How to teach handling

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How to teach handling

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:53 pm

So both my dogs are now through VGP, are excellent hunters and never leave game behind. The German System doesn't emphasize handling, and I've never seen anyone practice it at a training day. I literally have ZERO idea how to train this skill.

I've had a few cases where handling would have saved some time, particularly during dove season, and it's well past time for me to learn how to help my dogs.

Where do I start???
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby orhunter » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:17 pm

I dunno how to go about it with an older dog, I start when I first begin taking a pup into the field about two days after getting it from the breeder. I call it, conditioned cooperation. When the pup looks at me, I give a hand signal and walk that direction. Keep repeating this, changing direction every time. No voice commands. My current dog is kind of an oddball. She won't actually go unless I go. If I stop, she stops. Guess I never explained it doesn't work that way.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:46 pm

I have taught my succession of GWPs to do simple retrieve handling. I work other higher priorities first however so do not begin it until their 2nd season most generally. Rather than making them sit like the lab guys do, I use the same pealess side of my whistle that I have trained them to Whoa on and let them stop and stand when working on land. I use the same command/whistle in the water as well to get them to turn and look for a hand signal and then swim in the direction I indicated.

I use the baseball diamond approach I learned years ago. Set the dog on the pitcher's mound facing home plate where I am standing. The dog is on a sit stay command. I start by tossing and dummy towards first base. You can also walk them over to create less excitement for the dog depending on the dog. Then I give a right handed signal towards the first base dummy I tossed and command the dog Over. Since it has seen it and I start with only one dummy it naturally goes that direction. I do the same with a dummy towards 3rd base and use the left hand signal. Then I walk a dummy past the dog and place it at second base. I use the straight up hand signal and Back command for the second base retrieve. I drill those individually until the dog understands it and complies well.

Then I move to tossing a dummy to both first and third base. And I select which one I send the dog to. If it starts going toward the wrong one, I stop it immediately with the whoa whistle and stimulation as needed and give the over command towards the dummy I have selected until the dog complies. Then I add the 2nd base dummy and back hand signal and voice command. Mix it up. Through repetition and correction they learn.

Then you can start adding the longer retrieves, across water to land on the other side. I like to find a narrow spot first so that the concepts are practiced and perfected at closer ranges. I lengthen once they are doing well at the shorter distances.

Others will have more to add and more experience to draw upon, but using this simple approach I have had dogs that I could direct/handle to an area of fall with good success recovering birds.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby 3drahthaars » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:07 pm

I think your best bet is to keep it simple.

The German principle is based on gettin the dog on the Spur or on the line down wind and letting your pup's excellent nose do the rest..
because the only thing you might know better than the dog is the location of tbe fall.

So, taking a good line would satisfy 90% of your situations. And, for the rest most sit back and simply appreciate the good dog work.

After all that"s why we have the dogs in the first place.

Just my $.02,

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Re: How to teach handling

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:32 pm

orhunter wrote:I dunno how to go about it with an older dog, I start when I first begin taking a pup into the field about two days after getting it from the breeder. I call it, conditioned cooperation. When the pup looks at me, I give a hand signal and walk that direction. Keep repeating this, changing direction every time. No voice commands. My current dog is kind of an oddball. She won't actually go unless I go. If I stop, she stops. Guess I never explained it doesn't work that way.


Mine do this pretty well. What they don't do is take a line past multiple objectives. So I want the dog to get to the brush 30 yds behind the field edge where we saw a dove cripple land and then fall off the branch. My dogs were trained to hunt to one objective and that works 99% of the time. A good "back" command could have saved us a walk.

Or duck hunting where 2 fall on the far shore and the 3rd falls deep in the corn. Getting the dog to expand PAST the far shore into the cornfield absent of scent is something I'd like my dogs to do next year.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby Smilin Jack » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:59 am

Average Guy has got it ....... My PP doesn't quarter as some labs do but she knows Left , Right and Back . It comes in handy when Duckin ......Sometimes in a Blind She doesn't see the fall !!!!!!!
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby Doc E » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:06 am

I don't see any way of teaching Misskiwi to train handling on a forum.
Waaaay too complex.
Whole books have been written on how to teach a dog to handle,
.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby Doc E » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:06 am

I don't see any way of teaching Misskiwi to train handling on a forum.
Waaaay too complex.
Whole books have been written on how to teach a dog to handle,
.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby orhunter » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:22 am

MissK:

Yea, what I do is only the base preparation so the dog knows hand signals. Basically, getting a pup off to a nice start and teaching the pup, we work together. I do understand you're looking at advanced education.

Smilin' Jack: I don't like dogs that quarter, they're just wasting time. Whether it be before the shot or after. I want a dog that knows and plays the wind to its advantage. But, this has little to do with the topic here. I think teaching "back" is the key to good handling. Once the dog is back, then the V Dog search begins. Getting a dog to not search before it gets to the objective is the hard part.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby Duckdon » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:43 am

Misskiwi67 wrote:So both my dogs are now through VGP, are excellent hunters and never leave game behind. The German System doesn't emphasize handling, and I've never seen anyone practice it at a training day. I literally have ZERO idea how to train this skill.

I've had a few cases where handling would have saved some time, particularly during dove season, and it's well past time for me to learn how to help my dogs.

Where do I start???


The Mike Lardy, Total Retriever Training System. It is extensive, but that is where I learned the basics.
I am starting my 2 pups today.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby crackerd » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:07 am

Doc E wrote:I don't see any way of teaching Misskiwi to train handling on a forum.
Waaaay too complex.
Whole books have been written on how to teach a dog to handle,
.


She's not looking to teach her dogs to handle field trial trigonometry, she's looking for the rudiments of handling as applies to a working gundog. AverageGuy's got the answer, and here's another primer along the same lines: http://www.gundogsonline.com/Article/Retriever-Training-Handling-Page1.htm

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Re: How to teach handling

Postby carramrod » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:55 pm

Duckdon wrote:
Misskiwi67 wrote:So both my dogs are now through VGP, are excellent hunters and never leave game behind. The German System doesn't emphasize handling, and I've never seen anyone practice it at a training day. I literally have ZERO idea how to train this skill.

I've had a few cases where handling would have saved some time, particularly during dove season, and it's well past time for me to learn how to help my dogs.

Where do I start???


The Mike Lardy, Total Retriever Training System. It is extensive, but that is where I learned the basics.
I am starting my 2 pups today.
Don and Crew


That's what I went by for a lot of the retrieve training. Although mine takes hand signals when he feels he doesn't know better. We have about a 90% compliance rate because I haven't pushed it too hard in training, and can kind of tell by his search when he'll take them.
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:03 pm

Doc E wrote:I don't see any way of teaching Misskiwi to train handling on a forum.
Waaaay too complex.
Whole books have been written on how to teach a dog to handle,
.


What's your favorite book for a beginner?
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby JONOV » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:50 pm

Maybe go to a retriever club nearby on one of their training days?
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Re: How to teach handling

Postby HUNT 24/7 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:26 pm

Average guy has good advise, thats how I trained my DD to handle. Be careful that you don't go full bore retriever training, a V-dog isn't a lab, just saying...
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