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Did yor dog have it figured out or did he have to learn it like everything else

  • My HT/FT dog hunted fine the first time out.

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  • My HT/FT dog needed to learn hunting skills just like everything else

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  • My HT/FT dog does not get hunted

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  • Other - The obligatory other - Explain

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Discussion Starter #1
Those that hunt with their test dogs, did the dog just have it based on training for HT/FT or did he have to be taught additional hunting skills and learn to work things out afield.
 

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I remember it well...we were hunting Snow Geese on Maryland's Eastern Shore. My NAHRA MHR at less than 2 years of age (pre-DFT) was a beast! Snows were working the decoys but he wouldn't look up, he would only look across the spread at the guy blowing the call because HE KNEW birds don't come from the sky, they come from guys blowing calls. :shock:

Joe S.
 

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dogs

I have Labs for both hunting and Ft's. I have taken my Ft dog hunting and the only thing that the dog really had to adjust to was when the shotguns went off, the dog had a tendency to look down the horizon as opposed to looking up. Didn't take long to catch on the the birds where in the sky and not in the next county over the horizon.
 

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First time out Blunder marked ever bird that everyone else on the marsh shot, but never saw a bird that I shot. He had to learn how to mark all over again, he had to learn how to find crips, divers and all the rest.
There is a hell of a lot more to a good duck dog than one will ever see at a f/t-h/t. Just like there is a hell of a lot more to a good trial-test dog than you will see in the duck blind.
IMHO its apples & oranges
There are dogs that do both well, but they have to be taught how to do both well. At least the only judges in the marsh are the ducks though :roll:

tom
 

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the hunting part was fine with daisy,however, the waiting part sucked! i'm convinced that even now she thinks i'm holding out on her....."if dad would just blow the funny whistle the ducks would come......so blow the dang thing, will ya"!!!!

belle waits much better,thank god!

as with anything we do with these dogs,repetition and exposure= success. there are certain skills they need to develop to be a proficient hunting dog. they only know what we teach them, and that has to be done on the job.-paul
 

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Re: dogs

Mr Booty said:
I have Labs for both hunting and Ft's. I have taken my Ft dog hunting and the only thing that the dog really had to adjust to was when the shotguns went off, the dog had a tendency to look down the horizon as opposed to looking up. Didn't take long to catch on the the birds where in the sky and not in the next county over the horizon.
Big Ditto there Mr. Booty. I don't know if my trial dog will ever be the gundog I want him to be. He just doesn't like that gun going off over his head. I have never had a problem with this in the past with any of my other trial dogs. He's not at all gun shy but he anticipates the shot. The gun itself seems to bother him more than the noise. He'll mark and pick up the birds like always when he sees them. The problem is he wants to turn his head away when I pull the gun up to shoot and sometimes misses the mark. I've only hunted over him twice so I can only hope that he will get better with time and I'm sure he will.
 

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My meat dog Dutch was spectacular in his prime, but he's 11 now and can't hear or chooses not to. In any event, it's time to put the trial dogs to work.

Last year I sent them with Schraeder in Dec and Jan so they would get worked and not sit in the kennel while I guided. I had a yeller dog that was just breaking out and the old man. Aslo Archie and Gracie's momma Dottie, but her dual knee operation wouldn't let her stay in the cold long. My collar broke and the result was not enough corrections made and some birds lost to breaking and some clients really torqued.

So, time to put the "A" team to work. Guys who pay you $300 a day to duck hunt deserve well-mannered dogs than can mark and run great blinds. So Archie and Gracie now will get lots of flyers and honoring and big water blinds on the lake.

I'll tell you how it affects them next February when I resume FT training.
 

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All my dogs were somewhat rough their first time out. But with a little "help" 8) . They were just fine. You bet, the field trial and hunt test dogs get hunted along with the "meat" dogs. I take client dogs out, with permission, every chance I get.

Angie
 

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My mutt would watch the guy blowing the duck call, but once the birds started dropping he picked it up quickly! I'm positive his training for HT helped him be a better hunter....he was steady, listened to commands, didn't ruin the hunt!

FOM
 

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No matter what, anytime you or your dog does something for the first time new skills are needed to be learned. This is as simple as a new concept. There is no way a dog hunts for the very first time and doesn't have some skills it needs to work on and learn.

The only type of hunting I can think of that you can truely come close to simulating is a dove hunt.

No dog, on their first hunt, is ready for 20+ flushing pheasants all around him, or 200 BIG MALLARDS swinging all around with 4 guns up and blazing. It all takes exposure.
 

