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Discussion Starter #1
I am the new guy here, and have a random question for you all. I have a 9 month old Pup. I have had him since the 7 week mark. He is not my first pup. I have been training for about 8 years now. (both my labs and helping friends.) I feel like I am at a cross roads of sorts and would love some advice from those of you who have trained a high volume of dogs.

I train every day and work very hard at obedience. He has completed his yard work, force fetch and delivers to hand reliably. He not fully collar conditioned (admittedly not my strongest area of training.) He has a ton of retrieve drive and is compliant in most instances. However, he is a very vocal dog. I have tried hard from day 1 to not allow him to whine or carry on. When I'm training with other dogs around he is almost uncontrollable. I don't expect him to be perfect at 9 months by any means, but he whines constantly and loudly the entire time; walking at heel and sitting steady awaiting the retrieve. He gets so wild that when I send him on a mark he tears off the line howling! His heel is unreal, pulling and pulling. I cannot get any of his attention while we are training around other dogs. He is even that way when I'm at the HRC club at the line with all other dogs put away.

I am a serious waterfowler and I am very concerned that he will be a dog that simply cannot be quiet in the blind and work with other dogs.

So in many of your expert opinions would you have strong concerns about the future success of this pup as a waterfowl dog? Also, have any of you seen pups that get that excited at this early of an age that "grows out" of this kind of behavior?

I would appreciate any thoughts and advice you all might have for me. THANK you in advance!
 

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I think I saw a youtube video that Even Graham had where he made a good point. The dogs that have this "problem" have it because they are dogs worth having. They're bred to want the bird so bad they'll do what it takes to get it for us.

That perspective helped me because the dog in my avatar is Ram-Jet-Rocket-Dog... she's everything you describe. She is 19 months old. We don't have the problem licked yet, but she's making steady progress. There is no magic bullet. There may be ways to get the job done quickly, but I'm pretty sure they aren't permanent fixes. Here's what we're doing...

First, she got her basics from a pro. Just saying that as a disclaimer. But that's neither here nor there. She didn't display her vocal-crazy-line manners in the yard. She began to have them when she got to the field and discovered crack-cocaine in the form of ducks. Dead ducks launched from a winger. God only knows what she'd do with a shot flyer. I guess that would be like mainlining it. Straight into her blood stream and to her brainstem.

Anyhow, we simply deny her the retrieve. If she is getting crazy, whining, quivering and dropping down into "launch position", dancing and creeping, or any combination of the above.... she goes back to the truck. We don't get on her particularly hard, we just snap a tab on her collar and pull her to the truck saying "QUIET! QUIET! QUIET!"

Then every evening, at home, she gets to sit on the patio and watch me put her dinner bowl about 20 feet away in the yard. I walk back to her and demand perfect "line" manners. Make her "HEEL!" (which for us means her toenails no further forward than my shoelaces...) put my hand down, count to three, then say her name.

Same thing to exit her run. Or exit the truck. Or go in or out of a door.

We've been doing this since the first week in March. Has she gotten a lot of marks? Nope. I can probably count them on the fingers of one hand. But if we don't get this problem solved now... her marking ability or lack thereof will become moot.
 

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Your dogs vocalization stems from anticipation of what is about to occur . Just because a dog is vocal while sitting on the line waiting for guns to go off ,has very little to do with what happens in the duck blind. They are 2 different contexts . Hunting has great variables where HTs have somewhat of a cadence to it.
I own a dog who can get vocal on the line,but is quiet as a church mouth while hunting.
Don't confuse excitement with drive,,,they are 2 different characteristics. One of coarse heightens the other but they don't necessarily go hand in hand.
she may always be a pain for you to train but there still is a great chance that she could be a quiet hunting dog,,its all up to your approach.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone! All great stuff. I do agree with Graham that desire is crucial in a dog and you want to harness that and foster that intensity. I have been trying to get him to stop whining by addressing it. I'll go with the "ignore" method and try that. I read through the post from Randy on his 10 month old dog. Great wisdom! I have been doing lots of denials when training, but when he gets like that around other dogs, I think I'll have to be prepared for him to receive no retrieves for a while until he learns to calm down. I have been keeping him in his kennel until his turn is up at the line. Maybe I'll try putting him on a tie out well away from the line but still close enough to see what's happening.

