The RetrieverTraining.Net Forums The Retriever Academy
Total Retriever Training with Mike Lardy
Hawkeye Media Gunners Up Tritronics Outdoor Media
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Training, vs Hunt Tests vs Hunting

  1. #1

    Default Training, vs Hunt Tests vs Hunting

    Ok...I have an 20 month old that is progressing nicely. She got her UKC Seasoned HR title back in September and pretty much breezed though it pretty easily. We will start running finished UKC test this Spring. When training, she does outstanding....runs great lines, hard, takes good casts etc. When running Seasoned tests this past Fall, she did well with only a couple of concerns in route to the HR title.

    But....in HUNTING (this is her first season to hunt) it's as if she has NEVER seen a hand signal in her life. Multiple guns firing, multiple birds falling...cracking ice, running the decoys etc....the "blind" retreives have been as nasty and ugly as one could imagine. Quite frustrating, and rather embarassing to be honest. Then, we come home, the next day go to the pond and/or field and plant blinds (ducks) and she lines and/or 1-2 whistles 125 yard blinds frequently.

    I know that she is not at the finished level yet, and has only been on 10 or so real hunts in her life, but i certainly expected the same level of performance I get in training (and that i got in HR tests) when in actual hunt situations.

    Question - Have any others experienced such complete absence of mind of their pooch when HUNTING, when they normally do well in training (and/or tests)?

    Concerned!

    Last edited by jpws; 01-16-2014 at 08:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    976

    Default

    Different venue to your dog.....It's all new to your dog. You don't have to be concerned...IMO

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    S.W. Washington
    Posts
    3,380

    Default

    About a thousand years ago I had a little dawg that I still miss every day. She was the markingest bird fetcher ever- provided that she decided to still be there when it got quiet. She eventually got to the point where she would sit most of the time and ended up being a GMHR (far cry from her sister that is in the Retriever Hall of Fame). The point of all this is that they KNOW when you are prepared to stop the action and enforce the rules and when you are inclined to forgive a "few" liberties. So the bottom line is - to what extent are YOU willing to disrupt your hunt to correct the indiscretions and what are the consequences for her? Breezy and I finally reached an agreement that as long as I was sitting on her tail- she wasn't allowed to run amok. Handling became- "You might try looking more over that direction".
    It comes down to this- how much of your hunt are you willing to sacrifice to enforce the rules?

    Big wild birds and somewhat "relaxed" standards are zackly the reason that a lot of folks don't hunt their competition dawgs until they are "retired".

    At the end of the day it becomes a choice - which do you value more? A great day out with a treasured partner that is a bit of an outlaw or a great day out that was interrupted buy a short but intense "come to Jesus" moment.

    PWI regards

    Bubba
    There are three classes of people: those who see...those who see when shown...and those who do not see. - Leonardo da Vinci

  4. #4
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    976

    Default

    The point is that this is all different to your dog and they go stupid because of all of the excitement that is happening to them. It's up to you to calm your dog so that they can focus. That can be tough when it's live with several guns going off and multiple birds going down. The best medicine is to take your dog away from that and do a one on one hunting situation. JMO...Get your dog used to the whole environment of hunting.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jim Danis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    867

    Default

    This is my 2yr old pups 1st season hunting. He earned his MH title at 18mos and ran 4-5 Derbies after that. Our 1st hunt he had no clue what was happening. Guns going off, birds falling all over the place at the same time and his first time in a real blind with a dog door for him to sit in. He didn't get a single mark and would'nt handle to a single bird. I had to walk him to the 1st couple of birds and I also threw a few birds for him to get the idea of jumping out of the blind after a mark. We ended up shooting 14 birds that morning and by the end of the hunt he was handling ok. Never marked a bird though. We hunted that next weekend and he handled perfectly and started to realize those flying birds were being shot and killed by us. 3rd hunt things started to really click.

    Point of all of this is that even though you may have a well trained dog, hunting is a completely different scenario and stimuli for the dog. The dog may pick it up quickly or it may take more than a few hunts for that to happen. Don't worry too much and make sure keep control of him. Lay down the law, make it fun, get him as many birds as you can and as he learns expose him to more and different types of hunting scenarios.
    "Blastem Daddy!" My Son's advice to me as a big ole Tom turkey came strutting within range. My son was 6 at the time.

    Weller's Tell It To The Judge MH (Justice)
    Weller's Running With The Wind MH (Chase)
    JD's In It Again MH (Trouble) 5/1/2009 - 1/3/2012

  6. #6
    Senior Member zeus3925's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West Twin Cities Metro, MN
    Posts
    2,119

    Default

    Temple Grandin, the animal behaviorist stated in a paper about dog training that dogs don't generalize well. They don't necessarily transfer leaning from one scenario to another. That is why it is important that you have a number of different places to train or else the dog tends to behave just for one location and acts like he knows not a thing in another.
    Zeus

    I don't want to feed an ugly dog!

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlaineT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    767

    Default

    I think its pretty normal. Hunting is a lot different. Give him/her time. I hunted my 16 month old HRCH lab this year for the first time and she looked like an idiot a couple times. My first priority was "sit" and start realizing birds fly in the air and come from many different directions. Not just out of a winger or a bird boy's hand. She figured the game out pretty quick and after several hunts was rolling cause it all just clicked.
    HRCH Hudson River Drake (Possom)
    HRCH Hudson River Saying Grace (Gracie)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Peter G Lippert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Hunt test and training is a very controlled environment. Also, I believe our pups largely base their behavior from us. In a hunting situation we are typically at a very excited state or at least I am. You said she struggles on blinds in a hunting situation. This could be that you are give hand signals in a rushed manner simpler bc you are excited. I have made this mistake. When you send your dog on a blind and whistle sit him slow down take a breath and give a good deliberate direction. Lastly, there is no training that can prepare him for the excitement I the hunt. You jut have to get him more experience. I have seen a lot of good well trained dogs blow up on a hunt because they have little experience hunting.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Go hunting with one other person. Let your partner do the shooting. Put your gun away and have the ecollar on your dog. First thing is steady. Usually everything else will fall into place. It would also be nice if the first couple birds shot were singles. When a bird is shot, get out of the blind and send her from your side just like you do at a test... Those first couple hunts have to be with the emphasis on the dog rather than on killing ducks. You have her skills in place just need to transfer then to a different venue.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brettttka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    SEMO
    Posts
    190

    Default

    Exact same story here. First hunt of the year was teal season and my dog did excellent in training. First light of teal season group downs four birds the MH golden we were with made a great mark and retrieve it was my turn to go on an easy mark in the middle of the hole. Send my dog he swims out about ten yards noses a decoy and comes back to me like WTH am I supposed to do here. Needless to say he just sat and watched the rest of the morning. Get the old bust your chops from buddies ("way to bring your pet to the duck blind haha"). Started that week by making the training sessions like hunting. Throw out decoys, hit the duck call, have someone throw dead birds and fire poppers at them. Second hunt was better and by end of season he has made me proud on bringing him out to the blind. It is a never ending process but I enjoy every minute of it and cant wait til next season and more training to see how he does. Marley retrieve.jpg
    Lone Oak's Marley Man.. (My first)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •