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Thread: Pup Broke at First Seasoned Hunt Test

  1. #1
    Senior Member RemisGunner's Avatar
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    Default Pup Broke at First Seasoned Hunt Test

    Today was mine and Gunner's first attempt at HRC Seasoned Hunt Tests. I was confident that I had trained and "rehearsed" for many combinations and potential pitfalls. However, I could not predict how crappy the weather in Kansas and Missouri became overnight. Unfortunately I cannot blame the weather because it was perfect waterfowl hunting weather (as was evidenced by several flocks of teal and geese on the hunt test grounds).

    Anyways I was very excited because we started on the water series and the first test was the blind. The handling was what was making me nervous for my first Seasoned test but that was no problem. Gunner stepped on the bird without a single whistle. I was screaming inside with excitement. The next event was a simple double mark. Gunner has never had a problem with marks and so I was very confident. Until the first bird comes out of the blind and before i could think Gunner was half way to the bird. I was befuddled to the point that I couldn't think what to do. The most unlikely course of action just happened to me. Well he continued to pick up both birds and even the judges were disappointed for me after his great job on the blind to start it off.

    I got to thinking that maybe I created this sequences of unfortunate events in my training somewhere. I have been running Gunner on double marks without problems out to 100-125 yards. I had been running blinds out to 100 yards pretty consistently. So what did I do in my training to cause what happened? I am not sure but my theory is that I focused so much on the long distances that I forgot to balance the short "in your face" distances. Due to the weather conditions today all marks were between 50-75 yards, much shorter than what I had been training. So now these "in your face" marks became too much suction to Gunner and he broke.

    I would like some feedback to see if I am on the right track with my theory on these really short marks causing that much suction. Thanks in advance
    JASON ADAMS

    HR WILDROSE REMINGTON'S GUNNER JH - Gunner
    TTF REDLEG ARCHER OF REMINGTON - Archer

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    It may not be the short marks that are the problem, you may have a problem with SIT. The dog needs to know that sit means keep your butt parked until told otherwise.
    Bob Gutermuth
    Canvasback Chesapeakes
    ROLL TIDE!

  3. #3
    Senior Member RemisGunner's Avatar
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    Bob thanks for the reply, but Gunner is solid on his sit. However, I will revisit it in training as well as re-enforcement just in case.
    JASON ADAMS

    HR WILDROSE REMINGTON'S GUNNER JH - Gunner
    TTF REDLEG ARCHER OF REMINGTON - Archer

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    I disagree. IF he is not sitting until released on a set of marks then his sit. the main part of steadiness, is in need of some help. Here is what I mean: When I set a dog up on the line the last command I give the dog before I call for the birds is Sit. The next command should be his retrieve command, either back or his name(depending on how you train) after the judges release you. Many folks, in training, when the dog breakes, will holler NO which is confusing to the dog, the correction should be Sit. Saying no often confuses the dog into thinking you don't want the retrieve, sit should leave them thinking, OH $#%^ I forgot to wait until the boss sent me.


    To drill on steadiness you need a helper with a duck call and a blank gun. Have them give a few toots on the call, shoot the blank gun and chuck a bumper(later you can use birds) Keep it short. If you are not using an e collar then when the dog starts to lift his butt up command sit and either give him a choke chain correction and/or a swat on the rump as you say SIT. have your helper move a few feet and repeat. The helper should soon have to really try to excite the dog with the call and a few hey heys or whatever it takes to get the dog to try and break so that you can set up the correction.
    Bob Gutermuth
    Canvasback Chesapeakes
    ROLL TIDE!

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    Senior Member TroyFeeken's Avatar
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    My thoughts is the problem is starting well BEFORE you give the sit command. The dog needs to be controlled from the time you take it out of the truck to the time you hit the holding blind. Most people you see are walking a dog on lead from airing to the first holding blind and the lead is taunt. When that's happening, the dog is running itself and isn't looking to you on when you give the dog a command to get the birds.

  6. #6
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    I really wanted to go watch finished, but mother nature helped me decide to stay home and watch the blizzard through the window and later the Missouri game.

    I see you say this was your first Seasoned test. Any chance in the middle of trying to remember to do everything right you forgot to tell your pup to sit? Be it a simple command or an ignored factor often times it's the simple things that I overlook that cause me the most trouble.

