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Thread: Work Ethic and/Perseverance in the Hunting Retriever

  1. #31
    Senior Member helencalif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PalouseDogs View Post
    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.
    Throw in the word "DESIRE" (prey drive). There is no future in having a retriever who quits for lack of prey drive/desire. You can't train for prey drive/desire. Prey drive is different from the desire to please. IMO preydrive/desire has to be there from the genes.

    Helen
    Last edited by helencalif; 02-05-2013 at 01:27 PM.

  2. #32

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    Thanks for your input. I've been mulling this stuff around for a few weeks now. You guys have given me more to think about. Keep'em coming!

  3. #33
    Senior Member Jerry Beil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetrieverNation View Post
    My definition for work ethic would be a retriever that you have to stop before it kills itself while doing the task at hand, i.e. retrieving on a hot day and not wanting stop hunting or swimming in frigid waters. Perseverance would be a dog that knows the right thing to do and does it, no matter the circumstance, i.e. continuing to look for a bird and retrieving it even though you were sure you missed or coming back with a ten foot tree limb caught in its collar so it can deliver the bird.
    Isn't that backwards? Seems to me that perseverance would be the never quit part and work ethic would be the do the right thing part.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Jon Couch's Avatar
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    This is what I think of. This is my dog at less than 2 yrs old he is 5 now. But a dog that won't stop until they get what they are after, or asked to come back. Just my opinion!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBS1pNoMUo
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    "It's very important to constantly analyze what you are doing and whether your dogs are being good or bad because of what you are doing or in spite of what you are doing." Mike Lardy

  5. #35
    Senior Member truthseeker's Avatar
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    To me all the above, desire, train-ability and work ethic can not be trained., The pup has to have these three traits to become successful in the test or trial game. Everything else can be trained.

    I would like to take this thread one step further if I could. How much of each makes for a perfect blend. To much desire = Independence, to much work ethic = to much dependence and desire + work ethic = train-ability?

    Just a thought?

  6. #36
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truthseeker View Post
    To me all the above, desire, train-ability and work ethic can not be trained., The pup has to have these three traits to become successful in the test or trial game. Everything else can be trained.

    I would like to take this thread one step further if I could. How much of each makes for a perfect blend. To much desire = Independence, to much work ethic = to much dependence and desire + work ethic = train-ability?

    Just a thought?
    I think you hit the nail on the head here. Our sport is all about that good mix of high drive and compliance. I'll add in a factor, confidence. I have had six nice Goldens, all but the first MH who wasn't a FT dog were QAA at an early age, but two stood out as exceptional markers from early on. Both of those dogs are also high drive dogs, as was my first FT dog Cody (the dog in my avatar). Cody had an intense drive to retrieve, not just birds, anything. He was super fast and would charge through anything for the retrieve. He was not the best natural marker, but plenty good enough to get through the first series 80% of the time. Cody was also compliant on land blinds, he took and held a line a top speed for quite a bit and handled well when needed. Cody's weakness was water blinds, but that is another story. In other words Cody had high drive yet was also good on blinds, so the high drive wasn't the killer here.

    On the other hand, my two high drive exceptional markers seem to have so much confidence in their abilities to find the bird, they are way less compliant on blinds, especially Yoda. I can't tell you how many times he just smacked the first series of a tough Open or Amateur, best job in the field and maybe only one of six to do the test right, only to go out on a fairly simple land blind. He had so much confidence in his ability to find the bird, he was just sure he knew better than Dad and would fall for the dry pop or other diversion time and time again, no matter how much we trained on it. Then he got to the point where he accepted the training and would line right through all the technical stuff in the first 200 yards, then refuse cast after cast in the wide open, zero factor last 100 yards, very frustrating.

    In my case I would say it was my dog's overconfidence based on their natural marking skills that leads to this lack of compliance, though high drive fast dogs are harder to handle just based on their speed. I think your point about too much desire = independence doesn't have to be, though it is most times. I judge a lot of dogs and most of the dogs that do well are high drive and compliant on blinds. It's a combination, not a one or the other deal.

    John

  7. #37
    Senior Member truthseeker's Avatar
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    Your absolutely correct. WE will have to add miss smarty pants, who think she know it all to the train-ability equation.


    Even though I think that confidence can be built if the desire it there.
    Last edited by truthseeker; 02-06-2013 at 11:39 AM. Reason: more info.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truthseeker View Post
    WE will have to add miss smarty pants, who think she know it all to the train-ability equation.
    You must train a female , What happens when she does know it all or at least more than you?
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  9. #39
    Senior Member truthseeker's Avatar
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    hummm--- let see, I think I just throw up my hand in the direction she wanted to go anyway.

  10. #40
    Senior Member truthseeker's Avatar
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    John
    Don't get me wrong, All the dogs that I eval as prospect have good or high drive, but as a trainer I have to couple the with work ethic and train-ability to know how I am going to train them. The dogs that have to much drive ( Birds on the brain or not honest) to me they have to have a vary controlled training program ( Routine ) and if you relax and get then out of their routine their off to the races and out of control. I also call these type of dogs high maintenance.

    Now take the dog that has good drive but a little more work ethic, I would call these type of dogs level headed or honest. Their program is different, I like to give then more room to do what they think is right and use a little more traditional type training. The issues that can crop up if not train right are in the confidence area.

    Both type can be successful and both have their issues.

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