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Thread: British Labs / No Force????

  1. #211
    Senior Member rmilner's Avatar
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    I have been training gundogs professionally since 1972. I have been importing and training British dogs of the field dog gene pool since the early 1980's. I have trained a large number of dogs from the American gene pool and a large number of dogs from the British gene pool. I have found that there is a conversion rate of nearly 100% of the British field bred pool into excellent gundogs. That is one of the reasons I like them. I have also found that many of the Briitsh dogs do not adapt well to some of the American training models.
    Last edited by rmilner; 12-10-2012 at 04:29 AM.
    Robert Milner
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  2. #212
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    I have been training gundogs professionally since 1972. I have been importing and training British dogs of the field dog gene pool since the early 1980's. I have trained a large number of dogs from the American gene pool and a large number of dogs from the British gene pool. I have found that there is a conversion rate of nearly 100% of the British field bred pool into excellent gundogs. That is one of the reasons I like them. I have also found that many of the Briitsh dogs do not adapt well to some of the American training models.
    x2
    They seem to hold really well and return to handler more consistently without training. I have done only a couple handfuls of British dogs and they were this way. As nice as they were they also as a whole forced more like a chessy or a rottweiler than an american lab meaning it seemed to break down down their enthusiasm. But I can't recall if they were strictly field bred or had show in them also,,,I guess that could make a difference.
    Just my experience
    pete
    Last edited by Pete; 12-10-2012 at 05:03 AM.
    John 5 :30
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    mark 16:9 -- So then after the lord had spoken unto them,he was received up in heaven, and sat on the right hand of God
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  3. #213

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    I am new to the forum and I posted this thread to get a some opinions, I would have never imagined it would go this long. However, I have read some interesting points on this topic and appreciate everyone's input..
    I would like to educate myself on some of these training methods they use in Europe. Whether or not I use them is to be seen. Knowledge has been an ongoing mission in my life and I am always learning from others, I don't see why these training methods should be any different.
    Does anyone have references to these training methods? Books ,videos, websites ..............
    Last edited by Jonronamo; 12-10-2012 at 07:30 AM.
    If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

  4. #214
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    Considering I've FF'd and CC'd well over a 100 Brit dogs, including some imported and already titled in the UK, my experience may help the OP with his decision. Apples to apples, a UK FtCh can best be compared to a AKC SH. The SH in a test will get 4-6 marks, a couple of blinds, and a few diversions--resembling a actual day's hunt in the US. The FtCh will see many more birds, run a few blinds, and work a field in a group--resembling a actual day's hunt in the UK. Most would agree training to a SH level can be accomplished with little or no force. But training here or there does involve pressure, and the difference is in the application. Running out and giving a dog a good shake,imo, is intimidation with bad timing, and relies on the dog figuring out what's going on over time. To a properly collar conditioned dog, a well timed nic is no big deal, as they understand why, and how to turn it off. Using their selling points of a more intelligent, willing retriever, even helps the arguement to FF/CC, as smart/willing dogs breeze through pressure work when properly applied. Force fetch is just a game of Simon Says, with the dog learning sit,here, fetch, --and who Simon is...Brits learn to play the game quite well. Thrown into a one size fits all force program, would likely lead to bad results..

  5. #215
    Senior Member Bartona500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennel maiden View Post
    Okay, we are WAY off original thread now, but I do feel I must just jump on this point about "British" dogs. The hypothetical dog that you mention above with both FT CH and CH in its pedigree would likely not be a top FT dog here. Our labradors are about as divided as they can be in this country into virtually two separate breeds, show vs working. There hasn't been a dual champion since, I think, about 1952. The two camps have diverged so much that they are unlikely to ever meet again.

    There are a few here that purport to have 'dual purpose' labs, usually some show folk that dabble with 'working' their dogs in the field, but don't usually make the heights of trialling. On the whole, these dogs are "jacks of all trade,.....".

    So, folk that trial here will look for pedigrees that have purely FT CHs or FTWs in them and are totally 'working bred', and likewise, show folk will not want FT CHs in theirs, but go for purely CH. We breed for our specific discipline, thus making training so much easier, as we have the right material to start with.

