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Joined: 01/07/2006
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my chesapeke

My puppy with her mother at 2 weeks


and her brother
she is now 5 months but i will take a new pic soon

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Location: Berea, Kentucky
Joined: 12/18/2005
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my chesapeke

Mighty fine looking K9, lets gettem started, they bred very well?? Give ya some in the house tricks. Good looking dogs, thanks Jonesy

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Location: Pennsylvania
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my chesapeke

Solid looking dog. What do you hunt with her?

Don Fischer's picture
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my chesapeke

Nice pup but I would watch what I ask of it too soon. Pups are like kids, they grow up physically faster than emotionally. Really easy to ruin a young dog with good intentions. I've started dogs at about 3mos and haven't had near the luck as I've had starting later. I like to pass by the first year, start training between 12 and 18 mos. I watch for the emotional maturity level of the pup to come. There are no terrible two's with my dogs anymore. The first year is spent making sure the pup knows his name and getting the buggers out of strange and new things in the field. With a retriever it's a good time for basic obedience also, Retrievers live and die on obedience.

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Location: Berea, Kentucky
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my chesapeke

What you do, and how you do it, patience is a virtue, along with the foundation. Present it correctly, and no probs, dogs don't even realize they are working. Promise, Thanks Jonesy Thumbs up

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my chesapeke

Thats true to a point. Where the problem comes in is the owner that sees a pup doing wonderious things and moves along to soon. At the end of say three to five months you think you got a dog but don't. What you have is an immature mind capabile of absorbing a lot but the handler moved along to fast. Then too, is the pup asked to retrieve a cripple bird that beats up the pup and, viola, a pup that won't pick up any bird. I have noticed over many years that dogs that suffer terrible two's are dogs trained as pup's, put down for a pretty good first season and toward the end of that first season, they finish emotional maturement and the stage is set for terrible two's!

The most important things a pup can learn the first year to year and a half, are it's name and what here means, to be socially acceptable and that means basic obedience. That first year to year and a half the pecking order is set and the pup learns to deal with life, on your terms! It learns about water, brush, birds it can't catch and is carefully, CAREFULLY, introduced to the gun. There is no such thing as a gun shy dog, only dogs imporperly introduced. Rush the lesson, ruin the dog!

At some point between 1 and 1 1/2 yrs, you'll notice the pup get bolder, things that used to spook the pup will not faze him, he's matruing emotionally. If you've done your job right to this point, field work becomes a breeze. The pecking order is set and the boss well established. The bugger's are gone and the dog has arrived. Ask to much to soon and you'll end up with a teenager with all the answers that doesn't do anything really well, ala terrible two's!

I fail to understand why so many people want that pup out for what they think is the all important first year, rush the pup thru training to soon, accept a fair first year then spend the next year or so fixing all the mistakes made trying to make a dog out of a pup! By doing so, you'll have to lean on the dog to stop some bad habit's that you encouraged by starting to soon. If your pup is out doing it's bird work, in this case probally retrieving, and it hurt's itself going to pick up a bird, you risk the pup associating the pain or discomfort with the bird. You introduce the right things at the wrong time an you can cause more problems than you want.

As an example, I had a guy bring me his Britt with a problem it developed it's first year hunting, it would not retrieve a bird, ANY BIRD! Turned out he'd wounded a phesant for it late in the season and that nine mos old pup got beat up by a bird. Did a great job to that point and suddenly, retrieving is OUT! I took her out and worked her on fly away birds while I force broke her to retrieve. Then the first shot bird I sent her after, she retrieved. A pup with to much to soon that seemed like a dog to it's owner. Use a good deal of caution with a young dog or you WILL need a pro! That young Britt cost it's owner $750 because of the owner's impatience.

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Joined: 01/16/2006
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my chesapeke

Alot of it depends upon the maturity of the dog and how guns, birds, etc. are introduced and more specifically WHEN it's introduced. With the Britt, how often did he hunt with it? How many birds did he introduce to it? And how did he introduce birds to it?

I've seen dogs ruined by people pushing dogs (shelters are full of them) and I've also seen dogs that introduced to something wrongly. Remember, take it as slow or as fast as the dog can learn it. That's why I didn't buy Wolter's DVD, people I've met say it's wonderful but one thing they didn't like about it is that it sets timetables. Ex, at age one, your dog should be able to this and that, etc. now for the next lesson... All dogs mature differently.

My take on training is simply condition the dog/puppy first before actually using the command. When I took my setter out for walks early on (8 weeks), I wouldn't let her pull on the leash. I would tug her back with as much pressure as she would tug on the leash. A few months later, I would say, "Heel". and tug. It took her a week to put it all together including "come" and "whoa".

Conditioning. You can actually start conditioning your pup to now. Not the same as training. Conditioning applies no pressure just repetition. In training, you apply words to overlay conditioning. You imply obediance in training. But the dog can do no wrong in conditioning.

