Got a couple retrieving questions

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Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby mastercaster » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:36 pm

First off, I've really enjoyed the thread on retriever training. Not sure I'll want or even be able to get my two year old griff to that level but I definitely want her to be able to do multiple retrieves, etc. which she is quite capable of doing using bumpers or dummies on the land or water.

I've noticed when I throw out two bumpers she'll always mark the first one and go get the second one first and then go back for the first one. I suspect this is normal. When I throw out three bumpers 30 yards out or so at different angles she doesn't bring them back in descending order all the time. It may be because she has favourite bumpers to bring back first that she likes to go to but that's just a guess. She promptly gets all three, though.

So is there a particular order the dog should bring the bumpers back to me or should I be satisfied that's she more than willing to get all three and just bring them back?

The second question has to do with "whoa". I taught my griff to do it with a verbal command or one tweet on the whistle. I've noticed that with retriever training that when you want to stop (whoa) the dog you also tweet once on the whistle but you want the dog to sit. It's my understanding that you don't want a versatile to sit on "Whoa" out in the field. So I'm wondering, are you guys with versatiles getting your dogs to sit or do you just want to bring them to a stand still in order to get a handling command?
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:10 pm

There are three methods of selection for a dog: natural, secondary, primary. In natural selection, the dog picks up whatever bumper it wants. If it's a double they always go for the last bird down, then the memory or first bird. In a triple, they nearly always go outside, outside, up the middle. In secondary selection, the dog picks the first bird which is usually the last bird down and you pick all others. In primary selection you pick all birds. Even for a hunter there are tremendous advantages in selecting for the dog. You can select off a dead bird and send it for a cripple. Or leave a bird in dead water and send it for one entering a current. Lots of work to make a dog a primary selector though and dog's have been ruined doing it. Every dog should probably be a secondary selector though.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:40 pm

MC,

I am working to install some decent blind retrieve handling skills on my GWP. I have been attempting to use the same pealess whistle blast as I trained for Whoa in upland bird steadiness work, for this handling work. So the dog is stopping and standing in place and facing whatever direction he was going when I whoa'd him. My thought/hope was to then give him a cast and if he took it all good. But not being squared up when I give the cast makes for some sloppy lines. I can whoa him and then call him toward me and stop him again and now he is squared up and ready to cast, but that requires an additional whistle and stop. I have used this approach on a couple of other GWPs and achieved decent handling for practical hunting objectives recovering downed birds.

I have some mild ambitions to run this current dog in some Retriever Hunt Tests and so am attempting to train things to a higher standard of handling now. I posted in my thread that I have wondered whether I would be better off to buy a different toned whistle and train a sit and face me on that whistle instead of using my Whoa for this work. So far I have continued to use my Whoa and have let the dog stop and stand in place waiting for the cast but I think the sit would be superior if I wanted to back up, train it and use it in this work.

I don't have a definitive opinion to share with you but thought it might be of some value to share my experience with the same subject you inquired about. I think it somewhat depends on your standards. I know you can get your dog to stop and take casts using your already trained Whoa as I have done it, but feel the approach is likely inferior to using a squared up Sit with associated whistle que as all the Retriever folks use to a high standard of success.

PS
I have had no downsides to using the already trained Whoa que when handling in water and my dog turns and looks for the cast well using that Whoa que. It is on the land where his Whoa training means stop immediately and do not move your feet again until I release you that his body position can make for less than perfect subsequent casts.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby mastercaster » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:32 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:There are three methods of selection for a dog: natural, secondary, primary. In natural selection, the dog picks up whatever bumper it wants. If it's a double they always go for the last bird down, then the memory or first bird. In a triple, they nearly always go outside, outside, up the middle. In secondary selection, the dog picks the first bird which is usually the last bird down and you pick all others. In primary selection you pick all birds. Even for a hunter there are tremendous advantages in selecting for the dog. You can select off a dead bird and send it for a cripple. Or leave a bird in dead water and send it for one entering a current. Lots of work to make a dog a primary selector though and dog's have been ruined doing it. Every dog should probably be a secondary selector though.


These different means of selection are very interesting. Thanks for explaining the differences. This morning was only about the second or third time I've thrown out three bumpers in a good while but she did the natural method as you explained on her first trial. The second time I threw them out she wanted to do the same thing. That's why I was wondering if there was a bumper out there that was more to her liking which would seem kind of silly but I do know she has her favourites because she has cherry picked out of a large pile in the past.

