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Lloyd90

Teds progress

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Nice to catchup on this thread. I've been training my lab bitch a lot, especially since the end of the season, I've found a large patch of wood that is linked to a shoot with unused pens at one end. Basically there's still a lot of birds in the woods around, and I found out it's really good to train her to find the /occasional/ bird to flush, without being completely manic like on a shoot day!

The problem I had with mine is "good nose" she cruises around at ~15m or so all good, then can pick a scent and sometime was taking off into the distance, completely oblivious to recall at that point -- pretty much what was described a couple of pages back. It was most annoying as /normally/ she's pretty much bang on, it's really only the 'scent lust' that was sending her over. Also I discovered my stop whisle "power" was decreasing with the distance, so basically if she was 100m away, I might as well sit there and wait. I was pretty infuriated!

To be fair, she doesn't chase, she flushes, see the bird (or the deer!) away with a "get of my laaaaand" posture, have another bit of a sniff around then moves on. However sometime she was like 200m away from me, then toddles back to a fuming owner.

So one thing I did was give her a serious blocking on one walk. She came back, she could see my face, I definitely barked at her and then it was 'heel' and the way back to the car with a 'cross' dad. something like 1/2h or so, and she was /spotless/ glued to my boot. She knew /very/ well what had happened so there was not more to do there.

The following day we went back again, we were 'made up again' but not /completely/ I think she realised she had overstepped a boundary. What I did that day was to hide as soon as she was losing track of where I was. Tree, kneeling behind a bush, whatever, I soon as I saw she was getting a bit banana, I'd hid. And when she realised I was gone, it was back to finding /me/ and she had a big party when she did. We did that a lot (and I think I'll do that a lot, going forward!). I only 'lost' her once, when I was very nicely hidden and she couldn't find me so started going back the way we came. I whistled a 'hint' and she eventually found me, to amazing party and wagging of tail.

So what I think I did was break the "taken for granted" idea she had about me -- she's a bit of a princess so she has no balance for the 'praise' and treats she might get -- on that fateful day I think it gave her a bit of a balance that there IS a difference.

So we still continued that routine really, until actually yesterday, when I realised she WAS turning straight away on recall whistle -- even when ranging,  we had a 2h walk, she flushed 12 pheasants (and one muntjac!), all (birds) but one would have been shootable so she was in the good 'range' and she was really amazing at turning, coming back, we had a few 'pause play' too where I have her sit and wait so she can recover (and I can make her drink). 

Still, heaps of fun isn't it? I know she's no spaniel, but she loves her hunting -- I know she'll never be the "sit on flush" kind or the "pointer" but she's getting there to be a super dog for rough shooting -- she's super brave diving head first in heaps of cover (got a few cuts that way!).

The pickup bits are "easy" really, it's a lot harder to train for these situations where the dog is "blood" scent or just "scent"!

Heres the little princess, at 12 weeks with her very first pigeon

K4fq45h.jpg

 

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On 01/04/2020 at 01:34, buze said:

Nice to catchup on this thread. I've been training my lab bitch a lot, especially since the end of the season, I've found a large patch of wood that is linked to a shoot with unused pens at one end. Basically there's still a lot of birds in the woods around, and I found out it's really good to train her to find the /occasional/ bird to flush, without being completely manic like on a shoot day!

The problem I had with mine is "good nose" she cruises around at ~15m or so all good, then can pick a scent and sometime was taking off into the distance, completely oblivious to recall at that point -- pretty much what was described a couple of pages back. It was most annoying as /normally/ she's pretty much bang on, it's really only the 'scent lust' that was sending her over. Also I discovered my stop whisle "power" was decreasing with the distance, so basically if she was 100m away, I might as well sit there and wait. I was pretty infuriated!

To be fair, she doesn't chase, she flushes, see the bird (or the deer!) away with a "get of my laaaaand" posture, have another bit of a sniff around then moves on. However sometime she was like 200m away from me, then toddles back to a fuming owner.

So one thing I did was give her a serious blocking on one walk. She came back, she could see my face, I definitely barked at her and then it was 'heel' and the way back to the car with a 'cross' dad. something like 1/2h or so, and she was /spotless/ glued to my boot. She knew /very/ well what had happened so there was not more to do there.

