Report from the Trainer

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:25 pm

labsforme wrote:Duck, that is super. I personally don't like to let pups break at any point. I staked them out and didn't make a big deal of it until they were more along in their training. If you are asking her not to break in training why let her hunting? Creates bad habits down the road. I do the same thing as the others suggested when it comes to decoys. A long time ago I had a 15 month old pup that I had started and her mother had to be put down so she got to be the "dog". I did the yard training with decoys and bumpers etc. Doing great. Took her hunting with a training partner and the first duck shot she went out and picked up a decoy. Nope not a hard one but a Plasti-Duck that is made of the same material as the bumpers, sigh. Very embarrassing. After I walked her out ,showed her the bird ,and she got the bird she never picked up another decoy.
Keep up the good work,

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Thanks Labs, as GH said she had no desire at one point during her training. She literally would not go retrieve anything. She would just back pedal. The breaking isn't like a full on sprint at the raise of a gun but she leaves the dog blind and stands on the check. I still have the lead in my hand. I have 3 hunts left with her. Tomorrow. Sat and sun. I will try to steady her more and more each day but not get on her for it.
Duck Popper: Congrats man and guess you need to change your name to "Duck Poppa"

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:27 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:This dog was down in training to the point of being washed out. She is also very young. I suggested letting her break to get the momentum and fun back. It's easy to steady a dog but not so easy to put desire into them.


Thanks GH, definitely focused on the fun of it right now. I have access to some areas where I can focus on the steadying in a rice blind environment during the off season. Not to mention the start of FTP and T drill.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Indaswamp » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:30 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:
dudejcb wrote:
Dakota Creek wrote:Yes, I understand the a lot of people like to over train their hunting dogs for some reason rather than try to develop their natural instincts and native intelligence. Not sure why that is other than a "control" thing. It's true that over-trained trial dogs hunt like crazy, but for me it's a lot of added effort for no real gain in most hunting situations.

How is it possible to "over train a dog?

my thoughts exactly gone....
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Indaswamp » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:34 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:
Duck_Popper wrote:Haha thanks Dakota. You really have been positive with your words. I appreciate it. I do have one question. ......

Tomorrow in the blind, I have the e collar on her, do I also put the pinch collar with the lead attached to that? Like the trainer had it. Or attach the lead to her normal collar or the e collar??


If you will be in a true hunting situation, ditch the pinch collar and run the lead on her regular collar, NEVER the ecollar. Unless you're very, very, confident in your abilities with that ecollar, I also highly recommend you leave the collar shut off and your gun at home, have ONLY ONE person shoot at a time, and devote the day to showing the dog what to do in a true hunting situation. It was only a couple of weeks ago you were having so much trouble so be aware that every inch you've gained in the las t month or more can be lost in one day at a blind if you handle the situations incorrectly.

X1,000,000!!! Best advice ever! I see so many new dog owners so wrapped up in the hunt and shooting birds that they loose the dogs training on the first hunt. Make the first hunt about the dog.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Indaswamp » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:38 pm

One thing I will add here is to train the dog to remain still. I do this by building a platform about 12-14" off the ground and putting the dog on it. watch a movie, read a book, or some other activity that would be boring for the dog. Get her use to remaing still and quiet. I have seen quite a few Hunt Test dogs that could not sit still in a blind because this step was over looked...the dogs are use to immediate action when on the line and that is just not how hunting is done most of the time, there are slow days...
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby labsforme » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:25 pm

Duck, better picture now. You won't lose desire or momentum by restraining her. You're doing that now with a lead. Have fun the rest of the season and build on what you have. It looks like the trainer had her excited to work . Sometimes that's what happens when they realize that complying with the direction gets them praise and birds. No need to put the hammer down. Also no need to let her get away with things SHE HAS BEEN TAUGHT. Emphasis there as to teach, train, correct as needed to the proper degree for each dog.

