Training Vs Genetics?

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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby gwp4me2 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:24 am

slistoe wrote:
Kiger2 wrote:Slistoe,
A FC ret , You absoulutely have to train the advanced marking and memory. We often talk about a pup being a good natural marker. And to an extent thats true. But they will never be really proficient at marking without formal training.

Are you telling me that you can train any and every retriever to mark 5 falls and remember them for 25+ minutes?

I think the real question is not whether you can train any dog but rather how much work does it take to get a dog to a given level. Why would you work for 100 hours to get a dog to that level when another dog with better genetics can accomplish the same level with 20 hours? If we stay on the marking aspect I've noticed a huge difference between the GWP's I've owned in their marking ability. Forget about memory. I'm sure with a lot of work the best of them would get to 3 or 4. Some of them it would take forever and you would have to drop everything else. Genetics make the process SOOO much easier and funner.
I killed a moose with a .243. It is possible but I would never recommend it. I had to use the tools I had available but there are much better rifles that are designed for big game.
There are a variety of dogs who pass the highest levels of testing: Average dogs with great trainers, Good dogs with good trainers, Great dogs with average trainers, etc. The really special ones to watch are the great dogs in the hands of the great trainers. One of the best examples I have seen are the professional trainers at the Invitational. In that instance you have the trainer with the exact same talent bringing several dogs with different genetics to the be tested. The results cover the spectrum. I'll spend my time on the dogs that have as much natural talent as I can find.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Kiger2 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:04 pm

They have to be taught to do advanced marking. It is not something they are born with.
What they are born with is the ability to be trained to mark quads up to 400 yards.

Make sense now?

Gwp4me.
Thats why dogs get washed out. If the don't show the ability to do the work without a ton of extra work, the owners move on.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby gwp4me2 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:10 pm

Kiger2 wrote:They have to be taught to do advanced marking. It is not something they are born with.
What they are born with is the ability to be trained to mark quads up to 400 yards.

Make sense now?

Gwp4me.
Thats why dogs get washed out. If the don't show the ability to do the work without a ton of extra work, the owners move on.

Thats why breeders should wash out dogs. Genetics matter at least as much as training.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby slistoe » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:03 pm

Kiger2 wrote:They have to be taught to do advanced marking. It is not something they are born with.
What they are born with is the ability to be trained to mark quads up to 400 yards.

Make sense now?

That's is essentially what I said. If they aren't born with the ability you can't teach it to them. All the "teaching" in the world won't get a dog marking 400 yards if they do not have the genetic potential.
I owned two well bred Labs during my "period" as a hard core duck and goose hunter. They never had any formal training in extending marks or developing memory. They both would remember at least 5 marks around the blind. They both were better at knowing where all the birds were than the shooters in the blind. Granted, they never showed they could mark to 400 yards because any time there was a sailing cripple I would send the dog on the flyer and they were half way to it when it went down. But the one girl could mark a golf ball to 160 yards. 180 yards was too much for her and despite lots of "practice", anything past 160 yards was an extended search.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby 3drahthaars » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:55 pm

gwp4me2 wrote:
Kiger2 wrote:They have to be taught to do advanced marking. It is not something they are born with.
What they are born with is the ability to be trained to mark quads up to 400 yards.

Make sense now?

Gwp4me.
Thats why dogs get washed out. If the don't show the ability to do the work without a ton of extra work, the owners move on.

Thats why breeders should wash out dogs. Genetics matter at least as much as training.


Unfortunately, when the average breeder keeps a female to continue his kennel he will breed what he has.

It will always be this way.

Only the breeder true to his "plan" will take it on the nose. It takes objectivity and humility... those are unfortunately inherited.

If only we were so strict with our breeders as we expect them to be of their dogs!

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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby orhunter » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:27 pm

I'm with you on that 3D's.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:04 pm

orhunter wrote:I'm with you on that 3D's.


