E-collar and duck search

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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Thu May 24, 2018 2:17 pm

AverageGuy wrote:I think it is important to train with both a shot and without so the dog is conditioned to search either way. Since I always do at least 2 sends, I just follow the test rules - which is fire a shot on the first send, no shot on a resend. I see little to no difference in the dog's drive once it has done enough training to be searching well and understand there is a bird to be found when it is sent. Just makes sense to me to train like the test is run so I do.

ForestDump - If you get your dog doing good searches with dead ducks you can easily introduce a couple of live duck searches close the test and be ready to do well. Yea Live Ducks are a stinking mess in my experience. I used a bolt together welded wire dog kennel with a tarped roof from Orschelins. I had some 18 inch concrete blocks that I used for a floor to keep them out of the mud. Some scrap lumber a couple of feet high wired around the base of each wall to screen the ducks from the dog. I set it up next to the horse corral inside the same cattle panel enclosure the pigeon coops set in. I do not want my dog harassing the birds. Tore it down and stored it after we passed the UT. Won't take long to put it up again when needed and I also have the kennel which I can use as a temporary hospital area in the basement if I ever have such a need.


I don't disagree at all AG and it's just a small almost irrelevant variation in methodology from yours but I thought I'd share it. The thinking is we just make it so the shot is basically irrelevant, the dog just wants to go. I've seen some dogs at a test or training, you probably have too, that are almost conditioned to rely on the shot or they're unsure.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu May 24, 2018 2:30 pm

Used to be an old field trailer on the west coast that would send his dog's, get them close to the blind, blow the whistle then wave his hat in a circle saying "Hunt em' up!" Judges never quite knew what to do with him but they never DQ'd him and he had several FC's.

Depending on WHERE you hunt, you may not be able to handle a dog right to a duck. If they drop 100 yards back in the tails', you're screwed. That's where it really pays to have a dog that does a thorough search.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Thu May 24, 2018 4:08 pm

GH, Right on.

I have posted the photos of the public marshes I hunt several times before on this forum. Flooded Standing Corn, Flooded Smartweed over my head, flooded green timber, heavy cattail areas around pools of water... Without strong independent search a dog will not recover many of the birds shot down on those public marshes, as well as long range handling of a dog is impossible as the handler and dog cannot see each other once the dog enters the cover which is often only 50 yards away or closer to the backside of the pool. Many times my dogs have found ducks I did not shoot in those public marshes.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu May 24, 2018 10:05 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Used to be an old field trailer on the west coast that would send his dog's, get them close to the blind, blow the whistle then wave his hat in a circle saying "Hunt em' up!" Judges never quite knew what to do with him but they never DQ'd him and he had several FC's.
.

Like what I was saying: the trialer's dog was taught a specific command to start searching for the duck (on its own) which was unrelated to the command for the blind retrieve preceding it. To Ryan's point the search "concept" is unrelated to upland "hunt em' up" concepts. In the example the dog likely hunted an area and then expanded its search area (which is what the judges are looking for) and was also most likely taught on land before going to water, shortening time necessary to teach the concept. Just another way of going about all this.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Fri May 25, 2018 8:48 pm

Ryan,
"whats with are the negative vibes moriarity?" (google it).

In general we dont want to have the dog not find a bird (or bumper) when we are training for blinds or this case "search". But it is not an absolute that every time we send they have to find a bird, if it fails once , do you stop training and go buy a new dog? No, you deal with it, may be a setback may be not. With a good dog with some hunt in it, no big deal. But in Meridiandaves case, the dog DID find the bird when sent. Lost it, kept searching and found it again, lost it, and then found it again, then lost it. As far as the dog is concerned, MD fulfilled his obligation. I think it was valuable experience, cause he aint going to get them all, but he needs to learn to keep searching. He sent the dog and a bird was there. And the dog learned that if it keeps searching it may find the bird again and maybe, just maybe, work a bit harder so it doesn't get away.You have to remember, the thrill for the dog is the search, the hunt, once the birds in the mouth it can actually be anticlimactic. Remember, its the desire to acquire, once its in the mouth, its no big deal. Some dogs dont even care if they bring it back and get a pat on the head. Does your dog run faster to get the bird or to bring it back?

AG,
The dense cover argument against handling is common. Of course we cant always see the dog.

So I suspect when you get a bird down ion cover like that, you send the dog and wait. My method is more active. We send the dog on a line to the bird. And wait. Dog doesn't find the bird Ill recall and resend on a different line. Repeat as needed. But the bird and its scent occupy a very small percentage of any given area. We can limit the area being searched. In your example, there is a lot of area that the dog is going to hunt that is wasting time. Its far more efficient to get the nose in the area of the fall as quick as possible.If the bird is down a long ways out, how long will it take the dog to "search" to the location??

Imm not screwed if the duck falls a hundred yards out. Im actually in pretty good shape. 100 yards aint that far.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Sat May 26, 2018 9:01 am

Kiger 2,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rl9Cxc7uZA

Hope you laughed. Sometimes it feels that way in these discussions. The whole theme of my posts was explaining why I train Duck Search in the way that I do, such that it yields an ability to send the dog on a line and get it into the area of the fall and begin its search there. We are saying the same thing to a large degree.

As far as the point I make alot about cover being an "argument". It is not. It is a reality. That is why I say it and post photos of it. In 45 years of waterfowling I have yet to hunt a rice field. I do not field hunt alot but even then the fields where I hunt have alot of roll to them which again precludes really long distance handling. So two things at work in my reality - the cover does not lend itself to long range handling and my breed of choice will only go along with it a certain degree. I am not going to make my dog handle like a FT Lab. Ain't going to happen. But I am having success getting him to handle on basic Backs, Overs, Straight Line Blinds out to a little over a 100 yards presently. We are working on it in such a manner that I hope to preserve his strong independent search because we need it alot.

Too much trouble to repost all the photos I have previously but here is one of Spud and I on his first teal hunt at 7 months of age in a public marsh. I am 6ft tall so you can see how tall and dense that flooded smartweed is. The pools of open water are small. When a flock of teal coming rushing in over your decoy spread it is very common to send one spinning down 30 or more yards on deeper into that Smartweed. The moment a dog enters you are not going to see it again until it comes out. If the dog does not get a mark I will go with the dog to the edge of the pool and then send the dog towards my mark. If it does not succeed I will go in with it.

Image
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Sat May 26, 2018 4:58 pm

AG,
I dont have a sense of humor. (Did that make you laugh?)

If you go back and read what I said, i dont have any issues with what you are doing, you are doing far more than most. I just had a couple of important points for folks.

That being said we need to be careful about what we are teaching. Teach objectives too much and you won't get the direction control when you need it. And in another post, only teaching search on water. Do that and your dog won't get out of the water to get the duck that fell or crawled up on land.
Im not saying dont train for the search. Im just saying be careful.
Theres another pitfall that needs to be mentioned. And thats switching. Leaving the area of the fall for either A, to get another bird the dog saw go down or B, return to an old fall because it hasn't located the bird yet. This is a natural reaction in dogs. So on marked falls. I want the dog to expand its search in that area but not leave it.

We have very heavy cover also so dont worry about pics. I can have my dog just "search" too. But its just not as effective as good handling. Like I said, we line the dog and send. Thats why straight lines are important. If the dog doesn't take the correct line and it breaks down and starts hunting, I have at least put the dog in a better position to get the bird. If they dont find it, I can resend on another line. Thats why I like what you are doing, you are at least getting the dog to trust you to go a certain direction.

Ive told this one before but its an excellent example. I shoot a chukar and it sails over a ridge about 100 yards away. Dog didn't see it go down, thought it flew off. I cant see at all between the top of the ridge and where the bird went down 150 yards or more. So I send the dog on a blind, when she gets to the top of the ridge I stop her where I can see her. Cast her to the right to get her back on the correct line. Stop her again , give her a straight back on the line to where i saw the bird go down. I cant see her at all , but because she took the straight line I sent she went right to the bird or more likely bird scent and got the bird.

Rolling hills. Stop the dog where you can see it and then cast to the bird.

When friends have who birds nd called me over to help find them. They never say "can you have your dog "search" for my bird, its always can you "send" your dog.

I an attempt have further discussion and have people think about the Search a bit more. If we look at AG's photo, its hard to judge distance, but say its 200 yards to the trees. The bird went down directly to AG's right but right at the treeline. Describe how you would expect the dog to search for the bird?
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Sat May 26, 2018 5:52 pm

Kiger 2,

When you send me a video of you standing in that marsh pool and sending your dog on a straight line 200 yards through that dense 5 foot tall smartweed to the distant treeline, and the dog returning with your duck, I will mail you a $100. Would be well worth it as that would be a spectacular feat. But my bet is there are times when the handler has to be a hunter too and best take a very good mark on a specific tree and start busting through that smartweed taking the dog with you as you go if you want to recover that duck.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Sun May 27, 2018 2:15 pm

Now we are getting somewhere, but Ill wait till we see how there folks respond to my question.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun May 27, 2018 4:09 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Now we are getting somewhere, but Ill wait till we see how there folks respond to my question.



I'd walk him over there and help him find it.
:evil:
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby J D Patrick » Mon May 28, 2018 9:33 am

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
Kiger2 wrote:Now we are getting somewhere, but Ill wait till we see how there folks respond to my question.



I'd walk him over there and help him find it.
:evil:



me as well,,,the dog and I are a team,,,,same reason I help stomp brush for my beagles,,,,it's not me standing on the hill,,,it's a team effort,,,,,,
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby jlw034 » Mon May 28, 2018 1:28 pm

Going back to the original intent of this post, I always train with e-collar, but only to reinforce the retrieve. I know some guys that light their dog up if it turns back towards them, but I'm not confident enough to do that.

Last year I tried training with just the 'search' command. Lena didn't get it. I went to the white bucket/white jug technique, broke the process down, and Lena has responded extremely well. When I give her a line, she knows exactly what to do. Her natural instincts help her open up her search when she gets to her objective.

I've heard this technique equivocated with cheating, or not honoring the original intent of the duck search. I always laugh as the folks who say this haven't done a real duck hunt in years/ever. A dog that takes a line, takes basic signals, and opens up his search to find downed game is the greatest asset in the duck blind. I shoot a lot of ducks, and I have never not known the general vector a duck went.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby J D Patrick » Tue May 29, 2018 4:57 am

jlw034 wrote:Going back to the original intent of this post, I always train with e-collar, but only to reinforce the retrieve. I know some guys that light their dog up if it turns back towards them, but I'm not confident enough to do that.

Last year I tried training with just the 'search' command. Lena didn't get it. I went to the white bucket/white jug technique, broke the process down, and Lena has responded extremely well. When I give her a line, she knows exactly what to do. Her natural instincts help her open up her search when she gets to her objective.

I've heard this technique equivocated with cheating, or not honoring the original intent of the duck search. I always laugh as the folks who say this haven't done a real duck hunt in years/ever. A dog that takes a line, takes basic signals, and opens up his search to find downed game is the greatest asset in the duck blind. I shoot a lot of ducks, and I have never not known the general vector a duck went.



it suprised me when I started this new direction (switching from hounds to versatile) how many folks I meet don't hunt. I guess it is good that they are at least getting the dog out there to learn and work but still seemed strange to me. Same as when I see folks with Redbones or Treeing Walkers as pets,,,,just makes me scratch my head,,,guess I am too much the savage.

I like this bucket concept, gonna try it with Aggie as we dive into this training aspect
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:52 pm

Waiting for a few more responses, but I revisited to the initial thread and a couple of things came to mind to help those new to this.

With a well trained dog, body movement and hand position are very import in getting the dog to see the correct picture. On a blind the dog is getting bird, but the dog needs our direction to take the appropriate line. The dog needs to follow our directions, not its own desires. Pretty easy to line a dog up on a bucket or a flag, getting them to see the right picture without the bucket is the goal. Being 5 degrees off the line at 50 yards is far different than being off that much at 300.
So while the gentlemen described may not have had an success with his movements, he may be trying to do the right thing..

I dont use buckets. I just use piles to establish the location and then back up on each send. I think helps the dog see the same "picture" I'm looking at.

Please dont assume Im saying not to use the bucket. They have their useful place. Just dont rely on them. When you get to tech test. there won't be buckets, so make sure pup is weaned off of them.

These concepts can be taught and should be taught on land. Handling and search aren't just for water. We can get more repitions of a command and expectation on land than water. I would never try and send a dog 250 yards or more on a water blind if it couldn't do it on land

As to popping, Recalling to correct the line may cause popping, but if the training is done appropriately it will not be an automatic result. Remember we stop them all the time to handle them without issue. Its just training and preparing the dog. Popping can also be caused by whistle sit training if not done appropriately.

Dennsa advice to make sure you know what you are doing is sound.

Crackered, of course theres a huge advantage in sending the dog in the right direction. But what if it does not go far enough in the right direction, what if it starts in the right direction but changes course??????

More later..
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:29 am

I tried the e-collar stim when my dog was coming back without doing a good search and it just makes her think she needs to come back faster. So be careful if anyone does this. I stopped doing it. I haven't done force to pile though so that's probably part of it. Having a dog that balked and spun a bunch on very short, easy to see retrieves (when we first started) I was pretty weary of doing FTP.

To expand her search we'll go out in a canoe or kayak and encourage her. Works better for my softer dog.
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