Concerning actual field hunting. I like to encourage (condition) pups to chase, point, whatever. Pups are curious and playful. I like to use this to introduce them to the 'hunt'. Let them chase bugs, butterflies, etc. then they'll start chasing squirrls, sparrows, small animals. Finally, bigger birds like pheasants. I have a pup now that has already had a 'successful' hunting season and she's only nine months old. Started pointing at five months, introduced to the gun at six. Is she polished? Absolutely not. But she was real birdy at five months (wanting to 'hunt' birds instead of playing w/ other dogs) so I introduced her to chukars then introduced her to the gun (.22, .410, 20ga). Now, taking her to the park, she immediately gets low (stalking) and looks for birds (local plovers) to hunt. She stalks through the entire walk. At this age, I really don't care if she's steady to wing but I do care if her points are steady which she doesn't seem to have a problem with (Pointed several pheasants this year, one almost 20mins). She also found a wounded pheasant that another hunter shot which she ended up playing with (remember, I introduced her to smaller chukars first so she was never scared of birds). This year we will be working on steady to wing and shot, retrieving, backing or honoring and multiple guns. So far, training has happen for only a few commands which are being overlayed into the field. And noticed I said working, ie. conditioning, on those things for this year.

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my chesapeke

Mite,

Your dog is telling you she's not really ready.

Quote:
Now, taking her to the park, she immediately gets low (stalking) and looks for birds (local plovers) to hunt. She stalks through the entire walk. At this age, I really don't care if she's steady to wing but I do care if her points are steady which

What your seeing is indecission, she's not sure what she's supposed to do. Your doing a lot of thing's right with the walks and obedience. But beware, all the time she's down, she's learning. Sounds like you've put bird's in her mouth already and at her age and the way your doing it, it's on her terms. She has a sample of what she want's, the bird! Next your going to finish her if I read right. Well guess what, you already taught her how to get what she want's, now your going to change the rules on her and she really is just a pup. Remember the stalking you wrote about? Another thing about setters, they generally mature a bit slower than most other pointing breeds and some can be hard yet soft. That means they'll try you but a little correction goes a long way.

My feeling on the "Wolters" books is that you've done the right thing. Go to "Delmar Smith" and find "The Best Way........The Delmar Smith method" x Bill Tarrant. Great book that will also give you a good lesson on "force retrieve" training. Your seeing in your pup just the things that may cause problems down the road, a willing pup that at some point will become a young dog that's pretty sure it has the right answer's, it doesn't! One more thing, use pigeons for training. What you really don't want is for something bad to happen that the young pup may associate with the bird and have that bird be a game bird. Also,pigeons will come back into they're loft to be reused and when they leave the ground they won't reland on the ground, they'll find a phone wire or a tree and your dog can't chase them there. The dog is completely finished with pigeons then started over on game bird's. The transition is rapid and there will be no bad things to happen compliment's of the bird.

Pay attention to your dog and WHAT YOUR TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!! Your dog will tell you all you need to know and if your yelling "here" while your dog's running away, your not teaching "here"!!!

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my chesapeke

About getting into birds, she would have done it anyways as I've always encouraged her. If I let off on introducing birds, she would have already developed "that means I can chase" mentality. I perhaps didn't mention that if the bird holds she'll hold. So, anytime she points a bird whether it be a plover or quail or pheasant, I make sure she doesn't blink. That's instinct but enforcing it.

I feel that if you encourage the dog at this age (w/ restrictions) then in the end that will be its purpose in life. At 6mo for my dog, it will be a shame to waste that desire. I get comments from people in the field like, "I want a dog like that" and "Wow, your puppy is a hunting machine!" And these people had GSPs, Goldies, etc. with them. I've encouraged her to look for birds (no pressure) so now she has a very intense bird drive.

No I'm not pushing her. At 6mo. the gamefarm, at 8mo. starting to use the 20ga. She has to show that she can handle something well, then she has to show me again before I take her to the next step. Slow and steady. This season we were both successful, she gets introduced to birds & guns and I get the enjoyment of watching her.

Concerning Delmar Smith, yes I have The Delmar Smith Method by Bill Tarrant and The Smith Bros, Puppy Development DVD. As to where she is: about chapter 6.

As an aside, lets say I bring her to you to train at one year of age. What would I tell you? She's staunch on point. She knows "woah" by word and whistle. She knows "come" by word and whistle. She knows "heel" by word. Already, introduced to the gun and birds. She is now putting it all together. Isn't that what you'd expect from clients?

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What I like to see a dog do at one year depends on the dog. With a setter or any pointing breed what I want to see is a dog that comes when it's called and runs boldly in the field. It shouldn't be to concerned about new things and I'd like to see it chasing "dicky birds" wildly. On birds it see's on the ground, I like to see them flash pointing and chasing.

A lot of people discourage any and all chasing, I don't. The thing about chasing is that the dog learns it can't catch the bird. A dog that won't chase either doesn't have the natural desire, has had someone stop it, usually by physical means or was never exposed when it was young. I had a 6yr old shorthair brought in one time that had no intrest in birds at all. It had spent it's entire life in a kennel run. I took it into a quail pen and just stood there until it went after a bird first and then killed a couple. What happened was that I created a small problem to fix a larger one. The dog turned out fine. Good breeding can usually be brought out.

