Progress

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

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Progress

Postby ryanr » Fri Jul 16, 2021 2:15 pm

Well, hopefully did the last table/yard session for steadiness last night as it looks like we're ready for setups in the field with traps. Every pigeon thrown she slammed the brakes on for and didn't budge, except once and that was for a bird that didnt fly right way and almost walked into her. It was a purposeful setup but the bird was expected to fly off from the ground quicker. I got a correction and she stopped. I did make one mistake though o her reward retrieve birds (dead chukars.) It was thrown in a way that she had to turn to mark and I mistakenly gave her correction when all she did was turn (her whole body in a 180) to mark and not break. Only her front feet moved. That was early though and just reinforced everything else but I was a little upset with myself.
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Fri Jul 16, 2021 2:19 pm

Oh, the lesson learned? This morning I was running the dogs near the lake quick before work and then couldn't find Hazel. I knew she was exploring and hunting so I toned her a couple times. Nothing. Long story short, I walked all over the place for nearly a hour looking for her and toning her (I lost my voice so calling was futile) when I should've just walked back to the truck first because the entire time she was there and every time I toned her she must've jumped up on my truck like "I'm here, I'm here." Now my truck has muddy paw marks and scratches all along the drivers side. Lesson is if you can't find your dog and it's not like it to just run off, trust your dog & maybe check back at your vehicle first before expanding your search (and toning your dog a bunch like an idiot.)

Stop to flush drills with a bag of pigeons in the field tomorrow! Happy Friday and good training this weekend folks!
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Re: Progress

Postby Dmog » Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:39 pm

LOL. Been there pre gps. You may find it helpful to train a back up whistle recall. The tone on the collar just tells the dog to come looking for you, while the whistle cuts through the wind much better to let them know where you are at. I've watched my dogs on gps do a complete circle around me after a tone recall and go to the truck then retrace our original path probably using scent until they could hear the whistle or if I was being real curious or cruel, I would just sit down if I saw they were on the right track to find me. That first 400 yards is the scary time for me...I like to think the last 400 yards is scary for them...
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:29 am

Dmog, guess what I realized wasn't around my neck when I went to use it? Yep, my whistle.

Anyway, we didn't get much training in this weekend but we did get to do a stop to flush drill. I only got to use 4 pigeons but it was better than nothing. So I cut her loose in the field and had a helper with me carrying the pigeons while I ran the e-collar and blank pistol. First pigeon she slowed for but never stopped. Got a correction but then she came to me. I set her back where she should have stopped and told her Whoa. As I kicked around trying to make her move I had my helper walk by me and release a pigeon and I fired a shot or two. She was solid the entire time.

Released her and she pointed a leftover chukar and then broke as I went flush. Big correction, set her back. Repeated the previous sequence with 2 more pigeons thrown and fired shots. Solid, threw a dead chukar & shot to give her a retrieve. Nicely done.

Released her to hunt on. 100 yards away she slams on point and holds as we approach. We're looking all over, kicking grass but can't find a bird. She's not budging at all and we keep looking but still can't find it. I give her a soft "Hunt em up" and she doesn't want to move. I coax her with another soft command, she takes a step and locks up on point just as intense as before. Again we're looking hard but can't find it. This entire time she's like a statue. Admittedly I'm not sure what to do and no one else was around that had experience. I gave her another soft command (and she was again hesitant to move) but she takes half a step and reaches down and grabs a chukar! Dang bird was tucked into the shortest bit of grass it must've been laying flat to hide. We probably stepped right over it. She delivered it nicely.

Released her, we threw the last pigeon and she stopped and didn't move until I threw a dead chukar and fired another shot. She broke when the bird hit the ground. Correction and she stopped. I picked up the bird. Came back to her threw another, fired. And then another and fired. No movement, gave her the 2 retrieves. At that point I wished we had 2 or 3 more pigeons because I know she had it down and I actually confused her a bit on that second chukar she pointed and we couldn't find. If the weather holds we'll be doing some trap work tonight under a watchful & knowledgeable eye!
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:34 pm

Awesome first night of steadiness in the field with traps. Put out 4 traps with pigeons. Carried a bag of chukars and a bag of pigeons too. First contact ended up being just a stop to flush because she was on wrong side of wind and was about to run over trap. She stopped immediately. Good girl. Threw a pigeon and fired a shot, movement & correction. Another pigeon & shot. No movement, Good girl. Threw a chukar, shot it. Good girl. No movement at all until after the fall as I was walking over to send her and she broke hard for the retrieve. BIG correction but she got to the bird. Then she was a jerk on the delivery and really got a hard correction for it all.

Second trap, slams on point immediately at first scent 20 yards from trap (I should add there was no wind so when she pointed from that distance it was a surprise.) Launch pigeon & shot, throw a pigeon & shot. Lots of good girls Absolute statue and intense. Chukar and shot. Good girl. Didn't move an inch as I approached her. Quietly stroked her and said Good girl then FETCH. Nice pickup, light correction for starting to circle away from me. Nice, clean delivery. Lots more praise.

Third and Fourth contacts were practically flawless with the same intense points and standing like a statue. Several more pigeons and shots and two more chukars killed and retrieved very cleanly to hand. No corrections except she corrected herself when she started to move on the fall and almost fell over to keep her momentum from going forward more.
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Sat Jul 24, 2021 3:56 pm

So we did a second night of pigeons in traps and we have found that 1) she's very honest with her points and 2) she does not like being corrected and is eager to get it right!

In those 2 nights we put out a total of 8 traps and between pigeons in traps and chukars & pigeons thrown she saw 24 birds and did not break once on a live bird. 10 chukars were killed over her. She basically had 2 big breaks, each time on or after the fall. On the last traps we really upped the temptation and then capitalized on a mistake and she demonstrated very clearly that "ok, I get it 100% dad."

