Easiest versatile dog to train

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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby booger » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:48 pm

AverageGuy wrote:I have seen Labs which stood over their birds and Pointing Labs which did not point at all.

I do not believe the breeding efforts have produced anywhere near the same level of pointing instinct that long established pointing breeds have so word to the wise on that. If you get a "Pointing" Lab you may well find yourself with a different form of training challenge relative to pointed upland birds. Their range and endurance will not rival a good pointing dog for upland work.

Labs are very easily trained for basic waterfowl duties. So are well bred Vdogs. FTs aside pretty basic training will meet the practical needs of actual waterfowl hunting. Many Vdogs with good basic training and a lot of experience are excellent waterfowl dogs, measured by how many downed birds they recover and how well they behave while hunting.

If you want to compete in high level Retriever Hunt Tests or Trials a Lab is the way to go. But I have been training with some Retriever folks quite a bit and they have their share of training challenges when working on the higher level performance, for sure.

Don't kind yourself, the task of achieving a Retriever FT level of performance requires a huge training effort and knowledge as well as the right dog. And there are washouts even in the Lab Breed.

If you are well versed in how to train a Lab to handle you are likely to have adequate success for hunting purposes with a Vdog as well is what I think.


Seems it would stand to reason even more Vdogs would wash out of a FT level then, which makes me think you'd have to be a phenomenal trainer to get a Vdog to handle along with having the right dog.

I agree with the take on pointing labs, everyone seems to think they have one but rarely do they point.

Was hoping more people would join in saying PPs or some other breeds are easier to train. If there's a clear difference between labs and pointers here, you'd think there would be clear differences within the pointing breeds.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby booger » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:08 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Yes no doubt the Vdogs get bored MUCH faster than the Labs (some Labs never get bored it seems).

Less Reps, less bumpers, more birds for the Vdogs. Especially on blinds. I have had GWPs that would do more marks than I care to throw in a session.

My Spud does nice work when we are training 1:1. Eager and happy to work as long as I mix things up day to day. Take him to a Retriever training day in 90 degree heat, keep him in a dog box for hours, pull him out and give him 5 minutes of work and he will hate it and show it. Meanwhile some Lab has been sitting on a marsh platform for hours patiently waiting his turn to work.

They are definitely wired different.

Similar results in the field are possible from both up to a point. The things the Labs will do that most Vdogs will not, seldom if ever come into play while actually hunting waterfowl is what I experience and think.


A couple things I'm getting from your post - I should join a retriever club and get familiar with what they do, how they do it.

That repetition that some Vdogs hate is what makes them a reliable dog for handling.

Then, I disagree with how often handling is important. It almost comes into play on every hunt. If the dog doesn't take a good line, if you want one dog to get one specific bird, if you want to handle a dog out to 200 yards. I want that bird in my hands as quickly and efficiently as possible, that means not doing a duck search while out getting my bird or wondering off to do what they want. That's where this focus on independence hurts IMO.

I should mention I mainly hunt with another guy and his dog and we mainly hunt water out of a boat. Training during hunts has been especially difficult recently as the water is so high it prevents me from getting out of the boat to help give a line.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby JONOV » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:21 pm

booger wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:I have seen Labs which stood over their birds and Pointing Labs which did not point at all.

I do not believe the breeding efforts have produced anywhere near the same level of pointing instinct that long established pointing breeds have so word to the wise on that. If you get a "Pointing" Lab you may well find yourself with a different form of training challenge relative to pointed upland birds. Their range and endurance will not rival a good pointing dog for upland work.

Labs are very easily trained for basic waterfowl duties. So are well bred Vdogs. FTs aside pretty basic training will meet the practical needs of actual waterfowl hunting. Many Vdogs with good basic training and a lot of experience are excellent waterfowl dogs, measured by how many downed birds they recover and how well they behave while hunting.

If you want to compete in high level Retriever Hunt Tests or Trials a Lab is the way to go. But I have been training with some Retriever folks quite a bit and they have their share of training challenges when working on the higher level performance, for sure.

Don't kind yourself, the task of achieving a Retriever FT level of performance requires a huge training effort and knowledge as well as the right dog. And there are washouts even in the Lab Breed.

