VGP Training Guide

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VGP Training Guide

Postby CurlyDD » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:40 am

Now that hunting season is wrapping up, I'm starting to think testing next fall. Other that the VGPO is there any other readable resource that you recommend for training? My dogs breeder, Mike and Wendy Hack, are only 15 minutes away from where I live so I definitely have experienced trainers to talk to also.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Deuce » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:27 am

IMO, no book is going to give you the level of advice those two can.

I ran VGP this fall and never really found a good book. I did find a variety of articles online which I read and re-read as needed. Google VGP training, or the various aspects of the test you're looking for insight to and go from there.

What litter is your dog from? I ran HZP up there last fall. Y'all have some great grounds and they have some great dogs.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby CurlyDD » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:17 pm

G Litter, out of Paul vom Eichenloh and Dara vom Cranberry Creek. I agree with the area, I'm pretty spoiled with my family owning Cranberry marshes in the area so I have plenty of grounds to train on. Mike and Wendy have been great with helping me out and they want their litters to succeed too, so I have that going for me
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Deuce » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:45 pm

Good deal, I don't remember Dara, but it's hard to forget Paul.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Steven » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:50 pm

Can't help with a book and to be quite honest, there was only 1 person in a 5+ hour drive of me who had passed the VGP when I started out. Most of the training can be broken down into logical steps and builds upon your training for HZP. Start with your VGPO, itemize the test scenarios, then itemize the individual tasks the dog must perform. You'll see that alot of the subjects require similar skills so train for the skills in a way that equips the dog for success in the subjects. With a very solid FETCH foundation from HZP I was in maintenance mode for FETCH until I was good with my steadiness and bloodwork. Steadiness work began with STOP TO FLUSH, then STOP TO SHOT before working on any birds. Having a dog STOP TO SHOT reinforces your reliability in the Down/Stay phase of the test as well.

With blood, start short (age and length) and then work out to long (age and length) progressively laying more difficult tracks and then using less blood. Train beyond what you plan to run for the test . . . if running a day track, train to 600 m aged 8 hours for example. Mark your tracks early so you can follow them but toward the end, you want them unmarked and laid by a partner because this is when you really build trust in your dog and more importantly your ability to read your dog . . . . . these are paramount for the blood track.

Continue water work just like you did in the HZP but expanding to more areas, bigger water, nastier water, etc. Introducing basic handling can help, too, to get your dog to cover areas of the water they may not expand into for one reason or another.

Train for your independent forest search just like you did for the HZP duck search, only you'll be in the woods. Seed the forest and send the dog to find and retrieve the game for you. As your training progresses, just place the game farther and farther away until they are searching about 200 yds out front and to your right and left. The only time they won't find game in the forest is on test day, just like the only time they won't find a duck in the water will be the Search without Duck.

Throughout the whole training, maintain high expectations for general obedience the whole day. By the time the VGP comes around, you'll have a well prepared dog and you'll be confident on test day.
"A bird dog already wants to find and point birds. It's my job to take nothing away from that and add those little things that WE want them to do. . ." - Maurice Lindley
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Georgia Boy » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:26 pm

There is a good book called, Prize 1, written by Dr Martin Coffman. There is another book written many years ago by Larry Rogers called, preparing a utility dog. I have both books, I can provide you the contact information for obtaining Prize 1, the other I have no idea where to obtain a copy, I got mine from an old friend.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Duckdon » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:32 am

Georgia Boy wrote:There is a good book called, Prize 1, written by Dr Martin Coffman. There is another book written many years ago by Larry Rogers called, preparing a utility dog. I have both books, I can provide you the contact information for obtaining Prize 1, the other I have no idea where to obtain a copy, I got mine from an old friend.


Post it up Mike.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby DrahtsundBraats » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:41 am

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the book by Larry Rogers had been re-published. Maybe DDGUY can be helpful.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Georgia Boy » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:43 pm

Duckdon wrote:
Georgia Boy wrote:There is a good book called, Prize 1, written by Dr Martin Coffman. There is another book written many years ago by Larry Rogers called, preparing a utility dog. I have both books, I can provide you the contact information for obtaining Prize 1, the other I have no idea where to obtain a copy, I got mine from an old friend.


Post it up Mike.
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PRIZE I is a step-by-step training manual that will guide you through preparation for the VJP, HZP, and VGP under the JGHV testing program. 144 pages of specific training regimes, strategies and tactics for test day, gear to buy, and general advice around each test subject.
It is available for $29 by check to: Tombigbee River Outfitters LLC; 22378 CR 34; Saint Stephens AL 36569. Price includes postage. Interested parties can reach Martin Coffman at coffdmv@gmail.com
Last edited by Georgia Boy on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby CurlyDD » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:08 pm

Thanks for the replies and I'll definitely add that to my shelf Georgia Boy. Steven, right now we have some snow on the ground so I think at least during the winter months that I'm going to focus on obedience part. Last summer, Curly (the hound) had some problems with down-stay and the driven hunt both being very excited and vocal while waiting. Have to go back to the foundation and work my way back to what is required for VGP. Has anyone ever worked a artificial blood track when there is snow on the ground or should I wait until the spring/summer?
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Steven » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:49 pm

