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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 8/10/2007 2:39:33 AM EST
This sub-forum has quickly become one of my favorites. It seems as though we have the potential for a vast amount of information and experience sharing.

pattymcn works with dogs for a living, and I've trained field & companion dogs 'professionally' for 14 years or so.

Is there one aspect of training or behavior that has you stumped? Is your dog doing something and you can't figure out why? Do you want to take your dog to the next level, but don't know where to start or find the right information?

Post your questions, stories, and expereinces here and I'll wager someone can get you pointed in the right direction!

Link Posted: 8/12/2007 2:34:16 AM EST
My black lab will sit in the duck blind for hours without moving and is great when using a blind. When we are out pheasant hunting he will hunt great right up until the gun actually goes off. He will then take off running in the direction I am pointing the gun (he is looking for the down bird obviusly) and no matter what I do I cannot break him of the habit of "breaking" on the shot.

I have tried keeping him on a leash and he does great (will stay close the whole time). I guess he knows he is not supposed to "break" on the shot but is too excited to stay put unless he knows he is on the leash.

The only time I really get anoyed is when we go to a pheasant hunting farm and are hunting released birds (he will break and go retreive someone elses bird for them. and take the birds to whoever shot it).

It would be nice if he would remain close to me until I release him tho.

He is a 3 year old and I know it is my fault for not training him properly on not "breaking" on the shot when he was younger.

Is there a way I can teach him to not "break" now that he is older and waaaayyyy smarter.

I have a electronic collar for him and he will not "break" while wearing it but I don't really like for him to wear it when he is running thru thick brush all day (I think it might get caught).
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 6:56:00 AM EST
That's too easy!

Your dog already knows the command SIT. He may also know to sit with a hand gesture. This will be the foundation for helping him to understand your expectations under different circumstances. Dogs cannot go from A to Z without knowing B, C, D, and everything else in between. He's running to the direction of the shot because 1) he's been rewarded for doing so in the past 2) you can't stop him.

Now, your task is to associate the command SIT with another indicator....in this case, a gunshot. I also like to associate SIT with a single whistle blast, for safety's sake and as a back up to breaking at the shot. Hey...sometimes dogs get excited.

For this you will need 1) a cap gun and then 2) a blank / starter pistol, also a 3) helper can be beneficial.

With your dog in the yard and on corrective leash (choke collar), issue the command SIT once and enforce it with the leash. As soon as the T in SIT leaves your lips, fire the cap gun. TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Do not let the dog see the cap gun.
When he SITS, immediately reward w/ praise...but keep him at sit. If he gets up....SIT(BANG)....timing is everything.

In no time flat, he will think BANG means sit. You can also teach him to seat at the whistle using the same SIT(WHISTLE) association. In no time he will hear the WHISTLE and sit his but down. Now you have three ways to tell him to do the same thing depending on the circumstance, resulting in moire control of your dog.

Graduate to the louder blanks and ultimately the shotgun...ONLY when he is 100% compliant 100% of the time. Leave him on the leash throughout the training....even up to the point where you are shooting planted birds with the shotgun. You do not want to issue a command (BANG) that you cannot IMMEDIATELY enforce for compliance.


In the living room SIT.

In the pheasant field BANG (...steady to shot before being sent with BACK)

In the field WHISTLE to obtain a SIT for safety or re-focus for direction.

Use the leash for correction instead of the collar. Between the leash, the cap gun, and your focus on the dog's body language, the last thing you need is another button for a hand you don't have available. And you don't need it.

If you have a frozen bird, you can place it on the ground and allow him to make a short (10 feet) retrieve as the reward for steadiness. DO NOT under ANY circumstances allow him to take posession of the bird unless he has complied with the command, and goes only when sent. This is of utmost importance.

When you feed the dog, make him SIT and wait for you to release him to eat. I usually start this when they are puppies. Give the command SIT/BANG/WHISTLE, set food down, compliance, OK eat. This helps to reinforce the expectation under a different circumstance with the ultimate reward of a meal.

