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Old 09-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #21
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Food is positive feedback. I am not saying that strictly using simple verbal and physical praise is not a good way to train a dog. But I am saying that using treats does not automatically make them fat and lazy. And the transition from treats to praise is no more difficult than starting out with only praise.

Puppy comes when you call, you give a treat, pup consistently comes when you call, start petting them. Transition complete.
I agree here. I have used both praise and treats interchangeably. The treat give is a miniscule amount of a treat. A pinch of jerky type dog treat between thumb and finger is enough of a taste. We're not talking a treat that takes the dog 2 minutes to chew and swallow.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:54 PM   #22
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Aside from training methods, I had very good luck with a German Shorthair.

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Old 09-12-2012, 10:14 PM   #23
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I had an American Water Spaniel, Sampson. He passed due to lymphoma. He was the strongest most aggressive hunter I ever had. He would take off and come back w/ two feet sticking out of his mouth if I took him grouse hunting. He never could figure out what the shotgun was for. The 1st time he did it I was just looking at him, when I said drop, out came a grouse. You should have seen him work. Nothing, not even a mouse entered my yard and left alive. He was a true alfa male. Now I have a female American fox hound. Again, she thinks it is her job to run down coons, fox, coyotes and bring them home. When she sees' me take out a shotgun, she just curls up in her bed.

This was Sampson. Great breed for upland bird or waterfowl.

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Old 09-13-2012, 12:21 AM   #24
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The thing about having the right breed for the job is the dogs love their work. Most hunting dogs I have owned didn't require a lot of training beyond obedience training. Once the dog learns to be well mannered the hunting part they pick up by working with older dogs.

Like the Australian shepherd's in the photo. Once the dog has passed the obedience phase you can let them work cattle with older dogs. My Australian shepherd will pen cattle but I didn't let her get enough experience to work in the pen. She just chases the stock around in circles once they are in the pen. That is fine with me. All I need her to do is fetch stubborn horses. Edit: and love me!

To be frank, if I had to train a hunting dog without the assistance of older dogs I am not certain I could get it done. I even train pointers with the aid of older dogs. I tie a quail wing on the end of a cane pole. If the puppies point the wing I will buy one to work with an older dog after obedience training.

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Old 09-13-2012, 01:24 AM   #25
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The thing about having the right breed for the job is the dogs love their work. Most hunting dogs I have owned didn't require a lot of training beyond obedience training. Once the dog learns to be well mannered the hunting part they pick up by working with older dogs.

Like the Australian shepherd's in the photo. Once the dog has passed the obedience phase you can let them work cattle with older dogs. My Australian shepherd will pen cattle but I didn't let her get enough experience to work in the pen. She just chases the stock around in circles once they are in the pen. That is fine with me. All I need her to do is fetch stubborn horses. Edit: and love me!

To be frank, if I had to train a hunting dog without the assistance of older dogs I am not certain I could get it done. I even train pointers with the aid of older dogs. I tie a quail wing on the end of a cane pole. If the puppies point the wing I will buy one to work with an older dog after obedience training.
The quail wing is a great method! I have trained several English setters and a pointer. The setters were beautiful to watch work covey's in the field, the lock and point. Many times I would have traded a gun for camera! We had a great pointer but he would bust covey's when he was first let out of the truck! Once he settled down, he was awesome! A buddy shot over him while he jump up a single, the dog stayed locked up on point, the bushes were kicked and another single jumped up! Wow! I miss quail hunting and wish we had more back here, I would get another pointer or setter and find a wing!
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:35 AM   #26
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Thank you. He was one of those special dogs that you only find a few of in your life. A hundred and thirty pounds of mutt that originally came to us in a two pound bundle of starved bones.

But he is no longer with us.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Be glad you had the chance to receive love from an awesome beast.

