Next steps? Suggestions?

Pointing, retrieving, flushing, tracking, behavioral issues, puppy training, etc.

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Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby Mike61 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:48 pm

So after 35 yrs of labs, I moved to a Griffon. He is currently 11 months old and was hunted (exposed) to woodcock, grouse, a few pheasants this past fall. Looking for thoughts on my plan for next steps: he understands here, down, sit, but still needs work (if it is ever complete) in high distraction scenarios like flushing birds or deer jumping up in his face. I have used whoa around the house, on walks, etc...heeling is a work in progress. He will NA testing at the end of April and after that test then my thoughts are :

Continue obedience work,
Improve whoa work to the point of using release and shooting birds.
Retrieving needs lots of work, so will work on that without much pressure until bird work is better. So far, while he has retrieved a couple of woodcock, and will work with a feathered covered bumper, he is not very interested in other bumpers. He does like tennis balls...

My goal is to have him prepared for fall woodcock and grouse. With enough bird contacts, I would expect him to gradually improve throughout the season to the point of being somewhat steady to flush by the end of the season.

Thoughts? I really like this dog, but he has challenged me to change how I train...
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby Sooty42 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:21 pm

I would say be patient, 11 months old is very young. Griffs are known to be late bloomers. I would say keep training and hunt him a lot next season. Shoot only the birds he points. If he’s already showing some promising signs then he might really surprise you next season.
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby JONOV » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:54 pm

Mike61 wrote:So after 35 yrs of labs, I moved to a Griffon. He is currently 11 months old and was hunted (exposed) to woodcock, grouse, a few pheasants this past fall. Looking for thoughts on my plan for next steps: he understands here, down, sit, but still needs work (if it is ever complete) in high distraction scenarios like flushing birds or deer jumping up in his face. I have used whoa around the house, on walks, etc...heeling is a work in progress. He will NA testing at the end of April and after that test then my thoughts are :

Continue obedience work,
Improve whoa work to the point of using release and shooting birds.
Retrieving needs lots of work, so will work on that without much pressure until bird work is better. So far, while he has retrieved a couple of woodcock, and will work with a feathered covered bumper, he is not very interested in other bumpers. He does like tennis balls...

My goal is to have him prepared for fall woodcock and grouse. With enough bird contacts, I would expect him to gradually improve throughout the season to the point of being somewhat steady to flush by the end of the season.

Thoughts? I really like this dog, but he has challenged me to change how I train...

Unless he's overly soft I'd force fetch him. Then work on the steadiness, probably stop-to flush training.
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:00 pm

Perfect Start, Perfect Finish, Perfect Retrieve DVDs will guide you through the progression of training your pup in excellent detail.
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby Densa44 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:37 pm

Welcome to a new hobby. Have a look at Rick Smith's "whoa post" video, join a club, make sure that he will swim in cold water. I teach mine to heel without a leash, it shows me what level of control I have.

There should be lots of advice here. Good Luck.
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby Fun Dog » Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:54 pm

Perfect start and finish by perfection kennels
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:36 pm

Mike, if you've had Lab's that long, you are versed in FF and obedience. Bird dog's are far easier to train than Lab's, many will basically train themselves after the FF and obedience are done. The Perfection series is good but they use a crap load of birds. That's the downfall of the system. Most people don't have access to all those birds. The alternative is to shackle birds or work them on a fishing pole with reel.

Is this Mike from Duck Hunting Chat?
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:07 am

You can train one dog with as few as 6 homing pigeons following the Perfection Kennel system. Add a few shooter birds at certain stages of the process which can be bought and used the same day as needed.
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby Mike61 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:23 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Mike, if you've had Lab's that long, you are versed in FF and obedience. Bird dog's are far easier to train than Lab's, many will basically train themselves after the FF and obedience are done. The Perfection series is good but they use a crap load of birds. That's the downfall of the system. Most people don't have access to all those birds. The alternative is to shackle birds or work them on a fishing pole with reel.

Is this Mike from Duck Hunting Chat?


Yes, the obedience work carries over from the labs (to a point). I have learned that pressure used is different with my griff than it was with my labs. Steps are the same, just a different approach. Obedience is the focus for the next couple of months and I can get birds as needed that will help when we get to whoa....

I have been on duck hunting chat, but it has been some time....
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby Mike61 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:27 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I do have access to birds as I need them, but certainly not in the numbers used by perfection. Keeping them in the backyard is not an option. I actually checked with perfection last year about an downloaded-able version of their programs, since I am using an iPad. I believe there are are plenty of obedience areas that can be improved, then as I start getting a little deeper into whoa training, I will start using birds.
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Re: Next steps? Suggestions?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:16 pm

Mike61 wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Mike, if you've had Lab's that long, you are versed in FF and obedience. Bird dog's are far easier to train than Lab's, many will basically train themselves after the FF and obedience are done. The Perfection series is good but they use a crap load of birds. That's the downfall of the system. Most people don't have access to all those birds. The alternative is to shackle birds or work them on a fishing pole with reel.

Is this Mike from Duck Hunting Chat?


Yes, the obedience work carries over from the labs (to a point). I have learned that pressure used is different with my griff than it was with my labs. Steps are the same, just a different approach. Obedience is the focus for the next couple of months and I can get birds as needed that will help when we get to whoa....

I have been on duck hunting chat, but it has been some time....


I believe you and I used to talk over there but yes, it was some time ago. Seems like you were "Mike from Ohio" and had chocolate labs.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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