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Thread: Training, vs Hunt Tests vs Hunting

  1. #11
    Senior Member FOM's Avatar
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    Hahahahaha - totally normal, took my AA dog (Am win, Open points, 5 Master passes) seriously hunting this year and he acted like he had no clue what sit meant, would break, wouldn't handle....and this was just on Doves. Well a few days after a dove hunt, I ran him as test dog for a Qual because there was no one else there, I was worried he wouldn't do the blind worth crap - he lined it? He even sat nicely for the marks....oh they know the difference. Only caution I would have is with the young ones is to try and ease them into hunting and keep your basic OB standards high or you will regret it down the road.....this was the path I took with my first dog and we struggled with tests for a long while.

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  2. #12
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    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.
    Exactly. I learned it as situational awareness. One of the best reasons to expose a dog to everything you can. And FWIW, most dogs will adapt pretty quickly from one situation to another if properly exposed.
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

  3. #13

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    For what its worth, We just got back from Arkansas duck hunting. I took two labs. One has 3 Finished passes & the youngest has 1 Finished pass. It was so cold that We only took dogs on 1 hunt. Hunting out of pit blinds on flooded rice. We live in Central FL. There were 8 of us split into 2 groups. Son took older pup & I took younger. Plenty of ducks. Since this was Lulu's first time in Arkansas, I didn't load my gun until we lacked 1 duck for our limit. I asked my other son to watch her.. she had TT collar on. I shot a single Gadwall & she marked & was steady & retrieved . Most of the 24+ plus Mallards & Gadwalls that she retrieved were blinds. I thought it was more important for her to be steady than for me to shoot since this was her first pit blind hunt. When 3 or 4 hunters shoot two or three shots at incoming flock of Greenheads the excitement level for hunter & dog cannot be duplicated in a hunt test. Your buddies don't want you training your dog when the ducks are flying. After 40 years of training dogs & 60+ years of duck hunting the fun & excitement for dog & hunter is one of outdoors greatest thrills. Be patient with your dog & try to maintain your standard while hunting. After duck season, it takes me a couple of months to get back in hunt test or field trial mode. Like other said exposure to lots of different setups will be invaluable to your pups progress. After a season or two your dog will know when you are going hunting & will often spot overhead ducks before you do. Have fun with your dog. You may have to sacrifice shooting for watching your dog but you will become a team that will be welcomed in many a blind.

  4. #14
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    Sounds like a young dog who just needs experience. I'm running a 2.5 year old that made his first hunt ever on Thanksgiving. First duck shot splashes in the decoys at no more than 25 yds. Dog marks it and is sent. 10 yards out, the damn dog swims in a circle and looks like he's about to drown (he's otherwise a great swimmer). Dog returns with no bird, but I say nothing. Next bird is shot and finally falls at about 70 yards. Dog appears to mark it and is sent. Looks like a rocket ship in the water and is back with the bird no no time flat. The rest of that first hunt, the dog alternated between being a retrieving machine and a washing machine - who knows why? Each hunt thereafter he seemed to get incrementally better.

    That is until the last 3 hunts I've had when the light apparently, fully went on, and now he's a marking and retrieving beast. Last weekend, the dog passed up a dead bird at 30 yards (with no whistle or casting) for a swimming cripple at 120 yards. Then he stops and grabs the dead bird with the cripple still in his mouth and brings them both back to me on a perfect heel. Finishes the hunt marking and retrieving 18 of 18 in a tough coastal marsh environment.

    My hunting buddy just watches the dog in silence for all of the work, at the end of the hunt, he asks me to help train his next dog. My response: Sure, just as soon as this one is done training me.

    Just hunt the dog and enjoy the process. There are always more questions than answers.

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