Caribou Gear

advise on dog training

mixedbag

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Just bought myself a new pup to hunt with;I hope.She's a 10 week old springer spaniel,and seems to have what it takes.Not sure I do though.How do you guys start off with field training pups.She will be a flushing dog for pheasant I hope
My thought was to take training dummies and a little pheasant scent added,drag thru fields and see if she will pick up the trail.Starting very short at first and rewards when she locates the dummies.How do you train to keep them within gun range??I need all the help and tips I can get.Would I be able to train for pheasant and shed hunting or just stick with the pheasants?
Thanks
 

TimeOnTarget

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Just bought myself a new pup to hunt with;I hope.She's a 10 week old springer spaniel,and seems to have what it takes.Not sure I do though.How do you guys start off with field training pups.She will be a flushing dog for pheasant I hope
My thought was to take training dummies and a little pheasant scent added,drag thru fields and see if she will pick up the trail.Starting very short at first and rewards when she locates the dummies.How do you train to keep them within gun range??I need all the help and tips I can get.Would I be able to train for pheasant and shed hunting or just stick with the pheasants?
Thanks

I've got a book at home that was recommended to me by a friend. I'd never trained a dog before. It made training my lab an absolute breeze. He was titled by 8 months old.

I cannot remember the name of it right now but ill look for you and let you know.
 

HighDesertSage

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I use Wolter's (Spelling?) books. Most important thing at that age is make it fun, and keep it short. I use labs, so I am not exactly sure if training a Springer would be different or not. First thing I always do is play fetch with a pheasant wing in the hallway. Hallways are good because they only have one direction to go, and that's back to you. Tons of praise upon the retrieve. When they got that down, I graduate them to playing "hide and seek" in the back yard with pheasant wings. Put the dog in the house, and go hid them in the yard. Then turn the dog loose and have him find them and bring them to you. Once the dog knows what the game is, the excitement for the dog will be incredible. Use "find the bird" or "dead bird", and they will go nuts. I also fire a few blanks over the dog during feeding time to ensure they are not gun shy. I have yet to own a dog that is, so if they are I would just shoot blanks near them during feeding time and gradually get closer until they are comfortable with you firing right over them.

All of this is secondary to obedience training. The dogs must know and obey sit, stay, here, and down, before you can even think about taking them hunting. An E collar is invaluable.

I have always focused on the few basics above, and then go hunting. The dog figures the rest out if the drive and basic training are there. I have trained all 3 of my labs and they have been great hunting dogs. If I can help any other way let me know.
 

JLS

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I would start the intro to gun fire right now. Start off with someone shooting a 22 blank while the pup is eating or doing some other fun task. Gradually work closer until you can fire a shotgun nearby. The key is to go slow and look for any signs of stress. If you see these, back off for a bit. It's pretty tough to overcome a dog that is gun shy and the best way to cure it is to avoid it.

I agree on working general obedience. The pup will be a perfect age by hunting season and there is no hurry to worry about wings and all of that stuff. Work on creating a bond between you and your pup. Fetch in the hallway is perfect. I'd use plastic or canvas bumpers right now because you don't want any funny textures, etc that might promote chewing, shaking etc.

When I hunted a lab, I used an e-collar on him. I trained him so that the simple command of "hey" meant turn and look at me. I would use this if he was getting too far from me and starting to run on a bird. Some folks use check cords for this. Be very light with the e-collar, it's easy to overdo it.

Make it fun for the dog this first year, and then you can up the training considerably next year if that's your desire.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Found it.

http://www.gundogsupply.com/trainretform.html

Training Retrievers for marshes and Meadows. link above.


I read it cover to cover twice before my pup was even born yet. That was a smart idea on my part.

I've read Wolters Waterdog but wasn't a fan for some reason that evades me. It was 9 years ago.
 
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Foxtrot1

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I have versatile dogs, but I helped my nephew with his labs. Some good advice so far. Starting a dog is like taking a child hunting or fishing, adventures should be short, fun, and successful. Puppies have extremely limited attention spans. I really like Dokken's book for training retrievers/flushing dogs. It is very simple with alot of pictures to help new trainers understand the process. If you have a problem you just back up to the previous chapter that was going well. His system has been proven effective on most breeds.

