Quick Question.

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Quick Question.

Postby Batsto » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:05 pm

My Boykin is progressing well. We sit, heel, come, retrieve live or dead, and etc with consistency, but loses concentration when firing starter pistol. She is not scared, just loses focus for awhile then follows commands. She's 7 months and is this common. Never had this situation with my Springers. She has super keen hearing. At the beginning she was timid with hand clapping, but has out grown that. I hope for the same with small calibers.
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Postby spaniel_man » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:31 am

I would be sure she is SUPER focused on something before firing the pistol. With my cocker, gun introduction was carried out at the same time as retrieving training. This was done by tossing a clip wing pigeon into the air and firing the pistol/shotgun. He eventually made the conection that bang mean bird.
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Postby terryg » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:00 am

firing a gun is not needed for 99% of training. the dog has the noise issue settled after a few times and it is the bird that catches the dogs attention. not the gun.

do you training without the gun and finish it with hunting which will inclde the gun but the connection is much stronger.

too much noise making will cause noise sensativity. imagine you trying to read while i have th estero balsting in the next room. same issue to the dog.

hard to concentrate when somebody keeps making noise. :wink:
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Postby JLBoykin » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:08 am

I would go with TerryG's info. I had a very similar experience with my Boykin. She was never gun shy at all (used a cap gun b/c I was training in town a lot). The first time she ever heard a shotgun blast, she got to retrieve something that fell out of the sky (real bird). The shot startled her the first four or five times, but I connected everytime and soon she looked forward to shotgun going off. It's never been an issue. Always remember, you want that dog to think "bang" means bird.
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Postby Batsto » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:24 pm

Thanks for the comment boys! I was out tonight and she did better but still lost focus for awhile during retrieves. We are using dead quail. I may have to go live and hammer a few. Thanks again.
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Postby crackerd » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:45 am

Batsto, the gun needn't be fired alongside the dog in early training--and let me underscore this: When gunfire is added, someone else should be throwing a bird or bumper and doing the shooting when the bird or bumper is in the air. And shooting at a distance--whether it's 25 yards or 250 yards away from you. This is how retrievers, including Boykins, are trained. Yes, you will shoot over the dog whether for dove or in a duck blind. But the dog will never be at your feet (or better not be) when flushing. Eventually, and easily, a dog learns to mark off a gun--it's a quick transition.

But shoot directly over the dog while you're also throwing the bird and you run the risk (a great risk) of a dog never learning to mark because its attention is drawn to the gun.

I'll give you an example: (Some) Brits use the RetrievR hand-held launcher for training retrieving. The firing of it draws the dog's attention in hopes of the dog's eyes following the dummy or bumper on its trajectory. Impossible at that speed, but the dog does eventually learn to look out into the distance and see the dummy hit the ground. But it never learns *not* to look at the launcher. So when Brits (or anybody who's trained with the hand-held launcher) shoot an automatic shotgun whilst hunting, guess what?, the dog goes for the ejected shell. Because...it's seen it come out of the "launcher."

Bottom line, have somebody else throw for your pup and them also shoot while you handle the dog.

Or...since you noted that the dog is sitting and steady--sit her and walk out that distance, then you can throw and shoot, and release the dog remotely on its name to go for the retrieve.

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Postby Batsto » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:44 am

The last sentence is exactly how I do it. I am 30 to 40 yrds away. She's in the sitting position and locks down and refuses to retrieve. I give her a few minutes and she's good. Eventually, I pull out a live bird flush from my feet, shoot and have dog retrieve. I never had this problem with my other dogs.
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Postby crackerd » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:00 am

How are you releasing the pup? "A few minutes"--are you letting her go when she decides to? Or do you immediately give a release/command word (for the marks, typically the dog's name) when the bird hits the ground?

The good thing for you in using this method is a spaniel becomes or can become steady almost by default for flushing. But you should have a release word for the retrieve, and the pup should go when sent for a mark.

Sometimes, actually most times, the looking askance is avoidance for a dog that doesn't want to go. I don't think it's the gun causing it. But I don't think for a Boykin, 40 yards is intimidating for a mark, either. Ask yourself if there's anything else you can relate as to why the dog looks at the ground when you throw for her?

Go back to 10 yards without the gunfire. Then extend to 20, then 30, then 40. With retrievers, you're using gunshot really only to get the pup's attention at distance. You can shout "hey-hey-hey" or "Mark!" to accomplish the same thing at that distance.

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Postby Batsto » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:51 am

Before the toss I yell look at me or look Maddie and the release command is dead. The problem is the shot. I have been clapping hands as the dummy is in air. We have no problem with that. If something is not in her inventory she takes some time to settle in or adjust to the situation. I was out this morning and everything is fine with retrieving and hand clapping. I am going to continue to train as usual but without the starter pistol. I will gear down and get a toy cap gun and see if less noise will do the trick. Thanks for all the suggestion, just never encountered this and a bit nervous.
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Postby crackerd » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:39 am

Batsto, quick insights to go with your quick question:

The Brits have a saying that a Lab (retriever) is born half-trained, while a spaniel (ESS) dies half-trained. It's not uncommon to have both breeds over there. Here, with a Boykin, you get a two-fer, and it applies to the training truisms above. Boykins are virtually born retrieving and they can be trained to retrieve at the highest levels.

What you want to do with this pup is not "look at me" when you're throwing, but have her eyes follow the motion of the bird or bumper. That's where spaniels fall short as a whole--their marking is never developed. In spaniel tests and trials, if the bird is shot and sails, you as handler are allowed to walk up with the dog and have a better (easier) line to the bird. Boykins would be ashamed at such a concession.

"Look at me" is something you'll use when (if) the pup becomes a handling retriever--you want her to focus on you anticipating a cast for a blind retrieve. That's the only time you want the dog's eyes averted from looking out or up for a mark or birds in flight. See, the spaniel hunt test water blind retrieve is really next to nothing of the sort, the dogs usually swim straight across a small pond and find a bird on the other side. The spaniel land blind is same, a "hunt dead" neither fish nor fowl when it comes to blind or mark. If you're willing to invest the time, you can have a Boykin that runs blinds and picks up multiples (at retriever hunt test distances) with any of 'em.

Oh, and have you joined the Dang Yankee Boykin RC in Jersey yet?

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Postby terryg » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:15 am

The Brits have a saying that a Lab (retriever) is born half-trained, while a spaniel (ESS) dies half-trained.



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

now i don't care who you are , that's funny!

listen to crakered, boy knows what he is talking about, and he has a great delivery too!

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Quick Question.

Postby Batsto » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:34 pm

Went out today and did some retrieving with out any cap gun or starter pistol. She did really well after a 10 min work out. Had some play time and tried a cap gun. She was focus on dummy, but as soon as cap went off she lost focus. One good thing happen while we were out. Someone must have been doing some target practice a long way off and it did not bother her. She's a good dog, but timid. Time will tell.
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Re: Quick Question.

Postby terryg » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:27 am

keep on with that cap cun and you'll have a good dog gunshy in notime.
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