Lab guys and duck search

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Tests

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Lab guys and duck search

Postby GSP Roxie » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:10 am

After reading many post on duck search I can't understand why most lab guys don't get the concept of this test. I tried explaining it to a friend that is a lab guy and he said it was useless. I told him if he cripples a bird then you send your dog out to retrieve it don't you. If the bird is swimming and hiding your dog is searching for it. Not sure why he doesn't get it.

As for lab trials this is what I don't get. Now I have been to a few lab trials and don't understand their test. For example a 30 dog test land marks (not sure of the terminology) 4 or 5 birds are thrown in the same spot for every dog. After the first few dog I could see a well marked matted down trail in the grass which every dog took to the bird. Now I know my dog is every good at searching out scent and tracking me to find birds unless I out smart her and back plant birds as we are walking in the field. I figure this would be the same for labs. They can scent the other dogs path to birds. Am I way off track here.

I told him UT tests are real hunting dog test and he should just stick to his lab stuff lol....just to P him off hahaha.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby DrahtsundBraats » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:30 pm

Well...first off, don't think that seeing a few Labs at a particular test represents the whole breed. There are some excellent dogs and you would be very surprised how well they can search up a marsh. Labs are more sight oriented than most Vdogs and we enjoy dogs that are more biased to search and being nose led. As far as the dogs "beating" the same path to the birds, just how different is that than the dogs back tracking the dog that just came back from a duck search? Don't you think that the scent of several ducks on the water gives Dog #4 more motivation and incentive?? especially is the duck if being put in the same corner of the marsh as I have seen at tests?

Take it easy on the Lab guys...less you and your dog get your clocks cleaned out in the endless rice fields some day. There is a place for both dogs in the marsh and there is much to be learned from the Lab guys....getting your dog to the fall quickly is very useful when the afternoon light is fading....that's when some control and handling can pay off.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby orhunter » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:36 pm

A V Dog can be handled and controlled.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby HUNT 24/7 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:55 pm

orhunter wrote:A V Dog can be handled and controlled.


This is something I've been told, but I haven't been able to find a video of a DD specifically taking casts. My 14 month old DD is in the beginning stages of learning 3 handed casting, he's smart & i'm sure he'll catch on.
As far as labs vs versatiles, I think it's good to have a little of both, a dog that can be handled to the general area of a goose that went down 150 yards away & then use its nose to track it down once he hits scent.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby DrahtsundBraats » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:46 pm

This is something I've been told, but I haven't been able to find a video of a DD specifically taking casts.


I think you would first have to ask how many Vdog owners spend as much time on FF, retrieving and directionals as they do on free searching. We spend a lot of our time expanding the independence of a young dog and that's not in the retriever program. I believe some Vdogs can be trained to take direction...but that;s not really what folks are concentrating on. Again....we could learn a lot from the Retriever guys. Personally...I have always been able to train dogs to take simple L and R over commands and to take a decent line 100-150 yds but thats pretty basic to lab guys....its all i need for the waterfowling I do.

Over the years, I have made a few dollars with my old girl at the local golf course by betting I could send my dog to scare geese 200-300 yds away down the 10th fairway. Just line her up and tell her back and she'd run right down the fairway until she saw something....of course after a few times, she knows what's up now.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby HUNT 24/7 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:13 pm

DrahtsundBraats wrote:
This is something I've been told, but I haven't been able to find a video of a DD specifically taking casts.


I have always been able to train dogs to take simple L and R over commands and to take a decent line 100-150 yds


That's all you need to hunt, I'm not looking to do anymore than that either.
I hunt with a friend that has a 2 year old lab that dam near has her grand master & I can tell you from personal experience that 150-200 yards in a corn field, dressed in camo is about as far as you can handle a dog anyways.
I just feel there sometimes is a need to handle a dog to a downed bird, I understand that yes, eventually my dog would probably search out the crippled bird that went down 200 yards away, but how many flocks of geese will be busted as he's running around looking for it. Much quicker to get him close to where the bird went down then let him find it on his own. That's my goal anyways as far as waterfowl hunting goes, steady, 3 handed casting to 150-200 yards when needed!
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby HUNT 24/7 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:13 pm

DrahtsundBraats wrote:
This is something I've been told, but I haven't been able to find a video of a DD specifically taking casts.


