Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lloyd90

Teds progress

Recommended Posts

Well after Teds first hunting trip the other week I noticed him hunting much better for a few days and could tell he needs to be on game more if he’s going to put the pieces of the jigsaw together!

We had another club shoot today although having spoken with the lads I knew hardly anyone would turn up, so after umming and arring all night decided to take him out for the final time this season. 

Ted has just turned 8 months this week gone so I knew anything we can get on now will likely be our last chance before having the spring and summer off (eg won’t be able to shoot birds etc). 

I phoned round last minute and found out only 1 other bloke was actually going so gave him a shout and agreed to both walk around together with the dog. Upon arrival we set up and started off up an incline hill in high cover. I’ve forgotten the name of the bloody crop, but it was about 2 foot high and good going, although not too thick, basically lovely cover for working the dog! 

To start off with the dog wasn’t used to cover so big (we either have short grass or brambles too thick to go into near home) and was going a little bit slow, but as we got halfway up the hill you could see he was hitting scent and started hunting well, another 10 yards up and the other bloke flushed a bird in front and dropped it on his first shot. Ted duly sat to the shot! Result!

The other fella walked up to the bird to pick it and as he was a partridge flushes. I’ve been trying to get a partridge for a while to start the dog on cold game but as he was going to pick the bird wasn’t ready and the partridge sailed off the top of the hill into the distant safety 😞 onwards we went. 

Another 10 yards and the bloke across is getting all the luck. Another cock pheasant comes up and he misses it!! I swing through and hit it myself with my first barrel and down it comes over the top of the hill, going a fair distance away from us. The other bloke commended me for a fine shot (I was quite pleased with it) and I was also quite pleased that the dog had again sat to flush lovely. I walked him over and sent him off down the line the bird had gone. Ted found the drop spot and it appears the bird had travelled onwards, he took the line and worked his way about 15 yards where he duly found the bird. I could see it was still kicking slightly so I whistled for Ted to sit and he did well, I went over and dispatched the bird and threw it out for him and he showed interest but didn’t have the confidence to pick it up fully. In the bag it went and we carried on for a bit before coming to an end on this patch. So far 2 birds flushed, 2 shots fired and 2 down and in the bag! 

Edited by Lloyd90

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Part 2: into the woodland and hedges. 

Following the first patch we continued into some small woodland. 

The dog again worked well staying close and following my guidance onto certain patches of cover. I noticed a fallen down tree with lots of growth covering it like a canopy and know it would be a good spot. I sent Ted towards it again and after going in 3 birds exploded from within! Once again he sits to the flush and I dropped a hen bird fairly close. This is the first time Ted has had a clear view of him flushing game and me dropping it. He’s sat up nicely so I give him the command to get back. He quickly finds the bird and I give lots of encouragement, after a poke and a prod he wraps his mouth around the bird and just as I think he’s about to pick it, he pops it back down and comes back to me with nothing 😂! After letting him have another sniff and poke the bird is placed in  to the game bag and off we go. We see nothing else in this woodland and walk up to another area of woodland. 

 

Woodland 2: 

Ted was again hunting well, and getting his nose down onto scent. He goes up to a very big patch of thick brambles and cover and is sniffing about - I tell him get in, although didn’t expect him to actually go in as he hasn’t been going into heavy cover yet. Surprisingly he pushes his way right into the cover and is moving about inside sniffing like mad, there is clearly fresh scent inside and I wait gun ready to go... unfortunately nothing comes out and Ted finally comes out. Despite no flush he comes out to a hero’s praise and I gave him lots of praise for going into the heavy cover. 

We finished this woodland and carried on down another field similar to our first, a couple birds flushed way in the distance but way too far ahead and out of range. After getting down the field we then line up either side of some hedgerows and begin waking down with Ted working the line.

we walked one complete field with no flushes and Ted staying nicely in range, he isn’t going into the hedges as much as I’d like but is working them for scent and staying nice and close. 

