VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

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VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

Postby Higgins » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:21 pm

Here is a video of one of our black pointer pups learning my flush/stop cue. You’ll see in the video, when she gets in a birdy area and begins to stalk, I physically connect her to me via a clamp on my vest to the checkcord. I do this in part, because I am not only the handler, but also the shooter. I need to help her understand that steadiness is necessary, both before and after the flush in order to be successful. It also makes it possible to show her that success requires she wait to retrieve until my “fetch” release. You’ll see I didn’t shoot until she was finished flushing and had stopped. Steadiness based on when a bird flushes, when the gun goes off or when the bird falls will soon become irrelevant. We will have a free running dog hunting the field, beautiful stalking and pointing, a flush/stop on cue and steadiness until released.

In the first part of the video, you’ll see just before I gave her the flush/stop cue (a verbal “alright"), I realized I had forgotten to put in my earplugs. She waits for her cue maintaining all of her beautiful intensity. Later in the video, when I shoot over her, the camera angle makes it look like I took the shot right over her head. I didn't. It’s important to always be aware of where the dog is when shooting. In addition, I’m using a 28 gauge side-by-side and subsonic shells. Don’t want a deaf dog down the road.

When watching the video, pay close attention to the checkcord. You’ll notice that it’s loose. This guarantees that any of her movement is her choice. There is no obedience involved here. By giving her this freedom, I allow the bird to teach her. I don't teach a "whoa" command. I feel that's the birds job. If she jumps in before my “flush/stop" cue, the bird will flush and she will lose. But if she is focused and patient, waiting for my verbal cue, she will be rewarded.

https://youtu.be/VCP0gAJxNkg

Hope you enjoy it.

Brad Higgins
http://HigginsGundogs.com
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Re: VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:12 pm

Mr. Higgins.

Though you perceive that the check cord is loose. The dog is very aware that it is there. Even if its dragging on the ground, it influences their behavior. On the first bird, as you move to the front she feels the release and moves until she feels you stop which puts some pressure on the cord.In fact you exaggerate your move forward which clearly cues the dog to move.You are telling the dog to move. If you watch closely, the dog stops when it feels tension on the cord, but you continue to move which puts slack in it. It looks to me like the dog is cueing on your movement, moves when you move, stops when it feels you stop. May even move as it sees you as competition to get the bird? Would have been nice to see the whole video???

On the next bird. the dog stops because its attached to the check cord and it gets hung up on the bush and you. the dog has no choice. Its not really learning from the bird , its learning from the check cord. Which is OK, with enough repetitions it will learn. lets just be clear about whats going on.

If the dog was well conditioned with an ecollar. On the first bird, when it was clear she moved because you moved, a "whoa" and a correction would have done well, perhaps no correction, just a whoa, it would depend on reading the dog. Is this a continual issue? Lets fix it. The bird clearly didn't cause her to move, you did. So a correction here would have told the dog, don't move because i did.

When well conditioned, you can do more with an ecollar than a cord, because the dog is free of the attachment. They always know. Its why at a ret field trial or test, the dog cant have ANY type of collar on.

You have a ton of patience, Im sure you get where you want, but in my mind a little bit of old fashioned modern technology shortens the learning curve.
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Re: VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

Postby Chadwick » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:25 am

Brad,

Excellent video. Some people will never understand what you do, but thanks for doing it.
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Re: VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

Postby Kiger2 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:55 pm

Chagwick,
If you referring to my critique of the video. You just need to really watch the video, pause when needed, which I did multiple times to evaluate the timing, and you will clearly see my critique is valid.

I am not saying he won't get results with what he is doing, But his evaluation of the effect of the check cord is off.

I have a TON of experience with check cords. The dogs always know they are on and will behave differently. The can detect the slightest change in pressure. What he says is slack, is not. They ALWAYS learn what the shock collar is. But the shock collar is light years better than a cord. The key to running a dog without a cord or a collar is conditioning.

I would even go so far as to say I would send a dog to him for training. He is clearly not abusive in any manner. Has a ton of patience. Im sure he gets results. But his evaluation is just off. And there are VERY few people i would let train a dog of mine.
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Re: VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

Postby Doc E » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:00 am

Kiger
Have you ever seen the "Higgins 'Brush Pile" video ?
.
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Re: VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

Postby woodboro » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:17 pm

If a dog is steady to scent it will not move even with a handler either on it's side or behind as you are putting pressure on the dog.

I my self prefer a dog when smelling scent to stop and remain stopped for the gun , or a command to release and hunt.

I commend you all for your reasons what is good or bad .... after all we all do this to enjoy life.
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Re: VIDEO: Steadiness Taught by the Birds, Part 1

Postby Kiger2 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:28 pm

Doc, Yes i have seen it. Just watched it again.
The dog is being restrained by the check cord. He most certainly knows higgins is holding it. He doesn't have a choice. He can feel the tension. He says the cord is loose, but it is not loose, is laying on the ground. Even at that the dog knows its attached. He even stops the dog with the cord with just a bit of tension.
So yes the dog will get the comparison. But its not magic at all.



There is nothing remarkable about this. Its just training.
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