Sticking with the handler??

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Sticking with the handler??

Postby mastercaster » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:54 am

This summer I've been doing a couple of hikes per week with my griff who is now 7 1/2 months old. Her fitness is off the charts,,,,,she's always in the lead going up the trail and then coming back down to me. She never lags behind so I don't think the distance we've been going is an issue. I've been going with couple of other guys and I'm always up front on the way up because my fitness level is better than theirs.

On the way back down, though, one of the guys likes to go quicker than I want to go because I always have a track practice the next day and I want to save my legs. He likes to jog down the trail whenever possible and my griff likes to be out front and goes with him. So my question is whether or not this is a good idea and okay for her to go with him? I often don't see her for the next hour. My friend does keep her close and the dog certainly isn't phased by the fact that I'm not there. Should a dog always be with the handler,,,,or does it really matter in situations such as this?
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Re: Sticking with the handler??

Postby gwp4me2 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:45 pm

A few random thoughts. Any good bird dog will stay to the front. Some dogs also want to be to the front out of competition. Your friend is a regular part of your 'pack' on these walks so the pup hasn't really left the group. What would happen if a stranger came by on the trail? I'm guessing the pup would realize the difference and come back and find somebody it knows. Another interesting thing I believe is that dogs aren't nearly as good as we think they are at recognizing us. If you appear somewhere that they don't expect and they can't smell you or hear a familiar voice they may very well treat you like a stranger. Also if you are in the middle of a group they might not recognize you right away.

This is fixable of course but you have to measure what you want. You could call the dog back about the time your friend is getting out of sight. Keep it closer for several minutes and then you are the front of the line again. Remember though that if you spend a lot of time with these people and the dog is used to obeying them as well they are also 'handlers' in the dogs mind.
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Re: Sticking with the handler??

Postby mastercaster » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:33 pm

gwp4me2 wrote:A few random thoughts. Any good bird dog will stay to the front. Some dogs also want to be to the front out of competition. Your friend is a regular part of your 'pack' on these walks so the pup hasn't really left the group. What would happen if a stranger came by on the trail? I'm guessing the pup would realize the difference and come back and find somebody it knows. Another interesting thing I believe is that dogs aren't nearly as good as we think they are at recognizing us. If you appear somewhere that they don't expect and they can't smell you or hear a familiar voice they may very well treat you like a stranger. Also if you are in the middle of a group they might not recognize you right away.

This is fixable of course but you have to measure what you want. You could call the dog back about the time your friend is getting out of sight. Keep it closer for several minutes and then you are the front of the line again. Remember though that if you spend a lot of time with these people and the dog is used to obeying them as well they are also 'handlers' in the dogs mind.


I guess that's not a whole lot different for those owners who send their dogs to a professional trainer.
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Re: Sticking with the handler??

Postby orhunter » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:32 pm

Your dog is having fun, nothing more. Nice it likes to hang around more folks than yourself. It's a Griff, they like people.
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Re: Sticking with the handler??

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:25 am

I guess I'm more of a control freak, in so much as I would rather not have my dog out of my sight and in someone else's control for an hour or more. How's your friend in controlling your dog when a deer cross the path ahead of him or when other dogs show up?... stuff like that. Not a big deal, but I probably would teach heel and have the dog stay with me. You're not in a hunting situation so why can't the dog heel behind you? On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with what you're doing so if you're comfortable, go for it.
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