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happy day

 
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wires831
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PostPosted: 12/06/08, 11:55 pm    Post subject: happy day Reply with quote

Thanks again to all the encouragement I got at nationals about turning my dog loose. Last Friday I managed to turn him loose in 10 acres that was fenced. Today I turned him loose with no fence. He really wanted to stay close today. Maybe it was just foreign territory. I was on foot the other day but today I was in an ATV. He just wanted to keep up with us. He stayed close until the cat ran up to him at the barn. We got some good corrections on "leave it" though. Can't wait until the next time. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 12/07/08, 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vast majority of GWP's do not want to lose their owners!
Some may seem to be running off, but once they realize you aren't coming they will come back to look for you.

In all of my years in this breed, I have only had one that actually could care less and left, totally left when he got the chance. Unfortunately, one day he finally truly left and was never found again. That one I blame on owners who never ever ever paid attention to him, never took him out as a young dog and never gave him the chance to learn.

Of course you have to be careful where you let them loose, you have to give them the opportunity to learn to keep watch for you, you have train them. But... a Wire without the opportunity to ever just run free in a field, is just sad for them.

I'm glad you are giving your boy the chance to be a dog, and a true GWP! Now, get that dog out on birds and give him the chance to really show you what he can be. You'll be amazed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Jon
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PostPosted: 12/09/08, 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the advice given with one additional thought.

When letting young dogs open up, explore and learn, learn to keep your communications to a minimum...that means, don't be whistling, talking to the dog, encouraging, etc. IMO, when we do this we either make the dependent dog more dependent or teach the more independent dog to ignore us. Take the dog where it can't get into trouble or catch game and let it be a dog. Most dogs have a comfort level, where they want to be in relationship to you. It could be 50 yds or 300 yds, depending on the genetics of the dog. You can always bring a (normal) dog in, it is almost impossible to get a dog to go beyond its "default" comfort zone.

Once you know what is in the dog, the real important point of this discussion is what YOUR comfort zone is. Personally, I am not comfortable with dogs that can disappear for 30 minutes before they come looking for me. I like dogs that hunt 200 yds ahead of me in the grasslands...I don't like 500 yds. I like dogs that pop their head every 5-10 minutes just to see that I am coming. This is my comfort level and while others might totally disagree, it doesn't matter. I have a dog to fit my needs. So should you. So while every young dog needs to expand and learn...be given freedom and experience, in the end you will "round the corners" on this dog and shape it into the dog YOU need. Versatile breed are generally very flexible and this should not be a problem. Generally, IMO, in the training department, less is often more. Have the courage to let the dog (and the wild game) teach itself or show you what you must teach the dog. And again, have courage to leave the whistle alone and to keep voice communication to a minimum...excepting danger or imminent harm.
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 12/09/08, 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent points!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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biggdadd58
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PostPosted: 01/16/09, 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish mine would give me a look back once in a while. After putting my gordon setter down a few years back, my brother in law gave me a Llewellin setter, but the dog is afraid of anything with feathers.

I had taken her to the trainer that helped me with my gordon but after 2 weeks he said that there was no hope for her, she was a pot licker at best. Heart broken that I was out of a hunting partner he said that he had a dog that had just shown up one day and that after 3 weeks of searching for the owner they decided to take her out for a run on some birds and the dog was fantastic. So since I had some time to kill I asked if I might take a look at her.

We went out for a walk and this dog was impressive. The hunt, point and retreive was off the scale, but I realize why she was a run away. She never looks to see who she is hunting with and will litterally walk off from you in search of birds.

I said that if she wasn't claimed after more time I'd have some interest in her and he agreed. I haven't been let down with her as a friend or hunting companion, but it frustrates me to hell and back that she is so self absorbed in what she is doing that I must keep a whistle between my lips to keep her aware that I'm the one with the truck keys.

After 3 years now, she is a little better butI think that since she might not have been trained to hunt close when she was younger, this is as good as it gets.

If there is any advice out there to help with this, please let me know.
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Jon
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PostPosted: 01/17/09, 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We went out for a walk and this dog was impressive. The hunt, point and retreive was off the scale, but I realize why she was a run away. She never looks to see who she is hunting with and will litterally walk off from you in search of birds.



