Training resource

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Training resource

Postby martner » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:22 am

I am new to the versitile dog world. I have a lot of experience with retrievers mostly labs. I have trained for hunt tests and field trials up to the finished and master level and even run a little qualifying in field trials. I have decided to go with a versitile dog for my next pup as my hunting style have changed through the years. My questions is what is out there for training programs for the versitile dog? I have experience with programs like Mike Lardy, Rick Stawski, and Evan Graham for retrievers and an looking for something similar for the versitile dog. I know every dog is different and takes adapting the program to the individual but it sure is nice to have kind of a road map as a guide. I have the book by Chuck Johnson just curious what else is out there for resources. Thanks for the help
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Re: Training resource

Postby Densa44 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:35 am

Welcome to the hobby. Our backgrounds are similar, I trained BLF before there were hunt tests, just Field trails.
Have a look at the Huntsmith videos, my son who didn't know which end to feed became a very good trainer in no time with Rick Smith's help.
As far as training the dog is concerned, you don't need near as much control, strong recall and thats about it. Well you need obedience but not the kind of handling that you have seen before.

Let us know how you are doing, and maybe you can make a new friend or two on here, that will help a lot.
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Re: Training resource

Postby martner » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:42 am

Thanks that's helpful. When I started training labs the only advice I got was to look at Richard Wolters stuff. I eventually learned that was an outdated way and there were more effective and efficient ways. Just looking to avoid that mistake with a versitile dog.
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Re: Training resource

Postby orhunter » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:51 am

I wouldn't think you'd need to change much in the beginning. One big difference is retrievers lives are built around fetching and V-Dogs is around birds. That doesn't mean you need to sacrifice fetching, it's about getting beyond the fetch. Compare the Labradors built in (genetic) predisposition for fetching, the V-Dog is genetically predisposed to point and fetch. One thing you'll need to be aware of is the V-Dogs get terribly bored with repetition. You never want to reach this point in training, always leave them wanting for more.

A lot of what a V-Dog is made of requires little training. It's about providing opportunity for a young dog to develop what's been bred in. Crossing the bridge from Labradors to V-Dogs will take some restraint on your part so you don't get into training for what the pup will learn on its own. Never forget the word, "opportunity." While Labradors key off the hunter/handler, V-Dogs key off the land and the birds and such that live there. Never stand between the dog and the land.
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Re: Training resource

Postby 3drahthaars » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:23 pm

Following up with orhunter, these dogs in general have a high level of intelligence and I believe that causes premature boredom.

If you select a JGHV breed and go through the testing it's good to get a pup from a litter timed to have your pup at about 8mo age for its first fall (hunting season). Pup should be just right physically, intellectually, and emotionally for the "juices" to kick in. That is, the pointing and retrieving instincts will have developed and will develop with the exposure (vs. "training"), and this will more than prepare for the spring and following fall tests.

Other than that... enjoy your pup and expose it so that it enjoys hunting as much or more than you.

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Re: Training resource

Postby marsh » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:31 pm

Trained a couple labs and moved to a PP. good stuff above. I think the big thing for me was to let the dog go- just shut up and let him range.... as a whole- I do not think you can put as much pressure on Vdogs as the retrieving breeds. Good luck with the new venture. I think joining a NAVHDA chapter is a good move too.
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Re: Training resource

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:30 pm

I use the Perfect Start and Perfect Finish DVDs for certain segments of training. Lots of exposure to game in game country as they grow up. Trained a good recall, play retrieve, decent heel, bird, gun, water, decoy, ground blind, and boat introductions and then hunted my current pup in his first season on Doves, Teal, Ducks, Grouse, Quail, Pheasants and one deer blood track. After the seasons closed we moved to formal training for Steadiness, FF, Drags, Duck Search, Better Heel, Blood Tracking. We trained dedicated on Steadiness and then FF, but once we had those down pretty well we have been working all of those subjects on a daily rotational basis currently to avoid boredom and tighten them up - pup is 17 months old to give you a feel. I like to let them have their head to large degree in their first season. Glad to visit with you further if you want to send me a PM.
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Re: Training resource

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:45 am

One thing retriever guys have a hard time transitioning to is to NOT push rote work. A V dog will get bored and shut down in a heartbeat if you bore him. By rote I mean piles and fine lines. This is going to seem odd to you, but I only put out a T with two bumpers on each leg. I try to keep it short and fun. As soon as they line and handle on a T, I try to get them on walking baseball.,they LOVE the challenge of walking baseball. I also run a lot of known blinds. It takes a long time to develop a V dog this way, but what's the rush? Only in the retriever world do you try for the two year old FC.

I do FF my dogs, land and water.

If I were to recommend a program, there really isn't ONE. I'd force the dog using Smart Fetch then switch to either Perfect Start and Perfect Finish or George Hicock. Both are collar programs. If you're not training the dog to be a HANDLING duck dog, it's a lot easier.

As others have said, these dogs are incredibly intelligent, maybe more so than a Lab, but their hate of rote stops them from learning at the rate a lab does. These are BIRD dogs and they are great ones IF you don't push them. Believe me when I tell you that IF you get in a battle of wills with a German dog, you are probably going to lose.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Training resource

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:41 am

Walking Baseball is my go to drill for Vdogs. The dogs love it, and by using imagination it can be expanded to involve multiple dummies, visible or not, lining drills, poison birds, or just about anything you can think of, including dead bird searches.

I concur about the dogs getting bored with too many reps... and shutting down pretty quickly from too much pressure.
Also, I'm never prepared for how slow they seem to mature compared to labs - but well worth the wait.
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Re: Training resource

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:16 pm

just to add that treats will increase the reps considerably. A caveat is that you should finish the retrieve to the front and only then either treat or not, then reposition for a blind or mark. It doesn't take many treats for the dog to come to expect them and will look at you for it instead of taking a line ( hence, do front finish and it won't be a problem).
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Re: Training resource

Postby TarHeel » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:35 pm

My DD is around 6 months and I am new to training also. How does one balance some waterfowl training with field?
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Re: Training resource

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:40 pm

TarHeel wrote:My DD is around 6 months and I am new to training also. How does one balance some waterfowl training with field?


I generally work on upland bird subjects on those days when it is cooler and a good wind is blowing so the pup can smell birds from some distance away and do a reasonably long search for birds. Days without wind and/or more heat are when I will do waterwork. While running my pup through upland bird country I also carry a bumper in my training vest and toss a few water retrieves at the ponds we encounter. Some heeling, sit, stay, down work in the parking lot before we load up and head home. If I have worked and shot a pigeon for the pup relative to pointing work, I will often give the pup a water retrieve with the same bird at a nearby pond. I set aside some days to expose the pup to a decoy spread on a pond, doing retrieves through the spread, exposure to my duck boats and dog ground blind, some sitting and steadiness work working OB into those waterfowl hunting subjects.

When I start FF I stay away from shooting any birds relative to upland bird training until I have the dog where it understands the right way to pick, hold and deliver the bird. Once we have that down we start mixing our routine up again. I want to avoid boring either one of us.
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