General Sporting Dog Discussion

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Postby BigD » Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:22 pm

Wanted to introduce myself, Dustin, and the puppers, Chief (cheefers). I am relatively new to the gun dog world. Ran lion hounds my whole life growing up. Always loved watching the dogs work. Always told myself if I moved to "bird" country I would get into it, mostly for the dog interaction. Moved to NW Wyoming a couple years back and now have a 4 month old drahthaar, Akoni vd Cardone or Chief. I call him Cheefers when he's not in trouble :)

For those interested, thought I would drop his VDD bloodlines.

Dam: Clementine vom Burdock, 11/10, 62/62, VJP 75, HZP 174o.Sp.
Sire: Immo vom Felsengebirge, 11/11, 63/63, VJP 70, HZP 183o.Sp. + 194o.Sp. (2017 Armbruster Winner)

Things Chief does well:
Kennel training inside has been very good. During the week, he spends the day in an outside kennel next to our older dog. Each night we take him on a 1-3 mile jog. He loves our runs. On the weekends he rotates a couple hours in the kennel, then we do something active, go for a walk through the field, go on a run, or do some training in our field. We have a 5 acre pasture behind our house which makes it nice for quick training sessions.
Chief has incredible prey drive, specifically on fur. Our field holds pheasants about 50% of the time, which is awesome for a quick walk behind the house. Chief has very strong fur drive. I've drug a ball of elk hide through the field 3 times. He did very well and after the first drag, he was going crazy when he knew we were looking for the elk hide again. Then, I was lucky enough to secure a raccoon. (hope that's not illegal ha). Used it the other day for a drag. He did well again. Shows very strong tracking/trailing desire.
Took him out with an experienced friend on a chukar hunt recently. He showed 0 signs of being gun shy. He's a confident boy.
Seems to understand the aspect of team hunting. I think being on a check cord has helped since he's almost always tethered to me walking through the field. He almost always stays out in front of me and likes to go where I go generally.
Retrieves everything he can get his mouth on around the house. Will pile up our slippers, shoes, shirts, firewood, everything in the living room. We've made it a point to always praise him for bringing anything hoping that will motivate him to keep retrieving. He always love fetching his bumper and chukar dummy. He's done so good that I don't do it too often, not wanting to jinx it? idk.

Things Chief needs to improve:
Typical of puppy his age, he's starting to not pay attention to me if he doesn't think I have a treat. (suggestions welcome). He spends most of his time on a check cord, or a short leash. My thought here is I'm trying to do my best to ingrain the desired behavior without and before using a collar. Thought I read/heard someone say that a first time bird dog trainer shouldn't be allowed to use an E-collar. Maybe that will stir the pot. idk. I'm not 100% new. I've trained another DD pup a few years back, but not all the way through to finished dog. So I like the idea of forcing myself to teach him without a collar for as long as possible? What do you guys think?
We have had no experience with waterfowl. Looking for ideas to introduce him to the water.

Things I need to improve:
Knowing what to be working on. I feel like I've done well with some basic "Come" "Sit" "Stay" and "Kennel" commands. He does those relatively well (especially when a treat is present of course). But I feel like I may have skipped over some foundation training?
Need to get him access to birds. I know that. It's my #1 priority. I did get a couple frozen, dead chukars from a friend. Curious how you guys think I should use those to train? Thinking having another person toss them and shoot, then let him retrieve an actual bird a few times? A lot?
Consistency and finding a program. Deliberate training is the hardest part for new bird dog owners. What to do when and why.

I'm sure there is more but that's enough for now. Really looking forward to getting to know you guys/girls and learning from you. Forgot to mention we started building a pigeon coop. I plan on keeping birds as soon as I can find some. Should be easy training in our field with a launcher I bought.

I've noticed all the typical recommendations for training material. I had the Huntsmith dvd's a few years back. I may pick up the Perfect Start, Perfect Finish program? What do you guys think. Very tough to find anything specific for all aspects of a versatile hunting dog training, besides the VDD material that is relatively basic. Open to any and all training suggestions. I know that he's right at the point where i need to start hitting the gas pedal with his training but not 100% sure which direction to go each day. Thanks for following along!

Dustin (BigD)
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