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Lloyd90

Ted's First Hunting Trip

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    I wanted to get my young dog out on some ground with scent and birds about as I felt he wasn't getting on any scent with us living in the city. He's just coming up 8 months and has been doing well so far but I felt that he was often looking to me too much and not getting his nose down trying to find game. 

    This weekend was a planned rough shoot with my club with us walking around, so last minute I decided to take him along to just give him a run out on the ground, and I wasn't planning to shoot as I wanted to focus on him if he tried to run in on game or was running too far ahead etc... 

    To start off some of the lads lined up to go off rough shooting and I went off on our own away from all the action. I told one of the lads when we get about 100 yards away fire off a shot for me. I took my old SxS and grabbed 5 cartridges for the walk. 

    100 yards comes along and he fires off the shot as agree'd and Ted sits to the shot and looks to me for direction 👏 I have previously fired a starter pistol over him and also a blank out of a shotgun with one of those adaptors so he was fine with the real thing. I then walked about 30 yards away from him leaving him sat up and fired another shot and he didn't flinch at all! Result! 

    I then took Ted along the hedge rows and he was hunting on the scent quite well staying in close range to me and frequently coming back to me whilst hunting without being told, he was getting his head down a lot more and stopped looking at me so much, so I was pleased with this. Overall we seemed to go at a slow leisurely pace, although in the first 15 mins a roe deer flushed from a hedge and got up in front of him. Ted sat to the flush and watched the deer disappear off.  😁

    I then took him forward and could see him up the gears when on the ground the deer had covered, he was hunting much quicker and covering the ground well, but started to pull ahead a bit much. I dropped him on the whistle and called him back but he started pulling ahead again so I dropped him and went out to him and gave her a verbal telling off and lightly grabbed his scruff whilst blowing a short peep for the turn whistle. I then hunted him on again and he stayed much closer.

    We carried on along a hedgerow and he flushed his first pheasant. He once again dropped to the flush and watched the bird sail off. He was doing well so we carried on and he managed to flush two more birds and remained steady to these once again. One of these was a large cock bird that he scented and I told him "get in" with him proceeding into a large patch of cover, he spooked the bird out and sat down to watch it sail away. 

    Towards the end I headed with him over to some woods that I know there are always a few birds about, I told him to heel and he walked well off lead by my side across the open field.

    We jumped across a small gully and he went into cover and flushed 2 birds at once, he again sat to flush and watched a bird sail away. 
    The other bird went behind him and towards me then passed me and was going away behind, I left it carry on and it went about another 15 ish yards way from me (so about 20 yards away from the dog) and I dropped it. I walked him up to it and he had a poke of it but didn't want to pick it up. He has previously picked dummies with wings on no problem but obviously needs some more work on cold game introduction. 

    Overall I thought it was a good first introduction, but won't take him out again this season just yet. The day was definitely helpful to high light some things to work on. 

    1) I am going to put some brush piles out and hide rabbit skin balls etc in them to encourage the dog to enter cover better. He hunted down the line of the hedgerow well staying in range but wasn't going into the hedges much. In the summer I hope to get him into a rabbit pen so that he knows he can push game out of spots like this. 

    2) I am going to work on cold game retrieves more with him. I'm going to get hold of some smaller birds to start off and spend the summer working on it, working up to the old pheasant in a sock trick etc. 

    It seems at the moment that he just hasn't put all the pieces of the puzzle together, like when the birds flushed and he dropped he seemed a bit clueless like he was asking "what now?", and when I dropped one right at the end it was like he didn't know that the shot could mean there's a bird down to be picked up... although he wouldn't know this would be as its his first time  😕

    I am hoping that It wasn't a bad idea to do it but from the day I personally thought it was a good trip out which had a lot of benefits. Looking forward to the summer months now when we have more sunlight to get out training :)
     

    C0-E4-D978-1768-46-F6-B5-F6-18465-A39529 

    2-C77-F8-CA-7-A7-B-47-CA-8-F79-C09-F8827

     

    Edited by Lloyd90

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    Well done Ted and yourself 👍it's all down to the adapter for the gun 😠 sound's like you will have a good dog. 

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    I must admit I'm impressed with what you've achieved with him so far considering he's not even 8 months yet. :good:

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    Blimey. Well done to both of you. 

    My 6mth old cocker has just this last week started listening to me. With some kind of recall and will sit when asked. So disobedient/ obstinate was she, that i took her to the vet thinking she was deaf. 

    Thankfully ive just seen a spark in her. Phew. 

    Your doing great so far. The joys of working spaniels.

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    1 hour ago, B725 said:

    Well done Ted and yourself 👍it's all down to the adapter for the gun 😠 sound's like you will have a good dog. 

    Every little helps mate 👍🏻 Adaptor works a treat apart from now when he hears the bang he waits for me to throw a dummy out 😂 he’s not yet learned that a shot means that there’s possibly a bird down to go fetch. 

    51 minutes ago, Ttfjlc said:

    I must admit I'm impressed with what you've achieved with him so far considering he's not even 8 months yet. :good:

    Just a bit of luck on our first time out that is mate, it’s not the first time you have to worry about as the dog doesn’t know any better. 

    It’s once the dog knows that there’s game out there and the joy of the flush that you have to worry, as that’s when the issues can arise. I’ve got all that to look forward to next season. 

    Prior to this we haven’t even been on game or anything. When our walking if a pigeon, crow, cat, anything like that flushes, flies past, lifts from cover etc etc I have always stopped myself and made him sit also.

    This has been consistent from the day I’ve had him and seems to be working so far :) 

    Edited by Lloyd90

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    It sounds like my dog and yours are on a parallel journey mine being a bit older, little Stan has been a pleasure to train and to work, so far he has done 6 full days beating with a fair few contact flushes stopping on his own but I still blow the stop whistle to reinforce it, He's flushed rabbit, pheasant, partridge and hare's out in the open and never moves. I have also taken him pigeon shooting no hide or anything just sat in the hedge bottom so he can see everything and he's been as good as gold. All the best with the dog I am sure you will have many good times together. 

    👍

    IMG-20180113-WA0002.jpgme and little Stan at 11 months 

    Edited by B725

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    13 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

    Every little helps mate 👍🏻 Adaptor works a treat apart from now when he hears the bang he waits for me to throw a dummy out 😂 he’s not yet learned that a shot means that there’s possibly a bird down to go fetch. 

    Just a bit of luck on our first time out that is mate, it’s not the first time you have to worry about as the dog doesn’t know any better. 

    It’s once the dog knows that there’s game out there and the joy of the flush that you have to worry, as that’s when the issues can arise. I’ve got all that to look forward to next season. 

    Prior to this we haven’t even been on game or anything. When our walking if a pigeon, crow, cat, anything like that flushes, flies past, lifts from cover etc etc I have always stopped myself and made him sit also.

    This has been consistent from the day I’ve had him and seems to be working so far  

    You said the key word there, consistency as they say is most important, looks like you're on the right track, will be nice to follow his progress as I'll be looking to pick up tips later next year. I'll be hoping to get a Labrador but even I can make that training look difficult. :lol:

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    1 hour ago, Ttfjlc said:

    You said the key word there, consistency as they say is most important, looks like you're on the right track, will be nice to follow his progress as I'll be looking to pick up tips later next year. I'll be hoping to get a Labrador but even I can make that training look difficult. :lol:

    I had a lab, found it to be a pig headed stubborn ****** 😂 but then again was my first dog and also family were taking it out as a pet aswell letting it do as it pleased. 

     

    Lovely dogs still though, shot my first ever ducks over her :) 

     

    I think it’s all down to the type of shooting you intend to do, people seem to make it hard for themselves getting a dog that doesn’t suit what they want it to do... make it easy for yourself :) 

    Edited by Lloyd90

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    You've done very well with him. Don't push him too hard, when you have a runner let him after it and it will switch him.on. my dog was the same as a pup. Older dog fellas on the shoot said wait for a runner and let him go. After that he picks up warm or cold game.

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    8 hours ago, figgy said:

    You've done very well with him. Don't push him too hard, when you have a runner let him after it and it will switch him.on. my dog was the same as a pup. Older dog fellas on the shoot said wait for a runner and let him go. After that he picks up warm or cold game.

    Really? I've been told the opposite... training advice re dogs is the opposite of consistent I have found lol!

    I was always told a runner (especially a strong one) could spur a young inexperienced dog, and put it off retrieving. 

     

    On a side note, I took Ted out today on a local ground the club can shoot on. I know it sometimes has rabbits about. The farm was big fields with hedgerows, unfortunately they were mostly all fenced so we just ended up with him running up and down the hedgerow.

    Despite this he kept good range sticking close to me with very minimal whistles to call him back. There had certainly been rabbits about as he had his nose done a lot more and was looking for scent so I was happy with that :) 

    If anything I would want him to be a lot more rapid, a speed demon as you will as he is from trial lines and I think I would enjoy the experience of running in a trial, even if it's just to see what it's like :) I am thinking over places I can take him with tall grass and rabbits everywhere ... I know blokes up North say they don't have thick brambles and hedges, it's all stone walls, long grass and bunnies... oh what a pleasure that would be! 

