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Thread: Work Ethic and/Perseverance in the Hunting Retriever

  1. #1

    Default Work Ethic and/Perseverance in the Hunting Retriever

    A protection sport dog guy I knew once said when watching a Malinois scale a 8 or 9 ft. wall for a retrieve, that the dog has a good work ethic. So I got to thinking about work ethic/perserverance and retrievers.
    First a definition of the words:
    Perseverance - Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving sucess.
    Work ethic- The principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward.

    I think about herding dogs that leave the front stoop to bring in the stock without being told. German Shepherds that acting as living/moving fences all day to keep stock in and out certain fields. A Malinios trailing a man across the countryside alone. Nobody around to say you must do this job or else.

    Under what conditions if any would you say good work ethic vs. perseverance applys to retrievers? Marking sailing birds, quartering a field, trailing a runnning bird out of sight, searching for a shot duck in cattails/reeds etc.

    I'm mainly thinking about hunting senarios; but this applies to hunt testing/trials as well.

    Training can enhance perseverance; but can the same be said of work ethic? Is work ethic something that must be bred into the dog.

    What say you?

  2. #2
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    I believe both traits are bred into a dog and of the up most importance in a field dog
    To have these traits. Its hard to train forbthis however confidence and many marks can help jmop great post !

  3. #3
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Working until they find what they r looking for and fighting with you when say it's time to quit. Not all retrievers are hunting for birds these days.
    Darrin Greene

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    Senior Member weathered's Avatar
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    Good work ethic is needed to train a dog. Although one can be trained with a lesser amount of work ethic- just not sure to what level. What I can say, it that it is much more pleasurable to train a dog that has good work ethic. I think of our newest addition who waited at the door each morning to train, even during force fetch. Then I think of one of our females who sulked out of the house for training during formal hold. I would much rather have the dog that is eager to train, even for the things I am certain they don't particularly enjoy.

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    Senior Member PalouseDogs's Avatar
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    I think it's clear that "work ethic" "drive" "perserverance," whatever you want to call it, is largely genetic. Otherwise, it wouldn't be so common in some breeds and so rare in others. It's not the only thing a retriever needs, but it's an important part.
    Kelly Cassidy (person)

    HR Maple Cassidy CDX JH RE (golden retriever)
    Alder Cassidy CDX RE (standard poodle chipmunk chaser)
    plus whacked-out weird Burka (elderly mix-breed rescue girl)

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    Senior Member thelast2's Avatar
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    I read through the posts made by others and I agree with them, but wonder how much the bond between the dog and the human plays into this, im thinking the stronger the bond the better the work ethic the dog will develop trying to please his master.
    Jesse

    HR SHR JR'S GUNNY DOG "ERMEY"
    SR JR'S MARSH MANGLING MINDY
    JR'S LNR THICKET THRASHING TRIXIE

  7. #7
    Senior Member weathered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelast2 View Post
    I read through the posts made by others and I agree with them, but wonder how much the bond between the dog and the human plays into this, im thinking the stronger the bond the better the work ethic the dog will develop trying to please his master.
    I'll have to disagree on this. The female dog with so-so work ethic is very bonded with my husband(think daily naps with him in the recliner, staring at the door waiting on him to come home) as compared to our young male who is bonded to my husband, but not to such an extent. I think willingness to please differs from work ethic.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JustinS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weathered View Post
    I'll have to disagree on this. The female dog with so-so work ethic is very bonded with my husband(think daily naps with him in the recliner, staring at the door waiting on him to come home) as compared to our young male who is bonded to my husband, but not to such an extent. I think willingness to please differs from work ethic.
    Now I am only going off of what you wrote so there is probably much more to this story but it looks like your young male has a strong with your husband as well because he would wait out on your door step to go do work/training in the morning and training may be the only bonding time your husband has with the dog but I am sure the bond is pretty strong and yes your young female probably has a strong bond but her bonding time is napping two different types of bonds to me. JMHO

    Bonding/Trust is important and so is temperment and brains. There are many parts to a successful well trained retriever

    to the OP question I think work ethic can be enhanced a bit during training, in force training the dogs are trained to turn off pressure therefore they work harder to complete tasks and that carries over I believe to other training and jobs retrievers have.
    Justin E Schneider

    Xtreme's 30 Rounds N' 1 Full Maggie SH
    Foundation's One Up the Sleeve


    "Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail." -- Josh Billings

    Some peoples stiffest competition is themselves.--MooseGooser

  9. #9
    Senior Member forhair's Avatar
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    People, dogs, and horses all have genetic predispositions to hard work or lassitude. Then there is hyper or ADD.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by thelast2 View Post
    I read through the posts made by others and I agree with them, but wonder how much the bond between the dog and the human plays into this, im thinking the stronger the bond the better the work ethic the dog will develop trying to please his master.
    When I think of work ethic in dogs; the completed job itself is the reward. That the owner is pleased is secondary.

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