    Sadly, I think the majority of dogs that are exported from UK to USA are dogs that haven't made the grade here! (otherwise they would be staying....) They are either not going to go 'all the way' and get made up to FT CH, or they have an eliminating fault (which may be acceptable in USA but not here), or are too hot perhaps.


    Finally, on the 'placement' of poison birds thing. In our UK Field Trials, none of our birds are 'placed' as it is all a natural, live shooting situation on a 'real' shoot or walked up shooting. So birds are taken as they come, or in the case of driven stakes, the judges may move the competitors if they want to make slightly more challenging retrieves, but the birds themselves are never moved (indeed, if one is touched by hand then it will be removed, as no bird that goes into the dogs mouth should have hand-scent on it, or have been picked by another dog).

    Hope that clears a few things up.
    Maiden, I don't think your jumping in this time clarified anything, except maybe the poison bird scenario. You say we are way off topic - really? Here is the original post:

    "Below is an article I found in Gun Dog magazine. I would like everyones thoughts on British Labs and British training methods that apparently "do not use force"?

    Gun Dog Article:

    Thereís a new movement making British Style Field Trials popular again, along with the British strain of Labrador retriever. These Labs are largely born with the behavior of delivering retrieved objects to hand, making it unnecessary to force-fetch them. They are also bred to be calm companions as well as peak performers in the field, according to Robert Milner, who breeds British Labs at Duckhill Kennel. And from what I saw of his 5-week-old puppies to 5-year-old adults, itís absolutely true.

    "The big attraction to these trials and British training methods, for me, was the lack of force training. No force to pile, force to water, force anything. For dogs bred to be highly trainable and good at hunting, like my golden, this philosophy says itís not necessary to use force. Itís very believable after watching several British-trained dogs complete 175-yard blind retrieves through walls of 5-foot tall brush and woods, guided by whistle and hand signals, then stand at heel, steady as a rock, while they watch another dog work."

    It is my contention that the post you quoted (mine) addresses the topic VERY specifically. Your follow up doesn't add or retract anything to that conversation. I agree, field bred and show bred lines mixed together make poor gun dogs and certainly not FTCH. I was referring to over here, USA, where folks mix these lines and advertise them as gun dogs. In addition, I agree that some of the well-known kennels over here do import dogs that just didn't quite cut it in the ft games over there. That isn't the case for all of them, however. In fact, Mr. Milner (of whom I've only spoken to just once before) has some excellent imported dogs. I recently trained (conditioning for the season) Int. FTCH Ballincanty Star "Smuggler", my pups sire. Certainly you wouldn't say he didn't make the cut, yet my mentor Mark imported him two years ago.

    The only thing I will concede is that we do tend to get more of the "hot" dogs from the UK, but this is usually what we are looking for.
    -Barton Ramsey

  6. #216
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Vires View Post
    Using their selling points of a more intelligent, willing retriever, even helps the argument to FF/CC, as smart/willing dogs breeze through pressure work when properly applied.
    Sharpest observation made throughout these many pages, and buttressed by hands'-on experience. My take on it, too - but as applies to our (US) field trials, not HTs.

    MG

  7. #217
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennel maiden View Post
    Sadly, I think the majority of dogs that are exported from UK to USA are dogs that haven't made the grade here! (otherwise they would be staying....) They are either not going to go 'all the way' and get made up to FT CH, or they have an eliminating fault (which may be acceptable in USA but not here), or are too hot perhaps.
    L, au contraire, the majority of dogs exported to the US are FTCh or FTW to be used as sires and - in certain precincts - pump out untold numbers of litters a year and get their new owner lots of "gentlemanly" face-time in Forbes magazine. I've always wondered why somebody (over there) would sell a FTCh after making it up - hardly ever done in N. America, just not negotiable, at any price. But again most of the dogs that come across from your side are FTChs or FTWs who have new lives as sires but no longer as competitive retrievers.

    MG

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerd View Post
    L, au contraire, the majority of dogs exported to the US are FTCh or FTW to be used as sires and - in certain precincts - pump out untold numbers of litters a year and get their new owner lots of "gentlemanly" face-time in Forbes magazine. I've always wondered why somebody (over there) would sell a FTCh after making it up - hardly ever done in N. America, just not negotiable, at any price. But again most of the dogs that come across from your side are FTChs or FTWs who have new lives as sires but no longer as competitive retrievers.