    Good luck next time and here's to hoping the conditions are a little better.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TIM DOANE's Avatar
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    You may want to try some steady drills, there are many to choose from. Start with something fairly easy and if he dose well work up to shot flyers at very close range and dont let the dog retrieve the bird. Tell him no bird and walk him off line. Honor drills will help also. It happens to us all sooner or later, just keep training, good luck
    Tim Doane , Kingseed Kennels
    GRHRCH UH Hunters Marsh King Elijah MNH QAA "Ely"
    GRHRCH Kingseeds Little Miss Dangerous MNH QAA " Stella "
    HRCH Kingseeds Queen Of Grace MH " Hannah "
    Kingseeds She's A Classic " Layla "
    www.kingseedkennels.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member RemisGunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gutermuth View Post
    I disagree. IF he is not sitting until released on a set of marks then his sit. the main part of steadiness, is in need of some help. Here is what I mean: When I set a dog up on the line the last command I give the dog before I call for the birds is Sit. The next command should be his retrieve command, either back or his name(depending on how you train) after the judges release you. Many folks, in training, when the dog breakes, will holler NO which is confusing to the dog, the correction should be Sit. Saying no often confuses the dog into thinking you don't want the retrieve, sit should leave them thinking, OH $#%^ I forgot to wait until the boss sent me.


    To drill on steadiness you need a helper with a duck call and a blank gun. Have them give a few toots on the call, shoot the blank gun and chuck a bumper(later you can use birds) Keep it short. If you are not using an e collar then when the dog starts to lift his butt up command sit and either give him a choke chain correction and/or a swat on the rump as you say SIT. have your helper move a few feet and repeat. The helper should soon have to really try to excite the dog with the call and a few hey heys or whatever it takes to get the dog to try and break so that you can set up the correction.
    Bob, I understand what you are saying. There are times, I realize now, that SIT is not the last thing he hears from me, especially when we are working doubles and he is not swinging smoothly with the gun. Its everything like NO, HERE, HEEL, etc. Consistency has its place in training, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyFeeken View Post
    My thoughts is the problem is starting well BEFORE you give the sit command. The dog needs to be controlled from the time you take it out of the truck to the time you hit the holding blind. Most people you see are walking a dog on lead from airing to the first holding blind and the lead is taunt. When that's happening, the dog is running itself and isn't looking to you on when you give the dog a command to get the birds.
    Troy, that is one of the things that I worked on early with Gunner. I have never let him determine the pace from airing to holding blind. I work it every training session. He still tries but it is a short-lived attempt for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghak99 View Post
    I really wanted to go watch finished, but mother nature helped me decide to stay home and watch the blizzard through the window and later the Missouri game.

    I see you say this was your first Seasoned test. Any chance in the middle of trying to remember to do everything right you forgot to tell your pup to sit? Be it a simple command or an ignored factor often times it's the simple things that I overlook that cause me the most trouble.

    Good luck next time and here's to hoping the conditions are a little better.
    Ghak, I honestly cannot be 100% certain that I said SIT. I may have had said, HEEL, HERE or even NO, but your point is taken. And yes I hope the weather is much better tomorrow. I have really enjoyed the hunt test ground they are using. I am really angry that I didn't know about the waterfowl opportunities though!

    Quote Originally Posted by TIM DOANE View Post
    You may want to try some steady drills, there are many to choose from. Start with something fairly easy and if he dose well work up to shot flyers at very close range and dont let the dog retrieve the bird. Tell him no bird and walk him off line. Honor drills will help also. It happens to us all sooner or later, just keep training, good luck
    Thanks for the guidance and encouragement Tim.
    JASON ADAMS

    HR WILDROSE REMINGTON'S GUNNER JH - Gunner
    TTF REDLEG ARCHER OF REMINGTON - Archer

  9. #9
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Good luck. I lost my dog to a break on his first senior test and have spent over a year trying to fix. We might be getting close. It is a day in day out commitment. No easy answer. Again, good luck.
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    We all think that they are steady ... then a great big flappy pheasant lands two yards away!!

    I agree with TIM DOANE. We sometimes forget that not training for something can be the equivalent of training for it's opposite. If you haven't done enough steadiness drills then in a sense you've trained for unsteadiness. Some questions (I don't want to know the answers but I suspect you do!)

    How often does he not get the retrieve? Does he think every one is his?

    Has he regularly had to honour another dog or dogs? Every session?

    How often does he lift his backside, get corrected and still get sent for the bird? Every session?

    regards
    eug
    Thank you, very kind, Mine's a pint.

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