E-collar and duck search

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

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Sun May 20, 2018 7:34 pm

Average Guy made some good points in his last post.

For those following along lets break some his comments down further.

First off, "Duck Search" without any direction from the handler IS a willy nilly fashion and counterproductive to getting the dog quickly to the bird.

What Average guy is training is a form of "blind " retrieve. He's about half way between a "Duck Search" and a well handling dog.

If we look at his example to the log. The dog sees the log as a barrier. Just as it does many other things in our world, such as a creek or a row of brush or tall trees, or even a dirt road. If the bird goes beyond any of these barriers we need to get the dog beyond them. Thats where the ability to be able to send the dog across the log or barrier, not because he smells something , but because we send him over the log. There are many "logs" in a dogs world.

While using "objectives" is important in initial training and AG does a good job with that, we need to be cautious about training the dog to go to objectives. It can create many pitfalls. Say you line the dog up to send to an objective, and there are multiple objectives out there??? Which objective do you want the dog to go to?? What if two objectives are in line, the bird in the second objective? Can you send the dog past the first objective?

Dogs will likely return to the area where they previously found a bird. So say you drop a bird pat the decoys where the dog has already picked up multiple birds but the dog didn't see this last one. Can you send him past the area of the old falls???

We can use objectives to help our dogs on their way to learning to handle, but the real objective is direction. We want to be able to send the dog in a direction, to recognize where we want him to head. To actually ignore what we would see as "objectives". If we cant get the dog to handle off objectives or obstacles he will not be as efficient as he could be.
Kiger2
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Mon May 21, 2018 10:54 am

Kiger 2,

The Subject is training for the Duck Search portion of NAVHDA UT. I am sharing a method which accomplishes conditioning the young dog to do independent search that will score a 4 while also conditioning the dog to take a line when sent towards a more specific area than the entire marsh to begin the search.

The judges will never direct the handler to send the dog where it will immediately encounter scent from the released duck. So the dog must be willing to make its own decisions as to where to go next and that is where I have found conditioning the dog to seek objectives in the Marsh teaches the dog to move around towards them, and in doing so, they will run across scent and follow it to the duck.

No doubt more is needed to complete a fully directed/handled blind retrieve. I am working on that currently but that is a topic for a different thread than UT Duck Search.

If you want your dog to have the level of independent search that is displayed in 4 level work in a UT, I think it is best to refrain from training the dog to handle with greater precision on blind retrieves until after the test, as the risk of the dog coming out of cover looking for direction from the handler is really high.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Mon May 21, 2018 12:40 pm

AG, I'm not at all going to question your method, I know it works for you and others. I'll offer some of the perspective from the trainer that taught me and others about duck search training. Ironically we just hosted our duck search seminar this weekend too.) The trainer is adamant about only using live ducks. He trains and treats blind retrieve separately though he will line his younger dogs up for the resend in duck search training to better help get them into another duck. As he states dead ducks are boring to a dog compared to live ducks and the goal of duck search is to instill and develop in the dog the desire to work independently and thoroughly to produce a duck. Nothing accomplishes building that burning desire in the dog the way live ducks do. He also doesn't use the Fetch command to send the dog as some people do, he only uses "Hunt 'em up" the same as he does to release them to hunt a field. After all in duck search, for the dog it's a hunt for live game. Dead ducks and Fetch are also about pressure and not as much fun as hunting for game is for a dog. Again he wants that desire built to its maximum and after 20 years of testing dogs in NAVHDA (and make no mistake he hunts a ton too, including waterfowl) this is what he's found works best for him. And he always resends his dogs for another duck from day 1. I've seen enough of his dogs test to know that his dogs are fired up to go again. As he stated years ago we used to kinda fear a resend but if you build that desire properly you shouldn't fear it, you want your dog to go back out and get another duck and they really want to as well. And if you've force fetched your dog thoroughly there's no reason to worry about another retrieve either (after they intially deliver the duck to hand, he gives it back and purposely lets his dogs carry the duck all the way back to the truck before he takes it back. It's their duck he says.)

