Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

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Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby woodboro » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:18 pm

An interesting comment was made a while back giving or questioning the value of the JGHV testing system and hunting in general.
The comment was similar to this : "After a VGP tested dog , it takes at least 2 weeks to get the hunt back into the dog."

The above comment was projected as if the VGP test puts so much obedience into the dog that the natural ability of the breeding of the 'hunting' dog is compromised.

Another perspective of this above comment is that it would be better in the interest of hunting to test a dog only thru HZP,AZP or similar natural (as well as trained) tests to get the best
out of a dog for hunting.

I will not state where I heard this comment as well as where it came from , but it is an interesting comment that truly creates the 'value ' of what we all call 'hunting tests' and the value of
what European countries established for over 100 + years.

I will chime in with IMO after awhile , but like to see others perspectives.
I respect everyone's opinions.
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby randomnut » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:20 pm

Here's my IMO. Things looked for in the HZP, VGP, and Btr?, are what I'm looking for in a dog. All things tested for replicate situations I may see in a hunting season. The testing keeps me training, and that's the main reason I test. Without it, I may never end up with a well trained dog, cause I like to hunt more than train. I could possibly see where a dog trained hard for HZP or VGP, could affect upland performance for a bit, but I figure most dogs would get back to normal quick.
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:10 am

I hadn't intended to VGP my dogs. But then I found situations during hunting season where steady to shot and fall, prolonged down-stay etc would have been useful. So now I'm training for VGP.

The only time I can think of increased obedience ruining a dog is if your training methods decrease drive. We had a Malinois in my performance dog class who refused to retrieve. The reason why?? Because they had over-used the e-collar training heel and the dog wouldn't leave the owners side.

I don't question the validity of the VGP, I would instead question the training methods of the individual giving you that advice.
Vivian II vom Jagdkonig- VJP 71 HZP 191 VGP 262 Prize III
Arabella vom Hoheren Boden- VJP 74 HZP 181/189 VGP 281 Prize I
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby 3drahthaars » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:13 pm

Anecdotally, I've judged a number of dogs that failed VGP that were better dogs and more so better hunting dogs than some that I passed at VGP.

My current DD is out of a sire that failed VGP... he was head and shoulders above many that passed in virtually every aspect, especially disposition. He failed a subject due to circumstances that I believe 90% of the dogs that pass aren't presented, but if so would also have failed!

That said, VGP requires a level of experience and maturity that some dogs rushed into the test haven't yet developed. I think that I've seen young dogs start blinking when the pressure of steadiness to WSF is applied. A very precocious pup in my club started flagging when the handler pressed the steadiness training. She eventually got back into form after a couple exposures back on wild birds. In some cases they needed another season of hunting to mature.

Another case would be the brood bitches that are tested by a breeder, get the marketable scores, and never have or never will see a wild bird in their breeding lives. But, this is a different story.

In general the VGP in and of itself shouldn't make a less huntable dog.


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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby OBXDD » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:18 am

I will say one of the things training for the VGP that was a detriment to hunting was the freshly shot bird. My dog was very good at pointing way back at first scent staying 20 to 30 yds off the bird. She learned this from busting a few wild coveys of quail hunting her first season .
I had to pretty much get her to break and creep in to pick up the shot bird for training for the test. Now she wants to creep in every time to get a closer look, and I trained her to do it. It makes me mad every time she does it now to know I “fixed “something that was not broke.
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby woodboro » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:35 am

I have run several dogs thru the test system. (JGHV)
My first DD that had only tested in the VJP test, was one of my best bird and duck dogs of all time.
His training was the old style 2-3 years training in a hunting format.
Headaches were common, but after 3 years , he was a 'master hunter'

I will say one of the things training for the VGP that was a detriment to hunting was the freshly shot bird. My dog was very good at pointing way back at first scent staying 20 to 30 yds off the bird. She learned this from busting a few wild coveys of quail hunting her first season .
I had to pretty much get her to break and creep in to pick up the shot bird for training for the test. Now she wants to creep in every time to get a closer look, and I trained her to do it. It makes me mad every time she does it now to know I “fixed “something that was not broke.
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If a dog is able to be steady at scent from 20-30 yards away , I am not sure why the dog had issues retrieving a 'freshly shot bird' ?
Dog should of known it was 'DEAD'
A dog steady on scent a long ways has an advantage over the planted (liberated) birds in a test and will not crowd the fleet at foot or wing bird.
If she is creeping in now after a test , that is a simple fix over one or two training sessions to resteady the dog.
If she is smart enough to understand a bird on the move , she is one step closer to cornering her birds if she is up wind from a bird.
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby OBXDD » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:47 pm

