Pushing a dog that's shut down

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Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby aaronk » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:21 pm

I'm new to dog training, but witnessed an interesting event that I'd like to get some opinions on. Dog knows hold command, but has never held a duck before. Dog won't hold duck, handler applies more pressure, dog shuts down big time. Handler keeps pushing dog and eventually gets compliance with the hold command. Handler makes comment that they couldn't let the dog win.

In my mind, I would have just backed off the pressure and taken it a little slower since the duck was new to the dog. I guess regardless of whether the dog had held 0 ducks or 1,000 ducks before this, is it more important to teach a dog it will never have the upper hand by powering through a situation like this, or should one just stop and try again another day?
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby hicntry » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:55 pm

How old is the dog?
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby aaronk » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:58 pm

1.5, maybe pushing 2 years.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby Kiger2 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:22 am

Depends on the dogs training level.
If the dog never held a duck before, It DOES not know the "Hold" command apples to "DUCKS". Especiall given most FF programs don't put emphasis on having a dog hold all species.
A "LOT" , of dogs and i mean more than you hear about, don't like WATERFOWL the first time they meet. (Some don't like upland birds)

Has no relevance to age.

I have no idea if how if he handled it was appropriate. Not well conditioned dog and it may have been too much. If the trainer knew the dog, and knew it was shine in him on, then don't let the dog win.

Dog doesn't know "Hold", command, if he did, he would have learned during the "Hold" process that he should hold a duck, a goose, a coot, or whatever you might hunt.
Train the dog for what expected. don't give its first duck and get pissed that it won't hold it.

That why EVERY, FF program should do a thorough job on "HOLD". That means, holding every bird the dog is expected to encounter, before proceeding to "Fetch". If this dog had been properly prepared, this would have been dealt with.
Take the dog back to FF training and get it exposed to what its expected to retrieve.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby hicntry » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:47 am

Any breed of dog actually bred for bird work shouldn't be at all hesitant about holding birds, any species of bird whether they have ever seen one or not.. If they are, I wouldn't waste my time with them. On the other hand, trainers love em.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:46 am

It's really up to the trainer, but I would never have handled it that way. You work the way UP to ducks and finally geese. If you have a young dog, they are introduced to quail or pigeon first, maybe chuckar next, then pheasant and duck. I never do this by FF but rather by letting them chase and catch pen raised birds. Before you force a dog on any bird, if you do, that dog should be crazy to get those birds. If you force a dog to hold a bird he's afraid of, he may NEVER like retrieving those birds again. If you've done propper introductions with birds and he still won't hold them, then you HAVE to force on birds. That obviously was not the case with this dog.

I have never believed in forcing on birds during the force fetch process. Or scrub bruises, barb wire wrapped birds, cans of beer or any of the other strange things people do. I put them through FF on bumpers then when we're done and the dog having fun, into him to retrieving birds in the yard. Usually you will not have to reinforce FF on birds when done this way. If you do, you have the tools in place to do it. It's rare I will put pressure on a dog on birds. You have to be very careful about that.

So I agree with you, I would not have handled it that way. It was the introduction that was faulty, not the dog. I DO believe what the trainer told you: Never let the dog win. However in this case, it was the introduction that was at fault.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby Willie T » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:58 am

Aaron, I'm not going to weigh in either way because I have no idea where the dog is at training wise, or what prompted the trainer to be using a duck. My guess is there was more than meets the eye to what the trainer was dealing with. In general terms you try to avoid getting in a battle of wills with a dog but if it happens and the dog wins, it becomes a card the dog will play again. The first impression that comes to my mind is the owner has really let the dog down for it to not have had a duck in its mouth at 1 1/2 - 2 years. How did that happen?
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby JONOV » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:50 am

I hunted with a Golden Retriever pup that wouldn't pick up ducks this year. I think some of it may have been "not socializing" the dog to the duck and an incomplete FF/trained retrieve. The dog was 10 months old. The trainer thought it was mostly maturity. Some things can't be taught. For example, corraling and bringing in a wounded but very live duck. My buddy's dog took some retrieves to figure that out.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby Densa44 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:10 am

Well you have heard from some of our experts and I don't have much to add. When you say shut down, it doesn't mean what I use the term to mean. Shut down to me means the dog won't do anything regardless of how much pressure is applied.

This is how to ruin a dog, and e-collars just make it easier.

IME once a dog is happy to retrieve it loves to get stuff thrown in the water, and ducks work great, I'd get him picking up ducks, or what ever birds you saved from last year's hunting season, a frozen pigeon works in a pinch, get the dog picking up the birds and then if he needs it have a refresher on hold.

