Must have items for new versatile pup?

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Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby rumbolt » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:53 pm

Hey all, Il be getting a dd pup this spring (the mother was just bred a few weeks ago) and I was wondering if anyone has any thought on important thing to have for the first year of training? I live in an isolated area so I'm looking to do some ordering before the pup arrived. The following is a list of items I have picked up thus far for the first year.

-25 foot check chord
-several collars
-snap lead
-slip lead
-puppy/adult dummies vinyl/canvas
-ripstop chest protector for the upland when the pup gets bigger (tough terrain here)
- bed
-kennel/crate
-grooming brushes/blade
-Nyla Bones/ elk bone / puppy kong
- food/water bowls
-chewing deterrent spray

I've looked online at some other list and I think Im setup pretty good but if theres anything with thoughts on good things to have for the 1st year I would love to hear them!
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:14 pm

Over the first year I recommend you also have the following. Segregated Pigeon coop or two coops. One with Homing Pigeons and the other with Shooter pigeons. 2 or 3 high quality reliable remote bird launchers. Training DVDs - I use and like Perfect Start, Perfect Finish and Perfect Retrieve. Tritronics/Garmin 550 Ecollar. I also use a training table for FF which you will likely undertake within the first year.

And at the risk of overwhelming you, I also use and recommend you have a high quality tracking collar. I use a Garmin Alpha so I can run just one collar on the dog and one transmitter on myself while hunting. I used the Alpha on my current pup in his first season and it allowed me to let the pup search with zero interference from me since I knew where he was in cover even when I could not see him. That was extremely valuable in letting this dog learn to range out which was what I wanted it to do. If I had instead often called him back just because I could not see him I do not think his range would have developed nearly as well as it did.

I have trained every dog I have owned but there are some steep startup costs to acquiring the equipment I use to do it. You might find someone in a NAVHDA chapter close to you who has pigeons and launchers and a willingness to let you train your pup with them.
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby rumbolt » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:44 pm

Thanks for the reply! I have been looking at the alpha so im glad you mentioned it as well I will pick one up for sure. As far as bird launchers I have 3 dlt remote quail launchers I forgot to add on the list and a ready supply of dove and quail from a local guy. I do not however have any training dvds just several versatile hunting books i have been recommended and a very extensive puppy training manual the breeder has supplied me with.
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:59 pm

Forgot Training pistol.

The style of training I use makes use of low level continuous stimulation teaching the dog the command first and then teaching that compliance turns it off, per the methods taught to me in the DVDs I mentioned. So an ecollar tool which allows for swift variability in the level of stimulation used is critical to giving the right instant feedback to the dog. Hence why I use a TT 550 for training. I like the Alpha for hunting but you only have 3 levels you can preprogram for training so it is very much inferior to the 550 in the training area. Again not trying to overwhelm you but rather sharing my experience and preferences.

I do not train with pen raised quail. They are very inconsistent and unreliable to fly away, instead not flying at all or low and short enough that any good puppy will chase them and catch them. Which takes the point right out of your puppy and makes training steadiness so much harder than if avoided in the first place. Pigeons fly away strongly and that is why I and many others use them.
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby orhunter » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:39 pm

A lot of the training stuff may not come into play till after the pup has had a full season of hunting. Be real careful about trying to do too much too soon. The urge to rush will be there, the need to rush won’t.

The most important thing a pup needs is several places to run off leash where the opportunity to develop is present. A dog’s world is through its nose and you’ll need to provide the opportunity for this to happen, you don’t train this stuff. These off leash excursions will give the pup the opportunity to develop a foundation, range, independence, search, learn cooperation, hand signals, practice obedience, the foundation that builds a hunting dog. Don’t ever think your pup was born without any natural ability and that you have to spoon feed it everything. Your only obligation for the next year is to provide your pup with endless opportunities to learn.
Last edited by orhunter on Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby rumbolt » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:57 pm

Thanks both of you for the recommendations on gear you use as well as the advice very helpful to say the least!
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby Calvinator » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:43 pm

A checkcord, birds, bumpers, more birds, crate, more birds, cow hooves, more birds, a 6' leash.

No need for an e-collar the first year. Garmin Alphas are way over rated!

If you plan to run VJP, then you'll need to get your pup into some rabbits/hare.

Keep it simple....keep it fun!

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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby rumbolt » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:52 pm

Thanks calvin and the rabbits wont be an issue loads of them near by, Im lucky enough to live at the edge of town with several fields and woods full of rabbits and grouse!
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:32 am

Well Rumbolt, welcome to asking for dog training advice on the internet. We do not all agree on everything. Exclamation points and bold opinions are easy to type so do not be unduly influenced by them is my advice on that.

I have had numerous puppies that benefitted from having an ecollar introduced and used correctly well before one year of age in their first hunting season. The tool if used correctly will be of great use. Used incorrectly it is a disaster. If you purchase and watch the DVDs I recommended you will learn the difference in short order as they are very clear and helpful.

My current dog turned 2 years old yesterday. He hunted pheasants, grouse, doves, quail, waterfowl, some fur, and recovered a deer in his first season, hunting in 6 states from Sept to Feb. Passed his NAVHDA Utility Test Prize 1 at 18 months of age. He is my most recent example of using an ecollar effectively starting at an much earlier age than 1 year as I have all my other puppies.

The Alpha tool is far too complicated and is not the best tool on the market for training as I noted already, but it is the least complicated approach for providing tone, ecollar stimulation, and GPS while hunting. When I see something better I will buy it. If you read closely you will see most people who disparage the Alpha tool do not own one, and the real reason for that is they already owned an ecollar and they did not want to pay the price so they bought the cheaper Astro and run two collars on the dog...

