GSP for duckhunting

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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Legband#1 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:11 am

Thanks Rick
Have a great day
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:29 am

I recounted the story of our game little Westie, Bill, to illustrate that a dog needn't be "best" or even "better" to be a well worthwhile waterfowling partner


Thinking about it this is what I was partially looking for in the thread, confirmation that my girl will make a good duck hunting partner. It is inspirational to hear the success of the other "non-duck dog retrievers" out there. My GSP is not a lab and she might not be as good the best, but with time and training will be better then the worst. She is already exceeding my expectations and has passed the level of training of my lab. (of course his limitations was the poor trainer he had, that was me.)
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:43 am

Henry Ford pegged it with, "Whether a man believes he can or believes he can't, he's probably right." Versatility is found largely in the trainer's mindset.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby 18javelin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:54 am

I have a Lab he don't ever complain.
uploadfromtaptalk1376056400068.jpg
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby 18javelin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:56 am

uploadfromtaptalk1376056570960.jpg
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:58 am

Appears he's enjoyed some success with you. (But I'm betting you're bad for no-goes on cold mornings.)
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Griffdom » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:18 am

18javelin wrote:
uploadfromtaptalk1376056570960.jpg



I know we are talking about alternative breeds for duck hunting but the dog that retrieved the duck in that picture is one ugly beast. :lol3:
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby 18javelin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:46 am

Rick Hall wrote:Appears he's enjoyed some success with you. (But I'm betting you're bad for no-goes on cold mornings.)

Notice snow behind me.... that's me and daddy always said ugly dogs retrieve better.
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:56 pm

watched our cocker swimming today, he rides really high in the water, he got out and his back was nearly dry!!
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:32 am

18javelin wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:Appears he's enjoyed some success with you. (But I'm betting you're bad for no-goes on cold mornings.)

Notice snow behind me.... that's me and daddy always said ugly dogs retrieve better.


Maybe so, but you don't look wet, and I suspect it may be just another staged shot of a retriever holding a duck.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Pond Man » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:55 am

I have two female GSPs. My older girl isn't really suited for waterfowl. She loves the water and is a great retriver but doesn't handle the cold well enough. She is very trim and weighs in right at 40lbs. My younger girl just turned two and is a stout 45lbs. She is a water nut and will plop in the water no matter how cold. Early season, I wouldn't have any problem hunting either of them. Labs are much better suited for the wet and cold conditions that come with mid/late season.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:07 am

My girl is 50lbs and just over a year old. We are about half way thru pattern blinds. Hoping to start cold blinds in the next week or so. We signed up for a UPT test so at the end of August we will start to double up on retrieving and upland work. NAVHDA test have what they call a duck search and I am not sure if all of this retrieving work will be a problem. Duck search is independent hunting in a retriever type setting. I have been doing a "find it" drill where I send her and she starts to search. I started this by accident because I lost a bumper. Usually she starts hunting like she does in a field she will work left and right, back and fourth. This was one of the things I was hoping somebody might have some feedback on. How versatile can a versatile dog really be and how do you separate out the different skill sets.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:23 am

how versitle depends on how much you want them to do. I cant see any reason why they cant be a jack of all trades and maybe a master of some. Ive had working sheep dogs that worked cattle like a blue healer and were dynamite on pigs, would find dead rabbits etc ans were great on sheep they knew they were ok to bite cows on the heals, hold pigs by the ears or bite their bum if they ran but wouldnt even look at putting teeth near a sheep...they know what you are up to and get their ques off you. you can teach a dog just about anything if you have enough time and patience...sometimes they can teach you even more if you just let them be.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:14 am

Elvis Kiwi wrote:...they know what you are up to and get their ques off you. you can teach a dog just about anything if you have enough time and patience...sometimes they can teach you even more if you just let them be.


I was blessed with a grandfather whose "farm collies" brought the cattle around, kept the garden free of varmints, and hunted everything he did except deer, day or night. So I grew up with wonderful examples of what men and dogs who paid attention to each other could do before I discovered experts intent on telling me what they couldn't.

Indeed, I had no real idea of just how limited dogs are supposed to be before the Internet and boards like these came along to get me good and properly informed. Really got my goat early on, and I literally traveled for days to prove how wrong some were before coming to my senses about investing more than keystrokes on the dubious prospect of opening a closed mind when presenting proof only provides "the exception that proves the rule".
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:13 am

Tanner01 wrote:NAVHDA test have what they call a duck search and I am not sure if all of this retrieving work will be a problem. Duck search is independent hunting in a retriever type setting...

... how do you separate out the different skill sets.


I take advantage og the dogs' tendency to be situational learners and compartmentalize their training until both handler oriented and independent activities are well established separately before bringing them together in the field - and thereafter strive to maintain a balance that keeps both up to par. (I began doing this for the benefit of pointing pups I wanted to be wide ranging in upland cover that called for it, yet handle well for waterfowling, but have found it beneficial for my retrievers, as well) That means that we establish a set of areas where all activity is handler controlled and another set where Pup is as free as safety permits to explore and learn lessons only the field can teach without my intrusion.

Even relatively young pups soon see that doing what I want is "the only game in town" in the handler oriented areas and begin devoting their focus to what I want to do next, rather than craving release to go see what's happening beyond the hedge. And by the same token, when in independent search areas, they're free to focus on the field, rather looking to me for instruction.

Beyond fostering independent search while handling is also being taught, that sort of separation by location may help your gal understand the difference in the control expected when sent "back" (or whatever your cue is) on a blind and the independent nature of "find it". Of course, you can also foster a DIY attitude on "find it" by initially making it quite easy to do so without looking to you for help through salting the area with bumpers or birds and gradually making success more difficult as she becomes more driven to search on her own.

