E-collar and duck search

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

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:43 am

Bruce Schwartz wrote:Agree with AG's advice. Since your dog's default with stimulation is recall, any pressure from the collar to have it go any other direction besides back to you will just cause anxiety - which you've noted. And it didn't sound like FF went smoothly either from previous posts. Likely you've had most success with PR so why not just stay with that? There's nothing wrong with praise and a treat to get success, and there's a lot written about how most training can be accomplished with PR.

You've obviously come a long ways with a dog that wasn't a clean slate when you got it, and, coupled with it being your first dog, you've had some trials. I'd say you're to be commended for your efforts. I'm of course wondering if you're training for the UT ... and if so, why? Some dogs take to the duck search with a vengeance and others not so much.

As you can tell I'm critical of a test that encourages us to game the system in order to be successful. Let us know how we can help.


I appreciate all the feedback, not just Bruce's.

FF did not go smoothly as you picked up on. I transitioned to a clicker and things went better, maybe because it took my emotions out of it, maybe because my dog is very food driven. Actually I didn't mention it but on that last duck search I was giving my dog successive clicks (which I've done before) as she was searching/going away. I always have her collar on when training or hunting but that doesn't mean I use it, so it was on but I never used it.

I would like to test her UT. She was tested through the german system (DD) VJP and HZP by her prior owner. I just want to go through the test so I know what to expect and to get the first one out of the way. I've volunteered and helped at tests and am actually taking the handler clinic this weekend. This is mostly just learning for my next dog.
booger
Seasoned
Seasoned
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:24 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby LongHammer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:56 pm

Smartest thing I ever did was put away the ecollar. On the occasions he does have it on I use tone for recall. If you aren't having fun neither is you dog move on to something you both enjoy.
"The problem with quoting info from the internet is that you can never be sure it is accurate" Abraham Lincoln
LongHammer
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:17 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:12 pm

booger wrote:
I would like to test her UT. She was tested through the german system (DD) VJP and HZP by her prior owner. I just want to go through the test so I know what to expect and to get the first one out of the way. I've volunteered and helped at tests and am actually taking the handler clinic this weekend. This is mostly just learning for my next dog.


If you're not satisfied with how your dog's doing I would suggest that you have someone out there throwing dead duck marks. It's better if the fellow isn't seen, but regardless, have him blow a duck call (or do a "hey, hey") and then heave the duck when your dog is looking. Be sure to shoot your shotgun at the top of the arc. Dogs get excited about motion so a bird going down is probably more interesting for your dog than white can sight blinds. Do this in two or three or more different places on the marsh and don't do more than two or three throws max at any one session. Always quit when both you and the dog are happy and don't do any other training the same day. And keep the sessions short because swimming is tiring for the dog. It's also good to wait a day or two between sessions to build enthusiasm if time permits. Lots of judges want dogs to go across an open body of water before instigating a search so keep that in mind. After enough times you should be able to shoot and send the dog without a mark. He'll think he missed the bird and will likely search all the places he's been before. Do this in as many different locations as you can because dogs don't generalize very well. I'm not advocating the above for all dogs but it might help ones that are somewhat timid or have performance anxiety.
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1123
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:36 am

There is another thing that makes duck search easier. Before you ever start, have your dog absolutely loving the water. Take the dog wading with you or swimming behind a kayak. No training, just swimming. Let it chase ducks, geese, seagull; anything. Just get the dog in love with the water. If I teach a duck search, I would never do it until when I was walking near the water, the dog would bail in while I walked. Then the dog is ready for the duck search. Things will be much easier. Unless it is totally unavoidable, never, ever, pressure a dog IN TO the water; let it go naturally if at all possible.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1223
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:12 am

Adding to Bruce and GH's last posts. Live ducks are the ultimate enticement for a dog to search water and cover in water. I like to reserve my ultimate best enticement for when I really need it. Such as when a dog is showing less drive and confidence than it needs to do a great Duck Search. If I can, I use dead ducks more and save the live ones for when I may really need it.

Sounds like your dog will really benefit from live ducks at this point. I would put 2 or 3 of them out at each training session. I think using Bruces idea but having the helper throw a live flapping duck into cover (not open water, just thinking the visual of the flapping duck going through the air would really fire your dog up) on the far side of the water from where you and your pup at standing and watching might be useful in the early stages. If your dog is not comfortable crossing longer open water distances then shorten it up for now to a distance it will boldly cross. You can build more distance as you bring your dog's confidence level up. You do not want to build total reliance on seeing a bird released of course, but firing your dog up sounds needed at this stage. If you do not feel what I just suggested as to letting the dog see a live duck released on the far side is needed then don't use it of course. You would want to wean off of that as soon as possible, which can be done by sending the dog across the same water to same cover without a visual aid in a subsequent training session.

I would not require your dog to search until it finds all the ducks you released, rather the purpose of multiple live ducks is to ensure the dog's search efforts are always rewarded with hitting and following scent and hopefully producing the duck leading to more excitement.