If you are well versed in how to train a Lab to handle you are likely to have adequate success for hunting purposes with a Vdog as well is what I think.


Seems it would stand to reason even more Vdogs would wash out of a FT level then, which makes me think you'd have to be a phenomenal trainer to get a Vdog to handle along with having the right dog.

I agree with the take on pointing labs, everyone seems to think they have one but rarely do they point.

Was hoping more people would join in saying PPs or some other breeds are easier to train. If there's a clear difference between labs and pointers here, you'd think there would be clear differences within the pointing breeds.

Think of it this way; if you bought a Golden Retriever from the right hunting lines, or a Boykin, would it be any harder for you, the amateur trainer to train, than a lab? Probably not.

I think that there comes a point where the relative qualities of a dog breed in terms their performance potential or trainability by a single dog owner become misaligned with economics and other factors inherent to a field trial environment. Meaning, labs have characteristics that make them better suited to an FT Pro string that don't have as much to do with their ease of training. They keep well in a kennel and the box, have easy coats, etc...And they're mentally more resilient than some other breeds so the trainer can often get away with some pressure and a professional invests less time getting the same result.

And a 200 yard blind is something that you should be able to accomplish easily with a GWP/DD/PP.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:49 pm

Booger, I do not think you have to be a phenomenal trainer to get a Vdog to handle. I think if I had a deeper background in that area I could get more out of my dogs.

Here I am building some blind retrieve handling skills on land.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0IzoVb0mWw

Basic Handling in water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt1ijr5Nle0

A long water blind through cover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xok9ssXYhIQ

Water to Land Mark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqlaKAGpPoQ
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby jlw034 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:12 pm

booger wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:I have seen Labs which stood over their birds and Pointing Labs which did not point at all.

I do not believe the breeding efforts have produced anywhere near the same level of pointing instinct that long established pointing breeds have so word to the wise on that. If you get a "Pointing" Lab you may well find yourself with a different form of training challenge relative to pointed upland birds. Their range and endurance will not rival a good pointing dog for upland work.

Labs are very easily trained for basic waterfowl duties. So are well bred Vdogs. FTs aside pretty basic training will meet the practical needs of actual waterfowl hunting. Many Vdogs with good basic training and a lot of experience are excellent waterfowl dogs, measured by how many downed birds they recover and how well they behave while hunting.

If you want to compete in high level Retriever Hunt Tests or Trials a Lab is the way to go. But I have been training with some Retriever folks quite a bit and they have their share of training challenges when working on the higher level performance, for sure.

Don't kind yourself, the task of achieving a Retriever FT level of performance requires a huge training effort and knowledge as well as the right dog. And there are washouts even in the Lab Breed.

If you are well versed in how to train a Lab to handle you are likely to have adequate success for hunting purposes with a Vdog as well is what I think.


Seems it would stand to reason even more Vdogs would wash out of a FT level then, which makes me think you'd have to be a phenomenal trainer to get a Vdog to handle along with having the right dog.

I agree with the take on pointing labs, everyone seems to think they have one but rarely do they point.

Was hoping more people would join in saying PPs or some other breeds are easier to train. If there's a clear difference between labs and pointers here, you'd think there would be clear differences within the pointing breeds.



Ask me this in a couple years. I hope Lido is as easy to train as Lena was.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:18 pm

booger wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:Yes no doubt the Vdogs get bored MUCH faster than the Labs (some Labs never get bored it seems).

Less Reps, less bumpers, more birds for the Vdogs. Especially on blinds. I have had GWPs that would do more marks than I care to throw in a session.

My Spud does nice work when we are training 1:1. Eager and happy to work as long as I mix things up day to day. Take him to a Retriever training day in 90 degree heat, keep him in a dog box for hours, pull him out and give him 5 minutes of work and he will hate it and show it. Meanwhile some Lab has been sitting on a marsh platform for hours patiently waiting his turn to work.

They are definitely wired different.

Similar results in the field are possible from both up to a point. The things the Labs will do that most Vdogs will not, seldom if ever come into play while actually hunting waterfowl is what I experience and think.


A couple things I'm getting from your post - I should join a retriever club and get familiar with what they do, how they do it.

That repetition that some Vdogs hate is what makes them a reliable dog for handling.