I have always introduced guns and birds at the same time. The 2 will go together the rest of the dogs life. It is tough for a dog to not be excited about chasing a wing clipped pigeon. I also use shotgun popper loads so the dog has the visual element of the shotgun. I want to instill that shotguns mean a fun time with birds. Overall there's more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. Check out several books and go with the one you like and can follow.


http://www.gundogsupply.com/tom-dok...472d424f4f4b&gclid=CLjM2sbZ_cQCFWPl7AodHkkA5A
 

mixedbag

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Thanks everyone.I've been workingon her retrieve and sitting for now and she does well for about 5 minutes which I'd expect at this age.Iuse treats when she returns the fetch.I have to go get a blank gun this weekend,but she's been hearing my saws/tools this week working on my kitchen with no fear,actually she's curious at allthe noise
Definitely will go buy a book for this to help.Heading to Cabelas tomorrow after a morning estimate
 

L. I. Yankee

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Look into Richard Wolters series of books. They are really good. There are some videos by Mike Lardy that are pretty good as well.They gave me a much better understanding of gun dogs and how they are trained. Hope it helps.....:cool:
 

Hatchie Dawg

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Copied from a similar thread. The response below referred to retriever training but the tenants hold true for any working dog. GOOD LUCK!

HD

Water Dog and Gun Dog are classics and good books as is the Dokken book. You can pick up different things from all of them. James Lamb Free has another classic.

Go slow and be patient. Remember right now you are dealing with a baby. Make retrieving FUN and the BEST part of the day. Build your foundation with LOVE, and I mean LOVE, of retrieving and you have some insurance when you mess up later down the line.

Basic obedience is a must to hunt safely with a retriever. Be firm but fair and consistent.

Retrievers need repetition, repetition, then some more repetition, but try to stop when you and the dog are still having fun. It won't always happen this way but needs to more often than not.

15 minutes a day will give you a serviceable gun dog.

Don't lose your temper.

Force fetch done correctly does more than make a dog retrieve. It makes them mentally tougher and less likely to break down during advanced work. It is very valuable. I have a pro do my force fetching.

Introduce them to caps or loud noises early. Feeding time is a great opportunity to do this.

Dogs are not intuitive. You have to teach the process step, by step, by step. Don't take a step for granted.

There are precious few things in this world better than a good retriever.

Good luck. It's a wonderful road.
 

mixedbag

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she has been doing real well.My son hides dummies scented with pheasant and she finds them quick.Took her out for a swim the other day and she had a blast.After we went for a walk and she worked out in front and to the sides of me at about 30 yards.If she got too far, I'd call her back and she would come right back.Taking her to some thicker fields for some training on tracking the dummies hidden.Later this summer/early Sept, I'll take her to a pheasant preserve and test her on the real thing
 

putm2sleep

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Springer huh?
Well it ought to train the same - firstly!! Spend As Much time with it as you can - take it everywhere!
Always work basics!
Sit stay come kennel lay sit and stay for a long time don't break
 

MinnesotaHunter

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Force fetch done correctly does more than make a dog retrieve. It makes them mentally tougher and less likely to break down during advanced work. It is very valuable. I have a pro do my force fetching.

+1 on this. I force fetched my own dog (with advice from a good trainer), it is tough to do to your own pup, but it is important. What made it harder was my lab was already super resistant to pressure and I needed to apply a lot to get the desired response. When I get to that point with another dog, I will have someone else do it.

Another book you might check out is "Finished Dog", not better than any other, but offers some other ideas. My opinion is, like people, all dogs learn differently, and where one training approach might not click with your dog, another might.

http://www.amazon.com/FINISHED-DOG-Complete-Training-Retriever-ebook/dp/B0054G73VY
 

JLS

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+1 on this. I force fetched my own dog (with advice from a good trainer), it is tough to do to your own pup, but it is important. What made it harder was my lab was already super resistant to pressure and I needed to apply a lot to get the desired response. When I get to that point with another dog, I will have someone else do it.

Another book you might check out is "Finished Dog", not better than any other, but offers some other ideas. My opinion is, like people, all dogs learn differently, and where one training approach might not click with your dog, another might.

http://www.amazon.com/FINISHED-DOG-Complete-Training-Retriever-ebook/dp/B0054G73VY

+2 on this. I actually was applying TOO much pressure on my GWP and he was shutting down on me. I backed off and we were both much happier.
 

IsThisHeaven?

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I have a springer and trained her myself. I am also involved in a local spaniel training group so I see training at all different stages and for different purposes. Like has been said above there are many ways to skin a cat. It's hard to make recommendations on training your pup. It's still really young so anything too formal may be too much. I think the most important thing is to spend a lot of time with dog to create a great bond. You may want to consider looking at a local spaniel training group. It's also really important to fully understand the temperament of your pup. Spaniels can be soft hearted. If you put pressure on them they can shut down. Im sure you can train them like labs or retrievers, but there are certainly other methods out there that are very successful. Oftentimes spaniels get bored with constant repetition so just doing something a few times and moving on is productive. I use box or place board training and that has been very successful for me and I see it being successful for others too. Keith Erlandson and Mike Smith wrote great spaniel training books. You can google place board training and there are tons of instructional videos. Looking for a local spaniel training group may be a great option for you too.
 

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