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby gonehuntin' » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:35 pm

Indaswamp wrote:One thing I will add here is to train the dog to remain still. I do this by building a platform about 12-14" off the ground and putting the dog on it. watch a movie, read a book, or some other activity that would be boring for the dog. Get her use to remaing still and quiet. I have seen quite a few Hunt Test dogs that could not sit still in a blind because this step was over looked...the dogs are use to immediate action when on the line and that is just not how hunting is done most of the time, there are slow days...


That's so true Inda. People complain that they don't have a decent place to train a dog. A decent place to train a dog is wherever you are at. The LR with kids running around is perfect. Make the dog obey in it's home environment. That way it doesn't transfer to an unpleasant experience in the field. Obedience is an all the time thing, not a sometime thing.

Retriever guys are lucky, you can basically build a great hunting dog in your backyard. Pointing dog guys have it tougher but don't have as much to train.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:31 am

I have to say guys..... Today it really clicked for her. She did a lot better on "place" today. Plus she did not break as bad. She actually held pretty tight for the most part. However, with every good there is some bad. She started dropping the bird at the check. (Opposite end of the tank) Then picking it up and just staring at me. I kept saying here and with the whistle she just stood there. So, she got a nick and here. Then she bolted to me. Held. Sat down. Then give.

We experienced our first duck out side the decoys. I shot. And said mark. Mark. Mark. And it fell dead outside the decoys and she bolted in the right direction but once she got to the decoys, confusion set in. She started romping around decoy to decoy. So I got up and walked out there saying fetch and pointing in the direction. After I walked about 15 yards into the water she saw the bird out there and off she went. I started walking back to the check saying hold and she caught up to me right as I got back to the tank. I said hold. She sat and I said give. This set us up for the next bird that came in also fell out side the decoys and she flew right passed the decoys and got the bird without missing a beat. We got the next few that were suicide spoons right in the decoys. Landing close to the blind. Also had some misses because I was trying to be picky with my birds and get the widgeon, but they were always the hardest shot and passed up on some close spoons.

Then for the finale bird. A lonely bull sprig came floating in outside my decoys. I was down to 2 shells. (I didn't think I was going to shoot a full box of shells) teal normally faces out the dog blind to the north, well this bull sprig was floating out on the south. I slowly spun around in my chair to the south and I look at teal and she spun around inside the dog blind to the side I was looking!!! I Let out a small smile and said sssssiiiiiittttt whispering. I look up and the bull sprig was about 35 yards. It was 1239 club stops shooting at 1, I saw the bull sprig do the bobble neck and knew it was a little Leary, but I wanted it. I raised up shot once, it did the rocket ship straight up, I adjusted my aim and boom!!! Caught it right on the neck and it did the helicopter. I look at teal and said Mark! Mark! She was holding tight right in front of the dog blind. The sprig was still falling then skadooosh hit the water about 65 yards out. I yelled Teal! She hit the water hard and went straight there and straight back. Perfect, almost like she has been doing it all year.

It was a great day. I was a little nervous not having a shooter but it went great! Got in the blind. After set up at about 1030 and was done in 2 hours with our 7 bird limit. She grabbed all 7.

I have video of the retrieve where she was dropping and starting at me. I also have video of the bird that landed outside the decoys.

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Duck Popper: Congrats man and guess you need to change your name to "Duck Poppa"

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby labsforme » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:19 am

Duck. How great. Even with the Hollywoods. Don't sweat the small stuff now. It was her second hunt and she's really green. She did great. Keep working with her and you will have a very good duck dog.

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:42 am

That is great to hear. Now that she has had a taste of it she will be all over learning new things. Just remember that next season she will need a hunt or two of refresher training to tune up what she has learned in addition to new things you will teach her.