Rare....this kind of dog in this breed. It is usually the result of a dog that is just wired wrong or of breeding where the only emphasis is run. This is an example of independence gone to far. But can I ask...when she finds game is she honest? point til you get there? If that's the case, your best bet might be to get a Garmin tracking collar so at least you know where she is...then go shoot birds. I'd be willing to bet this dog would come back but that she just needs to check in a whole lot less than you would like. Try taking her somewhere safe and when she is out of sight, sit down and see how long it takes for her to come looking (have a spotter in case I'm wrong).

I assume you are spending time with this dog in the house, in the pick-up, occasional walk down town, etc. How is she in the house? intense? or can she lay back?

Your most practical option here may be the e-collar....make a plan of what you want and be very consistent. be aware that the first owner may have already created some problems with the collar so go slow. If the dog shuts down or freaks out, you have at the very least learned a lot about the dog's previous experience. I use the Dogtra 202NCP which has a vibrating pager. I blow the whistle and hit the pager at the same time and when the dog swings toward me I always make sure I am walking obliquely away from the dog. It sees me walking in a different direction. Only use the electric if the dog doesn't respond...make sure that you can see the dog so that you can turn the electric off when the dog has responded properly. Set a limit to the distance....if its 200 yds, make sure you turn, whistle and page at 200 yds. Don't do this in a day and don't punish the dog...find a collar level that irritates, is uncomfortable. This technique when used consistently puts up a "fence" that the dog will respect if you are successful.

Deep down, I'm thinking you make the best of this dog as it is. Like many "hot" dogs, you follow them, they don't follow you. Look at the bright side....you will be the envy of every hard core trialer you meet..especially if this dog is honest on bird contact.
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biggdadd58
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PostPosted: 01/20/09, 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the collar and have worked with the dog. She is a very great house dog, laid back and a better companion. She isn't the type to run as fast as she can while hunting, but a slow trot, nice pace. I have no complaints with the hunting skills and she will hold the point as long as it takes for me to get there or fumble with the camera to get a picture. The retreive is a plus and Ive never seen a dog with a softer mouth when it comes to not tearing a bird up. Even if it is battering her face with wing slaps.

I can't get her to look to see the direction that I want her to hunt. It's not that she is too into hunting that she does not listen. When a bird is flushed and she wants to take chase, a slightly elevated tone "NO" will have her come to a dead stop then another comand and she is back to huinting.

I guess that she might be a hard headed german but I'm just used to having the dog weave back and forth in front of me covering the ground in a more efficiently as my gordon setter did. This is the only complaint.
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Jon
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PostPosted: 01/20/09, 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I guess that she might be a hard headed german but I'm just used to having the dog weave back and forth in front of me covering the ground in a more efficiently as my gordon setter did. This is the only complaint.


Now we get to the crux of the matter...you're not comfortable with the "style" of this dog. You had a dog that worked by constant quartering..could be commanded to cover (??) and this dog probably is looking for objectives. Sounds like you're having a bit of trouble letting the dog determine where it should search...and that you would rather tell the dog where to search.

In my experience, its best to trust the dog. NO dog will find every bird in the section...but if this dog is producing and is honest after contact, I don't see what you can complain about. This dog is different than your last...try it the dog's way...you may like it. Would seem to be better than trying to make this dog into your last one.

Really good dogs don't waste time going over ground where the chances are slim that game will be found....and the more they hunt the more they learn to improve their "focus".

Trust the dog....
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biggdadd58
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PostPosted: 01/26/09, 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really appreciate your input on this but it seems as though you do not understand what I originally was saying. The dog will never look back to see where she is in relationship to where I'm at. She hunts like my wife shops, all over the place except where she is supposed to. You don't go to the grocery store for a pair of shoes, the same way with hunting.

I'm used to the dog hunting with the one that drove it to the hunting spot. I'm not in any way a rookie when it comes to dogs and I'm not disappointed in this one. The fact that the dog has a flaw is what the topic was supposed to be about. I've come to terms that I can never let this dog get too far in front of me cause she will never figure out the way back to me.
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whiskerdog1
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PostPosted: 01/27/09, 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive learned after 20+ years of hunting to trust my dogs nose..yea im a slow learner Smile

I dont say anything, or make them go into cover. Or pattern, or much anything else.

Mine knows this through trial and error, repetition and success, where to find game.
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: 11/19/09, 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
yea im a slow learner


You admitted here, at least. So you do know that you have a large learning curve.

Jim West
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United we Stand, Divided we Fall
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