View Full Version : steady problems
12-03-2003, 09:05 AM
I have a bit of a problem... i have a 5 year old black lab (male) who is very well behaved and is a fantastic hunter.. i have had no problems with him until this year.. what i have going on is that i hunt with a buddy who has another male and it seems to me that it is a contest to see who can get the bird first... as soon as the guns go off he takes off.. i went the other day and put him on a lead and he did well.. he also knows that the lead means control.. i want to find a quick fix all to keep him steady, i will work with him more this summer on live birds... if somebody has any good advice let me know... i would prefer not to use a collar.. thanks a lot-- happy hunting
12-03-2003, 10:28 AM
Its the competition that is making your dog break. If it were me, I would hunt them alone until you can dedicate some serious time to honoring.
When you are training, place them side by side on the retrieving line, with their handlers, have someone throw birds, and let them retireve them one at a time. If they break, don't let them get the bird at any cost, and do not let them make that retrieve. In fact, I would allow the other dog to have that retrieve, while the other dog watched. When they do honor properly, let them have the retrieve, to let them know that they will get what they want if they do what is expected. Any time they break, leash them and don't let them make the retrieve. Eventually I would even introduce some gunfire to it, and send honor doubles retrieved by one dog. Eventually, they will get the point that they will get what they want if they do what they are supposed to.
Also very important is that they are trained to retrieve on their names, because this is where the "fetch" command can get pretty dicey.
Our cues (commands) and stimulus for certain behaviors does not have to always be us blowing a whistle or saying sit.
I teach a duck call, and goose call in action to mean sit...as well as the starter pistol and gunfire, and teach a sit to flush with live birds busting in front of a dog tends to help steady them across the board as well.
If your dog will sit to mark, sit to flush, sit during gunfire, sit during calling etc, sit to multiple falls, sit while another dog works and so on...their aren't too many other factors that will instigate an uncontrolled or unsolicited attempt to retrieve.
Something to note is that often in training we give single or double retrieves at best, over and over and always followed with a retrieve. If we mix it up and focus on the dog marking multiple falls and only getting random retrieves, sometimes the 3rd mark, sometimes the 6th marks and infrequently the 1st marks...most dogs become a little more patient and anticipate that after the first mark they may have another one coming up.
my two cents....
all the best,
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