In any event, on the second trial after she brought back the the bumper I threw out last, after giving the command "Back!" she started to go the other outside one but I quickly yelled "Whoa" and then brought her back to heel. This time I knelt beside her and pointed out to the one I wanted her to get next which was the middle one. She complied and then went for the last one on the outside so I guess this would be what you called a secondary selection.

As you mentioned, maybe I'll just stick to getting her to the secondary selector level since I have no plans on doing any hunting tests with her. All her training has been done just so I can get her that much closer to being a finished gun dog one day but if she doesn't ever get there I know she'll still be part of a good hunting team.

AG,

Thanks for the info. Just wondering for handling reasons and being able to make cleaner lines to the target would it work to do this? After I whoa the dog, I then get her to come my way a few feet, tweet the whistle to get her to stop without a verbal command, and then tell her to sit. Now she would be facing me,,,,,and then I could point and say "Over!" Or do you think this will cause too much confusion?

Here's another question: I would have to think it might not be the greatest idea to do too much handling with a versatile because you probably don't want them having to look to you for directions if they can't find a downed bird in short order too often, otherwise they might not have the same desire to search independently. True,,,,or no?
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:06 pm

Keep in mind that too many guys make too big a deal of whoa training a hunting dog. As long as the dog stops, that's whoa. Now, let's say the dog is going away from you and whoa's. Simple tweet you whistle three times for HERE and whoa her again when she turns to you. If you are not going to compete, a dog does NOT have to stop in it's tracks on whoa. The only time you should be using it in fact is when she breaks on a bird or for honoring. IMO.

If I were primarily a duck hunter, I wouldn't give a crap about whoa. I'd teach the dog to sit on the whistle facing me FIRST then teach the dog to verbally whoa second. On a whistle though, THE DOG WOULD ALWAYS, STOP, TURN LOOKING AT ME, THEN SIT.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby Doc E » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:17 pm

The main reason to have them face you and then SIT is that it makes it less likely that the dog will "auto-cast:.
Personally, I don't care if they stand and face me and stop moving --- or sit and face me.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby mastercaster » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:27 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Keep in mind that too many guys make too big a deal of whoa training a hunting dog. As long as the dog stops, that's whoa. Now, let's say the dog is going away from you and whoa's. Simple tweet you whistle three times for HERE and whoa her again when she turns to you. If you are not going to compete, a dog does NOT have to stop in it's tracks on whoa. The only time you should be using it in fact is when she breaks on a bird or for honoring. IMO.

If I were primarily a duck hunter, I wouldn't give a crap about whoa. I'd teach the dog to sit on the whistle facing me FIRST then teach the dog to verbally whoa second. On a whistle though, THE DOG WOULD ALWAYS, STOP, TURN LOOKING AT ME, THEN SIT.


Sako is trained well to recall with three tweets so I could see that working. When I first got the pup waterfowl hunting was something I thought I would do but not all that much. Now I'm starting to think it could be what I do most just because there is so little public land to hunt pheasants compared to 20-30 years ago when I owned my brits. I can't see myself being part of a private club because someone has to virtually die before they take on another member. There is still a fair bit of public land along the Thompson River to hunt chukars so I obviously want her to follow a "Whoa" command because I'll be doing some of that each year.

Now that she been doing a standing Whoa on the whistle or verbal command I think it may be confusing for her to sit on the whistle now that we've been doing it for a couple of years. I'm sure I could train her to face me out in the field and give a verbal command "Sit!" but she'd have to be close enough for her to hear me. The thing is if she is squarely facing me I probably don't need her to sit to give a hand signal,,,,right?
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby woodboro » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:38 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Keep in mind that too many guys make too big a deal of whoa training a hunting dog. As long as the dog stops, that's whoa. Now, let's say the dog is going away from you and whoa's. Simple tweet you whistle three times for HERE and whoa her again when she turns to you. If you are not going to compete, a dog does NOT have to stop in it's tracks on whoa. The only time you should be using it in fact is when she breaks on a bird or for honoring. IMO.

If I were primarily a duck hunter, I wouldn't give a crap about whoa. I'd teach the dog to sit on the whistle facing me FIRST then teach the dog to verbally whoa second. On a whistle though, THE DOG WOULD ALWAYS, STOP, TURN LOOKING AT ME, THEN SIT.