Then, I disagree with how often handling is important. It almost comes into play on every hunt. If the dog doesn't take a good line, if you want one dog to get one specific bird, if you want to handle a dog out to 200 yards. I want that bird in my hands as quickly and efficiently as possible, that means not doing a duck search while out getting my bird or wondering off to do what they want. That's where this focus on independence hurts IMO.

I should mention I mainly hunt with another guy and his dog and we mainly hunt water out of a boat. Training during hunts has been especially difficult recently as the water is so high it prevents me from getting out of the boat to help give a line.


I did not say handling did not come into play while hunting.

What I said was the level of work that can be gotten from a Lab for FTs that exceeds what most Vdogs will do is a level of work which seldom comes into play while hunting. Those FTs are run on carefully mowed, groomed and designed courses to allow line of sight at great distances which is near never possible where I hunt.

Vdogs can be trained to do basic handling. I know this because I have done it with several GWPs. The straight line through flooded timber in the water blind video I posted is well beyond 200 yards.

I think you might be a better fit for a Lab however as your experience with your first DD seems to have driven you to some conclusions around Vdogs that will be a detriment to getting the best from them regardless of breed. If you cannot train a DD to handle you will not have any better luck with a PP.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby JONOV » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:52 pm

booger wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:Yes no doubt the Vdogs get bored MUCH faster than the Labs (some Labs never get bored it seems).

Less Reps, less bumpers, more birds for the Vdogs. Especially on blinds. I have had GWPs that would do more marks than I care to throw in a session.

My Spud does nice work when we are training 1:1. Eager and happy to work as long as I mix things up day to day. Take him to a Retriever training day in 90 degree heat, keep him in a dog box for hours, pull him out and give him 5 minutes of work and he will hate it and show it. Meanwhile some Lab has been sitting on a marsh platform for hours patiently waiting his turn to work.

They are definitely wired different.

Similar results in the field are possible from both up to a point. The things the Labs will do that most Vdogs will not, seldom if ever come into play while actually hunting waterfowl is what I experience and think.


A couple things I'm getting from your post - I should join a retriever club and get familiar with what they do, how they do it.

That repetition that some Vdogs hate is what makes them a reliable dog for handling.

Then, I disagree with how often handling is important. It almost comes into play on every hunt. If the dog doesn't take a good line, if you want one dog to get one specific bird, if you want to handle a dog out to 200 yards. I want that bird in my hands as quickly and efficiently as possible, that means not doing a duck search while out getting my bird or wondering off to do what they want. That's where this focus on independence hurts IMO.

I should mention I mainly hunt with another guy and his dog and we mainly hunt water out of a boat. Training during hunts has been especially difficult recently as the water is so high it prevents me from getting out of the boat to help give a line.

Serious question; in what type of environment are you needing to handle a dog at 200 yards? If a duck is 200 yards away he’s most certainly alive and out of my sight line.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby Willie T » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:23 am

I will comment some. I have a pudelpointer. He handles and will do 400 yard blinds and takes honest lines. Field hunting for waterfowl, especially geese, you can have some long retrieves. Same thing with roosters in CRP. I’ve hunted around GSPs that would as well. I’ve also trained labs with field trailers and have been around some of the top Retrievers in the world. Any of the versatile breeds can be taught to handle. It takes a special dog to reach the level of refinement the labs are trained to. The versatile dogs are not mentally tough enough to stand up to the level of correction and control it takes. On the other hand the labs do not have the same prowess in the uplands. If you want a dog to predominantly hunt waterfowl and occasional upland, get a lab. If you want a jack of all trades get a versatile. Pick the breed with a coat to match your climate if you opt for a versatile.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby Highlander » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:12 pm

If you want a dog to predominantly hunt waterfowl and occasional upland, get a lab. If you want a jack of all trades get a versatile. Pick the breed with a coat to match your climate if you opt for a versatile.


I think this is what it may boil down to.

I may add something here.
If you look at the morphology of both type of dogs, labs Vs Vdog, you will notice a big difference between this two. The lab is heavy built, grounded, with more round and strong body (perfect for water) with more fat. They have short and strong neck too. Basically they must look like a barrel (no offense intended) that can spend time in the water and swamp for hours.
On the other hand the Vdog, even the large DD/GWP, is not as heavy built as a lab. They stand higher, they have deeper chest and longer legs, which allow him to run. They have longer necks, which allows him to sniff air and ground while on run.

Having said this, there is one detail we need to add too. In the country of the origin of Vdogs, Germany, the Vdogs are the primary duck dogs. Especially DD and DL (the longhair) are very successfully used in the water fowl hunting. In fact, many DD and DL are mostly used for duck/goose hunting and retrieving / recovering these days. And don't forget Germany is in north, it's a cold place. It speaks a lot about the German breeds how well they can be at WF hunting in such a climate. There is huge emphasis on water work too when it comes to breeding / testing. And this has been the case for 150 years. The consistency of performance is one of the key quality that is bred into these breeds (DD, PP, DL, DK, etc)
So what I am trying to say is that the DD /GWP can be an amazing duck dog too.

Now you may ask so are Vdogs better than labs. No. The labs are specifically bred to be water fowl hunting dogs that happen to be a good upland dog due to their intelligence.
On the other hand Vdogs are bred to be upland hunting dogs that happen to be very good, if not excellent, water fowl hunting dogs.

As for the question which is the easiest Vdog, well, there may not be an easy answer to it.

All NAVDHA dogs are supposed to be easy dogs compare to the other pure field dogs. Passing all those test requires a character of easy trainability and intelligence. These are the key qualities.

I am getting a longhair pointer pup in this fall. Based on my research the calmness (evaluated as dog's behavior in the field, water and other places) and intelligence are even more emphasized than other JGHV Vdogs such as DK/GSP or DD/GWP. (This is not to say these breeds are bad )
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby booger » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:03 pm

AverageGuy wrote:I did not say handling did not come into play while hunting.

What I said was the level of work that can be gotten from a Lab for FTs that exceeds what most Vdogs will do is a level of work which seldom comes into play while hunting. Those FTs are run on carefully mowed, groomed and designed courses to allow line of sight at great distances which is near never possible where I hunt.

Vdogs can be trained to do basic handling. I know this because I have done it with several GWPs. The straight line through flooded timber in the water blind video I posted is well beyond 200 yards.

I think you might be a better fit for a Lab however as your experience with your first DD seems to have driven you to some conclusions around Vdogs that will be a detriment to getting the best from them regardless of breed. If you cannot train a DD to handle you will not have any better luck with a PP.


Always the trainer never the dog right? You'd think there was never a dog that washed out of a professional trainer's training program.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby booger » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:11 pm

JONOV wrote:
booger wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:Yes no doubt the Vdogs get bored MUCH faster than the Labs (some Labs never get bored it seems).

Less Reps, less bumpers, more birds for the Vdogs. Especially on blinds. I have had GWPs that would do more marks than I care to throw in a session.

My Spud does nice work when we are training 1:1. Eager and happy to work as long as I mix things up day to day. Take him to a Retriever training day in 90 degree heat, keep him in a dog box for hours, pull him out and give him 5 minutes of work and he will hate it and show it. Meanwhile some Lab has been sitting on a marsh platform for hours patiently waiting his turn to work.

They are definitely wired different.

Similar results in the field are possible from both up to a point. The things the Labs will do that most Vdogs will not, seldom if ever come into play while actually hunting waterfowl is what I experience and think.


A couple things I'm getting from your post - I should join a retriever club and get familiar with what they do, how they do it.

That repetition that some Vdogs hate is what makes them a reliable dog for handling.

Then, I disagree with how often handling is important. It almost comes into play on every hunt. If the dog doesn't take a good line, if you want one dog to get one specific bird, if you want to handle a dog out to 200 yards. I want that bird in my hands as quickly and efficiently as possible, that means not doing a duck search while out getting my bird or wondering off to do what they want. That's where this focus on independence hurts IMO.

I should mention I mainly hunt with another guy and his dog and we mainly hunt water out of a boat. Training during hunts has been especially difficult recently as the water is so high it prevents me from getting out of the boat to help give a line.

Serious question; in what type of environment are you needing to handle a dog at 200 yards? If a duck is 200 yards away he’s most certainly alive and out of my sight line.


Have had the opportunity more than a few times, sometimes in a field, sometimes on water. I've had a cripple get that far out in the water. In the field not that big of a deal.

Are you saying you haven't had this happen to you? Or you just want the specific situation?
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby JONOV » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:40 am

booger wrote:
Have had the opportunity more than a few times, sometimes in a field, sometimes on water. I've had a cripple get that far out in the water. In the field not that big of a deal.

Are you saying you haven't had this happen to you? Or you just want the specific situation?

I'm saying that when I've had it happen the bird is mobile and moving/swimming. In handling the dog even on a 200 yard line the bird isn't going to be there by the time he gets down there.
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby ckirsch » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:02 pm

Highlander wrote:
All NAVDHA dogs are supposed to be easy dogs compare to the other pure field dogs. Passing all those test requires a character of easy trainability and intelligence. These are the key qualities.

I am getting a longhair pointer pup in this fall. Based on my research the calmness (evaluated as dog's behavior in the field, water and other places) and intelligence are even more emphasized than other JGHV Vdogs such as DK/GSP or DD/GWP. (This is not to say these breeds are bad )


It was inevitable that someone would eventually take the bait....
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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby crackerd » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:38 pm

booger wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:I did not say handling did not come into play while hunting.

What I said was the level of work that can be gotten from a Lab for FTs that exceeds what most Vdogs will do is a level of work which seldom comes into play while hunting. Those FTs are run on carefully mowed, groomed and designed courses to allow line of sight at great distances which is near never possible where I hunt.

Vdogs can be trained to do basic handling. I know this because I have done it with several GWPs. The straight line through flooded timber in the water blind video I posted is well beyond 200 yards.

I think you might be a better fit for a Lab however as your experience with your first DD seems to have driven you to some conclusions around Vdogs that will be a detriment to getting the best from them regardless of breed. If you cannot train a DD to handle you will not have any better luck with a PP.


Always the trainer never the dog right? You'd think there was never a dog that washed out of a professional trainer's training program.


Why the hostility toward AverageGuy - he particularly and a number of others have given you a lot of clarity and valid comment on the difference(s) in what goes into training up a retriever and a versatile breed, and haven't been kennel-blind or, that I can tell, biased in their input.

My bottom line, not that you've asked for it, would be this: If you love training dogs for the sake of training dogs and for bringing on a dog's trained abilities for the highest competition, get a performance Lab that might "point" and get in with a retriever training group or three. The camaraderie engendered - and constructive criticism of your abilities as a trainer - are worth it. If you want to train a dog for hunting, get the versatile breed of your choice and throw in with NAVHDA for advancement of both yourself and the dog as companions afield, and for a lot of fun on the journey, too.

And lastly you might want to get a better understanding of why Labs are washed out by a FT pro - and then proceed to sell, usually to waterfowlers, for $8,000-$10,000.

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Re: Easiest versatile dog to train

Postby Willie T » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:41 pm

JONOV wrote:
booger a. A s wrote:
Have had the opportunity more than a few times, sometimes in a field, sometimes on water. I've had a cripple get that far out in the water. In the field not that big of a deal.

Are you saying you haven't had this happen to you? Or you just want the specific situation?

I'm saying that when I've had it happen the bird is mobile and moving/swimming. In handling the dog even on a 200 yard line the bird isn't going to be there by the time he gets down there.


You are sending the dog directly to the area of the fall and on scent. Nothing about what happens after the dog makes scent changes. It just happens sooner. The quicker the dog gets there, the closer a cripple will be to the AOF, resulting in bringing the bird to hand markedly faster. That is universally true whether a versatile or retriever.
Hunting rice fields or coastal marsh, a dog that handles will put it on one that does not. Especially with multiple shooters all shooting multiples out of the same flight. You may mark down a 300 yard sailer but getting there is an unnecessary crap out when you can just send a good dog down wind and have a cup of coffee. For the dog trained to do it, it is routine. One not trained to handle will likely root it out, but after a big hunt and a lot more time and effort.
Train em to best operate how I hunt and don’t throw rocks at what someone else does with their dogs is what I subscribe to.
Willie

[quote="crackerd"

And lastly you might want to get a better understanding of why Labs are washed out by a FT pro - and then proceed to sell, usually to waterfowlers, for $8,000-$10,000.

MG[/quote]

Eye Opener if you have not seen it first hand.
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