 

We cross over into another field and go either either side of a hedgerow that normally produces a woodcock half way along. Ted is working well until the halfway point when he is pulling ahead a bit too much, I can tell there is a lot of scent about here as he is going fast and although coming back on the turn whistle is pulling ahead too much. Just as I planned to stop him and give him a telling off two hen pheasants flush right by him. 

Ted sits to the flush once again and watches the two birds fly forwards off our land into another wood. This is a shame as if he was closer and not pulling ahead there would be a chance of one (or both if I had my act together) of these birds being in the bag. 

I whistle him back to me and we carry on but he goes too far forward again into the same spot as just a few yards further up a cock pheasant bursts from cover. Once again Ted duly sits to the flush. 

Instead of going away from me as the two hens did the cock bird goes across me and I give him both barrels in a sad attempt to bring him down! Unfortunately as suspected the dog was too far forward and the bird cruises off laughing at me as he went. 

 

I whistled Ted to carry on hunting and called him close and this is where things went wrong! DISASTER!! 

Instead of carrying on hunting close to me Ted took off!! Being the faithful loyal best friend that he is, he wasn’t having that bird laugh at either of us!!! He was on his way across that field to find that cheeky bird and give him a piece of his mind!!! 

I blew the stop whistle but he was on a mission and ignored it as he went. Down went the gun (ensuring it was safety on and pointed in a safe direction opposite to the other bloke), I throw my game bag at he spot he had ignored the whilste and off I went across the field. I got to Ted about 100 ish yards out, who had started to come back with a look of shame. I said nothing and took him by the scruff and frog marched him back to my game bag, sat him up and blew the whistle whilst giving him a small shake by the scruff and using a harsh tone. We then both just stood for about a minute to let it sink in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I hate to say this. But as I have a less than obedient 6month old spaniel. But I'm glad it's not all roses. My cocker wouldn't even answer to her name till 2 weeks ago. Well done tho. Great read. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 3: the walk back. 

After a stern telling off, I popped Ted on the lead and as he had a good run out we were heading back to the car now to call it a day. 

I walked Ted on the lead for about 5 minutes and we came to the large field of cover we had come down to get to the hedgerows. I walked him through the field about halfway and the other bloke was about 30 yards to our left hoping for a second bird for himself. 

After 5 mins I let Ted of the lead and he hunted well, staying nice and close to me (probably because there wasn’t much scent about).

Once again the other bloke flushed a bird (at this point I was thinking he’s a better flusher than the dog!!!) and he dropped it going away behind him. Ted sat to the shot well, but then he was off!! 

He ran round thinking that bird coming down was for him!! I blew the stop and shouted at him and he carried on for a few yards, but then stopped and decided to come back halfway😐 despite this I still got out to him and frog marched him back to his original spot and blew the whistle whilst giving a verbal scolding. 

This was a bit of a 50/50 situation for me, as I’ve been waiting to see when the penny would drop that when a shot is fired after a flush, there is potentially a bird down to go fetch! I’m glad he appears to have clocked this, just need to get him into the mindset that it’s there to go get when I say so!!! 

 

Despite this however, the bloke then had difficulty finding the bird in the heavy cover, and once given the command to get out Ted worked the area well and helped him find it, putting our 4th bird into the bag, which we would have almost certainly have lost without him :) 

 

After this we walked a few more yards to the end of the field and popped the lead on and walked the road back to the car for the end of the day. 

 

Overall he had helped to flush a few birds well, gone into some thick cover with enthusiasm and found a few birds that may otherwise have been lost. 

He may have put 2+2 together and clocked that a shot after a flush can = a bird down to go get :) and he mostly stayed in range. 

 

Once again we go away with issues high lighted to work on! Pulling ahead when hot on scent is one, and this is something I have expected to happen at some point. I just think of this as part of the journey with most hunting dogs. 

Working on retrieving game is again another. He almost picked a bird today so is getting better, I also now have a small hen bird that I can put into a stocking to start him off on. 

The chase across the field, well I have to look back and laugh. I have again been waiting for something like this to happen. I can only look on it as a positive and think that he is showing enthusiasm for getting the birds 😂 however I will be aware of this in future and keep a tight ship. 

