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Training and everyday events.


This months Training with Tinks and Jay-Jay

Posted on July 31, 2016 at 3:07 PM Comments comments (1286)

This month I have been teaching Tinks Left & Right by movement and verbal command. This month I have also taught Jay-Jay the verbal command of 'Left' & 'Right'  as previously she only had one verbal command for going right or left depending on which arm movement I made. As you can see they are doing well, and only with 3-4 short very lessons a week.
So I am very pleased with them, they have listened well and had fun.

To teach dogs Left and right by arm command gives the dog a greater chance of getting the retrieve, and we need that to enable a fast retrieve of any game we send the dog for, especially if you know where it lays but the dog does not.
If your dog just know the command 'Out' followed by just a throw of the hand and no clear Right or Left movement from you, you limit yourself and thereby you limit the dog, and you may have to give far more arm throws and 'Get Out' commands to get the dog into the same spot than a dog with a good straight Out-run and a sharp stop to the whistle with a then silent left or right arm command. Makes sense doesn't it, after all imagine yourself shouting 'Get out, Get out...' on shoot day when the dog has been sent for a blind and is only guided by throwing of the arms and your shouting at it that command, compare that to the far more silent option which has far more accuracy!

If your dog is in the wood and can't see you or in really deep cover, how handy would it be to be able to say 'Right' or 'Left' and your dog go right or left depending on the one you asked for.... very Handy.

Now I am Lucky in that Jay-Jay will do a Meerkat when she is unable to see me or when she needs to do it to mark the fall of the game, and she does it without moving forwards or backwards just upwards, which most Judges and trainers love as it shows brains for starters and an ability to mark game the sitting down dog (or if you beat it) the lying flat dog would not see, and therefore Jay will see the bird land and get to the fall. But, if your dog doesn't do the meerkat impersonation or cannot because of the environment it is in, well then that 'Left' or 'Right' command could come in very handy. Now it won't be needed all the time as your dog will often see many falls, or will see you (maybe you need to move a tad if you can to enable that), but there are those times it will be greatly useful.

The you tube clip below shows you Tinks and Jay-jay as they are taught these new commands by myself over this month of July. 

To teach Tinks the Left & Right direction command via body and language, I broke it down for her and started by teaching her just the body Language when I sent her for a 'Back retrieve'.
This I did by sitting her directly in front of me at an angle that would make her want to go the way I wished her to, as you can see in the video it worked a treat. 
You only need to sit the dog at an angle while the dog is starting to learn this new command. When teaching a dog something new one should always set the dog up in way that aids the dog, once taught it's a different matter .

Now both girls have been previously taught, to varying degrees, to run straight lines left and right by my making a clear and straight movement with either right or left arm and a vocal command 'Out', not a throw away arm movement that just sends the dog in a wide section to either side, but a clear signal for a straight line.
But now of course they are learning the vocal commands 'Left' or 'Right' and that is learnt through repetition. Of course as far as the dogs are concerned Left and right could be called 'Fish' & 'Chips', as long as you always use the same word for the same direction. Because they know the arm movement I can just put the new word with the move, and repetition will lock it into their memory bank.
I then add temptation by throwing a beloved ball over Tinks head to land behind her, then asking her to go either right or left for a dummy instead of going for her ball, and if she got it wrong, the most she would get is a verbal 'Ahhh', which seems really loud on the video but that was only because my mouth is very close to the mobile. Always remember to praise for the stops, the stops must be praised as you want the sits to be well and truly locked into their memory, and locked in through only good memories. 

I am lucky enough to then be able to add another dog (Jay Jay) into the mix for Tinks, it helps Jay-jay to learn patience so its a win win, even more temptation to  for them both, and when I think I can I ask them to cross one another for a retrieve I do, this asking really demanding high concentration of them.

The video is a mixture of mobile video and camera video so please forgive.

As always, no dog was Hit at any point, it isn't needed, whether you gloss it up by calling the hitting of ones dog 'Correction/redirecton' or any other name, it is Not Needed and shouldn't be done. Learn to teach a dog with kindness, as many of us do, OR don't teach, for no dog deserves it!