But, on the flip side, if you try to do blind training and duck search work in the same area before good habits are well established for each separately, you shouldn't be surprised if your gal to wants to follow her own muse when you want her to handle and/or is looking to you when she should be looking for the bird.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Dawnsearlylight » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:04 am

Rick, I hope folks here are really paying attention to your posts, because you have an excellent grasp of training principles.

Not all dogs are real good at learning multiple hunting venues/tasks, and some are just plain rushed thru the learning. I once ran a NAHRA "water" blind that was set up in a 40' wide shallow water channel between two rows of cover, and immediately followed the quartering test (i.e., the dog quartered to within 20 yards of the line for the blind, then was brought to heel and walked to the line). Very few dogs took the direction indicated, guess what most of them did? It was a real test of how well your dog paid attention to commands and separated tasks.

All of my dogs have absolutely loved upland hunting and never confused it with waterfowl stuff, but they definitely seemed to prefer upland a bit. I suspect it was because they had to sit around waiting for action when doing ducks, but in the upland venue they were making the action happen. I had always heard that Chessies were cold water specialists and no good on upland work, but the only limitation I ever saw was that the heat got to them more quickly than other breeds. I had to be careful about heat exhaustion because they would go until they literally tipped over, but then that was just one of the ways they were suicidal . . . :rolleyes:
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:17 am

Rick Hall - Thank you, very helpful information and insight. Hate to say it but I was about to start training both in the same field area, just for my convenience. Nothing worse than a lazy trainer :no: but everything you said makes sense to me.
I am going to start the independent search in a new location away from where we are working now. I know where there is a quiet pond away from everything that I can use with some ducks.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:00 am

I finally had a chance to drop a duck for my GSP and she did better than I had expected. 17 degrees out and a thin skim of Ice. She has never encountered having to break ice and there was a slight hesitation from shore, but once she was in the water and moving she got going quick. Came up to the duck, it quacked and went one way and she went the other, I yelled fetch and she turned and grabbed it and brought it back to shore. She dropped it, shook off on shore then brought it to me, so there is some training to work on but I was pretty excited. When the duck came into the spread it was a few minutes before shooting time and she stayed pretty quiet while the duck was out there quacking away, I did use the whoa command when she stood up and she stayed perfectly still at point :lol3: Until I flushed and shot the bird. She cant see all the action from the boat blind, but the duck was still moving and the retrieve was close, so it was a good situation for a first real retrieve while hunting. Nice to set the dog up for success.

Dried her off with a towel threw a wool dog coat on her and fired up the buddy heater. She seemed fine. Don't think I would have left her in the water for a long time chasing, but She will make a pretty good duck dog for me!
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Griffdom » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:30 pm

What kennel did you get your pup from? Nice NA and UPT scores by the way.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby chessie72 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:48 pm

I have been duck hunting GSP Deuce for the last 3 years. This year by far being his best year to date. Lots of birds shot over him, very steady in the blind , strong swimmer and an unbelievable drive to find cripples. All our successful hunts aside, my most memorable day this fall so far was 2 blind retrieves to the other side of the river we were hunting. It sure is awesome when all your hard work plays out in the field the way it is supposed to. I owned 2 chesapeakes prior to Deuce and I can honestly say he is every bit as good a retriever as those 2 dogs were. Mind you he will not tolerate as much cold as they would and I am completely aware of that. It hasn't been that cold here yet to worry about.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Tanner01 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:24 pm

Griffdom
What kennel did you get your pup from? Nice NA and UPT scores by the way.

Thanks, Stud is Josh from Crystal Kennels located in New York and the bitch is a dog from Abbe Lane.
Both are dual champions and both have achieved MH and Josh is also a VC. Mother has her JHR. These dogs love to retrieve.and are extremely biddable.

Chessie72
Deuce is a nice looking dog,and looks like he handles the birds well. I hope I have as much success with my GSP as you have.
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:42 pm

Tanner that brought a sparkle to my eye reading that. a dog who points ducks from inside the blind is going to be great when your hearing start to go...heck it is great any way...you can be in snooze mode mid morning and pooch magoo will let you know when to "get up and shoot me some boss".
chasing bunnies in the heat sure is hard on our hairy wee cocker...time to shear him and turn him into a big eared miniature GSP again :grooving: :grooving:
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Re: GSP for duckhunting

Postby j.digiacomo » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:16 am

Tanner, I mostly hunt here in MD, where we get about every kind of weather imaginable during duck season; warm September days and below freezing January days. That being said, I hunt with GSP's year round. I'm not talking a casual couple days in the blind either, I'm in the boat/blind 35-40 days a year (more if work wouldn't get in the way). I typically take a 7-10 day trip out west also. And I wouldn't have it any other way. They hunt hard in the fields, I get to shoot chukars and pigeons all summer long training, and then I hunt all winter. My dogs wear vests when it's below freezing. Everyone keeps comparing the two breeds, and I am going to try and avoid that, because I think the dog work speaks for itself when done right. I've seen both ends of the spectrum there for sure. As you well know, NAVHDA is pretty good about checking the performance AND attributes for a quality hunting companion (not all organizations are that involved), and when coupled with good breeding, you can get some dynamite dogs. Personally, I don't have any issues with the cold and my dogs, but I'm also keen on keeping an eye on them. I've watched my GSP's do everything a lab can do, and then some.

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I plan on running my legs for MH with both of my guys this year in preparation for the Invitational.
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