If you see a bird and the dog doesn't or doesn't smell it - you just over run it , or whoa your dog so you can shoot ??
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:18 pm

woodboro wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Keep in mind that too many guys make too big a deal of whoa training a hunting dog. As long as the dog stops, that's whoa. Now, let's say the dog is going away from you and whoa's. Simple tweet you whistle three times for HERE and whoa her again when she turns to you. If you are not going to compete, a dog does NOT have to stop in it's tracks on whoa. The only time you should be using it in fact is when she breaks on a bird or for honoring. IMO.

If I were primarily a duck hunter, I wouldn't give a crap about whoa. I'd teach the dog to sit on the whistle facing me FIRST then teach the dog to verbally whoa second. On a whistle though, THE DOG WOULD ALWAYS, STOP, TURN LOOKING AT ME, THEN SIT.



If you see a bird and the dog doesn't or doesn't smell it - you just over run it , or whoa your dog so you can shoot ??


I have never, ever, whoa'd a dog on a wild bird. Freak'in never. Maybe you don't understand what I'm saying. I teach every dog to whoa or stop BUT we're I a duck hunter, I'd teach the dog to turn and face me. The way to really do this is to teach two commends. Whoa and the dog freezes. Stop or one whistle and the dog stops and turns facing me. What you can't do is use one whistle to mean two things.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby booger » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:15 pm

mastercaster wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Keep in mind that too many guys make too big a deal of whoa training a hunting dog. As long as the dog stops, that's whoa. Now, let's say the dog is going away from you and whoa's. Simple tweet you whistle three times for HERE and whoa her again when she turns to you. If you are not going to compete, a dog does NOT have to stop in it's tracks on whoa. The only time you should be using it in fact is when she breaks on a bird or for honoring. IMO.

If I were primarily a duck hunter, I wouldn't give a crap about whoa. I'd teach the dog to sit on the whistle facing me FIRST then teach the dog to verbally whoa second. On a whistle though, THE DOG WOULD ALWAYS, STOP, TURN LOOKING AT ME, THEN SIT.


Sako is trained well to recall with three tweets so I could see that working. When I first got the pup waterfowl hunting was something I thought I would do but not all that much. Now I'm starting to think it could be what I do most just because there is so little public land to hunt pheasants compared to 20-30 years ago when I owned my brits. I can't see myself being part of a private club because someone has to virtually die before they take on another member. There is still a fair bit of public land along the Thompson River to hunt chukars so I obviously want her to follow a "Whoa" command because I'll be doing some of that each year.

Now that she been doing a standing Whoa on the whistle or verbal command I think it may be confusing for her to sit on the whistle now that we've been doing it for a couple of years. I'm sure I could train her to face me out in the field and give a verbal command "Sit!" but she'd have to be close enough for her to hear me. The thing is if she is squarely facing me I probably don't need her to sit to give a hand signal,,,,right?


You don't need her to sit. I can't tell you I'm 100% consistent but I try to make my dog sit with the whistle. Sit is many times a precursor to a command, the same for the whistle. So in these situations, the sit/whistle is me telling the dog to pay attention to me and wait for a command.

I also don't see a problem with a dog sitting on whoa. Guys at training hate it, maybe due to the worry that their dog will sit in the field. But I'm not sure why that would be a worry, so what if they did sit while hunting they're staying put as asked right? But dogs typically don't sit on whoa in hunting situations, not that I've heard about or experienced. It almost seems like a style concern, they want a picture perfect whoa maybe, I dunno.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:50 am

MC, Here are 2 short clips. One is a land blind I ran a week ago. Very basic. Being handled is not my dog's favorite thing to do, especially in the summer heat. His Whoa training was done as part of teaching steady to WSF for upland hunting and his NAVHDA UT. I trained it away from birds and in a manner that it meant stop and not move your feet again until I tell you to. It is rare I ever use it while hunting. I can call him again and get him to come toward me and then whoa him again, now facing me, but his attitude seems to decline a little with each handle. It is not easy to keep him motivated for running land blinds. Water works alot better.

So here are a couple of clips. I prefer to just share my experiences vs give advice in this area. Others are commenting who have achieved a whole lot more than I have in this area.