Try this out 15 minutes a day, maybe twice a day, for a week and let me know how it goes.

This will work, and you'll enjoy your dog more for it. Have fun!!!!!

Link Posted: 8/12/2007 10:09:52 AM EST
Kewl thanks for the insight. I would never have thought of using the gunshot as a sit comand. Yes he does sit with a hand gesture so I can assume that teaching him to sit with the shot is pretty much the same thing.

I don't use a whistle tho because I trained him to come immediatly when I whistle ( no matter what he is doing he will stop and heel instantly).

I clap my hands to get his attention when I want him to change directions but never enforced the sit there just stop and look at me for directions.

thanks for the assist I appreciate it and will keep you informed how he is doing.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 12:44:40 PM EST
Thanks, none,

ALL dogs should be trained to the whistle. Distance, wind, terrain, etc. make voice and sight commands impractical at times. With some hard headed breeds like Chessies, the shrill tone of the whistle actually assists in getting a higher percentage of comliance in early training....it "gets their attention" better and faster.

Good luck, have patience, have fun.

Link Posted: 8/13/2007 9:22:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By SevenMaryThree:
Thanks, none,

ALL dogs should be trained to the whistle. Distance, wind, terrain, etc. make voice and sight commands impractical at times. With some hard headed breeds like Chessies, the shrill tone of the whistle actually assists in getting a higher percentage of comliance in early training....it "gets their attention" better and faster.

Good luck, have patience, have fun.



as SMT said..
all dogs should be whistle trained. earlier the better. i train all retrievers on whistle before anything else.

as for the sit on shot.
mandatory.

we train all retrievers to mark on shot.
better markers, require less handling.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 3:43:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/16/2007 1:41:10 AM EST by Slacker]
My 4 year old Chocolate female is a family/field dog. She is a total sweetheart that only wants to please us. That said....my wife throws the ball each morning in the back yard.
The dog happily retrieves it. The problem is that the wife does not require delivery to hand. The dog just drops the ball at her feet and she picks it up and throw again. She also does not require the dog to be at heel before throwing the ball.

Now, when the dog and I go to the pond and throw bumpers...you guessed it! No delivery to hand and breaking.

So, how do I train my wife to stop teaching the dog bad habits?
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 4:16:07 AM EST
height=8
Originally Posted By Slacker:


So, how do I train my wife to stop teaching the dog bad habits? heI have been trying to do that for 7 years with no sucsess. If you figure that one out be sure to let me know.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 4:34:12 AM EST
My wife has been my dogs worst enemy in training. We started out with a puppy class because it was our first dog. I did all the work and she didn't reinforce anything other than sit and come. Then we took obedience classes beginner then advanced. We both attended these classes together but I think I was the only one present... Then I bought one of those bird dog taps to help with the hunting. Again it seemed to be all me. With keep the dog off the couch and bed, me, know support from the wife. Don't feed the dog scraps... When I'm not looking the wife sneaks food from dinner. I caught her the other day whispering to the dog... come here.... don't tell dad... Dog gone women anyways..
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 5:07:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Slacker:
My 4 year old Chocolate female is a family/field dog. She is a total sweetheart that only wants to please us. That said....my wife throws the ball each morning in the back yard.
The dog happily retrieves it. The problem is that the wife does not require delivery to hand. The dog just drops the ball at her feet and she picks it up and throw again. She also does not require the dog to be at heel before throwing the ball.

Now, when the dog and I go the ponds and throw bumpers...you guessed it! No delivery to hand and breaking.

So, how do I train my wife to stop teaching the dog bad habits?


Put the Innotek on the wife. If that doesn't work a good spanking is in order.

In all seriousness, consistency from all members of the household is....required. That's why it's called consistency.
Link Posted: 8/27/2007 12:57:45 PM EST
I have a question or two about my buddies GSP. He does everything well in the field except for when we shoot multiple birds. Say he heads out to retrieve a downed bird and one is flushed while he is out retrieving. We'll shoot that bird (Safely away from the dog of course) and instantly he drops the first bird and heads off for the other, at times losing the first bird. He is still young at a little over a year old now. I think he is so excited that he just forgets he even has a bird in his mouth.

