Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

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Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby darmento » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:32 am

I recently purchased a started 2 year old female Vizsla. She is an excellent dog - very friendly and good with people. She also loves to hunt. She loves it so much that she ranges way way out beyond eyesight when I take her to the field. She was bred from a kennel in Kansas that raised field trial dogs, so ranging far is in her blood. I live in Georgia and I hunt on foot, so I need to train her to range about 100 yards out. I also need to to train her to come to me when called. Right now she will only come to me when she decides to - about a minute after I call her, when she has checked out all the things she wants to sniff at before she comes to me.

Can anyone in the forum recommend techniques they have successfully used for controlling the range of their dog, and training to to come on command? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!!! She is a great girl and I don't want her to get lost or taken or hurt out in the field.....
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby flitecontrol » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:30 am

IMO, the only cure for too far a range is a different dog. A pup from field trial bloodlines is bred to be wide ranging. Regarding the failure to come in a timely fashion, if the dog understands the command, and chooses not to obey promptly, an electronic collar, used judiciously, should fix that problem.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby JONOV » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:49 am

An E-Collar will cure the recall problem. If you train her to recall on tone you can also start to tone her back a bit when she gets a bit far for your liking.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby Dmog » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:22 am

Does she point birds and hold the point when she is out far on the times she is still in eyesight? E-collar and check cord on planted pigeons in release traps may bring her range in as you develop a working together relationship. As pointed out, I would start with an E-collar for recall works well after she knows the recall command, using the tone to recall her when she gets out of range.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby slistoe » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:39 pm

Get a check cord on her and work on the recall and patterning in the yard, then in the local school yard or similar larger fenced area (if they let dogs in there), then in a larger field. Don't get in a rush to progress until you are absolutely sure she will be successful in the new area. For the next few months at least - maybe longer, the dog will "live" with the check cord on. Everytime you go out, everywhere you go, the cord is a normal part of life. Never give her a chance to learn that the lessons she is learning are dependent on the cord. When you have a consistent, solid recall and the dog is handling - moving and turning with you at distance on cue, range will not be an issue.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby Dmog » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:20 pm

I know for young dogs that I’m confident that know recall, I would hide from them if they got out too far so they would check in with me more often. I don’t know if that would work too well on a started 2 year old that is already hunting independently like you describe. Might be worth a try once she responses to recall better and you are in a safe place to let her roam and come back to find you. I may even turn around and not even acknowledge her as I went back to the truck and kennel her. Next trip see if she starts checking in more often.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby PL_Guy » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:54 pm

You want her working range limited to 100 yards - when she gets that far out and is headed further, stop her with the ec. Do not say anything to her - maintain total silence. Repeat until she gets the message she needs to stay within that range. She may not be too old yet. Good luck. Jere
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby Willie T » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:01 pm

In the yard away from birds, without distractions, teach a solid recall. Use a pinch collar and a check cord. It won't take much. Then overlay a whistle. Then if you desire, a tone on the ecollar. All with the pinch collar. Only give the command once, and only when you are in position to assure compliance. Don't get rough, just reel her in. The pinch collar will do the rest. When she anticipates the correction and beats it by coming, praise and love her up. When she does it three days without mistake she knows it.
Let her wear the ecollar for two to three weeks without turning it on. After she is coming on cue. Turn the ecollar on. Start at the lowest setting. Bump the momentary stim and intently watch for any reaction. Slowly and incrementally bump the setting up until you see the dog notice it. It will probably be nothing more than an inquisitive look. Don't let the dog see you pushing the buttons. That is the level you will work at.
Now still in the yard away from birds and distractions, give your recall and depress and hold the continuous stim, then immediately give the recall again. The moment she starts toward you, get off the button. Be patient. You are still teaching. The level of the collar should not be at a level as to be punitive. Keep sessions short and be consistent. Once she gets it, give her the opportunity to beat the correction. Recall stim recall. If she breaks toward you there is no stim. When she can do this for three days straight with zero mistakes, she knows and understands. Now you are ready to start introducing distractions but still not birds. Teach the recall then firm it up.
You can then use your recall to establish range in the field. I would personally caution you about a hard and fast range limit, regardless of cover. To do so severely limits your dog in its quest to find birds. That is entirely up to you. Personally I would instead teach her to maintain contact with you, and let her seek the wind and roll in open cover.
Bear in mind, you can reign in a big running dog. You usually have a difficult time getting a boot polisher to open up and cover ground, so proceed with caution.

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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:33 pm

Willie T ,Great advice . Forrest
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby hunter94 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:57 pm

excellent advice by Willie T.
i have a GWP who ranged out of sight his first season.......crazy high energy/ prey drive.
now i turn him wherever i want with the tone button on his e collar. occasionally he needs a nick to boot.
remember, you don't want a boot polisher. if you work him on planted birds in the off season, set
them up a short ways from your field entry point...this will cause him to focus on cover close to you.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby woodboro » Sat May 11, 2019 11:27 pm

JONOV wrote:An E-Collar will cure the recall problem. If you train her to recall on tone you can also start to tone her back a bit when she gets a bit far for your liking.

I agree , but it could be an obedience issue as well.
I call or whistle if to far out and give 20 seconds to have dog sort out what it smells and head back or cast over.
If after 20 sec's , the dog doesn't go in right direction I give a more forceful command , and 3rd time dog gets fried.

I am basing this on that the dog knows what he is supposed to do to the whistle, as well as voice.

Now I will recommend a check cord , to teach the dog to stay in range.
After several sessions, let the checkcord, run free with dog , and continue sessions.
Then eventually take a snap and a 2 1/2 foot long rope and let the dog have this hang from him , thinking you still have control.
You might be surprised , that is all it takes.
If the dog is bolder , the collar can , and will be effective.
Remember Viz's are big runners to begin with.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby woodboro » Sat May 11, 2019 11:30 pm

hunter94 wrote:excellent advice by Willie T.
i have a GWP who ranged out of sight his first season.......crazy high energy/ prey drive.
now i turn him wherever i want with the tone button on his e collar. occasionally he needs a nick to boot.
remember, you don't want a boot polisher. if you work him on planted birds in the off season, set
them up a short ways from your field entry point...this will cause him to focus on cover close to you.


Last dog I put down , was a boot polisher, and I shot and killed ton's of birds.
Some have it in there DNA ...
I just I wish I had him 5-10 from now , when I am worn out , and still like to eat.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby flitecontrol » Sun May 12, 2019 11:43 am

What I am seeing in many of these posts, indicates a lack of cooperation. Ed Bailey wrote an article about this several years ago, and opined that many breeders were no longer selecting for this trait. I'd rather have a dog that wanted to hunt with me, than one I had to train to do it, and have to use an e-collar to do it.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun May 12, 2019 2:56 pm

Both flute control and Williet are correct. Every dog has a built in range given by God; you will never change it. However, you CAN control it by WillitT's method. Resign yourself that for the dogs life, you will continually have to be hacking him in to control him.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Controlling the Range of a Hunting Dog

Postby AverageGuy » Sun May 12, 2019 5:32 pm

If I bought a Vizsla from a big ranging FT strain of dogs, I would train it to recall when called and to be staunch on point, and then let the dog lead me to the birds with minimal interference from me. I would hunt with a GPS collar on the dog so I could easily keep track of the dog when hunting in cover and find it when it is on point.
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