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Imo one of the most important bird dog commands

bullbugle307

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One thing I should add about the whoa command. Any command is absolute. If your wife, kids, neighbor, another dog are in area, it wants to stop to pee, it cannot deviate. A command is a command.
I wish I could get my wife to understand this. She does more untraining than training by far sometimes, and she never wants to use negative reinforcement, which is ironic because she religiously collars all four dogs. I guess she only wants to use the beep to recall. She didn't want to use the shock on the collar yesterday after our newest dog blatantly ignored several commands and the beep and was quite rudely rushing up on people and dogs at the dog park. He's friendly as can be, but I don't blame people for potentially being nervous when an 85 lb pit lab mix comes trucking up on them or their dogs. I was gone for three weeks for work and I could tell within a minute the little a hole had the run of the place while I was gone. She made up some excuses, but I know she just didn't want to have him yip in front of the people at the dog park. God forbid, one of them might give us a dirty look. I made her hand over the controller, told her I didn't give a damn what the other people did or didn't think (which earned me quite the scowl), and had him listening to come, sit, lay down, stay, and heel in no time. These are commands I expect him to know at this point. Over the course of 3 or 4 laps around the park I think I had to hit him twice or three times with the collar on 1 and he was right back where he needed to be. I told her, look, I get it, but he knows what's expected of him at this point. But he also knows he doesn't have to listen to you, and every time you do this you're undoing my training. Stop asking him to do things you aren't prepared to immediately correct if he doesn't do them. If your not in a position to enforce a command with a dog who still likes to test you, your better off not to give it.

Sorry to bring a marriage argument into this, but damn, it's been a real bone of contention lately.
 

Foggy Mountain

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I always tell people dogs need to comply. Accidents can always happen but what if the dog is headed for a road? Sketchy ice, etc etc. Not listening could cost him his life. Not making him listen would make it her fault.
Now regarding collars. No need most times for a yip. I run hounds and big running bird dogs. They’re often far out. I use a beep to signal here. If I don’t see movement towards me on the gps I nic em. If need be I up it but be advised. Dogs need to be collar broke at home not the dog park. Collar breaking to me is the dog fully understanding what’s happening and the consequences on not obeying.
We start with collar on tight. Two finger rule.
Than the collar on lowest setting gets nicked, keeps going up until dog reacts slightly. We start training one notch higher. Start teaching here.
Once the dog understands it’s not long before the intensity raises if they don’t comply. A beep or voice command, a nick, if no response, a higher nick, etc. Pretty quick they get it.

If they didn’t respond how bad did they feel it? The slight stim will eventually work if you need it at all. Never use more than necessary imo If the dog isn’t broke, sometimes especially if the intensity is too high the dog may try to get out of dodge and may run into danger so always break em,
an ecollar is a training tool, not a torture device.
It sounds Bullbugle dog understands the collar just adding it for others
 

bullbugle307

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What you say is absolutely true about using the minimum setting needed, but like I said, he was on 1 on the lowest setting collar sport dog makes. They have 3 levels, some of my collars are equipped for level one or two from the factory (which he was wearing) and some are set up for level 2 or 3 from the factory. I always start at level 1, setting 1 of 7 with him. He doesn't even yip on that setting, you just see a slight twitch (which he understands is a correction for not obeying), but she's scared to death he will yip if she corrects him with the collar I guess. Especially if there are people around.

I shouldn't have said what I said about not giving a damn what other people thought as she may have taken it to mean, "I'll light him up if I damn well please and they can go pound sand." I certainly was frustrated in the moment because we've been through this so many times with the three dogs we've gotten since we got married. At this point, it's not so much a lack me communicating what needs to happen and why as it is a difference in philosophy and expectations, which is a problem.

I'm trying to teach her how to control a dog under all circumstances, whether it be at the dog park, at the house, or in the field. We have 4 and we take them all hunting and I can't watch and effectively control all 4 dogs at once.

Definitely not trying to refute what you, I agree wholeheatedly, I just want anyone else who reads this in the future to understand what I was doing and why.
 