I as well. And I wish more breeders cared about some other traits that contribute to making of a great dog. Ever try to get some dogs to hunt up a downed cripple without them wanting to just take off and hunt? How about finding a pp or wpg or gwp with outstanding marking skills? How about finding a setter who loves to retrieve? Or a pointer who likes to work close? Fortunately some of these exceptional skills get passed on because they aren't specifically selected against. I blame the hunt tests or trials where those skills aren't recognized or tested for, and so other stuff gets selected instead.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby hicntry » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:22 pm

One thing I realized over the years is that the worlds foremost experts on subjects such as breeding are those that have either done very little breeding....or have never bred. Genetics that are important to one breeder will usually be different than the next breeder. Those that know what breeders should breed for should take up breeding. The reality is, trainers that can't train, blame it on genetics, Breeders blame lack of ability in their dogs on poor trainers. It will never change.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Kiger2 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:21 pm

Slistoe,

The dogs your described is pretty typical of what I see of dogs that get lots of birds . Marking gradually improves through exposure. Dogs learn to watch the flock of geese leave looking for a cripple to drop out then run past flapping birds in the decks 400 yards to get "that last bird down". But you won't be able to call them a last dead bird down to pick up a selected cripple, and then go back to the mark without training.

But given that, they still will not be as good at marking as they would have been with training. Any judge would be able fool those dogs with just single marks.

The other issue is it takes a long time and a lot of birds for them to reach the level you describe. The learning curve can be shortened with through training.

You can help a dog with poor genetics be better through training. You can make a dog with good genetics great through training. Neither will ever reach their potential without training, or get there as quickly.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby slistoe » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:53 pm

Kiger2 wrote: You can help a dog with poor genetics be better through training. You can make a dog with good genetics great through training. Neither will ever reach their potential without training, or get there as quickly.

I would never think of even hinting that such was not the case.

From the fifth post in the thread:
slistoe wrote:There are likely a lot of dogs that will never see their full potential because of who is holding the leash. But it is the combination of training and genetics that makes good dogs great.


But the simple fact remains, if the dog is not genetically gifted with the potential to remember 5 marks, or to mark a bird at 400 yards, all the training in the world for as many years as you want to take will not make it so.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:10 pm

I thought about the 4 areas of traditional Vdog work - Upland Birds, Fur, Blood Tracking and Waterfowl.

Upland Birds - What makes a dog excel over another equally experienced dog at finding and holding upland birds for the gun? I believe it is - Nose, Search/Drive, Natural Pointing Instinct, Natural Backing, Cooperation and Conformation. All genetically predetermined.

Fur- Why are DDs a much better bet for hunting Fur than an EP? Inherited Genetics linked to generations of breeding for it vs not.

Blood Tracking - I work with my dogs on Blood Tracking. It builds their confidence and teaches the dog ques which allow them to understand when I am asking them to track blood vs some other task. But I do not believe anyone can teach a dog to track that is not genetically predisposed to track.

Waterfowl - This area requires a good deal of training. But the dogs with genetically superior desire to retrieve will excel over lesser dogs when the hunting conditions turn brutal and the task becomes more about desire than trainer imposed control.

I have had a succession of naturally talented puppies and hope I never get one that is not. The things I enjoyed and admired most about each of them was bred in, not trained.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby STait » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:06 pm

AverageGuy wrote: The things I enjoyed and admired most about each of them was bred in, not trained.


Your whole post is excellent, but this sentence, for me, is the most relevant to this thread. Training is an act of control, to suit your personal needs. Less training is required on a prospect with genetics that more closely express the traits you desire..
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:01 am

slistoe, but the dog that has the genetics will never get to that level without training, which is what you suggested.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:15 am

average guy,
Your wrong on the difficult retrieves.

Through training, we can send dogs to retrieve when they would otherwise choose not to. EVEN with a great desire to retrieve. You shoot a chukar on the 4th day of the trip, dogs muscles sore,feet are bleeding and the bird flys uphill 150 yards into a bolder field and the dog doesn't see it. Thats when training comes into play. That retrieve becomes impossible without a high drive. but high drive will not get that bird by itself.

But I think you are spot on most of the rest. Give me a well bred puppy and its my fault if it gets screwed up.
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Re: Training Vs Genetics?

Postby slistoe » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:21 am

Kiger2 wrote:slistoe, but the dog that has the genetics will never get to that level without training, which is what you suggested.

No, what I said was that all the training in the world will not make a FC retriever if he is not gifted with the requisite amount of drive, memory and marking ability. Training cannot put those things into a dog, all you can do is develop them to their potential.
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