Field Trials ;)

AKC, CKC, KC, ANKC, UKC, ENZI, etc. testing.

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Postby larue » Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:35 am

another pic of simon,here he is hunting wild birds
[img][img]http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c292/laruekennel/IMG_0896.jpg[/img][/img]
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Postby gohntng » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:54 pm

slistoe wrote: I am not sure if you are being facetious or not, but I will say that any dog can track down its owner when it gets waylaid, but the good dogs usually don't need to.


Slistoe.
No way am I being or will be facetious. Trying to learn something here, and appreciate your help.
My dogs when hunting will cast out, as you see in larue's picture, that is what it is like where I hunt. My dogs will cast over the top as I am walking. They will run the ridge, drop on the other side, come back over and if I have walked on out to the front of them, they will hit my scent and track to me, head to the front and keep hunting. A dog in that type of terrain, out a hundred yards or so, is out of sight. I keep walking. If they haven't come around in a couple minutes, I go looking for a point on birds.
I guess it don't matter if it's Derby dogs or not, at the end of the brace, you catch your dog, and head back. Just wondering what the pro's do, hate to be the only entertainment there. Jumping off my horse, running after my dog, and have the horse running out thru the field. :roll:
Slistoe I do appreciate you comments, I won't be riding a thousand braces, I have a better insight already.
I don't think I like the pushing the dog back out though, shouldn't have to with a FT bred dog, I would think.
Other than English Pointers, I haven't seen any other dog run to the front and not check in.
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Postby mngsp » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:59 pm

Sometimes I just yank the dog up onto the horse and she rides with me back to camp.


Tony

Try that sometime with my 65 lb spastic GSP!!! Someday I will own a 45 lb dog!
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Postby Tony » Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:28 pm

mngsp wrote:
Sometimes I just yank the dog up onto the horse and she rides with me back to camp.


Tony

Try that sometime with my 65 lb spastic GSP!!! Someday I will own a 45 lb dog!

Sophie is about 55 pounds. The first time I pulled her up in the saddle was when she was a green-broke 2-year-old. We were 1/2 way around the course and she broke when her bracemate refused to back and chased "her" bird. She wanted to finish the course and I was trying to lead her back to camp. I didn't have my leather gloves, and she ripped the checkcord through my hand and raised the biggest welt I have ever seen from a rope burn. She ended up standing on the front of the saddle while I hung on to her collar with one hand and held a rein with the other. I don't know of too many 3-year-old horses that I could have gotten away with that on.
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Postby slistoe » Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:26 pm

gohntng wrote:
slistoe wrote: I am not sure if you are being facetious or not, but I will say that any dog can track down its owner when it gets waylaid, but the good dogs usually don't need to.


Slistoe.
No way am I being or will be facetious. Trying to learn something here, and appreciate your help.
My dogs when hunting will cast out, as you see in larue's picture, that is what it is like where I hunt. My dogs will cast over the top as I am walking. They will run the ridge, drop on the other side, come back over and if I have walked on out to the front of them, they will hit my scent and track to me, head to the front and keep hunting. A dog in that type of terrain, out a hundred yards or so, is out of sight. I keep walking. If they haven't come around in a couple minutes, I go looking for a point on birds.
I guess it don't matter if it's Derby dogs or not, at the end of the brace, you catch your dog, and head back. Just wondering what the pro's do, hate to be the only entertainment there. Jumping off my horse, running after my dog, and have the horse running out thru the field. :roll:
Slistoe I do appreciate you comments, I won't be riding a thousand braces, I have a better insight already.
I don't think I like the pushing the dog back out though, shouldn't have to with a FT bred dog, I would think.
Other than English Pointers, I haven't seen any other dog run to the front and not check in.
Marvin..


Even in country like shown some dogs are more adept at always staying somewhere to the front of you. Other dogs can learn that it is a preferred behavior and will pay more attention to it. Some just like to go their own way which makes for extra annoyance when you have to determine which way to go looking for the dog pointing birds. Of course some folks never let the dog get out of sight so as to avoid such an annoyance altogether - thus perpetuating the genes of dogs which hunt willy nilly in any direction and wasting the bountiful energy and endurance which a good hunting dog was blessed with (IMO).

