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adk angler

Extending Steadiness On Point

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adk angler

Just wanted to see if anyone had a good drills or suggestions to extend a dogs steadiness on point?

 

At this point we are just beginning to run some NSTRA field trials that only require us to be steady to wing. She is just just a little over two years old. She has a massive amount of drive and it took a lot just to get her from flash pointing and busting in on the bird to hold point. We finally got her reigned in and she is doing well right now. That being said I would like to get her to a point where I feel confident taking my time to get over to her when she is on point without having to worry about her busting birds if it takes to long to get to her while on point.

 

I do have a launcher that I planned on using with her on a check cord. If she moves while on point I would restrain her with the check cord. She loves to chase so I think letting her chase after she moves would reward her. If she holds steady until I pop the bird then I would allow her to chase. Will this help? Thanks!

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DocE

Your next step in training is "de-chasing".

 

.

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Jere

To your direct question: "If she holds steady until I pop the bird then I would allow her to chase. Will this help? "  No. she doesn't need to chase anymore.

 

Start West/Gibbons process now.  Book: "Training with Mo" by Martha Greenlee, http://www.gladerunpress.com/ or other bookseller; Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/groups/steadywithstyle/;  search this site for West or Gibbons or Mo etc and you'll find plenty to chew on.

 

Jere

 

 

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Hal Standish

I would revisit Whoa breaking before actually starting the breaking process. If your serious about NSTRA I would also train for steadiness of wing and shot. Why? That is one more layer of obedience than is needed!

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Ray Gubernat
2 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

I would revisit Whoa breaking before actually starting the breaking process. If your serious about NSTRA I would also train for steadiness of wing and shot. Why? That is one more layer of obedience than is needed!

 

I also recommend this approach.  A dog that is steady to wing and shot in training, MIGHT  break in a trial setting before it is released to fetch, but a dog that is only staunch absolutely WILL break at shot.

 

As far as a dog being staunch... I hunted over that kind of dog for about 30 years with no problem and if the dog busted a bird before I got there...well lets just say they were immediately made aware of the fact that they made a bad decision. For strictly hunting, especially if you are hunting alone or with trusted partners, staunch is almost always all you need.   Even if a dog is trained, initially to be steady to wing and shot... it is relatively common to "allow" the dog to "slip"  in the field as regards taking off after the flying bird.   Honestly, even from a safety standpoint...if your have your dog steady until a shot is fired and maintain that level...  that is pretty darn good.

 

I would do heel/whoa drills in the yard and insist that the dog stand.  If you do a search, I am sure you will find my technique detailed on this site. 

 

Once the dog is standing, with high style in the yard...move to the field and repeat the lessons, again until the dog is dead still, until released.  gradually increase the "vigorousness" of your "flushing attempt" to try and tease the dog into moving.  Once that is solid,  throw things like a pile of leaves, your hat, etc. to tempt the dog to move.  THEN, do the same drill with a pigeon from a bag during the flushing attempt.  if the dog chases or even moves a toenail anywhere during any of these drills...correct.   Set the dog back up, style it up, stroke it up.  Be firm, but be gentle.    

Then...toss another pigeon.

 

If the dog does break at a NSTRA event or when hunting, it I obviously not a huge deal. BUT, if the dog stands there at a NSTRA event, like a Marine major on a parade ground... watching that bird fly away and marking its fall... You gotta know that will get scored higher.

 

RayG

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DocE

 

 

 

 

Every dog I've ever seen has become very steady on point after being "de-chased".

 

Here's a pic of our dog when he was exactly 9 months old, at a PL seminar by Julie Knutson. He was already fairly staunch on point, but he was a "chaser".

BTW, he has never heard the word "whoa".  It has always seemed to me that "whoa" is a wasted step.
This picture was taken after only TWO de-chasing sessions using the HERE method..
A chuckar had escaped from the coup and was trying to escape the area. Julie said, "Doc, don't do anything - let's see what happens". As the pup moved in and went on point, the bird flew. As you can see, he was totally steady and did not chase. After this session, he became 100% staunch on point.
As you can also see (in the background) there were lots of people and thus plenty of distractions.
4.5 months later (at the age of 13.5 months) he had turned into a pretty darned good Grouse dog.

