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Thread: Picking up a Dog, to teach her a lesson

  1. #1
    Senior Member PennyRetrievers's Avatar
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    Default Picking up a Dog, to teach her a lesson

    Right now I'm in the middle of a major battle of the wills with my 4-year-old BLF. She is extremely talented, and has all of the skills to be able to pass a master test. She also posesses an immense will, and every test becomes a battle to do it her way. So far this season we've run 4 Master tests. She broke on one, two fails were my fault, and this past weekend I picked her up halfway through the second series because she blew off two casts. The judges probably wouldn't have let that slide into the third series (even though her work in the first series was very good) so I made the decision to pick her up.

    My question is this - does picking up a dog in a test, really send a message? I'm willing to bet that picking her up at the beginning of the first series for whining, or creeping would probably send a message, but if I pick her up halfway through the second, after she's already retrieved a blind and a mark, have I already lost to her? In training, she's a total princess; does everything I ask, and is totally quiet, steady and follows directions. When we get to a test though, she feels this urge to assert herself and do the little things, like creep out just past me, bark when she's given a cast, which leads to her getting more and more defiant as the test goes on. Then, she's blowing off casts and generally doing what she wants.

    I'm willing to pick her up from more tests, but I'm afraid that maybe it isn't doing any good.
    "Somehow this creature has completed my manhood; somehow, I cannot explain why, a man ought to have a dog. A man ought to have six legs; those other four legs are part of him." -G.K. Chesterton

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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Just send me the entry fee and give her the message at home
    Bill Davis

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    I think you were right but I wouldn't keep running tests till you correct these problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BILL NE NY View Post
    I think you were right but I wouldn't keep running tests till you correct these problems.
    x2. I don't think your teaching her a lesson but your right to not enforce the poor behaviors. You need to fix the issues first.
    Have fun. Don

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    Weather it taught a lesson or not is debatable but you didn't feed the beast by letting her get the bird.

    Bert
    Bert Rodgers

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    Senior Member PennyRetrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BILL NE NY View Post
    I think you were right but I wouldn't keep running tests till you correct these problems.
    The dog is an angel in training. She knows what a test is, and she won't do any of her bad habits in training. The second I get her to a test though, she starts to freak out on me. This is what's making it so hard to correct the bad habits.
    "Somehow this creature has completed my manhood; somehow, I cannot explain why, a man ought to have a dog. A man ought to have six legs; those other four legs are part of him." -G.K. Chesterton

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    Senior Member Kirk Keene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyRetrievers View Post
    The dog is an angel in training. She knows what a test is, and she won't do any of her bad habits in training. The second I get her to a test though, she starts to freak out on me. This is what's making it so hard to correct the bad habits.
    Not an uncommon problem, especially with a high-drive dog. I make a point to travel and train with a different group/setting at least once a month. This will somewhat mimic a hunt test/trial scenario, and allow you to make corrections should the problems arise.

    Also, next time you run a test, be very aware of your own mental state and actions and try to control them best you can. Your dog will sense your own anxiety, which in turn compounds the issues even more.

    And to answer your original question, I would pick her up. Although it may or may not give her notice, there's certainly no reason to let her actions continue where she will eventually get her reward by picking up a bird.
    Last edited by Kirk Keene; 04-14-2014 at 01:21 PM.

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    Senior Member Rutin's Avatar
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    I doubt you are "teaching" her something by pulling her, but you are definitely doing the right thing by not "rewarding" her for mishaps.
    Sargent Taylor's Hevi-Shot (Sarge)

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    I agree with others in that though picking her up is minimizing the opportunity for negative behavior to continue within thar specific venue, it probably does not teach her anything.

    Train as much as you can in a number of different settings offering conditions similar to actual hunt tests. Though hard to duplicate exactly, it seems that her negative behaviors are relative to the hunt test venue, that is where they will most likely need to be corrected (that is at a training session duplicating the HT envirnonment).

    Irishwhistler

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Does picking up a dog send a message?

    Heck Yes it does; it sends a message to the judges, other contestants, and yourself that you have personal standards for your dogs performance that she must play by your rules in order for you to continue to run her, and that a losing a $4 ribbon and a chance at a pass; doesn't issue into that equation. Always nice to have standards

    Does it send a message to the dog. No not really, there's no correction and the only thing your doing is taking them out of a situation where they might be allowed to get away with something. Something that might become an ingrained habit if you were to let the dog continue, doing it in a test where you can't address it properly. Whether they care that you pick them up? Certain dogs, I believe know they are in trouble, and feel a since of guilt for a bit. But there's not a real message unless you are able to correct the behavior. You can't correct improper action at a test, (they'd throw you in HT jail ) but it's easier to address it in training if they didn't run multiple series-multiple tests, where they were allowed to get away with it.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 04-14-2014 at 02:43 PM.
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