Bad news from the dog trainer!!

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Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:53 pm

Ok, so what do you do when the last two emails from the trainer say this??

"FF is going extremely slow. She is a super hard headed stubborn female. I hope she will be done by mid Dec. Even is close we may send her home so you can hunt and show you how to correct BUT we dont want you getting into battles with her either... Sorry about no picture yet, yes this time of year is tough in timing. I will try next week... "

" She is stubborn and has low trainability. We will see how far she is at that time and make a decision then.  They can turn a corner fast when they decide to give up"

What do you say to that!? After spending so much money on a great pedigree and showing so much promise up front, this is a tough pill for me to swallow. I know he is a stand up guy, and is one of the top trainers in my entire state. The thousands of reviews speak for themselves. So I trust his expertise.

What would y'all do?
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby berudd » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:16 pm

Not sure there's enough info about the dog, the trainer or the situation to say for sure. And I've never sent a dog to a trainer so I lack that insight. But I wonder what things they are trying to teach her to do that she not picking up on and if those are things you'll actually need your dog to do. Are you planning to run her in trials and they are prepping her for that? OK, maybe that won't be her bag. If your plan is just to hunt her are you sure she needs the skills they are trying to teach. I'm no expert but simply from reading what is required from some levels of trials and hunt tests I think you can have a great hunter without that level of training. Basic obedience, steady to shot, mark the bird, return it to hand gets you through most hunting situations. Some basic casting over and back is good and if the dog had a good nose she'll figure it out. My dog is just over a year and a half old and I've sent her into some dense cover to find birds. The nose went to work and she came out with the birds. I'll take that over the high level (and very impressive) skills that trails dogs are capable off. The FF stuff is something that is always debated I guess. I tried, briefly, with my first lab and could not get the hang of it. But she quickly showed me that she planned to pick up anything I present her with so I figured why bother. I few sessions of 'HOLD' and she understand what I wanted. I tried harder with my current Lab. I'm not sure if it helped or not. She tends to hold a little loosely which I am sure FF is supposed to fix so we do a little more practice in that regard but again she has never refused to pick up a bird or dummy. Her first dove was an odd experience because it was very much alive and she dropped it twice but did pick it up each time on command.

So I guess what I'm is I'd just re-evaluate the situation and make sure it is right for me and the dog. Do I want or need what they trainer is trying to provide? Also, he may be a great trainer but maybe he's the wrong one for her.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby razorback » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:44 pm

B.E.Nelli wrote:Ok, so what do you do when the last two emails from the trainer say this??

"FF is going extremely slow. She is a super hard headed stubborn female. I hope she will be done by mid Dec. Even is close we may send her home so you can hunt and show you how to correct BUT we dont want you getting into battles with her either... Sorry about no picture yet, yes this time of year is tough in timing. I will try next week... "

" She is stubborn and has low trainability. We will see how far she is at that time and make a decision then.  They can turn a corner fast when they decide to give up"

What do you say to that!? After spending so much money on a great pedigree and showing so much promise up front, this is a tough pill for me to swallow. I know he is a stand up guy, and is one of the top trainers in my entire state. The thousands of reviews speak for themselves. So I trust his expertise.

What would y'all do?



That is why you hire quality trainers...

If you did your homework and vetted his ability then he is doing exactly what you are paying him to do. He is training your dog and giving you an honest evaluation as well. That is less common than it should be.

In regards to your next move, only you can determine where to go from here. I know of very well bred dogs that just didnt have "it" and it doesnt work out, but at the same time there are times that it eventually clicks and it all works out.

I got some advice once that basically said it costs the same to own a extraordinary dog as it does a dud, but it is a decision that you have to make.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby Dakota Creek » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:52 pm

- What age is the dog?
- How long has the dog been with the trainer?
- What training did the dog have before sending them to the trainer?
- What were you expecting the trainer to do? Basics, CC, FF, or beyond?
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby gonehuntin' » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:09 pm

What the trainer told you is 100% true. There is NOTHING on this earth tougher than a tough female. He is also correct in that sometimes one day, they just break and that's it. No more problems.

The thing he is doing different is telling you to take her home. I'd have thrown a fit if a client wanted to take the dog home. Once you start, you battle it through.

