Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Tests

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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby GWPtyler » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:40 pm

GPBLITZ wrote:The longer your around , the more you'll see. A true UT-1 dog will handle what's put in front of him IMO.


I'm sure you're right. I guess we'll see how many true UT-1 dogs are around this weekend. Should be fun! And it won't be 100+ degrees.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby GPBLITZ » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:50 pm

GWPtyler wrote: Should be fun! And it won't be 100+ degrees.


Thank god for lower temps. Last Saturdays heat was a bugger.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby gwp4me2 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:17 pm

GPBLITZ wrote:The longer your around , the more you'll see. A true UT-1 dog will handle what's put in front of him IMO.

+1
You will see some dogs on a duck search that look possessed. I ran one that the judges asked me at 7 mins if I thought I could get him back. Same dog at a different venue the judges said the dog couldn't produce the duck because it had gone into 'impossible' cover.....wrong. They said he would never be able to catch it and we were trying to figure out how to shoot it....too late, he caught it. Judges see those very driven dogs and so a challenging entry loses some significance. A very good duck search dog doesn't take much training. A few live ducks and they will tear the swamp to pieces to find one.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby Freeze » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:50 pm

My question is, why was this approved in the first place??



I agree this is a tough setup, why wouldn't it be approved by the judges?
Is there a specific section in the AIMS book that you think the testing grounds failed to meet?

Curious to why it was thought this wasn't acceptable.

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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby Duckdon » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:22 pm

I guess I see this whole discussion different. The dog in question clearly was not up to the task. Not to cause fault but it can be easy or real hard depending on the dog and its temperament. I train with cover, heavy cover and difficult entry's. One place I train the bank is fairly clean but it's a 5' straight down drop to the water edge. The dogs launch off or fall down the bank but the dogs go. Another place we have maybe 20 yards of light grass and soup mud before they get to open water and an 80 yard swim to a swamp bank on the other side. Frequently I start a dog 20 - 30 yards from the water edge and send on a blind straight line send. They need to hit the water running and not veer off. Never do I allow them to start the search hunting the close bank. They must go out and then not come back. We don't have much in the way of golf coarse like entry. We also do searches off the bow of the boat. Where we tested last week the entry was 15-20 yards of cattails, 1/2 way through the cattails was a 16" log they had to cross, then maybe 30 yards of open water to a cattail island. The island was about 100 yards across and 50 yards wide. Ducks were planted with a boat, about 80 yards out on the right side of the island. The level 4 search dogs made it look like they knew exactly what they needed to do. The pz 3 dogs pattered along the close shore, expanded some but did not hit objectives but rather just stayed close checking and re-checking the same cover, over and over. At our NAVHDA trial last week, Josey, in total reckless abandon, covered enough swamp in 6.5 minutes that at 8 minutes she was called in. Klous was about 300 yards out and in a sight chase in open water on the main lake when he was called in. The other 4 level dogs all had similar runs. A level 4 dog will rarely check back to the handler unless he has a duck in his mouth. We take duck search real serious and it shows. Some dogs really are genetically equipped for independent duck search and some take lots of work to get them there. We start duck search work as soon as we get open water and anytime the pup is something like 4 months old. Before that they are already handling live ducks on land. Take it to the next level. I love search behind the duck.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby Lurker » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:22 pm

Duckdon wrote:I guess I see this whole discussion different. The dog in question clearly was not up to the task.


I believe that your dogs and others would have performed the task as that is the level they were trained for.. and that is great. However the test is set up be run against a standard and not in a way that only the extreme (est) "win". I would think that many tests can be set up for a lot of failures if a judging team wanted to push the limits in what they determined the standard. That isn't the point of the test.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby gwp4me2 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:26 pm

The local chapter chooses the venue. The judges choose how to use the water and fields on site. Water across the country available for tests is very limited and varied. Ive tested in places with nearly no cover and others with a submerged jungle. Prepare for any possible venue.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:49 am