Is this something we can train him not to do?

My friend is new to having a bird dog and so am I. I trained the dog as best as possible and he is very good in the field. At times he frustrates the hell out of me when he just absolutely will not listen. Sometimes he will just take off and not stay within the specified distance we have set for him. I am at the point where I think a shock collar is needed. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for the help! I like this new board :)
Link Posted: 8/27/2007 3:23:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By bogus:
I have a question or two about my buddies GSP. He does everything well in the field except for when we shoot multiple birds. Say he heads out to retrieve a downed bird and one is flushed while he is out retrieving. We'll shoot that bird (Safely away from the dog of course) and instantly he drops the first bird and heads off for the other, at times losing the first bird. He is still young at a little over a year old now. I think he is so excited that he just forgets he even has a bird in his mouth.

Is this something we can train him not to do?

My friend is new to having a bird dog and so am I. I trained the dog as best as possible and he is very good in the field. At times he frustrates the hell out of me when he just absolutely will not listen. Sometimes he will just take off and not stay within the specified distance we have set for him. I am at the point where I think a shock collar is needed. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for the help! I like this new board :)


This can be fixed. Since the dog has already been trained into the "undesired response", I would highly suggest you solicit the assistance of a professional trainer.

Your buddy's dog needs to be "Force Fetch" trained. Rather than write a doctoral dissertation on the subject, I will counsel your frind to purchase the George Hickox DVDs, first, then hire a pro to break his dog of the bad habit, and train him how to better work with his dog. In essence, the dog will unlearn the past transgressions, learn the new expectation, understanding that not completing the retrive is not an option, educate your friend on how to use the new found tools consistently as the transition is made from trainer to owner and throughout the dogs life.

The last thing you need is a shock collar. You could ruin the dog with improper use of a collar and birds. At least right now at this stage of the game.

Good luck.

7M3
Link Posted: 8/28/2007 1:36:03 PM EST
Update: well training to use the gunshot for sit has been going well.
Almost to well tho now when ever he hears a loud sharp noise he sits (my daughter loves it when she bangs pans together and the dog sits, just so she can wait till he gets up to have him do it again) now I am working on training the daughter not to mess with the dog so she does not screw up the work I have into him.



Thanks SM3 for the help I bet this year duck hunting goes much better to say nothing of phesant hunting.
Link Posted: 8/29/2007 12:01:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By none:
Update: well training to use the gunshot for sit has been going well.
Almost to well tho now when ever he hears a loud sharp noise he sits (my daughter loves it when she bangs pans together and the dog sits, just so she can wait till he gets up to have him do it again) now I am working on training the daughter not to mess with the dog so she does not screw up the work I have into him.



Thanks SM3 for the help I bet this year duck hunting goes much better to say nothing of phesant hunting.


Sweet....Gotta love it. Keep up the good work!
Link Posted: 9/5/2007 5:27:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By SevenMaryThree:
This sub-forum has quickly become one of my favorites. It seems as though we have the potential for a vast amount of information and experience sharing.

pattymcn works with dogs for a living, and I've trained field & companion dogs 'professionally' for 14 years or so.

Is there one aspect of training or behavior that has you stumped? Is your dog doing something and you can't figure out why? Do you want to take your dog to the next level, but don't know where to start or find the right information?

Post your questions, stories, and expereinces here and I'll wager someone can get you pointed in the right direction!




Alright I have a pointer and she is starting to creep on birds until she sees the launcher or the bird itself and then stops. I have heard to take her out in the field with a bunch of remote launchers and start releasing birds after she doesn't stop on the first scent. Well I tried that about 6 times so far (using homers) and it seems she has started to flash point then move in. Is that good progress? How long do I have to keep this up? I will try next Wednesday with her again.
Link Posted: 9/7/2007 1:20:14 PM EST
How old is your pointer?

