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Mr. B

Training Tips?

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Guys I need a little help. I have a 2.5 year old female Black Lab that is all go all the time. I have been working with her to stay and be quite for duck hunting. I can not get her to stay in anyplace but the back yard. If I am at the park or out in the weeds she is so worked up I can not keep her still. This might be due to the fact she is a tremendous Pheasant dog or it might just be because I am doing something wrong.

Last year while hunting with her it was not a pleasant expierence. I would like to be able to take her out and have her sit in the blind and be quite (she barks a lot while sitting in the blind in the dark).

Any help would be greatly apprieciated!
THANKS

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You need to train her to stay in more than one place, in other words train her at the park,in a field, on the street corner, ect. she thinks the only time she has to listen to you is in the back yard. Just retrain the command in other places. I had the same problem.

Use a long lead, or training collar.

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walleyenutz has it right, I would add that your going to have to go back to the very basic of sit,stay.

Make sure the dog understands this, so start out just like a puppy.
At feeding time make the dog sit while you prepare the food.Then keep the dog at sit till you ar ready to let her eat.

May have to physicly(sp?) put her back in the spot you want her to stay in.

After she does this with out moving progress to walking back ward with your hand out in front of her in the stop position.
Then to walking away around a corner for a few seconds then pop out and repremand if needed or praise if she stays.

In the field as WN said use the lead or a collar if she is conditioned for one.

Make sure the dog understands the camand before going any further.If she doesn't your going to have to show her what you want.

Repeat it as often as posible!

Good Luck, Benny

[This message has been edited by Benny (edited 07-26-2004).]

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Thanks for the help guys.

I have been working with her two to three days a week on sit and stay, for about a month now trying to correct this problem. I have not seen any real improvement yet. She will sit at you side while throwing a dummy all day until you tell her to go. If she knows the dummy is out there she does not seem to have the proplem. It is only when I want her to just sit and stay.

Of course if I have food she will do anything that you want. She will sit and drool at her food bowl staring at it forever without breaking. The other day I put her food down and forgetting to tell her to break I ran an errand for the wife. When I got back about 15 minutes later she was still sitting and drooling.

Maybe I will just have to stick to pheasant hunting where she will not have to sit and stay?

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I have been going through a similar case with my 14 month female lab. She is slowly getting it, and it has helped to work on the stay command where she is a bit confined.

I have been using my dock. She is fixated on the training dummy, but she cannot move left or right without falling off. If she moves, I take her back and correct her. If she stays for a few seconds, I throw the dummy and let her go after it. If she bolts after the dummy before I release her, I can grab her before she jumps off the end. I take her back, make her sit, then give her the release command.

She is getting much better, but I have been taking it slow and making sure she still has fun.

Once she gets consistant on the dock, I'll move to dry land and continue with a check cord/e-collar combination.

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I have not been using my e-collar for stay since I am not sure she knows the command enough yet.

Last night I was working with her in the frontyard instead of the back on a 30 foot check cord and she would sit and as long as she could see me she would not break until I told her. I could pull on the check cord and she would not bunge. But if I went around the corner she would wait 10 seconds or so until she came looking for me.

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The advise given so far is all solid advice. Make sure when training her you set up "real" hunting situations. Use a canoe in your yard, set up decoys, have a buddy or somebody sit in the boat with you, call, swing a 2x4 or broom stick (don't want to be waving guns around in a neighborhood) to simulate swinging on birds, fire a starter pistol every now and then and toss a bumper out into the decoys. Only throw the bumper during a period when she is calm. If not calm, no bumper. If she never settles down, throw the bumper and restrain her, let your buddy go pick it up. Reassure her in a calm voice to stay, and calm her down. Start the process over again after a break. Eventually she'll learn that all bumpers are not hers and will wait to be released to finish a retrieve. When working on this, set up the training session to be 2-3 minutes of commotion followed by 10 minutes of just sitting in the boat doing nothing. Do this several times over an hour or so. Most times the patience aspect of training is rushed and condensed into a 10 minute session of sit/stay and peple can't figure why the dog goes bonkers in a boat after 15 minutes. Imagine if a kid is thrown in a car for the first time at the age of 5 and is expected to complete a drive down to Chicago. He'd be bouncing off the walls by Eau Claire. Teach her that it is O.K. to just sit and wait for another flight of birds. Never let her complete a retrieve unless she is calm during the commotion portion and steady on the throw. She will begin to understand what it is all about and put 2 and 2 together, in order to get the bumper she has to obey.

Another method used to steady a dog is to teach them to sit/stay on a mat. We used to use vinyl floor mats from a pick-up. The dog when placed on the mat is given the command stay and is not to move off the mat till again told to fetch or come or what have you. The beauty of this method is after a couple months it is ingrained in the dogs mind what the mat means and it can be brought with you to the blind, the cabin or where ever you're at. It is a great way to teach a dog steadiness. Keep at it, she will learn.

Good Luck!

Ken

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This is not a new problem and is common in a young dog or one that is new in the training process. Here are my suggestions. First try a short check cord. Have your dog sit at heel and throw the dummy. Get your duck call out or something to make all kind of noise with and tempt the dog to break. The check cord will stop him dead in his tracks and he will begin to think twice before breaking without premission. You can use the E-collar for the same purposes but in my opinion, the check cord works better. Once you can get him to obey, now you move on to the next step. Cut out a 3ft by 3ft (or something close to that) chunk on 3/4 inch plywood. Screw in an eye hook. Have the dog sit on the plywood and place a short chain or rope on the board and to the dogs collar. Be sure it is snug so that he can only sit on the board. Throw the dummy or get some pigeons and tempt him. It will be impossible for him to break unless you release him from the leash. He will begin to learn that he can not break unless given permission. Bring that same board into live hunting situations and train him with real hunting experience. You can also use this technique in a boat (start on dry land first and move to shallow water just in case he does get out of the boat..you don't want to drown him). Good luck!

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