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Foggy Mountain

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Jun 10, 2021
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I was married and now the girl I live w were/are the same way. The kids, dogs would all be freaking out in the house when I was married. I’d be mowing the grass and could hear chaos over the tractor. I’d hop off go inside and I could hear crickets. Hmmm who’s the prob!
My girl now tried helping, the whole neighborhood got blown up w barking every morn. She’d have to put me on speaker phone as I was at work to tell the dogs to stop. They would. Now I tell her just stay away yet when she comes home herself, she’s gotta googo gagga them in the kennel until they start to whimper. One look at her and them they all stop.
When my daughter was 2 one time, my wife was watching tv w a friend. The sunlight was shining through doorway as we lived on a mtn top and glaring tv. My wife shut door. My daughter opened it. My ex told her, “honey I’m trying to watch tv and the sun is glaring the tv so we need it shut”, the child opened it again. My ex explained to her again, same thing happened. This went on a few times, the opening, shutting. Guess my daughter didn’t know I was in area. Next time she opened it I said her name only. Her eyes got big, she went n shut door now, sat on her moms lap. I asked my ex who was the prob, the student or teacher?
So now we’re divorced, my youngest had just my ex correcting her very often. The kid doesn’t obey her. With me she is fine but I heard about some issues. I called my ex and asked her what’s up. She said she didn’t listen to me and everything I said would happen did. Now she can’t control her and she didn’t wanna hear me say “I told you so” plus deal with our daughter. She’s not a bad kid, first year in Texas AM now, had straight A’s since middle school. She’s a kid to be proud of so I don’t wanna give wrong impression. Just difficult w my ex wife.
So like I said, at the dog park, look to the dogs don’t listen. Kids won’t be listening either. Is it the student or the teacher? I fully understand your frustration I just don’t tolerate any nonsense from either the student or the teacher.
Remember if a dog doesn’t fully obey the chance of a life threatening occurrence rises. Explain that to her and tolerate nothing less from her to make sure this doesn’t happen.
 

Foggy Mountain

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As far a lighting em up in public I’ll just reiterate the beep or slight nic about to increase intensity instantly will result in not needing to ever do so most times as they understand the consequences. They’re absolute. I’ll also say ecollar isn’t the only time we’re absolute. Other ways to do things were just talking bout ecollar
 

pre6422hornet

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May 21, 2015
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433
I did that.

I was promptly told that i take this all too seriously and that I'm too mean to the dogs.

Edit: Then she complains that the dogs don't listen to her.

Train your family first, then your dogs. That's my advice.
Yeah this... So it has been a while ( 13 years) since my Buck went to the happy hunting grounds but I trained him from 7 weeks old and when he was 8 months old he was pretty much finished. Whistle/hand/blind/boat/quartering/retrieve, etc.. .everything. But I made it a point to instruct anyone who came in contact with him that if he was "working" it was my way or the highway. No " come here boy". It was "BUCK COME". That's it.

Fast forward to this weekend. I am back at my parents house and my 22 year old nephew has 4 month old lab. Two months ago he asked me how I trained Buck and I told him the books I used. My parents have a pool so I was looking forward to swimming with a dog again and having fun watching Jax retrieve in the water, etc.. It was very hard not to take over for my nephew or be that guy who tries to tell you everything. He was confusing the poor pup with any command with too many words and allowing others to say commands while he was. I quickly told my kids to stay quiet and not say anything while commands were being given.

During simple retrieves the pup would run a grab the bumper while my nephew would be yammering "go get it boy grab it thats it you got it" then run around my nephew and want to play keep away... no no no. Even at 16 weeks he should understand to bring it back to a heel/drop position.

Anyway moral to the story is short and simple.

Oh yeah and to the OP I used to use "Free". That was our command whenever Buck was doing something and it was time to release him, whether it was a "sit/stay/down/heel/close. That word meant he was okay to do what he wanted and was no longer under command.

One of my favorite memories was oh dark thirty at the boat ramp going after ducks out on Lake Erie. He was sitting on the tailgate after we launched the boat while we grabbed the shotguns. "UN" was his command to unload from a vehicle and "LOAD" was to jump into it. I had him unload, heel and we walked without a leash down to within 60 or 70 yards from the dock and our boat. He was taught to heel without a leash very early on and he was excellent at it. There was another couple guys doing the same thing and our boats were tied up next to one another. They were fighting with their dog yelling at it to walk instead of pull like a mule, etc.. I stopped walking and Buck stopped at my side and sat. We waited for them to get in their boat ( which involved one of them almost getting tripped off the dock) and I released Buck with a simple "Load Boat". He ran down the dock, jumped in our boat and laid down next to the decoys and waited for us. I was so proud of him.

There is nothing better than a well trained dog.
 