The difference in your dogs performance is not surprising. A new dog has to see it and do it a few times to get it. After a couple of seasons, they get enough experience to handle most any situation. Every hunting trip is a training session. The first few hunts are all refreshers for the dog. Get them tuned up early and the rest of the season goes great. No matter how hard you train during the off season, a dog will need a tune up in the blind until they get a bit older and really know their job.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Dakota Creek » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:50 pm

ScaupHunter wrote:The first few hunts are all refreshers for the dog. Get them tuned up early and the rest of the season goes great. No matter how hard you train during the off season, a dog will need a tune up in the blind until they get a bit older and really know their job.


Great job! You have now learned the joys of hunting with a retriever!! To add to the fun and keep Teal thinking about it, this is where joining a retriever club and possibly taking part in a hunt test or two during the off season. Hunt tests are not competitive in the way that field trials are, instead you are judged to a set of standards with the skills depending upon the training level of the dog. Being in the Sacramento area you should be able to find NAHRA, HRC and AKC hunt tests near you. Even starting out at the started level, you two will gain experience in working together and you will meet some great people!
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby labsforme » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:34 pm

First hunt tests then success, then field trials. A downhill spiral !!!! You're hooked !! :help:
Ask me I know.
Duck she is very good looking too. Love her head. If you need sources around Sacto PM me and I can try to help.

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:20 pm

labsforme wrote:First hunt tests then success, then field trials. A downhill spiral !!!! You're hooked !! :help:
Ask me I know.
Duck she is very good looking too. Love her head. If you need sources around Sacto PM me and I can try to help.

Jeff


This is the plan Jeff. There is a hunt test in March that I plan on attending. I joined HRC Sac last year. I purchased Teal from one if their board members, I was originally going to get a pup from the head lady Nera, but I didn't pull the trigger fast enough. I couldn't be happier though. Everyone is a right group of people that do play days. Train days. Sport shooting. And they even planned a hunt for the group.

She definitely is a beautiful girl. Now that I got her back from the trainer we are going to get her coat back to the way it was when she left. It's a little matted and faded. Also this may be a weird question but are her eyes suppose to look like that? A bit droopy and dark? Haven't seen many labs that look like that in the eyes. I know she has a lot of growing left to do n they say she should be a solid 80lbs.
Duck Popper: Congrats man and guess you need to change your name to "Duck Poppa"

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:18 am

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I have been introducing Teal to her new place in the bedroom for the past few days. It's a nice memory foam dog bed. It was her welcome home gift. We thought we would let her sleep on it for a few hours and it didn't take her long to notice that there are 2 mounts above our electronic fireplace. First she was barking at it. Now she just stares. Pretty funny. So happy to have her back. I got daughter on the left side of the bed. My furchild to the right. And my fiancé in the middle. Happy life. Now for the last few days of duck season.......
Duck Popper: Congrats man and guess you need to change your name to "Duck Poppa"

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby tenfingergrip » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:25 am

Popper,
There are many articles, research findings and info about "droopy eyelids in labradors" (Horner's Syndrome) on the internet. Just google "droopy eyelids in labradors" and read away.

While it is not a common, prevalent trait, it is neither uncommon to see it in any dog.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby labsforme » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:27 am

Dark eyes are good. Droopy, well it is what it is. Just check for seeds when you hunt or train her. 80 lbs. She'll be a big girl.
Have a good rest of the season. mu duck hunting is over for the year but we have a late Canada goose season starting back up Feb 1.

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby SoupSandwich99 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:32 pm

Don't want to rain on your parade, but as the (now) proud owner of a breaker going through a long and painful rehab, I would advise you to get that under control ASAP within the advice of your pro who knows the dog much better than me. I understand the comments about momentum given the previous issues with the dog, but it sounds like that's no longer a real issue for this dog.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:47 am

http://youtu.be/M1KzIUo16io

Just wanted to share my season with you folks. Especially TEAL!! TEAL!!