To GH's suggestion, After a successful search, I have found benefit in the early stages of training a young dog on Duck Search in me getting into a kayak and paddling out to pick up my Ducks which the dog did not recover. A pup which likes me and likes water will follow me anywhere I go in a kayak. And they will learn to get out ahead when they catch on there are more ducks to find.

Sounds like You are on the right track at the moment, just trying to pull together some of the good advice you are receiving in this post. Let us know how it goes and how we can help.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1807
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:52 am

I had been advised to throw a live duck out before and just hadn't done it. Didn't have someone out ready to do it, and didn't plan for it (my fault). The more tricks in the bag the better IMO so I'll give that a shot as well as getting out there in my waders. I also like the idea of having a ton of live and dead ducks out there.

Not sure if it was this thread, but someone else mentioned doing blind retrieves and handling. I've been working on handling since last year. She's pretty good on land, but I haven't been able to transition to water for crap. I got some advice about using white buckets as markers and will be trying that. I did a ton of baseball field and yard work and then took this to the field. She's still fairly dependent on sight cues (seeing me throw the bumper or knowing I have it and dropping it) I'm trying to get away from that a bit. It has taken a really long time and I'm still not sure my dog "gets it" when it comes to hand signals. I've done them from land into water and while she's in about 4" of water, along shore, out in the open water. But she has no idea once she's swimming.

My biggest obstacle with hand signals is distance away from her. At 10 yards she's fine at 30 she'll balk, come to me, go the wrong direction. Except if she sees it, hence the reliance on sight cues. I just got her trained on a place mat which she'll go to and await commands, but it's like the 10' to 20' issue all over again.
booger
Seasoned
Seasoned
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:24 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:03 pm

Might move it to another thread. I am now, and have, gone through a lot similar challenges as you, in the work I am pursuing with Spud at the moment. So common.

I defer to GH, Bruce and others for the moment on the best way to get through it. I bought Evan Graham's walking baseball DVD at Bruce and GH's advice and used some of those techniques. I taught the straight away from me backs for blind retrieves first to condition the dog to work without a visual using a mowed line along a fence in my pasture.

The basic thing I do when a dog is confused is to drop back to something more simple. Land is easier than water. So this morning I worked on land to see how well it would go before attempting something similar in water. Using low cover with less distractions of more inviting cover around is another key. It is not by accident you see all the retrieve DVDs being filmed in what looks like a golf course. I lack that type of training area where I live, but in the post I made this morning you see me making productive use of a mowed path. Baby steps, a willingness to go backwards, mental breaks, spicing it up with treats and dead birds are all things I am making use of in my work in this area presently.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1807
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:31 pm

booger wrote:My biggest obstacle with hand signals is distance away from her. At 10 yards she's fine at 30 she'll balk, come to me, go the wrong direction. Except if she sees it, hence the reliance on sight cues. I just got her trained on a place mat which she'll go to and await commands, but it's like the 10' to 20' issue all over again.


might not be a good idea to do handling drills when you're trying to get a decent duck search going - when the dog feels like it's not getting things right it may "pop" (looking to you for direction) and then you've got another problem. If your UT is this summer then probably best to wait. If you want to teach handling in a fun drill send me a PM and I'll send you a link to a short video I did on the subject.
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1123
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:40 pm

Oh I learned to back it up to something more simple, I've had/have to do that A LOT. With certain things my dog is an exceptionally slow learner.

Even now I'll end up going back to 5 feet in front of her to send her after a bunch of balking/no goes. Like I said, typically due to distance away from her and lack of sight cues. This is where I hope the white buckets help. I know that'll create issues later when I take them away, but I hope this helps the transition to water (as I plan on floating the buckets) and getting longer retrieves.

And I typically use the clicker with this stuff, but do give voice corrections if she goes the wrong way.
booger
Seasoned
Seasoned
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:24 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:54 am

Booger I know you said you are not using the ecollar but still have the dog wearing it. I would try working your dog on a Duck Search while not wearing an ecollar. See if it makes a difference in its drive and confidence.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1807
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:21 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Adding to Bruce and GH's last posts. Live ducks are the ultimate enticement for a dog to search water and cover in water. I like to reserve my ultimate best enticement for when I really need it. Such as when a dog is showing less drive and confidence than it needs to do a great Duck Search. If I can, I use dead ducks more and save the live ones for when I may really need it.

Sounds like your dog will really benefit from live ducks at this point. I would put 2 or 3 of them out at each training session. I think using Bruces idea but having the helper throw a live flapping duck into cover (not open water, just thinking the visual of the flapping duck going through the air would really fire your dog up) on the far side of the water from where you and your pup at standing and watching might be useful in the early stages. If your dog is not comfortable crossing longer open water distances then shorten it up for now to a distance it will boldly cross. You can build more distance as you bring your dog's confidence level up. You do not want to build total reliance on seeing a bird released of course, but firing your dog up sounds needed at this stage. If you do not feel what I just suggested as to letting the dog see a live duck released on the far side is needed then don't use it of course. You would want to wean off of that as soon as possible, which can be done by sending the dog across the same water to same cover without a visual aid in a subsequent training session.

I would not require your dog to search until it finds all the ducks you released, rather the purpose of multiple live ducks is to ensure the dog's search efforts are always rewarded with hitting and following scent and hopefully producing the duck leading to more excitement.

