FF During Season????

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FF During Season????

Postby Kiger2 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:41 pm

A couple of somewhat recent posts got me thinking. Conventional wisdom says not to do it. In an effort to help educate and get people to [i]think[i] about what they are training and why,,,,,,Why ???
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:31 am

It depends on the age, what you lose and what you gain. Let's say the dog is, going in to hunting season, 8 months old. I think it's more valuable for the dog to hunt that year and possibly make some mistakes retrieving than to go into a structured training environment with no exposure to wild birds. I'm big on not letting dog's make mistakes in the field nor putting pressure on a dog in the field so the last thing I want is to get in a battle with a dog, half way through FF, in the field and sour his attitude on the field.

Now let's say this pup I a year and a half going into season. At that point he's hopefully had a year to gain experience and independence in the field so with that dog, I'll pull him out of the field for part of the season and spend two months forcing him. I don't want him spending two seasons in the field with no formal training.

What I would NEVER do is put a dog in a situation, partially trained, where I get in a major ear pinching battle in the corn to bring me a bird he has dropped. Never.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Willie T » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:44 pm

For me the answer is no. You have 75%-80% of the year to train. FF will be on the itinerary during that portion of the year. Once FF is started, I want it completed before the dog retrieves anymore birds. Once I start FF, I am establishing a new standard of how birds are handled. I want to make that transition as easy and confusion free as possible for the dog. IMO, robbing a dog of a hunting season in the name of training is counterproductive. It takes birds to make a bird dog. The portion of the year when wild birds can be hunted needs to be taken full advantage of by putting the dog on birds. Hunting wild birds is too critical in a dogs development not to prioritize it in my training.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Kiger2 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:44 pm

Thank you both. Pretty typical responses and why its conventional wisdom not to do it.

But, what if the dog is hardmouthed or developing hardmouth? I think that question needs to be addressed. Are you going to hunt him all season??
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:10 am

Most of us on this board have pointing dog's. If hard mouth or any other serious retrieving problem occured, I'd simply pick up the birds myself and keep the dog steady to WSF. I think it's very important to develop independence, the hunt and love of birds before the pressure of FF is introduced.

Of course, we usually speak in generalities. Any serious problem may cause a change in any training proceedure. But in your initial post you didn't ask for the variable should problems occur.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:57 am

I start developing the natural retrieve of my puppies starting at 9 weeks. And I build the "Hunt Dead" command starting at the same age. By the time their first dove and teal seasons roll around they are retrieving fools on land and water. They will not have a polished sit and hold delivery at that point but they will return to my feet with a bird consistently, mark and search hard for downed birds including cripples. In the past I have then undertaken a FF program after the pup's first hunting season to train the polished sit and hold delivery. Like GH and WT, I do not want to be undertaking a FF program during hunting season and don't.

In the future I will train the hold command on my puppies starting a very young age using PR Methods and continue the other retrieve development work that has worked well. May well be I have no need for a FF program at all. With my current dog I taught Hold on the table after his first hunting season, got him moving on the table for the object, overlayed the ecollar and went to the ground with it. I could have done the same at much younger age.

None of my puppies have been hard mouthed so I have no experience training through it. I would be very reluctant to forego hunting a pup in its first season however as I think it is critical and sets the stage for life in a dog. Perhaps hunting ducks and pheasants and staying away from the doves, and quail would be a balance I might have to strike to get the pup hunting in the field and avoiding smaller birds which are easier to mutilate. And I would work on the Hold command in the living room at the same time, but not apply the command in the field until it is trained including birds. That work would also provide good information as to how quickly the dog is likely to train through the problem. Could be a short break in hunting is all that would be needed to teach proper mouth manners with birds once the pup is holding objects properly in non hunting situations.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Kiger2 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:44 pm

Gonehuntin, Really?? you are going to get to the bird before the dog????? Its OK to work on steady to WSF and not FF????? Ill give you a mulligan and let your rethink this.

Wille, If your dogs going to munch a bird i shoot and you are not trying to address it,.Leave him home. Sorry. Think outside the box.

Averageguy, The question isnt what should be done, its why cant you FF during season???? Howvever you are so far in the lead. "And I would work on the Hold command in the living room at the same time, but not apply the command in the field until it is trained including birds."

Are there other solutions???
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby ANick » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:07 am

Kiger2 wrote:Gonehuntin, Really?? you are going to get to the bird before the dog????? Its OK to work on steady to WSF and not FF????? Ill give you a mulligan and let your rethink this.

Wille, If your dogs going to munch a bird i shoot and you are not trying to address it,.Leave him home. Sorry. Think outside the box.

Averageguy, The question isnt what should be done, its why cant you FF during season???? Howvever you are so far in the lead. "And I would work on the Hold command in the living room at the same time, but not apply the command in the field until it is trained including birds."

