E-collar and duck search

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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Meridiandave » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:02 am

booger wrote: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.

Wow. Of course that isn't going to qork without a force to pile or a ff across water. Not sure what to say about that one.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:15 am

booger wrote: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.


Maybe try this, when the dog is coming back to you don't stim it as it's swimming back, instead as it gets to you meet it in the water, get ahold of the collar if you need to and now force it back out with your resend command and stim. Another thing, we use launchers attached to lifesavers and we had a dog in your exact scenario, swimming back after a short search and it lost contact with the first duck. It was swimming back and we got its attention by "quacking" the duck call sound on the trap and launching the second duck so the dog could see it. The dog turned around and swam back out and eventually found the duck, chased it and got it. The dog ran again the second day of the seminar and did a much better and more enthusiastic search and resend.

Also, if you're using a kayak to help get the dog out there are you using it to "push" or "pull" the dog further out into the water? Pushing is where the dog is swimming out front of the kayak. Pulling is where the kayak is leading the dog out. Pushing is the preferred method, otherwise the dog may become dependent on the kayak which only adds another problem.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:47 am

If the dog doesn't know "BACK" and hasn't been FTP, you have no reason to be running the dog with an ecollar.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:08 am

Meridiandave wrote:
booger wrote: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.

Wow. Of course that isn't going to qork without a force to pile or a ff across water. Not sure what to say about that one.


It's my first dog so I'm learning, you'd think maybe she'd try something that wouldn't get her shocked? Well I did and I was wrong. Apparently my dog didn't get the memo that the stim means stop doing what you're doing.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:17 am

ryanr wrote:
booger wrote: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.


Maybe try this, when the dog is coming back to you don't stim it as it's swimming back, instead as it gets to you meet it in the water, get ahold of the collar if you need to and now force it back out with your resend command and stim. Another thing, we use launchers attached to lifesavers and we had a dog in your exact scenario, swimming back after a short search and it lost contact with the first duck. It was swimming back and we got its attention by "quacking" the duck call sound on the trap and launching the second duck so the dog could see it. The dog turned around and swam back out and eventually found the duck, chased it and got it. The dog ran again the second day of the seminar and did a much better and more enthusiastic search and resend.

Also, if you're using a kayak to help get the dog out there are you using it to "push" or "pull" the dog further out into the water? Pushing is where the dog is swimming out front of the kayak. Pulling is where the kayak is leading the dog out. Pushing is the preferred method, otherwise the dog may become dependent on the kayak which only adds another problem.


We've done it where we have the guy already out there in the kayak, where I paddle out because I'm alone, or where someone else paddles out with a resend. She'll do a nice search if someone is out there with a kayak. Typically that takes a few times and then she doesn't need the kayak.

I'll have to try the getting in the water and resending along with a launcher and call.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:50 am

Well are you pushing or pulling the dog with the kayak? Also, are you using live or dead ducks?

If your dog doesn't understand something, don't use the e-collar and hope it just "decides to do something different." The dog came back to you faster after you stimmrd it because it didn't know what you wanted but figured it better get back to you quickly. Coming back to a handler as a reaction to stim is a common default response in a dog that is confused or unsure. Which is why I said, right now, don't stim the dog as it's coming back to you, instead meet it in the water and drive it back out physically and with low level stim. Once it's going out let off the stim. If it comes back, repeat. It shouldn't take long before the dog understands you don't want it coming back until it gets a duck.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:05 am

Having already completed FF before training Duck Search, I train Duck Search with the ecollar on the dog, and correct for a dropped bird during the retrieve when/as needed. The dog is wet and I use very low level stimulation in this situation, starting the moment the dog drops the duck and stopping the moment it gets the duck back in its mouth. The dog understands the correction for a dropped bird and it has no ill effect on its drive to search.

I use dead and live birds to excite and reward the dog while building search skills/desire, not the ecollar.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:29 am

ryanr wrote:Well are you pushing or pulling the dog with the kayak? Also, are you using live or dead ducks?