I've been told here (and they boys are right) I use an Amish method of low pressure on the dog. I keep it fun for both of us and I've been very successful.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby hicntry » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:34 am

I was at an event a long time ago that had a pro trainer giving a seminar. People had dogs of all ages that had never been exposed to real birds of any kind. The trainer thew a bird in front of each dog. A lot of them would not get to close to the bird much less pick it up. The trainer simply told those with dogs that were spooked by the bird to take their dogs home and don't waste their time....or his. Why did he do this? Because some things you just shouldn't have to teach a dog that is bred to do it. Likewise, you don't waste your time trying to make a bear dog out of a dog that has no interest in a bear track, etc, etc. Really shouldn't matter if the dog has ever even seen a bird. So, should a dog that doesn't want to hold a bird have pressure applied. What for? The dog will never make a real bird dog.
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Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Jim Beam in one hand, Airedale in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby 3drahthaars » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:36 am

Densa44 wrote:Well you have heard from some of our experts and I don't have much to add. When you say shut down, it doesn't mean what I use the term to mean. Shut down to me means the dog won't do anything regardless of how much pressure is applied.

This is how to ruin a dog, and e-collars just make it easier.

IME once a dog is happy to retrieve it loves to get stuff thrown in the water, and ducks work great, I'd get him picking up ducks, or what ever birds you saved from last year's hunting season, a frozen pigeon works in a pinch, get the dog picking up the birds and then if he needs it have a refresher on hold.

I've been told here (and they boys are right) I use an Amish method of low pressure on the dog. I keep it fun for both of us and I've been very successful.


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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby Kiger2 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 pm

Hicntry,

That trainer was WRONG. Terrible advice to give. Sorry you had to see that and think it was right all these years.

A lot of dogs don't like ducks or geese the first time they see them. Some won't like a upland birds buts thats more rare. They do need to be introduced, it has nothing to do with breeding or drive.

Jonov. See above.


Willi,
Maybe the dogs owner never hunted ducks before and was towards that?

Gonehuntin,

When I run through FF with dobbs program, we spend time during hold to teach the dog to hold different things that it doesn't like to hold. Once Im sure they know hold I introduce a frozen pigeon. Then thawed, then live. The dog has to walk and hold. Sit and hold, let me walk a way then heel.

When we start the process we place the object in the dogs mouth. When he drops the object we apply ear pressure until I place the object back in the dogs mouth. Then we overlay the ecollar so i can use the ecollar for corrections. We are teaching the dog to respond to the pressure. By the time we have done a few objects most dogs are reaching for the object. So we have a head start on getting them to move for "fetch".

I do the same process with fetch multiple items and then move to birds including ducks and geese. Yes I will force the dog pick up the bird. If I don't do it in the yard and it ends up I have to do it the field that wouldn't be fair to the dog. Rather make sure we have everything right before we hunt. Seems real silly to take a dog hunting that hasn't been forced on birds.
So when Im done, if a dog is mouthing a bird, I can nick and tell the dog to hold. Should the dog drop a bird, I ecollar correct.

I trained a lab a few years ago for a guy and used ducks. Dog was doing great hunting until its first day of goose hunting where she refused to pick up the geese. So i took her back and fixed her. So I won't let them go without being certain.

We only do multiple objects during training and though I will throw sticks and stuff to play with the dog, I have never had a dog bring back anything but a bird when hunting.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby hicntry » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:00 pm

"Hicntry,

That trainer was WRONG. Terrible advice to give. Sorry you had to see that and think it was right all these years.

A lot of dogs don't like ducks or geese the first time they see them. Some won't like a upland birds buts thats more rare. They do need to be introduced, it has nothing to do with breeding or drive."

Naw, he wasn't wrong. A well bred dog that has the drive doesn't have to be familiarized with everything....like birds. Same with the misconception that all dogs need a lot of socialization. They don't....just the weak ones do. A bird dog should be crazy about birds but there are lots of them that are not. ....so why waste the time on those that are not. Good breeding vs poor breeding. It is that simple.
Ignorance can be fixed but stupid is forever.
Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Jim Beam in one hand, Airedale in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby Kiger2 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:35 pm

hicntr,
He was wrong , you are wrong. It was terrible advice. You have no experience with this.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby Kiger2 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:35 pm

hicntr,
He was wrong , you are wrong. It was terrible advice. You have no experience with this.
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