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Thread: Eye On The Prize

  1. #11

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    I always bring my dogs to a JH title, usually within their first year. Bringing a bird to hand(especially a winged bird) and holding until the command is given to release is essential, in my opinion. Also, being driven to a hunt test title within the first year has in my experience created quite a never ending prey drive. Bird dog early, bird dog always.

  2. #12
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    Nov 2015
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    New England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chessie 67 View Post
    I always bring my dogs to a JH title, usually within their first year. Bringing a bird to hand(especially a winged bird) and holding until the command is given to release is essential, in my opinion. Also, being driven to a hunt test title within the first year has in my experience created quite a never ending prey drive. Bird dog early, bird dog always.
    Chessie 67

    I assume that by your reference to a "winged bird", you are making reference to a crippled bird as in this example.

    ZKV23LHARWSPOYwroJ%liQ_thumb_a259_Fotor.jpg

    MAC is seen here maintaining a HOLD on a very much alive / crippled rooster pheasant. MAC is expected to HOLD the bird until the command GIVE is issued, at which time he is expected to make delivery to hand as TRAINED. This is a critical skill for any competent gun dog as it prevents the loss of valuable game birds from potential escape during what otherwise would be a sloppy or incomplete retrieve. Delivery to hand is required in AKC Junior Hunter stakes and failure of the retriever to do so will result in the dog being disqualified.

    Chessie, good for you in establishing and maintaining a standard for your dogs. 👍

    Cheers,
    THE DOG WHISTLER ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸

  3. #13

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    We were in Kansas a couple of weeks ago. 7 of us were hunting a field when the dogs produced a 4 Rooster flush. 3 went down, 2 came right back with my two Chessies. They went back out to find the third. My youngest got on the track of the crippled bird and disappeared for about 10 minutes. She came back to me with the very picture you sent; Rooster in mouth very much alive. She delivered the bird. It turned out to be the retrieve you think about that stood out from that particular trip.

  4. #14
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    Nov 2015
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    New England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chessie 67 View Post
    We were in Kansas a couple of weeks ago. 7 of us were hunting a field when the dogs produced a 4 Rooster flush. 3 went down, 2 came right back with my two Chessies. They went back out to find the third. My youngest got on the track of the crippled bird and disappeared for about 10 minutes. She came back to me with the very picture you sent; Rooster in mouth very much alive. She delivered the bird. It turned out to be the retrieve you think about that stood out from that particular trip.
    Good on ye Mate and on ye young Chessie. Those are very special moments that make for fine memories.

    Cheers,
    THE DOG WHISTLER ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸

  5. #15
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    Nov 2015
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    New England
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    Aye Mates,

    I am a strong advocate of both HOLD and FORCE FETCH conditioning, the latter resulting in a dog that retrieves as a matter of compulsion. These methods of conditioning aid in minimizing the potential for mouth related problems betwixt the dog and birds. Time spent properly conditioning a dog to HOLD and to FETCH pays dividends in reliability and in the solidification of a dependable and classic retrieve of the bird to hand.

    Z8TE3NwoTmqa1vdNPbp39g_thumb_3f32_Fotor.jpg

    Gun dog trainee MAC is seen on the training table during a session of HOLD conditioning. Starting with my gloved hand, I progress by train ing the dog to HOLD a wide array of objects including frozen, fresh thawed, and fresh killed birds. The HOLD behavior is well generalized prior to our starting the process of FORCE FETCH conditioning. Regardless of a dog that exhibits a natural hold and or retrieve, the process of HOLD and FORCE FETCH conditioning results in a much more dependable and "clean" (no-mouthing problems) retrieve and a dog that is capable of handling training pressure.

    3g%7KAPFR06AvhsX+1Z8ww_thumb_4b8f_Fotor.jpg

    Gun dogs properly trained to retrieve completely to hand help in assuring that more birds are out in the bag with fewer precious game birds lost to escape.


    Cheers,
    THE DOG WHISTLER ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    252

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    I think there's a few different ideas of a trained dog here.... Will a dog with a good pedigree, prey drive, consistent exposure to birds (preferably wild) beginning at a young age, proper exposure to gun- naturally learn how to upland bird hunt over time? Yes, most of the time. Does that model work for most hunters out there? Yes.

    Will a "finished" trained dog have an even better prey drive, force fetched, collar conditioned, whistle commands, casting, etc? Yes, that dog will be far better in the field, house, obedience, everything.

    There is nothing wrong with either, most of it comes down to your lifestyle, time commitment, financial commitment, game you hunt, and amount of times you can hunt in a year.

