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Old 11-17-2009, 06:10 AM   #1
Lars
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Default How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

I have a Lab/Golden mix that I'd like to take upland hunting. Are there any good resources out there that can help me.

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Old 11-17-2009, 07:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

You don't teach a dog to hunt. It's all about proper exposure (to hunting situations) and allowing the dog to utilize what we hope has been bred in. If it's not bred in, it can't be taught.

Take the dog out as much as you can and let it show you what it's got. Not going to happen overnight so show a lot of patience and don't get discouraged. Lots of birds builds hunting dogs. There are no shortcuts.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

She's still a pup. She loves chasing birds and tries to get the ducks when we go to the Clackamas to fetch in the river.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

The one thing you can work on is tracking drills so the dog learns that all good things comes through it's nose. Put a hotdog on a fishing rod and drag it around the yard with a treat at the end of the trail. Start out short and straight and gradually lengthen the drag and add turns as the pup progresses. Don't use birds for a while as they may distract the dog from the actual task. Pay attention to the wind and always have the dog track with a crosswind if you can or a tailwind. Don't overdo this (or any) training. One or two tracks a day is enough

How old is the pup?

When you have the pup in the field, don't talk to it or offer any kind of instruction beyond what is necessary to keep it safe. The dog must develop independence, range, a decent search and use of nose. They won't learn this stuff if you try to control their movements or have them on a leash or check cord. Give the pup it's freedom.

Hope you're not forgetting "fetch".
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Upland training does take a lot of time, can't be rushed, and from my experience has as much to do with the dog's ability to use his nose and hunt drive more than your training.

I am no expert but have had decent upland hunter success with my labs. Here's a couple of things I have done (right or wrong but they work for me)

I hide bumpers in the field, put scent on them and drag a few also. Work him into the wind and see if he finds them. When he finds them most labs seem to pause a second or two before pouncing on it. That is the time to work him on steady. I have had great sucess teaching my labs to point that way. Work close with him in a controlled situation. When he is trailing you know where the drag trail was, read the dog, as he gets excited with the scent, get excited with him, you are both having fun together finding birds. Keep it a game.

The next thing I do is play fetch running him in the field ahead of me. I whistle to keep him in range so he gets used to what seperation space is OK, even better if there are 2 of us as he will quarter between us both. Then I make a wing flush noise, throw the bumper, shoot a cap gun, whistle blast for whoa, and he should sit. When the commotion is over send him for a retrieve. This keeps him steady to shot so he does not chase flushing birds.

Once you have basic field work done in a controlled situation you need hot birds. Go on 2 or 3 preserve hunts, have someone else shoot and you do nothing but focus on the dog and work him with the whistle and drag rope. Especially at first set up the bird so you know where it is and can control the situation. Bottom line is don't go too fast, accept what you get, all labs are not upland hunters, and learn to read your dog. Good luck.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Pickup Wolters book it is still about the best around.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Ha ha.....When you get serious about upland hunting you'll graduate to a good pointing breed....one of the versatiles....certainly raises the bar a bit..... Sorry.... Can't help myself sometimes.....
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

I taught my lab to fetch bring back and drop. how to find things (hidden doggy treats and phesant fethers) with the comand where's da birdy-find it. Then when he was old enough we went on a caned hunt he followed the other dogs for about 4 birds and then he started huntin on his own. I think he flushed and retrived a limit of phesent that day. After that he just seemed to know what was happening when I pulled out the shotty. He is 12 years now and retired but was a great weekend warrior in his day hunting duck,phesant,goose,dove,chucker and his favroite -mountian grouse.

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Old 11-17-2009, 12:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

You wil probably find that your lab/golden mix hunting upland birds will not be of much value out of gun range. Work hard on obedience and keeping the dog close to you. Then plant pigeons with flight feather's pulled and let the pup catch all it want's on the ground. You will reach a point where the dog stays with you and loves catching the birds, that's when you dizzy a few pigeon's and turn the dog loose on them. If it catches it, no problem. It woin't catch them all and those you'll shoot for it.

You want obed to keep the dog in gun range.
You want flight impaired birds to run around on the ground and encourage the dog to charge them. Do that and the dog will charge in on a wild bird believeing it can catch it. It won't but won't matter, you'll shoot them for it. You don't allow your dog to catch lots of birds on the ground and you could create a blinker. Blinkers let birds run out rather than putting them in the air. The dog needs to learn, never hesitate!
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

When I hunted with labs I wanted them to range no further than 30 yds max since they don't hold birds like pointers do & be prepared to walk a lot compared to the pointing breeds because they don't cover the ground the same way. I enjoyed hunting with our labs but that was years ago before I slowed down & began to apply the motto old age & treachery & learned to let my 4 legged buddy run all over creation while I amble along & wait to shoot over a nice steady point.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

I used the Wolters technique of laying out bumpers in the soccer field, maybe six or so in a staggered left and right at the hashmarks and wider to work on direction control and windshield wiper techniques, a tweet tweet on the whistle, work to the right, right arm extended to one and then work the other way as you zig zag.

I remember just me and 4 Labs hunting out east, hit the whistle and change direction and they all turned in unison, sweeet.

Do the soccer drill at night to reduce their reliance on eyesight.

Trailing
While your up at night, get a frozen training bird, wet it in the sink, get the broom and string and drag a trail from your front steps to your neighbors Junipers down the sidewalk. Then let the dog out. Night time helps them reduce reliance on eyesight. A lot more fun after a few beers.

The other trick is to get a live wingclipped bird, hold the dog and let the bird run off down a road and into cover about 30 yds or more. The dog sees the bird run, then the dog can't see the bird and has to switch to nose mode.
Good trailing skills brings your dog up a few notches beyond just winding a bird.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
You wil probably find that your lab/golden mix hunting upland birds will not be of much value out of gun range. Work hard on obedience and keeping the dog close to you. Then plant pigeons with flight feather's pulled and let the pup catch all it want's on the ground. You will reach a point where the dog stays with you and loves catching the birds, that's when you dizzy a few pigeon's and turn the dog loose on them. If it catches it, no problem. It woin't catch them all and those you'll shoot for it.

You want obed to keep the dog in gun range.
You want flight impaired birds to run around on the ground and encourage the dog to charge them. Do that and the dog will charge in on a wild bird believeing it can catch it. It won't but won't matter, you'll shoot them for it. You don't allow your dog to catch lots of birds on the ground and you could create a blinker. Blinkers let birds run out rather than putting them in the air. The dog needs to learn, never hesitate!
Great technique....it's so simple too! The dog learns what that nose is for on the end of its face and boldness to get the birds into the air. Add in obedience and you just taught a retriever how to upland hunt (if it has the genes to make it "go" of course).
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Use lots of birds. Remote launchers are a great idea to have a dog either trail or quarter a field. If you don't not have access to a launcher, you can plant birds (pheasants, chuckers quail etc) you can hypostise a bird by spinning it then tucking its head under its wing. The bird will stay until the dog finds it. Remember to mark or know the locations. Handle your dog by quartering the area and work them into the bird. When the bird rises, have your training partner shoot the bird. You make sure the dog sits to the flush. Once the bird is down, give the dog the command to retrieve. If you want to teach to trail. Clip a bird so it can fly by not well. Let the bird go in tall grass then take the dog to where the bird went into the grass and give the command trail (or whatever you want to use) you will see the dog get on the birds trail, again when he flushes it have your training partner shoot the bird and you concentrate on getting the dog to sit to the flush. Then have the dog retrieve the downed bird.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Once the dog finds a couple coveys of birds, it will either love the game or will not care to much. Either way it is a retriever and will most likely get your birds after the shot. Labs are flushing dogs, once they get fresh sent they will blow right through the coveys. It is hard to keep up with them for about 5 hours, then they seem to be tripping you the rest of the day.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

This is one area where I think an old dog can teach a young one some tricks. If you know someone with a good flushing retriever, it won't hurt to tag along. Another is to hunt with a partner, both of you would whistle the dog to encourage quartering. The best thing is lots and lots of birds.

I had a good weekend with my young chessie, he tracked, flushed and retrieved his first pheasant!!!!! Love to watch a young dog put 2+2 together!
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:55 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Lars,
More info on your dog would help.

Some good advice here, some not so good.

First off, obedience! Dog should come when called, safety issue here! No fun having one that wont listen.

Gunshy, has the dog properly been introduced to gunfire?

Birds , Will the dog retrieve a bird to hand without roughing, chomping, eating etc????? (Don, letting them catch all the birds they can is about the worst advice you could give)

These three things are the very basics. Get these things in place an go hunt.

Added benefits. Handling. Can the dog be handled to birds that it hasnt seen fall? Just about every skill you would teach a ret for waterfowling has a use in upland hunting, extremely useful in recovering birds your friends pointer wont or cant!!

I spend a lot more time on the above than I do worring about tracking and and that stuff. (though quartering can be useful). If the dog has any desire at all for birds it will figure it out quickly. Not to say birds are not important, but more time training will serve you well.

Books, You can train with wolters, but there have been lots of improvements to methods since it was written.. I started my dog with wolters books in 1987. Went to a 10 singles event in 1988 and found out I was missing out on a bunch of stuff. Newer material;In no particular order, 10 minute retriever,, Smartfetch or smartworks by Evan Graham. Tri Tronics "Trained retrieve"

As you look at the pic below, just remember how worn out your lab will be, not from hunting, but from retrieving all the birds youll shoot for it!!! Dont I look exhausted? (you wont walk any further than the pointer dudes)
All these were shot over retrievers!!! Sorry Orhunter, couldnt help myself!!!






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Old 11-19-2009, 01:34 PM   #18
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Great photo and advice.....
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Great advise here. I would like to emphasise two points to Lars' original question about using a flushing dog as an upland hunter.

Obedience is the key. He must stay close to you. When he doesn't you must be able to stay close to him. No matter how tired and sore your dog is, no matter how obedient he is, there will come a time he is on a hot pheasant running ahead of you and you will loose control of the dog. He will run ahead of you and blow the bird out of range unless you are 1) able to keep the dog close to you until the point the scent is so hot he looses control and 2) you can run after him for a short distance. If he is out of gun range when he gets a hot scent no way you will catch him and if you can't physically run after him, no way this will work. Better to keep him at heel and use him as a retriever. I have NEVER seen a lab, no matter how well trained that would whoa when he was hot on the heels of a running rooster.

You must work as a team and walk the same ground as he does. A flushing dog can not range like a pointer and even if you have him trained to point, he will never be able to corner and hold birds like a pointer. You must be on top of him all the time and work the cover together. When it comes together it can be very rewarding, watching good dog work is satisfaction by itself. Having an out of control dog run ahead of you will ruin the day.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:03 PM   #20
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OGR:

Ain't pointin' dogs great????!!!
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:37 PM   #21
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

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Ain't pointin' dogs great????!!!
YES It is a totally different hunt over pointers. The dog covers ground, not you. You are almost always ready for the shot. Still, I love hunting over labs but to be successful it is a different more physically demanding hunt. Watching him read scents up close and personal is fun - (I'll keep telling myself that until I can't run after my lab and I get a pointer).

It can be done however. I shot 3 roosters this weekend at Wasco, every one was over a point my lab made. It was windy and the birds were holding tight in the coolies. Could not pull it off in the stubble fields however, there is where a pointer would be superb.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:13 AM   #22
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Having hunted uplands with both a lab and GSP although the lab may be the better dog for catails ECT, there is no comparison in the open field IE chukar, Huns. Pheasent in the grain.



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Old 11-20-2009, 07:53 AM   #23
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Relatively few dogs are born hard mouth. They are made hard mouth by handler/trainers that jerk things out of their mouth, kids and adults that play tug of war and improper retrieve training. Therefore allowing the flushing dog to catch birds on the ground by itself present's no problems. What it does do is encourage the dog to go agressively to the bird and catch it. In doing that the dog learns that it can catch birds on the ground and will rush wild birds putting them in the air befor they run out. The dog discouraged from catching pigeons on the ground is called a pointing dog, we don't want them to think they can catch a bird but rather that they can't. That reinforces the hesitation we call a point. When you see the flushing dog hestiate like that it's called a blink. It's also called a blink when either a flushing dog or a pointing dog make game then leave it. The blink when the dog leaves a bird, the blink when the flusher hesitates befor the flush and the pointer that thinks it can catch a bird on the ground are all man made problems, just like the majority of hard mouth.

Now should hard mouth appear it can usually be remidied fairly simply thru force training. Should blinking appear it to can be remedied by allowing the dog to catch birds on the ground. Where it gets harder to to overcome blinking is when to young a dog get's the snot slapped out of it by a crippled bird, usually a wild pheasant. I found force fetch to work very well in getting a dog over that.

So I will say it again, if you want a flusher that absolutely puts birds in the air, let it catch a lot of birds on the ground with flight feathers removed. And BTW, learn to properly retrieve train your dog, force or otherwise, and avoid hard mouth problems.

EDIT: Takes a bit for my service to get up photo's and I didn't see llama's photo. Really nice! Don't forget to pick up that pop can when you leave!

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Old 11-20-2009, 07:57 AM   #24
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

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Having hunted uplands with both a lab and GSP although the lab may be the better dog for catails ECT, there is no comparison in the open field IE chukar, Huns. Pheasent in the grain.
I agree 100%

I also apologize to all you pointer guys - saying a lab points must be blasphemy compared to a pointer's point. A lab point is really a controlled stall before the flush. A pointer point is containment of the bird. Even though in both cases you are ready for the shot before the flush there IS a difference.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:42 AM   #25
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

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I have NEVER seen a lab, no matter how well trained that would whoa when he was hot on the heels of a running rooster.
Really? I blow the whistle and my dog's butt better hit the ground! The first lab that I had was not trained (married into that dog), and yeah, you really needed to be wearing Nike's when she hit bird scent. But what a nose! Missed that dog when the ex left!
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:01 AM   #26
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Don, respectfully I disagree with you that a "blink" from a flushing dog is a problem. I look at it as a solution. If he does not blink he hits the scent, runs after the bird, and puts it up in the are as quick as he can. I am not ready and many times out of position or in marginal range for a good shot. When he blinks he stops short of the bird and stares at it. You can draw a straight line from the tip of his tail to his nose and it goes straight to the bird. He will hold that position for 20 seconds to 2 minutes - I have time to get ready and my buddy in position also prior to the shot. If the bird does not flush on it's own I encourage Boomer to get the bird and he is released to flush it. As a flushing dog owner, I'll take some liberties and call that a point. I have never seen any of the labs, goldens, or springers I have hunted over in 40 years loose their drive or pass up birds because they were taught to "blink".

James, my hat is off to you if you can whoa your lab when he is hot on a running rooster. Not many dogs are that obedient with a nose full of pheasant.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:48 AM   #27
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

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Ain't pointin' dogs great????!!!

What are they afraid of?
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:02 PM   #28
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

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Ain't pointin' dogs great????!!!

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Old 11-20-2009, 12:31 PM   #29
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

To be honest I don't know if I'm up to the task. I really wanted to get back into bird hunting now that my son is old enough to go. I guess I had visions of the 2 of us and the dog hunting. She is 18 months and a pretty good retriever. We've done some bumper work down at the river, and for the most part she does real well. She does like to swim after the ducks though.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:49 PM   #30
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

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Don, respectfully I disagree with you that a "blink" from a flushing dog is a problem. I look at it as a solution. If he does not blink he hits the scent, runs after the bird, and puts it up in the are as quick as he can. I am not ready and many times out of position or in marginal range for a good shot. When he blinks he stops short of the bird and stares at it. You can draw a straight line from the tip of his tail to his nose and it goes straight to the bird. He will hold that position for 20 seconds to 2 minutes - I have time to get ready and my buddy in position also prior to the shot. If the bird does not flush on it's own I encourage Boomer to get the bird and he is released to flush it. As a flushing dog owner, I'll take some liberties and call that a point. I have never seen any of the labs, goldens, or springers I have hunted over in 40 years loose their drive or pass up birds because they were taught to "blink".

James, my hat is off to you if you can whoa your lab when he is hot on a running rooster. Not many dogs are that obedient with a nose full of pheasant.
Old Guy a blink is different than what you are describing. Your describing an unfinished flushing dog that can't be steadied. Big difference. In what your talking about the dog is "huped" until the handler closes the range. When that does happen it should happen with the dog hitting scent at the outer edge of shooting range. Read James post right befor your's. That is exactly what a finished flusher does. Most people do not see the value of the finished dog but there is one right there.

When the dog blinks one of two things will happen. Either it will obviously scent game and befor flushing hesitate or it will scent game and turn away from it. The dog that hesitates gives the bird the opertunity to run rather than flush. The dog that does not hesitate puts the bird in the air!

Talk about the finished dog a minute. In the blind a dog that is finished will be steady till it is sent to retrieve. llama pointed out somewhere about a bunch of birds down and he is right. If the dog breaks befor it is sent hell breaks loose and the self employed dog can't be ccontrolled to birds down that may be crippled but rather take the bird they saw fall. Another thing is that the dog will be fixed on that one bird and that one only, it has no idea other birds might be down. Contary to that, I have seen retriever's do just that and actually see another bird fall on the way to the first and they leave the first if the second is closer, finished dogs don't do that. In the pointing dog word the finished dog need be steady till sent to retrieve. If not it may only not see a couple of birds down but like the retriever in the blind becomes in harms way from it's own handler who may well be preoccupied with shooting, bang and you have a shot dog. Doesn't happen often but I have a friend that shot his own lab in the head just like that. In the flushing dog world the finished dog "hup's" as soon as the bird is flushed. Some make a tremendious leap at the bird flushing but they hit the ground sitting. Any dog chasing a low flying bird is in harms way, much to close to the sight line! There is of course the other reason for the steady dog that I touched on with the retriever. Multilpe birds down and a moving dog can't mark them, that's a very well trained dog to be pulled back and sent on lines and handled into those extra birds. What most hunter's do, with any of the breeds is to shoot and when the shooting is done take the dog to the area and hunt dead. Waterfowl hunter's without finished dogs get their dog back and throw rocks and sticks in the direction of the next down bird. Finished dogs in any type, await command and take direction.

llama will have to help me out here. On long blinds I think that the handler directs the dog into the area, from a start line, and has the dog hunt dead in the area. The dog start's sitting at the handlers side, a sitting dog is under control, and is given a line by the handler to the area. I believe they not only use a haand but also body position which is why it is necessary the dog be sitting squarely next to the handler.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:03 PM   #31
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

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Originally Posted by Old Guys Rule View Post
James, my hat is off to you if you can whoa your lab when he is hot on a running rooster. Not many dogs are that obedient with a nose full of pheasant.
It's because he's not a lab! Just a well electrified chessie! He doesn't do it now, poor old guy's hearing is gone. Now the puppy, well, let's just say we have a ways to go! But it is nice to whistle sit 'em while you catch up, I'm a lot slower these days.

Lars, just get your dog out, most retrievers will pick it up pretty quickly.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:57 PM   #32
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Don I don't mean to beat a dead horse but I don't understand what you are getting at. You have obviously run and trained pointers and upland dogs a bunch and I am genuinely interested in your opinion.

I don't understand why you are calling my dog an unfinished flusher. He stops short of the bird if it holds still and points until the bird flushes or I send him in to flush it. If the bird creeps or runs out on him he follows it and generally puts it up in the air within 20 feet. What should I do different and why?

When the bird flushes he sits and watches the commotion. HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO CHASE BIRDS! Real safety thing here - we did a number or preserve hunts where I did nothing but work the dog so he did not chase birds. He is a good retriever who takes a line and hand signals. I am not a pro but no slouch either just like the duck blind he is suposed to be steady to shot. Retrieving is not an issue at all and yes 30 years ago I had a pocket of rocks, now I whistle and point.

So my question is you seem to want him to have the drive and flush the bird in the air without stopping but when the bird flushes not chase them? How do you train that? Again I am not being stupid I genuinely do not understand what your expectations of a flushing dog are and I am trying to understand better your suggestions. Thanks!

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Old 11-20-2009, 04:17 PM   #33
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Rob I did not mean to call your dog an unfinished flusher. I've never seen it nor do I recall reading a lot about it. The remarks I made of finished dogs were general about some of the things a finished dog does. Examples to show the difference between a dog the blinks and one that isn't steady. Now if you were to go to an upland dog site and ask for a deffination of a finished dog, the answer's would be all over the board. But IMO the description's of finished dogs is in the different dogs breed clubs. In that case I don't think you'd find the discriptions I gave for Springer's but for an upland flushing dog I think they really define it.

Your dog stop's to flush, I think that is great! It keeps your dog out of harms way. But another requirement for a finished flushing dog and described only by the ESSC is that the dog cannot leave control of the handler which it surely would if when it left shotgun range it could not be stopped.

For the sake of the average hunter who cares less about trials, these things are often meaningless. Hard to explain that the dog that stops to flush is out of harms way when what the average hunter want's his dog on the bird right away for fear of losing a cripple. Yet a truely finished dog will stop, as yours does, and then takes direction to the fall from the handler after the shooting is over. Another thing about finished dogs, they come in different degree's and it does not take a highly polished dog capabile of competeing to be finished. As a matter of fact a large number of finished dogs while they may compete never compete at a winning level.

Once again I apologize if you think I was calling your dog unfinished, I wasn't.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:37 PM   #34
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Don ,
Sorry for the delay, been without computer time for a bit.

Hard mouth can be created by letting untrained dogs catch birds. I can see letting the dog catch them AFTER FF, but prior to FF I think its a risk. Why create a problem that we will have to correct later.

I have alway played tug a war with my dogs starting out when they were pups. I use the time to teach them I get what they have from the get go.
And although I FF alt the dogs, none ever neede it because they would not release a bumper or anything else. "Sticking" or not dropping can also be created by stress to a certain degree.

As to handling, yes we generally send the dog from our side when possible. Its way more precise. At a trial or test you get dinged every time you have to handle. So its not the best handling dog that wins. But the best lines. When you think about sending a dog to a bird it hasnt seen fall 200,300,or 400 yards out. Any deviation at the initial line will lead to more corrections.

So we should spend a great deal of time training on setting the dog up. Body in line with the line to the bird, eyes focused in the right direction. Dog moves with our movement. A good dog is a very precision device. You can effect the line the dog takes by merely moving your leg closer to away from the dog. Very suttle movements.We use our hand but no so much to indicate the correct line but to tell the dog it has the correct "picture".

We can also send the dog remotely and that is sometimes a requirement during hunting or a test.

The control we build in is valuable in recovering birds. Couple of years ago we had a goose about 250 yards out. It been down and not moving once it hit the ground. The wind was left to right and as the dog got within about 30 yards I had to make a correction. I also had to make a choice.

The way the wind was blowing, all I had to do was send the dog on an angle back to the right of the bird and put her downwind from it. Or I could put her upwind, stop her an cast her over to the bird and block the birds escape route to the neighbors swamp where we couldnt go. The bird had been still since it hit the ground so I opted for the downwind approach. My bad because the bird got up and got away! But the point is, that I had the option. It was just my stupid mistake. My dogs not that well trained. It really doesnt take a ton of time to get to this level.

Weve had lots of long blinds on chukars too.

Hopes this helps. As to the pop can,I left it there so I could find the rock again!!!

0915bcm
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:38 PM   #35
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Default Re: How to teach my dog to hunt upland birds.

Although I don't agree about catching the birds and playing tug of war that is simply two trainer's with different opinions. About the only thing two do agree on is what the third is doing wrong!

I have seen just a couple time's retriever's doing what they were bred to do. Absolutely amazing! I've had and trained several in my youth but never to that level. Actually, not even close but they did fetch ducks. On a tuff retrieve I was one of the guys who threw a rock in the direction I wanted the dopg to go. Pretty sorry answer compared to a trained dog, reguardless of breed.
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