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Thread: A question (though maybe not simple?) for all of you experts...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Montview's Avatar
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    Question A question (though maybe not simple?) for all of you experts...

    Hi everyone,
    I still consider myself very much a newbie but LOVE being in the field with our dogs, whether training for HT's or quail/dove hunting. You gotta start somewhere, right? I just haven't had the opportunity to progress as far into being an owner-trainer as I'd like... life just gets in the way sometimes!
    My old man only has a JH and was trained mostly up through senior level, and my two "younger" dogs (one is 12 months, one is 5 years) have virtually no real field training yet just basic obedience and one or two times being exposed to dead birds.

    My "question"- I'm looking for advice on how to address an issue with the 5 year old.
    When waiting for a bird to go down, he gets so riled up after hearing a duck call or gunshot that he rears up and backwards, trying to break away from my grip. This obviously interferes with his ability to see where the mark falls.
    I've had people tell me to simply hold on until he quiets and then release him or to straddle him and hold his head steady, but he's a very big dog and I'm a pretty small human (5'2" female), so I'm just hoping to get some additional ideas that I can try out when out in the field next.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Montview; 04-02-2014 at 01:13 PM.
    -Julie, Monty (2005 YLM), Rogue (2009 BLM), and Eddy (2013 BLM)

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  2. #2
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    If he likes to retrieve, I would start by teaching him to sit the way I learned through the Hillman puppy dvd. He sits, you walk away and throw a bumper, then you release dog for the retrieve. If he does not remain sitting as you walk away or moves before the release then shorten the distance you move before throwing till he is successful. Don't let him have the retrieve if he breaks or moves. Gradually add in distance, shots and the duck call.

    If your dog will sit quietly while the bird is thrown, when you train with your group just skip the duck call and shooting part until you dog can handle it. Work on the duck call and shots separately.

    You need to teach him to sit quietly before you can progress, IMHO.

    That's what I would start with, if it were my dog.
    Last edited by mitty; 04-02-2014 at 01:32 PM. Reason: bad sentence
    Renee P

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    Senior Member weathered's Avatar
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    I've learned much since having a young dog like this. They can be too strong for you to physically restrain them; mine was. One thing is that the duck call and gun shots are stimulating. You need to reduce the stimulation until you get the desired response consistently without it. Then slowly add stimulation.
    Like Renee said, work on the Hillman sit/Traffic Cop. If he breaks, you must beat him to the bird/bumper and pick it up. Look up Hillman's blog for example. It will take time and baby steps with a high level of consistency on your part.

    BTW, I sought professional help with this dog. He now has his first Master pass (on first attempt) with me as his handler at a little over 2 yrs old.
    Last edited by weathered; 04-03-2014 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Add

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    I would deny the retrieve.
    He needs to learn to sit quiet and wait for the release command before he gets to retrieve.
    Don

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    X2 What Don said. You need to also revisit obedience and formalize it, perhaps concentrating on SIT and HEEL while using both an e-collar and heeling stick.

    The dog obviously has uncontrolled drive specific to wanting to make the retrieve. His wants and your wants are two different things, you need to win every time. It seems he lacks respect or recognition for your leadership. Re-establishment of yourself as "top dog" is critical going forward with his training. You can make use of formalized obedience training to help command his recognition of yourself as his Alpha.

    As for retrieves? LOTS of non- retrieve or "no bird" throws where he sees the bird thrown but does not get to hunt at all. Ratio of tossed birds to allowed retrieves might be on the order of 10:2 or even less dependent on compliance factor from the dog. Desire is not an issue and should not decrease much. steadiness is the are of focus needing work.

    Irishwhistler

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    All training is based on obedience. When the dog is at the line to retrieve the the only command you have given is "sit" so his transgression is disobeying the "sit" command. Start from there.
    Bert Rodgers

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    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    I just noticed the pics of you, your dog and infant in the other thread.

    You will have much more control over your dog with relatively little exertion on your part (i.e. little strength required) if you put a training collar on your dog. A choke chain or prong collar will go a long way in helping you control your dog. After seeing the size of the dog (assuming the one in the pic is the subject of this thread) I would start with the prong collar.
    Renee P

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    I was thinking prong collar also. Used properly they are a great training tool.

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    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Prong collar and a Tab; A short tab can be worn while running; make sure it's made flat 9no knots) so it won't get hung up on anything. If you get one of the colored para-cord braided ones it makes your dog looks spiffy
    "They's Just DAWGS"
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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montview View Post
    My "question"- I'm looking for advice on how to address an issue with the 5 year old.
    When waiting for a bird to go down, he gets so riled up after hearing a duck call or gunshot that he rears up and backwards, trying to break away from my grip. This obviously interferes with his ability to see where the mark falls.
    I've had people tell me to simply hold on until he quiets and then release him or to straddle him and hold his head steady, but he's a very big dog and I'm a pretty small human (5'2" female), so I'm just hoping to get some additional ideas that I can try out when out in the field next.

    Thanks in advance!
    What tools do you have to work with - meaning what training have you done with him? Was he given formal Basics? Lots of recommendations can be made, but they may not be practical depending on your answers.

    Evan
    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

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