If your dog doesn't understand something, don't use the e-collar and hope it just "decides to do something different." The dog came back to you faster after you stimmrd it because it didn't know what you wanted but figured it better get back to you quickly. Coming back to a handler as a reaction to stim is a common default response in a dog that is confused or unsure. Which is why I said, right now, don't stim the dog as it's coming back to you, instead meet it in the water and drive it back out physically and with low level stim. Once it's going out let off the stim. If it comes back, repeat. It shouldn't take long before the dog understands you don't want it coming back until it gets a duck.


Honestly I'll probably just leave the stim out altogether. That's what I've been doing. I've also been using a clicker to encourage her to keep going and searching.

I'd say I'm pulling the dog with the kayak. We use live and dead ducks. We may put out both a dead and live, we always have a dead one to throw in case they don't get the live one. Typically we'll put out a live duck with taped feet and a wing taped to the body. They typically don't go far. We also will most times drag from shore a dead one to the spot we plant the live or dead duck.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:13 pm

How many searches have you done with the dog? How many ducks do you put out at a time for each search? Has the dog had any visuals (ie. live ducks released out on the water where it sees them?)

Your goal should be to teach the dog that if it keeps on expanding its search to more and more likely cover objectives it will find a duck. This is probably best accomplished with multiple ducks out for each search. The kayak is okay in the beginning (again if you can use it to push the dog, that's better) but if the dog has the desire and is learning to be successful on its own it shouldn't take many searches before the kayak is only needed to go out to shoot a duck after a prolonged chase (which you should be prepared to paddle out and do.) Wanna see a dog fired up? Paddle out and shoot one on the water for it during a chase (then quickly paddle back ahead of the dog to receive the retrieve.)

If you're dragging a dead duck for a scent trail try this, drag the duck out almost across the water then pick it up but have that scent trail laid out so that it's downwind of a live duck. When the dog goes out on the trail and then it stops and looks around for the duck it should hit the scent of the live duck and want to go find it. Start closer then plant the live duck(s) further away. You can try this with dead ducks too. The dog should have multiple options out there to learn to achieve success on its own.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:07 pm

ryanr wrote:How many searches have you done with the dog? How many ducks do you put out at a time for each search? Has the dog had any visuals (ie. live ducks released out on the water where it sees them?)

Your goal should be to teach the dog that if it keeps on expanding its search to more and more likely cover objectives it will find a duck. This is probably best accomplished with multiple ducks out for each search. The kayak is okay in the beginning (again if you can use it to push the dog, that's better) but if the dog has the desire and is learning to be successful on its own it shouldn't take many searches before the kayak is only needed to go out to shoot a duck after a prolonged chase (which you should be prepared to paddle out and do.) Wanna see a dog fired up? Paddle out and shoot one on the water for it during a chase (then quickly paddle back ahead of the dog to receive the retrieve.)

If you're dragging a dead duck for a scent trail try this, drag the duck out almost across the water then pick it up but have that scent trail laid out so that it's downwind of a live duck. When the dog goes out on the trail and then it stops and looks around for the duck it should hit the scent of the live duck and want to go find it. Start closer then plant the live duck(s) further away. You can try this with dead ducks too. The dog should have multiple options out there to learn to achieve success on its own.


I've done at least 20 duck searches with her on 2 different bodies of water, most of them at 1 which she has mostly "graduated" from. The number of ducks range from 1 to maybe 4, typically half of the 4 would be dead. There also might be left over birds as the grounds are used by many people training for duck search.

She's seen the ducks, not seen the ducks, gone with and without a shot and she's been duck hunting probably 30 times in 2 years.

She is fairly dependent on sight cues on retrieving, which I'm trying to work away from. I'm planning to focus more on blind retrieves.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:50 pm

Wow, that's a lot of duck searches. Any reason why so many? Have you considered the old adage of "less is more"? It's hard to know, not seeing or really knowing the dog in question but I have seen several guys burn dogs out by OVERtraining duck search trying to make everything perfect when the solution might've been to take a few steps back and not overdue the searches or the pressure on the searches. Keep the dog's desire up by keeping it wanting more. Don't do any for a couple weeks then go back, put out several live ducks and let the dog have fun.

I have a friend who's dog did a poor search at its first UT. Our other training partners and I knew that was not representative of the dog but we also kind of saw it coming because our friend way overdid duck search in the last 2 weeks leading up (and a harsh correction for a retrieving error- sometimes it's best to clean up that mistake away from the duck search water.) The dog was burned and burned out and figured it was safest to stand right next to "dad." When the scores were read the dog had 4s in every category except duck search. It got a 2 in duck search.

