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Thread: Hunting Retriever Training

  1. #31
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    After reading this thread about duck hunting and rocks, I remembered a time long ago where rocks were involved.
    The internet is very cool. I did a search using "KwickLabs, duck hunting and rocks". A January, 2012 post of mine in
    Mud Motor Talk (about force fetch) surfaced in the search.

    If things progress really fast, the time from beginning force fetch to running simple cold blinds has been about 8-9 months
    for my pups. That's training regularly about 4-6 days a week.

    Then again if you attempt shortcuts and are lucky.....you might get away with what I did before I knew any better way.
    Many, many years ago, I picked up a free, four year old Lab. She had never been used for hunting. At that time I had
    decided duck hunting looked like fun......but I needed a dog. The best thing about this Lab was she was free.

    We worked a couple of weeks on hold. Then it took another three weeks to "convince" her she had to retrieve from water.
    That training was highly unconventional, but it worked. We soon after went duck hunting (first time for both of us) and I
    had a pocket full of rocks. When she didn't see where a duck fell, I threw rocks and she'd "follow" the splashes. It wasn't
    long before I could fake throwing a rock and she went in the direction of my arm's motion. "Voila!", she was handling on
    cold blinds. I think we lost one bird in three years of hunting. I laugh about it every time the memory pops up. That was
    about fifty years ago.


    The convincing her to retrieve from water was....let's just say amusing.....now.
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 01-12-2020 at 10:24 AM.
    Jim Boyer KwickLabsii.com

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  3. #32
    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MooseGooser View Post
    Just my Opinion:

    A dog that can reliable Mark and retrieve doubles from distances between 35 to 80 yards,,and can run a simple blind ,taking correct casts to get the dog downwind of where a bird fell,, is all the Hunting dog you need..

    What is nice to have is a compliant dog.. A dog that is comfortable sitting queitly in a blind,and when sent for a mark,,,,MARKS… and when handled takes casts reasonably well..

    A Reliable Senior/Seasoned level dog fits that bill just fine..

    The training involved to getting a dog to that level, imho, would be a dog just into transition.. all steps before this is the same no matter what final goals you have..

    For a hunting dog,, Solid obedience is a must.. (Its the first step in BASICS) It makes your day afield more of a pleasure..

    COMPLIANT... in the Uplands consists of staying in gun range, has a deliberate dedicated hunt attitude, and quarters in front.. When the bird flushes,,dog will Sit" and is steady till sent to retrieve..

    Most any program will get you there... I personally,, would look close at Hillmann.. He does use the collar, and he FF's,, but,, his methods are different..

    Again,,, JMHO

    This does a great job of describing my first (and best for me) lab. I found him in Corpus Christi, don't remember how. No health certs or anything. I eventually had his hips x-rayed and they weren't bad, but not great either. Had some pretty bad skin allergies and that translated into lick granulomas and constant ear infections, but he loved to retrieve and had a great nose. He was born 12/31/79. I shot my first bird over him opening weekend of white wing season (first weekend of Sept.) when he was exactly 8 months old. He retrieved hundreds of dove and a few score ducks over his 12 years of active life. I only remember losing 3 birds in that whole time. If he missed a mark or it was a blind, I just had to get him down wind and the tail would start going in circles until he found the bird. I can't remember if it was his first or second season, but we were invited to go out dove hunting with some of Pam's coworkers. I was the only one with a dog. We were hunting stretched out far enough to not be in lethal range of each other. The fellow nearest to us knocked a bird down in a pretty good sized motte of South Texas thorn scrub. Would have been hard to get in on your hands and knees. I walked the dog over to the edge of the motte and sent him in to "seek". A minute or two later, out he comes with the bird. Actually amazed all of us. As far as I know he hadn't seen it fall, but the nose knows. To finish the story, I walked over and handed the bird to my friend, he walked back to where he was hunting and put it in his bag (which was lying on the ground). We went back to hunting, but it was slow, and I wasn't paying enough attention to my pup. All of a sudden I hear Bill yelling. My dog had trotted over to him, stuck his head in the bird bag, picked out "our" bird, and was bringing it back to me. He knew who his pack was. My ideal dog would be my first dog's head and personality, my second dog's coat, and King's hips and athleticism. Gonna be hard to find.