KMO385

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Aug 24, 2021
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Not a master trainer, and have Airedales to boot. Stay close, come, "Aaa!" (like "at" sound, means quit doing whatever you're doing), work it....plus lots of good dog. Not gun dogs, but good hunters for what they want to hunt - if I can keep three terriers working on voice command, anybody should be able to cuz I ain't all that smart.
I run a similar command for my Brittany's Aaa is stop what your doing. And norm they look back or comeback to me for some sort of direction and the im sorry look.
 

KMO385

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Aug 24, 2021
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I have two Brittany's and they are absolutely great dogs that I was blessed they pretty came ready to hunt as far being gun broke, pointing a retrieving. I had a few dogs in the past. Two GSP and another Brittany that took a lot of work. Im not the biggest fan of taking my dogs out with others because of the expectations that I've come across with other hunter of my dogs. I'll admit my dogs don't care for hunting with other dogs, and tend to go there own way. They hunt for me and my wife thats what really matters to me. I get enough birds with them. But, as far as a release command, I got with go on, or when we are hunting it find em
 

AlaskaHunter

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Jan 20, 2017
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interior Alaska
Ok guys I’m gonna say something no one talks about. The most important command. Here, whoa, fetch, hip, whatever you train your dog to do or how it’s done isn’t as important as having the dog take your direction.
Whoa for instance is easy, do is here, fetch, whatever. They have a reward, the bird, the retrieve, etc
What about heel? What’s the reward? There sorta is none. There’s def a negative response received if they don’t comply though.
You start a dog to heel, everyone should know they don’t pass your leg and when you stop they stop. When you turn they turn.
You start helping the dog and suddenly speed up than slow down perhaps. The dog is on a fast pace and oversteps. You know when you’re gonna stop, get ready to check em from passing you. This is mot a lift it’s a check, we need to keep it that way.
Now you walk n turn, dog isn’t gonna turn so as you turn you check him toward you.
Than speed up, slow down, check, check, check.
Suddenly you see that dog looking at you. Here’s trying to get direction, trying to read you. You think you’ve got his attn?
He is totally submitting to your direction but you’d be not taking any of the “dog” out of the dog.
You can heel dogs from bikes to, you both get exercise and he learns more heel as a constant. Every command should be constant. You wouldn’t say whoa-stay. I don’t teach sit, but sit-stay. That’s crazy. There needs to be a release from your commands, control. I use ok but it doesn’t matter what you use.
I’m only considering the way guys view/train dogs after another thread about unmanageable dogs, the lab thread actually. Guys there’s no lab isn’t pretty easy in comparison to other dogs. No one needs to be a rocket scientist to train dogs. Just try to use your head and think about what could happen and how things tie into the next.
I teach a silent auto-sit at heeling with a reward as the retrieve. Useful for jump shooting and walkups in hunt test games. Dog thinks that his act of sitting triggers the retrieve. Useful for me jump shooting spring fed creeks and the lab is steady so marks multiple falls better.
 

bullbugle307

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Jul 19, 2018
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It probably sounds like I'm a hardass with my dogs, but in reality they're pretty spoiled as hunting dogs go. They're allowed on the furniture, but they all know down. They sleep in the bed, half the time under the blankets. But they all know their places. I really don't hunt birds religiously, so I only expect my dogs to know a few things. But by God those things are non negotiable, at least to me.
 

Foggy Mountain

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It probably sounds like I'm a hardass with my dogs, but in reality they're pretty spoiled as hunting dogs go. They're allowed on the furniture, but they all know down. They sleep in the bed, half the time under the blankets. But they all know their places. I really don't hunt birds religiously, so I only expect my dogs to know a few things. But by God those things are non negotiable, at least to me.
Brother no hardass. A neighbor of mine always thought he could be softer. I warned him bout what could happen pretty easily if he didn’t have decent control. He is an older guy, had a blown Achilles’ tendon. The dogs would drag him around. I told him to give them to me. Went for a quick walk and they were both heeling off a coupler while I had the lead by 2 fingertips just to show him it wasn’t the dogs.
So the mother blows out the house one day, she’d typically come back after having her way a bit but this day she didn’t. He had to go look for her.
When I got home he came to me crying, blood stain on his counter where he laid her. Kinda sad. I knew that dog good and it was so unavoidable. Car got her. He said he shoulda listened to me. Her pups he trained just like her. Out of control, he can’t handle em. Well now he can they’re so old they can’t walk. Point is that’s what happens when others think it’s ok if a dog does what it wants.
 

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