 

Image

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Chukarman

I agree with Jere and Ray G. - break your dog steady to WING, SHOT, and FALL. Don't let the dog chase or return to a bird already pointed. This exceeds NSTRA standards, but you will be pleased with the results when trialing OR hunting.

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SODAKer

IMOP if you don't want to fix a nuisance problem, don't let it get started, always requires more work than what you got out of it on the other end. +1 on Chukarman's last sentence.  

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Rick Hall
On 11/14/2018 at 8:05 AM, Ray Gubernat said:

If the dog does break at a NSTRA event or when hunting, it I obviously not a huge deal. BUT, if the dog stands there at a NSTRA event, like a Marine major on a parade ground... watching that bird fly away and marking its fall... You gotta know that will get scored higher.

 

Made me smile.  The only pup I've ever run in NSTRA was steady until released, and a judge told me I'd need to break him of that to improve our scoring.  Presumably to get him on our shot birds faster.

 

(Turned out I'd also need to break him of heading for the out-of-bounds cover surrounding their open bird fields, too, and we weren't long for the game.)

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Hal Standish
1 hour ago, Rick Hall said:

Made me smile.   and a judge told me I'd need to break him of that to improve our scoringPresumably to get him on our shot birds faster.

 

(Turned out I'd also need to break him of heading for the out-of-bounds cover surrounding their open bird fields, too, and we weren't long for the game.)

 

 

Ha! With all due respect Rick, That particular judge should be drummed out of the Corp! Testing or trialing should always be about elevated standards not a case of diminished returns!

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406dn
4 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

Made me smile.  The only pup I've ever run in NSTRA was steady until released, and a judge told me I'd need to break him of that to improve our scoring.  Presumably to get him on our shot birds faster.

 

(Turned out I'd also need to break him of heading for the out-of-bounds cover surrounding their open bird fields, too, and we weren't long for the game.)

l

This more or less mirrors my long ago limited experience with NSTRA. There was little to no premium for a truly broke dog,,,, and any finds outside the boundary flags were a non event. 

 

Regarding the original question,,, I use a WELL drilled whoa command that has been learned away from any bird BEFORE it is ever used around a bird. Then it is not used until the dog is letting me get to it for a flushing attempt. I say whoa as I arrive in a friendly tone. A harsher tone with a physical intervention is reserved for any mistakes by the dog. 

 

I also use whoa to complete to process of teaching a dog stop to flush. As all of my training is on wild birds, most often I am working on stops to flush and being steady around their finds concurrently.

 

Persistence and insistence will get the job done.

 

 

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Rick Hall
5 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

 

 

Ha! With all due respect Rick, That particular judge should be drummed out of the Corp! Testing or trialing should always be about elevated standards not a case of diminished returns!

 

Guessing you've never run NSTRA.

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Flush

Once upon a time I checked out some NSTRA events including a pretty big National event which had some of the bigger names of that venue attending and competing. None of the dogs were steady to shot and fall and the general consensus seemed to be (similar to Rick's judge) that a fully broke dog would be a detriment to higher scores in NSTRA. Obviously the merits can be argued, but that seemed to be the standard view in that venue. 

 

So for the OP, I think using the common techniques to get a dog fully broke (Whoa training typically to start) will help you achieve the staunchness you are looking for, but as a practical matter having a fully broke dog in NSTRA will probably not help your scores there, for NSTRA purposes you probably are better off letting the dog break at the flush. Personally I have had good luck using a belly collar (after progressing past a check cord) with a launcher and also wild birds if additional staunchness work is required.

 

 

 

 

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Rick Hall
On 11/13/2018 at 7:56 PM, adk angler said:

I do have a launcher that I planned on using with her on a check cord. If she moves while on point I would restrain her with the check cord. She loves to chase so I think letting her chase after she moves would reward her. If she holds steady until I pop the bird then I would allow her to chase. Will this help?