    MG
    I suspect that those that are sold as FTWs (having won a novice stake) are sold because they aren't going to go all the way here. Pure and simple. It is relatively easy, in experienced hands, to win a novice stake if the dog is generally good all round and polished, but going on to make it up to FT CH is a tad more difficult!!

    The FT CHs that are sold are basically sold abroad for 'big bucks', pure and simple. Again, they may have deveoped eliminating faults with age, or the £££££s may just have been too tempting. If they were really great, they would be getting so much stud work here that selling wouldn't be an option (if it was a dog, not bitch). Or, they may have failed a DNA test (PRA or CNM) and therefore not likely to get much stud work....

    Bottom line still is, that a GREAT FT CH is unlikely to be sold abroad, period.

    A while ago, a lot of below-standard Scottish stock was sold to you guys (it's a deal easier to make up a FT CH in Scotland or Ireland) and probably gave some of our dogs a bad rap. I think this has been stamped on a bit now, and US folk are more wary/canny.

  9. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartona500 View Post
    Maiden, I don't think your jumping in this time clarified anything, except maybe the poison bird scenario. You say we are way off topic - really? Here is the original post:

    "Below is an article I found in Gun Dog magazine. I would like everyones thoughts on British Labs and British training methods that apparently "do not use force"?

    Gun Dog Article:

    There’s a new movement making British Style Field Trials popular again, along with the British strain of Labrador retriever. These Labs are largely born with the behavior of delivering retrieved objects to hand, making it unnecessary to force-fetch them. They are also bred to be calm companions as well as peak performers in the field, according to Robert Milner, who breeds British Labs at Duckhill Kennel. And from what I saw of his 5-week-old puppies to 5-year-old adults, it’s absolutely true.

    "The big attraction to these trials and British training methods, for me, was the lack of force training. No force to pile, force to water, force anything. For dogs bred to be highly trainable and good at hunting, like my golden, this philosophy says it’s not necessary to use force. It’s very believable after watching several British-trained dogs complete 175-yard blind retrieves through walls of 5-foot tall brush and woods, guided by whistle and hand signals, then stand at heel, steady as a rock, while they watch another dog work."

    It is my contention that the post you quoted (mine) addresses the topic VERY specifically. Your follow up doesn't add or retract anything to that conversation. I agree, field bred and show bred lines mixed together make poor gun dogs and certainly not FTCH. I was referring to over here, USA, where folks mix these lines and advertise them as gun dogs. In addition, I agree that some of the well-known kennels over here do import dogs that just didn't quite cut it in the ft games over there. That isn't the case for all of them, however. In fact, Mr. Milner (of whom I've only spoken to just once before) has some excellent imported dogs. I recently trained (conditioning for the season) Int. FTCH Ballincanty Star "Smuggler", my pups sire. Certainly you wouldn't say he didn't make the cut, yet my mentor Mark imported him two years ago.

    The only thing I will concede is that we do tend to get more of the "hot" dogs from the UK, but this is usually what we are looking for.
    Barton, sorry, I just thought I may be straying from the very original post about FF? I was then specifically addressing the bit I had emboldened in your quote about a dog with both FTCH and CH in its pedigree....

    Anyway, sorry you didn't think it helped or clarified.

  10. #220
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennel maiden View Post
    I suspect that those that are sold as FTWs (having won a novice stake) are sold because they aren't going to go all the way here. Pure and simple. It is relatively easy, in experienced hands, to win a novice stake if the dog is generally good all round and polished, but going on to make it up to FT CH is a tad more difficult!!

    The FT CHs that are sold are basically sold abroad for 'big bucks', pure and simple. Again, they may have deveoped eliminating faults with age, or the £££££s may just have been too tempting. If they were really great, they would be getting so much stud work here that selling wouldn't be an option (if it was a dog, not bitch). Or, they may have failed a DNA test (PRA or CNM) and therefore not likely to get much stud work....
    Uh-oh, L - you've just shot down our premier marketeer in flames - as withering a fusillade of words to a marketeer as a .50-caliber burst from one of those perfectly-preserved Spitfires just rediscovered in Burma...

    Thinking that's the name I'll have to give my next British (American) FT Lab.

    MG

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