Need some advice

Mrs.Superduty

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Hello everyone,
I know its been a long time since I've poked my head in here but I need to pick your brains. Long story short......I went to see Roxy around 4 to 5 weeks ago and we took her to the field. To me she looked great. We worked first with a bird launcher then with a planted bird. She caught the sent with out a problem and found the birds for us. She held a point, and crept a little but overall she looked good and behaved well for being in school for 7 weeks. Well.......the Mr and I went to see her progress again yesterday, now with her being in school for 4 months already I am looking to take her home soon. She does well on comand, she works pretty close, catches the sent way out, but then after barely pausing for a second she charges the birds now. Bolts after them!!!! What happened? I dont know much but to me it seems as if she has gone backwards. The trainer says that she is a soft dog with a tremendous nose and an un-stopable drive for birds, but what am I going to do after sinking a ton of cash for 4 and a half months into a dog that is going to charge all of the birds at the Heritage hunt. I am not a good enough shot to have to run and shoot all at the same time! ha ha Anyways, can anyone help? Is there hope? How can this be turned around. Is this common?
 

manfreddy

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What kind of dog & how old?

Seems like she just need to learn to hold on point. Posts work well for this.
 

Farallon

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The trainer says that she is a soft dog with a tremendous nose and an un-stopable drive for birds, To me, this means the trainer tried to make the dog steady and the dog became scared (soft dog), so the trainer not wanting to break the dog's spirt stopped trying to steady the dog.

but what am I going to do after sinking a ton of cash for 4 and a half months into a dog that is going to charge all of the birds at the Heritage hunt. Either you or a trainer will have to teach the dog whoa. You also need to understand, a dog is similar to a person. Sending a boy to baseball camp will not guarantee he will make the pros, same with your dog. Your dog may perform better because she spent time with a trainer, but your dog's training (or practice) should continue for the rest of her life. It is poor etiquette to hunt a dog you cannot control around other hunters.

How can this be turned around. I taught my dogs whoa, then reinforced it with a check cord, then went cordless with an e-collar.

Is this common? I am on my third Brittany, all of them would hold a point their first season, then they became flushing dogs. The first dog, we learned how to hunt together, he would wait until I was very close then flush the bird, my next two dogs "got the e-collar".

I made sure the dog understands they are not supposed to flush birds and they are supposed to be steady to wing. When they perform properly when on a check cord, then we progress to the e-collar.

Good luck with your pup, I think you are expecting too much too soon. If you spend time at a bird club, you will think some people named their dogs #$&X#$#!, because that is what they calling their dogs.

My dogs have been great their first season, then terrible their second season. I think they are timid and instinct takes over during their first season, then they get confidence and think they know the best way to hunt. Then they get more training and repetitions and learn how to hunt with me.

In 4-5 months, your dog has worked more birds than some dogs do in a lifetime, your dog's timetable is accelerated compared to my dogs'.
 

Mrs.Superduty

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She is a 16 mo. old GSP.

I asked the Trainer about Whoa and he said the same thing, that he didnt want her to lose the drive for the birds. With her being "soft" he said he didnt want to hold her back to much because then she might feel like he didnt want her to have the birds and then she just might quit. He is working her on a check cord. What do you mean by post?
I know that I shouldnt expect to much, its just when I first saw her she was doing so good and now it seems as if she has regressed at bit.
 

manfreddy

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Farallon, great post....sounds very familiar.

I started with a check cord on at all times for the first 2 seasons (use closeline..it won't tangle). You can then 'whoa' them when they get on point by hanging on :) (PS, let somebody else shoot). My next step was a e-collar. After the 3rd season, he was steady (still is)

Good luck, I think everything will work out fine with some practice. If not, try another trainer (not that he's doing anything wrong, but you might want a 2nd opinion).

I think the delmar smith book has a pic of a whoa post somewhere...wait, here is a pic in case you need one: Whoa post
 

DKScott

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I would just ad the usual caveat about e-collars. There is a right way and wrong way to use them and it is not intuitive. Do your dog and yourself a favor and learn the right way, either from your trainer, a clinic or tapes (Tri Tronics/Dobbs have some good ones). My dog is not soft, so I can only speculate, but I think it would be especially important to use a shock collar correctly with a soft dog.
 

Mt Goat

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First off let me say that a young dog will make lots of mistakes its first season out in the field, but will progress forward and become more steady as the season goes and as you spend more time in the field with her. If she has high desire and a good nose even if shes soft she'll come around.

Now after almost 5 months of training I would expect a dog to be very patient on point, soft or not. Being soft isnt all that bad, you just cant be jerking the dog around. I've actually found that most soft dogs are normally smarter and pick thing up quicker, you just have to be more gental. Most trainers will have a dog very patient in 1-3 months. Then after the first season it takes about 3 months to break them steady to wing and shot, on some dogs maybe 4 months. If a dog is old enough 1 1/2 to 2 years old when they first go to a trainer you can start them off and break them that year. Even going this route it normally takes 3-4 months to start and break the dog.

I know who your trainer is and thats one of a few reasons I dont recommend him as a trainer, and wont sell a dog to a person if their plan is to go to him. That said a guy I did sell a pup to went to him anyway. He's the liver pup, Trigger, I asked your husband if he had seen over there. He was one of the puppys I really liked in our last litter. I sure hope he (Trigger) is doing alright over there, he sure was a nice pup.

Anyway even after the dogs is looking like a million dollars on planted birds, they'll still bust up birds from time to time as a young dog. Its all part of the learning curve. Pigeons, bobwhites, and farm raised chukar arent wild birds. Some started dogs will get to close to wild birds, some dont know what they are smelling until the bird bust up, some just get really excited with a covey. But they will pick it up and learn (IF you only shoot birds they point) the wild bird game quickly.

Larry
 

MexHunter

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Originally posted by DKScott@Aug 12 2004, 04:17 PM
I would just ad the usual caveat about e-collars. There is a right way and wrong way to use them and it is not intuitive. Do your dog and yourself a favor and learn the right way, either from your trainer, a clinic or tapes (Tri Tronics/Dobbs have some good ones). My dog is not soft, so I can only speculate, but I think it would be especially important to use a shock collar correctly with a soft dog.
And do not forget Mike Lardy's tapes on the subject, also.

I would be glad to sit down and watch the portions of Lardy's tapes (which I own) on the subject. After watching the tapes I would be glad to work with anyone that wants to collar condition or force fetch their dog. I will be giving advise only. It is probably worth what you pay for it (no charge).


Russ
 

Mrs.Superduty

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Thank you everyone!!! I really appreciate your response. MTGoat, I have seen Trigger, not in the field but at the kennel and he is to cute, very playfull. Good looking dog. Well I feel like there may be hope its just a time issue. And please dont anyone scream at me, I know that having a dog is a responsibility and you have to work with them. I am a full time mom, wife and hold a full time job so thats why I paid some one to train her. I will be getting Roxy at the end of this month. I am a little worried about her being "soft" becasue I dont want to make the wrong move and scare her away for good. When she gets out of the kennel her tail is high and she is so happy, then with the first correction boy she really tucks tail!! And tail tucked she stays until I go home. I hope that when she gains confidence she will raise her tail up a little more.

MTGoat, Maggie is doing well. Renees pup. She is adorable and so active. She runs ruts in the yard chasing birds. To cute.
 

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