You asked for opinions so I gave you mine from what I experienced. Yes she could be steadied up again real easily, She handles running pheasants like a dream before and after. I don't think it's the test itself but how some people prepare for it. Being a first time handler I didn't know you could use a release command until a week before the test. That's my fault. I have seen some people training blowing their halt whistle ad nauseum to the point the dog looks back trying to anticipate the whistle. That may be fine for some but the way I hunt I don't have room for a sticky dog.
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby 3drahthaars » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:26 am

OBXDD wrote:You asked for opinions so I gave you mine from what I experienced. Yes she could be steadied up again real easily, She handles running pheasants like a dream before and after. I don't think it's the test itself but how some people prepare for it. Being a first time handler I didn't know you could use a release command until a week before the test. That's my fault. I have seen some people training blowing their halt whistle ad nauseum to the point the dog looks back trying to anticipate the whistle. That may be fine for some but the way I hunt I don't have room for a sticky dog.


Yes. And, no.

If you remember the retrieve of a freshly shot gamebird was the topic of a 25min long discussion at a judging seminar last summer... When a room full of judges including the Director of Judge Development take that long to discuss a supposedly simple retrieving subject it should tell you something.

I tells me that we're not completely comfortable with how to evaluate it. And if you're not sure of that, how do you train for it?
I always felt there was a translation issue in the PO, because if it is an equivalent OB subject like a drag... why should a handler not be able to give a "fetch" / "apport" command?

Defaulting to a hunting situation, which I believe was the final outcome of the seminar discussion, you should be able to give the dog a release command when you feel it's "sticking" on a crippled bird. (Most especially on an HZP level puppy)

I've personally had this opportunity on a sharptail, and I could argue that I'd rather my dog hold point until I read her and make the decision for her to go in or let me flush. In my case it was a crippled bird from the day before roosting with 3 live birds... a good lesson for both me and the pup.

I think that circling around, this begs the question of what is the VGP's purpose. If you take into consideration a prior post's statement of a dog should know that the bird is crippled... this is an indication that VGP is a test for "experienced" hunting dogs vs. dogs/pups just "trained" to handle a test subject.

I've namedropped this before. Dr. Tabel has made comments that too many handlers are pushing young dogs through VGP, and that he believes that handlers should wait an extra year or so to let the dogs mature and gain practical hunting experience before the utility test.

I for one believe that the testing system was developed for hunting dogs not "gamers" or recreational handlers. What we train for in VGP should be something that can be practically transferred to the field!

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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby woodboro » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:05 am

I will give this one example , which is pretty similar to any hunting situation forest, field and water.
Buschieren is a dense cover search in which a dog must search and hunt cover and during this process the handler shoots at least one shot.
The dog is then supposed to search under the gun for any game.
If the adjoining field has a freshly shot bird (dead bird) , the dog is to continue his search and retrieve any and all dead game.

I will only reference my own hunting experiences , but I have shot and thought I had missed a bird in the woods.
The dog continued the hunt but in his search came across either a dead or wounded bird.
Can't tell you how many times a phez hunt , I thought I shot and killed a bird 'stone dead' , to find the dog doing a search to find the wounded bird.
(same goes for the wounded shot bird , to find the bird 2-300 yards away 'stone dead'
All most all of my ducks shot are always blind retrieve searches.

A versatile hunting dog can be hunt trained , but a methodical training schedule brings out the versatile hunting dog.Most hunters that buy a versatile
hunting dog do not know of the dogs skills until they train the dog. This is why JGHV as well as VDD 100+ years ago created a hunting test system to
educate handlers to train their dogs to be versatile.

My initial OP argument was that the test system compromises a hunting dog.
That statement was not mine , and would never become mine.

The first time I trained a dog for a VGP test , I was amazed what great dogs we have.
The old saying " you DD guys think pretty highly of your selves"
Its amazing how many of those same guys that eventually bought a versatile dog , then realized what they owned.
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby 3drahthaars » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:13 pm

woodboro wrote:I will give this one example , which is pretty similar to any hunting situation forest, field and water.
Buschieren is a dense cover search in which a dog must search and hunt cover and during this process the handler shoots at least one shot.
The dog is then supposed to search under the gun for any game.
If the adjoining field has a freshly shot bird (dead bird) , the dog is to continue his search and retrieve any and all dead game.
He's supposed to search under the gun for the entire search... it's an evaluation of a dog adjusting his search to the cover, i.e. a cooperative search. A dog out of sight, in dense cover is not paying attention to the hunter... note that further on into the PO it references handling and multiple commands.

