Pushing a dog that's shut down

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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:08 pm

I was working at a large training kennel, we could run 120 dogs in training at a time. We got a pet Golden in for training, a worthless P.O.S. afraid of water, birds, and totally untrained. I was head trainer there and got most of the problem dogs. I told the owner I wanted to send him home. The owner said " You're a dog trainer. You're paid to train dogs, the good and the bad. Train him". That dog was a total bag of crap, something I wouldn't waste the price of a bullet on. But. He was also someone else's valued family pet and they just wanted something that in some fashion would retrieve a bird. So I trained him. He was always miserable in his job and resentful, but he would WALK out and retrieve a bird. I hated that dog. I would never keep that dog. But I understand the feeling they had for him. We can't or don't all have great dogs.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm


I will take as much talent in a puppy as I can get. My strengths working with dogs are I do well with the simple stuff. I do a nice job with all the critical introductions, and give them a ton of exposure and hunting. With a talented puppy that always turns out really well in my experience. I had to wash out one dog for a health reason (Airedale with bad hips), and had a Redbone pup dumped on me by a friend, that was a counterfeit dud and I moved that dog down the road.

It taught me the extreme value of doing good due diligence before acquiring a puppy a long time ago, and so I have avoided a need to wash one out since. I would again if I had to.

But recently I was exposed to a dog that won a National Championship FT. I learned the dog was a 50 yard dog before a gifted trainer got ahold of it. And I have soften as I have aged. The combination make me lean towards giving a dog a lot of chances before concluding it is no longer worth trying. I continue to try to improve my knowledge and skill around training. Having seen some truly gifted trainers and what they can accomplish fixing dogs with holes in them makes me look more inward as to how I can improve and help a dog with some holes. What you learn by doing it can only make you better prepared for the next one is my thought.

And we are talking in the abstract here. The area and the degree of the problem make a big difference. Some dogs are a lost cause, but as I just said, having seen what a gifted trainer can do continues to shape and shade my views on the subject.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby hicntry » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:00 am

Thanks for the response AG. But, here is the problem. I am not a trainer. I know dogs well enough that I can take them and turn multiple dogs out to hunt in a million acre forest or cattle country and get them all back. My dogs are well behaved in the house and have never been crated, so, yes, I can handle a dog as much as I need to. Like you, I have always favored really strong dogs that challenge me. Also, like you, I have softened with age but would still crush a soft dog. I don't like them and don't have the patience to put in the time on a dog that I know will never make a real dog. AG, you referred to what"really skilled trainers can do" with these poorly bred dogs. That is great, but, most dog people asking these simple,basic questions are not great, skilled trainers or the wouldn't be asking. I am of the opinion that most people ruin the first few dogs be cause they don't know how to handle them properly. Soft dogs are very susceptible to poor handling where solid dogs aren't. POS dogs are, in general, a bad deal for novices to learn on. The first dog or two really determines if someone is ever going to want another dog.....it should be a good experience at least.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:12 am

HC I agree. And I think your lean on this is the best bias for a breeder to have. A Trainer is best biased towards wanting to help a dog. Both have their place. Abdolutely agree the great ones are born with tools to be great.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby woodboro » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:58 pm

All good points ...
problem is OP is a bystander and did not know the handler nor dog.
Dog could of had formal training , and just bulked (miss read shut down) because other outside elements were present.
Dog might not of been formally trained.
Handler may not have been formally trained.

Little story ... (again .. haha)

History of dog - formally trained , and had carried fox's since his table force breaking to retrieve.
6+ weeks of forest search for game , fox's.
Went to a JGHV event (BTR) and dog read that I was not a favorite of judge, but dog whiffed fox from starting point.
Judge crowded me , and I sent dog off....
Dog bulked.. Why why why
I call it the triangle effect.... dog new something was not right with judge and me.
Don't laugh but judge trys to teach me what to do , compounds situation where dog is done.
As a judge , never crowd handler , and points to starting point is highly recommended.
As a handler, my experience should of put dog down, before judge crowds us , and leave dog.
As a dog , confusion leads to bulking, if simple directions are not presented....
OP not enugh info..
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby ryanr » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:46 pm

Bulking? Or do you mean Balking?
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby SMAbby » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:14 pm

I am just a pup in the FF world, I have 7 under my belt. I am sure the pros will tear me apart.But there is something that I learned with one dog that I always keep in mind with all my dogs from that point on.
I had finished this dog, he had gone through every bird and the only fur he had was a rabbit. Just before I was going to send him home I thought I would put my fox dummy out for him to retrieve for a picture. I mean, he is FF ed right, he should pick up anything.
I lined the dog up and sent him to the fox. The minute he got there he sniffed and returned to me.Head down and tail oddly lowered. My initial reaction was that I should make a correction and make him pick the darn thing up. But in a split second I processed that this dog is very cooperative and has always WANTED to do the right thing. Why not this time.? I allowed him to return to my side and we walked together to the fox. I picked the fox up by the tail and began to make the fox "Alive". He engaged in the play. I tossed the fox out in the yard and commanded him to fetch. He happily went and retrieved the fox. He never had a problem again and it took no correction. What I came up with was he was not sure he COULD pick that big thing up. I showed him he could and he did from then on with no troubles..

Every dog from then on, I would introduce larger game to them in this way. Especially if I was force fetching a dog that had not encountered a duck or rabbit alive. I simply just showed them that these things are great fun and then went on with the training.

Just a thought.
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Re: Pushing a dog that's shut down

Postby 3drahthaars » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:33 pm

SMAbby wrote:
Every dog from then on, I would
introduce larger game to them in this way
. Especially if I was force fetching a dog that had not encountered a duck or rabbit alive. I simply just showed them that these things are great fun and then went on with the training.

Just a thought.

Learned it from an old German... every new game animal should be "introduced" if you can, but especially the fox and large game.

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