Retriever Training

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

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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:13 am

My Truck is parked just out of the photo on the left so there is no way to avoid going right past the weed patch as you move into the hay field to train.

Next time Spud is going to be on a sit command, while we get through the fence first, then Spud, then I am going to heel him past the weeds going towards the area of the field I intend to train in. That will be useful re-enforcement of well known OB and keep us out of trouble (at least in the weed patch, I am sure there are coons in every bit of cover surrounding that hay field..). It will still be some suction but a reasonable distance away and I will try to make it productive to our training when it happens.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:48 pm

I ran these two double marks yesterday morning.

This one on land had the go bird thrown from behind the round bale where he is running back from. The line required him to go through the tall cover in between which was something we needed to do. I am running the go birds to be more challenging and the memory bird to be pretty easy at the moment. The memory bird was thrown via a remote control winger set behind the round bale on the right of where he picks up the bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LwiSzlLFU8

Ran the land first and then this water double mark. The go bird was tossed by the wife off that point she is standing on and I hand tossed an easy into the open and short memory bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwKVrCiMhwg

So far I have been running the more challenging and longer mark as the go bird and it is the last bird thrown.

What level of performance/proficiency is needed before it becomes productive to make the last bird thrown the memory bird?

Second question, Anyone used Mike Lardy's DVD series? Is it worth the $150 price tag?
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby mastercaster » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:09 pm

Sure wish I had a pond close by like that one. It looks perfect for this type of work. I'm jealous as hell!

So far it's been mostly field work in the park or soccer field for Sako and I but we just make the bst out of it. She has no problems with doubles, even triples using bumpers even if I walk fifty yards away from her to throw them out as far as I can before coming back and sending her. Having a helping hand like your wife sounds like a bonus, as well.

What command do you use? "Dead bird! Back!" or something else?

Do you do double blinds retrieves, as well? Once again, I'll do these with bumpers and you a pail set about a hundred yard away as a sight point for her to focus on when I send her.

You have a great dog, there!

Took this video early this summer of a double. Sako jumped the command a little too quickly on the second send but it was her first drill of the day so she was raring to go:

https://youtu.be/9IC_0DLTJ8M
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:08 pm

fun videos!

AG: I pretty much always make the long bird the memory bird, launching it from a winger or thrown by another person and then throwing the go bird off the line. You're really testing memory of the marked bird and using the long bird as the go bird doesn't seem to make much sense. Spud is ready for that. I'm not saying it's not a good idea to mix it up and even do a lot of singles for marking. Many say that singles are the very best for marking work. I didn't do a lot of triples in training up to this point because the hunt test's at "seasoned" level are all doubles. Now that I'm running in the "finished" level I'm doing triples and the dog seems to mark them very well.

I have Lardy's DVD and like it but, frankly I don't spend much time looking at it. I did think it good as I remember. I also have several Hillman's and he's good as well but I think Lardy's moves a little faster which suits my taste.

I like your training grounds. The baled hay field is great, as is the pond. I will say that long water blinds wear dogs out pretty easily and I would say that you'll get more teaching in by doing shorter marks and more of them.

I'm jealous that your wife trains with you. Mine used to run our dogs all the time: here's a clip of her running my griff Ouzel in 2009: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGa7__37adg I sure miss that dog!

Mastercaster: nice Griff! Post some more!
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby mastercaster » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:47 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:fun videos!



Mastercaster: nice Griff! Post some more!


I'd like to make more training videos but I find that's it's hard to hold the camera and do the drill. Just so happened that my sister was with me and happened to use her cell phone to video it. I'd really like to have some actual hunting footage when we're water fowling but who wants to film the action when you can be shooting? LOL

That video of your wife working with the griff on the double mark almost seemed like it was in fast motion he/she was working so fast and efficiently,,,,the dog was really pumped up!
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:52 pm

mastercaster wrote:I'd like to make more training videos but I find that's it's hard to hold the camera and do the drill. Just so happened that my sister was with me and happened to use her cell phone to video it. I'd really like to have some actual hunting footage when we're water fowling but who wants to film the action when you can be shooting? LOL

That video of your wife working with the griff on the double mark almost seemed like it was in fast motion he/she was working so fast and efficiently,,,,the dog was really pumped up!