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

I ran this coming out of winter and had not worked on this in months. So the dog retained his training well. He takes direction better in water than on land. Nothing fancy but I can get him downwind and let his nose take over which was my original objective relative to picking up birds he did not see fall. Distance is short here and water is clean. As distances lengthen and cover increases his duck search creeps in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt1ijr5Nle0

I did this clip to share when commenting on training Whoa for steadiness work. It shows the Whoa and how my dog reacts as trained. For the purpose of upland hunting and testing steadiness it is the optimal way to train Whoa. It is not the optimal way for blind retrieve handling, but I think we can probably achieve a basic level of success in that area using it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DK1rw-WjNo
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby mastercaster » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:56 am

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
I have never, ever, whoa'd a dog on a wild bird. Freak'in never. Maybe you don't understand what I'm saying. I teach every dog to whoa or stop BUT we're I a duck hunter, I'd teach the dog to turn and face me. The way to really do this is to teach two commends. Whoa and the dog freezes. Stop or one whistle and the dog stops and turns facing me. What you can't do is use one whistle to mean two things.


Let me see if I can get this straight. I'm already using one sharp tweet on the whistle to stop/whoa the dog. Should I continue doing that or just use a voice command ("Whoa!"? Then try to train the dog to face me possibly by using the other end of the whistle with is a higher pitched noise and draw out the tweet like Averageguy does? Even though both are single tweets they would be different pitches and duration.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby mastercaster » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:00 pm

AverageGuy wrote:MC, Here are 2 short clips. One is a land blind I ran a week ago. Very basic. Being handled is not my dog's favorite thing to do, especially in the summer heat. His Whoa training was done as part of teaching steady to WSF for upland hunting and his NAVHDA UT. I trained it away from birds and in a manner that it meant stop and not move your feet again until I tell you to. It is rare I ever use it while hunting. I can call him again and get him to come toward me and then whoa him again, now facing me, but his attitude seems to decline a little with each handle. It is not easy to keep him motivated for running land blinds. Water works alot better.

So here are a couple of clips. I prefer to just share my experiences vs give advice in this area. Others are commenting who have achieved a whole lot more than I have in this area.

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

I ran this coming out of winter and had not worked on this in months. So the dog retained his training well. He takes direction better in water than on land. Nothing fancy but I can get him downwind and let his nose take over which was my original objective relative to picking up birds he did not see fall. Distance is short here and water is clean. As distances lengthen and cover increases his duck search creeps in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt1ijr5Nle0

I did this clip to share when commenting on training Whoa for steadiness work. It shows the Whoa and how my dog reacts as trained. For the purpose of upland hunting and testing steadiness it is the optimal way to train Whoa. It is not the optimal way for blind retrieve handling, but I think we can probably achieve a basic level of success in that area using it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DK1rw-WjNo


These clips are great! Love watching a well trained dog doing it's thing. Sure wish I had a pond close by. It would really help with the blind retrieve training. I'll have to keep scouting out areas to se if I can find one that's reasonably close by. Part of the trials and tribulations of living in the city with a bird dog.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:19 pm

mastercaster wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
I have never, ever, whoa'd a dog on a wild bird. Freak'in never. Maybe you don't understand what I'm saying. I teach every dog to whoa or stop BUT we're I a duck hunter, I'd teach the dog to turn and face me. The way to really do this is to teach two commends. Whoa and the dog freezes. Stop or one whistle and the dog stops and turns facing me. What you can't do is use one whistle to mean two things.


Let me see if I can get this straight. I'm already using one sharp tweet on the whistle to stop/whoa the dog. Should I continue doing that or just use a voice command ("Whoa!"? Then try to train the dog to face me possibly by using the other end of the whistle with is a higher pitched noise and draw out the tweet like Averageguy does? Even though both are single tweets they would be different pitches and duration.

I'd just use the verbal whoa and forget the whistle. The dog is usually close enough to hear a verbal whoa.

Use the whistle to get him to stop and face you. The straighter he is facing you, the better cast he will take. They take mire accurate casts from sit, but he's just a hunting dig so don't worry about it,
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Got a couple retrieving questions

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:44 am

Agree with GH and Booger. If you want the dog to freeze then yell "whoa". If you want the dog to take a cast then use whistle sit. If the dog is too far to hear a verbal command then use the whistle no matter. In situations where he's going to run in front of a car use either.

A typical situation where I would use "whoa" is when the dog is working birds or they've taken flight - I think a bird dog would more likely freeze than sit but either way is OK by me.

Question: what's the best way to consistently get the dog to face you after a whistle sit? I whistle and if not squared up then I tweet a "come in" and whistle sit a second time. This works well but I've heard that if you blow the whistle and the dog doesn't sit squarely facing you then you can throw another dummy and if the dog learns that this might happen he's more likely to sit facing you after the first whistle. Seems that this could cause some issues as well. Thoughts?
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