Barbara's forst day at work! - Labradors Forums
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Old 29-01-2018, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Barbara's forst day at work!

Well I've been training Barbara for 2 years now (she was 2 back in October!) and as I progressed through the KC Good citizen scheme I increasingly enjoyed the training and the bond it creates between you and your dog. As she's a retriever I had also done some gundog/retrieving work, which I also increasingly enjoyed the more I did and the more I saw her progress! I started to take it a bit more seriously a while ago to see where it would take us, obviously making sure it's still fun and we both enjoy it too. I had a few 1-2-1 lessons with a postive gundog trainer (hard to come by near me!), and joined in their group lessons which are still ongoing.

Then a few weeks ago I got the opportunity to take Barbara along to a shoot! It was saturday just gone, beaters day and last day of the season for this shoot. My plan was to just go along, stay well back from the guns and just get her accustomed to the whole environment, the guns, other dogs working, birds, etc.

All went more or less to plan I'm glad to say! We stayed well back, watched and just let her see what was going on and get used to the loud bangs and all the action. Guns didn't bother her in the slightest, if anything it just perked up her interest. I wanted an easy retrieve for her, but unfortunately she didn't get one (it's beaters day and well, there were a few missed birds!), so we got lots of steadiness work and then a couple of picks from birds that others had already retrieved, just to give her a go with a warm bird.

All in, a cracking day out, Barabara didn't move from in front of the fire for the rest of the evening, and I have a brace of pheasant and a duck for the table! Lots to work on over the summer and then hopefully we'll be going to a few more days next season?
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Last edited by PhilG; 29-01-2018 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Adding pictures.
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Old 29-01-2018, 11:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's lovely seeing them doing the job they were bred for, isn't it! They really enjoy it. I will be over at my shoot tomorrow to feed the birds, then out for "Clearing up day" on Thursday. Chloe has been working picking up all season except for the weeks when she was in season. I'll be back there Saturday to start preparing for next season!

Chloe doing some cold game training before the season started.
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Old 30-01-2018, 11:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's lovely seeing them doing the job they were bred for, isn't it! They really enjoy it.
Yes, exactly. The more you see them enjoying it the more you want to do! Disappointing that the season is now over, but lots to practice and work on before next!
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The season is now over, so time to do what all thinking Labradors would do.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The season is now over, so time to do what all thinking Labradors would do.
Slightly spoiled lab there!!
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Old 17-03-2018, 08:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Beau has recently started her training with Steve Hare, Hare and Hounds in Kibworth. She’s loving it and instantly snaps into work mode when we get into his paddock. Her focus on me is amazing to see and is learning the stop whistle well.
My only worry is the sit/stay for 3 minutes, I’m struggling with it as she gets twitchy after about a minute, does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 17-03-2018, 11:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My suggestion is............ stick with it!!! If you simply and calmly go for endless repetition they get it.

After Judy I though Cooper was un-trainable but he's proved it's memory that's at fault. Judy was probably just as hard to train but we got there, getting there with him.
Very slowly though!

Good luck
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Old 17-03-2018, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Use the sit stay. Make it mean something. Dogs aren't stupid, with your dog sitting and you just standing there like a lemon and your dog wont be able to see any reason for staying. I use sit stays and direction control in doors when doing housework. Direction control to move the pup from one side of the room to the other when vacuuming the floor! Also sit stays while I walk forward to get more distance when tossing dummies. (try to sit your dog by something so you can see at a glance if it's moved. For me, I also leave my dogs sitting outside the Pheasant pens while I go in to fill feeders. There are so many ways you can use the stays. When training I normally have my stick with me, and leave it stuck in the ground with my dog sat beside it. A friend always carries a plastic electric fence post, because the metal spike makes it easy to push into the ground.

John.

Amy acting as a stop on a shoot day.
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Old 19-03-2018, 10:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I slowly built the time up in a sit/stay, do it maybe in 30 second increases with a few weeks between each time you increase the duration. Like John says, make sure there's a reason for it, preferably something fun at the end of it like a retrieve or a ball?
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Old 20-03-2018, 10:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Whilst we were agonising over getting Judy 9 years ago (NINE?!?! And it was muggins here who was agonising...) my OH suggested we send her to Scotland for a gun dog training course.

I wouldn't hear of it --- how the **** would she get stimulated after learning that when back in built up West London?? Now I'm gutted. I'd loved to have had yet another excuse to get out in the country nd join a shoot, even just as an on-looker.
She would've been immense at t and I'm sure she'd love it now even --- that dog is almost telepathic.......... well MOST of the time!!!

Cooper is One Year old and a Week now. He's just never going to be the sort of dog for picking up at a shoot. Shame
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