Extremely thick, heavy, smartweed, cattails, willows, standing corn are all common on the public marshes I hunt. As are boat lanes too deep to wade across. So a dog with a very strong independent search is a must to avoid losing birds. Seems to me the test was realistic for testing a dog's aptitude and preparedness for actual hunting conditions.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby DrahtsundBraats » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:32 am

You should try to train for every eventuality...this was a tough break. My question is if the cattails were so heavy at the shoreline, could the judges see enough of the area to make a judgment?
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby GWPtyler » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:29 am

I stand by my statement that I wouldn't send a UT dog, or any dog for that matter, on a blind in a hunting situation from the furthest point possible and expect them to immediately forego the 20 yards of cattails in front of it to search the far bank. If I send a dog out of cover toward cover, I expect it to search that cover. If you have a dog that will blow through cover on a straight line like a retriever, to me that's training for the test, not a hunting situation. Or, if that was the only spot available to send a blind, I'd at least handle them beyond the initial cover so they didn't waste time searching an area where there was no duck. Which, again, is not allowed at the UT level.

I duck search trained with this dog at least a dozen times during the summer, and by the last session I was 100 percent confident the dog would search, expand independently, find a bird, and return as many times as it was asked no matter where it was sent from. We went out of our way to make each session progressively more difficult than the next. I guess we will up the ante even more next time.Tonight is another duck search session to prepare for this weekend's test.

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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:46 am

I was not there and probably should not have commented.

If I sent my dog into a sea of cover directly in front of us, I would expect him to search that cover thoroughly unless I handled him to go to a different area, and then having found nothing (including no scent to follow), I would expect him to expand his search beyond that cover. Unless there is 10 minutes worth of cover to search on the near side I would expect my dog to expand across the water after finding nothing on the near side vs covering the same cover he already searched.

If the dogs testing at UT level had adequate cover on the near side to search for 10 minutes without covering the same ground, and did, then it would seem to me the judging was incorrect.

Best of luck in your upcoming test.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby GWPtyler » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:50 am

AverageGuy wrote:I was not there and probably should not have commented.

If I sent my dog into a sea of cover directly in front of us, I would expect him to search that cover thoroughly unless I handled him to go to a different area, and then having found nothing (including no scent to follow), I would expect him to expand his search beyond that cover. Unless there is 10 minutes worth of cover to search on the near side I would expect my dog to expand across the water after finding nothing on the near side vs covering the same cover he already searched.

If the dogs testing at UT level had adequate cover on the near side to search for 10 minutes without covering the same ground, and did, then it would seem to me the judging was incorrect.

Best of luck in your upcoming test.


No, that makes sense to me. I was not there, just hearing it from the handler. And I truthfully don't know how long the dog searched the near shore, nor how much it expanded that search.

Again, he specifically stated that the judge told him he was dinged because the dog didn't break the cover and swing across the open water. So maybe the cover was thick on the near shore, but not expansive enough for a 10-minute search, as you stated.

I'll find out more this weekend and fill you in. Some of the judges will be there, so I'll try to get their take. Would be good to hear both sides of the story.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby GWPtyler » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:56 am

DrahtsundBraats wrote:You should try to train for every eventuality...this was a tough break. My question is if the cattails were so heavy at the shoreline, could the judges see enough of the area to make a judgment?


I agree with you, and we did to an extent. One of the pond we utilized had about 12 feet of cattails that the dog needed to pass through before hitting and crossing open water. This was a challenge, but we also had about a 10-foot landing so the dog was less likely to simply take a sharp turn and start searching the near shore. If they did, we'd get in the kayak and lead them across. Only took a couple hiccups like this and they got the drill. Then we'd move down the line, whack another landing, and try it again the next training night.

No idea what the judges were able to see. The handler did say that the judges were up on a hill, so I'm guessing their vantage point was better than what the handler had.
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby Duckdon » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:05 am

Where was that test held?
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Re: Weird Duck Search Scenario at Test

Postby GWPtyler » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:35 am

Duckdon wrote:Where was that test held?
Don and Crew


Central Dakota Chapter, so somewhere by Bismarck.
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