Intensity was her hallmark. My PP likes live birds but dummies not so much. The Griff loved all retrieving. Here she is in the muskeg making point on a planted bird. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km7vDF0 ... e=youtu.be

Ten years ago we were using video cameras; the cell phone is so much easier, but I agree it's hard to pass up a shot because you're making a video. Keep at it.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:38 pm

MC and Bruce, Thanks for posting your video links. MC looks like your pup is coming along well. Yes it is pretty easy to find that type of training water around here. Finding mowed technical water requires a couple of hours one way driving. And yes I would struggle without the Wife training with us. She has been key to all that I do for over 30 years and is one of my better decisions.

Bruce, Ouzel was a ripper! Reminds me of my Jack dog who was ate up for bumpers anytime, anyplace. I miss him too.

Heading for 96 today and 98 tomorrow. Wife, Spud and I got in a land double and a couple of water doubles this morning, and then 3 simple land blinds at 6am and it was already 80 degrees but we had 15mph winds already. Spud's lines were horrible in that wind as he purposefully swung downwind and then into the wind looking like an effective bird dog who has picked up alot of birds doing that.

I remarked to the Wife to that effect and she replied "Well we like Bird Dogs." I have been pushing this dog pretty hard towards some standards that do not really suit him. I think I am going to stop doing that and keep my focus on useful/practical hunting skills.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:38 pm

So hindsight tells me I over trained my dog in the heat and bored him. Some never before seen resistance has shown up which looks like he is blinking some marks at times.

This is the second of two water crossing marks I ran back to back. The two marks are closer together than is optimal but that was to avoid setting up any cheating lines which I did not want to fight at this stage of training.

The first was from the screen on the right using a remote control winger and it went fine. The second mark was in the shadow and the throw was flat so he might have legitimately missed the mark and had to hunt it up, but he might also be avoiding it to gain some freedom to run about a bit before picking it up. When he hit the bank he went towards where he had picked up the first mark so his hunting around could have been legit, but maybe not.

GH, Bruce, Willie T, Doc E, I am interested in what you might think. If you think he might have deliberately blinked it (for awhile at least before he picked it up), any thoughts on how to address it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgsbZXzGTtc

Ran two NAHRA tests back to back. Passed Saturday, failed Sunday. Picked up the 3 land marks fine on Sunday, then he crossed the water on the first water mark which fell on the far bank but went off hunting to his left when he hit the bank. I am all but certain he knew exactly where the mark was. I whistled him in and conceded we had failed. We have a long layoff now for hunting seasons but I would like to take this back up in the Spring. I expect shooting live fliers would have him going straight to his marks but that is an expensive and laborious way to train.

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Re: Retriever Training

Postby J D Patrick » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:37 pm

that is truly testing a versatile dog in versatile ways,,
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:32 pm

Congratulations AG! You and Spud worked hard for that.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:44 pm

The test: unfortunately, I can't see his head so I'm not sure but I don't believe he saw the mark hit. From the time you sent him, he was on the wrong line. Then he hit the bank and switched, a cardinal sin. Even if he never saw the fall, he should never have returned to the old fall. When I run a dog in a test, I don't watch the bird; that's his job. I watch his head to see it the ears are up, nose riveted on fall. Then I know he's seen it. If he didn't, I can "influence" his line.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby Willie T » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:32 pm

I’m with GH in that I don’t think spud had the mark. I did not see what I would call blinking. I think he just missed the line to the mark. As his marking improves, so will his focus to mark. Dogs get wise to screens and launchers. What I saw was spud didn’t have the mark so he hunted the area around the screen and rooted it out. Suction from the first mark pulled him back to that screen first. That is pretty normal on a tight double using launchers. Spud used recent experience with screens and launchers to beat missing the second mark. It is similar to how they learn to mark off the gun in the field. On a positive note, whether he had the mark or not, he hunted deep, and that will pay dividends again and again. I did not see over trained. Spud was using his brain. He hunted within the range of the launchers, and his search had purpose. He is doing good AG. Smart dogs just keep you on your toes. They will find alternate ways to beat what we train.
Willie

PS-Congrats on the retriever test!
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:24 pm

seems weird - it looked to me like he hit the shore in line with the fall and I expected him to go up the bank and pick it up but he immediately took off to the old fall. Then he set up a big hunt, but more for the recent mark than the old one.