After the second day of the seminar I let my 11 month old pup and her sister try their first duck search, together. They have their NA coming up and my pup is just starting to expand her swimming confidence a bit but she's never been in this water we were at. We released two ducks near a small island 25-30 yards across a channel in front of them in a marshy cove of this big tamarack lake. We used launchers to do so but neither pup saw them pop (the goal is to get the dog to see them). So we used a kayak to get them started out there (You try to use the kayak only to "push" them out, not "pull" them. The difference with pushing is the dog is swimming in front of the kayak, in pulling your leading and the dog is swimming behind.) Anyway we had to pull them but only at first they quickly pushed ahead on their own but then 3/4 of the way across my girl turns and heads back. She gets halfway back and I guess decides "wait, I'm okay and this is fun" and turns back around to find her sister. Her sister is on the island checking out the trap while unknowingly standing on one of the ducks in the mud. Suddenly the other duck appears and starts swimming in front of her so she gives chase, vocalizing and everything. It was great. Now my pup reaches the island and immediately finds and points the duck that her sister was standing on. Unfortunafely it's lethargic and doesn't do much. She picks it up and is holding it and investigating before it gets free and jumps in the water. Hazel goes after it but it dives. Comes up again but barely, it's kinda nust laying there. She sees it though But it dives again and disappears. Eventually it pops up on the far side of the island but just isn't doing much, Hazel's looking for it but can t quite find it. Our kayaker though who had been hanging back once the dogs went ahead goes to help push her towards the duck. She sees it now and heads to it but it dives and gets well ahead of her and the kayaker moves into position to safely shoot it for her. She quickly swims over and retrieves it all the way back to us, and almost 75 yard swim. Shooting a,duck on the water for a dog really helps fire them up too and she was no different. And that was the first time she'd been shot over in the water and actually the first time game was successfully shot for her.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2320
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:23 am

AG,
Once again I completely understand what you are trying to accomplish.

I am merely pointing out the pitfalls of training for "objectives" can have for further training so those following along can be informed.

As a side note, are you not "cheating" the "search" by training for "objectives"?


Ryan,

Your trainer made some good points. Once we have FF complete, fetch is reserved for infractions should they arise. Example would be a mark where we send the dog on its name, then the dog returns and gets out of the water and should drop the bird to shake off, it would get "Fetch!" and most likely a ecollar correction.

As for resends. Never really thought about it being an issue, we do so much work with multiple marks and blinds,that it never occurred to me that rends would be an issue. So also a good point. YYYou take pup on its first hunt and you drop multiple birds, dont be surprised if you gets refusal.

Again I understand what you are working on but for those following along, When the duck dives and we see it come up someplace else. The ability to stop the dog and cast it towards the birds invaluable.

One last reminder, these skills are not just for water fowling. A good upland only dog will have the same handling skill sets.
Kiger2
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Tue May 22, 2018 9:57 am

Kiger2 wrote:AG,
Once again I completely understand what you are trying to accomplish.

I am merely pointing out the pitfalls of training for "objectives" can have for further training so those following along can be informed.

As a side note, are you not "cheating" the "search" by training for "objectives"?


No not cheating the search objective at all. Once I have a foundation of the dog taking a line towards an objective I lined him up on, he will be sent to an objective which does not have a duck. Having been conditioned to find ducks at objectives the dog will then move towards another terrain objective of his own choosing expecting/hoping to find one there. As I build the behavior I will put dead ducks at each prominent terrain feature but stretching them out across the marsh so the dog is learning to move around across some distance before finding the a target/dead duck. As the dog catches on, I will start spreading them out and not placing them at every location. And as I posted before, I will also lay a scent trail on the water by dragging a dead duck behind the kayak which the dog will encounter and follow.

I introduce my puppies to live ducks before I hunt them on ducks in their first season. Then I undertake Duck Search training after their first season and before their second after I have completed a FF program. I use the dead ducks alot as described because I can control them, reuse them, use them in locations and time periods on the calendar where live ducks are prohibited, they are far less mess than keeping live ducks around (which I do some of as well). After I have the dog moving around well and doing good searches on dead ducks I will goose up the octane with a few live ducks prior to the test. If the dog needs a live duck sooner I will use it sooner, but I have had excellent results using dead ducks for the bulk of the training.

I always send my dogs a minimum of two times when training. Usually 4 to 5 times if things are going well and dog's drive is staying up, as I want to recover and re-use all my target dead birds until they are no longer usable. Consistent with the objective of the Duck Search in the test looking for what level of drive the dog has, the dogs with the drive we hope to get do not object to being sent multiple times. If they do, I back off and may resort to live ducks, but the best dogs are very excited to get the dead ones just fine.

To not loose the point I set out to make. Using live ducks only cannot help but yield the willy nilly zero control over where the dog goes when sent that is often complained about. Using dead ducks which can be placed at specific objectives across the open water and conditioning the dog to line towards them when initially sent at least provides a foundation for teaching handling at a later stage in training. And even if that later stage never comes there is huge value in being able to send your dog in the direction the duck fell when hunting and having it begin its search in the right spot vs the wrong spot.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby crackerd » Tue May 22, 2018 2:49 pm

Kiger, I always enjoy these duck search ideology threads - this one 'cause I would like ryan to "expand" on the recent weekend "Duck Search Seminar" so as to help several of my retriever clubs acquire information for getting better flyers for our field trials! :wink: (Oh, right, it wasn't that kind of Duck Search Seminar sponsored by Google...)

Average Guy's getting in some good shots from where I sit - and I definitely in retrospect agree with what he's posited below about what we call "hunting blinds" (or used to call them when they were part of AKC retriever tests [only at the master level] judged by actual waterfowlers).

AverageGuy wrote:To not loose the point I set out to make. Using live ducks only cannot help but yield the willy nilly zero control over where the dog goes when sent that is often complained about. Using dead ducks which can be placed at specific objectives across the open water and conditioning the dog to line towards them when initially sent at least provides a foundation for teaching handling at a later stage in training. And even if that later stage never comes there is huge value in being able to send your dog in the direction the duck fell when hunting and having it begin its search in the right spot vs the wrong spot.


MG
User avatar
crackerd
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:10 pm

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Tue May 22, 2018 8:29 pm

AG, couldn't agree more with your first paragraph above. The idea is to teach the dog thru experience to continually expand its search in order to produce a duck. The dog needs to learn that if just keeps expanding to all cover objectives it will be successful (because it has always been successful EVERY time in training, including every resend.) Our seminar was a great, because we saw dogs with all levels of desire from low to very high and they all found success and took steps forward. Duck search is probably favorite subject to watch on test day.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2320
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Meridiandave » Tue May 22, 2018 9:06 pm

This is a great thread and directly relevant to me.

I am currently in the middle of training for my duck search. I am using the bucket method. I posted a picture on another board a few weeks ago. Ryanr asked a question about it. Since then things have really moved foward.

After forcing to pile. Across the water. I then began to replace the bumpers with dead birds. My griff handled this no problem. I then moved the birds about 15 feet from the bucket. I then hid the birds at multiple spots on the far side of the pond. She found two of the birds immediately and brought each back. The final bird she searched for for about 8 minutes. I was pleased.

The next seach I introduced a live bird. The dog found the bird in about 5 minutes. It was not able to catch the bird. It found the bird 2 more times. I did a search 40 minutes laterand it was not as sucessfull. She went from bird hiding place to bird hiding place.

After thinking about it talking to a couple of my friends. I made a couple of mistakes.

1) i should have restrained the duck.
2) I failed to plant more dead ducks. As it has been explained to me. The whole point of this training, is to get the dogs to swim and search on the far side. The dead ducks condition the dog to believe there is multiple rewards on the far side. I really like this method. Particularly after seeing a couple of dogs run UT last weekend.
Meridiandave
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:40 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Wed May 23, 2018 7:15 pm

Of course Ag was right, There is huge advantage in being able to send the dog in the direction the bird fell. But its an exponentially higher value to control the direction once out there.

Second, expose pup to ducks before season or he may not pick them up.

But back more to the topic, AG hit on something i think is important to remember. He is using a method where he is building on experience. Pretty much the way it all should be done. Teach the dog a concept and then expand on that.


Meriidian Dave. I dont think you made a mistake at all. First, the dog was successful at finding a bird when sent. Goal accomplished. Next two times it finds the bird but doesn't catch it, I see it as a bonus. More beneficial than finding a bird is finding it again. That will keep them searching! Doesn't have to get it in his mouth every time. Dog will certainly lose a bird or two in its life he it hunts enough.
so
Heres a question about search training. You have your bird planted, dog heads out starts its search but never finds the bird. Without a boat, whats your solution??
Kiger2
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Wed May 23, 2018 8:15 pm

Well I might be pissing in the wind saying this Kiger but it's actually very critical in duck search training that the dog be successful in getting a duck. Finding one and not getting it is not good, that's why if the dog gets into an extended chase, especially after a long search you or your partner paddle out and shoot the duck for it. That really fires the dog up and makes it excited for duck search. If the dog loses the duck before you get out there and doesn't find it again soon you probably want to slip another duck out for it (without the dog seeing you do it.) A dog that experiences finding and losing a duck and ultimately not getting a duck does not get more fired up for duck searches.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2320
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ForestDump » Thu May 24, 2018 10:10 am

In the duck search is gun fire used or is the dog just brought to the water and sent on a search? Also is it a live, hobbled duck or dead? I’m hoping dead because I’ve been keeping live ducks and they are messy so I’d love to not have to keep feeding them.
User avatar
ForestDump
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:42 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Thu May 24, 2018 10:47 am

ForestDump wrote:In the duck search is gun fire used or is the dog just brought to the water and sent on a search? Also is it a live, hobbled duck or dead? I’m hoping dead because I’ve been keeping live ducks and they are messy so I’d love to not have to keep feeding them.


For the initial send, the handler fires a gun. If the dog finds a duck and a resend is asked for by the judges, I don't believe a second gunshot is fired. Yes, a live duck is released somwhere on the water prior to each dog's search. It is not hobbled but primaries of one wing are pulled.

I've been taught to train to send the dog without a shot. Once the dog is doing the type of searches you want, adding the shot later prior to the test is easy but you should get the dog used to going easily without a shot. Also once the dog is readily expanding it's search to all objectives to find a duck you can ramp back the # of search sessions your doing to maybe 1 every couple weeks This helps to really bring out the intensity and desire in the dog when it is allowed to do a search. It "keeps 'em hungry."
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2320
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu May 24, 2018 10:49 am

if you first teach an independent search on land it will more easily transfer to water and make the search easier for dog to grasp the concept of what you're wanting to achieve. Use a command like "dead bird" and hide dummy and have dog search. Gradually hide dummy farther and make finding it take longer. Use retrieve-r-trainer to shoot off dummy where dog doesn't see it and then send on "dead bird" command, etc. Dogs love this game and will work very hard to expanding search area to find the objective. They quickly learn they are "on their own" rather than under your management (so it's different to them from handling drills or blind retrieves or other school work). When they do huge searches then move to water and use dummies or dead birds, then live birds. Also must do this in different places because dogs don't generalize very well. Just another way to go about all this and it helps in hunting so your dog will do both handling as well as independent hunting.
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1164
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Thu May 24, 2018 11:37 am

This is only for a different perspective on how to train for it (and not meant to say one method works and another doesn't, there are a number of successful ways to skin a cat) but I've been taught a different way. Use the same command for duck search as you do for releasing the dog to start a hunt in the field, for live birds because that's what it's doing. You shouldn't have to first teach a dog to search on land for a dummy before starting duck search on water. Yes, my dog enjoys searching for a dummy, he's high drive but it's nothing compared to his
desire to find a live bird. The dog already knows how to hunt, let it and transferring to water is not a problem. From what I've witnessed and experienced, always using live ducks and starting out with visuals I believe you get to where you want to be with your dog's duck search quicker with this method.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2320
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Thu May 24, 2018 2:06 pm

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.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

PreviousNext

Return to Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests