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      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

      To the Guests who have decided to register for Membership. PLEASE read Terms of Service, not just checking it off. This is covered there: Add more info than just "hunting" or "Upland hunting" or "birds" or "outdoors" or similar nebulous terms in the required INTERESTS field. Despite this Boards strong spam filtering function, some Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Also please do not use a business name as your User Name. Thank you.
Hal Standish

Hot Stove League for Trialers.

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Pat Berry
8 hours ago, dauber said:

I’m disappointed that this trend is happening, but it is not surprising since people are hunting less and less and as you say a good citizen in the house is more important.

 

Steve, I'm not so sure it's a trend. So much of the US stock of field bred cockers and springers is consistently replenished with UK lines where there is a premium put on temperament and trainability. I don't think it makes them any less desirable in terms of natural ability. Look at Jeff Miller's kennel of dogs, strong from UK lines. Heck, look at Zeta! When I was slated to get a pup out of Thistle, I asked around to people who knew her (in addition to Alex her owner), and the response always led with her quality temperament. That's just an example, of course, but I could offer countless others.

 

Perhaps there's a difference between cockers and springers, but I'm often disappointed at US breeders selecting for qualities that put temperament at the bottom of the list. How many dogs that lacked a good temperament (or even lacked certain natural ability) have been championed, bred, and then sold off to generations of amateurs because a good pro with the right tools could bend and mold an average dog into a survivor in a trial of attrition? A lot, I think. It's why I'm cautious about chasing after a breeding simply because it's loaded full of champions.

 

It just so happens, however, that my new pup has about 20 national placements in 5 generations, his granfather was the National Open Champion a few years ago, and his sire was the high point Open dog this past year. A close friend has a same-aged pup with similarly impressive credentials but from very different lines. The dog is a giant pain in the ass, the most difficult she has ever owned, and she's trained over 20 excellent spaniels. I looked at getting a pup from that breeding, but had heard this particular line was better suited for life in a kennel. No thanks.

 

Hal, I know you're right about what the judges are looking for (especially #2), but that's tiny fraction of the dog's life. If I can have a competitive dog that is a superb hunting companion and a pleasure in the house, again, I will hedge my bets towards temperament. 

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Hal Standish
12 hours ago, jackiep said:

Very interesting thoughts on this.  In my head I thought I would wait to do a trained retrieve until my pup was closer to two years old the way I did for my older dog but what you are saying here seems to make a lot of sense to me.

Can I ask what your trained retrieve looks like?  Just want to make sure I am understanding this correctly.

Oh and great topic .... really enjoying the read.

 

I'm  place board trainer. Though i use platforms that are waist high. FF or the Trained retrieve looks like any other ear pinch method at a young age. Except there is very little pinch pressure used after all when your dealing a youngster. The process goes very nicely there is really nothing for the pup to get upset about. 

With thumb and forefinger it is really more of a process of intense rubbing one spot on the ear, than pinching. Very seldom is there any vocalization There really is no magic here just basic dog training installed at an age before they have learned their own strength of fight or flight.

 

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Hal Standish
7 minutes ago, Pat Berry said:

 

Steve, I'm not so sure it's a trend. So much of the US stock of field bred cockers and springers is consistently replenished with UK lines where there is a premium put on temperament and trainability. I don't think it makes them any less desirable in terms of natural ability. Look at Jeff Miller's kennel of dogs, strong from UK lines. Heck, look at Zeta! When I was slated to get a pup out of Thistle, I asked around to people who knew her (in addition to Alex her owner), and the response always led with her quality temperament. That's just an example, of course, but I could offer countless others.

 

Perhaps there's a difference between cockers and springers, but I'm often disappointed at US breeders selecting for qualities that put temperament at the bottom of the list. How many dogs that lacked a good temperament (or even lacked certain natural ability) have been championed, bred, and then sold off to generations of amateurs because a good pro with the right tools could bend and mold an average dog into a survivor in a trial of attrition? A lot, I think. It's why I'm cautious about chasing after a breeding simply because it's loaded full of champions.

 

It just so happens, however, that my new pup has about 20 national placements in 5 generations, his granfather was the National Open Champion a few years ago, and his sire was the high point Open dog this past year. A close friend has a same-aged pup with similarly impressive credentials but from very different lines. The dog is a giant pain in the ass, the most difficult she has ever owned, and she's trained over 20 excellent spaniels. I looked at getting a pup from that breeding, but had heard this particular line was better suited for life in a kennel. No thanks.

 

Hal, I know you're right about what the judges are looking for (especially #2), but that's tiny fraction of the dog's life. If I can have a competitive dog that is a superb hunting companion and a pleasure in the house, again, I will hedge my bets towards temperament. 

 

Pat, I understand what you are saying and can appreciate Yours and John's motivations wanting this dog that blows birds out of the covers and comes home to be that year around modal citizen. And I'm not trying to change any ones thinking on what they want or do not want in life.

Really hope your new project pups  works out!

Happy 2018

Hal

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dauber

Here is where I think this conversation comes full circle. 

First the Blue Book does state 

 

“However, if hunting and game finding are primary, natural ability is clearly the most important quality - and this includes nose and brains - if the breed is going to improve. This plus training produces the capable dog.”

 

I really like that and is what I would hope is the vision of field bred Spaniels folks. 

 

In in my opinion it is those who put trainability at the top (dogs that can handle their pressure) are the ones that produce the unlivable dogs. Hal mentioned above the field trial retriever folks making that decision years ago. 

 

That’s why I have MY list prioritized.  I want the dog that has the best chance of doing it’s job at high level naturally, therefore needing less pressure. 

 

But that is me from my experiences and observation. I am not looking to change anyone’s mind. 

Hope everyone has success with their projects. 

 

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sxsneubaum
22 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

One thing I might note, many training groups may be toxic. This true regardless of breed or style of dog. Many groups are way to competitive they try to turn training into a "trial" they should rather be more about the class room and the development of the participants. New folks need to giving developmental help and not be constantly shown up by a few "old timers" and their almost titled or titled dogs.

 

 

 

Wasn't saying training groups are "toxic".  Far from it.  Haven't seen what you are saying about a training session is like a trial, I don't see that.  What I see more than anything is that group training is more about the social time between the people and run dogs in between.  One group that I go to, not nearly enough, is filled with talented dogs, exceptional dog people and there is no trial atmosphere, it's actual training.  Wish I could train there more often but it's quite the hike for me, several hours one direction. 

 

Haven't seen many spaniels that need an e-collar.  I've had one that needed it but wasn't a trial prospect.  Most are more than eager to please, love to train, and easy to correct.  No need to hammer then with a shock. 

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sxsneubaum
6 minutes ago, dauber said:

That’s why I have MY list prioritized.  I want the dog that has the best chance of doing it’s job at high level naturally, therefore needing less pressure.

 

Boom! That's why I don't like the collar.  If a dog has those desires they won't need forced to do them, making a better dog. 

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Pat Berry
2 hours ago, dauber said:

In in my opinion it is those who put trainability at the top (dogs that can handle their pressure) are the ones that produce the unlivable dogs. Hal mentioned above the field trial retriever folks making that decision years ago. 

 

 

What we have here is a failure to communicate!

 

In no way, shape, or form do I equate a selected field trial retriever definition of "trainability" with the spaniel version I have in my head. That's why I use the word "temperament" most often. It's simply more inclusive of the dog's overall personality. The ability to take pressure, especially with an e-collar, is an unfortunate outcome where the use of the tool drives the selection of natural traits.

 

When I think of a good spaniel temperament, I consider them "trainable" when, as John said, they DON'T need an e-collar. They don't need much pressure. There isn't a battle of wills. They have an "off" switch in the house. They are eager to please. They are focused on the trainer. They are merry little characters who love to work. They are sensitive, but resilient. They are intelligent enough to understand what they are being taught and to pick it up quickly.

 

With that said, I know there are wonderful spaniels with outstanding temperaments that are trained by seasoned professionals who choose to use a collar. So it's not that the dog needs a collar; it's part of the method of how the trainer teaches the dog. I have no problem with that, and will use also use a collar.

 

I do appreciate the overall conversation! While I may have an opinion, it doesn't mean I know what I am talking about....

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dauber
22 minutes ago, Pat Berry said:

 

I do appreciate the overall conversation! While I may have an opinion, it doesn't mean I know what I am talking about....

 

Likewise!!  I am all Amateur and not an ecollar guy. Things might make sense in my brain certainly doesn’t mean they make sense to anyone else!  Thanks for the input. 

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Grifish
4 hours ago, dauber said:

Things might make sense in my brain certainly doesn’t mean they make sense to anyone else!  

This is why I like you so much!

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dauber
3 minutes ago, Grifish said:

This is why I like you so much!

 

I thought you liked me for my beer!  Here it was my brain! Lol

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Grifish
10 minutes ago, dauber said:

 

I thought you liked me for my beer!  Here it was my brain! Lol

If you would choose between coffee n beer we would get along even better! Coffee beer, blech! It’s like something you accidentally drink the morning after a party, blech!

 

Gotta talk to Brad about gettin a blech button.

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dauber

I’m really disappointed in you not seeing the brilliance of coffee beer!  They can’t keep it on the shelves of the UP. 

It is so useful having coffee beer, only need to bring one beverage camping, covers morning to bed time.  It is tough falling to sleep at night is the only downfall. 

So you don’t want me to save that Java Porter I’ve been keeping you in the back of the beer fridge?

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Hal Standish
On 1/3/2018 at 8:47 AM, Hal Standish said:

One thing I might note, many training groups may be toxic.

Roll out the barrel of brew! I do not mean to get off the Beer stream, but java porter does sound interesting!

 

John we know you never said this, I was making the statement. The social aspect of spaniel training is a curious thing. I seen divorce , marriage, death, and all sorts of frolicking go on over the years.

When I started All-Breed training classes some 25 yrs ago for folks to come and train or even learn about dog handling, many folks viewed it the same way as they would the weekly golf or bowling league. Great fun and I was getting paid! It was living the dream and receiving comp at the same time.

 The old German dog training saying came out of these classes, it was coined by  a lady, incidentally Dauber knows to whom I refer, " We all get the dog we deserve"

I used to chuckle about this on many occasions.

 

I see the Californians have a three day trial scheduled. 

 

 

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sxsneubaum
46 minutes ago, Hal Standish said:

I see the Californians have a three day trial scheduled. 

 

I'm running Ravenna next weekend. 

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welsh
On 04/01/2018 at 7:12 AM, dauber said:

I want the dog that has the best chance of doing it’s job at high level naturally, therefore needing less pressure. 

 

Now, I would call that a trainable dog! A dog that needs pressure is by definition not biddable.

 

I'm a bit puzzled by the turns this thread has taken ... but it shows that one of our difficulties in explaining what we want in a spaniel is that we can't agree what words mean!

 

Temperament is vital. I know Jeff Miller has said that he doesn't consider it worth training a dog that lacks the correct temperament. But what do we mean by temperament?

 

I want high biddability (working intelligence: attentiveness to human cues) and low impulsivity. These are heritable traits and we need to breed for them. They aren't to be prioritized. They are essential. The absence of either is a defect.

 

My five cents. (We've abolished the penny in Canada, so I'm rounding up.)

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