Are there other solutions???


Kiger,
In an ideal world, the pup turns 6 months, you get a couple months to work on FF / Trained Retrieve as well as steady work before you get into bird season. On the other end of the spectrum, you have a pup that's too young for FF yet but you have wild birds to go hunt. Shift gears.
I'd go out with someone else, but that someone is going to be on board with a 'pup hunt' as opposed to going after full limits. Having the right person is as important as the tools. If you are not that person, so be it. The pup *is* going.
Check cords, 'Down" and two-legger retrieve work is probable. If the natural retrieve is strong, I'll give that a shot on a pheasant. With the current pup the latter was the case, and a delight to watch. Burned the ground under her feet to the bird, got a grip and came back near as fast as she went, threw on the brakes and slid to a stop in front of me and dropped the bird on my boot, tail wagging a mile a minute. Good enough for the moment.

Some dogs and some methods with some trainers *might* do okay doing FF in mid-season. Or higher-pressure training in the field. I'm not likely to be that guy. I want any issues in the yard before I get to the field. I do not want high-pressure associated with the game afield.

What are you angling for here?
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Willie T » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:49 am

IMG_1135.JPG

Kiger, with all due respect, my dog is not going to munch your bird or my bird. I have sorted that out prior to taking to the field while staying within my box. Not sure why you want to argue but I'm not your Pigeon. This is my dog at 4 months carrying Canada geese. The hold is no accident.
IMG_2559.JPG

Here he is at 2 and the hold is much the same. Again no accident.
IMG_2560.JPG

Small live birds are where hard mouth is most likely to manifest. This is a live quail delivered at heel. I'm a southpaw so the dog heels on the right. I plan for hunting seasons and anticipate what is coming to develop the habits I desire. That includes learning to handle birds. In my box, I do that in the off season.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:03 pm

Waiting to do FF until the end of a hunting season risks all sorts of retrieving and bad mouth manners during that season. The only thing worse is starting FF during the season! If you'd taught the so called "trained retrieve" at a young age, then, by hunting season, your dog would be retrieving well, delivering to hand and wouldn't be munching birds. Sorry, FF is archaic. ( and Trained retrieve can be done anytime).
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:51 pm

WillieT,
Not arguing, but the question is not what we should do to prepare, but what can we do when we havent. Do you believe averageguy was incorrect when he said this "And I would work on the Hold command in the living room at the same time, but not apply the command in the field until it is trained including birds."?

Bruce,
Please explain the downside of FF during season from your perspective? What happens to the dog?

My angle is this,, I believe its important for pup to hunt, how important i think is based on how many bird contacts we can anticipate. But isnt there anything we can do to stop these issues AND hunt pup???

Theres a post from someone with an 8 month old dog thats chewing quail and our best advice is not to hunt quail?????? What if thats all hes got??? Is it really better to let the dog eat quail or address the issue?????
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:22 pm

The dog’s perspective of FF is that he’s getting punished until he can figure out what to do to avoid the pressure (pain). The more he can’t figure it out the more pressure there is and the more he gets confused. Figuring it out could be a long time coming or happen rather quickly, but the process would be considered stressful by most definitions. This stress permeates you and your dog’s relationship and affects training at the very least and can have lasting consequences.

Don’t most pros suggest stopping other training until FF is complete? My own opinion is that other light training (like OB) might go on simultaneously but if you’re doing FF and hunting at the same time you could be dealing with conflicting issues - munching birds would big one but dropping birds before getting back might be a small one. Maybe there’s no retrieving involved in which I can see no conflict. Case dependant I’d think.

As others have said, you should schedule FF at another time than during the hunting season. Is your question because of a situation or merely hypothetical?
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:39 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Gonehuntin, Really?? you are going to get to the bird before the dog????? Its OK to work on steady to WSF and not FF????? Ill give you a mulligan and let your rethink this.

Wille, If your dogs going to munch a bird i shoot and you are not trying to address it,.Leave him home. Sorry. Think outside the box.

Averageguy, The question isnt what should be done, its why cant you FF during season???? Howvever you are so far in the lead. "And I would work on the Hold command in the living room at the same time, but not apply the command in the field until it is trained including birds."

Are there other solutions???


Why would you not? I never let any young dog break on a bird, they're always on a cc. Common sense dog training. The dog learns early that not every bird is his. Same as steadying a retriever. Do you let the retriever have the bird if he breaks?
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Willie T » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:43 pm

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Re: FF During Season????

Postby crackerd » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:15 pm

Willie, dunno what you deleted above, but no matter - just wanted to say that is a lovely hold of a black goose by your GSP pup for "early posterity." And your thinking about sorting the pup's retrieve ahead of the season mirrors mine.

MG
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