 

Plans for the summer are once it warms up to get out doing a bit of water work, and get into a rabbit pen. I have spoken with Geoff Shore as well as other trainers and will likely go to some I know and trust for guidance over the next few months. 

As Ted is quite a sticky dog who I am trying to build his confidence I am hoping those flushes and even the chase will bring on his excitement for game and speed him up a bit. 

Time will tell.

 

 

I will try to keep this thread update with our progress as we go :) 

34 minutes ago, haynes said:

Well I hate to say this. But as I have a less than obedient 6month old spaniel. But I'm glad it's not all roses. My cocker wouldn't even answer to her name till 2 weeks ago. Well done tho. Great read. 

You commented too soon 😂 

 

I think you just have to get into the right mindset mate! 

If you think it’s all going to be perfect first time out you must be a bit mad. Although trying to set the dog up to never fail and do everything right first time is something I have tried hard to do, I was expecting the wheels to fall off a some point. 

The dog has to do things wrong at times, so you can correct it and show them what you actually want them to do! 

I was watched Dave Lissetts DVD last night and in the rabbit pen his dog pegs a rabbit, he puts the dog back and gives it a small telling off, but says it’s just the dog showing enthusiasm in what your trying to train it. 

 

Two steps forward and one step back 😂

Edited by Lloyd90

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reflecting on the situation, I wonder if Ted assosiated the shots with just assuming the bird was hit... and thought the command to carry on was me sending him out to find that bird ... 

 

Either way he did ignore the stop so was placed back to the spot! 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if you do this or not? but my Springer has been taught to "sit up" and wait and will not go after a retrieve until I have made eye contact with him as well as giving the hand signal and verbal command.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

Not sure if you do this or not? but my Springer has been taught to "sit up" and wait and will not go after a retrieve until I have made eye contact with him as well as giving the hand signal and verbal command.

Hiya mate :) 

When on a marked retrieve we have been working on Ted keeping his eyes firmly fixed on the drop site. 

This is because I hope to at least run him in an amateur (novice) trial as I would love to do so for the experience (not sure how realistic that is though). 

 

Some of the tips I got off the field trial lads are, on a simple marked retrieve, where the bird flushes, gets dropped easily, you want the dog straight out and back. If you train the dog to look at you before being sent for a retrieve, then he takes his eyes off the mark / fall site, and can lose the spot, especially if the bird has fallen into cover. 

 

This could be the difference between winning the trial or not even placing, as on a simple retrieve the dog needs to be straight out to the drop site, pick it and straight back at speed. 

 

Hope this makes sense :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When i tried my cocker too young and improperly trained he started well. As he got bolder and more confident he he lost it. Hunting for himself and not for me. At 18 months old he took off after birds from the very spot you were on. He was found on the next door but one farm after 3 hours. I swore never to take him out again. 

I did and at two years of age a light switched on and his world changed. It was like he suddenly acquired a brain. Back working for me. He is now working well for flushing and retrieving. I need to stop him running in on shot birds before he is told. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, oowee said:

When i tried my cocker too young and improperly trained he started well. As he got bolder and more confident he he lost it. Hunting for himself and not for me. At 18 months old he took off after birds from the very spot you were on. He was found on the next door but one farm after 3 hours. I swore never to take him out again. 

I did and at two years of age a light switched on and his world changed. It was like he suddenly acquired a brain. Back working for me. He is now working well for flushing and retrieving. I need to stop him running in on shot birds before he is told. 

I hope he doesn’t take 2 years to get trained Grant. I have heard lots of people saying similar however that something just clicks about that age. 

All part of the journey mate, just got to correct it and work on steadiness over the summer and get him in rabbit pen :) won’t be out again this season. 

Also as he was quite sticky and not hitting the cover much I was considering taking him in the pen and giving him a chase to give him more go, so it might be that this gives him a shift up I was looking for... or he’ll just p off whenever he wants self employed :/ we shall soon see.... 

Edited by Lloyd90

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 4: A bird in a sock is better than two in a bush. 

 

Following in from yesterday I now have a mid size hen bird and decided this could be alright for some cold game intro. 