I will only reference my own hunting experiences , but I have shot and thought I had missed a bird in the woods.
The dog continued the hunt but in his search came across either a dead or wounded bird.
Can't tell you how many times a phez hunt , I thought I shot and killed a bird 'stone dead' , to find the dog doing a search to find the wounded bird.
(same goes for the wounded shot bird , to find the bird 2-300 yards away 'stone dead'
All most all of my ducks shot are always blind retrieve searches.

A versatile hunting dog can be hunt trained , but a methodical training schedule brings out the versatile hunting dog.Most hunters that buy a versatile
hunting dog do not know of the dogs skills until they train the dog. This is why JGHV as well as VDD 100+ years ago created a hunting test system to
educate handlers to train their dogs to be versatile.

My initial OP argument was that the test system compromises a hunting dog.
That statement was not mine , and would never become mine.

The first time I trained a dog for a VGP test , I was amazed what great dogs we have.
The old saying " you DD guys think pretty highly of your selves"
Its amazing how many of those same guys that eventually bought a versatile dog , then realized what they owned.


Actually, I think that most DD guys think pretty highly of our dogs and the other versatile breeds for that matter. We (i.e. dog guys) all have issues with those who think highly of themselves.

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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby woodboro » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:38 am

He's supposed to search under the gun for the entire search... it's an evaluation of a dog adjusting his search to the cover, i.e. a cooperative search. A dog out of sight, in dense cover is not paying attention to the hunter... note that further on into the PO it references handling and multiple commands.
3d


In the VGPO buschieren : It does NOT say the dog must hunt under the gun the whole time.
The search under the gun occurs when the shot is fired. The rest of the search in dense cover is to be like regular hunting conditions.
Obviously coop and over running his nose deters from good score as well as hunting and supplying birds for the hunter.

My point is that practicing for the test , makes for a better hunter.
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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby 3drahthaars » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:35 pm

woodboro wrote:He's supposed to search under the gun for the entire search... it's an evaluation of a dog adjusting his search to the cover, i.e. a cooperative search. A dog out of sight, in dense cover is not paying attention to the hunter... note that further on into the PO it references handling and multiple commands.
3d


In the VGPO buschieren : It does NOT say the dog must hunt under the gun the whole time.

Buschieren (taken directly from the PO)

(2)
a) The dog should search under the gun and should handle with ease and without requiring many loud commands. The dog should search the dense cover calmly and methodically, so that the handler can follow his dog easily.
b) When evaluating the work the judges have to especially assess the good contact between the handler and his dog.

This seems implicit to me... dog searches under the gun throughout (not just after the shot).


The search under the gun occurs when the shot is fired. The rest of the search in dense cover is to be like regular hunting conditions.
Obviously coop and over running his nose deters from good score as well as hunting and supplying birds for the hunter.

My point is that practicing for the test , makes for a better hunter.


I'm not going to tout my resume', but I dare say I've been judging (and hunting) long enough to know.

The practical side is that when hunting thick cover, and a dog is not under the gun throughout the search and goes on point... how is the handler supposed to locate her to position for a flush and a shot?

There is reading a PO literally, and then there is implementing the PO practically as a hunter...

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on implementation.

So, rather than clutter things up on the web, I'd suggest that you attend a JGHV judges seminar and ask questions and/or contest my interpretation there.

Good luck with your Buschieren training,

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Re: Hunting dog vs (VGP tested dog /non tested dog)

Postby woodboro » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:09 pm

15(2) a
without shooting a gun , you would expect the dog to work under the gun ?
IMO I would expect the dog to search outside of gun range to point to allow the gun to supply game.
Now granted if the cover was so dense that you could not see the dog I would expect the dog to be within gun range to target a fleeing bird.
The tests that you have run your dogs as well as judged , has the cover been so dense you could not see the dog ?
How did you then evaluate the dogs search without seeing it ?
The old saying we judge only what we see.
-------------------------------- We will chalk up your last post to the finale of this thread.

The bottom line to this OP and thread was to determine if people truly knew the value of training for a test, compared to not testing / and or not training for subjects
that would be put into practice for hunting. (I guess that's why they are not called trials , but hunting tests)
Thank you for all your replies, I have learned something.
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