I ran a real track in snow last winter. Loved it because I could easily spot any drops of blood as we went. Dog didn't have any trouble. I would think it would be fine for training and help you much like marking a track will since the blood will be so visible, not to mention your foot tracks.
"A bird dog already wants to find and point birds. It's my job to take nothing away from that and add those little things that WE want them to do. . ." - Maurice Lindley
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby CurlyDD » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:03 pm

The only thing I don't really like about the idea, is allowing the dog to use its eyes too much following the track. Right now because of this warm front, we only have ~8" on the ground but once the lake effect starts back up we will get hammered again.
VDD - Gitta vom Cranberry Creek, VJP - 71, HZP - 180, VGP - Pz.1 306
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby 3drahthaars » Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:03 pm

CurlyDD wrote:Thanks for the replies and I'll definitely add that to my shelf Georgia Boy. Steven, right now we have some snow on the ground so I think at least during the winter months that I'm going to focus on obedience part. Last summer, Curly (the hound) had some problems with down-stay and the driven hunt both being very excited and vocal while waiting. Have to go back to the foundation and work my way back to what is required for VGP. Has anyone ever worked a artificial blood track when there is snow on the ground or should I wait until the spring/summer?


Most dogs fail on OB, probably because it is tedious and the other subjects are more fun to train, so handlers neglect it.

The artificial blood track is truly not a big deal, especially the day track at a test, because there is blood PLUS at least 3 sets of judges' footprints along the entire track. When your pup fails that... he's giving you the "toe". If you train with cow blood and have deer blood at the test, it's another bonus. There is something about the wild game blood that seems to perk a pup up. Put something at the end of the track that pup REALLY wants and will hang fur to get to will improve his enthusiasm. He needs to want to get to the end for more than just avoiding an @$$whipping!!!!

Being vocal is another issue. It's a failure at the driven hunt. And, your pup is evaluated for that even when you are not directly under evaluation, i.e. he's in a crate waiting. It can sometimes be trained out of a dog... sometimes not, and that is where the VGP shows what's between the ears. I personally don't look at the VGP score as a raw number/ pass or fail. I look specifically for the reason for failure to get a clue for what type of dog it is.

My pup's father failed VGP... personally, considering the situation and how I know most guys train, 90% of the "lucky dogs" that pass would fail too under the same circumstances... luck of the test. But, other than that neglect in training he was a solid dog and the reason I got her.

Good luck,

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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby CurlyDD » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:27 pm

3ds, I think that is what makes me the happiest about this dog.. The fact that during the week she'll be laying around acting like she just got done hunting. Her manners inside the house and crated are exceptional. The only times I have problems with her being vocal is when there is a gun around and she gets excited. I can't blame the dog cause every time I shoot something drops :lol: but I know by shooting enough around her while demanding obedience will help mitigate these excitement problems. With that said does anyone have tips with calming the dog down? At this point, I think my approach will be shooting enough rounds that she begins to dissociate the gun itself with a retrieve and more the command I give her. She just turned two, two days ago so I believe age will help also.
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Re: VGP Training Guide

Postby Wolfgang » Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:23 am

[
Being vocal is another issue. It's a failure at the driven hunt. And, your pup is evaluated for that even when you are not directly under evaluation, i.e. he's in a crate waiting. It can sometimes be trained out of a dog... sometimes not, and that is where the VGP shows what's between the ears. I personally don't look at the VGP score as a raw number/ pass or fail. I look specifically for the reason for failure to get a clue for what type of dog it is.

Its great to see that someone else beside me is paying attention to this severe fault and hope you are not the only VR in the US doing so.Dogs who are permanently barking whining and jodeling (for excitement which every handler will tell you) are not only a pain in the a$$ when being around on a buddy hunt it disqualifies them for many types of hunting which I/we do with V-dogs and is usually only one of the negative traits those dogs have and are genetically fixed along with others in the gene pool.
My observation is that this type of dog has very often many dogs in his/her ancestry which are marked spl und most of the time the jodeler himself has also the spl slash.
Anyway the major problem is that in a VGP, tested here in my area, the forest part with driven hunt is at the end of the test and judges here seem to have a serious problem to penalize a dog which has successfully completed all parts so far !
Being a part of the judge team and mention that fault the most common excuse to hear is, Oh its not a breed test and if its really so bad it should have been recorded already at VJP or HZP! or you don't get a response but instead will be asked would you disqualify this dog which has done so well so far only for a little barking out of excitement? Or you will be told Oh this dog has been hunted hard already and he knows what gunfire means and is excited.
I don't know of a single case were a dog failed VGP for that reason,but know alot who failed the 100%similar task in JEP and passed VGP without a problem later on in the same part (but often failed in another :D )
I know like everybody else that you can solve this problem with strict obedience and in your country were e-collar use is legal just by pushing the button sometime, but the real idiots can't even be cured with hardcore correction and at least those should be eliminated from broodstock do do every hunter and handler a favour.And VGPO is absolutely clear and easy to understand and doesn't leave any room for different interpretation § 91 (2)
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