I asked my GF for a pair of old tights. She asked what for and I told her dog training... I said if you put the tights on apparently the dog listens to you better 😂😂

 

anyways, after cutting a leg off the tights and dropping the hen bird in, we set off to the local walking spot and hid in a bit of wooded area away from other dog walkers. 

I had a rabbit skin tennis ball, a dummy with pheasant wings and the bird in the sock. 

I hunted Ted through the cover and he stayed nice and close to me, once he got going he was getting his nose down well.

We were on a semi steep incline at this point and I stopped him and threw the ball down the hill, down he went and brought it straight back. I then threw out the dummy with the wings on, out twice and straight back twice. 

As soon as he got back I threw the pheasant in the tights and sent him before he had time to think. Down he went gave it a quick prod and fiddled with it trying to get his grip. Lots of encouragement ensued and within seconds he had picked it up and was on his way back!!!! 

Well we did the pheasant in the tight again with no problems, so I rolled the tight back to expose the tail and feet. 

Out again and a bit longer sniffing at the tail but once again he grabbed the body and brought it back :)

Well, trying out luck I removed the tights, threw the bird out and off he went. He fiddled with it for a bit but soon grasped the body and back he came bird in mouth :) woohoo!!!! 

We did one more and put the bird away, and I just gave lots of praise. 

I do think that the bird was still a tiny bit too big for him at present to get a good grip, so will revert back to the plan of sourcing either a feral pigeon or partridge. But the dog will pick birds and he will bring them back to hand :) 

The seed has been set! 

Edited by Lloyd90

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lloyd 

This is not meant as criticism but I think you are letting Ted do a little too much, I would at his age been happy with a couple of flushes and a shot no retrieve. You have to do your best not to set up the dog to fail always finnish on a positive. He doesn't need fresh shot retrieves just yet if you aren't careful he will soon think each bird shot at is for him. If you can shoot something but Don't let him retrieve it you can replicate this using dummies over the summer, one in ten retrieves is more than enough for him, you can also get over confident yourself, a little bit at a time but often is the best way, best of luck with the little fella and keep the posts coming 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lloyd, I sincerely hope that you are not doing too much too soon with Ted. You have done a lot already with a young dog.

With my first Sprocker I did nothing with him other than sit and stay and return until he was eighteen months old. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add a bit more Ted will retrieve as you have said but don't get hung up on the retrieving concentrate on drop to flush and to shot, stop and recall. My dog is a year older and all the training was so he was ready for this season but he will only do 10 day's, the best compliment I had was a guy with a young dog while we were beating came up to me and said I want my dog to be as good as yours. The most he did last season was half a dozen morning's even though I could have done more and the result is I have a spanner under control at all time's not once have I had to tell him off when he's been working. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you lads, 

 

AS said I agree, bit too much too soon it seems.

Only second time out as trying to get him on to scent. We shall not be out again shooting until next season, when he will be approaching 18 months. 

 

Over the summer we are off to see some trainers to get some tips of how we are doing and get the intro to the next steps right :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you say regarding keeping the dogs eyes on the fall site makes perfect sense - my ESS does tend to lose the bird quite often, not helped by the fact that he seems to search using his eyes mainly and I have watched him tread on a dummy before going back and finding it. Been trying to increase his memory by making him sit then walking around him once then making eye contact before sending him to retrieve - getting there slowly. Not helped by the fact that he seems to prefer looking for the dummy more than bringing it back - tail is a blur when he's searching :yes:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, bruno22rf said:

What you say regarding keeping the dogs eyes on the fall site makes perfect sense - my ESS does tend to lose the bird quite often, not helped by the fact that he seems to search using his eyes mainly and I have watched him tread on a dummy before going back and finding it. Been trying to increase his memory by making him sit then walking around him once then making eye contact before sending him to retrieve - getting there slowly. Not helped by the fact that he seems to prefer looking for the dummy more than bringing it back - tail is a blur when he's searching .

Try spitting on the dummy. It adds scent. :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out the last two days with Ted just letting him run about do his own thing, hunting much better now looking for scent as we go, getting his nose down and checking in cover as we go along :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to keep him a little closer grab a handful of grass make it into a ball and as the dog comes back to you throw the grass ball so he sees it, he will then hunt for something he probably won't find. but will keep looking for it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 5: Steadying the young dog. 

 

Taking Ted out recently it appears that the penny has dropped as I had hoped, his hunting is 10x better than previously. 

I wanted to run him in a puppy working test this summer coming but previously I thought with his hunting he wouldn't do that well. Things in this area have drastically improved after seeing a bit of game.

 

The other side of the coin however is now I need to stay on top of him more, he does go a little bit further out but is staying within 10-15 yards. I will keep a close eye on this though for future as I know dogs can pull out when on the real thing. 

 

Today we went for a walk and I managed to get my hands on some racer pigeons that were culled by the owner as no good. I used them to try and steady the dog. As he is hunting away I threw the pigeon out as if it had flushed. On the first one Ted tried to run in, but I timed it so I was close to him and shouted "NO! Leave it!" and managed to break his train of thought and he stopped before reaching it.

I calmly took him back to the spot he was and then picked the bird myself. I told him hunt on and took him in the opposite direction. 

I then repeated this 6-7 times with Ted "dropping to flush" as he used to, and not running in to the bird at all. 

At the end I threw one out into cover and let him retrieve it, so out of about 8-9 he had 1 retrieve. 

 

With a dummy Ted will retrieve to hand and hold is head up lovely, however when getting back to me with the bird he was dropping it. 

With lots of encouragement and me walking off, he soon picked it up and held it up for me... something to work on but did well at the end :) 

 

I don't intend to do anymore on game however didn't want to leave it with Ted's last memory of game being him chasing it! I'm glad hes had a few good stops with a bird going over him now. I will keep practising this, and am considering getting a rabbit skin dummy launcher, so I can simulate a bolting rabbit going past and steady him up to that :) 

 

Lots to look forward to and work on this coming summer! 

 

Lloyd 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done, I think that the dummy launcher should be for later, I think if you're not careful it may encourage the dog to run in as Ted will soon twig on to what's about to happen, you can do it with a tennis ball. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15/01/2019 at 09:38, B725 said:

If you want to keep him a little closer grab a handful of grass make it into a ball and as the dog comes back to you throw the grass ball so he sees it, he will then hunt for something he probably won't find. but will keep looking for it. 

Ever use a dummy launcher mate? 

My birthday's coming up and no idea what to ask for, my GF keeps asking what I want... think it might be useful... 

1 minute ago, B725 said:

Well done, I think that the dummy launcher should be for later, I think if you're not careful it may encourage the dog to run in as Ted will soon twig on to what's about to happen, you can do it with a tennis ball. 

Thanks mate, I wasn't going to use one for a while just carry on throwing out the ball / dummy / a pigeon for the next few weeks.

My birthday is next month though and my GF is asking what I want so I was going to get one for that lol! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I did and it ended up with the dog running in. I never needed it with my previous spanner and haven't missed it with StanI sold it a few month ago on here plus as I've got older it was harsh on my wrist. By all means buy one but at the moment let someone else fire it but not too close to the dog if it hits him it  will hurt and probably put Ted off for ever They do have a place in training and can be a good tool if used correctly, my opinion is to use it as a retrieving tool rather than a rabbit flush. 

Edited by B725

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, B725 said:

Yes I did and it ended up with the dog running in. I never needed it with my previous spanner and haven't missed it with StanI sold it a few month ago on here plus as I've got older it was harsh on my wrist. By all means buy one but at the moment let someone else fire it but not too close to the dog if it hits him it  will hurt and probably put Ted off for ever They do have a place in training and can be a good tool if used correctly, my opinion is to use it as a retrieving tool rather than a rabbit flush. 

Thanks mate, I find it reassuring that others have had problems too and sorted them :) 

 

Why do you think it made him run in? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's because most dog's will pre empt what you are going to do, it's more fun for them fetching the dummy than doing as you ask, it's no different allowing free hunting they soon think I'm off I don't need you 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...