Has she reliably pointed for you in the past or is she just now learning?

It can make a difference on how to handle her.
Link Posted: 9/8/2007 10:58:16 AM EST
She is 4.5 years old. She has reliably pointed in the past. I think I will continue with the remote launcher method until she gets it under control again unless others chime in with more suggestions.

I probably screwed her up last season sometime with something. It's always the trainer's fault. Sounds like any typical relationship.
Link Posted: 9/9/2007 1:23:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2007 1:24:01 AM EST by SevenMaryThree]

Originally Posted By ceadmin:
She is 4.5 years old. She has reliably pointed in the past. I think I will continue with the remote launcher method until she gets it under control again unless others chime in with more suggestions.

I probably screwed her up last season sometime with something. It's always the trainer's fault. Sounds like any typical relationship.


Straight away, you screwed up by using pigeons. Sight pointing on traps is pretty common, too. I've seen it many, many times. I've seen dogs conditioned to point at milk crates. Guess why?

Plant a HOBBLED ROOSTER, and let it set for a spell in some thick cover. THEN MOVE IT to another area close by where it is totally hidden from sight. This is best done in the morning when scenting conditions are best. Use the direction of the wind and layout of terrain to allow him to successfully "hunt it through."

He'll come around. You've "taught him" to "cheat". Let him hunt through this set up a couple times. NEVER allow him to catch the bird, which means using a lead. Flush the hobbled (zip ties around feet, cut primaries slightly on one wing) with your feet and shoot the gun....not the rooster. You can use the same bird for several "tests" beore it gets stressed out. Bring a couple out with you and make a morning of it. Eventually, when you see that he's pointing 'correctly', switch to un-hobbled birds to facilitate chasing real Iowa pheasants that run.

He HAS to learn to trust his nose (not his eyes), and realize that birds move.

A 4 1/2 year old dog should not still be on the traps...remote launchers are for puppies, and are a temporary step in the process.

Good luck. Post your progress.

Link Posted: 9/21/2007 6:28:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By ceadmin:
She is 4.5 years old. She has reliably pointed in the past. I think I will continue with the remote launcher method until she gets it under control again unless others chime in with more suggestions.

I probably screwed her up last season sometime with something. It's always the trainer's fault. Sounds like any typical relationship.


IM'd for an update!
Link Posted: 9/23/2007 7:30:53 PM EST
Well I got to do a trial run today. Went out tree rat hunting and figured I would drag the mutt along. He sat down and actually would key me in on the tree rats by hearing them before I would (it got so bad that if he wasn't looking I would just kinda nod off in a half doze).
When I pulled the trigger he never moved a muscle and then turned and looked at me until I got up. When I gave him the ok he took off like a shot.

Of course this could be because I had him out the day before dressing out the duck blind and he spent hours running in the water with my brothers dog, so he might have just been tired.



Thanks again 7M3
Link Posted: 9/27/2007 9:29:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By none:
Well I got to do a trial run today. Went out tree rat hunting and figured I would drag the mutt along. He sat down and actually would key me in on the tree rats by hearing them before I would (it got so bad that if he wasn't looking I would just kinda nod off in a half doze).
When I pulled the trigger he never moved a muscle and then turned and looked at me until I got up. When I gave him the ok he took off like a shot.

Of course this could be because I had him out the day before dressing out the duck blind and he spent hours running in the water with my brothers dog, so he might have just been tired.



Thanks again 7M3


So far so good! Glad it's coming together, no thanks necessary!!!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 11:11:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By SevenMaryThree:

Originally Posted By ceadmin:
She is 4.5 years old. She has reliably pointed in the past. I think I will continue with the remote launcher method until she gets it under control again unless others chime in with more suggestions.

I probably screwed her up last season sometime with something. It's always the trainer's fault. Sounds like any typical relationship.


