UT test training

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Re: UT test training

Postby Stretch » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:48 pm

The goose hunters are missing out on good company. I don’t like hunting without a dog. Have had a hunting dog since I was old enough to hunt by myself and can’t ever see being without one.
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Re: UT test training

Postby ryanr » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:32 pm

Densa44 wrote:Not too soon at all. My son ran his dog in NA and UT on the same weekend. The dog got a 112 in NA and a pz 2 in UT. My advice is to work on the water, I'll say it again, water, water, and more water. The other upland tasks you can teach her in a short time, as others have said.
Duck hunt as much as you can. Depending on where you live there may be places to pick up lots of cripples a day or two after the season opens, this IMO is great experience for a young dog.
Don't handle your dog on a duck search until after the UT test. Practice the duck drag and the long wait when there is lots of gun fire.

If there are no ducks where you live visit me in Alberta, we have just about run out of duck hunters.


Water? Wouldn't you want to work on the retrieve first, ie force breaking before doing the other stuff? After all isn't it the retrieve that comes into play in basically every aspect of the test, more so than any other task really. Once you have the dog forced then the other stuff should start to fall into place more smoothly, no?

And it's summer, not exactly duck hunting season.

I think if I we're the OP, I'd at least take CR's advice and give that article regarding a plan for training for the UT a real close read.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
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Re: UT test training

Postby Fun Dog » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:10 pm

I would start training for it, but not push the date of the test. Your dog has plenty of time to grow up into more serious training. It’s going to take longer without the e-collar. And remember that half the test is retrieving.
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Re: UT test training

Postby Stretch » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:00 pm

He does really good on retrieving bumpers and pheasant. I need to go get a couple ducks and start doing some training with them. Although he came scratching at the door today with one in his mouth still alive.
I haven’t done any FF stuff and think I can skip most of it since he has a pretty good retrieve. Going to try, to just train hold and see how that goes.
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Re: UT test training

Postby centershots » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:55 pm

Stretch there's some great advise above I'll just toss out a caution here... And just FYI, I've trained a number of UT dogs for myself and others, as well as judged and gunned over them. One of the things I've seen that happens... a lot, is that someone does well in the NA and wants to go right to training for UT. The UT is the major league and IMO puts a lot of pressure on pups. Think about the mind set in a UT test. Field work, the dog must comply on lots of stuff, pointing, retrieving, steadiness, etc, you work as a team. Then think about the drag, go do this on your own with no commands other than fetch, dead bird or whatever, then don't look at me because I can't help you, again you're on your own, but bring me back the duck. Now go to heeling and steady at the blind, back to full compliance with you. Heel, stay put while I shoot, stay put while others shoot, stay put while the duck is in the air and splashes in front of you, now go fetch the bird. Now go to the duck search, one command and don't look at me because I can't help you, you're on your own again. This can confuse a pup and the training it takes for the UT can shut a dog down, or take the desire out of it if done too soon. I've seen it many, many times. Now are there pups that can handle it, you bet, but they are the rare and not the norm. I just UTed my pup at 1 year 11 months and I would have waited a bit longer if it wasn't for NAVHDA judging criteria. He got a Prize II, 197 (Three in duck search, or he would have had a prize I.) But I was very careful and backed way off on training a few times on the road to the test. And I hunt my dogs 3-5 times a week during the season, so they have lots of game time under their belly. (I actually think time afield can be more important than age.) I only toss this out because it sounds like you have an awesome pup and yep, maybe it could take the pressure and training, but maybe not... is it worth the risk? Or would it be better to let the pup enjoy hunting, mature a bit and spend quality time afield with you first... and then consider training for the UT? And I'll add something here, lots of dogs that have "pretty good retrieves" stop retrieving well when the pressure of UT training is applied. It's their way of telling you I don't like this pressure so screw you, I'm no longer bringing you the bird. Seen that loads of times... so FF almost always comes into play when training for the UT. JMO and some stuff to think about...
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Re: UT test training

Postby Densa44 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:09 am

This is Heresy! So maybe you shouldn't read it. There are some very important differences between the rookies and the pros (other than the obvious ones) The pro can't pick breed or pedigree, doesn't know what has been done to the dog, and has a fixed amount of time to show results. He is also trying to earn a living, the rookie is doing all this for fun.

Use the least amount of force to get the results that you need. For example many years ago I ran a very good BLF in CKC trails up until Open (that's when my kids were born) and she was never forced fetched. Always picked up the birds, dead and alive and would pick up what I dropped. When I started I'd never heard of FF and when I was told what it was and how it was done, I decided that by then, she was running junior (Derby) and doing well. I wasn't going to do that to her. In those days it was said that the dog "was too soft" and couldn't take the training.

It has been mentioned above by others what happens if you put too much pressure on a young dog, or any dog, they are right. One advantage that you have over the pro is that you know your dog very well. will she willingly retrieve? Always?

Pressure is a 2 edged sword and can cause serious problems as well as fix them.

Of my 2 UT dogs the first one needed the pressure but the second one didn't/doesn't.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
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Re: UT test training

Postby ryanr » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:18 pm

Well what's "pretty good on retrieves"? Put it this way Stretch, your dog can retrieve every bird and duck out there but if it puts even one on the ground while doing it you're likely getting marked down. Do it as second time and your retrieve score will be no better than a 2 if I'm not mistaken, at best a 3. You can still earn a Prize with that but not a Prize 1. Lots of dogs want to put a duck on the ground to shake off while leaving the water. Dog will still complete the retrieve but the damage is already done. That's how high the standard for Retrieve is during the UT. So whether you Force Fetch your dog or not, retrieve is of utmost important in the UT.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
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Re: UT test training

Postby Stretch » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:27 pm

ryanr wrote:Well what's "pretty good on retrieves"? Put it this way Stretch, your dog can retrieve every bird and duck out there but if it puts even one on the ground while doing it you're likely getting marked down. Do it as second time and your retrieve score will be no better than a 2 if I'm not mistaken, at best a 3. You can still earn a Prize with that but not a Prize 1. Lots of dogs want to put a duck on the ground to shake off while leaving the water. Dog will still complete the retrieve but the damage is already done. That's how high the standard for Retrieve is during the UT. So whether you Force Fetch your dog or not, retrieve is of utmost important in the UT.



That is why I said, I was going to just try to work on hold. If I think he’s going to need the whole FF program after that I will.
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Re: UT test training

Postby Meridiandave » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:23 am

Stretch wrote:
ryanr wrote:Well what's "pretty good on retrieves"? Put it this way Stretch, your dog can retrieve every bird and duck out there but if it puts even one on the ground while doing it you're likely getting marked down. Do it as second time and your retrieve score will be no better than a 2 if I'm not mistaken, at best a 3. You can still earn a Prize with that but not a Prize 1. Lots of dogs want to put a duck on the ground to shake off while leaving the water. Dog will still complete the retrieve but the damage is already done. That's how high the standard for Retrieve is during the UT. So whether you Force Fetch your dog or not, retrieve is of utmost important in the UT.



That is why I said, I was going to just try to work on hold. If I think he’s going to need the whole FF program after that I will.[/quote/]

I dont have near the experience as George, but I know he is giving you sound advice. We share friends and mentors. I just FF my dog last year, and my piece of advice is dont half ass it. Either committ to do it or dont. Set aside two months to do it right. It opens up a whole new world of obedience if done right. I am currently training for the UT and I cannot imagine doing it without FF. You have to get to that point where the dog says screw you, and then because of pressure the dog complies. Once that moment happens you will have a different dog and a different relatinship with your dog.
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Re: UT test training

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:38 am

I have FF'd a few of my own dogs with good results. Used a hybrid method on my current dog and it went well.

I know an amateur trainer who started with a background in OB training. She trains her GSPs using PR and no ecollar and no FF. She put a UT Prize 1 204 on her one year dog last summer. The dog has some FT titles and points in more advanced FTs as well so a high drive dog which has excellent rapport with its handler/trainer/owner. That dog's sire is owned by the same woman and has UT, VC, HRC, MH, OB, FT and Conformation titles and it also was trained by her with all PR techniques. She is currently working with an 8 month pup out of the same sire that looks to be doing excellent so far.
She hunts the stud dog on Lake Erie on waterfowl in some brutal conditions so not just a test dog.

Not at all posting to advise against a FF program if that is the handler's choice, I just see techniques that I would term "Trained Retrieve" having a good deal of success in more and more corners of the dog training world. I think taking in as much information and understanding as much possible and developing a plan to train and develop the dog is the key.
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Re: UT test training

Postby Fun Dog » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:58 pm

Meridiandave wrote: You have to get to that point where the dog says screw you, and then because of pressure the dog complies. Once that moment happens you will have a different dog and a different relatinship with your dog.


That is exactly right. And when the dog stares you down and says no, jump for joy Because now you can truly win. And in the end both of you win. I call it the Sad, Mad, and glad stages.
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Re: UT test training

Postby Mooster » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:29 pm

The majority of dogs fail on one of two subjects steadiness or duck search. Make sure that you run all of the subjects and are comfortable that your dog will nail every subject. Have friends, fellow hunters/trainers or even a judge come and help you run a mock test. Personally, I recommend not training or doing a mock test with one of the judges that will judge you at your test (if they know the weaknesses of your dog before the test, it's easier for them to find on test day). I'll try to mention a couple of training do's and dont's...

For the duck search, the goal is to make your dog successful. Your dog learns from how it was successful or unsuccessful in the past. NEVER place a duck on the near shore. If you see the duck swim to the same shore as you plan on sending from, either change your send site, or forget it and do it another day. Otherwise, this will cause your dog to run the bank. Don't let your dog chase ducks or geese that it can't catch. This can teach your dog it can't catch cripples. You always want your dog to catch the duck. Duck chases are good for increasing prey drive, but only if they can catch it or you can shoot it. When training, it's helpful to have multiple live or dead ducks seeded on the pond to ensure your dog finds something. It's also helpful to keep a spare in case of difficulties or a gimme bird. Train on multiple ponds and multiple send points! Train at your test site if possible.

It's helpful to start small. Let your dog see the duck on the other side before letting it search. Then progress to letting it see it go into cover, but take your dog back to the truck for a few minutes. Then progress to where your dog doesn't see it at all. If your dog has trouble, don't be afraid to lower the difficulty back to where he was successful. Or get in a kayak and go out there with him. When you're in the kayak, you're giving him extra confidence. You are not leading him to the duck. So paddle around the pond the same way you would hunt the field for the birds. Use a different command for the duck search than you do for the field search. Personally I also use a different command than I do for my blind retrieves or fetch. Always send your dog a second time in training, but be ready to make the second bird easy if the first search was good. At the test, if your dog finds the duck too quickly, you will have to send your dog a second time without a shot or additional duck. This is where having taught a blind retrieve can be helpful. Your dog may know there isn't a duck, but will obey you on a blind retrieve command.

I've seen some folks talking about FF or not. I have a VC that I never did FF with, and another dog that I have FFed. I highly recommend using FF. Your dog is much more reliable and you have much more confidence in your dog. I was very nervous at the Invitational b/c I feared that I would get hit by the 10% of the time he was unreliable.

Don't over train. Don't under train. You know your dog better than anyone. You know when he's starting to shut down or when he doesn't know what he's doing. Every dog is different, so the amount of training that one dog takes is not necessarily the same for another dog. What worked to teach one dog won't necessarily work to teach another dog. Train like you test, and test like you train. Keep the same routine on test day that you do on training day. I even wear the same clothes during training and testing. Your dog recognizes your routine, so the best thing you can do for your dog on test day is to remain consistent. I like to train with curveballs. If you're afraid of something happening during the test, do it during training first (gunner misses the bird, have a bird that runs instead of flies, have to throw the bird b/c it won't flush, etc.). I also like to train sometimes or a lot of times without an e-collar so I know my dog doesn't act differently on test day without it. Just wait to do this when your dog is solid on those subjects.

You can get a Prize 1 with a 3 in several subjects. Know where you can afford to take a hit or give a command!! Do not let the wheels fall off! It's better to give a strong correction once than multiple commands throughout the test. For example, if your dog breaks on a bird at some point where steadiness is being judged, they'll be docked in steadiness on that bird. You're better off to YELL whoa and make sure your dog knows it made the mistake than to give a softer whoa command and your dog possibly do it again on more birds. You want your dog to know you're still in control. I'm sure some handlers will tell you their horror stories of where things just went downhill from there.

My last piece of advice would be do your best on test day (or while training) to remain calm. Whatever you're feeling goes straight down the leash to your dog.
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Re: UT test training

Postby ckirsch » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:59 am

Mooster provided an excellent post. He's obviously been there and done that. Great advice for anyone preparing for an upper-level test.
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Re: UT test training

Postby JONOV » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:36 pm

ryanr wrote:Well what's "pretty good on retrieves"? Put it this way Stretch, your dog can retrieve every bird and duck out there but if it puts even one on the ground while doing it you're likely getting marked down. Do it as second time and your retrieve score will be no better than a 2 if I'm not mistaken, at best a 3. You can still earn a Prize with that but not a Prize 1. Lots of dogs want to put a duck on the ground to shake off while leaving the water. Dog will still complete the retrieve but the damage is already done. That's how high the standard for Retrieve is during the UT. So whether you Force Fetch your dog or not, retrieve is of utmost important in the UT.

Good Point...
The question the OP needs to ask is, is he trying to finish his hunting dog, or trying to get a Prize 1? Its the difference between saying, "I want to build a muscle car that runs a 12 second 1/4 mile" and "I want to win my division at a race." The first guy certainly wants to win...and You go about doing it much the same way, but at a few junctures you're going to make decisions that will cost more (time, effort, $$, whatever.) There isn't a wrong answer, just know what your intention is. In a hunting situation, you aren't likely to be disappointed (or even notice the difference materially) with either dog.

FF isn't totally necessary, but its popular for a reason.
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