I work my puppies on pigeons in launchers starting about 3 months of age. Get them pointing and holding a point, then I start shooting the bird and letting them retrieve. Then I hunt the hair off the dog on wild birds in its first season only shooting birds when the dog holds its point and lets me flush the birds. After its first season and before its second season I undertake steady to WSF and FF training.

When I am working the young puppy on pigeons in launchers I stay completely silent. I am developing the puppies natural ability to search for and point birds. If the puppy follows its nose towards the bird once it smells It, I launch the pigeon, it flies away, the puppy gives chase for a distance, I walk towards the next bird and call the puppy to come with me if necessary. Many times starting this young they will break off the chase and swing back to go with me on their own. It is a natural development not a discipline exercise. The DVDs lay all this out. I am just adding some content to bridge between some of the seemingly conflicting posts here.

The reason I followed up with this is because you will hear alot of folks say just get the dog into wild birds. No doubt that is critical and for the best. But if you do some foundation work first to establish the point, hold point and then retrieve behavior using the pigeons and launchers your pup will be much more likely to point wild birds and provide you some shooting early on, which is a good thing for both of you. Good performance brings more good performance so the puppy learning that pointing and holding a point is the best path to getting a bird in its mouth is the goal. Proper use of the launchers can quickly teach the pup that following their nose towards the scent/bird and getting too close scares the bird into flight and never results in a retrieve.

Best of Luck, post some photos of your pup when it arrives.
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby Sooty42 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:55 am

First off, enjoy the cute puppy stage because it goes by really quick. Also, I am very novice so I don’t have much specific training advice. Here is what I have:

-Read some books before you get pup (I like, How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves, and Point! Training the all season birddog)
-From day one teach it how to use its nose (hide treats in house so they use their nose to find them, start easy and progress. You can also do drags in back yard with chicken skin or other yummy treat)
-Start retrieving in controlled area like a hallway (Averageguy has some good ideas about “puppy bumpers” that worked well for me)
-give lots of treats and praise

Good luck!
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby 3drahthaars » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:25 am

Ditch the check cord.

Forget the expensive launcher toys and budget a trip to midwest to get into real wild birds... (you'll thank me on this one when the other guys are still checkcording pups in the last weeks b4 VJP)!

Alphas are overated... a good refurbed ecollar from Collar Clinic and an Astro are a better route.

Get the pup in the field as much as possible and let it be a pup.

Dont get consumed and robotic about training and take time to bond... pups need to play with YOU...

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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby Urban_Redneck » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:05 am

orhunter wrote:A lot of the training stuff may not come into play till after the pup has had a full season of hunting. Be real careful about trying to do too much too soon. The urge to rush will be there, the need to rush won’t.

The most important thing a pup needs is several places to run off leash where the opportunity to develop is present. A dog’s world is through its nose and you’ll need to provide the opportunity for this to happen, you don’t train this stuff. These off leash excursions will give the pup the opportunity to develop a foundation, range, independence, search, learn cooperation, hand signals, practice obedience, the foundation that builds a hunting dog. Don’t ever think your pup was born without any natural ability and that you have to spoon feed it everything. Your only obligation for the next year is to provide your pup with endless opportunities to learn.


^^^^This ^^^^

Focus on your relationship with the pup. Pups mature at different rates, don't ever compare your pup to another, either real or, on the internet :razz:

When the "gotta knows" get to the point you can't stand it any longer, pen raised quail are good quarry to chase around the yard. As for gear, I wish I started with a Higgins releaser, I think they are perfect for keeping an alert bird in place without the surprise distraction of a launcher. Launchers are great when pup gets a little older.
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:17 am

Rumbolt, I live in the country and it sounds like you do too. I take my puppies for walks daily in natural cover where they learn all about terrain, woods, grass, brush, water, fences, ditches ... and encounter wild game along the way learning to use their nose as they do. It is critical to the puppy's development.

However, combining it with early development exercises and PR based training is also for the best. Absolutely no reason it needs to be just one or the other. Balance is always needed and reading the dog goes along with that.

This board is full of posts of folks frustrated with their young dogs running through the only covey of birds they found that day. The approach I suggest presents training birds in the most natural way to simulate wild birds and lays a foundation for success. My pups drag a light check cord but I never hold on to it during the exercise I laid out. The check cord is there so that when and if the puppy plays keep away with a shot bird I can get my foot on the cord and gently get the bird and move on.
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby rumbolt » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:40 am

Thanks for all your points of views on training and on equipment its very much appreciated. I will be sure to consider all of this when I begin training my pup!

Sooty43: thanks for the training advice and the recommendation on baileys book I actually ordered a copy on Amazon last night funny enough haha.

Averageguy: Thanks for all the response and I do live in the country for sure (Newfoundland Canada) I have a lot of access to wild birds and fur walking distance from my house. I do agree that variety in the pups training is key like you said and will be sure to keep it interesting and include both controlled pr training along with real field work with wild game when the time is right. I will also add pictures when the pup arrived and throughout the training process!
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Re: Must have items for new versatile pup?

Postby mastercaster » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:54 am

I bought a bottle of Natures Miracle spray in case the puppy peed on the floor. Her house breaking went very well so I only had to use it 4-5 times but it supposed to hide any of the scent left behind which could trigger them to pee in the same spot. The bottle is 99% full but i think it served a purpose. LOL

I also added a good training whistle to my training equipment. Not sure if the better dog trainers on here use one but my dog responds nicely to it. I used it specifically to teach recall (3 tweets) and whoa (1 tweet). When I start handling (direction change) with my pup it'll be two tweets and the hand. Once she's understands what I want hopefully just the hand signal will do the trick.
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