    HPL
    Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
    (John Dewey)

    Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
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  4. #33
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    I just circled back around here to see what others recommended, in case something interesting was mentioned.

    Reading the thread got me to thinking, Hugh.

    Why do you really want something sans the e-collar or "force fetch". Mike mentioned Hillmann does things differently but there's really only one thing Bill does in his materials, which is that he relies on just above perceivable pressure and a lot of repetition to get the point across.

    No disrespect to your wishes and this isn't meant to be a "you're crazy if you don't" statement. Truly, to each their own, especially if someone wants to use LESS pressure... but...

    I wonder if (in a general sense) trying to avoid the tools and process can actually put MORE pressure on the dog in the end? I suppose that depends on someone's maturity level and temperament. Unless you get a very high drive, easily teachable pup (I hope you do), most people aren't likely to have the patience it takes to forgo the collar or FF. I can see some folks who are interested in this but also have a tendency to get easily frustrated becoming a very confusing human from the dog's perspective. People get sort of passive aggressive at times when they and the dog aren't equipped to perform well. It all starts out fine but it ends in raised voices and sometimes raised hands that are more confusing than educational for the dog on the receiving end.

    That's not a judgement - nor an accusation - not anything of the sort. It's just an observation I've made over the years about what people do. I see a lot that wouldn't let me put an e-collar on their precious little foo foo but have no problem screaming at the top of their lungs while looming over the poor dog like King Kong reincarnate. The collar would be so much easier both physically and mentally at times that it seems criminal to forgo it's usage.

    Wish you luck. Just thinking some self examination of the "why" behind the decision not to FF or use a collar might be meaningful for people.

    The collar is a scalpel, not a hammer. FF is a just a process despite the (unattractive) words and horrible stories we've all heard. It can all be done and used with care, faithfully and without any harm to your pup. Really, it can.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 01-13-2020 at 09:15 PM.
    Darrin Greene

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  6. #34
    Senior Member Tobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    It's just an observation I've made over the years about what people do. I see a lot that wouldn't let me put an e-collar on their precious little foo foo but have no problem screaming at the top of their lungs while looming over the poor dog like King Kong reincarnate.
    hahahahaha! Truth~!
    The way I look at it, every dog is an opportunity to be a better trainer, and every day is a new day to be a better trainer to the same dog we trained yesterday.

  7. #35
    Senior Member fishduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    I just circled back around here to see what others recommended, in case something interesting was mentioned.

    Reading the thread got me to thinking, Hugh.

    Why do you really want something sans the e-collar or "force fetch". Mike mentioned Hillmann does things differently but there's really only one thing Bill does in his materials, which is that he relies on just above perceivable pressure and a lot of repetition to get the point across.

    No disrespect to your wishes and this isn't meant to be a "you're crazy if you don't" statement. Truly, to each their own, especially if someone wants to use LESS pressure... but...

    I wonder if (in a general sense) trying to avoid the tools and process can actually put MORE pressure on the dog in the end? I suppose that depends on someone's maturity level and temperament. Unless you get a very high drive, easily teachable pup (I hope you do), most people aren't likely to have the patience it takes to forgo the collar or FF. I can see some folks who are interested in this but also have a tendency to get easily frustrated becoming a very confusing human from the dog's perspective. People get sort of passive aggressive at times when they and the dog aren't equipped to perform well. It all starts out fine but it ends in raised voices and sometimes raised hands that are more confusing than educational for the dog on the receiving end.

    That's not a judgement - nor an accusation - not anything of the sort. It's just an observation I've made over the years about what people do. I see a lot that wouldn't let me put an e-collar on their precious little foo foo but have no problem screaming at the top of their lungs while looming over the poor dog like King Kong reincarnate. The collar would be so much easier both physically and mentally at times that it seems criminal to forgo it's usage.

    Wish you luck. Just thinking some self examination of the "why" behind the decision not to FF or use a collar might be meaningful for people.

    The collar is a scalpel, not a hammer. FF is a just a process despite the (unattractive) words and horrible stories we've all heard. It can all be done and used with care, faithfully and without any harm to your pup. Really, it can.
    Very intuitive post!!! My personal experience mirrors your post. The dog I trained sans collar via Waterdog received more mental and physical pressure than any of the following dogs using modern e-collar methodology.
    Mark Land

  8. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishduck View Post
    Very intuitive post!!! My personal experience mirrors your post. The dog I trained sans collar via Waterdog received more mental and physical pressure than any of the following dogs using modern e-collar methodology.
    +1. My older dog does not hunt with a collar on, except maybe the first trip, but I train with it constantly on. I can count on one hand the number of corrections she gets in a full weekend of training. But if I need it, I got it. Cost is small, compared to the ability to get perfect timing of correction. Of course praise has to be given with good timing too. To them putting the collar on is part of getting ready to have fun, have to be careful not to make them collar wise but it can be done.

    As far as FF, that is a step I will never skip. Its not about picking stuff up, it mainly to teach a dog how to handle and get out of pressure. Pressure can come from many different sources in addition to the collar. FF teaches them that non-compliance is not an option, along with good teaching and conditioning.

    But most importantly, have fun with the dog, get that special connection we all want with our dogs. Plently of used collar for sale and some models without all the bells and whistles that you likely don't need. Best of luck in the future, and we are all here for you as all of us have gone through what you are going thru.
    Last edited by NateB; 01-14-2020 at 12:16 PM.
    Nate Baxter, DVM
    Clarksville, OH

  9. #37
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishduck View Post
    Very intuitive post!!! My personal experience mirrors your post. The dog I trained sans collar via Waterdog received more mental and physical pressure than any of the following dogs using modern e-collar methodology.
    Takes a lot to come out and say that Mark. Thank you.
    Darrin Greene

  10. #38
    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    I just circled back around here to see what others recommended, in case something interesting was mentioned.

    Reading the thread got me to thinking, Hugh.

    Why do you really want something sans the e-collar or "force fetch". Mike mentioned Hillmann does things differently but there's really only one thing Bill does in his materials, which is that he relies on just above perceivable pressure and a lot of repetition to get the point across.

    No disrespect to your wishes and this isn't meant to be a "you're crazy if you don't" statement. Truly, to each their own, especially if someone wants to use LESS pressure... but...

    I wonder if (in a general sense) trying to avoid the tools and process can actually put MORE pressure on the dog in the end? I suppose that depends on someone's maturity level and temperament. Unless you get a very high drive, easily teachable pup (I hope you do), most people aren't likely to have the patience it takes to forgo the collar or FF. I can see some folks who are interested in this but also have a tendency to get easily frustrated becoming a very confusing human from the dog's perspective. People get sort of passive aggressive at times when they and the dog aren't equipped to perform well. It all starts out fine but it ends in raised voices and sometimes raised hands that are more confusing than educational for the dog on the receiving end.

    That's not a judgement - nor an accusation - not anything of the sort. It's just an observation I've made over the years about what people do. I see a lot that wouldn't let me put an e-collar on their precious little foo foo but have no problem screaming at the top of their lungs while looming over the poor dog like King Kong reincarnate. The collar would be so much easier both physically and mentally at times that it seems criminal to forgo it's usage.

    Wish you luck. Just thinking some self examination of the "why" behind the decision not to FF or use a collar might be meaningful for people.

    The collar is a scalpel, not a hammer. FF is a just a process despite the (unattractive) words and horrible stories we've all heard. It can all be done and used with care, faithfully and without any harm to your pup. Really, it can.

    Have been reading a fair amount over the last week and came across this as a partial counterpoint to your position: (Emphasis mine.)

