Easiest versatile dog to train

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Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby booger » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:18 am

I'm wondering people's opinions on this. Sure there's lots of variation in each breed and it depends on the litter. But I'm wondering what people believe to be the easiest versatile breed to train.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby orhunter » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:58 am

Griffon.... or maybe a..... or.......
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby Libertyrocks » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:56 am

Probably a Pointing Lab :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby Dmog » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:31 am

Too much variation in litters, breeders, breeds, and trainers for me to contribute other than my vary limited opinion. Having trained only two versatile dogs but been around numerous, my experience is the easiest was my Griff but my PP allows more room to recover from errors as she is less prone to shut down from pressure. PP being my second, I took training to another level and have a much more enjoyable hunting partner. Both are highly intelligent and can get bored with overdoing repetition. PP will get into more trouble if she hasn't got her work in. Griff is easy going and much more in tune to the family energy level.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby orhunter » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:31 am

A dog will pretty much train its self when combined with some nurturing and lots of wild birds. Training is mostly based on what you want to do with the dog beyond hunting. I'm strictly a hunter and am perfectly satisfied with a dog that tracks, is steady on birds and has a decent fetch.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:22 pm

Depends a bunch on what a guy wants in the finished product.

I killed upland birds, waterfowl and fur non-stop with my first GWP 35 years ago, after training him to come when called, load, hunt dead, retrieve to hand, basic baseball drill blind retrieve handling. Still the best dog I have owned and he had the least amount of polish relative to passing an advanced hunt tests.

I would rate Labs as the easiest dogs to train. They are not my cup of tea for upland bird hunting but they suit a lot of folks in that area. None are easier to train with high results for waterfowl than a Lab.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby mastercaster » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:06 pm

Interesting opinions. I felt my brits and and the griff i have now were quite easy to train.

So what is the hardest versatile to hunt??
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby booger » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:56 pm

Interesting opinions for sure and solid takes.

I suppose what I really want is a pointing dog that can be trained to a lab waterfowl level (taking casts reliably). So when I said easy to train, it's mostly applicable to waterfowl. Seems to me there needs to be either a strong trust or less independence than can be found in some V dogs and a certain level of intelligence. I have a draht but considering options on the next dog down the road.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby SwitchGrassWPG » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:04 pm

If you want an pointing dog that will handle like a lab, then as a previous poster stated...pointing lab. Not a versatile, but seems more in line with what you desire.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:30 am

I have seen Labs which stood over their birds and Pointing Labs which did not point at all.

I do not believe the breeding efforts have produced anywhere near the same level of pointing instinct that long established pointing breeds have so word to the wise on that. If you get a "Pointing" Lab you may well find yourself with a different form of training challenge relative to pointed upland birds. Their range and endurance will not rival a good pointing dog for upland work.

Labs are very easily trained for basic waterfowl duties. So are well bred Vdogs. FTs aside pretty basic training will meet the practical needs of actual waterfowl hunting. Many Vdogs with good basic training and a lot of experience are excellent waterfowl dogs, measured by how many downed birds they recover and how well they behave while hunting.

If you want to compete in high level Retriever Hunt Tests or Trials a Lab is the way to go. But I have been training with some Retriever folks quite a bit and they have their share of training challenges when working on the higher level performance, for sure.

Don't kid yourself, the task of achieving a Retriever FT level of performance requires a huge training effort and knowledge as well as the right dog. And there are washouts even in the Lab Breed.

If you are well versed in how to train a Lab to handle you are likely to have adequate success for hunting purposes with a Vdog as well is what I think.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby Dmog » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:44 am

Just speaking from my limited experience, my two V-dogs will not handle the repetition that I have seen labs excel at. They just seem to thrive on variety or it could be my short attention span. Thus, it would require me to address my training habits to be successful in the retriever arena and/or take much longer to get there. I would be interested if others see this trend in the VDog or is it just my inexperience as a trainer.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby JONOV » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:01 am

AverageGuy wrote:Depends a bunch on what a guy wants in the finished product.

And how the guy trains. Let's be honest, some folks are softies, some folks are hardasses. How many times have you seen some type-A dude with his hands crossed over his belly and a sour look on his face and the dog gets little more than a gruff "good." That's hard to build a dog up with if that's all you have. And I've seen a few dogs that have been wrecked by pressure.

I can't count the times that I've heard someone say "Ze Drahthaar is not ze dog for a first time handler." Actually, I think that the DD's mental toughness and intelligence allows for a first time handler to make mistakes as long as they understand some basic dog training. IE, my retired suburban mother could do it if you gave her a force fetch lesson, because she's taken a few knucklehead dominant dogs and polished them into acceptable obedient pets. And their emphasis on testing means that the dogs come from lineages proven to accept training.

The same is true for any dog with a lineage that indicates a good level of trainability.

AverageGuy wrote:I killed upland birds, waterfowl and fur non-stop with my first GWP 35 years ago, after training him to come when called, load, hunt dead, retrieve to hand, basic baseball drill blind retrieve handling. Still the best dog I have owned and he had the least amount of polish relative to passing an advanced hunt tests.

I would rate Labs as the easiest dogs to train. They are not my cup of tea for upland bird hunting but they suit a lot of folks in that area. None are easier to train with high results for waterfowl than a Lab.
Labs are uniquely forgiving and eager to please. And you don't seem to make them bored like other dogs. Their pleasure is your pleasure. As opposed to most versatiles that roll their eyes at a lot of rote repetition.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby JONOV » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:04 am

orhunter wrote:A dog will pretty much train its self when combined with some nurturing and lots of wild birds. Training is mostly based on what you want to do with the dog beyond hunting. I'm strictly a hunter and am perfectly satisfied with a dog that tracks, is steady on birds and has a decent fetch.

That depends how much cooperation that dog has.

We've all seen dogs that look at humans as the hairless Bipeds that must be tolerated since they drive the truck.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby orhunter » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:32 am

And splits his breakfast at McD’s with the hairy one..... Food buys a lot of cooperation.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:44 pm

Yes no doubt the Vdogs get bored MUCH faster than the Labs (some Labs never get bored it seems).

Less Reps, less bumpers, more birds for the Vdogs. Especially on blinds. I have had GWPs that would do more marks than I care to throw in a session.

My Spud does nice work when we are training 1:1. Eager and happy to work as long as I mix things up day to day. Take him to a Retriever training day in 90 degree heat, keep him in a dog box for hours, pull him out and give him 5 minutes of work and he will hate it and show it. Meanwhile some Lab has been sitting on a marsh platform for hours patiently waiting his turn to work.

They are definitely wired different.

Similar results in the field are possible from both up to a point. The things the Labs will do that most Vdogs will not, seldom if ever come into play while actually hunting waterfowl is what I experience and think.
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