     

    Training continues onward with me thinking of places it would be worth taking him... 

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    Posted (edited)

    I find on shoots with lots of rabbits it’s que the benny hill music when a rabbit starts running. That little white bobbing tail and dogs ignore commands. 

    Don’t send your dog after a strong cock pheasant runner they have spurs and can fight. A nice hen pheasant runner should get your dog going with his retrieving warm game. 

    Only feilds have the stone walls and not many brambles in the dales regions. Rest of North Yorkshire is like everywhere else full of briars and scrub. 

    Be careful what you wish for with speed in your dog. My cocker has good lines and sometimes gets a handful on lots of game scented ground. 

    Bey good dog after he gets the initial excitement and energy out, so the last drive he’s a joy to work 😂

    As a youngster my cocker sat to shot and flush, pointed game wagging his tail till told to flush. 

    That all sharp stopped the more experienced he got. They start running in and thinking they know best as they get a little older. That’s when your basic training and going back to it come into play. 

    I never let my dog reterive everything so learns it’s not all his. I go and get anything close and make him sit and watch. 

    Edited by figgy

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    For what it's worth I would never send such a young dog for any runner that should come later Ted will soon gather pace as he learns what to do, see if you can get him quartering away from hedges or fence line's or he will eventually think that's what you want from him and he will pull forward down the hedge. 👍

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    4 hours ago, figgy said:

    I find on shoots with lots of rabbits it’s que the benny hill music when a rabbit starts running. That little white bobbing tail and dogs ignore commands. 

    Don’t send your dog after a strong cock pheasant runner they have spurs and can fight. A nice hen pheasant runner should get your dog going with his retrieving warm game. 

    Only feilds have the stone walls and not many brambles in the dales regions. Rest of North Yorkshire is like everywhere else full of briars and scrub. 

    Be careful what you wish for with speed in your dog. My cocker has good lines and sometimes gets a handful on lots of game scented ground. 

    Bey good dog after he gets the initial excitement and energy out, so the last drive he’s a joy to work 😂

    As a youngster my cocker sat to shot and flush, pointed game wagging his tail till told to flush. 

    That all sharp stopped the more experienced he got. They start running in and thinking they know best as they get a little older. That’s when your basic training and going back to it come into play. 

    I never let my dog reterive everything so learns it’s not all his. I go and get anything close and make him sit and watch. 

    Cheers mate :) yes following similar, not giving him every retrieve. 

    Hes steadier to a dummy than he is to a tennis ball it seems as well. 

    1 hour ago, B725 said:

    For what it's worth I would never send such a young dog for any runner that should come later Ted will soon gather pace as he learns what to do, see if you can get him quartering away from hedges or fence line's or he will eventually think that's what you want from him and he will pull forward down the hedge. 👍

    Thanks mate :) he was doing that natural y’day so it’s good to know 😂 I’m going to look for some different land though. 

    A friend advised me of some good woodland that’s worth a go :) and we have some light woodland near us just by the house although some parts the cover is really thick - not sure at what point spaniels should be going into heavier cover, I haven’t put any pressure on him yet so I don’t put him off. 

    I do know if I put a ball into cover he’s in there right after it so maybe just because there’s no scent in there. 

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    Posted (edited)

    Hi Lloyd 

    Just use short grass for his quartering just high enough to hide the dummy, drop the dummy behind the dog as he passes without him seeing it then as he returns on the quartering he will come across the dummy. The idea is that the reward is finding something close to you. You do right with the heavy cover let him enter in his own time for the minute as you have said not a lot of pressure and not a lot of scent. 

    Edited by B725

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    1 hour ago, B725 said:

    Hi Lloyd 

    Just use short grass for his quartering just high enough to hide the dummy, drop the dummy behind the dog as he passes without him seeing it then as he returns on the quartering he will come across the dummy. The idea is that the reward is finding something close to you. You do right with the heavy cover let him enter in his own time for the minute as you have said not a lot of pressure and not a lot of scent. 

    What we do presently due to the dark nights, we go to the local park which is mostly dark but you can barely see where your going due to some street lights. 

    I’ve got 2 balls I’ve covered with rabbit skin, and in the park there are loads of leaves off the trees. 

    I drop the balls into the leaves when he can’t see and he’s hunting nice and close. 

    He really has to get his nose down hunting for them and loves pushing through the leaves. Doing this he is a lot faster and really gets his speed up and hunting nice and close to me :) 

     

    I am considering trying to change the name of this thread and will try to keep it up to date as training progresses. 

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    Lloyd have a look at working gundog training dummies they mimick the shape and feel of game birds,  with rabbit skins tied round one and pheasant wings stitched to another it gives the dog more mouth feel and scent. 

    I tied some long cock pheasant tail feathers to a few inches of heavy fishing line, so when thrown lookike a real bird..

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    4 hours ago, figgy said:

    Lloyd have a look at working gundog training dummies they mimick the shape and feel of game birds,  with rabbit skins tied round one and pheasant wings stitched to another it gives the dog more mouth feel and scent. 

    I tied some long cock pheasant tail feathers to a few inches of heavy fishing line, so when thrown lookike a real bird..

    Thanks mate. I’ve actually got 2 pheasant ones from when I trained my old dogs.

    I tried one about a week or two back but the things are bloody huge compared to the pup, his body is starting to fill out now and muscle up but his head definitely hasn’t filled out yet. I think as he grows his head and jaw will be bigger and he will find it easier to pick bigger birds. 

     

    At the moment I’m going to get hold of either a partridge or a feral pigeon to start cold game :) 

     

    on a side note re training ... 

    we went out this afternoon and I threw a tennis ball into some heavier cover, he was in like a shot, smashed through it and found the ball and right back with his tail wagging... so I know cover isn’t an issue, he will get stuck into it if he knows there’s something worth going in for :) 

    he also cleared a small fence easily that I normally have to coax him to get over - it’s only about 2ft high if that, just chicken wire, I told him “get over” and today is the first day he just left over with total confidence :) today has been mostly a good day. 

     

    I did catch him this morning after he stole a loaf of bread off the side just as he was carrying it back into his bed and gave him a telling off. Just the other day he stole a bag of scones off the side and wolfed the lot down (no raisins this time). Perhaps this is what has given him such confidence in his jumping 😂

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    Posted (edited)

    Looks a cracking little dog to me Loydy. Keep up whatever your doing and he will be a companion for life.  Had a GSP who could suck scones off the top shelf with ease BUT he never told me a lie out in then field .  Had two friends come over from Texas, USA and took them to Scotland to hunt on the ladies ancient hunting grounds, she was a McCrae.(.various spellings for same clan).  Think Eilean Donan Castle. We rented a cottage and my wife cooked some scones.  Mole my GSP much to amusement of our guest managed to get them off the shelf and ate the lot.  He was forgiven the next day when he tracked and found a roe buck shot by my guest.   Don't be too harsh on him, he'll make up for it in the field.

    Edited by Walker570

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    35 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

    Looks a cracking little dog to me Loydy. Keep up whatever your doing and he will be a companion for life.  Had a GSP who could suck scones off the top shelf with ease BUT he never told me a lie out in then field .  Had two friends come over from Texas, USA and took them to Scotland to hunt on the ladies ancient hunting grounds, she was a McCrae.(.various spellings for same clan).  Think Eilean Donan Castle. We rented a cottage and my wife cooked some scones.  Mole my GSP much to amusement of our guest managed to get them off the shelf and ate the lot.  He was forgiven the next day when he tracked and found a roe buck shot by my guest.   Don't be too harsh on him, he'll make up for it in the field.

    He sounds a cracker mate 😂

    Someone told me the most mischievous ones are always the most switched on in the field. If they’re not up to trouble when left they’re not mad enough 😂

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    Oh the trials and tribulations of training a springer, stick with the smaller dummy you don't want to put him off retrieving by struggling with the large one 

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    Lloyd they do partridge dummies which are ideal for pups and also woodcock dummies. I use all the sizes.

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    9 hours ago, figgy said:

    Lloyd they do partridge dummies which are ideal for pups and also woodcock dummies. I use all the sizes.

    I forgot about the other sizes! 

    Which ones do you find most useful? I have 2 of the pheasant ones, might get 1 or 2 of the partridge ones. 

    Are the woodcock ones worth getting I wonder?

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    Posted (edited)

    The woodcock is very small and not worth bothering with. The partridge are very good with a bit of elastic bungee to make the throwing cord longer you can fling them a longer distance, makes your dog work a bit more. 

    I use the partridge to throw more and the pheasant to hide for blind retreives as I can't throw them very far.

    The tail feathers tied on via a few inches of fishing line really makes them realistic for your dog to mark them down.

    Another good training aid are Dokken dead fowl they do teal as well as full size duck and pheasant, with loose necks and heads etc and throwing toggles, the dummy launched ones are great but it gets expensive.

    Edited by figgy

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