Straight away, you screwed up by using pigeons. Sight pointing on traps is pretty common, too. I've seen it many, many times. I've seen dogs conditioned to point at milk crates. Guess why?

Plant a HOBBLED ROOSTER, and let it set for a spell in some thick cover. THEN MOVE IT to another area close by where it is totally hidden from sight. This is best done in the morning when scenting conditions are best. Use the direction of the wind and layout of terrain to allow him to successfully "hunt it through."

He'll come around. You've "taught him" to "cheat". Let him hunt through this set up a couple times. NEVER allow him to catch the bird, which means using a lead. Flush the hobbled (zip ties around feet, cut primaries slightly on one wing) with your feet and shoot the gun....not the rooster. You can use the same bird for several "tests" beore it gets stressed out. Bring a couple out with you and make a morning of it. Eventually, when you see that he's pointing 'correctly', switch to un-hobbled birds to facilitate chasing real Iowa pheasants that run.

He HAS to learn to trust his nose (not his eyes), and realize that birds move.

A 4 1/2 year old dog should not still be on the traps...remote launchers are for puppies, and are a temporary step in the process.

Good luck. Post your progress.



Sorry for the lack of updates. In the last few weeks I got: married, honeymooned, went horseback riding, chartered a boat for salmon fishing, went grouse hunting in Park Falls with the dog and just interviewed for a new job.

She still has the problem sort of, though she is pointing alot better on the birds (I think the grouse flushing too easy has told her to slow down and stop, though she still creeps sometimes, very slowly). I have a training session this next Wednesday and then one more, before the club closes up for the training season (because real season starts here in IA and we don't train then, officially). I will try to get a couple of pheasants for that night and try as you suggested.

I am confused on one issue though, and that is you say she is past the remote launcher stage. I have never heard of this as a temp solution or an age-indicative item. I see plenty of people using them at the club (though that means nothing) for dogs of all ages, including some "pro's" to "hobble" the birds instead of actually tossing them into cover because they can control the launch of the bird if and when they are ready and so is the dog.

Thanks for your help so far. And you avatar always freaks me out with its glaring weirdness problem , is that some sort of half mask or paint on your face?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 11:44:19 AM EST

I am confused on one issue though, and that is you say she is past the remote launcher stage. I have never heard of this as a temp solution or an age-indicative item. I see plenty of people using them at the club (though that means nothing) for dogs of all ages, including some "pro's" to "hobble" the birds instead of actually tossing them into cover because they can control the launch of the bird if and when they are ready and so is the dog.


First, congratulations on the new bride.

Secondly...no need to be confused about the launchers. Look at the part I highlighted in red above. These are folks aren't training a dog for real world hunting...they are 'playing a game'. This is the difference between trialers and hunters. Trialers are control freaks.

My meat dogs hunt circles around field trial dogs on wild birds, especially in tough scenting conditions. I want a dog to know how to turn the game around on a bird...even if that means breaking a solid point and cutting off a running bird.

These are the same guys who end up with dogs that point milk crates and empty launchers. These are the same guys who feel the need to "control" the flush because the dog wasn't whoa trained or steadied correctly as a pup. These are the same guys who wait until the dog is a year old before they start teaching it anything.

The launchers have their place - and it's not so much an age determinant tool as one that is applied through evaluation of ability. However, it should always be used as an ephemeral "stop along the way", and never as a permanant "this is how this is done."

And sometimes, guys just like messin' with toys too much.



Link Posted: 10/10/2007 12:20:03 PM EST
Have you found that neutered dogs respond better in training?

Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:42:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By innocent_bystander:
Have you found that neutered dogs respond better in training?



Nope, not at all.

Intact males can 'sometimes' be distracted, just like people. Though proper breeding for a high game drive and proper socialization usually overrides the undesired behaviors.

Personally I hunt /prefer females, although not for any reasons of tractability or other personality trait. I used to hunt a big male black Lab named Bubba that had an incident involving his genetaila and a barbed wire fence. I've seen plenty of bloodshed in my life, but this one was tough to see.

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