    It's often said that force fetch, and by proxy field trials (at least in the retriever world), is responsible for changing the disposition of the Labrador retriever. The contention is that force fetch, via training methodologies and breeding based upon trial success, has created a Lab that's too high powered, too hard headed, and too much dog for the average gun dog owner. The idea is that now the tail is wagging the dog, so to speak, and that continual breeding of dogs that could withstand the pressure of force fetch and the demands of high-stakes field trials has created a modern-day Labrador that now has to be force fetched; a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Hugh
    Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
    (John Dewey)

    Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
    (George Washington)

    Gig'em Aggies!! BTCO'77HOO t.u.!!

    www.HughLieck.photoshelter.com

  11. #39
    Member Gray_Chin's Avatar
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    Just my 0.2 from one hunter to another...pick up a copy of James Spencer - Training Retrievers for the Marshes and Meadows, this is pre e-collar advice, and has the best FF program I have seen in print or video...the other thing about FF is that there is no set time, so you don't have to decide right now...but I agree with Nate's reasoning 100%.

    One more thing to add about the e-collar and hunting, I don't know about your style, but I hunt some pretty dangerous conditions at times and knowing I have long range control is a safety issue...moving water and very cold temps or what if that sailed cripple gets up and heads toward a road? It is so effective and humane I would never consider not using it...I'm very sorry about your dog and I hope you and your new puppy share many years and many mornings together.
    "You've got to suffer!" - Gordon MacQuarrie



  12. #40
    Senior Member Bryan Parks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPL View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    I just circled back around here to see what others recommended, in case something interesting was mentioned.

    Reading the thread got me to thinking, Hugh.

    Why do you really want something sans the e-collar or "force fetch". Mike mentioned Hillmann does things differently but there's really only one thing Bill does in his materials, which is that he relies on just above perceivable pressure and a lot of repetition to get the point across.

    No disrespect to your wishes and this isn't meant to be a "you're crazy if you don't" statement. Truly, to each their own, especially if someone wants to use LESS pressure... but...

    I wonder if (in a general sense) trying to avoid the tools and process can actually put MORE pressure on the dog in the end? I suppose that depends on someone's maturity level and temperament. Unless you get a very high drive, easily teachable pup (I hope you do), most people aren't likely to have the patience it takes to forgo the collar or FF. I can see some folks who are interested in this but also have a tendency to get easily frustrated becoming a very confusing human from the dog's perspective. People get sort of passive aggressive at times when they and the dog aren't equipped to perform well. It all starts out fine but it ends in raised voices and sometimes raised hands that are more confusing than educational for the dog on the receiving end.

    That's not a judgement - nor an accusation - not anything of the sort. It's just an observation I've made over the years about what people do. I see a lot that wouldn't let me put an e-collar on their precious little foo foo but have no problem screaming at the top of their lungs while looming over the poor dog like King Kong reincarnate. The collar would be so much easier both physically and mentally at times that it seems criminal to forgo it's usage.

    Wish you luck. Just thinking some self examination of the "why" behind the decision not to FF or use a collar might be meaningful for people.

    The collar is a scalpel, not a hammer. FF is a just a process despite the (unattractive) words and horrible stories we've all heard. It can all be done and used with care, faithfully and without any harm to your pup. Really, it can.

    Have been reading a fair amount over the last week and came across this as a partial counterpoint to your position: (Emphasis mine.)

    It's often said that force fetch, and by proxy field trials (at least in the retriever world), is responsible for changing the disposition of the Labrador retriever. The contention is that force fetch, via training methodologies and breeding based upon trial success, has created a Lab that's too high powered, too hard headed, and too much dog for the average gun dog owner. The idea is that now the tail is wagging the dog, so to speak, and that continual breeding of dogs that could withstand the pressure of force fetch and the demands of high-stakes field trials has created a modern-day Labrador that now has to be force fetched; a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Hugh
    Any time I read "has to be force fetched" or "could withstand the pressure of force fetch" It immediately discredits the author in my opinion.
    Last edited by Bryan Parks; 01-15-2020 at 05:54 PM.
    HRCH Washita's Kimber Locked N Loaded

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