It's fun watching her because as soon as she hits scent, boom, she slams on the brakes and that's it. She does not crowd or creep. I also realized that this could make test day a little difficult in that I gotta find that bird and get my gunners in place and get it up. And she's consistently hitting points at 20 and 30 plus yards.
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Re: Progress

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:48 am

Sounds Excellent. Take some video, always enjoy seeing a good dog work.
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:33 am

AverageGuy wrote:Sounds Excellent. Take some video, always enjoy seeing a good dog work.


Yeah, I know I after those sessions I thought man that would've been great to get on video. I hope to soon but so far it's just been me and my friend/breeder helping me. Need a 3rd person to run the video.
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:43 pm

Well we're coming up on just 2 weeks left until we run our UT. Did a field session this morning with all chukars planted directly on the ground- no traps. The first time for this with her. She had 7 contacts and we got some good corrections as well as some really nicely handled birds along with 2 takeouts. We ended with 2 really great contacts that taught her a lot. She's very honest especially if she's not right next to the bird. Basically the issue is she really needs to be on more birds and see more scenarios than we have time for before the test. She was in a little bit of take out mode if she could see the bird. So if something unexpected happens in the field that she's not prepared for it might go sideways for us. I should not that her retrieves have been solid with nice deliveries.
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:49 pm

I don't know if anybody reads this or not but here goes. We're exactly a week out from our UT and I'm optimistic that we'll have a good day. By good I mean I think we'll earn a prize.

Field- In recent field work she has been really solid. She's had a number of birds right in front of her that she can see and has not broke. (Proving that a couple previous corrections have worked.) She has also remained steady while I've chased down runners trying to get them to flush to shoot. Althougg her search has really opened back up with her increased confidence I'm still concerned her cautiousness with scent will affect her search and also increase the pressure for me to find a bird she's pointed from a long way off. All of her retrieves have been clean to hand. A couple more field sessions this weekend.

Duck drag- hasn't been an issue but we haven't done one in a month I think. We will be doing some this weekend though for sure.

Heeling & Remain/Steady by Blind- we have only done 3 total. The very first one was a disaster. (But made me realize she really didn't know what Whoa was so we went back and worked that.) We did the other 2 last weekend: first one she was excellent with one break at the final shot but she responded to the correction and never touched the water until I sent her. Next day we did another and she didn't move a muscle. I can't tell you how much of a relief it was to see those last two sequences. Her heeling is pretty good, I setup a heeling course to work on it a bit more this week.

Duck Search- surprisingly I'm a little concerned only because IMO it's a borderline 4 (mainly she hangs up a bit on the re-send.) Whereas the previous 2 summers, especially last year it was always solid 4 work. It may just be the amped up pressure she's been under in the other areas has taken a little off her search right now. It's certainly good enough to prize though, just maybe not P1 right now. Her retrieve of the duck is good, she even holds the bird solidly while she shakes. Though she sometimes takes an extra command to delivery to heel unlike her field retrieve.

My main goal since this started has been to earn a prize and I will honestly be very happy with any prize level but we have been training for a P1 and evaluating everything on a P1 standard- which to me is the only way to go about it.

She responds very well to praise, especially in her field work so I plan to give it to her as much as I feel necessary. If I get marked down a bit for it so be it. And if I feel the need to give her a Whoa on a close point I won't hesitate.

I have already decided that no matter what happens next Friday we will enter another UT again next year. If we're she fortunate enough to P1, I kinda think we'll just test at a different chapter for the fun, experience and challenge of it.

Is anybody else getting ready to test soon?
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Re: Progress

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Aug 28, 2021 2:11 pm

Good Luck in the Test.
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:09 pm

204 Prize 1 today. I'm still stunned. She even overcame some of my mistakes including a real bone-headed one at the beginning of her duck search.

When you send your dog after the shot, DO NOT break open your gun when the dog is just starting to head out, especially if it has ejectors. She heard it looked back and saw the popper shell eject in the air and came back to check it out. Thankfully she figured it out after a minute and went back into the water and swam across to the far shore and started her search. She was out there 24 minutes under judgement, yup 24, and at least another 4 before I found her with the kayak still expanding. What a day. Blessed and grateful.
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Re: Progress

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Sep 04, 2021 3:15 pm

Congrats to You and Hazel on a great run. Long drive from PA to NM :D
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Re: Progress

Postby ryanr » Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:20 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Congrats to You and Hazel on a great run. Long drive from PA to NM :D


Thank you very much AG. It's definitely her, throighouy this whole process she overcame my handling mistakes. Including a bone-headed one at the start of her UT duck search. Using the single shot they gave me I fired the blank and sent her. She was maybe 10 feet in and just starting to swim and I broke the gun open and heard the "pop" of the shell ejecting. Hazel heard it and turned around to see the shell go thru the air and came back in and went right to the shell. Then she checked around me and around the shoreline. Then she came back out in front and stoid in the water looking out for a duck. This all took place within a minute or so but it was nerve-racking as hell. Then she just headed back out and was doing a nice search and got into a duck, eventually lost it, wouldn't give up on it entirely until she was certain it wasn't in that area before expanding nicely. After 24 minutes they finally said I could call her and another 4 minutes later she was still expanding far down towards the far shore. Popping in and out of the shoreline. I convinced her to follow me. I wasn't certain what to think as we headed over to finish up at the remain/steady by blind
Last edited by ryanr on Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Progress

Postby Coveyrise64 » Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:49 pm

Congratulation Ryan! It's been a journey as much as a learning process but you got it done. Pressure is off now so enjoy your new UT-1 dog this hunting season.

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