Training with the pups

Posted on October 7, 2011 at 12:37 PM Comments comments (490)
Well as you all know the dogs and I haven't been able to do any training but I have now started to do small amounts with Ellie and Tinks
Ellie has had clicker training these past two days to teach her to except treatment to her eyes without moving her head. Since we cleared up the infection she had in the eye at just over a week old she has needed no treatment to that eye, thankfully. However we want to make sure that if she ever does need treatment she excepts it willingly and within just two days she has got to the stage where she no longer objects to her eye being parted and the tube being placed above her eye.
This little Girl has the waggiest bottom in the world :) and is a right little cuddle monster. I have promised Gary to train her up as his peg dog and that training will commence as soon as my knee allows it. 
Clicker training is a fabulous tool for this sort of thing and the lady of clicker training is Mary Ray. We spent some wonderful afternoons with her in 3-4 hour one-to-one sessions before we got into gun dog training and had so much fun we also learnt so much about the dogs mind. We don't use clicker training for the working dogs as we do not use treats when training them and clicker training is treat based, we just use praise and voice as does David Lisett the winner of the Irish and English Championships. Though we will use it on them (if needed) for teaching them to except veterinary care etc and we happily use it on Alfie & Bella who are retired, to keep their minds active
and because they love it :)
Tinks is wonderful with her retrieval work, she has had so little but she just excels at it. In fact Tinks is a little version of her older sister Jay Jay in so many ways, which really pleases me.
She flies out for her tennis ball on retrieves and brings it all the way in, only every once in a blue moon having a muck around just off in front of me. She likes the tennis ball so much if she can smell the ball in the kitchen she will leave her food to find it.
She also has Jay Jay training manner as well,  an honest girl who wants to please, with the courage and drive already visible in her.
I so wish this knee would hurry up and heal :(
The gang are being superb whilst being confined with me, thankfully the good weather helps. I couldn't be more proud at how stable and quiet our gang are even though they haven't been for a walk (apart from Bella) for such a long time.
They have even ignored our next doors neighbours screaming manic children when they were throwing objects at our gang. Horrible children with parents who obviously don't want their children to grow up caring and respecting animals. Why are dogs so much better behaved then some children.

Poor dogs, poor mum :(

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 9:37 AM Comments comments (872)
Poor dogs have been in for over a week now as this silly person fell down the stairs hurting her knee and ankle.
Hospital banned me from walking but I have escaped once with Jay Jay to Chris's shoot and will escape tomorrow but this time it will be to Nick at Hamptworth Estate :)
I shall strap myself up and pile the pain killers into me to keep me walking :))
I have also done a few retrieves with Tinks on 3 occasions, though I had to stand up when doing these retrieves so I didn't push my luck :))
I used a half pound rabbit dummy which she took too straight away :))
Bella & Mia are in season so poor Alfie is in the kennel, well I should say in the cabin
as he spends most of his time in there bless him.
He comes into the house at night but he is to clever to come into the house during the day as he has been known to open the baby gates & doors
to get his wicked way with the girls he he he 

Sun is out and the season of Joy comes ever closer

Posted on August 14, 2011 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (1253)
It is soooo good to be back training the girls, and a total joy to have the puppies in the house, Both of them :) But I am now realizing how Unfit we all are including myself. Thankfully because we are only booked for the Pheasant season, we have a bit more time to remedy that, Phew!
Jay jay doing a seen, memory and blind this afternoon, shattered bless her
I had Jay jay out in the fields early this morning and her heart was lifted to see so many rabbits, mine was lifted to see her work, I love watching that girl hunt. Unfortunately the rabbits saw us, so no flushes to be had but it did leave plenty of scent to work on.
It did mean however that when Jay jay had her dummy training this afternoon she was shattered and not her sharp fast self, so we ended the session on a good note and quit before it all went wrong.
Mia is being a darling, remembering all she has been taught but with that cheeky attitude they get with experience :)
I sent her out for a 200ft seen that went over a brow in the field, therefore I lost sight of her as she moved towards the dummy, but Gary could see her. Afterward he told me that she had picked the dummy up but then proceed to check out nearby rabbit holes (never letting go of the dummy) before heading back over the brow as if butter would not melt in the mouth, and as cool as a cumber :))
Mama Mia doing a seen and memory last night
The pups are growing by the day and now have a 10 minute walk through the fields every evening with us.
Both have their own characters coming through with Ellie being the one who loves people, to the extent that when her sister is off in la la land, Ellie will happily stay with us.
Tinks on the other hand is a pure 'moth hunter' at heart and couldn't careless where we are :) But she is cracking at her retrieves, something we do only every other day with the girls at the moment throwing 3-4 balls each time.
We always make them sit for the meals, so four times a day they sit-up and beg :) Though we only give them 20grams of their dry for their last meal which is Arden Grange and they really love it.
They spent most of the today playing out the back with the adults watching them, and I bet the adults were thinking to themselves 'where do those pups get their energy from?' :)