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tom kilgore
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:31 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Nov 2014
Posts: 33
Location: cuero, texas

I will be dropping off my GSP(3.7 months old) at the trainer today for an intensive general obedience class that will be two months long. I will admit that there is a great pain of separation in doing so. My question is, will my visits (maybe weekly or biweekly)during the two months be a negative impact on his training? I do not want him to forget me in that time. Thanks, Tom
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Ray-citori
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:41 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 05 Feb 2015
Posts: 242
Location: New Braunfels TX

I left my setter twice with a trainer, once for a puppy indoctrination the second time for upland bird training, the first was a month the second for three months. When I went to pick him up after the three months he didn't know me. I would visit as often as I could. Who is the trainer? My 9 YO GSP will need to be replaced one of these days. That's even hard to say and he's in good health.
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Riflemeister
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:56 am  Reply with quote
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I had both my GSP's trained by Ronnie Smith in Big Cabin, OK. He encouraged the owner to visit and actually take part in the training as often as they could. I live an hour north of big cabin in SW Missouri and would usually make twice weekly trips to work with my dogs.

Obedience training for a hunting dog is a mixed blessing. Most obedience schools are very strong on the dog sitting in just about all situations where the dog is stopped. Being able to command your dog to sit when desired is a nice option, but my 8 year old will sometimes default to a sit while on point if he feels stressed because of the training. If we are in sync and everything is going smoothly there is no problem. Luckily he's never sat down during a field trial, but he's not done hunting yet and could happen.

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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:00 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
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Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

Tom,
The trainer should be training you and the dog both, you need to make sure you learn all the commands the trainer is training with, and how to use the commands for your companion dog in the field.

Having trained gun dogs for many many years, my program trained the gun dog and the owner both.

Pine Creek/Dave

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WyoChukar
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:13 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 16 Jul 2015
Posts: 1121
Location: Hudson,Wy

Wow, that is just something I could't do. Work put me on the road for two weeks recently and I suffered separation pains more than the dog did, I think. My big fear with a two months stint is that I would lose important bonding time with a young dog. That, and the fact that I once saw an exceptionally well trained lab that worked wonderfully for the trainer, but refused to hunt with his master! It was $5000 disappointment.

I know most of these training camps produce great dogs, but there is something personal about training. Pine Creek Dave is right about the owner receiving instruction as well as the dog. Maybe someone should start a training camp for dog owners who want to learn how to train their dogs. I suppose that is a bit like asking a plumber to show you how simple his job is so that you don't need his services, but it would be a good thing for hunters.

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tom kilgore
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:13 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Nov 2014
Posts: 33
Location: cuero, texas

Well, I dropped my pup off today and feel better about it now. I will be going over to spend time with him weekly or biweekly. The trainer is about 1.5 hrs away (that is close in Texas). This pup is not quite as strong in retrieving instinct as my last GSP and this intensive training will be a plus for him. I trained my last GSP and while not classically trained, he was more than I deserved. He was fantastic on quail/pheasants. I think he liked retrieving ducks most of all(deep water too). He retrieved the white wing doves, would run blood trails on deer and hogs and most importantly, a cherished dear friend. I hope that I can get some of what that guy was in this new pup. I am patient and committed to do so. Looking forward to the next hunting season, Tom
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Riflemeister
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:27 pm  Reply with quote
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tom kilgore wrote:
Well, I dropped my pup off today and feel better about it now. I will be going over to spend time with him weekly or biweekly. The trainer is about 1.5 hrs away (that is close in Texas). This pup is not quite as strong in retrieving instinct as my last GSP and this intensive training will be a plus for him. I trained my last GSP and while not classically trained, he was more than I deserved. He was fantastic on quail/pheasants. I think he liked retrieving ducks most of all(deep water too). He retrieved the white wing doves, would run blood trails on deer and hogs and most importantly, a cherished dear friend. I hope that I can get some of what that guy was in this new pup. I am patient and committed to do so. Looking forward to the next hunting season, Tom


My second pup has developed into a great bird dog, but a completely different personality than the older dog. My advice is not to put too much expectation and pressure on the new dog to be a clone of the old one. Just keep it on birds and make him do it right, but don't try to mold him into a copy of the older dog. All dogs have their strengths and weaknesses and eventually you'll see what you have and it will likely be just fine.

