Training other people's dogs?

Pointing, retrieving, flushing, tracking, behavioral issues, puppy training, etc.

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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby ryanr » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:14 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:I'm with HC all the way on this one. Tracking a bird, the way the judges want it tracked, is not natural ability. Gun sensitivity, pointing, watery, coat, bite, did position are natural. You have to really train to make a pup track with his nose in each track and that detracts from the term "natural ability". I disagree with the whole concept of tracking as bird anyhow.


I'm not really disagreeing with the gist of what he's saying either but let's point out that running a drag is not a a real track. Iit's super easy for a dog (but I do like to use it to get a young pup initial success.) Forgive me, and I want to be clear I'm not questioning your decades of experience or suggesting I have 1/10th of it but no you don't have to "really train" to make a pup track- although I see plenty of young dogs break quickly into a search and not come back to the track. All I really did with mine was let him hit a rabbit or fox track occasionally while he was running off leash out on our daily hikes and have at it. These were just chance encounters, I didn't consider it real training. I think he was born for it because from day 1 he just seemed to excel at it naturally. I do know I got somewhat "lucky" in that regard because I know the track is often what derails a young dog's day at the NA test.

STait & AG, I do agree about the pitfalls of using openly planted birds that may or may not flush hard and fly strong. If I had known better (or spoke up sooner when I thought it was a bad idea) when I first started I would have stopped using planted chukars the very first moment my pup caught one. I'm getting a GWP pup in August and I pretty much know exactly what I'm NOT going to do! After that initial up close exposure with some game birds I'll take advantage of whatever wild birds I can and use strong flying pigeons in between.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby STait » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:48 pm

I learned the same way Ryan!
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:09 pm

STait wrote:I learned the same way Ryan!


Me Three. A guy can learn from his mistakes and his successes and I have done both.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:24 pm

STait wrote:What is the maximum age of the pup in a N.A. test?? A true natural ability test (from a breeders perspective) should be done at a young age, like 6-8 months, or even earlier. Tough to do though because of different birth dates.


The Cutoff for NAVHDA NA is 16 months and younger. Which is long in the tooth for NA. Hopefully a dog has been hunted extensively in its first season and had a good deal of training by then, negating the ability to evaluate true NA as you note in your post.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:50 pm

ryanr wrote: but no you don't have to "really train" to make a pup track- although I see plenty of young dogs break quickly into a search and not come back to track.


Exactly what I mean Ryan; you have to have laid a lot of tracks for that pup to learn methodical tracking. I consider that training. It is my personal preference that a dog not track. I like to see them go a few feet on a track then start cutting arcs to scent the bird. That is THE most effective way to handle a running pheasant. A dog that methodically tracks won't catch up with many pheasant.

Strictly a preference.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:28 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
ryanr wrote: but no you don't have to "really train" to make a pup track- although I see plenty of young dogs break quickly into a search and not come back to track.


Exactly what I mean Ryan; you have to have laid a lot of tracks for that pup to learn methodical tracking. I consider that training. It is my personal preference that a dog not track. I like to see them go a few feet on a track then start cutting arcs to scent the bird. That is THE most effective way to handle a running pheasant. A dog that methodically tracks won't catch up with many pheasant.

Strictly a preference.


Methodical tracking is WAY overrated in my view. A dog that can track and wants to find what is at the end of the track should be left to its own devises is how I roll. Which in my GWPs has always meant a lot of fast not slow tracking work including their blood tracking. I watched 8 or 9 pups get 4s in Tracking in their NA this past Sat and none of them were tracking slow and methodical, so it seems the NAVHDA NA judging is not what you think it is.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:43 pm

AverageGuy wrote:All my GWPs would track with no training.


Yes, most V dog's do. But there is a world of difference in HOW they track. It takes training to teach a dog to go slowly on a track. That is training. Running a track, over running, re-establishing is most dog's track, especially pups.

AverageGuy wrote:
Additionally I think too many people who "train" their puppies for a NA test using pen raised released quail, chukars and pheasants on the ground, end up detracting from the pup's natural point and teach bad habits which they have to try and train away later e.g. crowding, roading in on and attempting to catch birds.


That's because they don't control the pups. Use poor flying birds as an asset. If they Pwd or road in, pop the bird and stop the pup. If pup attempts to catch a bird, stop it and hunt in another direction. Good training. Most people have trouble because they DO NOT CONTROL THE DOG. Planted birds are an invaluable aid in training a young or an older dog. The SIGNIFICANTLY shorten training time.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:59 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:All my GWPs would track with no training.


Yes, most V dog's do. But there is a world of difference in HOW they track. It takes training to teach a dog to go slowly on a track. That is training. Running a track, over running, re-establishing is most dog's track, especially pups.

I agree, but find no value and actually less value in working with a dog to train it track slowly. I teach the dog what and when I am asking it to track and then let it go. Yes my dogs absolutely slash and burn moving ahead for next scent, returning to last scent on their own as needed if they cannot advance it on their own after casting about, vs worshipping each molecule as they forced to plod down the track. And they find the game at the end of the track in a hurry. Works for me.

AverageGuy wrote:
Additionally I think too many people who "train" their puppies for a NA test using pen raised released quail, chukars and pheasants on the ground, end up detracting from the pup's natural point and teach bad habits which they have to try and train away later e.g. crowding, roading in on and attempting to catch birds.