I'm betting on the trainer if he has a good reputation. Even with a tough, miserable, bitch, he should be done in eight weeks maximum.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby j towne » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:50 pm

Before I knew what I was doing I sent my dog Thor to a trainer. I should have done more homework. He was doing 150 yard marks but jsut dropping them 4 feet short of me. The market was good so I sent him away to get FF. Well I called and got updates. After 4 months I said I was picking him up and another dog Rosie he had for 3 months. He said Thor was not finished FF and would never be above a JH and that Rosie would never be force fetched. So I just spent $3500 and this is the news you tell me. How long were you going to keep my dogs? So I worked with a local trainer and 1 month later I just my first Junior test Both of my dogs passed. All the dogs the trainer had failed. Thor was about 15 months old at the time. Well I titled both of them in Junior. then I went on and titled Thor in Senior and Master. He passed his first master test at 2 years old. The trainer had the nerve to tell people in the gallery that Thor would have been a good dog if I didnt screw him up.

I have went on to FF about 10 dogs, titled 4 in hunt test 2 of them with MH (Thor and Gracie) and 2 with field trial ribbons One (Thor) with a Q 3rd and another ( lulu) with a Derby 2nd and Q jam in the same trial. Lulu will be running master this spring.

All are Chesapeakes.

So ask yourself a couple questions. Is your trainer that good that you trust his opinion and wash out the dog and buy another puppy or started dog? or do you use another trainer? or do it yourself and make yourself a better trainer.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:57 pm

j towne wrote: The trainer had the nerve to tell people in the gallery that Thor would have been a good dog if I didnt screw him up.

Guy sounds like a real jerkweed :rolleyes:
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby dogyak » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:20 pm

Over the years we had folks who came too the club for help with dogs that were washouts from their pro . Their tails were tuck with no confidence . Six months later , a different dog . Bottom line , there are good pros and bad ones . Some pros just don't click with some dogs just like people don't click . Don't mean they were bad . If your dog was charging hard before going to the trainer , then it will again . I believe that your dog still can be a good gundog or hunt test or both . That's the way I see it !
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:57 pm

Bella refused FF. She was called to soft and I was told she might hunt ok in three years. I was told to sell her and get another dog by the trainer. She made 42 upland retrieves and 102 water retrieves last season. Which was her first. Bella trains just fine for me and wouldn't do anything for the trainer. We are going through CC right now. She recently decided that sit to flush and steady to shot no longer apply to her. If the dog has the drive it will train and hunt. Either find a different trainer or do it yourself.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:14 pm

berudd wrote:Not sure there's enough info about the dog, the trainer or the situation to say for sure. And I've never sent a dog to a trainer so I lack that insight. But I wonder what things they are trying to teach her to do that she not picking up on and if those are things you'll actually need your dog to do. Are you planning to run her in trials and they are prepping her for that? OK, maybe that won't be her bag. If your plan is just to hunt her are you sure she needs the skills they are trying to teach. I'm no expert but simply from reading what is required from some levels of trials and hunt tests I think you can have a great hunter without that level of training. Basic obedience, steady to shot, mark the bird, return it to hand gets you through most hunting situations. Some basic casting over and back is good and if the dog had a good nose she'll figure it out. My dog is just over a year and a half old and I've sent her into some dense cover to find birds. The nose went to work and she came out with the birds. I'll take that over the high level (and very impressive) skills that trails dogs are capable off. The FF stuff is something that is always debated I guess. I tried, briefly, with my first lab and could not get the hang of it. But she quickly showed me that she planned to pick up anything I present her with so I figured why bother. I few sessions of 'HOLD' and she understand what I wanted. I tried harder with my current Lab. I'm not sure if it helped or not. She tends to hold a little loosely which I am sure FF is supposed to fix so we do a little more practice in that regard but again she has never refused to pick up a bird or dummy. Her first dove was an odd experience because it was very much alive and she dropped it twice but did pick it up each time on command.

So I guess what I'm is I'd just re-evaluate the situation and make sure it is right for me and the dog. Do I want or need what they trainer is trying to provide? Also, he may be a great trainer but maybe he's the wrong one for her.


Yeah, I havent got to talk details yet. I am deployed currently, and we only correspond through email. No, I don't plan to hunt trials, I would maybe have done some just to help keep her sharp in the off season, but definitely not a priority, and he knows that. We thoroughly talked through my goals for her, situations that I would hunt her in, etc.

Yeah, there is a good chance she will still be huntable if she doesn't complete FF. I personally would it it to be, and he so highly recommends it. I do not ever plan on getting rid of her or trading her in, but you always have visions of tour dog being an awesome dog, not just mediocre.