I'm encouraged that some have had a dog act one way on the line and another in the blind. I think I just needed some reassurance that this can be fixed over time. My senior dog has almost a thousand birds in his career and I made him gunshy at 7 months due to my ignorance and poor decisions as a brand new owner/trainer. It took me months to rehab him, but we got through it and have had the most amazing 8 seasons together!

Thanks again for the wisdom! I appreciate it.
 

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Tie out stakes will make your dog worse...not advisable....Randy
 

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Randy outlines a solid approach for us all in that thread. Why would you do something different?

You might, if you knew something about the dog that we all don't know but then, you wouldn't be asking the question if you were in that position.
 

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Whining and control issues ?.....I thought this thread might be about my ex...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, wow. Thanks for letting me know. I guess I misunderstood the other thread. I'll go reread it so I don't screw it up. I thought I read something to the effect of let the dog watch and not respond to him when he carries on until he finally relaxes. If that is the case, you mean to have him on leash at heel during that time. Part of my problem is that I almost primarily train alone. I love training with others, but the club is a 30 minute drive from my house which makes it difficult to do often. Thanks for the response...off to reread the previous thread.
 

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Oh, wow. Thanks for letting me know. I guess I misunderstood the other thread. I'll go reread it so I don't screw it up. I thought I read something to the effect of let the dog watch and not respond to him when he carries on until he finally relaxes. If that is the case, you mean to have him on leash at heel during that time. Part of my problem is that I almost primarily train alone. I love training with others, but the club is a 30 minute drive from my house which makes it difficult to do often. Thanks for the response...off to reread the previous thread.
30 minutes? If you aren't willing or don't have the time to drive an hour round trip to train, you may find any success difficult to come by.
 

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30 minutes? If you aren't willing or don't have the time to drive an hour round trip to train, you may find any success difficult to come by.
It sure is difficult and not ideal, but not impossible. I have a busy and varying work schedule so I have to train at random times. I do put in my time and I do try and train with buddies if I can. its certainly not an issue of willingness. I do drive up there at least 1 time per week most weeks, sometimes 2 if. Some weeks not at all. This darn work thing really gets in the way of training. :)
 

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Quote: I completely trust you. I'm just curious for future training. Why is that not advisable? Because the dog is not at heel where I can control him?. .

Not Randy but I know he would make you think to find an answer until your ears bleed. After racking your brain for however long and not coming up with good answer, you might be fed the answer or not.
 

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Oh, wow. Thanks for letting me know. I guess I misunderstood the other thread. I'll go reread it so I don't screw it up. I thought I read something to the effect of let the dog watch and not respond to him when he carries on until he finally relaxes. If that is the case, you mean to have him on leash at heel during that time. Part of my problem is that I almost primarily train alone. I love training with others, but the club is a 30 minute drive from my house which makes it difficult to do often. Thanks for the response...off to reread the previous thread.
30 minutes Wouldn't that be great.
 

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pretty simple, no need for bleeding ears

putting the dog on a stake out does nothing to help change his viewpoint of whose driving the bus nor what the expectations are

you can't change the dog's behavior in a given context unless you train in that context
 

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I have this dog! He's 4 now and still a real pain to train in a group with guns in the field. As a hunting dog he's very good out by ourselves or even with another dog. He's quiet, sometimes I wish he'd do something when I don't see the birds coming. He just sits there and watches them come and go, then looks at me like I'm stupid. So there is hope for a great hunting dog, but I think it's always going to be tough training for us.
 

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Check out the huntsmith site and review the "figure 8" to put an end to the whining. Dealing with these issues with my boykin and the figure 8 had been working well. I have him on the stake out. Watching other dogs run and he gets to go when he's still and quiet. Might be worth a shot.
 
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