That's because they don't control the pups. Use poor flying birds as an asset. If they Pwd or road in, pop the bird and stop the pup. If pup attempts to catch a bird, stop it and hunt in another direction. Good training. Most people have trouble because they DO NOT CONTROL THE DOG. Planted birds are an invaluable aid in training a young or an older dog. The SIGNIFICANTLY shorten training time.


I use planted birds as well, but I use pigeons in launchers to ensure the pup never catches a bird. If the pup follows its nose into the bird I launch the bird, it flies away and we move on the next one in silence. My objective it to let the pup putting the bird in the air on its own, teach it caution and bring out its natural point. I do not introduce whoa or a check cord around a bird until I am teaching steadiness to WSF after the pups first season hunting wild birds, and after I have trained Whoa away from birds. The difference is pigeons fly away strong vs pen raised birds which too often fly low and slow for short distances or not at all. I am not big on restraining a young dog from chasing weak birds via a check cord, and prefer instead to let them learn the futility of it on strong flying birds that get up and away. Which for me is pigeons in launchers first, followed by a bunch of wild birds for the first season.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby hicntry » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:00 pm

Dogs naturally track step to step when the is almost no scent. Very slow and deliberate and applies no ,pressure to the game and is why it results in very few pheasants or any moving game. When there is an of fresh scent, most any dog naturally shifts from slow tracking to running the track downwind of the track. It is then called trailing which is done at a run and with the head up. Trailing is natural to dogs and is what they do to catch the game because they know they can locate it. When tracking, head down, the dog is actually trying to set the track. Once the track is established, almost any experience dog will switch to trailing at a run. This is all natural to ma doig unless they have it impeded by training. In short, they have to go into trailing to catch anything. Tracking is looking for it, trailing is found it.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:06 pm

HC,

Agree, We are on the same page there. I just have always called it "running a track". Your term of Trailing is a more useful distinction, but I will be hard to retrain at this point.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby hicntry » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:32 pm

Running a track/trailing the same thing and I use both myself. Most folks that lay a track for a dog have trouble getting the dog to track with head down because they have just put down to much scent to get it to work.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:51 pm

hicntry wrote:Running a track/trailing the same thing and I use both myself. Most folks that lay a track for a dog have trouble getting the dog to track with head down because they have just put down to much scent to get it to work.


Yes and in the case of the released bird in the NAVHDA NA Track portion of the test the scent is smoking hot. The pups run down them on the downwind side as fast as they can go for the most part and get a 4 when they do. They are not expected, forced or trained to work slowly as that is not the expectation for a smoking hot bird track and a puppy. "Training" is mostly just exposing the pup to a couple of released pheasant tracks so it understands and anticipates what the drill is when lead to the line and the handler points to the feathers on the ground and says "track". Over doing "Training" for this portion of the test is a big mistake and will likely take the point right out of your pup just before the test to the extent it catches a bunch of birds at the end of the track.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby bwjohn » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:35 pm

Gonehuntin'

What is natural about randomly firing a gun as you walk? I can honestly say that I have never done that.

Is this something that you do regularly?

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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:48 pm

I assume you're talking about gun sensitivity? No, I don't. However there are times a bird flushes and you shoot or a partner does, and a dog never sees you. I don't have a problem with that.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Training other people's dogs?

Postby ryanr » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:11 am

AverageGuy wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
ryanr wrote: but no you don't have to "really train" to make a pup track- although I see plenty of young dogs break quickly into a search and not come back to track.


Exactly what I mean Ryan; you have to have laid a lot of tracks for that pup to learn methodical tracking. I consider that training. It is my personal preference that a dog not track. I like to see them go a few feet on a track then start cutting arcs to scent the bird. That is THE most effective way to handle a running pheasant. A dog that methodically tracks won't catch up with many pheasant.

Strictly a preference.


Methodical tracking is WAY overrated in my view. A dog that can track and wants to find what is at the end of the track should be left to its own devises is how I roll. Which in my GWPs has always meant a lot of fast not slow tracking work including their blood tracking. I watched 8 or 9 pups get 4s in Tracking in their NA this past Sat and none of them were tracking slow and methodical, so it seems the NAVHDA NA judging is not what you think it is.


Yeah, fast or slow, speed is not a criteria the judges are looking at on the track. Like your dogs, mine typically tracks/trails pretty fast. The more difficult or faint the scent trail is being the thing that will slow him down to a more methodical track. The reason a dog breaks into an arc is because it's searching. Either it does so on its own but then comes back to the track or it loses the track, breaks into a search but comes back to the track. Either way a dog can still get do very well in the NA track so long as it comes back to the track and continues to progress forward on it towards the bird. I watched a very good young dog on a very windy, rather dry day continually progress forward along the track while arcing away into a search and back most of the length because it was losing then coming back to the track due to the conditions. It succeeded in finding the bird and was just darn impressive in acinh a difficult track. I like watching to see what a dog will do if it loses the track and breaks into a search. I think the really good ones will show that focus & determination to return to it and pick it back up and continue on it. That's a dog that shows a strong ability to track. I watched another dog break into a big search and never come back to the track, it eventually ended up downwind of the bird's location in cover and found it but of course it didn't score well because it didn't track really at all. After the scores were read some people of course were commenting that the judges didn't score that dog correct or fairly "because it got the bird" meanwhile another dog that scored well on the track didn't get the bird. Getting the bird has nothing to do with it, one dog tracked continually making progress along the track while the other dog showed almost no ability or desire to track breaking into just a big search all over and just happened to end up downwind of the bird's location as it was running around.
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