She has been there for going on 3 months. She is about 9.5 months right now. I did most of her initial training up until she was 6 months. She was very good on OB except for heel, I hadn't quite mastered it. She was gun broke, and we did lots of water and land retrieves. She was always a hard charger both in and out. He was going to finish OB, then he CC, which he said she took just fine. and he started FF the end of Oct. She went in the very end of Aug. So he still has some time to try to break her before I get back. We will see.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby MoBrad » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:59 am

FF can be rough, its not fun for the dogs, some take it better than others, if all the reviews are good on the trainer, and you trust him, give it some time. I know its probably terrible, especially being deployed and unable to just talk to the guy. Thank you for your service by the way! My little female flew through most of the training, but she hated FF too, got really pouty, didn't like the process at all, a good trainer will get them through it, and then get their spirits back up on the other side. Good luck to you!
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby Dakota Creek » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:31 am

IMO for a dog going in to a pro to finish obedience, CC and FF and she hasn't been there quite three months yet is not a long period of time. FF can be a tough process to work through on some dogs. As some have mentioned, some dogs breeze through it, but with most dogs I have seen it takes "some" work to ensure the dog grasps the process and FF is truly completed.

Most pros will not take a dog in for less than three months - they need to see where the dog is in training, the dog needs to adjust to their new surroundings and who is now acting as their trainer and then by the time it gets to the third month they are working together.

It sounds like the pro is giving you an honest evaluation. Are you going to be home soon to hunt her in the next month or two? If not, I would leave her with the pro for another month and re-evaluate at that time. She may just need that extra bit of time for the light to go on. If you pulled her from the pro ... Do you have another pro to send her to and even if you did, they would need a week or two to reevaluate and start to work with the dog. Or would the dog go home and not be worked and potentially setback on the training level already reached with the pro?

Only you can make that call. If it were me, I think I would bite the bullet and leave her for another month and reevaluate at that point.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:32 am

Thanks for the encouraging words. I do trust him, we will see what he suggests after another 3 weeks when I get home. I don't wanna give up on her if he thinks he can overcome the issue.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby dogyak » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:37 am

Hey Nelli , where's your roots at when not deployed . By the way , I'm retired :yes:
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:44 am

Born and raised in Missouri, but I'm stationed at Offutt up in Nebraska now. Midwest to the core. How about yourself, what branch did you retire from?
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby dogyak » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:57 am

Navy , drug task force command ! Thought if you were on the east coast I could help or give some good pros that I've become friends with though the years to help if things didn't work out . I really think your dog isn't lost by reading your post from the way you said was a hard charger . But , if your not there right now I guess it would be best the leave the pup for another month to see if the trainer can get her thru it . I FF a male lab who was over two and it was the toughest one I ever did , but fought thru it and now he's a hunter for a friend . Like I said , if the dog has drive , he can be a gundog !
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:54 am

I have a buddy who does some similar stuff for the navy outta San Diego.

Yeah I appreciate the gesture. I am definitely gonna see if she can push through. I am too invested now not to try another month or so. I know he will keep trying his best.

Does anyone else have any experience with Premier Gundogs in Hallam NE? Dale is a really standup guy, and he has my vote of confidence and I trust his opinions.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby buckmeister » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:48 pm

It amazes me people judge a dog by the way it handles its ear being pinched or not carrying a bumper at heel. If a dog has a desire to retrieve it can be a hunting dog. My female lab was a horrendous pain going through hold training the field trial way. Just because your dog does not fit into the cookie cutter mold of field trial trainers does not mean it cant be a perfectly fine hunting dog. I guarantee your trainer would hate to train my female lab but she will get your birds for you all day long.

If it was my dog and I could see that the dog had retrieving desire I would not worry about it. Get the dog back, to hell with force fetch. Break the dog in correctly to gun fire and make sure she will pick up dead birds and then the most important step.
find a good farm pond to hunt where you can knock down some mallard in front of her, its the best training there is and you will end up with a duck dog.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:19 am

buckmeister wrote:It amazes me people judge a dog by the way it handles its ear being pinched or not carrying a bumper at heel. If a dog has a desire to retrieve it can be a hunting dog. My female lab was a horrendous pain going through hold training the field trial way. Just because your dog does not fit into the cookie cutter mold of field trial trainers does not mean it cant be a perfectly fine hunting dog. I guarantee your trainer would hate to train my female lab but she will get your birds for you all day long.

If it was my dog and I could see that the dog had retrieving desire I would not worry about it. Get the dog back, to hell with force fetch. Break the dog in correctly to gun fire and make sure she will pick up dead birds and then the most important step.
find a good farm pond to hunt where you can knock down some mallard in front of her, its the best training there is and you will end up with a duck dog.


