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Lloyd90

Teds progress

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Drove the 80/90 mins last night to Nick Gregory down in Devon, to use his rabbit pen under his instruction. 

 

Rabbits are thin on the ground at present and Nick had a few in his pen but said he normally has lots more. 

 

Anyways Ted got a few flushes, when he flushed he almost was startled. Nick said he’s just very green and hasn’t fully worked the game out yet. He said the drive and sometimes stopping to go on point almost will all stop once he has lots of experience on game 👍🏻

 

 

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Part 15: Test Results. 

 

Off to the working test this morning, bloody nervous I was! 

We set off this morning early and arrived to get our number, 2nd in the running. 

Met a couple of lads I knew who were attending that I had bumped into at various training bits. 

 

I also met a lot of folk that I’d never seen before and they were very friendly and welcoming. 

 

Ted seemed excited and the atmosphere seemed to have him keen and excited to go. 

 

After a bit of waiting around and the first runner I was up.

I was worrying that I’d let Ted go and hed be flat, but I needn’t have worried. I set him off and he was fast across into the cover. 

He had his nose down and was hunting well, I was concerned that he would pull so I peeped him on each side and he turned well on each peep. 

We hunted up the full length and he was going well, pushing into fallen down branches and cover and getting through the ground well. 

 

Off went the shot about 30 yards+ to my right and the dummy thrown diagonally. 

Ted had dropped to the shot, and seen the dummy. I was told to send him and set him off from the spot he was at. 

He ran over but went wrong side of wind, some wind caught him and he pulled away from the dummy to the wrong side. 

I stopped him on the whistle and got him back to the area where he managed to pick it and then back to me, sat at my feet and head up handed me the dummy lovely. 

We hunted on for a little bit then that was it for our first run. 

The judge was lovely, I’d told him it was my first time and he said not to worry, told me the dog had hunted well and just told me not to talk or make any noise as in a real trial etc you would be marked down. 

 

Then back to ‘the gallery’ to wait until everyone else was done for our blind. 

 

It was anxious waiting, although lots of banter and fun with the other competitions chatting about dogs and having a laugh. 

 

Unfortunately you could only see the first few yards of the wood where the dogs hunted after which they were out of sight. 

Shame this as it would have been good to see the other dogs for comparison. 

 

Anyways after all the runs it was time for the blinds. We were all taken into the wood and stood down a channel. We had to hunt our dog through the cover nearby for about 15 yards then drop to shot. 

Then call the dog to heel and able to send them from our side onto a blind. 

 

The dog before me hunted well, dropped to shot/whistle but when sent out boy took a few steps before stopping and looking at the handler. The bloke tried to get him back a few times but the dog wouldn’t two a straight line although if I recall after several attempts managed to get him in the area and the dummy back. 

 

Then we were up! Off we went, I thought Ted went well right off the blocks, he hunted nose down straight into the cover, working across the ground lovely. 

He worked up as we went, then bang, dropped to shot (no whistle needed). 

I called him to my side and sent him out. He took a straight line out, I said “lost” as he got to the area and he stopped and started looking, found the dummy quickly and picked it, and turned to run back. As he run back I give him a 3x peep on the whistle out of habit! He arrived and sat, head up in the air presenting the dummy lovely. 

And that was the end of our runs!! 

 

A couple of other dogs ran, the 3rd dog hunted very well, went out to the blind then went wrong side of wind and was right out of the area. The bloke managed to get him back and pick it, then the dog ran back and dropped the dummy at his feet. 

 

A nice cocker was later up and hunted well and did the blind no problem, one or two other cockers didn’t finish if I remember right and another bloke went lasting who’s dog hunted well and managed the blind straight out and back. 

His dog had a very uniform hunting pattern during the blind, it was impressive in a way, he went out right, got out, turned and came back the other way almost crossing the blokes feet, to do the same the other side and so on and so forth. He certainly covered every bit of ground. I would have liked to see the main hunting run to see if this pattern was maintained, whilst my dog will sweep back and forth he certainly don’t cross your feet and is more out in front of me and not so rigid. I have thought at times though that I need to tighten up his pattern. 

 

Anyways!! 

 

The results came in, and we had picked up a COM (4th place). Ted had scored a 33 (I can only assume it was out of 20 for hunting and 10 for each retrieve). 

3rd place was a bloke I knew with his lovely little cocker, I think (apologies if I don’t remember the scores exactly) that he had scored a 35. 

2nd I believe was a 36 or 37 with the dog that had run after me. Apparently he was on to win as he hunted so well but had messed up the blind so knocked himself off the spot. 

1st place was the dog that was almost last with the good pattern. It was also the blokes first test and he was a decent bloke I’d had a good chat to him whilst we both waited, and he had a nice little dog, much smaller than big Ted 😂

 

 

We were invited to speak to the judge after wards so I went over and politely asked for some feedback to help me. He was really sound bloke and showed me his book. He’s noted that Ted had been hunting well, but said I was blowing the turn whistle when not needed and would have been better to just leave him go out more and turn naturally, only using the whistle when needed. 

I also lost some points for stopping the dog on the marked, he said have trust in the dog and let him get back onto it, and also I blew the bloody recall on the blind even though the dog was already heading back 😣😣😣😣

the only other thing he said was about Teds pattern hunting out the in-front a bit rather than crossing over nearer to me.  

nightmare!! I’m not sure how many points I lost on those but I think there was only 5ish points between us and 1st place so we did very well. 

 

Very proud of Ted it was me who let the team down but gives us stuff to work on now moving forward and hopefully we can do better again next time and get ourselves a ribbon 👍🏻😂

 

Here he is now home :) 

 

52-E491-F3-1-E13-4-CEA-AFC4-02275-D0974-

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8 hours ago, oowee said:

Well done mate the work is paying off. 👍

Thanks bud 👍🏻

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What a great read this has been, interesting to note what the Judge said, are trials that much different to working tests? I only ask as I have heard of people saying trial dogs are no good as they have had their natural ability stifled,  whereas your Judge said about letting Ted getting back onto it himself?

I'm glad you included the 2 times he took off, I was beginning to think you were making this look too easy. :lol: 

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1 hour ago, Ttfjlc said:

What a great read this has been, interesting to note what the Judge said, are trials that much different to working tests? I only ask as I have heard of people saying trial dogs are no good as they have had their natural ability stifled,  whereas your Judge said about letting Ted getting back onto it himself?

I'm glad you included the 2 times he took off, I was beginning to think you were making this look too easy.  

 

Every single judge likes different things. That particular judge chose a winner that worked side to side in a methodical pattern, covered all the ground just going back and forth, it did a lovely job and fair play to it. 

 

My dog don’t really work like that, he sort of goes back and forth, investigating pockets of scent as he goes, pulling off slightly and coming back. I certainly wouldn’t describe his pattern as uniform 😂 and think it needs a bit of work but I do think it’s quite natural. Just needs a little tightening up. 

 

Hes also a good 5-10 yards in front, as I’ve always considered a dog that’s crossing your feet useless, birds that close you could kick them up 😂

 

some top competitors I know much prefer a dog out in front, they call those close dogs boot polishers. 

 

 

Difference between tests and trials can be massive. A dog that’s brilliant at tests might be a bit mad, you see there isn’t any game about. When Ted hits game / game scent that’s good his hunting goes up a gear, his back end is swinging about and he’s going lovely.

A dog that’s going 110% flat out on nothing is highly driven, but on scent has the possibility to blow its mind. I’ve known folk with these highly driven dogs say they did well on tests but could never finish a novice trial because the dog was too unsteady or they couldn’t control it in the trial. 

 

 

Other dogs (cockers renowned for it) won’t hunt or wont hunt well on scentless ground. It’s simply not worth the bother to them. 

 

 

I spoke to a trailer and FT judge a few weeks back just casually and said at that time my pup was only coming around 12 month and wasn’t hitting into cover and bramble etc as you see some dogs on videos. 

He remarked to me that a dog that will run headfirst into thick horrible cover and smash itself to bits for absolutely no reward is a dog he would consider very stupid and he would have concerns about it’s mental abilities. 

 

A dog that wouldn't hint much without scent however wouldn't be much good in a test, but could go on to do well at trials :) 

 

 

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Oohh sorry I didn’t answer part of your question: 

some people will say a “trial dog is no good”. 

Some lads on here have commented in past threads that they have seen retired trial dogs working on shoots beating or rough shooting and that animal will work their socks off all day long. 

 

People will train a dog for the job they want it for, but a good trial dog should display good game finding ability, natural ability scenting, obedience, good retrieving, handling and just the overall package. 

A good trial dog should just be a highly polished rough shooting dog 👍🏻 I bought my dog to hopefully shoot over myself, not for trialling. 

When I saw the price of sprockers and other working dogs pups they were insane, people wanting £8-900 for a dog who’s parents for all I knew were useless. 

 

Think I paid £600 for Ted and the breeder only had them to keep pups back for himself to run on 👍🏻 

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You have to keep the story going right through the next season and beyond, it's been a good read. Ted came good for you when it mattered. 

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Thanks for 2 very detailed replies, it's quite clear you are putting in a lot of effort which from what I've read is helping Ted a great deal, funnily enough someone said to me a few years ago that cockers only work when they scent something worth hunting for. My son and I both have Labradors, it was my son's first dog and my reason is for wildfowling. I must admit that one of the guns on my dad's DIY syndicate has a lovely black and white Springer, very calm temperament and lacking just that extra drive to not please trial judges but would please me as it would be quite happy sat in a creek on the marsh. :good:

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Not a whole lot been going on lately. I haven’t been taking Ted out much at all due to the heat. 

About 2 weeks ago my Gf let him out and he chased a fox off down the road 😣 with her in hot pursuit. 

 

This last 2 weeks we have done very little, on Sunday just gone I did take Ted to a group training, I got him in a rabbit pen and his first flush he chased, I got out after him and took him back to the flush site and sat him up. 

 

In-between we had some time doing some group exercises, retrieves in-front of other dogs, having to sit whilst other dogs receive in front of him and some water work. His swimming is getting much better not just all splashing now. 

 

At the end I took him in the pen again, he got a good solid flush on a rabbit, almost pushing it out of thick cover with his nose, and then didn’t chase. 

I think mostly because I was so close to him and the bush the rabbit was in was too thick for him to try 😂 but a few more of those and he might start to piece it together I hope :) 

 

 

Also I have entered us both into a novice test coming up next month 🙈 if he goes well on the day he could be alright. Will be happy not to be disqualified 😂

 

 

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Can you get Ted back in the pen fairly soon? If you have access I would try to use it a bit more often. Good luck with the test 👍

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4 hours ago, B725 said:

Can you get Ted back in the pen fairly soon? If you have access I would try to use it a bit more often. Good luck with the test 👍

Yes mate will be in there again soon :) 

 

Also just took him out for a quick 5-10 mins in the wood tonight, hunted well, nose to the ground and hit though the cover that he would normally stop and point. 

Pen seems to have been very useful :) just need to keep it up. 

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Part 16: Ups and Downs. 

 

Been a few ups and downs over the last few weeks. On the upside I have managed to get Ted onto some more scent, and he is hunting well more, nose down etc. We have been in the pen again one more time. 

 

The downs... the ******'s steadiness has gone to pot. I had him somewhat good the other day in my mates pen. I then took him out recently on some gamey ground and he got a flush and chased... he is quick and it is hard to get after him and stop him before he gets going... I then spent about a solid week drilling the stop whistle on gameless ground to the point he stopped really well.

I took him out on some ground with scent and he was hunting very well, then he took a line of scent and was pulling out on me!! I blew the stop and tried to pull him back closer and ran towards him but too late and he was off 😮 He went through a field and was gone for a good 3-4 mins. I had my heart in my throat... very worried. I can only assume he must have flushed a deer or something... after a few minutes of worry I saw him slinking back all low. I didn't bother telling him off as I thought too late at that point, so I just stuck on the lead and took him home... I am being very hesitant now on game as I am worried this may become a bad habit... 

 

 

 

On the upside, our other training has been going well... a few weeks ago I entered into a charity novice test to have a run. I was a bit worried as we have only run in that puppy test and there were only about 8 dogs in that.

Well we were running in a group of 22 dogs today.

 

Up 5th we were, after waiting our turn we were up, Ted set off well, hunted with his nose down and covered the ground well, he had a really good flow about side to side. He dropped to the shot, didn't see the marked retrieve because it was behind a tree, but he heard the dummy drop, went on command and picked it perfect and brought it back to hand. I found out at the end that our first run we scored 45/50. (36/40 for hunting and 9/10 for the retrieve). 

Instead of swapping dogs, we then swapped over to the other side with the other judge, and immediately had our second run.

Unfortunately the cover on this side was quite thick with a fair bit of bramble. Ted paused instead of smashing into it, and was a bit stop and go. He ran about, stopped and look at me, ran about, and was noted to 'bounce'. Nowhere near as good as his first run 😞, he dropped to shot lovely, and we then had a blind behind us. 

I checked the wind, but was bloody nervous, and sent the dog wrong side of the wind!! School boy error. He struggled to find due to this and I had to redirect him. Once I got him onto the right side of wind, he scented it and picked it straight up. If only I hadn't ******** that up.  

We only scored 23 / 50 on our second run 😞 18/40 for hunting and 5/10 for the retrieve. 

 

Out of the 22 dogs that ran we did manage to come 7th with a total of 68/100 and received another Certificate of Merit from the judges, so noted as a good dog with strong potential. The dogs that won were damn good dogs mind, they hunted well, stylish, nose down and good speed. 

 

 

The dog that won in 1st place scored 91/100, 2nd scored 84, 3rd had 77 and 4th had 74... If only our second run had gone as well as our first lol! 

However we are home now and very happy with our effort. Dogs is only 15 months and we were running against some much older more experienced dogs so a good performance. 

Just need to get him hunting for longer without stopping and looking at me. Trying to get it more fluid and keep him going :) 

 

I am also going to hold off going onto game for a while and try to polish some more aspects of his training. Lots to do :) 

 

 

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Part 17: More lessons.

 

Another trip today, this time off to see Simon Jones down in Somerset. Unfortunately the trainers we have worked with previously don't have a game pen or access to game / scent around me, so I have gone down to see a different trainer. It's a bit of a pain bouncing around trainers a bit, but I don't think the dog will learn how to behave on game in the absence of it.

 

I met Simon at the working test last weekend and was recommended to see him so set that up for this morning.

 

Down we went and met with him, and out in his field doing a bit of hunting, showing him the stop, pattern etc. He said I had done a good job with the basics, and the dog stopped well and knew the commands, as well as handles well. He said he often has people come down who say they have trained the stop etc, but when they practice it normally goes wrong, he said he was pleasantly surprised by myself and Ted and we are one of the small majority who actually do it :) 

We did some hunting, retrieving etc and all went well. Following a good start he said that we would have a go in the rabbit pen.

 

Ted hunted very well, hit ground well, good flow and pattern, he hit a line of scent that a rabbit had taken and pulled out ahead. Simon remarked that he had great drive when he is on game, which is a blessing and a curse. In the tests it is on scentless/gameless ground so hard to show off an amazing hunter. Ted was so much better in the rabbit pen, however when he really hits that scent that's where the control can be lost. 

 

We hunted on a bit but again he pulled out too much again, and Simon noted that he wasn't quite ready for being loose in the pen, but it was good to get an assessment of how he is doing and what to work on. He advised in future that we would need to set up the flush situation so we are positioned to intercept Ted if he tries to chase or pull on ahead.

 

Instead we went off and did some work flushing some dove's that he keeps. We had 3 good flushes on these without chasing so that was positive. 

Was a good day and showed me how to work on some of the things I would want to polish and improve. 

 

I think I will need a very structured intro to game. He advised me I would have no problem with his drive, however will need to be careful once he's on game to avoid a dog that's just ******* off on a jolly having the time of his life without me.

 

 

 

 

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Down for another lesson with Simon this morning.

 

Before going down we have been really working on control, sending the dog for a dummy and stopping him right on top of it. Previously Ted would stop on the whistle if less than half way there, but once over halfway he wouldn't stop. I really tightened up on him, chasing down and not letting him get away with it.

 

Well when we arrived Simon asked us to try this, and we gave it a go. Ted stopped literally within 1ft of the dummy both times we tried. Simon remarked that the control is there and the dog knows the game. 

 

We then moved on to some planted birds to be flushed. Off we went, Ted hunting very well, and flushed the first bird. Up it went and he looked shocked, but he sat and didn't move. Lots and lots of praise and we did this 3 more times in different spots and he flushes and sat all 4 times with no attempt to chase at all. Brilliant start. 

 

After this and a short break into the rabbit pen we go. Ted was hunting well, he ignored the turn once but I told him off and he was hunting very well, staying in range and turning exactly when told. Then we got his first proper flush, and AWAY HE GOES!!!  I run after the ****** and dragged him back, and we worked him on again. There were a couple flushes but they were far ahead and not flushes by him. He stopped when I whilstled when I saw a rabbit go ahead and then could come past ish and he stayed put, but then on to another flush and chase 😞 

 

We ended up then putting him on a long line just sat up, and Simon walked round flushing rabbits to run past him. He sat still with neither of us near him, with rabbits running right past him. A few ran within 5-6 feet in front of him right past an he did not move. 

 

He just needs to start flushing and not chasing and we are laughing. On the upside he was nice and steady to birds, and Simon said he would benefit greatly from getting onto game this season beating in a small shoot under very controlled conditions. Luckily Shootingegg on here has a small shoot that would be Ideal for just such work and I will be taking him along. 

I think finding some birds and flushing in cover will really bring on his hunting and just need to keep tight on him to not chase birds. 

 

Am going back down to Simon to keep working on the rabbits, will hunt him on the long line next time so we get him a good flush with no movement hopefully. 

 

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It's coming together just a bit more training and all will be good 👍

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1 hour ago, B725 said:

It's coming together just a bit more training and all will be good 👍

The boys likes the bunnies lol! 

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Part 18: The stop is on! 

 

Down again and in the pen today. On arrival we were straight in the pen for business. I had a long line with me and put Ted on a collar, and then on the long line before setting him off.

Off he went but a bit slower, you could tell he knew he was on the long line. He hunted well and after about a minute he flushed... AND SAT RIGHT AWAY!!!! first time no line needed. So SImon said take the line off, it isn't needed. This was the scary part. Line off and away we went. 

 

He was a bit sticky today and wasn't going with a lot of pace or as much as he can do, however he hunted on and flushes a quail, and sits to flush. We hunt him on and again flushes another rabbit, and sits to flush again!!  :) although there were one or two rabbits nearby that really he should have flushesd but wasn't quite getting that contact on. Maybe being told off for the chase, has caused him to be a bit apprehensive when he thinks one might be about, 

 

Anyways we hunted on after a break to give him a breather and he had a proper contact flush on a rabbit and finally again sits to flush. Rabbit up and away right in front of him :D Very happy with that performance. 

 

We then did a bit of blind distance retrieving on some partridge that were shot y'day and that was it. Very happy with that progress and the pieces coming together. 

My work now coming into the season will be to introduce Ted onto as much game as possible and get him really hunting. If he is going to trial he really needs to go up a few gears, so its all based on how he takes to game and how his drive develops. Whilst also keeping him steady to game. 

 

I am not naive enough to think 3 flushes and sits means he is now steady on game, and imagine it could easily go all wrong out in the field. I will have to keep on top of him this season whilst also working to introduce as much as possible. 

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2 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

Part 18: The stop is on! 

 

Down again and in the pen today. On arrival we were straight in the pen for business. I had a long line with me and put Ted on a collar, and then on the long line before setting him off.

Off he went but a bit slower, you could tell he knew he was on the long line. He hunted well and after about a minute he flushed... AND SAT RIGHT AWAY!!!! first time no line needed. So SImon said take the line off, it isn't needed. This was the scary part. Line off and away we went. 

 

He was a bit sticky today and wasn't going with a lot of pace or as much as he can do, however he hunted on and flushes a quail, and sits to flush. We hunt him on and again flushes another rabbit, and sits to flush again!!   although there were one or two rabbits nearby that really he should have flushesd but wasn't quite getting that contact on. Maybe being told off for the chase, has caused him to be a bit apprehensive when he thinks one might be about, 

 

Anyways we hunted on after a break to give him a breather and he had a proper contact flush on a rabbit and finally again sits to flush. Rabbit up and away right in front of him Very happy with that performance. 

 

We then did a bit of blind distance retrieving on some partridge that were shot y'day and that was it. Very happy with that progress and the pieces coming together. 

My work now coming into the season will be to introduce Ted onto as much game as possible and get him really hunting. If he is going to trial he really needs to go up a few gears, so its all based on how he takes to game and how his drive develops. Whilst also keeping him steady to game. 

 

I am not naive enough to think 3 flushes and sits means he is now steady on game, and imagine it could easily go all wrong out in the field. I will have to keep on top of him this season whilst also working to introduce as much as possible. 

glad ted has put a smile on your face   ,  you put the effort in now reap the rewards,  looks an absolute little cracker   

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Thank you lads.

 

Have been offered a go on a partridge training day next week which I think we will attend. Could all go wrong but it's not just being hosted by anyone a lot of good trialling lads it turns out are going so I think I will be in the right company should I need it. 

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Well that’s one way of doing it 

never needed a rabbit pen and all mine are and have been steady to rabbits 

always chose the easy option 

hope you have a good day on the partridge Saturday 

only advice I would offer is remember your dog is better to succeed at less and move on to more 

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16 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

Well that’s one way of doing it 

never needed a rabbit pen and all mine are and have been steady to rabbits 

always chose the easy option 

hope you have a good day on the partridge Saturday 

only advice I would offer is remember your dog is better to succeed at less and move on to more 

 

Good advice that mate 👍🏻

 

Re the rabbits, if your in an area that has loads about it’s much easier to steady to them than if you don’t have them around. 

Thin on the ground in lots of places these days, whilst others are lucky and have thousands.

 

 

 

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