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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 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 it is not bullet proof, so Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a warm blooded human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Thank you.
Pat Berry

Too much freedom?

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Pat Berry

I came across this article entitled "Top 10 Gundog Training Mistakes." I think most are pretty predictable, but the first one-- Too Much Freedom-- is not often discussed. I could see how this could create unexpected problems, particularly with flushing dogs.

 

Thoughts?

 

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Irishwhistler

Pat,

I train Labs and often cross train them as both waterfowl dogs and as upland hunting dogs (flushers).  I also work dogs in hunt tests.  A dog that goes "rogue / independent contractor" is not what I want in any of those scenarios.  I work dogs for control and too much freedom does not cultivate that quality.  It all comes down to training to a high standard of obedience and maintaining it consistently.  Don't let perceived problems of behavior  become an ongoing behavioral problem.  I say, get on top of those issues quickly.  JMHO.

 

Mike 🍀

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Brad Eden

Yes,. Agree completely with Number 1. ( nice job embedding that Link too, rather than a long URL) I've said it here and in articles that I strive to make my dogs believe that the fun begins and ends with me. It's a heart warming sight seeing them sitting and looking for me, and at me, after being let outside. And even better when that bond results in a partnership in the bird woods.

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MTRookie76

Too much freedom to early is the main cause of pointy dog run offs. I had to be re educated myself over the last few yrs. A lost of pointy dog guys want to see the 1000yd cast early and often. I've come around to the idea that most well bred dogs have it in them but we don't need to see it as a puppy or a derby. Patience is a virtue.

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Pat Berry

I think it's okay to to separate "free runs" from training/hunting as the dog matures and understands the difference between the two. I think I've given too much freedom, however, before the pups fully understood the difference. 

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greg jacobs

In the pointing breeds it can add independence and confidence. Then there is that 1% that will take it and turn it into an evil thing.

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dauber

I use free runs with my cockers as an important part of my training. Young (8 week to maybe 6-9 months) go one at a time, but the rest get 30-60 minutes a day with me only keeping them safe from any danger otherwise I say nothing.  I do run older dogs first and pup after to minimize any chance of flushing a gamebird. This is where I observe and evaluate each dog and decide what further training each needs during the day.  

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Irishwhistler

I daily employ a technique with younger gun dog recruits that I refer to as a "bolding walk".  The pup or young dog is taken from the kennel run on lead  but is not allowed to pass through the kennel door until it has settled to my desired level of calm.  The dog is next brought to an airing area and allowed to take care of those functions the dog is then recalled to me and must come to HEEL and SIT at my left side remaining there until calmed and until I give it a release command.  We then continue the bolding walk and I use this time to teach the retriever to stay in the range I prefer for an upland hunting retriever and to quarter out in front of me.  This time is used to expose the retriever to various cover types, to ford streams and make short swims, to negotiate obstacles and problem solve getting over, under, and around them confidently.  During such walks, the dogs often come on to bird scent or live birds and I observe their reactions under those circumstances.  The bolding walk in essence, what might seem to be a "free run" to a less than perceptive observer is anything but that.  The bolding walk is mainly used to dissipate negative energy built up from being in the kennel, to focus all energy on communication betwixt meself and the gun dog recruit, to build confidence in the retriever through carefully strategized / planned success and reinforcement of desired behaviors, and to facilitate exposure to the environment where the gun dog will spend most of it's working life.  I find that my employment of this time with the pup reinforces my position as the leader for the pup  ( a must relationship between trainer and pup).  After said bolding walk is completed, we then move on to do obedience, yard work, or other drills dependent on the level of training a given recruit might be at.  In doing so, I have a gun dog recruit that is much more calm and is focused on me as the trainer and as the source of all things good, this building the desired bond I seek with the trainee.  I will at times pair one trainee retriever with another and work them in tandem (most often these being more advanced level dogs), this gives them the opportunity to socialize with other dogs but under controlled circumstances for what is expected as allowable.

 

This is about as "freedom based" as it gets for me and the dogs I work with.

 

Cheers,

Irishwhistler 🍀

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Hal Standish

I like this idea of a "Bolding Walk" Our friend Paul Mcgagh takes that to the next level. This a pre-training warm-up exercise. You will notice this a mixed breed exercise.

 

 

 

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