After the test one of my training partners suggested (again) to lay off duck search before the next test which was a month and half away. Our friend listened to his advice this time. Two weeks before the test, he went with the handler to help him do a duck search. They put out 4 live ducks on the bog and he sent the dog. Dog went out did a nice search, got into a duck and after a chase they shot the duck. Dog retrieved it, not as crisp and enthusiastically as he would've liked but he made no corrections. Resent the dog, and the dog excitedly went out and found another duck. Retrieve was better too, more enthusiasm. That was it for the duck searches before the test. On its second UT try the dog went out and nailed a 204!
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:32 pm

Ryan,

I dread to say anything but really, you said dont stim the dog for something he doesn't understand and then you say stim the dog until he understands???????????
How about instead we train a command, I dunno, maybe "back"????? So we can send the dog back and correct with a collar if needed and he knows whats expected??????

You grab a dog and stim him until he gets back out without a know command and he's more likely to avoid you when he returns. He may eventually get it, but why count on eventually?????

I woud strongly advise new folks NOT to do this.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:22 am

ryanr wrote:Wow, that's a lot of duck searches. Any reason why so many? Have you considered the old adage of "less is more"? It's hard to know, not seeing or really knowing the dog in question but I have seen several guys burn dogs out by OVERtraining duck search trying to make everything perfect when the solution might've been to take a few steps back and not overdue the searches or the pressure on the searches. Keep the dog's desire up by keeping it wanting more. Don't do any for a couple weeks then go back, put out several live ducks and let the dog have fun.

I have a friend who's dog did a poor search at its first UT. Our other training partners and I knew that was not representative of the dog but we also kind of saw it coming because our friend way overdid duck search in the last 2 weeks leading up (and a harsh correction for a retrieving error- sometimes it's best to clean up that mistake away from the duck search water.) The dog was burned and burned out and figured it was safest to stand right next to "dad." When the scores were read the dog had 4s in every category except duck search. It got a 2 in duck search.

After the test one of my training partners suggested (again) to lay off duck search before the next test which was a month and half away. Our friend listened to his advice this time. Two weeks before the test, he went with the handler to help him do a duck search. They put out 4 live ducks on the bog and he sent the dog. Dog went out did a nice search, got into a duck and after a chase they shot the duck. Dog retrieved it, not as crisp and enthusiastically as he would've liked but he made no corrections. Resent the dog, and the dog excitedly went out and found another duck. Retrieve was better too, more enthusiasm. That was it for the duck searches before the test. On its second UT try the dog went out and nailed a 204!


Those 20 are over 3 years. Only did a couple the first year. The reason why is that she doesn't naturally expand her search, she expands in small increments. She definitely likes it and is not being over pressured or overtrained. My dog retrieves to hand nearly flawlessly, so no pressure is needed there. And going to a different pond was taking about 5 steps back, which is another reason for the amount. I'm trying to get her to generalize it so she doesn't do a phenomenal duck search at 1 pond and a horrible duck search at any other pond.

Like any other training, it takes as long as it takes.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:56 am

Kiger2 wrote:Ryan,

I dread to say anything but really, you said dont stim the dog for something he doesn't understand and then you say stim the dog until he understands???????????
How about instead we train a command, I dunno, maybe "back"????? So we can send the dog back and correct with a collar if needed and he knows whats expected??????

You grab a dog and stim him until he gets back out without a know command and he's more likely to avoid you when he returns. He may eventually get it, but why count on eventually?????

I woud strongly advise new folks NOT to do this.


No, Kiger I did not say that. And really, keep telling people in your long diatribes about handling and blind retrieves on a duck search topic, 'cause I'm sure it's really helping new people learn duck search, where you can't really handle your dog after you send it- that's kind of the point of the test.
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Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Kiger2 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:58 pm

Ryan,
You said "If your dog doesn't understand something, don't use the e-collar and hope it just "decides to do something different."

Then you said "instead meet it in the water and drive it back out physically and with low level stim. " Same paragraph.
I rest my case.
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