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Thread: First hunt tests

  1. #1
    Senior Member fishin444's Avatar
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    Default First hunt tests

    I attempted to run my first hunt test with my two dogs one 2.5 yrs old in the senior and the other 20 months old in the junior. My senior dog nailed both marks and retrieved the blind with three casts. On the honor he broke on the shot flyer. He has never done this to me before in training. Always solid as a rock. I realize training is a whole different ball game as in an actual test. He was trained by a pro before I bought him a couple of months ago and the dog has had some test experiences, I spoke with my trainer and he thought the dog was what he called test wise. My question is how do I keep this from happening again in the future or any training suggestions to break him of this behavior? In training we do test situations with wingers, thrown birds, duck calls, starter pistols, and with dead birds normally ducks. I might add that at the test both my dogs were extremely excited with all the stuff going on. As far as me I'm totally a newbie at these things.I sent an e mail to the person I bought him from and his response was . He never has done that before. I did manage to pass the junior with my pup.

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    Senior Member Lady Duck Hunter's Avatar
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    When he broke, did you manage to stop him before he got to the bird? Generally of you can do that it helps to reinforce his training. Your dog should never get rewarded with a bird if he breaks if there is anyway you can prevent it.

    Remember at every test you have the chance to take home a ribbon or a lesson. In this case, if you stopped him before he got the bird, you would have taken home a lesson.
    Last edited by Lady Duck Hunter; 03-10-2014 at 02:36 PM.
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    Senior Member Labs's Avatar
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    Train with more live flyers....

    Oh, and there are two kinds of retrievers out there....those that have broke, and ones that will, it's just a matter of time....
    The dog will always prove you wrong

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    Senior Member fishin444's Avatar
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    I tried to get him to stop with both whistle sit and voice sit. He refused both got the bird and brought it back. I spoke with my trainer and he is going to get some live birds for our group training sessions.

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    My dog gets really high at tests. Don't know what other people think but I try and take him somewhere the morning of a test (not on the grounds) and get him some exercise. Maybe run a blind so he is not seeing his first work of the day on the flyer.

    The other way is expensive- If the dog creeps, breaks or gives you other indication they are "test wise" while on the line- Thank you judges, walk off the line and the dog does not get a bird. Back to the truck, get something cool to drink and visit with some friends.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishin444 View Post
    I attempted to run my first hunt test with my two dogs one 2.5 yrs old in the senior and the other 20 months old in the junior. My senior dog nailed both marks and retrieved the blind with three casts. On the honor he broke on the shot flyer. He has never done this to me before in training. Always solid as a rock. I realize training is a whole different ball game as in an actual test. He was trained by a pro before I bought him a couple of months ago and the dog has had some test experiences, I spoke with my trainer and he thought the dog was what he called test wise. My question is how do I keep this from happening again in the future or any training suggestions to break him of this behavior? In training we do test situations with wingers, thrown birds, duck calls, starter pistols, and with dead birds normally ducks. I might add that at the test both my dogs were extremely excited with all the stuff going on. As far as me I'm totally a newbie at these things.I sent an e mail to the person I bought him from and his response was . He never has done that before. I did manage to pass the junior with my pup.
    The bolded passage says a lot. Give him some time to adjust to you as his new litter mate and time to earn your respect. More training will help build that bond and trust and should help with all areas of your team work.

    Do more steadying and honor work in training and do not allow any deviation from your standards. No need to be harsh, just consistent and firm.
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

  7. #7
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golddogs View Post
    The bolded passage says a lot. Give him some time to adjust to you as his new litter mate and time to earn your respect. More training will help build that bond and trust and should help with all areas of your team work.

    Do more steadying and honor work in training and do not allow any deviation from your standards. No need to be harsh, just consistent and firm.
    ^^^Good advice. Before freaking out and assuming the dog is test wise, try the above. It is not uncommon for the first time out with the new handler things to go a little sideways.

    Congrats on the JH pass.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lady Duck Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishin444 View Post
    I tried to get him to stop with both whistle sit and voice sit. He refused both got the bird and brought it back. I spoke with my trainer and he is going to get some live birds for our group training sessions.
    Next time, yell....a big "NO! Here!" As soon as he goes. He has to understand that his taking off before being sent was wrong. Generally a sit whistle and saying sit just doesn't convey that.

    When you are on honor you should be watching him and talking to him quietly. That is your only job at that point. If you are watching him you should be able to stop him verbally as soon as he begins to take off.

    And congratulations on the Junior pass!
    Last edited by Lady Duck Hunter; 03-10-2014 at 02:45 PM.
    When it stops being fun, I will find something else to do with my time and money.

    The Lady

  9. #9

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    I'd say no big deal - frustrating at a test? Definitely! But now you know what to add to your training goals list so you get that pass next time out. Like was already mentioned - train with fliers more. Ducks are $. You can get a lot done with pigeons too. I like live pigeons out of a hidden winger with dog on a rope to begin with to assure that he won't break and get rewarded with a bird, then as walk ups with rope/whistle sit and then with e-collar, no rope. You can do this by yourself if you have a winger.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Duck Hunter View Post
    Next time, yell....a big "NO! Here!" As soon as he goes. He has to understand that his taking off before being sent was wrong. Generally a sit whistle and saying sit just doesn't convey that.

    When you are on honor you should be watching him and talking to him quietly. That is your only job at that point. If you are watching him you should be able to stop him verbally as soon as he begins to take off.

    And congratulations on the Junior pass!
    Not to nitpick, but I have this problem and have been advised to say "NO, SIT!!!!" instead since the dog has violated the sit command. I will admit that no, here comes more naturally.

    To the OP, I would say give it some time, but the dog is telling you that, as far as he is concerned, you don't mean it when you tell him to sit. You probably haven't had time to establish this yet. Mine is a result of inconsistency of enforcement bred from inexperience.

    I am also personally acquainted with at least a couple folks who would do their best to tackle the dog on a break to keep it from getting the bird. I can't promise this is not in my future either.

    It is exciting in a way. You never know what is about to happen.
    Steve Wyatt

    HR Belle's Rolling Big Rig "Jimmy"

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