 

Being as how that was the question, my answer is "yes".  

 

And in any event, you'd be ahead to teach "whoa" and treat it as any other obedience command should be.  Make "whoa" mean hold your ground (any time, every time, regardless of distraction), and you can readily condition it in countless everyday situations.  Before dinner: "whoa".  Before going out: "whoa".  Tempting squirrel in the yard: "whoa".  And so on and on and on. 

 

Then, if you want to let Pup chase at a game bird's flight, ala the NSTRA norm, it'll still be mighty simple to associate that flight with release.

 

As appears the case with some others here, I share George Evans' feeling that "having had a steady dog, I'd not want to do without."  "Steady" meaning "until handler released," not some half-cocked wing, shot or fall version.  We accomplish it by teaching stop-to-flush before allowing a pup develop a chasing habit.  Do the same with with my retrieving breed pups, just subbing "sit" for "whoa," and here's an old write-up of how we go about it:

 

 

 

Sit or Whoa to Flush or Flight 
 
I have come to prefer making a game of it that conditions the pup to want to sit-to-flush, rather than sit-to-flush/flight being something denying him what he wants. Which is a practice I came to through the backdoor route of pointing dog training. 
 
My first Chessie's greatest shortcoming was the difficulty I had steadying him and keeping him so, particularly when honoring. So I was receptive to the notion of teaching steadiness from the get-go (rather than again following the traditional US course of building desire to go and then breaking to steady) when I saw it in an article by or about Robert Milner, and that worked out so well with my next Chesapeake that I was, in turn, receptive to Jim Marti's "Burnt Creek Method" of steadying pointing pups before they could develop a chasing habit. Marti steadied his pups with a checkcord, much the same as I've outlined traditional sit-to-flush for retrievers, which made a lot of sense to me, but also still seemed more pressure than I wanted to put on my pups. So when I started the current Brittany, we took a more gradual approach that inadvertently turned stopping at flush/flight into a game for the pup and later proved applicable for reprogramming the Chessie I then had and starting subsequent ones. 
 
The great rub with my route is that it employs as many as a half dozen fly-off birds per session, which pretty much mandates maintaining a loft of homing pigeons or very ready access to wild ones. With the great value of using fly-offs being that they're quickly out of sight and mind, which helps put emphasis on the praise Pup receives for not chasing them, rather than what he's missing out on. 
 
My pups have been taught to heel and sit when we stop, both on and off lead, prior to beginning our stop-to process, so that's old hat, and when I add the toss of a fly-off pigeon to a session of heeling on lead, it's initially just proofing a known concept. During which, I quietly and gently as possible enforce compliance with the lead and then praise, as if Pup had sat of his own accord. All about as positive as can be, short of treating. It's not taken too many such sessions with fly-offs before my pups are not just stopping and sitting on their own but have started anticipating the fly-off and wanting to stop when I reach in the bird bag. At that point, it's become a game between us, with my challenge being to keep them moving and make the eventual toss a surprise and theirs being to show me how fast they can get their butts on the ground when they see it. 
 
Once Pup's hooked on our fly-off game, we advance it to heeling off lead and, when that's down pat, while running free in the yard. All the while keeping it fun by backing up, rather than cranking the pressure up, if Pup slips up. When sit-to-flush/flight gets to the point I can toss birds at the pup and he's happily showing me what an ace he is at stopping (and sitting in the retrievers' case), we've a great foundation that readily transfers not just to sitting in response to self-flushed birds but to steadiness in general. That, and a great tool to return to when steadiness afield falters.

 

 

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DocE

I know that any of you were thinking "what a crappy point" in the pic that I put up (above)

but he was just learning --- the "point genes" had turned on, but he didn't know why.

Here is a pic from just one year later.

Then the next year he took 3rd place in the WA State Bird Dog Challenge  in the

Pointing Division.  This is a dog that had never been "whoa broke".

All of the other dogs in the competition were traditional pointing breeds.

 

Image

 

Image

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