Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

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Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:45 pm

For all the new trainers out there who think they should go it on their own I am going to have to say, don't do it! Most folks here know the story of my hunting lab Bella. Short story. Failed force fetch at a well know kennel. I was told to buy another dog and sell her off. I am stubborn, called BS, and went about teaching her on my own. I used water dog and worked her for a couple months before season last year. By the end of season I had ok hunting dog. We spent all last summer training and working on her skills. We got to this season and Bella decided that sit to flush and sit to shot were no longer on her agenda. She handles ok, and will make very long retrieves. Blinds are a bit tough, but she handles ok there as well.

With her breaking at the shot I cue'd in tons of research, a lot of soul searching, and a decision to not only collar condition her, but move to an actual training program. I starter with Total E Collar Training by Mike Lardy for her collar conditioning process. I then picked up a few Smartworks videos and took her back to the basics after her collar conditioning. Now mind, Bella knows casting, and handling and does ok at them. I still took her back to the basics well after our season started. We take 15 minutes and train every day. Hunting day or not it doesn't matter, we train anyways. The videos showed me exactly what I had missed in my training and what she needs to be come a much better hunting companion. Simple things like working left and right casting in the 3 handed casting training process. Properly teaching over, which I completely screwed up. She she still managed to figure out and do it well.

I cannot emphasize this enough for folks. Buy a few videos at a time or all of them at once and use them from the time your dog is a pup. I am presently working and correcting things that could have been dealt with last year. An entire series of training can be had for $100 to $200 bucks. That is less than one vet visit costs me.

Bella knows most of what we are working on and is blowing right through the training sessions. One of the huge things the videos taugh me was..... that I am the majority of the problem. Either through ignorance or impatience and not understanding the dog and her needs I am the problem. I have been messing up her training and thus her field behaviors and it really isn't fair to hold her to a standard I haven't set in her training. Pretty much everything she is doing wrong is entirely my fault. The videos and having her on a training program is rapidly fixing most of the issues we have been having. One of the biggest things I learned was to step back a step or two and simplify things when the dog is struggling. It just means I failed to train the dog properly on the last step or two. Once she gets those steps down she is ready for the next one.

The guys who constantly harp on having a program are correct. I am seeing Bella move in leaps and bounds towards becoming a great field dog. She loves the training time we spend everyday and so do I. It costs very little money to get a complete set of training videos, and not a lot more to get the books to go with them. It is money well invested
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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby TCFarmer » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:56 pm

Where's the like button?

Scaup, glad things have worked out well for you and Bella. You have learned one of the most important lessons in training, if the dog isn't getting, try to figure out what you are doing wrong. I'm glad to hear you kept and open mind and decided to try moving forward with a modern training program. Having a program and moving through it sequentially will also help some of the people here give you better advice when you run into a roadblock.

While the books and videos are good aids and definitely better than wingin it, if you can get together with a good group and train on a regular basis you will see Bella making big strides.
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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby Spry Yellowdog » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:39 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Two thumbs up to ya Scaup...

Spry

Guess I will take the Pearl duck hunting now on christmas eve......
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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby Dakota Creek » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:33 pm

Spry Yellowdog wrote::thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Two thumbs up to ya Scaup.


Good job!
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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby Duckdon » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:37 pm

Good post Scaup.
When a trainer makes that turn, wakes up one day and realizes that it's not the dog but the dog handler that is screwing up, then you can get somewhere. I am humbled by your post. Don
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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:47 pm

The next step in the Journey is to move from Adoration to Trust.
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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby TomKat » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:58 pm

Trust can be a hard thing to come by.



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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby gunshow » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:08 am

Great post!

I dropped Ruby off at the trainers on Christmas Eve and they leave for Texas on Saturday and will be there for 4 months.
Maybe the toughest decision I've ever made. I want her to have the best chance possible starting off. No doubt training is a continuous cycle throughout our lives and now I have some time to decide on a program to utilize after she's back.
Any suggestions are welcomed....for that type of scenario

I will be working with the trainer and will be joining a local club but an everyday type of program for a dog that has gone to a pro trainer is still necessary correct?

Anyways great post and really solidifies my decision to send her away...as hard as that was.
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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby labsforme » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:37 am

Good for you and Bella.We are 90% of our dogs problems. Call me in spring after goose season and we'll do some training. I have noticed a few holes in Beanie too.
TC probably see you at the Qual this year with Glacier. I'll think of you guys next week when I'm down in Niland training in the rough 70 degree weather. :)


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Re: Bella's Training Reset - Get a Training Program!

Postby TCFarmer » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:24 am

labsforme wrote:TC probably see you at the Qual this year with Glacier. I'll think of you guys next week when I'm down in Niland training in the rough 70 degree weather. :)


Jeff G

Have fun. I was hoping to get down this winter, but don't think I'll make it. Maybe I'll be able to take some time off and go to Roseburg in June.
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