Member polmaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    Right.
    But, it still doesn't need to heel. And certainly not on both sides.

    Much ado about not much.

    A hunting dog needs to know whoa, sit, stay, place, or kennel. Any one of those, will keep the dog steady for whatever it needs to be steady for.
    You can train for what you want, and you will get what you want!
    Being steady for what you want takes a bit more than heel whatever side or Front you want to put up'?
    Right and left hand heeling is a process for left and right hand casting (for some that take the definitive art of retrieving ) ....Some may be more than happy with what they have.
    Try it with multiple dogs?....and multiple targets on a driven shoot
    One Shooter One Spaniel One Retriever

  10. #20
    Senior Member Brad B's Avatar
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    I've probably used the skill more during hunting than at test. Only time I've used whoa is on a horse! I use Heel everytime I hunt no matter what the style of hunting is.

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