Companion Hunting Dog?

Discussion in 'Sporting Dog Training' started by Orion, May 26, 2005.

  1. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Jim,<br> You've mentioned the "companion hunting dog" several times, and you<br> seem to contrast that with a "hunt test dog" in your mind.&nbsp; To me,<br> they are one in the same, at least, if we are talking about HRC flavor<br> hunt tests.&nbsp; The following snips are cut directly from the HRC<br> Rulebook:<br> <br> "The Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. and the United Kennel Club, Inc. are<br> providing a program to develop the hunting retriever to fulfill its<br> intended purpose in life - hunting...The Hunting Retriever Club, Inc.<br> (HRC), in affiliation with the United Kennel Club, Inc. (UKC), provides<br> hunters an arena in which they may train and test their retrievers in<br> true-to-life hunting situations.<br> <br> Judges should strive to set up tests and judge hunting retrievers in<br> natural situations, evaluating the retriever on qualities desirable in<br> a hunting retriever. Although the complexity of the tests will vary<br> from Started to Grand, the underlying philosophy should remain the<br> same; that being to test the retrievers in hunting tests and to<br> evaluate them as useful hunting companions.<br> <br> The purpose of the licensed hunt is to test hunting retrievers afield<br> under actual hunting conditions. Those hunting retrievers that<br> demonstrate desirable hunting abilities will be rewarded with titles<br> and incorporated into a sound-breeding program. The other reward of the<br> program is better hunting retrievers afield during hunting seasons<br> across the country, less lost game, and more enjoyable hunting."<br> <br> Many people have a mistaken notion that some special training, and/or a<br> special dog, (over and above what you would need for a companion<br> hunting dog), is needed for participating in HRC hunt tests.&nbsp; No<br> offense, but I think you are perpetuating this myth.&nbsp; Nothing<br> could be further from the truth.<br> <br> My dog has earned a Hunting Retriever Champion title from the<br> HRC.&nbsp; He is&nbsp; not some kind of special hunt test dog, he is<br> simply my hunting buddy.&nbsp; He is my companion hunting dog.&nbsp; A<br> companion hunting dog is a dog for the average hunter.&nbsp; It is a<br> dog that has been trained to mark multiple falls, and a dog that the<br> hunter has reasonable control over.&nbsp; A companion hunting dog<br> should be able to do well in the HRC Seasoned and Finished<br> categories.&nbsp; I am a licensed Seasoned and Finished judge with the<br> HRC.&nbsp; The question that my co-judge and I answer with each dog<br> that we evaluate is "Would I want to hunt with this dog?".<br> <br> I would be interested to hear your explanation of the difference between a "companion hunting dog" and a "hunt test dog".<br> <br> Regards,<br> Kevin<br> <br>
     
  2. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>I am not saying there is a difference between the dog used for hunt test and the companion hunting dog.&nbsp; You are right!, they are one in the same.&nbsp; That could also include Field Trial Dogs.&nbsp; What I am saying is that if you want to follow traditional training methods such as FF you better make sure you have the dog that has the right personality to handle the stress.&nbsp; I put test titles on soft show dogs.&nbsp; It takes a different approach to training, strictly working with the personality and not following the traditional methods.&nbsp; If you are going to compete (I do not consider hunt tests as competition) you need the dog that has the persoanlity that can take the stress of the training involved including FF.&nbsp; The Force training is not the magic pill that dictates whether the dog will be consistant in his performance as a hunt test dog or a companion hunting dog.&nbsp; One thing for sure, you will never see the dog that did not successfully make it through the force training on the test field or in the field trial.&nbsp; That same dog could have made it with a different attitude and technique applied in the training process.&nbsp; Do not get me wrong!&nbsp; I do get tough when it is needed, but I let the dog prove to me what is needed to motivate him to perform successfully within the perameters dictated by his own personality.&nbsp; Jim</P>
     

  3. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    Thanks Jim, sorry if I misunderstood.&nbsp; <br> <br> I just wish that "Average Joe Hunter" would understand the purpose of the HRC hunt test program.&nbsp; Earning ribbons is not the purpose.&nbsp; If AJH could only understand that when they have a dog that can consistently pass HRC Seasoned or Finished tests, they will conserve more game and have a more pleasurable and safer time afield.&nbsp; That's what it's all about.&nbsp; It's just very frustrating...<br>
     
