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Gun dog resources
Posted: 21 July 2012 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been down this road before…. Found a good litter or so I think. Parents are good hunters. The litter should be born next week and I do not want to fail this dog like I have failed the rest of my hunting partners! Can any one recommend some good training resources for training a good field dog. I am looking for books, blogs and the must have training tools. I mainly hunt upland game but may ask my new hunting partner to get in the water a time or two. Thanks

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Posted: 23 July 2012 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I would say the absolute best resource would be a local club.  What kind of dog are you looking at.

Gun Dog Journal has been my favorite magazine for this.  I have also gone to the big book stores like Barnes & Noble and found many books on training gun dogs.  You can sit there and read thru them and find one you like.

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Posted: 23 July 2012 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks Matt, I am getting another Weimer. I have a six year old female. Shes a good dog but I let her down when I trained her. I just want have my ducks in a row with this one. I will take a trip to the book store. I’ve looked a little and it seems that they have a lot of options. I didn’t know if one would be better than another.

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Posted: 23 July 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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There are a lot of dog trainers on here and hopefully more will chime in.  In my opinion, the most important thing with hunting dogs is your basic obedience.  I have hunted next to many dogs that could find birds and point with the best of them, but the owner had no control over the dog which made the hunts filled with yelling, screaming and a dog getting hammered by the e-collar.  I felt horrible for the dog.  Again, IMO, with a pup you need to focus no the standards like sit, heel, getting in kennel boxes and so on.  Still work retrieving and birds in there, just focus more on the basics.  Thats just my approach, I am sure others do it different.

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Posted: 24 July 2012 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks Matt, im going to pick up a book this weekend and just a put a plan in place. I think you are on the money with focusing on the basic obedience. I hope to not have to use the collar and I dont enjoy seeing a dog get worked over either. Thank you for the advice.

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Posted: 24 July 2012 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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In my opinion, never teach a pointing dog to sit.  It only makes it harder when teaching whoa.  A pup with a good sit command will try to sit when trying to whoa him.  They think that’s what you want.  Also, whether your pup is a natural retrieve or not, I would highly recommend force breaking to retrieve.  There will come a time when your naturally retireving dog won’t want to retrieve (water or whatever) and you won’t be able to make him do it.  Don’t let retrieving be the dog’s choice, make it your’s.  IMO, these commands are the most important…..Whoa, Here, Come, Fetch and Kennel.  I’ve owned GSP’s for a very long time and you can have a pretty great day afield with a dog that excells at these commands.  Matt is right, nothing worse than hearing yelling all day long.

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Posted: 24 July 2012 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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One more thing.  I also HIGHLY recommend shock collars.  Not only will they improve your training, but it may save your dog’s life one day when he’s about to run across a busy road.  A good whoa command backed up with a collar, just in case, may save a lot of heartache.  Don’t buy a cheap collar though, you get what you pay for.

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Posted: 25 July 2012 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks Treehugger, I will focus on those commands. I am checking out collars now, probably wont need one for a while I’d imagine but if you have any suggestions I will gladly take them.

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Posted: 25 July 2012 07:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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THere are a few good brands out there.  For the money, I like Tritronics.  Make sure to get one that has some reach to it.  Lets your dog know he has to listen even at great distances.

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Posted: 26 July 2012 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It would be my opinion that some very good advice has been given by both Matt and Treehugger. Nothing more frustrating afield than a dog that is not obedient. Whoa, come, and heel are commands a pup should absolutely learn to make the hunting experience fun for all parties. I would agree with the retrieving part as well. I also agree with the e-collar as a necessary tool but can be abused. Shouldn’t be the first alternative but has been a valuable tool in breaking a bird dog from chasing rabbitts or to keep it from getting run over. Again I would use it only when necessary, and there are times it is, but I also find it frustrating to find people who do not spend any time with their bird dog, the dog in the field doesn’t even know who its master is and continually getting shocked running to the first person it sees. Spend time with the dog outside of hunting….. I understand this is worse case but unfortanely it happens. Would like to take the collar off the dog and put it on the man at that point….

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Posted: 26 July 2012 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Agree. NEVER use a collar as punishment.  The beauty of a collar is that your dog has no idea you are creating the shock.  If trained right, he’ll think his actions created it.  One of my old Shorthairs loved to point and chase bedded deer.  I solved that problem in one day.  I took her out to a known bedding area, and as soon as a deer busted out, I hit her with the collar.  We only had to do that with a few deer before she thought/learned that the deer were doing that to her.  She wanted nothing to do with deer after that.  Remember that, because you have to be very careful when collar training a yound dog when birds are involved.  Don’t ever let the dog think the bird caused the pain.  Get a real good whoa on your dog and he’ll never bust a bird on purpose again.  One of my current GSP’s has such a good whoa on him he will actually spit dirt from under his paws when he slams to a stop…at any distance.  I think if I told him to whoa, I could leave for a few hours and expect him to be right there when I got back.  But, I put tons and tons of time into him and took him to a pro as well for force breaking to retrieve.  When he was less than a year old he cleaned house at a senior hunt test in Joliet.  Time, tiime, time.  You get out what you put in.  Training must be an everyday ritual though.

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Posted: 27 July 2012 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks again for all the advice. I feel like I have a good starting point and I am putting together a plan develop a good hunting partner for many years. The pups were whelped last night so it wont be long…

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