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Thread: Conflicts in training the Non-slip Ret. as an Upland flushing dog & Vice Versa

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    Default Conflicts in training the Non-slip Ret. as an Upland flushing dog & Vice Versa

    Having trained upland dogs for some 25yrs. Particularly field bred Springers,for both trial and tests(AKC). The working standards of such being quite a bit different than what is required in the Retriever culture. Although retrieving is an absolute fundamental. A trained retrieve is a must do behavior in both cultures, land and water.

    How does teaching the Non-slip Ret. to quarter properly to the guns,use his nose to find birds,to flush birds, and make retrieves with manners? ( Manners being Steady to W&S,the ability to honor his brace mate and delivery of shot bird to hand) (This process if done properly is about a 6-12month program with a dog that is clean with his retrieving skills.)

    What challenges would one expect to see in the dogs ability to take lines either to multiples or blinds? For birds that the dog didnot flush? That is when one were to take the dog back to non-slip testing or trialing
    Is this type of "cross training" even advisable? Or is this like asking a hammer to be a hand saw and vice versa?

    Thank-you for any insights into this situation.

    Hal Standish

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    Senior Member Lady Hunter's Avatar
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    Can't really help you with your questions, but if you talk to people who run their gun dogs in HRC (Hunting Retriever Club, Inc.) www.huntingretrieverclub.org they should be able to give you insight on training. HRC has it's seperate Upland Hunter event that is a quartering, flush, steady to wing & shot and retrieve test.
    Lady Hunter

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    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    and NAHRA has an upland and trail as well as land and water retrieves and blinds in every normal weekend field test. they go together like peas and carrots
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    BTW welcome to RTF Hal
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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    Senior Member cgoeson's Avatar
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    I'm no expert here, but my trainer wanted to make sure the dog was running marks before we started doing any quartering.

    I'm curious to see what other pro's think.
    Chris Goeson

    "Friends help you move, true friends help you move the bodies."

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    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    For the classic, non-slip retriever, getting them to learn to hunt upland is relatively simple if they like birds. If you get them into enough birds in a field situation, they figure it out pretty quickly. I think it's easier to take it that route...going from non-slip to upland... as opposed going from classic upland only to waterfowl...because there is often more control to work with.

    A dog thoroughly trained in the classic upland style....sit to flush, steady to wing and shot on that flush...may have a problem or two when going to retriever style stuff. The first thing that comes to mind is diversion birds. Until they're trained otherwise, the classic upland dog is likely to follow its previous training and sit to that bird until released...which can sometimes be construed as popping. It isn't hard to work through, but often happens.

    The regular retriever will pick up on upland stuff quickly, including quartering and flushing the birds. It can sometimes be a bit tricky if they get too excited and want to range too far out, but that's easily corrected by using the same methods you would on a strictly upland dog. Honoring in upland can also be a trick, but if you've taught them to honor in regular retriever training and they're solid there, it's just a matter of transferring it to field work. Not a difficult transition at all.

    I had an awesome young Chessie in training this summer. Very driven, exceptional marker, and learned everything quickly. Her sole job in life will be working in a duck blind...her owner has no interest in upland, and she was trained strictly for waterfowl, with absolute steadiness at his side until sent being a specific request from her owner. Just for fun, I took her on an upland hunt with some friends and their pointing dogs. It took her a while to realize she didn't have to stay at heel, and she picked up on the finding and flushing birds within minutes. The funny part was that when a bird would go up, she'd stop, wait for the shot, mark the fall....and then return to heel at the side of the gunner(whichever one of us it may have been) and wait to be sent. And being an above average marker, her return to heel before retrieving didn't screw up her knowing where the bird was...she retrieved every one. Not what I would train for in an upland dog....but it showed me she'd do what her owner requested in a duck blind, and I saw no need to change it because that was likely the only upland hunt she'll see in her lifetime.

    Just to clarify...when I'm training for upland, my dogs are taught to break on shot unless an owner requests otherwise (including both pointing dogs and retrievers). Not classic....but it's too easy to lose pheasants if they aren't on them right away, especially in heavy cover.
    Sharon Potter

    www.redbranchkennels.net

    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers...too many to list.

    Team Huntsmith

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    if you train the dog to the degree desired on marks and blinds before the schooling on hunting pattern and pace and steadiness to flush and shot, there isn't much conflict, in my opinion.

    do it the other way around and you can expect to have some pretty major issues on initial lines of blinds and hunting their way to marks and blinds.-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul young View Post
    do it the other way around and you can expect to have some pretty major issues on initial lines of blinds and hunting their way to marks and blinds.
    Yup. And coming at the original questions from a reverse angle, spaniel field trials don't have blinds, and the blind in spaniel hunt tests is called a "hunt dead" (on land) and a good name it is given the dog has five whole minutes to "make progress" forward, sideways or any combination thereof to the blind planted at furthest 50 yards away.

    On water for spaniel tests, a blind is run only at master level and again 50 yards away max and usually across a stock pond as a straight-ahead swim with no factors or features and no handling (except the "handler" continually shouting "Back! Back! Back!" to keep the dog swimming straight ahead.

    Of course, if your spaniel is trained nonslip from the git-go



    and also quarters like a demon, you've got it knocked. Twelve-16 months for dog trained by a pro to get all this down? Hah, must be on the molassesification program or going by the spaniel test hunt dead clock...

    MG

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    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah: Don't mean for a pro's "molassesification program" to impugn the slower spaniels--if they too are trained nonslip from the start,



    the upland stuff for flushing and steadiness is a snap to overlay. Hupping is just sitting writ large for steadiness. (And ain't nothing short of a tornado gonna blow 'em over, either.)

    MG

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    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    The requirements for an upland dog are all fundimental aspects of a waterfowl dog. Sit to whistle, steadiness etc. If I know the dog will need to do both, I start with waterfowl training, marks/blinds etc. I can always get a dog to quarter as that is a more natural tendancy. Introduce quartering, sit to flush, steady to shot etc later.

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
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