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Hal Standish

What standards do you dream of for your dogs performance.

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Hal Standish

Recently a discussion between a couple of UK sporting dog folks came up concerning standards of performance. and the importance of preparations for just about any thing that can happen when birds, guns, and dogs are involved.

 

…"Bill also "touched" on the contact between Handler and dog (when judged) ...Yup ..No contact what so ever No verbal Heel, No verbal here,No verbal praise or Good Boy ,and Definitely No Touch Praise or correction ..all Non Slip. " end quote.

Yep, the above quote from Robert is absolutely correct. It is far, far more difficult than most people might think to train a retriever to this standard. It is fine on the occasions when you are only in the line for a couple of minutes but having a dog walk to heel for 30 minutes or more while never "contacting" it by touch or by any manner of audible control is much harder than you might think. The dog is seeing game, hearing game and scenting game both shot and unshot during it's time in the line .

 It is also seeing the other in line dogs running past them in order to fetch birds that have fallen close to your at heel dog. When you add to that the fact that your dog is also seeing a hunt crazy spaniel flushing birds just in front of it then the meaning of the word "steadiness" goes up to a whole new level.

Also as mentioned by Robert , the dogs may have to sit at heel and remain there while a drive is conducted right over the tops of their heads. One of the most nerve wracking experiences I ever had in a retriever trial came during a trial at which game was in very short supply. By the start of the afternoon the pheasants were non-existent ! It was decided to finish the trial by just standing us remaining handlers in a fairly small field surrounded by woodlands while the guns tried to shoot the woodpigeons as they flighted overhead.

I stood there with my very "hot" bitch Tessa sitting at heel for something like an hour and a half without being allowed to communicate with her at all. She was sort of remaining in a sitting pose but bouncing herself up and down by an inch or two every time a shot was fired..... it stretched my nerves to the limit !

During all that time she was only required to retrieve twice. The first retrieve was a relatively easy one but the second one was an eye-wipe on a bird that had fallen deep inside one of the surrounding woods. The first dog sent hadn't hunted well enough to find it and , because of the woodland cover, the handler could not handle his dog and wouldn't have known exactly where to send it to anyway. 


I was then told to send my bitch from where I was for this bird and all I could do was send her the 80 yards or so towards the woods and then leave her to get on with the job. She eventually emerged from the wood with the pigeon and won the trial but a good deal of luck was involved in that win , I think luck plays a bigger part in British trials than in those held in the states as our dogs are not and cannot always be given retrieves of equal difficulty ? This is why we value "game finding ability" so highly , it's kind of funny how it's so often the lucky dogs that have the most game finding ability ! :lol: 

Bill T.[/quote]
 

Bill T. was being modest about luck being the ingredient that made it possible. He is outstanding hunter as well.  He trained his butt off to have a dog that was so underwhelmed by the days activities.

Hal

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henryrski

That he eventually comes home.

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Yukon1

I don't dream for too much.

I want them to go when they're supposed to go and to stop when they're supposed to stop.


 

 

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Cass

I'm just a joe blow hunter so I don't need much other than a meat dog that can produce birds and retrieve them to me.  That being said I love training.  As my dog has got older I have allowed things to slide a bit in the field as I don't trial but I still expect him to be steady to flush and wait to be sent.  I don't nag him anymore if he doesn't sit and I'm fact most times he doesn't but he always stops - just usually more of a half squat than butt on the ground.  Sometimes he just stands.   I'm ok with that.  He's also at the stage in our hunting relationship where I don't use whistle hardly ever which I also like.  I suppose my "dream dog" would always have a snappy sit on the flush and be more patient in a duck blind.  Really as a bird dog he's everything I want.  From a performance perspective I'm quite happy with what I ended up with. 

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GANGGREEN

For me it's quite personal and depends largely on the dog.  Some have different personalities and different strong suits than others.   I happen to be an introvert and as such, I typically don't go out of my way to hunt or train with others (it's not that I dislike doing so, I just don't have the need and typically look for solitude sooner than companionship).  As such, the dogs need to please me and only me and they almost always do.  I've got a new pup coming soon (Llewellin setter) and my only goal is to form a rather tight bond with her, the bird hunting will take care of itself.  I guess I'd like her to be steady to wing and shot and to heel, come and retrieve to hand absolutely reliably.  It won't surprise me if she ends up doing all of those things, but if one or more seem unnatural to her, I'll probably give her some leeway.

 

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john mcg
5 minutes ago, GANGGREEN said:

For me it's quite personal and depends largely on the dog.  Some have different personalities and different strong suits than others.   I happen to be an introvert and as such, I typically don't go out of my way to hunt or train with others (it's not that I dislike doing so, I just don't have the need and typically look for solitude sooner than companionship).  As such, the dogs need to please me and only me and they almost always do.  I've got a new pup coming soon (Llewellin setter) and my only goal is to form a rather tight bond with her, the bird hunting will take care of itself.  I guess I'd like her to be steady to wing and shot and to heel, come and retrieve to hand absolutely reliably.  It won't surprise me if she ends up doing all of those things, but if one or more seem unnatural to her, I'll probably give her some leeway.

 

Where is your Llew coming from?

Not to intrude of course.

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GANGGREEN

Paint River Llewellins up in NY State.  I'm actually interested to hear if any others have Paint River dogs, but I'm pretty well convinced that she's going to be pretty birdy and pretty easy to handle.

 

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Hal Standish
1 hour ago, cockerfan said:

I don't need a dog to do what is described in your quote,  but I do expect them to be steady to flush, heel, and generally hunt without much handling.  

 

Here is a short video from yesterday's hunt.  

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2102384166479611&id=448785845172793

 

Very nice. I appreciate the manners that you have instilled in your guys! Job well done. It takes a plan and then execution of the plan to achieve this. A few years back on Saturday morning there was a outdoor show I believe it called " Under Grey Skies". Paul Mcgagh was featured with a couple of his cockers hunting Hungarian Partridge doing the same thing as you and your dogs one of the best filmed Spaniel hunts I have ever seen on TV. It was a real inspiration for my self at that time!

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MUSTANGER7

no bumping birds or stealing points and eat your own chow only and be my buddys

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cockerfan
5 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

 

Very nice. I appreciate the manners that you have instilled in your guys! Job well done. It takes a plan and then execution of the plan to achieve this. A few years back on Saturday morning there was a outdoor show I believe it called " Under Grey Skies". Paul Mcgagh was featured with a couple of his cockers hunting Hungarian Partridge doing the same thing as you and your dogs one of the best filmed Spaniel hunts I have ever seen on TV. It was a real inspiration for my self at that time!

I'd love to see that episode.  Did a quick google search,  but couldn't find anything. 

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Hal Standish
10 hours ago, cockerfan said:

I'd love to see that episode.  Did a quick google search,  but couldn't find anything. 

 

 

I know Jordan i have looked for a long time I would love to see it again as well. Possible Paul might have a link to it, Paul was running the dogs for the shows host and a guest.

I believe Honda or Suzuki was the sponsor for the show. The best guess I have it was about 15-18 yrs ago.

Because of that influence I did develop 6 spaniels that I pair with flushing dogs or pointers to walk at heel during hunts and switch off with each other as the situation called for it.

I always thought it strange to go out and try to find the best pup i could  and NOT train and develop all of that "great" talent I had purchased. Without the training how would a person know if they really found the best pup from the their search.

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Grifish
2 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

 

I always thought it strange to go out and try to find the best pup i could  and NOT train and develop all of that "great" talent I had purchased. Without the training how would a person know if they really found the best pup from the their search.

Completely agree, this is why I am attempting to learn more about the dogs and training.

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Grifish

This is the video that showed me what’s possible and how a well trained a pup can be. I still have difficulty with heel!

 

 

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sxsneubaum
On 12/24/2018 at 1:14 PM, cockerfan said:

I don't need a dog to do what is described in your quote,  but I do expect them to be steady to flush, heel, and generally hunt without much handling.  

 

Here is a short video from yesterday's hunt.  

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2102384166479611&id=448785845172793

 

Expect the same.  Only time the whistle is used is to recall them when we are in the tall cover, stop them on a runner, or hup on the flush.  I'm usually hunting two at the same time, so hup's a good one. 
This morning, leaving in a few minutes, I will be walking one at heel while the other hunts. And I always have a lead with me, if one of them blows me off.  They do that they watch the hunt tied to my belt. 

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