Training for NA test

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

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Re: Training for NA test

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:44 pm

pretty funny ... and welcome to having all the wheels fall off the wagon. That's also the way a lot of NA tests go because on test day there will be so many distractions you may not even recognize him as the same dog you have at home.

The other thing to get into your head is that the NA test isn't much of a test of your individual's dog's natural ability. If all the dogs in the liter are tested you might be able to get an idea of what natural abilities the overall breeding has, but a single test of a single dog in my mind means nothing as regards what your dog will turn out like.

So don't take it too seriously
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1165
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Training for NA test

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:50 pm

All bold puppies will thumb their nose at you when they start getting confident enough to explore. I have mine drag a light stiff homemade check cord and I only call them when I am positioned to get my foot on the check cord and reel them into me if they do not comply praising them when they arrive either way (I kneel down).

And I pick my spots as to when I call them, looking for when the puppy is not engrossed in something interesting and is instead heading back in my direction anyway. Calling them when I cannot enforce the command would only train them to ignore the command whenever they choose to do so. I would keep a young dog away from thin ice is all I have to offer on that front and I realize it sometimes happens despite our best efforts. You keeping quiet as you walk makes the puppy pay more attention to where you are which is a good habit to engrain.

As for the birds, just continue to get the puppy outside as often as possible where it can learn about birds and the terrain they live in, keep quiet and watch what goes on at this stage of the game. At this age following its nose into the scent and new birds is no indication of a problem, and rather is just the puppy's first learning experience. Walking alone, just you and the puppy is far better than in a group with other people and dogs, as I think you have figured out.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Training for NA test

Postby 3drahthaars » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:34 pm

AverageGuy wrote:All bold puppies will thumb their nose at you when they start getting confident enough to explore. I have mine drag a light stiff homemade check cord and I only call them when I am positioned to get my foot on the check cord and reel them into me if they do not comply praising them when they arrive either way (I kneel down).

And I pick my spots as to when I call them, looking for when the puppy is not engrossed in something interesting and is instead heading back in my direction anyway. Calling them when I cannot enforce the command would only train them to ignore the command whenever they choose to do so. I would keep a young dog away from thin ice is all I have to offer on that front and I realize it sometimes happens despite our best efforts. You keeping quiet as you walk makes the puppy pay more attention to where you are which is a good habit to engrain.

As for the birds, just continue to get the puppy outside as often as possible where it can learn about birds and the terrain they live in, keep quiet and watch what goes on at this stage of the game. At this age following its nose into the scent and new birds is no indication of a problem, and rather is just the puppy's first learning experience. Walking alone, just you and the puppy is far better than in a group with other people and dogs, as I think you have figured out.


X2!
User avatar
3drahthaars
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:08 pm

Re: Training for NA test

Postby Densa44 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:22 pm

Wow 5 pages on the NA test, spring can't come soon enough!

Did you find a place to run your dog? I mean a NAVHDA test. There is a limit to how many dogs they can run per day and your dog must run before he turns 16 months.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
User avatar
Densa44
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:10 pm

Re: Training for NA test

Postby Athomas16 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:05 pm

I ran my Griff as a 3 month old (Oct,2017) and again at 8 months (Feb,2018). I treated the 3 month as a fun day for her and a handler's clinic for me. She is my first gun dog. At three months old she gave out before we got to the field work. Got a 4 in track first thing in the morning, didn't swim, and then slept walk through the field portion. At that age she slept 20 hours a day and asking her to do that much was not fair. But I achieved my objective of learning how the test operates.

I hunted quail with her throughout the season. Getting her exposed to birds, gunfire, and all sorts of different terrain. We swam in lakes, ponds, swamps, and creeks. I live in South Alabama so water temperature wasn't too much of an issue for most of the winter. I considered the track to be money in the bank so to speak as she had already made a 4 on it at 3 months old. One week before the test I released a flightless pheasant, brought her up to the feather pile, gave her the command to track, and then watched as she proceeded to hunt the entire area for a quail. It was a virtuoso performance in field work, but a solid 0 in terms of tracking. So I realized she no longer knew the command. To reteach the track command I got up 30 minutes early every morning and cut up a hot dog into small pieces, put it in a pair of pantyhose, microwaved it, tied the hose to a long stick and drug it around the yard, leaving a pile of hot dog pieces at the end. On day one I left a small piece of hot dog on the track every 2 to 3 feet. Day two I spread the pieces out further. On day 4 I just left the whole pile of hot dogs at the end of the track. On day 3 I could tell she knew the command, specifically with respect to hotdogs, and I had my fingers crossed for the test.

