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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ran the dog yesterday and today.

Sat. morning I took her to Mongo...had to run her in Section D.

Sun. morning took her to Cedar Swamp.

She didn't last very long as it started to get hot quick.
 

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Worked my spaniel yesterday too. In the morning we had a "training" session at a local outdoor art exhibit. Great way to sneak in Heeling and socialization in a large crowd.
Took him dove hunting with me in the late afternoon. It was very hot. Dog learned very quickly that when ever I take a shot, it DOES NOT mean a retrieve follows. Eight shots, zero birds, the poor pup looked bored.
I did let him run a little near the end, and he actually flushed up a nice hen pheasant, it was fun to watch the flush and let her fly...another good time for the dog to hear "No Bird".
Maybe next time out he'll get to taste a feather.
 

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better luck next time, quail dancer. At least you saw a pheasant. The only ones i see around my area are in flight pens. (although i do have some productive quail spots come november)
 

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the main reason i dove hunt is to give my shorthair some exercise; but the missed shots do tend to test his faith in me
 

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I was very pleased how the dog behaved for me. Being steady on a long sit/stay or down/stay is hard , given that he is just under 9 months I was pleased with how he did. Sure lit a fire in him flushing the pheasant. Again he calmed down fairly quickly and was able to come back shortly after to sit at my side and wait for more flying birds. I wasn't as eager to actually shoot any doves, as I was to see how he might behave in a blind on what will be his first duck hunt this year.

He has great instincts in the field, quarters well, flushes, retrieves,swims great, follows directional signals, but sitting quite for a long time hasn't been his thing.
 

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Ever try pigeons for training. I have a 7 month lab. This is my first (hunting) dog. Have shot over 150 pigeons over her this summer. Took her on dove hunts last week and she took to them like it was bred into her. Cant wait to hit the water. Have shot pigeons with her in all types of cover. They were a great head start.
 

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Where do you get your pigeons? I kept a few quail in a pen in the back yard, but they've all been shot now. I keep them frozen to use for retrieves in the yard now. I haven't been able to find pigeons anywhere. I have thought of buying a trap to see if I can get a few that way. The other thing is I have to worry about noise. I live in town and even the few quail I kept penned made quite a bit of noise in the evenings.
 

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Notice my screen name. I raise and race homing pigeons. This is the time of year to get cull birds from people who race. I have access to around 100 right now. $4 per bird or $250 FOR ALL Pick-up in South Bend. Dont wait cause they will be gone this weekend. They work great for training. Just got home from doing 12 this evening. After about 10 in thick cover the dog gets pretty wore out in this heat. Is it duck season yet????? You have to watch where you shoot them at. I contacted a CO before I started doing this. Wanted to release them off my boat in the water and train her that way also. He told me that it was illegal to shoot pigeons over state water. If you want to do it over water it has to be private property. But over land is different. Contact a CO in your area just to be safe. Anyone else need pigeons?
 

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ccavacini said:
Ran the dog yesterday and today.

Sat. morning I took her to Mongo...had to run her in Section D.

QUOTE] I hunt in Mongo the weekend before Thanksgiving with my dog. I usally hunt section A, with about 10 people and two or three dogs. Its a great time. I always see more than pheasents. One year i saw two bucks swimming across a lake and for the past two years i have flushed up two big Toms in heavy cover. I nearly step on them i get so close. I also kill three of four rabbits when we are up there. I also take my dogs to Buck Creek, it is a little pheasent operation in delaware county,good to train dogs. Pheasent, quail, and Chucker.
 

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Pup and I were out in the field tonight. The idea was to work on getting the pup to "hup" (sit) to the whistle while at some distance from me, had the dog quartering well, then to work on recalls. I love this dog, I brag about this dog, but tonight...guess we all have our off days. It was soon time to just snap on the short lead, work a good deal on heeling, and enjoy the evening air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QuailDancer said:
Worked on off leash heeling tonight. Amid a sea of distractions , the pup did me proud! Can't work on enough on those basics.
I admire your training procedures...I never did teach my dog to heel off leash...also, when a bird flies, she chases until I blow the whistle...It's interesting which battles we will fight and which we won't.
 

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My Boykin is still very young. The off leash heeling is something that's just started to take shape the last two weeks. I am afraid I don't have him on birds nearly often enough to work on getting him steady to the flush and shot. I am working on getting him to Hup (sit) from a distance to a single whistle blow, but my results are very hit and miss in that area yet. I don't plant enough birds to let them fly off as "punishment" if he isn't steady, so I make sure I see daylight beneath the bird and shoot. I bet I'm just encouraging the chase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You bring up some good questions...steady to flush. My dog isn't....but I make sure I'm real close to her and am real careful when I shoot.

Normally, I get real close because she's locked up tight. Sometimes, the bird may be up to 10 or more yards away because she's pointing scent.
 

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Abby too

Abby will point long distances and then we creep on the bird. AS I was reading the post I saw many things I wanted to comment on. I too walk my dog in public areas off leash so I can work on basic obedience. It is good as it provides distractions and other temptations. My dog is not steady to anything other than point. but when I give a command she will usually listen, as far as if she is in pursuit and I miss or don't shoot a couple of Quick "no birds" usually will turn her back. I have gotten busy at work so this is all I can remember.

Cavinci I just got your PM I am not sure when and now if I will bw going I will be in touch.

Jeff
 

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Tuesday night, the one night I actually schedule an hour in the field working with my fuzzy buddy. The dog had a great night, let him run and quarter, he flushed up a few doves, lots of sparrows. Kept him on a long line, threw some dummies, couple retrieves, lots of recalls. I actually got him to sit to the whistle from 30 yards away about 1/2 a dozen times. Weather was great....but...I nearly wanted to cry, I've never seen so many doves in my life, and me with out a shotgun in hand. Good work out of the pup made up for it. Heeling off lead is getting easier, even in the field now, he's been doing well in the house and yard, but when we're out, and he keeps it up, then I know he's actually getting it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sounds good...like to hear about your training sessions. I'm going to run my dog in Michigan this weekend...a place I hope we'll see some birds.
 

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My training style may seem rather odd. Other dogs I've had in the past I used very traditional methods, and had good results, especially with a departed GSP that I seem to compare all other dogs to.
My new dog, 9mth old Boykin Spaniel, I'm using all positive training techniques (clicker training). Started out with the idea to use it only for obedience, and have made changes to use it in field work too. The pup also LOVES agility work.
I work him on jumps, tunnels, A-frames, teete-totters and weave poles as much as I work him on "hunting" skills.
I know there are old school folks out there that would think I'm going to ruin a good gun dog, but so far I've seen no evidence of that. His drive and focus in the field is souly on finding that next bird, but when "handled" in any way, I get a good responce and a very eger responce. I think we've all seen dogs that come on recall with a slow trot and head down, I don't have any of that. The pup has also never had an e-collar on, but it is something I'm considering as an emergency backup , I haven't made up my mind on that.
 

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Worked on recalls with distractions last night. Ugly stuff, lot of work to do in that department it seems. Still has me thinking that an e-collar may be a good safety net.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I wouldn't train without an e collar------Only AFTER the dog understands the commands

There have been plenty of times that we've gone out hunting and I've forgotten to turn in on (only realizing after the hunt, when I went to turn it off). It's just having it on her (and her knowing it's there) that has the greatest effect.
 
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