  4. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>The HRC program is the most beneficial hunt test program available.&nbsp; I have run AKC only because of client desire due to the pedigree situation.&nbsp; I have run JR. tests where the marked retrieves were over 130 yds. ( proved it to the judges with my range finder) and senior tests where I did not make the cut because the dog I was running nailed a 150yd blind with only one whistle.&nbsp; Was told I failed to show the dog would handle.&nbsp; I could go on and on!&nbsp; That has nothing to do with my feelings toward so many dogs being washed out because of the force training, but does show how we can get so involved with the games that we lose sight of what some of our clients actually want and need from their hunting companion.&nbsp; That is why I stress personality related techniques which also applies to the client.&nbsp; Sometimes those two personalities cause more conflict than the dog himself.&nbsp; For the person like yourself that enjoys not only the activity itself, but understands how you can advance the dog through the process, HRC is the way to go.&nbsp; Not all dog owners understand the traditional training methods so when told his partner may not develop into what he may be expecting for a companion hunting dog, he is at the mercy of a proffessionals advice and opinion.&nbsp;In fact, I turn a large number of these dogs around just by using a different technique. I feel that if I am willing to work with a dog for use as a companion hunting dog, there is no allternative other than to make sure this dog does what he was bred to do and to educate the owner/handler on the dogs personality and his strenghts &amp; weaknesses and style.&nbsp; On the other hand, as I have said, if we are looking at competition the game plan has to be more precise and deliberate including the actual purchase of the right dog for that activity.&nbsp; Sorry for carrying on, but this is a real passion for me.&nbsp; Every time I get a dog in that was a wash out or has real issues because of that soft personality, I get fired up about why we have to put so much emphasis on traditional training methods.&nbsp; Those methods are proven.&nbsp; You see it all the time on ESPN, National Field Trials and Masters.&nbsp; What the average person does not see is the ones that do not make it.&nbsp; Well I have to hit the field now!&nbsp; I have a black lab from down south that i finally have doing multiple retrieves, delivering to hand, steady under a gun and even holding point on upland birds.&nbsp; Four weeks ago&nbsp; he bit me two times out of fear when I reached anywhere near his face.&nbsp; A direct result of taking a dog that appeared both physically and on the pedigree to be tough field trial speciman that was not afraid of nothing.&nbsp; The failure to see the soft side of this guys personality and the FF procedure put him over the edge.&nbsp; Put a guy in the hospital in Florida last Jan. after being cornered between the owners Suburban and being petted on the head by a hunting partner.&nbsp; He now has confidence in me and performs well, but situation can only be controlled, but is a lawsuit waiting to happen.&nbsp; He actually needs to be permenantly retired at only 18 mths old.&nbsp; This should have never happened.&nbsp; Again Orion, I am not blowing my own horn or putting down the proven, traditional training methods or hunt tests.&nbsp; I do have a differnt attitude than most pros and a greater desire to make that companion hunting do/handler relationship be successful.&nbsp; I will send you a short article I have written that will be the start of a series of points I want to make to the prospective dog owner and the handler that is currently having issues with his dog.&nbsp; Hope to meet you soon and talk a little about these subjects.&nbsp; Jim</P>
     
  5. CMDUX

    CMDUX Member

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    <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Way to go Orion!&nbsp; You finally got it out of him:</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">"<EM>Do not get me wrong!&nbsp; I do get tough when it is needed, but I let the dog prove to me what is needed to motivate him to perform successfully within the perameters dictated by his own personality</EM>."</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">All the while I have been thinking Jim trains all his hunting dogs for field work with a pocket full of hot dogs or one of those clicker things!!!!!<IMG src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/rofl.gif" align=absMiddle border=0><IMG src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/rofl.gif" align=absMiddle border=0>&nbsp;</P>
     
  6. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>I thought I have been quite </P>
     
  7. Trainer

    Trainer New Member

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    <P>Sorry about that.&nbsp; My thumb must be getting too big for the keyboard!!&nbsp; I thought I had been quite thorough in giving my point of view concerning the straight, by the book training of all dogs?&nbsp; One thing for sure, I would never waste a good chili dog on any dog.&nbsp; I may save him the last bite!&nbsp; The clicker does work great for scaring away the cat.&nbsp; Jim</P>
     
  8. CMDUX

    CMDUX Member

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    <P>I'm glad we can find humor and still beat these training issues to death.<IMG src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/thumb.gif" align=absMiddle border=0></P>
     
  9. PerfectStorm

    PerfectStorm New Member

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    <P>CMDUX: You may differ with Trainer on technique but you could at least show some respect. Your hot dogs and clicker comment went over the line.</P>
     
  10. Orion

    Orion New Member

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    I took the hot dog &amp; clicker comment as humor, and I think Jim did too.&nbsp;&nbsp; I have met&nbsp; CMDUX, and knowing him, he was probably smiling as he typed that response. <br> <br> On the serious side, hot dog chunks and clickers do have their place.&nbsp; I have found HD chunks work great in the initial stages of obedience training a new pup.&nbsp; I have never used a clicker, but understand that many people have gotten great results with this tool.&nbsp; My daughter, who may be getting her first retriever within the year, will probably get trained in the clicker method, because that's what the breeder recommends (these are Boykin Spaniels).<br> <br>
     
  11. CMDUX

    CMDUX Member

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    <P style="MARGIN: 0px">I even put a smiley there!!!!!<IMG src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/rolleyes.gif" align=absMiddle border=0></P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Of course I meant it with humor.&nbsp; You don't see too many retriever traininers side-stroking it across the marsh clicking the dog over logs and coaching the dog through cover with hot dogs!&nbsp; Although you might be one, and I am terribly sorry&nbsp;if I have touched a nerve and joined an undoubtedly long list of people who have pointed and laughed. <IMG src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/biggrin.gif" align=absMiddle border=0>&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">Relax out there.&nbsp; If I didn't respect Jim for&nbsp;his committment to these breeds I wouldn't give his comments, or Orion's the attention I do.&nbsp; The fact that they come right back at me shows they respect the contrary point of view (i think as much as I do) and as professionals attempt to take the intellectual high road with poinient examples and anecdotal stories&nbsp;taken from years of hands-on experience as well as an understanding of canine psychology and learning theory.&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">I've never actually said such nice things about anyone before.&nbsp; After I finish crying I'll log on later and see if anyone has replied.&nbsp; sniffle sniffle.<IMG src="http://www.websitetoolbox.com/images/boards/smilies/bawl.gif" align=absMiddle border=0></P>
     
  12. Goldeneye

    Goldeneye New Member

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    <P style="MARGIN: 0px">rather than chastise Trainer why not just accept his methods as an alternative to Force Fetch ?</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">&nbsp;</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">A good retriever is a good retriever</P> <P style="MARGIN: 0px">If the dog does what the owner wants it to do what diiference does the training method make ?</P>