As far as checking in, it all depends on what you consider checking in. When my dogs leave a piece of cover and swing their head to look in my direction as they continue to the front I consider that to be the ideal "checking in". Anything more is a waste of hunting energy. If I feel the need to pet my dog or coo to it or some other such thing I can always stop and call them in. If the dog always shows up in front of you despite the wanderings of your meanderings, how could anyone consider that the dog has not been "checking in" while he hunted? The dog that does not check in properly is the one that eventually gets lost and feels compelled to hunt you down (instead of hunting birds).

As far as pushing the dog back out - it is tough to do but not impossible. I have won over a couple of dogs in the past, but now I am more concerned with the quality of the genetic pool of the dogs I keep and if they cannot figure out how to stay out front on their own I am not much interested in convincing them to. This is not to say though that you would not be prudent to do everything in your power to "pattern" the dog so they are much more aware of where you are and where you are going so that they can hunt more effectively for you.

Which brings us to another point regarding handling of a dog at a trial. Be sure you know the course ahead of time - ride some braces. You know your dog and you know where they are likely to get in trouble with maintaining the front. As a handler it is your job to show the dog to his best advantage - keep tabs on them in the trouble spots and let them roll when it is safe. Just as in hunting, the dogs will push out to likely cover in the front and then we will turn and go another direction moving away from the dog and forcing them to find us and move out front again. In a trial you know where the corners are going to be where you will be likely to leave your dog behind - gather him up and take him around the corner instead of letting him get out on a limb to be ridden away from. (Unless you have one of those dogs that excels at hunting his way around and to the front instead of hunting you down - they can be purposely shot out to the front at a corner so their talent will become evident to the judge.)
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Postby slistoe » Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:34 pm

gohntng wrote: Just wondering what the pro's do, hate to be the only entertainment there. Jumping off my horse, running after my dog, and have the horse running out thru the field. :roll:


Do not get galloping beside such errant dog, lean over in the saddle to get closer to the dog in an effort to have a greater effect, and then holler "WHOA" to the dog in a misguided attempt to have them stop.

It just may be that some fool may have taught the horse better than the dog.
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Postby alan » Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:55 pm

Silstoes post brings something to mind and I think I need to make a quick point here: Never teach your dog and your horse both the same "Stop" command! If you do and you yell "Whoa" to your dog and he doesn't stop and your horse does and you end up going over the horses nose and landing on your head in the process. Well, you just might end up being the entertainment. :oops:

Don't ask me how I know! :shock:
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Postby slistoe » Sat Dec 31, 2005 4:40 pm

Who's silly idea was that to teach both dogs and horses with the same command anyway?
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Postby alan » Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:13 pm

uhhh---like I said, don't ask! :oops: :oops:

Let's just say experience is a good teacher! :wink:
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Postby gohntng » Sat Dec 31, 2005 10:59 pm

Alan..
I don't know how to say this, but damn that was funny!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
I bought a horse that had been taught to stop on a dime when you lost your saddle. Like if you leaned forward as if falling off, he'd whoa..
I hate levis that ride up, but sometimes you have to stand up in the stirrups and adjust them down. I was in a second on the ground trying to get my air back. Luck my feet came out of the stirrups. :wink:

Slistoe.
No I don't have that dog that you have. I just made my last day of hunting this year, my season is over.
My male hit the ridge and went over. A rainy, windy, cold day. I missed him for a few minutes, walked over and my female backed on top of the ridge. She saw my male on point. The birds, I flushed but into the wind and rain. Perfect except I didn't shoot, rain was stinging, and I had shooting glasses on.

As I was walking around watching my dogs, in the rain. I was thinking no way would a trial dog be worth the effort to follow out here. I came to a ridge that half mooned from my right to my left. My male went up the side of the ridge in front of me, going to the right. Cresting the top several hundred yards high, then came back off to my right side. I turned walked to the left, my female was out there working some scent. My male was behind me, I guess I wouldn't have it anyother way.
Maybe that's why a FT dog needs that area to hunt and train that is beneficial to running trials. I don't see it where I go.
As far as a good hunting dog running willy nilly, I can't see that as bad. The birds are where the birds are, not where they are told to be or planted. I can do that when I'm training, but not on wild, running, spooky, late season birds. They hide form the wind and rain, or snow. If I walk several miles on a hunt, I cross up and over several ridges and then back around.
I listen to what your saying and try to apply it, especally your last post.
It's too bad the distance is too far for me to see what a great dog would do in a area like this. I look out and see a dog close as 100 yards, then their gone. Up and over, down and around. For a dog of any breed, that knows or can stay to the front, without having a clue where your going, I would truely be amazed.
I dropped off to a flatter area, where I train and ran 2 young dogs. I can see the stay to the front there, but not in the hills.

