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Thread: Training Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    133

    Training Advice

    Hi everyone,

    So here's my pup. Molly, AKA Belmont's Thunder and Lightning. She's a little over 8 months now.

    [Picture coming]

    At this point the plan was to have her go in and be trained with Kevin Hill for four months and bring her back as a good started gun dog. Unfortunately, life got in the way and we had a flood at our house which meant I had to put the moneys I had set aside for her training and put it toward fixing our house. I should be able to save enough money to get her in to see Kevin when he returns from Alabama in April, but at that point she'll be a little over a year old.

    So between now and April I'm going to have to do my best to train her.

    At this point, I've got her responding well to the whistle, one blast for sit, two for come back (here). I've got her doing singles and the odd forced double.

    I'm now trying to lay the ground work for blind retrieves by getting her to sit and then I'll walk out place a bumper down in a straight line and then I'll go back to Molly and point to the bumper and tell her to retrieve it by using the commands Molly, BACK. I know there is a lot more to a blind retrieve, but I'm trying to re-enforce the idea of her holding a line and coming back with the bumper.

    Areas that I'm having trouble with relate to her not always holding on to the dummy when coming back or worse yet wanting to play tug of war with the bumper (she'll do this to her leash as well).

    Overall I'm really happy with her progress and it seems her pedigree and natural ability make things easy for me. My question to all of you is this: should I just keep up with these basic tasks and leave complex things like Birds, Gunfire conditioning, Forced Fetch and Blind Retrieves to Kevin?

    Thanks in advance!

    Ben

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    langley
    Posts
    3,425

    Re: Training Advice

    It’s easier to have a pro train first time then too fix our home schooling. He has my drathaar now for training.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    221

    Re: Training Advice

    How much is starter training?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    133

    Re: Training Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by silveragent View Post
    How much is starter training?
    300 a week and you can bet on needing 4 months of training, so 5 grand or so for a started gun dog.

    I know it's better to have her in training now, but I don't have a choice, so I think I'm just going to have to roll with the punches...
    Last edited by deltawaterfowler; 11-22-2018 at 02:44 PM.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    404

    Re: Training Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawaterfowler View Post
    Hi everyone,



    Overall I'm really happy with her progress and it seems her pedigree and natural ability make things easy for me. My question to all of you is this: should I just keep up with these basic tasks and leave complex things like Birds, Gunfire conditioning, Forced Fetch and Blind Retrieves to Kevin?

    Thanks in advance!


    Ben
    All of those things you've mentioned can be done yourself if you have the time. There are some really good you tubes available on all those things or you can purchase some DVD sets. I did both and watched them over and over again. I'm retired and have lots of time so I've done all the training myself with my griff.

    Gunfire conditioning should have started right when you got your pup just by creating loud noises while your pup is being distracted by things it really enjoys like eating or playing. I even used gun fire noises off the computer turned up as loud as it went. By the time my pup was three months old she was totally used to a 20 ga. and by the time she was 7-9 months old she'd heard it shot well over fifty times when I shot grouse off the skinny FS roads. Got her to retrieve all the birds.

    I took my time going through the Force Fetch process using Evan Graham and Jon Hann's DVDs. I found it pretty easy to do but as I said I took my time and didn't go on to the next part of the process until my pup was ready for it. A lot of it was done in my garage or right in the house because I live in a townhouse with a tiny back yard. I started her on it when she was 7 months old, then took a hiatus during the hunting season, and finished it up when she was about 10-11 months old. All those issues you spoke of with your pup will be cleaned up when putting your dog through FF.

    I haven't done a lot of blind retrieves lately but when I did it I started out doing retrieves with a large white bucket by the dummy. Started off doing closer retrieves with her using the bucket as a reference and gradually moved it out to over a 100 yards. Then I'd hide the dummy without her knowing where I put it and when I'd point her in the right direction she'd spot the white bucket and head towards it. We'll work on this more this year when she'll be almost two years old.

    I practice retrieving with Sako daily,,,,, a lot of walking baseball, hand direction retrieving, multiple retrieves (10-12 from various piles) and retrieves coming out of her blind. She's been great in the water doing retrieves since she's been 6-7 months old. Teaching your dog hand signals for "Back, and Over" is quite easy and a lot of fun to do. They catch on quite fast if you have a dog that responds well to treats.