I have always been able to train dogs to take simple L and R over commands and to take a decent line 100-150 yds


That's all you need to hunt, I'm not looking to do anymore than that either.
I hunt with a friend that has a 2 year old lab that dam near has her grand master & I can tell you from personal experience that 150-200 yards in a corn field, dressed in camo is about as far as you can handle a dog anyways.
I just feel there sometimes is a need to handle a dog to a downed bird, I understand that yes, eventually my dog would probably search out the crippled bird that went down 200 yards away, but how many flocks of geese will be busted as he's running around looking for it. Much quicker to get him close to where the bird went down then let him find it on his own. That's my goal anyways as far as waterfowl hunting goes, steady, 3 handed casting to 150-200 yards when needed!
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby GSP Roxie » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:22 pm

I think what is bothering me is some lab owners have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Vdogs. Not much respect given to any other breed.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby HUNT 24/7 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:34 pm

GSP Roxie wrote:I think what is bothering me is some lab owners have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Vdogs. Not much respect given to any other breed.


Yeah I can see what your saying, I have a ton of respect for what they can train them to do, it's like they are a human controlled robot dog, very impressive in it's own right but not for me. I know they can sometimes show a lack of respect for a dog that uses it's own natural abilities to get the job done. I get it some with my own DD from them.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:03 pm

Some people appreciate control, some appreciate independence. Each breed has taken one or the other to extremes. I'm amazed every day that breeding allows us to specialize the canine species so uniquely.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby ryanr » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:16 pm

From my perspective I think they (Labrador folks) don't understand or get the point of the duck search is because they're looking at it from a duck hunting scenario. From most of what I've been told the duck search has very little to do with duck hunting and more to do with testing the dog's drive and willingness to work independently at a distance, without any further commands, and methodically expand its search to find game.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby Coveyrise64 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:23 pm

HUNT 24/7 wrote: This is something I've been told, but I haven't been able to find a video of a DD specifically taking casts. My 14 month old DD is in the beginning stages of learning 3 handed casting, he's smart & i'm sure he'll catch on.
As far as labs vs versatiles, I think it's good to have a little of both, a dog that can be handled to the general area of a goose that went down 150 yards away & then use its nose to track it down once he hits scent.

This guy did well in his VJP, HZP, is an absolute beast in the water and has earned an HRCH Title. His less notable accomplishments include a runner-up at a local Dock Diving event and first place in an Ugly Dog contest.....go figure! A lot depends on how much time you want to spend training.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby SwitchGrassWPG » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:24 pm

I know of a Griff that earned a HRCH a few years back by someone who lived and trained in Alaska; so it can be done by a VDog.

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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby poo pie » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:58 pm

Coveyrise64 wrote:
HUNT 24/7 wrote: This is something I've been told, but I haven't been able to find a video of a DD specifically taking casts. My 14 month old DD is in the beginning stages of learning 3 handed casting, he's smart & i'm sure he'll catch on.
As far as labs vs versatiles, I think it's good to have a little of both, a dog that can be handled to the general area of a goose that went down 150 yards away & then use its nose to track it down once he hits scent.

This guy did well in his VJP, HZP, is an absolute beast in the water and has earned an HRCH Title. His less notable accomplishments include a runner-up at a local Dock Diving event and first place in an Ugly Dog contest.....go figure! A lot depends on how much time you want to spend training.
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Re: Lab guys and duck search

Postby DesertPP » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:13 pm

orhunter wrote:A V Dog can be handled and controlled.


No video but both PPs learned to handle the lab way starting at 9 months... back, L and R outs and 45s with whistle and hand signals for controls with no loss of independence or drive in the field. Both got 4s in the UT duck search and the young dog earned his VC at 2y 7m. Our die hard lab friend says the V-dog folks don't ask enough of their dogs. They are smart biddable breeds perfectly capable of building on FF training and learning to handle.
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