First Lab training and first year waterfowler

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First Lab training and first year waterfowler

Postby O_E_J » Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:34 pm

Okay guys a quick and hopefully easy question. The obvious and easiest answer will to get a bark or e collar on this one... I have a 8 mo old yellow lab that is doing fantastic in her training. One thing she does do that really gets under my skin and I need to correct before I go nuts is this...

When out actually hunting she goes nuts and barks at other people and dogs. I hate to be the guy out there yelling at the dog and being though as the jerk with an out of control dog. She does not do this when in the yard or at home to people she does not do this at the park/going for walks/training field. Do dikes and blinds really mess with them? Is she just out of her element and feeling uncomfortable and afraid? So far she has been out actually hunting 4 times so I can understand if she is afraid and naturally going into defense mode; however I still want to discourage the behavior.

Any suggestions? I have been trying to bribe her when I see people coming on the dike with a stick or "treat" to distract her but I feel that might be avoiding the problem and not solving it.

Thanks in advance, and I am sorry if you are one of the hunters she has gone berzerk over.
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Postby Hawk » Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:35 am

Hey 8 months old... Thats like asking a 4-5 yr old @ the public pool to behave.. OK. I'm sorry, the dog is still young in her development stage. Obedience training in the heel and stay modes is what your looking for. Refersh her more with the ABC's heel, sit, stay, etc. I do this everytime before I hunt and train to get the dog in the right frame of mind. Be patience with her and don't expect allot to soon. unless of course you've train her everyday from the time you got her. If you can leave your dog in the backyard by herself or in the middle of the park, next to the lake/pond and not break for kids, ducks swimming by, chasing bike riders etc. you have broken her.{you understand what break is ?} let her know who's the boss. use more control on the leash. I wouldn't recomend the e-collar at this young of age yet. your problem doesn't seem that serious. When you accomplish this you've become the master. she'll hang on every command you give her, the intensity level will be there.. something you can stick your chest out for other people to admire. trust me all dog owners {hunters} look for this in other dog handlers... It's called CONTROL Good luck...Hawk
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Postby SteveInTN » Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:45 pm

Hawk is right. She is young, seasoning and obedience will go a long ways toward curing this problem. Most of it is environmental. Develop some training towards this particular issue. Take her to an isolated spot on the water and have different people 'walk up'. Once she gets used to it then she won't react so severely.

Also, of the basic obedience commands that Hawk suggest you master, I’d like to throw another one out there. That is NO. Your dog needs to understand that when you say NO in ‘that’ tone, you are not pleased with what she is doing at the moment. I say this all the time but it paints the picture I desire, I can stop my dog when he is 100 yards away with the NO command. Under extreme conditions it might take two or three, but he will always stop what he is doing.
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Postby 98ramtough » Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:28 pm

Hawk and Steve provide great advise. With your pup being only 8 months old, I would not use the ecollar at all while hunting, unless it is a real safety issue. Keep your pup on a 4 foot lead. When the pup acts up, pull her in close and tell her no. Make her feal comfortable. They need to learn that when you are hunting, it is work, not play. (They still have as much or more fun than you do). My female lab is about 1 year old and I have taken only her hunting with me everytime this year, she is always on a 4foot lead. I tie it off to my belt, when I am shooting, she is watching. When the bird falls, I let her off and she gets it, then its right back on the lead, right by my side. Try just keeping her on your hip until she gets the hang of it. If you have the ecollar on her, don't use it unless the pup is in danger. You want her to LOVE hunting, and not to remember getting hit/schocked while in the field. Use the ecollar for training and reinforcing well known commands only...

Best luck on your new pup!

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Postby O_E_J » Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:36 pm

Thank you guys for all of this great advice. I will apply it to our training. She does not chase people just sits next to me and will bark, more of a protection bark but not in trouble and in my opinion not a nuisance. So far she is doing great and LOVES to be out in the field and love hunting, she already knows what the camo is and that 4 in the morning she is up and ready to roll.

Last Sunday when I went out I used her 6 footer and had her on my foot. It was a much more enjoable experience for the both of us.

Again thanks for the help with this.
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Postby 98ramtough » Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:41 pm

O-E-J,

There is nothing more enjoyable than hunting with a dog that loves to hunt as much as you do. Be patient with your pup and they will learn that it does not please you when they bark. I believe they all aim to please, its just spending the time with them so they realize what pleases you and what doesn't. The lead definately helps a lot with young pups and hunting.

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becareful

Postby twoscoots » Sun Nov 21, 2004 2:33 pm

I watched a friend RUIN a quail dog with a e/collar!!!! The dog would 'break and run' when let out of the truck and run down the side of the fields or hedge rows scaring up coveys and loose birds out of range......he put a collar on the dog and when he finished the first hard shock (with the words "back") the dog was completely confused and ran further out which pi.....the owner off more. Another shock, with the words back.........short story: When the dog realized what was going on.........the owner then could not get the dog out from under his feet!!!!!(Moral of the story: the dog does not understand the language as much as he understands your temperment and your personality.....use the "I'm the master, your the retreiver" voice, it will work better than shocking a young dog that may misinterpret why he is being shocked which will lead to more shocks which will lead to a dog that will refuse to work and hunt! just my .02 cents 2 scoots
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Postby 98ramtough » Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:12 am

great advise twoscoots, the ecolar is to be used for reinforcing KNOWN commands only. If your dog knows whoa or back, or here, or come very very well, you can remind them. But to use it on a young dog that does not 100% know the command is going to do nothing but harm.

That said, you should also NEVER introduce the ecolar while hunting. I introduced it to both my pups 5 months before I ever used it on them in the field. Buy a tritronics, watch the video that comes with it, you won't go wrong with an ecolar.

This stuff gives ecolars a bad name. With proper use, I challenge anyone to find a 8 month old pup that is not force fetched, and not colar conditioned that will outretrieve and out perform a pup that is colar conditioned and force fetched!

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Postby O_E_J » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:28 am

All great advice. I know she is only 8 months old, now 9 months and every day in the field keeps getting better. Right now I am working force fetch with her and we are progressing okay. I will not introduce the ecolar untill next spring and well before hunting and in a contained environment. So far she is doing great and much better than I expected, she loves this stuff.
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Postby twoscoots » Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:01 pm

your doing everything perfect already , it sounds to me! The best training comes from day to day contact between you and your animal. To think or compare a young dog to a fully grown dog that has experience is where most people will go wrong. Enjoy these days of watching your dog learn the commands.....because there will come a time (before you realize it) that he/she will begin to age and the end of the hunt will be upon both of you before you know it, and the process will begin all over again.
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