    The only thing my dog could use is a whole lot more field work using live birds which the pros have access to. I can't raise my own birds unfortunately and don't have access to them. You can only do so much with frozen /thawed ducks, pheasants, and grouse but they're better than nothing. Plus they take up a lot of room in your freezer! LOL

    Training a dog is a rewarding experience and gives you a closer bond with your dog IMHO.
    Last edited by mastercaster; 11-22-2018 at 02:58 PM.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    VI
    Posts
    2,601

    Re: Training Advice

    Have you asked Kevin what he suggest you do over the next 5 months?>

    It depends on your standard and what exactly you want from the dog. It is tough to teach a dog to run before it can walk without having holes In your training. II;ve lived this. Meaning Force fetch usally comes before blind retrieves because you need to do force to pile before blinds. Ideally you want your dog decheated and have swim by done before you really get serious with blinds. Without the proper foundation, its a tough go and things take a lot longer then they should, and you are working on problems that wouldn't even exist if done properly. Trust me if you've missed a step, IT will rear its ugly head at some point as you try to advance! IF you want to do the foundation work your self, have at er. Buy Mike lardy TRT or even grahams Dvd set. both will get you a great gun dog if followed correctly and you have someone to lean on for help when you run into snags.

    This doesn't mean you cant do things with your dog. I would work on building drive and helping cultivate the pup into becoming a good citizen. IF you want to start to work on blinds, doing sight blinds like you mention is fine. I would not use the words " molly, back" I would use the terms " dead bird, dead.... back". Saying her name I assume is what you are going to use to send her for a normal retrieve. IF you use that and then back that will be confusing. The term dead bird you want to mean. "hey there is some something out there, ill help you find it." " back" means now go out there and get started.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by lorneparker1; 11-22-2018 at 04:40 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Brawler View Post
    Just lob a couple loaded mouse traps at em like you're playing horse shoes. More humane than bouncing darts off them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    133

    Re: Training Advice

    Thanks everyone, I really really appreciate the feed back. Lorne, just had a chat with Kevin and he pretty much re-iterated what you said verbatim. He said not to worry about the complex things and keep everything simple and fun with her. Focus on being a good citizen and keep her obedience held to as high a standard as possible. On Kevin's recommendation I picked up the Right Start Kennel training DVD so I use that as my general guide... they would use the dogs name on normal retrieves and the back part, I think I must have picked that up somewhere else... It's these little things that I "do wrong" that worry me...

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    610

    Re: Training Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by lorneparker1 View Post
    Have you asked Kevin what he suggest you do over the next 5 months?>

    It depends on your standard and what exactly you want from the dog. It is tough to teach a dog to run before it can walk without having holes In your training. II;ve lived this. Meaning Force fetch usally comes before blind retrieves because you need to do force to pile before blinds. Ideally you want your dog decheated and have swim by done before you really get serious with blinds. Without the proper foundation, its a tough go and things take a lot longer then they should, and you are working on problems that wouldn't even exist if done properly. Trust me if you've missed a step, IT will rear its ugly head at some point as you try to advance! IF you want to do the foundation work your self, have at er. Buy Mike lardy TRT or even grahams Dvd set. both will get you a great gun dog if followed correctly and you have someone to lean on for help when you run into snags.

    This doesn't mean you cant do things with your dog. I would work on building drive and helping cultivate the pup into becoming a good citizen. IF you want to start to work on blinds, doing sight blinds like you mention is fine. I would not use the words " molly, back" I would use the terms " dead bird, dead.... back". Saying her name I assume is what you are going to use to send her for a normal retrieve. IF you use that and then back that will be confusing. The term dead bird you want to mean. "hey there is some something out there, ill help you find it." " back" means now go out there and get started.

    Good luck!
    This is the advice I would take if I were deltawatefowler.

    In addition when your dog is at Kevin's, spend as much time there as you can so you can learn too. It's no good to have someone else train your dog if you don't know how to apply that training yourself.
    "Guns kill people like spoons made Rosie O'Donel fat"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    An Island in the Pacific
    Posts
    750

    Re: Training Advice

    Get involved with a gun dog club. Most clubs a very good to new members. They all require bird throwers and gunners. There are several clubs in B.C. and other owners and trainers are willing to help.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    9

    Re: Training Advice

    What are your goals for the dog? Do you want to put field trial, hunt test or other titles on it or do you just want a pet that you can take hunting? Or something in between?

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