  7. #17

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    To each his own. Having said that, I am concerned that my dogs don't screw up other guys' hunts...they need to stay in range. Also, I am adamant that they are reasonably obedient, AND are good citizens while afield and at camp. My dogs won't win any ribbons, though I have had a few that were sensational and may have! But I tend to fill up my vest on a pretty consistent basis, and that is indicative of something as it relates to my dogs, I believe. I admire the guys who take the time and have the discipline to take their dogs to the level being described here. I give my pups a sensational puppy season...my 9 month old lab has had at least 35 days in MT/ND/SD thus far, and she will get another 8-12 in SD before season ends, plus some time at game farms after that. This spring, at around 11 months she will go to the breeder/trainer and be force fetched and be given the basic gun dog routine...probably spend 10-12 weeks there. That will be that. The E collar will be exceedingly helpful going forward (I don't use one on pups), as will the force fetch training. Again, my dogs aren't ribbon-worthy, as I don't reinforce the training like I should...don't really care, personally. I have quite a few friends that really enjoy the dog games, and it becomes almost as big a deal to them as hunting! I own land in SD, and that is a big consumer of my time in the off season, taking care of food plots, spraying for thistle, etc, etc. Not like it takes a whole bunch of my time, but I am the land access guy, and I will be at a graduation in May, a wedding in June, and another wedding in August out in SD...all farmer's kids...was already at a funeral back in January of 2019 in SD and a visit to a sick farmer in ND in May and the funeral for said farmer in June of this year. I probably make 4-5 trips a year to ND/SD for these things, which may be an excuse, but having a highly polished dog just isn't a huge deal to me...very cool, for sure...kind of like shooting...I may do a round or two of sporting clays in the summer, or a few rounds of skeet, but I don't spend too much time doing that...I am not a great shot, but I kill my fair share of birds without missing too many "gimmees"...and I kill my fair share of tough birds...but I am not a great shot, I just shoot where the bird is going to be, not where it is...seems to work!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    New England
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
    I think there's a few different ideas of a trained dog here.... Will a dog with a good pedigree, prey drive, consistent exposure to birds (preferably wild) beginning at a young age, proper exposure to gun- naturally learn how to upland bird hunt over time? Yes, most of the time. Does that model work for most hunters out there? Yes.

    Will a "finished" trained dog have an even better prey drive, force fetched, collar conditioned, whistle commands, casting, etc? Yes, that dog will be far better in the field, house, obedience, everything.

    There is nothing wrong with either, most of it comes down to your lifestyle, time commitment, financial commitment, game you hunt, and amount of times you can hunt in a year.
    Jackrabbit,
    Indeed you are right and there is no argument from me with ye point well made. My point was simply that a dog really just does not train itself, and that color of a dog has little to do with performance outcome. By all means , to each their own.

    Mike ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    New England
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by benelli-banger View Post
    To each his own. Having said that, I am concerned that my dogs don't screw up other guys' hunts...they need to stay in range. Also, I am adamant that they are reasonably obedient, AND are good citizens while afield and at camp. My dogs won't win any ribbons, though I have had a few that were sensational and may have! But I tend to fill up my vest on a pretty consistent basis, and that is indicative of something as it relates to my dogs, I believe. I admire the guys who take the time and have the discipline to take their dogs to the level being described here. I give my pups a sensational puppy season...my 9 month old lab has had at least 35 days in MT/ND/SD thus far, and she will get another 8-12 in SD before season ends, plus some time at game farms after that. This spring, at around 11 months she will go to the breeder/trainer and be force fetched and be given the basic gun dog routine...probably spend 10-12 weeks there. That will be that. The E collar will be exceedingly helpful going forward (I don't use one on pups), as will the force fetch training. Again, my dogs aren't ribbon-worthy, as I don't reinforce the training like I should...don't really care, personally. I have quite a few friends that really enjoy the dog games, and it becomes almost as big a deal to them as hunting! I own land in SD, and that is a big consumer of my time in the off season, taking care of food plots, spraying for thistle, etc, etc. Not like it takes a whole bunch of my time, but I am the land access guy, and I will be at a graduation in May, a wedding in June, and another wedding in August out in SD...all farmer's kids...was already at a funeral back in January of 2019 in SD and a visit to a sick farmer in ND in May and the funeral for said farmer in June of this year. I probably make 4-5 trips a year to ND/SD for these things, which may be an excuse, but having a highly polished dog just isn't a huge deal to me...very cool, for sure...kind of like shooting...I may do a round or two of sporting clays in the summer, or a few rounds of skeet, but I don't spend too much time doing that...I am not a great shot, but I kill my fair share of birds without missing too many "gimmees"...and I kill my fair share of tough birds...but I am not a great shot, I just shoot where the bird is going to be, not where it is...seems to work!
    Benelli-Banger,

    All good Mate and quality time spent with ye dogs on birds. Good on ye lad.👍

    Mikey ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸

  10. #20

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    Thanks for the kind words, Mikey! Take care, beautiful dogs!

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