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byrdog
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:59 am  Reply with quote
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I agree with Riflemeister about the Obedience training I think it makes the Woa breaking confusing for the bird dog. In our house every day is a training day the same commands from bird training are used to interact with the dog in all everyday situations so that " bird talk" becomes the norm.

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Akoss1923
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:40 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Feb 2018
Posts: 27
Location: New York, USA

byrdog wrote:
I agree with Riflemeister about the Obedience training I think it makes the Woa breaking confusing for the bird dog. In our house every day is a training day the same commands from bird training are used to interact with the dog in all everyday situations so that " bird talk" becomes the norm.


I 100% agree. Even on busy days, I work with my eight month old lab doing all kinds of mini training drills around the house. I get him out for training in the field about three times a week, but with longer days approaching, hopefully it will be even more. However, I could not imagine sending him off to a trainer because I would miss out on bonding with him. Plus, I'd miss the poor fella too much!

Remember, a trainer will always handle a dog differently from how you will handle him. Voice commands and even subtle body language cues the dog takes from him/her may not register the same way when you try to emulate it.
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Bobsthedog
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:54 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Mar 2018
Posts: 25

GSPs really get attached to theoir master and are more easily trained by the master. They will get attached to the obidience trainer and if you are not as stern as the trainer the GSP will take advantage of that. Just like a little kid they are smart and they constantly test the water. I have had 7 GSPs a Visla nad a Wirehair, none of them have never been to an obedience trainer, I want them attached to me and i want them to want to please me. It makes control in the field much easier. Not to say they are perfect, but they are good enough to not screw up a day in the field and are often far better behaved than the dogs that are trained by someone other than the master.

I now have three house broken GSPs. As i type this one in on the recliner next to my desk, one is ont the lfoor to my left and one is under the desk with his head on mycalf. They are all my dogs even thoughmy wife and son feed them, and take care of them. They cling to me because I trained them. When i go out of town on bussiness, one mopes arround the house, one spends most of his time outside sitting in the driveway watching for me, even in the middle of the night, and the other that is actually my sons dog wil stick with him.

I also would never take a dog in for obedience training unless it was just one of those dogs that needed constant attention. A lot of GSPs are wild in the house and in a lot of cases the walk every day will do a lot to take that edge off, espoecially if you let them run off leash for 20 minutes. But i alway have at least two dogs and a one acre lot, lots of sqiuirrels, and the ocational skunk and opossum, so they excersise themselves some too.

I trained the last two GSPs by taking a 1 -2 mile walk with them every day. I start at 7 weeks and maybe walk 1/2 mile until the start getting their legs. I walk them on a 50 ft piece of paracord and let them go whereever they want, explore whatever, being very careful not to ever let them connect the end of that paracord with thier limit. say come and drain the cord, woa and stop them and dont drawit in etc. I was lucky enough to (it has now changed) to have no development behind my house. I would tun them loose to run and explore then put them on the cord then back to turn them loose never reining them in while off the cord except to protect them. I am a firm believer that you can take range out but you cant put it back. Other than sit and stay, I teach nothing but field commands. Sit and stay are necessary control commands and it give my wife control commands to use without using woa. I teach sit, stay, out, come, woa, close, easy, and heal in the first 6 months. They wear the GPS collar from day one but i never use the e taining until at least 6 months and by then every dog i have done this way could be stopped on a dead run with woa and would turn and run back hard at heal and come. By 6 months i loose the check cord and walk them through the neiborhood with the e collar only. I heal them only when cars, or people, are coming and when crossing streets. I let them roam further and work the all the commands at least twice per walk. Thats it. 5-7 dyas a week 2-3 time per command once they leaarn it. Like above woa gets used for everything. Constantly and it is never allowed to be ignored. If you do not teach a dog anything else he will probably be a good birdog if he knows and obeys woa without flaw.

Whats cool about this method is that they become very good city dogs. Eventually eventhe wildest of them figures out, car comming i need to get at heal. Bust crossraod and need to stop and sit and let him cross the streewt with me. It is very rewarding and it takes no more time than going for a walk with the dog alomost eery day. It good for you too if you can do it.

I do introduce the commands on the training table but these GSPs are so smart that they need only a few weeks total on the table (maybe once or twice a week for 10-15 minutes) before they figure out what they want. By the end of the firsst 6 moinths i have put up the training table. Then just give it to themn in their normal activities or while on a walk. i Sit, stay, come, first and they pick it up withint two weeks then I mediately go to woa. I do that on purpose because i want the dog to sit when I say woa so i can walk over and pick his but up andrepeat woa. They will figure out very quickly that woa does not mean sit.

WHile walking i start using the whistle so that they know come and get used to taking commands on the whsitle. After 6 months i start working the whistle to turn them while running and get them to look to take a hand signal, but i dont control them just to control.

Thank God for GPS collars. You no longer have to keep up with every single move and yuou can let them get out of site for longer periods of time. We use to joke when a dog disappeared that he was on point, start hollering and whisltling to get him in. Now guess what, they are almost always on point!!! Its hard to believe. I wonder just how many good dogs were ruined by people calling them off points not knowing they were on point.

While training Bob 4 years ago I went out the front door of the house and as per usual turned him loose on the long check cord. There was a woman walking a viszla down the road and Bob thinks he is every dogs buddy (even Coyotes and a fawn doe on time i wish i could remeber i had a camera in my pocket, i watched him and that doe circle and smell each other for sevral minutes until momma could stand it any more and came running). Anyway Bob took off in high gear to see the viszla. I just watched the check cord and just as he got to the end gave him the woa command, of course he didnt stop imediately and ran out of cord upending himself. The woman scolded me for being too harsh on the puppy meanwhil her dog was tugging at the leash and nearly pulling her over. two months later Bob was off the check cord and i intentionally put him in the same situation. With finger on the tickle button and the hammer button i opend the door and said out. I let him run all the eway to the curb and gave him an athoritative woa. He slide to a stop and stood there. She stopped with the viszla again tugging at the leash. I walked up and said easy, and he walked over to make dog friends witht he viszla. Then i healed him and he came over and sat down. She could believe how well behaved the dog was after only a few months. I told her he new the rules two months ago and i was intentionaly putting him in situations where i thought he might fail. She didnt understand and thought it was wrong to intentionally put the dog in a situation where he might fail just to punishe him.

In any case it is really rewarding to have a doig you trained run at high speed and stop him in his tracks with woa.

My buddy completely disagrees with me and only uses woa on birds. I use woa for almost everything, it is the first word out of my mouth if something happens.

Unfortunately for me as dogs get older i become far less stern and become too tolerant of things, like allowign them to pretend to be peeing when i said come, or maybe not making them sit on heal, but failure to obey woa is never tolerated and I do not alow the wife to use the command at all. Smile She has sit and stay to use.
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tom kilgore
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:50 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Nov 2014
Posts: 33
Location: cuero, texas

I have decided to make the commitment to train the little guy myself. I will be making the trip to pick him up this week. I appreciate the tips provided by Bobsthedog. I will utilize them to the best of my ability. I really miss that little guy. Thanks to all, Tom
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Dave Erickson
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:37 pm  Reply with quote
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Good plan! You’ll do just fine.
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Bobsthedog
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:43 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Mar 2018
Posts: 25

almost anyone that has trained a dog will be happy to help just shoot me a PM if you have questions.

Go on line ad buy a book on how to train your birddog just be careful many of these older books are far to cruel for todays GSPs. they can be very sensitive and once the start to fear you they can be impossible to train. I have a female i got that had been started and she cant be trained. If she senses at all that she is being asked to learn something she shuts down.
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duckdup
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:44 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2018
Posts: 121
Location: West-central Missouri

Has anyone else used the Bill West method of training your pups? Steady with Style website and Facebook pages detail the method. I used it to help undo some bad habits with my retriever (& me) with good results. 16ga and a good dog make for a good day...

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Bobsthedog
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:13 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Mar 2018
Posts: 25

from what i see on his site its probably a very good method for a GSP.

Just be warned that although a GSP can be very sensitive they can also be extremely hard headed and extremely tough. You generally can't train a dog at home by yourself without at least occasionally being hard, you don't have time to wait out the multiple repetitions of positive reinforcement and then find your dog isn't going to respond. But by training him yourself you can get to know your dog and know what he is about. I have had dogs that were going to do what they were going to do, and no amount of positive or negative reinforcement would correct it, they were either too bored, or had too much fun doing it, or in the case of a lot of GSPs they had the separation anxiety from you the master. My experience is the only way to control a young GSP while you are gone is to put him in a kennel from the minute he gets home. Some take to it immediately and it becomes their getaway. BOB barked all night long for over a year. He chewed his way out of a plastic box, and totally destroyed one of the metal wire cages. It sounds cruel but you have to break that or travel is impossible.
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