While I see merit in what you are saying, that isn't what I am paying the man to do. She was already able to be shot over and retrieve teal that she could see fall in a farm pond before I even took her. I was paying to get her further trained than that. I in no way want a field trial dog, but I did want her force fetched. Once a duck is in her mouth, I don't want it coming out till she is by my side and I ask for it. Will she still be huntable if she can't do that, of course. I'm not judging my own dog, trust me. I am fully aware she doesn't need FF to be a good hunting dog. If she doesn't finish it, you bet your ass she will still be my hunting dog for the rest of her life. I don't blame her a bit for being stubborn, but I am still gonna try to get past that stubbornness to achieve what I'd like in a dog.

To each his own my friend.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:55 am

I've not read the whole thread, but more than a few "pros" are only capable when a dog happens to be pliable to a narrow set of methods. The dog may yet shine in other hands.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:10 am

Rick Hall wrote:I've not read the whole thread, but more than a few "pros" are only capable when a dog happens to be pliable to a narrow set of methods. The dog may yet shine in other hands.


Yeah, I agree. But considering the literally hundreds of reviews of his work I have read that were ALL raving about him. Not one bad word of his work. So I am going to give the man a full opportunity to do his thing before I make a rash decision. If after that time he has thrown in the towel I will let another trainer look at her.

Anyone worked with Mike at K and L Kennels in Higginsville MO? I have hunted with him behind pointing labs he has trained, and I was impressed. That would be my back up trainer.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby Dakota Creek » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:27 am

buckmeister wrote:hold training the field trial way.


If you are referring to FF .... If you understand the full force fetch process you realize that it is much more than just "hold training". FF teaches the dog to turn pressure off (ear pinch / toe pinch then moving to the e-collar, then to the ground, then watching fetch and stick fetch) regardless of the task being asked. Ultimately you want the whole process done with the lowest level of pressure possible and have the dog respond appropriately.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:49 am

Dakota Creek wrote:IMO for a dog going in to a pro to finish obedience, CC and FF and she hasn't been there quite three months yet is not a long period of time. FF can be a tough process to work through on some dogs. As some have mentioned, some dogs breeze through it, but with most dogs I have seen it takes "some" work to ensure the dog grasps the process and FF is truly completed.

Most pros will not take a dog in for less than three months - they need to see where the dog is in training, the dog needs to adjust to their new surroundings and who is now acting as their trainer and then by the time it gets to the third month they are working together.

It sounds like the pro is giving you an honest evaluation. Are you going to be home soon to hunt her in the next month or two? If not, I would leave her with the pro for another month and re-evaluate at that time. She may just need that extra bit of time for the light to go on. If you pulled her from the pro ... Do you have another pro to send her to and even if you did, they would need a week or two to reevaluate and start to work with the dog. Or would the dog go home and not be worked and potentially setback on the training level already reached with the pro?

Only you can make that call. If it were me, I think I would bite the bullet and leave her for another month and reevaluate at that point.


And sorry Dakota, I forgot to respond to you. I am deployed until 3rd week of Dec, so she will definitely be there another month. So that is my plan, to let it ride and reevaluate where she is after another month of work. I

have heard horror stories of guys who just keep training and training, and the pro lets them keep burning up money even though the dog isn't making progress. I appreciate honest feedback, and him not bullshitting me that my dog isn't doin too hot right now. It gives me a better feeling she is in good hands. That may seem weird, but it really does.

I do have a backup trainer in mind if it comes down to it. Mike at K and L Kennels.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:57 pm

B.E.Nelli wrote:...considering the literally hundreds of reviews of his work I have read that were ALL raving about him...


Wow, I don't think I could find hundreds of written rave reviews on Lardy or Farmer, your man must be something. Wonder you could get a dog placed with him.
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Re: Bad news from the dog trainer!!

Postby B.E.Nelli » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:09 pm

Rick Hall wrote:
B.E.Nelli wrote:...considering the literally hundreds of reviews of his work I have read that were ALL raving about him...


Wow, I don't think I could find hundreds of written rave reviews on Lardy or Farmer, your man must be something. Wonder you could get a dog placed with him.


Don't be an ass please...its 80 something if you want an exact number. When I was reading through them it seemed like that many. I just went back and found them just for your edification.

http://www.gundogbreeders.com/gun_dog_breeder_reviews/premier-gundogs-training-kennel.html
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