Slistoe.
You mentioned corners of the course you turn on or at. I'm just realizing that you are giving the dogs commands during the run of the course. How much can you control your dog? I can keep control of my dogs at the turn of a cast, but I'm quiet when I'm hunting unless I miss an easy shot. Well, I guess I'm not quiet as I thought, the way I shoot.. :lol:
I guess I never thought you are controlling your dog with commands. Is this true, you are controlling your dogs with commands?
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Postby sixgunner455 » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:34 pm

This was a very good read. I'm considering putting my 9 month old French Brittany in a walking field trial at the end of this month, in the amateur puppy stake, just for giggles. I've never done anything like this, and she's my first gun dog, so I have no intention of doing the derby. Just want to go watch, mostly, but can't see going out there and not taking her and letting her play too.

I'm nervous about a couple of things: while I have hunted with her, she's not really confident about guns yet. We didn't find very many quail this year, and only one covey when I thought she was ready for actually shooting at them. A couple of 20g shots at doves this winter really bugged her, so I switched to a .410 (and learned to hate it-no effect or power), and she's still kinda nervous, just less so. So I'm popping caps from a capgun while she chases birds, in hopes that she will relax, but only once or twice per run. My understanding is that the birds won't be shot at this trial, just blanked, so she should be fine if the blanks aren't any louder than a .22.

Yes, she still chases birds. I haven't even bothered with trying to change that as yet. I'm doing a very low pressure path with her. She's always excited about birds, hits points, and then wants to catch them, and jumps in on them, and chases after the flush. She's fun to watch.

The other is that she's never hunted or run around in the woods with another dog, so I don't know how she's going to act around another dog when we go out there. She's been around other dogs, but never unsupervised.

So I don't know if I would be wasting my time to run her, or if I should just go watch.
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Postby slistoe » Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:50 am

Never go just to watch. This is a learn by doing sport, both for the handler and the dog. The only way the dog will learn how to react with another dog on the course is by getting her out in the puppy stakes and letting her learn. If the AKC is like the CKC you can choose to not have shots fired during the running of the puppy stake.
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Postby mngsp » Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:46 am

In an AKC trial, whether or not a blank is fired in a puppy stake, is at the discretion of the club putting on the trial. This fact will be listed in the Premium List published and avaiable from the secretary of the event.

Most clubs chose not to have a blank fired but make sure you look at the Premium if it is a concern.

Good luck with the youngster and have fun!
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Postby sixgunner455 » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:32 pm

Thanks, y'all. I guess we'll just go and run it and see how it goes by doing it.
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tried a field trial

Postby sixgunner455 » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:11 pm

I entered my little 9 month old French Brittany in the Amateur Puppy stake of a Walking Field Trial last weekend.

Everybody was very friendly and helpful. I learned a lot.

I walked behind one of the Open Gun dog braces before the puppy stake started. Watched some really nice work from a Vizsla, which ended up placing.

Gigi's bracemate was an 11 month old GSP. He did very well in our brace, and ended up placing second in the Puppy Stake, and also placed in the derby.

Gigi was upset that I dunked her in water. It was insisted on before we started by the folks running the show -- it was above 80 that day, and all the dogs were wet before we started. I never do that when we hunt -- she'll run across a river or something, but I never just rudely dunk her in a bucket before we start, so she was upset. I had taken her up to a horse several hours before our brace, but she hadn't seen one being ridden, and that freaked her out a little bit -- she started running out, one snorted and she ran right back to daddy.

So she acted just like a puppy running in her first brace, which was exactly what I expected her to do. She stuck close to me sometimes, followed the big GSP until he ran to far away from us, got thrown off by the other handler's whistle. Eventually she relaxed and started running out more independently, pointed a tweetie bird, picked up a feather. When she pointed the tweetie bird, the GSP honored her point. That was pretty.

So I don't have a pretty rosette to show off, but I got to look at some. I and my kids wandered the line talking to people after my brace, met some nice folks. 6 year old got his face washed by no less than 5 dogs, including a Vizsla that figured it hadn't be done adequately until she pinned him to the ground and did it very thoroughly. He can now describe all the little differences between a French Brittany and an American one. Picked them out himself, too, and started telling everybody what they were.

I don't know yet whether we'll get into trialing or testing in a serious way, but I think that doing this kind of thing occaisionally will at least make me a better handler for her, and that can only make her better in the long run!

We did have a really good time overall.
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