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The quail wing is a great method! I have trained several English setters and a pointer. The setters were beautiful to watch work covey's in the field, the lock and point. Many times I would have traded a gun for camera! We had a great pointer but he would bust covey's when he was first let out of the truck! Once he settled down, he was awesome! A buddy shot over him while he jump up a single, the dog stayed locked up on point, the bushes were kicked and another single jumped up! Wow! I miss quail hunting and wish we had more back here, I would get another pointer or setter and find a wing!

LOL Young lust!!

Watching a well trained machine in action is truly a sight to behold...makes ALL the hours of frustration that were known as training worth EVERY second!
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:29 AM   #27
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I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Be glad you had the chance to receive love from an awesome beast.
He was an amazing pup. I wish he hadn't have been taken the way he was, but it was what he was trained for.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:18 AM   #28
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i agree with fmj on his stated premise of praise vs treat. BUT, after seein his pride, i know INSTANTLY what he refers to.

labs are one of the most ornery dogs that you can work with! they train well for the first year of age to two,.......then, no matter whatchu do, they go plumb D-U-M-B. then after you're about to pull your hair out (on average 6 months later), they are back to basics.

i know y'all are talkin bout praise vs treat, and i'm gettin there. lab dogs seem to have the ability to "know" you inside and out, even before you know them. they know when you are mad @ somethin they did just by the look you give them, and they know just by the smile on your face that they "did good." lol what i'm sayin is that it's kinda hard to give a huntin dog a treat AND shoot/hold a shotgun........the treat is the praise, but most importantly the retrieve for the breed.

i had a british lab (the black i mentioned in an earlier post) that amazed me so many times, that i can't count them. anywho, i was pickin up hard, plastic, duck decoys after the season was over and brought him along with me. i would wrap the strings around the deke and throw it to the bank (cuz it was about 100 or so) in order to put it in the bag later. Trapper (his name) was in the water and out; over here and over there; smellin and peein on this and that while i kept on with the pick up. i would look up every now and then to see where he was and what he was doin, but really payin him no never mind. as i got farther and farther out, i couldn't throw the dekes all the way back to the bank.....they were landin in the water about 10 feet shy. after about 5 or 6 or so of these (i had my back to the bank), i hear him in the water again, then he was out, then back in, then back out. so i turn around to throw another deke towards the bank, and that lil turd is wadin out in the water, pickin up the dekes, one @ a time, and bringin them back to the bank. i NEVER told him to, or had NEVER trained him to. he was doin what made him happy.....makin the retrieve. he didn't need a tasty treat, THAT WAS his treat.

it has been 14 years since he died, and i still tear up when i think about the size of his heart.

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Old 09-13-2012, 05:11 AM   #29
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labs are one of the most ornery dogs that you can work with! they train well for the first year of age to two,.......then, no matter whatchu do, they go plumb D-U-M-B. then after you're about to pull your hair out (on average 6 months later), they are back to basics.
I have never had that happen with any of the labs Ive trained. But I have had a few pull the teenage crap on me at about the age you say they went dumb. I didn't let them.

I have seen it time and time again. A owner will train train train for a good year. Then think their dog is trained, and sit back and expect the dog to retain everything they've been taught until next hunting season, or until trials start back up, or let them sit in the house for a month with only potty breaks outside, and expect them to walk perfect the second they get the gumption to go out for a walk.

Training, real training, is a constant, every day, all year, in one way shape or form, for the entire life of the dog type of thing.

Yes, as they get older, they retain things longer without as much sustainment, but in the first few years of life their brains are constantly changing. There are no off days.

Labs are very intelligent creatures, It may take ten or fifteen repetitions to teach them something new, but screw up one time (Just one), and let them train you, and they remember it for life. But that is the same for pretty much every breed of dog.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:38 AM   #30
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Once the dog is fully trained, you can keep the dog sharp by simple play. Take the dog to the lake or a stream and have fun. Throw a frisbee, toss a training dummy in the water, most of all have fun! Sporting dogs can be trained by taking advantage of opportunity. When it's a 100 degrees outside the dog isn't going to hunt long or hard. But when you see quail or hear them whistling take your dog out, put it in a position to encounter a live bird in just a few minutes.

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