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HEY SETTERGUY!!! Got a problem here..... *UPDATE*


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I set up a "hunt" yesterday (pigeons and launchers) and Jasmine seems to have lost her ability to hold for wing and shot. She finds the birds almost without fail. Scent and sight. I was VERY careful to hide the launchers as best I could. And away from her wandering eyes. She locks up solid and almost never creeps on the bird. But right after I "flush" the bird, she's now off to the races!! After four unsuccessful attempts, We packed it in and went home.

This is the first "hunt" she's been out on since the recent loss of her sister Rosie. Every since they were pups, although trained apart, they always hunted together as equals. Neither one being "better" than the other.

In your opinion, what would the best way be to get her steady again? She's done it before. I'm fairly certain she can do it again. Is this a repetition thing or do you have a better idea?

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!!


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Moose- it sounds like you just need some repetition. Was she trained to be broke or did she just do it naturally? Before when she was standing broke did you give her a command to retrieve? I would start the training periods the same way, but this time hold her on a check cord until you give her a retrieve command, then release her. Do you use an ecollar during training? If so then a little nick as soon as she takes a step might remind her of what she is (and isn't) supposed to be doing. One more question, what was the pecking order when you had both dogs? Any time one animal leaves the pack there will be a battle to fill the spot of that dog, she may just be testing the limits and trying to climb the dominance ladder. She also may have learned the difference between training and hunting, try not using the launchers next time, if the dog can smell the bird I'm sure they can smell that launcher too. Steadying a dog is a long tedious process and just takes time and repition. Like gspmans signature says "they're all broke, till they break." Good luck and keep us updated with your progress.

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Thanks for the info!!! In response...

She was a natural from the get-go. Very little training needed, expect for retreiving. Which to me was a secondary thing anyway. Last season, after the shot, she'd mark the bird and hold for the "okay", then retrieve. Even in the early days, when she would flinch, a quick "uh-uh" is all it would take to get her planted, then wait for the command. That didn't work yesterday....

I haven't used my check cord and stake in so long, I couldn't remember where they were. And honestly I didn't think I'd need them... Oops... shocked.gif I guess I have some hunting of my own to do today!! And they will be with the next time out... How do you feel about the use of check cords in an actual hunt?

I have used an e-collar (Tritronics Field 70) in the past, but very little on Jazz. Rosie was a touch more head strong and needed a bit of "adjustment" from time to time. Jazz, while in training, also wore it for a while. After a very short time, all it took was a dummy collar. Then none at all. I'll get them charged up for when the rain stops. Just in case.

This is one thing that completely slipped my mind. Dominance. Of the two, Rosie was sort of the "alpha". And Rosie was getting a majority of my attention in the last month or two... Man, I miss that little girl. Do you think I should give Jazz some extra TLC or try to keep things about the same as it was? Obviously, it can't be exactly the same without Rosie, but should I keep it as close as possible? You could be on to something here... Maybe it's seperation anxiety... I've never been in this situation before..

I like your idea about leaving the launchers behind. I did think about that, but felt the birds wouldn't dizzy up so that's why the launchers came along. Seems to me that on a "sight" point the reality of the whole thing would be blown. And the difference (hunting/training) would be apparent. I try to make these fake "hunts" as real as possible. I guess there's no substitute for the real thing. How about a trip to the game farm? Do you think using real birds would be better?

Thanks so much for the advice!!! I'll work Jazz on a steady pace (weather permitting) and hopefully by late season (better for me anyway) I'll have things back in order.

Thanks again....

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Hey Justin...

Faced with the choice of working on my basement -or- chasing pheasants.... Well, okay. That's a no-brainer... We both just had to go.

I got Jazz out this morning before the winds and drizzle came up. No pigeons this time, we were after the real thing. Strapped the e-collar on Jazz and a dropped couple number 4's into my Citori and off we went. Not more that 20 steps and Jazz went "birdy" and locked up in rather tall cover. I then proceeded to flush about a hundred tweety birds!! Jazz went into pursuit mode and with one small nick, stopped her in her tracks. I called her back with a "no bird" and we were off again. She's not ranging as far out as she used to, about 20 to 30 yards now, but hunting every bit of that ground.

About 20 minutes later, another solid point. Same type of cover... more tweety birds? NOPE!! laugh.gif This time a small rooster blew up out of the grass. Everything was going well for Jazz up to now, so I dropped the bird. (My first wild one this season!! grin.gif ) Jazz held her ground!!! Shaking with excitement, but she didn't bolt!! "FETCH IT UP" and she was off like a shot!! Straight to the bird. Picked it up, pranced around a bit longer than I'd have liked, but did return it to me!!

Talk about a proud Papa!! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif I could have done without the extra prancing on the retrieve, but all things considered, everything else just fell into place.

We hunted until the wind and rain was too much for me to deal with. We found a couple hens on the way back to the truck and Jazz held tight for both flushes.

So what was the difference? Did Jazz remember the training field? Could she see all the launchers las time out? Was it the e-collar? Do pigeons smell different than pheasants? Man, I wish she could talk so I'd know for sure. What ever it was, there was a difference.

I'll work with her a bit in the yard the next few days, re-enforcing the "basics". And try to get her out again, maybe early next week to see if this was just a fluke.

I'm happy with today's performance. Hers and mine. I actually hit the bird!! And I have my fingers crossed for our next hunt.

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Glad to hear that everything turned around. Sometimes when they know that its not a true hunting sitation they will chase. Thats one reason I had to stop trialing my 4 year old setter. She absolutley knew the difference between a trial and a hunt. She knew she could get closer to the planted birds and knew that we weren't going to shoot which meant she thought she could chase. I didn't want her to learn any more bad habits so I don't trial her anymore. Just keep getting her out on birds and keep reinforcing those good behaviors!!

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