To GH's suggestion, After a successful search, I have found benefit in the early stages of training a young dog on Duck Search in me getting into a kayak and paddling out to pick up my Ducks which the dog did not recover. A pup which likes me and likes water will follow me anywhere I go in a kayak. And they will learn to get out ahead when they catch on there are more ducks to find.

Sounds like You are on the right track at the moment, just trying to pull together some of the good advice you are receiving in this post. Let us know how it goes and how we can help.


I've said how I was taught to only use live ducks (which the trainer(s) that those in my circle have learned from didn't just come to overnight) but I will say it can be a blessing and a curse. Funny story for example, it wasn't long after my older dogs first few searches that I was taking him for a run in some fields near a tailwater trout stream. I like this area in the heat of summer because I can run my dogs hard and instantly cool them off in the 55 degree tailwater. Well we were heading back towards the creek after a hard run when he got ahead of me and then I heard all Hell break loose. Dog bawling and chasing up creek and ducks carrying on like crazy, then all of them racing back downstream, then back up and, to my horror, a poor flyfisher standing there in the middle looking like "WTF just happened." I finally got him corralled up and crated and walked back to apologize (I'm a flyfishers roo so I was really embarrassed). The guy had no idea what was going on and asked if dog was okay because of the sound it was making. I said yeah, that's just its prey drive kicking in and it wanted those ducks. I briefly explained duck search. He said "Wow, I'd never seen anything like that. I thought the dog was hurt. He roared past me in the water though like he was on fire." Yeah, they do that. :lol:
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2253
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:53 am

I have had success across multiple GWPs using the methods I have shared along the way on this forum. My objectives in training Duck Search are a little different in priority than most who train Duck Search. I train for the skills I want when hunting waterfowl, most training for Duck Search have their eye almost solely on a Prize 1 (even if they also hunt ducks a little or a lot). Both are possible.

Many/most, high drive Vdogs can be conditioned to do a 4 level Duck Search with a combination of dead and live birds. I would put my mix across multiple dogs and decades at around 80% dead and 20% live. Certain stages of the training will be skewed heavier towards one or the other but across the whole process that is representative.

This subject reminds me of the JackPot theory of PR training. You have your regular treats and you have your best JACKPOT treats for when you want to make a even bigger impression/impact on the dog. Dead Birds are the regular treats in my approach and live ducks are the JACKPOT.

Reading the dog is always key, but with a dog like your first dog Ryan I am certain I could have easily developed a 4 level duck search using dead birds with very few hickups along way. No need to jack up an already jacked up dog too high...
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1807
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby ryanr » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:32 pm

I don't doubt that at all AG. I was just relaying a cringeworthy but also funny story from the memory vault. One thing I've learned along the way in the short time I've been at this is if we're not having fun doing this, why bother? I think my training partners have noticed a difference in my demeanor preparing the NA with my current pup versus my first one. I'm confident in what I habe in this dog so while of course I hope we do well, the score on test day isn't a big deal for me.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2253
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby booger » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:49 am

AverageGuy wrote:Booger I know you said you are not using the ecollar but still have the dog wearing it. I would try working your dog on a Duck Search while not wearing an ecollar. See if it makes a difference in its drive and confidence.


So I took off the ecollar last night and put on my waders. She went out pretty well and searched ok, but just didn't keep expanding. Eventually she came back without a bird (2 live ones were out). I got out into the water and she didn't come directly back, she didn't actually get up on land either though, not sure if her feet touched the ground. I didn't give a command the first 2 times this happened and then the third time I gave some encouragement. The 4th time she came back a helper went out in the kayak, he said she really wasn't searching (I couldn't see) and about 5 minutes later she swam back with him. I decided to give her a small break since this seemed to be at least 20 minutes. I thought she'd search with me a bit better, but she really didn't. For the most part she stayed within 5 yards. I thought she was getting pretty tired as she kept having to climb up on bog like cattails (it's pretty mucky)and I was starting to think she just isn't in great shape for the amount of swimming she was doing. So I decided it was enough and she ended up with no birds. I thought for sure she'd have found both of those birds with the help of a kayak.

When I was out in the water I was surprised she didn't come straight back, she went over to my right every time. I wasn't really doing or saying anything so I wasn't sure what to make of it, besides thinking it was avoidance behavior. It also could have effected her that she sat in the truck for over 8 hours before this (I let her out to run at lunch but was at a handler clinic) and she hadn't had dinner and it was 2 hours past when she'd typically have dinner.

I'm not sure if I should completely write this day off. I think the next time I do duck search I'm going to try and have our small group each have 3 ducks each guy and put them all out right away and have her go first. Maybe do the duck throw during the 2nd go.
booger
Seasoned
Seasoned
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:24 am

Re: E-collar and duck search

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:05 am

She's not having fun. Why should she search for something for no reward? Make it fun. Let her GET THE DUCKS. Once she's a duck-a-holic you can start long searches. Do it too soon and you'll take the desire out of her. I've given you the two things she needs: Love of water and love of birds. You instill that, she'll pretty much do the rest.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1223
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests