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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Steadying up my dog for seniors. So far so good. For those who hunt and compete with your dogs out of hunt season, is expecting your dog to be steady in the goose pit the same steady protocol as hunt test?
 

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Absolutely your high standards should apply in test and the blind. Plus its much safer for everyone.
 

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If they are steady they seem to pay attention more and can alert you to birds before you even see them.
 

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Macks Prairie Wings has a TV commercial of a guy in a rice field positioning to shoot and his dog jumping out in front of him to retrieve. It is the worst commercial I have ever seen since;

#1 the dog is not steady!

#2 the dog is now deaf!

#3 the dog may someday succumb to accidental gunshot!

#4 the hunter is a fool to let the above happen!

I realize it is a commercial but I sure do hate that commercial!

Sorry for distracting from the thread.
 

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My standard for steady during hunting is higher than at hunt test. Hunting we have loaded shotguns and real opportunitys for accidents.

A friend of mine who hunts quite a bit and runs seniors said his dog was steady about 60% of the time during duck season. He didnt understand why his dog broke at about 40% of the tests that he ran.
 

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Consistency,consistency,consistency,consistency..................Jim
 

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Consistency,consistency,consistency,consistency..................Jim
What he said. My dogs are rock solid steady in the blind, so they damn sure better be anywhere else.
 

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I have my first dog since I was a kid. He's through Jr, Started and needs one more pass or 10 pts for his Seasoned title. Going to run him in Sr. this weekend.

While he's steady hunting, he's a cheaty bastage and I allowed him to cheat around water while hunting. I'm now paying the price trying to undo that. I made a mistake and should have maintained standards.

So to answer your question...absolutely maintain your standards while hunting and make him be steady in the blind/pit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the input. Great insight on safety Taterboy. My dog just turned 1 and I took her on controlled hunts. Myself and one other in the pit. I held her with a lead while my buddy banged away. Shot my birds for me. Never let her break. Great thought Cowtown on paying the price for allowing short cuts early on.
 

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Had a few young dogs get their butts kicked, the first time we took them hunting in a pit, also had a few young and not so young hunters get their butts kicked with using a break open shotgun in a pit. So much can go wrong and your right at the prefect level to get a dog or hunting partner killed should they suddenly move the wrong way as the geese are coming in. Much more dangerous than hunting out of an above ground blind. Your dog needs to be perfectly steady, and stay in his assigned place when hunting out of a pit, no exceptions. I like to use a mud-hut that way I and the dog know where he's supposed to be & stay until released, makes it a lot easier to correct. Make sure you choose your hunting partners wisely when training for pit work, they really need to be aware of the dog. I think your smart to keep her on lead until your absolutely sure of her steadiness.
 

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I don't hunt young dogs out of pits. I think it is easier for my dogs to maintian their standard if they can see what is going on. I hunt them out of field blinds where they are concealed but can see what is taking place. Seems it's easier for them to resist the urge to break than if they are in a pit struggling to see a fall. Just my experience with the pits i've hunted. When we hunt the dog is expected to hold the same standards as we train. No freebies
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Winger,
When I say pit I should clarify. We hunt out of ditches or camo wood pallet blinds. She always had 180 vision of falls. She even experienced holding steady (with a lead) with some lessers in the decoys as we were calling in more birds. What I did not do with her on the controlled hunts I took her on (2 guys in blind) is make her wait for the birds to comeback in after we had knocked a few down. I let her go on command and she did great. I know being steady will be a must down the road. Senior hunt test plus bird hunting. I like the no freebies concept. We hunt as many as 6 from the blinds we hunt in and honestly having her under control could save her life and perhaps someone elses :)
 

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That makes it easier imo then. This was my pups first year under the gun. I put him in situations to succeed. We didn't hunt with other dogs at the first of season so no competative drive to get there first and then when we started w 2 dogs we only went with steady to shot dogs. I didn't shoot much at first either. Spent my time dealing with him. It payed off in the long run. He didn't get away with a thing which was nice getting back into test training. Only thing we had to work rust off were cheaty marks and channel blinds. Some will disagree but i believe dogs figure out the difference between hunting and test. Don't give them slack while hunting, the test stuff becomes a breeze. Hope i don't regret saying that:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Winger, been working casting drills with my dog and she's coming along. Her remote sit is still sloppy. If I send her on a pattern blind I read that 1 out of every 5 you should sit whistle and then give her a cast. She is ignoring my whistle. We do back yard drills and she's fine. Out in the field different story. Any thoughts?
 

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I always have thoughts, just not always right with them:). I have one who gets to be a sloppy sitter as well, always stops just sits half azzed. I take him back to pile work to clean them up. I keep it short, give him a lot of freebies to the pile without sit whistles. It's has worked for me to clean sits up. Probably get better advice from someone here though. Im in my infancy as a trainer so i only know what has worked for me. Having a lot of fun learning though. Is the dog blowing off sit whistles on pattern blinds but fine on everything else? Might be time to back up a bit and really reinforce the remote sit as everytime the dog blows you off on a pattern blind it's getting a bumper. Not the right signal you want. I'd back up and get the remote sit solid then run a pattern blind on a check chord once you are sattisfied the sit is understood completely. That way yu will have control on the sit whistle during the pattern blind as well as pressure
 

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Macks Prairie Wings has a TV commercial of a guy in a rice field positioning to shoot and his dog jumping out in front of him to retrieve. It is the worst commercial I have ever seen since;

#1 the dog is not steady!

#2 the dog is now deaf!

#3 the dog may someday succumb to accidental gunshot!

#4 the hunter is a fool to let the above happen!

I realize it is a commercial but I sure do hate that commercial!

Sorry for distracting from the thread.

I agree. I remember commenting about that commercial when it came out, and got blasted on another forum.

There is a John Dahl article in one of the past Retriever Journals about the requirements for a good hunting dog being greater than the needs for the hunt test dog. It's a good read, and something to consider.
 
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