He didn't act like he scented the mark when he hit the shore so I'm guessing he didn't see the fall. It sounds like you're suspecting that he blinked. Is the first time you suspected him of doing that?

You don't have to quit training because of the hunting season: throw a dead duck for a mark or run a blind when the action is slow.

Great dog!
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:26 am

Thank you, Guys.

Bruce, yes I have seen some instances of Blinking at training days and that second test. That video was run at my pond here at home just a couple of days before the tests we ran. I had seen his attitude decline and backed way off and just trained on this subject a couple of days that week. His attitude on Saturday when we passed was pretty good but well short of what you would see at home or while hunting. I had concerns with running on back to back days but was committed to working the test and had paid our entry so went forward. Had a multiple hour rain delay, did not adequately air Spud before we ran the first water mark and he had to poop and did when he hit the bank after crossing water to the mark ...

I created these problems to some degree. I was pushing Spud pretty hard so we could run the next level up which runs the same Marks as doubles and adds a drag which is much shorter and easier than the one in a UT test. Spud is very capable of doing that level of work when his head is right. Again with the benefit of hindsight, I setup and ran a water double where the memory bird had way too much suction and he switched. I made what I now think was a bad decision to fight him over it and he seems to have borne some resentment.

The other issue that has cropped up is when we go to training days or a test he is distracted by the other dog scents to an extreme. Wants to smell and mark vs work. While waiting in a dog blind for his turn to run he is obsessed with the dog smells and then he does not focus well when we walk to the line to run.

He trains MUCH better 1:1 than he does in that environment which involves alot more heeling, waiting, time in the dog box. Around home I commonly let him free run as we walk into a pond somewhere, then call him over and run a setup. The dog's temperament is not geared towards enjoying the level of control that a good Retriever can thrive on is my take on him. Also, around home I train early and avoid the heat. The training days have alot of dogs to run through so we are working in the heat through the day, heeling through a series of holding blinds as multiple dogs run through... Spud does not enjoy it. Add some use of ducks in heat which should have been thrown out some time ago, strange dog smells on each duck vs the ducks we use at home which have none of that.

Having done alot of hunting these test setups really do not look anything like our hunting. All his marking has been while in close proximity to me as the birds come in to a decoy spread or flush from his point. Some birds fall at similar distances while hunting but the marks begin near me as I am shooting when we are hunting, not a 100 yards away as in the test. While hunting public dove fields and marshes he has had to ignore the gunfire of others so it has been a transition. The hunt tests add a few props but the reality is a dog which has done alot of hunting knows very well it is not hunting.

Bottom line is I pushed my dog in this area this summer, gave him a bit of an attitude and some issues have cropped up. He is not giving his best at the Tests as a result of it. Gonna hunt now, buy Mike Lardy's DVD series and train the trainer, take things back up in the Spring and see how it goes. It can be a fine line sometimes trying to make good decisions on how hard to push a dog.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:59 am

You're seeing it yourself AG, but I warned you some time ago: These are not labs and as such you CANNOT do repetitions with them and keep them happy. They hate it. It doesn't have to be repetetion on marks, it can be on blinds as well and I thought from what I saw you were running too many water blinds without adequate control. The resentment on blinds carry's through to the resentment on marks. It is training in general. I'd maybe train one day a week and hunt him. These German dog's can be extremely frustrating animals to work with. Too much repetetion and they walk. Beware Lardy for a V dog; his CD's are extremely complex and geared to the field trial Labrador.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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