At the test she took at 8 months they did the field work first as there was rain in the forecast, then the track, and water was the last event. I thought she did great in the field, and her track was a slam dunk. I didn't know exactly what her score was as we approached the water, but I knew she was doing well. It came apart at the water's edge. She didn't feel like swimming that day. I had to beg and plead for her to go get that dummy. She finally did it, but I knew it was a problem. When scores were announced, she received straight 4s on everything but water. Got a 2 in water and was dinged 1 point for desire (which the judges explained was a function of hesitancy to swim). Prize III 98. It was disappointing to get that close to a 112 and nosedive, but that wasn't on the judges, not by a long shot.

My diagnosis is that she didn't have the confidence to plunge into murky water. We live on a spring fed pond which is very clear. Most of the places we went swimming are fairly clear and she was able to see the bottom well enough to be comfortable. Perhaps if she had been the first dog to swim the water would have been more to her liking, but then I would still have an undiagnosed problem and not even know it. She is scheduled to retake the NA on 4/1 and I talked to a bunch of NAVHDA people about how to build confidence with water.

I found a ~2 acre mudhole where the water never gets deeper than 18 inches or so. She can run through the whole thing without every having to swim, but she doesn't know that because you can't see 2 inches into that slop. So everyday during the month of March she is doing retrieves in that mudhole. On day one she was skittish and hesitant, but gradually she is getting more comfortable. A week before the event I will try to translate that confidence into deeper water. I don't know what else to try...

I am sure purists would see that she took the NA 3 times and sneer, but I don't really care about that. I am never going to breed her, we are just doing the tests for fun and to make sure we always have a goal we are working toward. I am new, she is a puppy, and we are learning together. Plus, I am a bit competitive, so if someone is going to bother keeping score, I would like to "win". Also, I have to get her over this water problem in order for us to participate in UPT and UT as she gets older.

I'll report back with how she does on 4/1. My nightmare scenario is for her to pull a Michael Phelps routine at the water and then bomb the field or track. Dogs...
Athomas16
Started
Started
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:49 pm

Re: Training for NA test

Postby Densa44 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:02 pm

One last tip on swimming. If your dog "swims" with his front paws in the air, he may be walking on the bottom. Or as has been said there may be a disagreement as to if the dog swam at all.

It is common in large pups, don't worry about it. Throw the dummy a bit farther into deeper water, if all the paws disappear the dog is water borne! If the dog doesn't want to go into deeper water, hook him up and walk in with him until he swims, do this as often as necessary.

Once he gets the hang of it you won't have anymore trouble.

Good Luck
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
User avatar
Densa44
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 807
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:10 pm

Re: Training for NA test

Postby huntindog1 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:17 pm

Some good info.
Last edited by huntindog1 on Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
huntindog1
Started
Started
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:30 am
Location: Canada

Re: Training for NA test

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:06 pm

This thread highlights the benefit of persons running any level of NAVHDA test reading the AIMS document provided on NAVHDA's website before running the test. It is a well done document in my opinion.

https://www.navhda.org/sites/www.navhda ... 202017.pdf

Test or otherwise, keeping a close eye on a running dog in high temperatures is basic knowledge every dog owner needs to heed.

And a dog which willingly swims twice for a bird in an NA test can be scored a 2 for Water, which is enough to pass with a Prize 3 if all other Prize 3 minimums are met. So a dog which swam for bird but received no Prize, was judged to have other issues resulting in lower than Prize 3 score or scores somewhere in the test.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Training for NA test

Postby huntindog1 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:28 am

Some more good info
Last edited by huntindog1 on Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
huntindog1
Started
Started
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:30 am
Location: Canada

Re: Training for NA test

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:23 am

I would not want any new persons to be mislead here.

Every NAVHDA Judge and Test I have attended and participated in, understands fully the need to not over heat a dog. If the Handler does not initiate taking a break and watering the dog, the Judges will. They will not make you run your dog harder than is safe. Rather they will take a break, water the dog and get it into water to cool down, and then start up again enough times to get 20 minutes of evaluation.