I was able to document some of her hunts and retrieves. This was my first attempt at go pro and my fiancé did a great job editing. I know most people like the calling, blind talk, and guns but I had the waterproof case on so you couldn't hear anything except Charlie Brown chatter.

Out of the whole movie I am most impressed with TEAL at the clip at 1:01 second. All 3 of us were trying to fire at this pintail. And she HELD TIGHT AS A DRUM. It sailed and she held as I was saying Mark. Once it hit the water I yelled her name and off she went. She chased it as it dove on her and finally after a couple minutes she got it.

Also see her at

5:34

11:42

Thanks everyone for your support and I look forward to the future......
Duck Popper: Congrats man and guess you need to change your name to "Duck Poppa"

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:43 am

Well I have been working teal on my own since the season ended. I had a lot of homework to do with her so she would respect and trust me since she left the trainer. She came home and it was great to have her back but she thought she could get away with some of her old bad habits. As much as she tried I wouldn't let her, some of those same bad habits I got yelled at by the trainer for teaching her. Anyway we are good now. She listens. Minds me. Knows when it's time to work. When it's time to play. She successfully completes everything she was taught at the trainer for me. Money well spent.

Now I am on my own to take her to the next level. I am following fowl dawgs but teal is not responding to the whistle sit on the way to establishing the back pile for the T drill. When we are doing obedience and walking and I blow a whistle she will sit. When I blow the here whistle she comes right in. I also do the whistle heel drills and she does that perfectly. However she does that on the leash on my side. However she will not mind the whistle on the way to the pile. She just keeps going. I am not sure if I should consider that a time to give her pressure after the whistle or not. Just need some help on getting her to understand the whistle. So I can get he set up to eventually start the T drill. Maybe I am implementing this at the wrong time but I don't think I missed a step.

To clarify I have established the pile. She will successfully go. 75 yards on a dead bird back. Bring it to me. Heel sit. And send her back off. However, on a back, if I blow the whistle. She will not sit. Just keep going.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby cn44 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:03 am

Get a rope and stop her close on the way out. 5 ft the first time freebie to the pile a couple times. 10 foot the next time etc. when she is good with that start slowly increasing distance. Does she stop on the way in from a pile on whistle sit? That was my big issue with my pup. On the way in he would blow off the sit whistle trying to get to me. I had a thread a couple months back called whistle sit help or something like that. There was some really good advice. Search it and read.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby cn44 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:04 am

And no you can't give her pressure on the way to the pile and expect her to sit because she will think it means go harder because that's what she was just taught in FTP.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:02 pm

cn44 wrote:And no you can't give her pressure on the way to the pile and expect her to sit because she will think it means go harder because that's what she was just taught in FTP.


Solid advice I forgot about the continuous pressure with FTP. Thanks so much. Will try that putting the long lead back on her. Had her down to an 18" lead now because she is gotten everything down pretty good. I will put the 30' back in and try the whistle sit.

Yes she blows off both whistles. It got to the point where I put the whistle away because I didn't want her to start thinking that it was okay to refuse the whistle. I put the bumpers away and went back to obedience with the whistle sit and whistle here. And then the walking whistle (sit). Heal. Whistle (sit).
Duck Popper: Congrats man and guess you need to change your name to "Duck Poppa"

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby Duck_Popper » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:02 pm

And I will search that thread. I am sure I read it but its time to re read it.
Duck Popper: Congrats man and guess you need to change your name to "Duck Poppa"

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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby RefugeRat4Life » Thu May 22, 2014 3:23 pm

How is she doing now Duck Popper? I get my pup in late August(planned breeding) and I am super stoked.
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Re: Report from the Trainer

Postby zee-unit » Fri May 23, 2014 9:37 am

This was an awesome read. My chocolate lab is currently with the trainer, and I am about 4 weeks out from getting her back.

My family misses her like crazy, but seeing her progress each time we meet with her has been awesome.

How is Teal doing now? I am hoping to watch your YT video during lunch today at work.
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