The following day we went back again, we were 'made up again' but not /completely/ I think she realised she had overstepped a boundary. What I did that day was to hide as soon as she was losing track of where I was. Tree, kneeling behind a bush, whatever, I soon as I saw she was getting a bit banana, I'd hid. And when she realised I was gone, it was back to finding /me/ and she had a big party when she did. We did that a lot (and I think I'll do that a lot, going forward!). I only 'lost' her once, when I was very nicely hidden and she couldn't find me so started going back the way we came. I whistled a 'hint' and she eventually found me, to amazing party and wagging of tail.

So what I think I did was break the "taken for granted" idea she had about me -- she's a bit of a princess so she has no balance for the 'praise' and treats she might get -- on that fateful day I think it gave her a bit of a balance that there IS a difference.

So we still continued that routine really, until actually yesterday, when I realised she WAS turning straight away on recall whistle -- even when ranging,  we had a 2h walk, she flushed 12 pheasants (and one muntjac!), all (birds) but one would have been shootable so she was in the good 'range' and she was really amazing at turning, coming back, we had a few 'pause play' too where I have her sit and wait so she can recover (and I can make her drink). 

Still, heaps of fun isn't it? I know she's no spaniel, but she loves her hunting -- I know she'll never be the "sit on flush" kind or the "pointer" but she's getting there to be a super dog for rough shooting -- she's super brave diving head first in heaps of cover (got a few cuts that way!).

The pickup bits are "easy" really, it's a lot harder to train for these situations where the dog is "blood" scent or just "scent"!

Heres the little princess, at 12 weeks with her very first pigeon

K4fq45h.jpg

 

 

How old is she now mate? :) Sounds like she's coming along, but remember to learn from my and others mistakes. There's no rush.

 

If I do get that pup off my mate I am going to try and avoid doing anything with it, apart from a couple retrieves so it will bring stuff back, and take it on walks so it loves being outdoors, and get it to run with Ted so it doesn't kind running through cover etc. :)  

 

 

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On 02/04/2020 at 11:26, Lloyd90 said:

 

How old is she now mate?  Sounds like she's coming along, but remember to learn from my and others mistakes. There's no rush.

If I do get that pup off my mate I am going to try and avoid doing anything with it, apart from a couple retrieves so it will bring stuff back, and take it on walks so it loves being outdoors, and get it to run with Ted so it doesn't kind running through cover etc.   

She's 16 months now, 12 weeks we were just playing around, now she's supposed to be a 'big girl' :-)

We've now stopped playing in the woods, some of the 'wild' birds there are nesting, and it's not very nice to have an enthusiastic dog ruining the bed.

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Not much happening recently ... have done a few sessions up the woods last week hunting about, all weekend we have just stayed home as its been very warm.

 

My GF asked me about 7pm if I was going to take the dog out ... so I assumed he was getting a bit pent up and annoying her :lol: so I took him up the road for a spin. I hunted him into the wind for a bit, let him quarter the ground and then did a bit of work. 

 

I did a few simulated flushes, eg throwing a ball of dummy past him when hunting, then gave him the gone away command, and hunted him away in the opposite direction, leaving the object. Then I had thrown a reward (ball) behind us to hunt on to, which Ted quickly found. 

 

I will repeat a few of these drills each time so he gets used to the flush, stop... and then leave it and carry on hunting. 

Then next season I am hoping that this carries over to the flush, stop, then carry on hunting and don't go and look for that bird you just bloody flushed! :lol: 

 

I'm not sure the temptation of balls and dummies equals the temptation of birds ... in-fact I know it absolutely does not!! But it's a start. I have always managed to speak to the keeper on an estate in Wales who offers the odd walked up day, so I shall be booked one of those at least should next season go ahead. It's not far down the road from my mums so should be good that. 

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I don’t think it’s a good idea to hunt a dog in the woods, or anywhere in the countryside, at this time of year because of nesting birds. It certainly won’t make you popular with keepers.

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On 14/04/2020 at 11:42, London Best said:

I don’t think it’s a good idea to hunt a dog in the woods, or anywhere in the countryside, at this time of year because of nesting birds. It certainly won’t make you popular with keepers.

It's a wood in the middle of the city, no keepers, no shoot, no birds. Nice bit of training ground though. Has regular foot traffic through it. 

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Posted (edited)

Just took Ted up the field today with tennis racket and ball, we walked the length of the field with him allowed to run in, then walked back with him walking to heel and not allowed to run in, he sat each time I hit it though without telling him. 

He does crack me up.

 

As we got back to the end of the field he remembered that there is a big cattle drinker in the corner, and as he was panting like mad took himself over for a drink out of it. Good memory of him to know it was there after seeing it once. 

 

Back home then for his tea, raw meat with some kibble and some left over carrots from dinner. :) 

 

 

Oh and I think my mates bitch has taken, he reckons she is massive now. So few more weeks till they are potentially born! 

Edited by Lloyd90

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Took Ted up the field tonight ... sent him out for a retrieve maybe 60 yards out ... as he almost got to it a Roe deer got up about another 40 yards ahead that had been lying in the grass 😮 

I thought oh god ... but Ted either didn’t spot it or just didn’t care, as he instead just picked the retrieve and was on his way back to me with it no bother :) 

 

Have booker a training day in September and have some other possibles lined up. 
 

Mates pups due next week so fingers crossed for a few dog pups! 

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It was Ted's birthday yesterday ... we got some new Dokken dummies, a duck and a pheasant dummy. 

 

He struggled a bit last year picking some of the bigger bodied birds, he picks partridge lovely and managed hen pheasants it was the bigger cock birds. I think he just needs to be more confident and learn to hold it around the body firmer. 

A few practices and he is doing much better already :) 

 

 

On the news of pups... my mate has just phoned to say his bitch has had 6 pups 3 dogs and 3 bitches, the stud owner is having first pick of the dogs ... so looks like we get the choice of the other two :D ... missed Ted's birthday by 1 day! 

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Out walking some new ground I have scouted today, but of rough ground that has been lined up for development ... hoping to find some wild rabbits!

 

Anyways, Ted somehow manages to find a pheasant hen ... I was not out looking for them, and I intentionally stayed out of the woodland, we were on an area that appears to have been cleared by a bulldozer and just has rough plant grown back. 

 

Anyway Ted got a strong contact flush with this bird, fushes it into the air... then decides to chase it right down the field completely ignoring the stop and recall whistle 😮 ... oh god not this nonsence again!!! 

We finished the season with him having regular flushes and sitting well, but obviously haven't seen a bird for about 3 months! 

 

 

Thank fully Boris has lifted some of the restrictions from Wednesday. Phone call to a mate and we are off on the weekend to get him in the rabbit pen again, obviously whilst staying 2m away from the trainer at all times. 

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Part 33: Re-steadying and prep. 

 

Went off to see a bloke yesterday who has a rabbit pen, as the bloke we went to previous has had an escape and said his are all gone :lol: 

We arrived and got over the intro, took Ted in the pen. My goals at the moment are to get him to hunt cover a bit better and to get him steady ... a bit contradictory as I know I might have to let him go a bit to give him an incentive to get in. The pen was stocked with rabbits and a few wing clipped cock pheasants. 

 

Anyways off we start in the pen, Ted flushes 2 rabbits in a short span, stops to flush to both of them running about 2 feet in front of him from the off. We wait a minute, praise him then hunt him on in the other direction.

We hunt into some light cover and he flushes a bird out, sits to flush and doesn't move once again. :hmm: ... Trust Ted to behave when the trainers looking eh.

 

We then hunt around and come around a big cover pile, Ted spots 2 pheasants about 20 yards ahead out in the open, as tbey're not flushed from cover he charges at them ignoring the stop, and chases one of them around.  I think as the bird didn't flush Ted thought it was a runner, and tried to collect it back to hand. The trainer wasn't overly worried and we didn't give him a telling off, just got him away and carried on for a short spell before putting the lead on. 

To finish we left the pen and went to another spot hunting through some long grasses, a cock pheasant got up again about 4-5 yards ahead of Ted and he sat to the flush and watched it off without moving :hmm: ... so even after his little chase he was ok I guess. 

 

 

The trainer wasn't worried, he said he thought he had a lot of potential it was just usual novice mistakes I have made, he said he should be able to train the dog but he's not sure he could make me any less useless :lol: 

My mate has taken to calling Ted ... Super Ted ... as he takes off so well ... trainer reckons he just needs lots and lots of game exposure so he isn't so excited by seeing game or birds around, bit more game finding in cover and he should be ok. He said If I want to run him in a trial I will need to get him on those shoot over days people put on, as the lads trialling will have their dogs out 3-4 days a week being shot over, and the dog needs to learn gun sense and have game experience. I knew this bit anyway and was what I was hoping to work towards so sounds good anyways. 

 

Our wee Ted is certainly a bit driven when he gets excited. I was watching Simon Tyers training dvd the other day, he takes his dog in a rabbit pen and let's it chase to get it hunting, rabbit chase after chase. Then he goes "right time to steady the dog now"... and when it runs in he shouts "NO!!" at the dog which immediately stops within 3-4 stops, he places the dog back and does this about 3-5 times and after that his dog doesn't chase again :lol: ... if only it was that easy eh?! I imagine all the perfect foundations before hand might have helped unlike me bumpling along making the mistakes that I did. 

 

 

 

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Well done I think Ted running at the pheasants he saw is probably down to letting him loose on runner's a bit soon. I only started to let Stan have the odd one last season and those were selective so not to ruin him 👍

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9 minutes ago, B725 said:

Well done I think Ted running at the pheasants he saw is probably down to letting him loose on runner's a bit soon. I only started to let Stan have the odd one last season and those were selective so not to ruin him 👍

Bit more work to do it seems eh ... we'll get there.

 

I took him up the farm today for an hour, first we stood about where some pigeons were coming past. I fired some shots up in the air whilst he sat next to me. Half the times I just fired when there wasn't even anything there. I will keep doing this so he gets de-sensitized to someone shooting next to him, so he doesn't think there's something to run off to. 

He also took a line on a bit of scent, he drove through very thick cover to push something out, I didn't see what it was but after pushing through he came right back when called. 

 

To finished I hunted up the border of a field, I was hoping for a rabbit to flush and a shot (if he stopped) but no luck, so instead I threw a ball past as he was running and fired at it (he had stopped on the flush / throw) ... I made him wait a bit before being sent for the retireve. we did 3 of these, then I gave him a drink and we headed home :) 

 

WE saw the farmer and his wife on the way back, stayed 2m apart but did manage to get a look at a 3 day own calf that his wife had been bottle feeding the last few days :) and he told me they found some pheasant eggs abandoned in their flower bed, so the farmer stuck them in the incubator and has hatched them out, and they now have 12 pheasant chicks kicking around lol. 

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1 hour ago, B725 said:

Well done I think Ted running at the pheasants he saw is probably down to letting him loose on runner's a bit soon. I only started to let Stan have the odd one last season and those were selective so not to ruin him 👍


I agree with this mind mate think just generally taking him out to soon and not proofing the behaviour and steadiness. 
 

Oh to be able to go back and tell yourself not to make those mistakes eh.  

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1 minute ago, Lloyd90 said:


I agree with this mind mate think just generally taking him out to soon and not proofing the behaviour and steadiness. 
 

Oh to be able to go back and tell yourself not to make those mistakes eh.  

Buy Lloyd, what good progress you have made considering that you took him out shooting when he was nine or ten months old at a time when he couldn't possibly have been either trained or steady.

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3 minutes ago, JDog said:

Buy Lloyd, what good progress you have made considering that you took him out shooting when he was nine or ten months old at a time when he couldn't possibly have been either trained or steady.

Yes I remember, 

He was steady to throwing stuff past him but not really hunting with much enthusiasm. The great thinking was to get him onto some scent and game to get him going. 
 

He was only a pup I should have left him, and done more intro to game in controlled environments but I suppose you live and learn. I also have far far better contacts and access to facilities now from training Ted and meeting lots of other trainers and folk. 
 

Mind you I also now know a lot of trainers who will let a dog chase when about that age, but they won’t let the dog see a bird come down, perhaps my fatal mistake. 
 

I’ll try not to make the same mistakes with the pup we are hoping to get in 7 weeks ... although I imagine I will make new mistakes 😂 too far the other way perhaps who knows! 
 

 

I know plenty lads who are not fussed with all this steady to flush and shot stuff, they are just happy if their dog flushes within gun range and brings the bird back, even dropping it at their feet. 

I am quite critical and keep trying to get him finished to a high standard... even at 2 years old he is still young ... I’m not sure what age they're considered mature but let’s hope to get there some day :) 
 

 

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39 minutes ago, JDog said:

Buy Lloyd, what good progress you have made considering that you took him out shooting when he was nine or ten months old at a time when he couldn't possibly have been either trained or steady.

Not so sure Jdog, this is little Stan at 11months on boxing day he never moved but it was only because I was totally confident in him and aware of his capabilities. 

me_copy_480x480.jpg

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Out tonight with the rifle, Ted stayed at home but I went out with Oowee off here, strictly social distancing of course, seperate vehicles, stayed apart etc. He stood away from me using his thermal spotter and I managed to pick off 3 decent sized rabbits. 

Ted had one out the front just now, teasing him with it as he has never picked a rabbit before just birds. Lots of playing and fuss and managed to get him to pick it and bring it to me holding it. 

 

He didn't manage to repeat it again though ... just not confident yet is all ... 3 rabbits in the freezer now, I will take one out when needed and do a bit of training with it before disposing of it. should get 3 decent sessions this way at least ... perhaps put one out ... hunt Ted on some scent of dragging it about ... fire a shot, then send him for it ... nice bit of training. 

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Good idea, you can skin the rabbit and wrap it’s pelt around a canvas dummy too -   1/2 wrap then full wrap. They very quickly get used to the texture of fur and so you will not need the rabbit dummy for long. 

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Been out three times this week. 

 

I think it might have been Sunday I took Ted up the farm where we have a small shoot, we stayed out of the woods but stood under some trees near a dung pile where pigeons usually like to land. 

No pigeons came in but I fired several shots into the air when Ted couldn't see what was about, he was getting excited at first but soon settled. A bit more of this so he gets used to just sitting still next to me with shots going off and not moving. 

On the way back Ted pushed into some thick cover and pushed something out, either a hare or a small deer :hmm: ... he drove it to the end of cover and was out of sight momentarily, not sure if hs considered a chase but I whilstled him back and he was back with me in a few seconds. I was very pleased that he went into thick cover to flush. 

 

 

 

Then on Wednesday night I went up my mates small holding. 40 English partridge eggs arrived which his son is going to hatch out for fun and are in the incubator. My mate has a big field that is for dogs so Ted got to stand out in there with his 3 dogs and just have some dog time, they also had their horse there. Ted was carefully supervised but showed no interest in the horse and didn't show any fear but just stayed away from it, so I was happy with that, nice bit of stock breaking there. 

My mates lad and I then took Ted up the fields nearby where there's normally a few rabbits about, Ted skirted around some cover bushes but dived into one of them and had a good root around before coming back to me, so another good hunt through cover, although he didn't dive in again. We then saw some cows coming over so made a get away. 

 

 

 

Tonight then we headed back up to the farm shoot I am on. We stayed out of the main woods but tucked under some trees where we were hoping for a pigeon. A speedy pigeon came past us at a fair height and I've no idea how but I managed to pull in front of it and absolutely smoke it stone dead in the air. The bird folded up but as it was high up flew well on and landed out in an open field. To get across into this field there was a fairly thick patch of hedge and bramble, I told Ted to get back pointed over the cover, he was hesitant at first but with a bit of encouragement dived into the hedge and climbed over it, I then pointed him in the direction and off he went, took a line, found the bird right away and picked it mint. He started running back to me, got to the cover and thought "SOD THAT!" so just lay down looking at me with the pigeon in his mouth :lol: ... I pointed him further down the hedge and he ran down and came through the gap we used to walk in, he came back to me and delivered the bird to hand :) so I was very very chuffed with that. 

I had about 3-4 more shots fired into the air for nothing and Ted remained sat at my side again being well behaved. After about 45 mins I took him to a big open pond where he had a quick dip to cool off and we headed back to the car. All the way back we stopped past some nettles near the farm house, Ted was very birdy so I was ready, and he jumped into the nettles and flushed a hen pheasant, followed by him sitting to the flush/whilstle. Luckily the bird flew right past me so I was in-between him and the bird, although he never moved. I immediately gave him lots of praise, took the pigeon out of my bag and threw a short retrieve for him as a reward, which he picked and delivered back to hand :) then back home where he has had a good wash down with soapy water and a brush, before his usual tea of a big bowl of meat and some kibble. 

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Took Ted training this Sat, handled him really well in the pen, he managed to flush a few and sat to flush well (although kept him out of the thicker cover). He was going really well and stopped every time.

 

Also did a bit of retrieving work on cold game, he picked his first ever duck, should be handy for the wildfowling club we joined that :) 

We also ran him next to another dog so he gets used to another dog hunting right up next to him in his area, if you're ever in a run off your dog needs to just ignore the other dog and not be put off when the other dog runs into his beat or whatever. 

 

Going to do more training next week, then start training with others as well to increase the complexity and probably increase temptation, such as having to watch the other dog pick or flush or whatever. 

 

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