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The first time duck hunting my dog acted like she'd done it all of her life. She was older though & had a lot of hunt tests under her belt, so I'm sure that's why. Steady, good marking, etc.

Upland was another matter because I think she expected a flush in the first five minutes & was anticipating a sit whistle. Some upland tests just aren't able to replicate a real hunt (i.e fields that don't lend themselves to a place where you'd find birds or not enough scent to keep the dog interested & hunting). So I took her out for planted chukkars & pheasants on a great farm w/ natural habitat. I didn't wwatch the birds being planted nor did I have them flagged, so I wouldn't be overhandling her to spots where I knew the birds would be. A few times doing this & her realizing she could trust her nose & she really has turned into a great upland dog. Trails like a dream & will bust the heavy cover.

Hunting is such a great way to reward the dog for all the contrived stuff they're sometimes asked to do.

M
 

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Ken Newcomb said:
No matter what, anytime you or your dog does something for the first time new skills are needed to be learned. This is as simple as a new concept. There is no way a dog hunts for the very first time and doesn't have some skills it needs to work on and learn.

The only type of hunting I can think of that you can truely come close to simulating is a dove hunt.

No dog, on their first hunt, is ready for 20+ flushing pheasants all around him, or 200 BIG MALLARDS swinging all around with 4 guns up and blazing. It all takes exposure.
Well said Ken,

I've found Da Bull can discern the 'hunting/testing' difference, given just a brief training refresher. The only time he's ever broken for me in a test was an AKC affair in early March in California. I hadn't had the chance to do any training after the hunting season, so he was still in the mindset when seeing a flying rooster go down, he was after it. That's the way we hunt them. Only, this time it was a traditional breaking test, and the cackling ringneck was magnificent, and the gunners dropped him in a puff of floating feathers 20 yards from the line, and Bull was on his way. My "NO" instantly brought him back to realizing this was a test, but the book was closed. It wasn't his fault, only mine. :oops: :?

UB...recalling that I still got a prize for my entry fee...we were the entry from the farthest distance. hehhehhehheh :lol:
 

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The skills are very similar so they do pick up on hunting very quickly. It is nice to have the handling & obedience in a dog you take hunting. Waterfowl hunting seemed like a very easy transition. Upland does require some different skill sets. Dogs have to learn to quarter out in front rather than heel with you, it comes pretty naturally but you have to encourage them to start with. Then once they learn about quartering & flushing you have to teach them range. :roll:

Happy Hunting!
 

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Re: dogs

Mr Booty said:
. . . .the only thing that the dog really had to adjust to was when the shotguns went off, the dog had a tendency to look down the horizon as opposed to looking up.
Ditto.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Someone posted here a week or so back about their young dog (I think it was 8 ? months) figuring crippled divers out right away. It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I find that a great hunting skill. A hunting dog that has that figured out, to me, is a gift.

My dog does not have divers figured out and if he doesn?t figure it out on his own, it is a skill I am going to spend a good amount of time trying to teach.

Teaching a dog to be steady at the line in a test and teaching a dog to stay in the hunting blind are 2 different things. My dog?s puppy year was a lost cause. Last year he was very rambunctious in the blind but by the end of the year he started to get it. This year, he is doing great, a ?little? whiney but good for the most part, quiet and steady. He is not relaxed. He is staying as a refection of obedience. I hope he learns to relax as well.

Honor??.well that is a whole nuther? issue. He wasn?t very good at it in tests. I have not hunted him in a blind with another dog yet. Hopefully, I will do it this year.

Pheasants: We only hunt stocked birds, I hunted him on pheasants last year and he sort of got it and by the end of the year he was starting to show some promise. This year he is becoming a dandy pheasant dog. I am watching him work out problems and get on a trail. He will track nose down, and then stand on his hind legs above the cover to scent high and low, just workin? it out. He is developing a real bird sense and it is a blast (pun intended) to hunt behind him. I only taught him to quarter and planted some birds when he was young. The rest he figured out on his own. Gaining experience.

I think dogs have to be taught additional skills as well as gain experience to be a good hunting dog.

Joe Miano
 

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Duchess was hunting the dove opener after just turning 3 months old. She was there for the teal opener a couple of weeks later. She was at the KS pheasant opener a few months later. She hunted big ducks 20+ times her first season at a ripe age of 5-7 months.

Her HT/FT career didn't start until after she learned to hunt.
 

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My hound retrieved the wad on the first duck that I shot over him. :oops: Took that first season for him and his newbie trainer to figure things out and apply the stuff we learned in training to things in the blind. The early struggles made me appreciate the later successes that much more.

CKR
 
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