Your setter will at some point probally ignore the plover's all together. That'll be after she's done plenty of bird's she can get to. But at this point in her life, she sneaks up trying to get closer, thats natural and good. It would be bad not to try. What you see there in the indesiveness of a pup. If you discourage that, you hurt the pup.

I don't know where your at with the pup right now but it's probally alright to do the whoa post now. I do some other things Delmar doesn't talk about there. After your done on the post, check cord your dog around with the short lead on the pinch collar and the check cord on the nylon collar. Have some stakes in the ground and work on hooking the check cord on a stake, calling whoa softly and flipping the cord off the stake and regaining control of it all at the same time. Sounds confussing but works like a charm. On the whoa post your dog is stopped from behind and will learn to get cautious when on the post. On the ground and away fron the post it'll get bolder. That's where the stakes teach it that the post is always there. If you miss a post, ignor it and go on, just don't whoa the dog unless you have the post. This is one time when you let the cord go lose and drag the ground.

In the mean time keep wotking on control and let the pup chase all it want's. When you start on bird's your told to check cord them into from down wind. I used to do that also but haven't in years. If you can afford it, get a remote bird release setup. Turn your dog lose dragging the check cord and CONTROL THE BIRD. Initally, work the dog into the bird from UPWIND. Don't give her/him a chance to point. When the dog is 10 or 15 yds from the bird, pop the bird. Your dog will think it did it. Let the dog go sniff around the trap and figure out what happened. Do it several times then bring the dog in cross wind. What your doing is suprizing the dog with scent Thru this process never give your dog any whoa command. Unless you hold the check cord, you won't stop it from chashing. I have learned to hate any hands on around a bird.

While the dog is pointing, do and say nothing. If the dog so much as moves it's eye's toward you, pop the bird, shut up and go on. Within 10 or so bird's you'll not only be able to walk to the bird to flush it but your dog will hesitate befor chashing when you flush. Say nothing, not even "good boy". At this point the dog really doesn't care what you think! Sorry this is so long but the order is necessary and so is understanding. When your dog is very steady on birds, stop for a week or two and return to whoa training.

Keep working on the whoa command with the check cord away from the bird field. Bring your dog toward you on the cord and stop him. Hold him on a whoa about 10 feet in front of you and when he's settled, take a live pigeon out and let it go. Don't throw the bird, LET it go. Keep the dog on whoa!!! Bring him around several more times and stop him in front of you. Every now and again release the live bird. Now this is important, timing!!! After the second or third time you release the bird, the command is "whoa then release". Bring the command and release of the bird closer and closer. After 7 or 8 times,as the dog comes to you, say nothing and release the bird. The dog will stop. What you have done is teach the dog that a flushed bird means whoa. The next step is to start all over but this time a dead bird. Stop the dog, get control then drop the bird AT YOUR FEET. Here on out it's the same as with a live fly away bird. Your dog is becoming finished and doesn't know it. The last step, you start over, same program but with a pigeon with flight feathers pulled and legs tied with a pipe cleaner.

When your done with this series of excerises you'll be so close to a finished dog you won't believe it and you haven't laid a hand on it nor restrained it in the field. Go thru this complete process, each step till it's flawless befor returning to the field with planted birds. This time in the field, a soft caution whoa just befor releasing the bird. Watch your dog. Read your dog. If it looks like it might go, caution whoa befor release. Release the live bird and throw a dead bird for it. Send the dog to retrieve the dead bird. Things start coming together quickly now but don't over do it. Leave your dog wanting each time. When you start shooting the released birds, shoot lot's but only shoot when the dog does everything right.

At this point I've had the dog on a shock collar for a long time and have used it. If my dog breaks at shot, i shutup and bump bump bump until the dog stops. Then the retrieve begins where the dog stopped. Remember that a flushed bird means whoa, a dead bird means whoa and a cripple bird means whoa.

But all this is for a mature dog. A pup can't do anything wrong and your job is to see that it can't. Chasing is ok, indecision is ok. Getting in trouble in the field from the boss, not so good. Obedience and yard work at home, run free in the field. Bring it together when the pup matures.

People make training dogs hard. Don't train, teach!

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my chesapeke

This is what she's doing when I say stalking. There were NO birds in this field today. But she carried along like this during the entire walk. This little vid was shot in a baseball field. I believe she's looking for plovers but one of her favorite things is pouncing on leaves. She got spayed on Thurs so this week she's onleash. Usually I run her for two hours daily with short training sessions between.

http://www.dropshots.com/day.php?userid=41700&cdate=20060117&ctime=211326

I took this shot when I woahed her
http://www.villagephotos.com/viewpubimage.asp?id_=15588449&selected=

Sorry for hijacking this thread. Your chessy is really cute Big smile .