More importantly, always keep the right perspective when running a Test. The short term and the long term welfare of the dog are what is most important. I will never need a Judge to tell me to get my dog into water and encourage others to have that appropriate level of confidence in themselves and what they are doing.

I ran my first UPT with a 17 month old dog in 2004. It was mid 80s, bright sunshine, little wind, the GWP was black with a dense undercoat. Before I even cut the dog loose, I said, "This is a Black Wooly dog and it is hot. I am going to keep a close eye on him and he is going to need to get into the water along the way." Judges immediately concurred and said no worries. Prize 1 scores across the board except for Steadiness so Prize 2 overall, so worked out just fine.

If my dog was collapsed panting beside a pond instead of going into the water that would indicate to me he is having a heat stroke and I would lead him into the water myself having nothing to do with a Hunt Test and everything to do with getting the dog cooled down. I would tell the Judges what I was doing and why but otherwise do what was immediately best for my dog. I cannot conceive a NAVHDA Judge would argue with it, but it they did, I would do it anyway.

Last test I ran was August 2017 and the Judges initiated me getting the dog into the water more often than he needed to, but he worked 7 birds in the upland portion so I was fine taking more breaks. I was hoping the rest might do my gunners some good. :lol:
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Training for NA test

Postby huntindog1 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:44 am

Thanks Average guy for you in sites on your experiences.
huntindog1
Started
Started
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:30 am
Location: Canada

Re: Training for NA test

Postby orhunter » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:58 am

A dog isn't going to get dehydrated during a 20 minute search. Force feeding a dog water isn't going to do a darn bit of good in lowering its core temperature. Neither is dumping water on a dog and having it all run off. When I'm concerned about a dog overheating, I carry with me a wash rag in a zip-loc bag. When it's time to stop and cool down, I use the water soaked rag to swab down the hairless parts of the dog like arm pits, ears, belly etc. I make sure to rub enough of the water directly on the skin so it offers the greatest cooling effect. Water on hair does little to nothing.
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 7710
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

Re: Training for NA test

Postby huntindog1 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:17 am

orhunter wrote:A dog isn't going to get dehydrated during a 20 minute search. Force feeding a dog water isn't going to do a darn bit of good in lowering its core temperature. Neither is dumping water on a dog and having it all run off. When I'm concerned about a dog overheating, I carry with me a wash rag in a zip-loc bag. When it's time to stop and cool down, I use the water soaked rag to swab down the hairless parts of the dog like arm pits, ears, belly etc. I make sure to rub enough of the water directly on the skin so it offers the greatest cooling effect. Water on hair does little to nothing.


That may explain why my dog got over heated as yes I was forcing water down the dog all thru the 20 min. and dunked it in the water trough.
Its was scary moment for me as when the dog was one second running around looking for birds then next second
like someone had turned its light switch off. Deer in head lights look.I will try that next time.

Thanks for the advice.
huntindog1
Started
Started
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:30 am
Location: Canada

Re: Training for NA test

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:32 am

orhunter wrote:A dog isn't going to get dehydrated during a 20 minute search. Force feeding a dog water isn't going to do a darn bit of good in lowering its core temperature. Neither is dumping water on a dog and having it all run off. When I'm concerned about a dog overheating, I carry with me a wash rag in a zip-loc bag. When it's time to stop and cool down, I use the water soaked rag to swab down the hairless parts of the dog like arm pits, ears, belly etc. I make sure to rub enough of the water directly on the skin so it offers the greatest cooling effect. Water on hair does little to nothing.


I get the dog into water cooler than the air temperature e.g. a tub/plastic kiddie pool placed in the field of the hunt test or a pond, creek, covering the dog's undercarriage up to its sides. And pour water over its head. That is what I meant by getting the dog into water in my post above. If done before the dog is overheated most dogs will get into water and lay down. It is also a good thing to train for e.g. a down command in shallow water as some dogs are not always the best judge of these things.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1988
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Training for NA test

Postby orhunter » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:38 am

We can all agree upon the best method but what if it isn't available?

I've been to one NAVHDA event where a tub or wading pool was provided and that was because I brought it knowing no one else would.
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 7710
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

PreviousNext

Return to Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests