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Author Topic: Brittany Training Problem  (Read 11304 times)
Missourihunter85
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« on: September 04, 2008, 10:50:21 AM »

I bought a new male Brit a few weeks ago, he's about 16 months, from the Nolan's Last Bullet blood line, and my problem is that he knows what he's doing and when I keep him close and not give him time to run he does fine, he's got a good whoa on him, and a good here, when i keep his attention but when i let him run and take his attention off of me for a bit he won't listen to me, and just run off. I don't want to burn him too bad on the collar, bc he seems pretty timid and don't want to get him collar shy, but I don't want to encourage this behavior. He does fine when i put him on the whoa stick and check cord as well. I am clueless on what to do to get him to listen, I'm wanting to take him to field trials w/ my female, but if he doesn't listen to me 100% of the time i won't take him.
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 03:30:20 PM »


  First, congratulations (or condolences).

  All of mine were sired, or grandsired by NLB.  They can be a little like driving a Winston Cup car on a quarter mile dirt track!  Not always fun, often nerve racking, but a hell of a ride!  This is true with several of the modern American Brittany lines.  My five year old has a natural range of about 600 yards ( a little long for timber hunting!  I've managed to reel him in to about 250 most of the time, but let him run, when hunting Chickens in Kansas and Nebraska.  Once they know what you want, if they care, they will hunt where you want them. 

  What e-collar do you use?  How many levels?  16 is about the minimum you need, 30 or 50 is better.  Otherwise you create "E-collar overstepping" (tm), a condition that can cause tons of trouble.  Once you know, and use the exact amount of stimulation you need, you'll love the collar.  You can stop a dog cold, or even flip him, with too high a setting.  That's not training.  Obviously, you know that.  Once you know your dogs thresholds (which can change, with conditions), you can "finesse" a dog off a hot deer run, as if he just decided to do something different.

  I use DT collars, partly because of durability and customer service, but manly because they have a remote launcher that is all metal, except the throwing net.  I would never use a collar without vibration feature.  I train mine to feel the vibration as praise.  When a dog ranges farther than I like, for the terrain, daudles, or digs for rats, I can reach out and "pet" him behind the ears, and he remembers he's hunting for me.  No stress, no fear.  You can do this with stimulation, but it is not as smooth, and the dog may tend to return all the way back to you.  If you blend the stimulation with verbal, or whistle commands, the stimulation won't be needed much.  Successfully blend in hand signals, and you will look like the all time God of dog trainers.

  My guess is that he was trained by, and hunted with someone else, which could cause him to wander a bit, and hunt for himself.  Treating him as your only dog (as far as he knows) for a couple of weeks will help.  Take him in the truck with you, let him ride in the cab.  Let him sleep on the foot of the bed, some.  Married to a non-hunter? (shame on you) A crate next to your side of the bed is almost as good.

  Now, specifics.  Plant a bird to the left of the main field, 200-300 yards out.  Hunt him down the opposite side, letting him range out farther than you like (well past the bird.  Lead the female over to the scent cone of the planted bird.  When she points, try to get the male's attention.  Use the collar lightly, if that works.  Flush, and kill the bird while he is way out, so the female can retrieve, before he gets to you.  If you can then take them both directly to another planted bird, he may be cured in one session.  Or it may take ten, but he will eventually start hunting for you.  I would bet on you turning him around in 5 sessions or less.  Then you have to get him on birds fairly often, or he may regress. Direct him into birds in unlikely places.  That will establish you as head bird finder for the pack.  He'll look to you for directions to the birds.  Remote launchers will speed this process.

  Just remember that even though he is hard headed, he is likely soft hearted, so use a soft approach.  This adds to the nerve racking, but is the only way to deal with most them.

  You sure have the right idea, not to put him in trials before you have control.  Would be good if you can train some on the trial grounds.  Will you be in NSTRA? or which format?

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Missourihunter85
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 05:50:27 PM »

Thanks, I think he's going to be one hell of a dog once we get over this little obstacle. The collar I have is a D.T., model EZT plus 1000. It does have 16 levels, and I'm going to trade it in for a 2 dog system sometime soon. I will try what you said, it sounds pretty straight forward.

Truthfully I'm really not even sure, I have never ran in one, and the one that I am going to run them in is one that the local Quail Unlimited puts on every year. Depending on how they do there is how much I'm going to do this year. My female I have high hopes for she's from the MicroDot line and is great in the field. I'm sure he'll do fine just may (hopefully not) need another year of work before he gets out there.
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 09:51:11 PM »


  I would suggest pinching pennies, waiting, a season, getting a part time job, or what ever it takes to get an SPT 2432.  Two dog (wish they made it in 3 dog), vibration, nick, continuous, rise, jump, and a beep/locater that will activate from nearly half a mile.  Range for other features is 1.3 miles and with six inch antennae it will reach over 1.5 miles in the real world, not just estimated.  And believe it, or not, I don't make a dime, if you buy one. lol

  I hate to put pressure on you, but if your dogs don't do well, it's probably not because of breeding!  The orange and white in the picture to the left was sired by Buddy, with Microdot three generations back on the bottom side, as well as Tequila's Joker as Grandsire.  With all that fire in his genes, he usually hunts out only about 100-150 yards.

  A couple of things I didn't mention.  At 16 months, a Brittany is little more than a puppy, even though many point, back, and retrieve pretty well at 6 months.  They mature slowly, so don't count him out, if you catch him chasing flies at three years old.  Nothing brings them around like wild birds, if you can find them.  But do not take him out on wild Pheasant until you've seen a good, solid season on other birds.  Wild Pheasant can be hard on a seasoned dog, they cause them to crowd and creep on point.  Quail, and especially Grouse will not stand for that.

  I think QU uses a format very similar to The Bird Dog Challenge, and what many small clubs use.  Sort of a simplified version of NSTRA.  20 points each for point, and retrieve, and one back per run.
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Briar Hill Brittanys
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2008, 10:04:17 PM »

The NLB line is a good line.  Like all bloodlines, individual dogs can exibit different behaivors.  The best thing I could recommend is to take him back to the yard training, and make sure he's rock solid on his basic obedience.  That's really the basis for everything.  You say he's got a good whoa, and a good here, but when you let him run he won't listen.  In my humble opinion, that's not a good here.  Not trying to chastise you, one of the first rules of training is never give a command you're not able to enforce.  Always set pup up to succeed when training.  Did you change his call name, or keep the same commands as the person you got him from?  He's been able to range out, and not been corrected/trained to hunt closer.  I agree with wilder, make him a close part of your family.  He'll come to know you, and what's expected of him.  Patience and perseverance pay off with Brittanys.

I too, have that bloodline in my kennel.  They are excellent hunters, typical soft hearted Brittanys.  Also have Microdot, Rimarda, and Tequila lines.  They are all typical, soft hearted, eager to please and quick learning.

Holy cow wilder.....................600yards?

Respectfully,
Mark 
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birddog
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2008, 10:38:34 PM »

just trade the brit in towards a good english setter problem solved.  :grin: :grin:
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 11:59:28 PM »

just trade the brit in towards a good English Setter problem solved.  :grin: :grin:

  That might work, but wouldn't that be only slightly easier to find than a good English Pointer ?

    :grin: :grin: back at you !  Your turn.    lol
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 02:11:15 AM by wildergamebirds » Logged

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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2008, 02:30:12 AM »


Holy cow wilder.....................600yards?

Respectfully,
Mark 

  Glad I didn't know that when I bought him!  His daddy runs even bigger, and Buddy, even at 11 hunts somewhere in between.  You'd think a dog that was in 30-40 acre field trials most of his life would work closer, but that's how he won so much.  Out in the Flint Hills, and the sand/sage a dog that hunts at 100 yards in low bird years, won't find much.  I like having one at 150 yards, one at 250, and a leggy runner way out there.  That's coverage.  The big running dogs have to be solid.  And, most will hunt to cover, if turned loose along an overgrown fence row, or in bunch grass.  Not always the case with pointers.  Wide open they seem to have slightly better noses, but don't seem to learn as well.  I always wondered why those field trial champions ran over so many birds.  It's a different game, and few can switch, well.

  A smart dog that hunts in wide arcs will often put himself on the far side of birds with Prairie Chickens, Sharptails, and even a cock Pheasant, this can confuse the bird enough to make him hold better.  I've heard that, to a dog, a Prairie Chicken smells like a fat man in Polyester on an August afternoon.  It isn't unusual for a dog to point a bird from 50 yards, or more.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 02:41:20 AM by wildergamebirds » Logged

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Missourihunter85
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2008, 09:23:53 AM »

wilder,

 
  I hate to put pressure on you, but if your dogs don't do well, it's probably not because of breeding!

No pressure at all, that's something that I already know. Like I already said my female I think will perform great this year, she's already been through one season of birds, and didn't let many get by her at all her first year. She loved it. She'll be two in Nov. and she'll be on her first set of birds for the year this weekend.  My male I don't think I will have any problems with him once I get his yard work fine tuned.


Briar Hill,
You say he's got a good whoa, and a good here, but when you let him run he won't listen.  In my humble opinion, that's not a good here. 

I worded that wrong, I should have put it that he knows what he's suppose to do, and how to do it, and when I have his attention he does it well, I say whoa, he stops in his tracks, I say here, he comes straight to me, but when I lose his attention he doesn't listen to me. And I'll take your advise and work his yard work, but the thing of it is I think he's fine, so I'll take him off of the check cord or the whoa stick, because he does great on them and he'll be fine for about a min, maybe two and then he'll go run off. I guess I should get one good whoa and here out of him off of it and then put him up. Maybe that's the thing to do.


Thanks for everyone's help, these are my first two dogs, so if I'm doing something wrong let me know. My family isn't big into bird hunting, they all like their deer hunting,so they don't know too much about dog training and bird hunting, so if you all have any opinion of stuff that I'm doing wrong, or need to be doing I would appreciate any advise. The only thing that I have been going by is DVD videos by George Hickox, and Scott Miller. They are both very informative, but don't show much troubleshooting. And again thanks to everyone for the help, I greatly appreciate the help.
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2008, 02:23:42 PM »

I think he's fine, so I'll take him off of the check cord or the whoa stick, because he does great on them and he'll be fine for about a min, maybe two and then he'll go run off. I guess I should get one good whoa and here out of him off of it and then put him up. Maybe that's the thing to do.




  Sounds good, you might work him on, off, on, off on, then stake him out and work your female, letting him see you praising her while she works close.  Gradually increase the distance at which you give the here, and whoa commands.  Have you used a whistle, yet?  A whistle is harder to ignore, or misunderstand at distance.  Voice commands can get garbled with wind and noise from running through the grass, running water in the creek, and more.  Then you have the "Teenager Selective Hearing Syndrome"(tm).

  But, yes, you need him solid on yard work.  Have you used a barrel to steady him on whoa?  Besides steadying him on whoa, it can help with overall discipline. 

  I can't suggest any DVDs for training, unless you are thinking of force fetch training, there is a better way.  If you don't mind reading something that doesn't glow, the best book I've seen is "The Best Way To Train Your Bird Dog"  subtitled; "The Delmar Smith Method", by Bill Tarrant.

  Delmar trained my first Brittany for 30 days (all we could afford).  He was training, and handling his sire, Towsey at the time.  He was the only Brittany ever to win three all age national championships (Ban-Dee won two, plus an Amateur).  I got the advice to never hunt a young dog on Pheasant from Delmar, first.  The breeder got the same advice about the pup he kept.  Delmar trained his dog for 90 days.  Opening day, Ed took him to Western Kansas, then sent him back to be retrained (he started crowding Quail, busting most coveys).

  I have another book by Tarrant that would probably help you.  "Problem Gun Dogs" I haven't read it, yet, but everthing he has written is good.  For insight on a great bird dog training "philosophy" that is especially suited to Brittany temperaments read his "Gun Dog Training" (New strategies from Today's Top Trainers).
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Missourihunter85
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2008, 03:38:34 PM »

I have read the Ultimate Guide to Bird Dog Training by Jerome B. Robinson, and it was a very informative book. I will look into the books the you suggested for sure.
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2008, 05:41:21 PM »


   Now that you mention him, he also wrote "Hunt close"  I think I have two copies of that, and haven't read either.  I think I have another by him, too.
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birddog
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2008, 08:57:47 PM »

just trade the brit in towards a good English Setter problem solved.  :grin: :grin:

  That might work, but wouldn't that be only slightly easier to find than a good English Pointer ?

    :grin: :grin: back at you !  Your turn.    lol
                                                                                                                                                                                          I happen to have a house full of (great)English setters I don,t know about pointers but someone once told me if you go to someones house and see pawprints on the ceiling they have Brittaney's  :grin: honestly there all great. there is nothing better than a good shotgun and a great dog no matter what it is.
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Carl Porter
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2008, 10:33:07 AM »

I agree with Briar Hill Brittnays; The dog either handles or he doesnt. Go back to the basics. It should be the same at 10 yards or 1000. Depending on how far you let him go. Make sure he is rock solid on turning, coming and whoa before you let him go without a check cord. I know, check cord? Thats what I would go back to. Start over and earn the right and respect to use the e-collar. If he is well trained he will do fine and know that you mean buisness. Never let you emotions enter your training. With Britt's I am always gentle but firm. If a day of training is bad, stop, end on a good note and try again tomorrow. Many trained dogs test their new owners. Thats pretty standard. As a new handler, i teach my clients not to let the dog get away with anything he does for me. Maybe, have the person you bought it from show you how he handles, since he probably trained the dog and maybe he can help you with some pointers on something you may be lacking. Good luck.

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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2009, 02:36:05 AM »

When I first started training I will be the first to admit that I made many mistakes. I knew very little and unfortunally I'm one of those people that have to make a mistake before I ever learn anything. If I can make a suggestion I would say, First make doubble sure the dog knows his commands (Here & Woah). If your dog is way out there and you hollar woah and he dosent stop, then one of 2 things is happening. He either dosen't truley know what woah means or he is just tunning you out. A dog that is truly woah broke will not tune you out, because he has the fear of being corrected in the back of his mind. The biggest mistake I see some people make, is when they train they never do things the same way twice. It is very important that when you train you make every attemp to do things the same way everytime. If your dog is way out there and you hollar woah and he dosent acknowledge you imediatly touch him with the collar. It is important that you do it right after the broken command. You can't wait 30 seconds and then correct him. The animal has to know that he has messed up on the Woah command. Take him to the field and get plenty of field work but be consistant don't skimp and dont be scared to correct him.
If you let him get away with things you will only confuse and complicate his training.
Good Luck
GunRunner Gundogs
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