Quartering / Hunting

Discuss any aspect of training you have, ask questions, share tips and advice for any breed of gundog.
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trekmoor
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by trekmoor » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:08 am

When I began to go to shoots as a beater instead of simply shooting over my own dog it was to driven shoots that had not very many birds on them . My dog only had to hunt as he normally did to keep the keepers happy. On some drives he didn't find a single bird to flush and maybe only 5 -10 birds in total were driven over the guns at their pegs.

Then I got a bit of a shock. I was asked to do some beating on a much more upmarket shoot and I had a hell of a job keeping my dog under control ! He could actually see birds galore running on in front of him and he wanted to be "in among 'em !" I did manage to control my dog but only just . My mate who'd also been asked along as a beater was not so lucky ! His big , old fashioned type springer "Sam" was a good dog but the numbers of birds were just too much for him and he did two mass flushes during the morning and had to be left in the car during the afternoon drives.

My mate tried hard to retrain his dog after that shoot but it didn't work . Sam would not calm down or accept a lot more control when given the opportunities of performing a mass flush well ahead of the beating line. I liked that dog very much but big driven shoots were just too much for him. My mate went back to rough shooting and pigeon decoying while I continued to do those things and added a bit of "big shoot beating" to my list of interests.

I never did have a dog that was calm enough and not need lots of control during beating on the big shoots ......few people seem to be able to train a dog in that way. I honestly would not want to have such a "well behaved" dog , I like my dogs to be a bit on the wild side ......and they are ! :lol:

Not far from me lives a friend who does beating and some picking up with his 4 springers . He does not even have a gun nowadays he just sticks to working his dogs. I often admire his dogs but I wouldn't want them . Like the dog belonging to IPS friend these dogs just do not "go." I have never seen my friend be rough with his dogs but he somehow trains the "go" out of them .....because it suits him.

He buys his pups from very good quality field trial stuff but even that "hot blood" is tamed by whatever it is that my friend does when he trains them. On non-shooting days his dogs are walked through the woodlands and fields behind his house and mine for at least two hours every day no matter what the weather is . I've went with him a few times and while my dogs rampage through the woods , his dogs maintain a nice, sedate pace very close to him. Gawd knows how he does it for he is a very quietly spoken man and very seldom ever raises his voice and while he does have a whistle , I have never seen or heard him use it .....not even once ! :shock:

He and his dogs are made welcome on many shoots and he works his dogs very nearly every day from the start of the grouse season to the end of the pheasant season .....maybe his dogs behave so well because they are tired out ! :lol: He, in return, says he likes my dogs but would not want to own them. They are too "wild" for him.

I never see him training his dogs to hunt , I think they learn "on the job" and he takes quite young pups with him to shoots. ---- The man baffles me ! He is a really nice gentle sort of bloke but Gawd knows how he trains his dogs ! :think:

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
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Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
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ips
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by ips » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:17 am

Interesting read wullie and your friends dogs do indeed sound exactly like my friends. I have no idea either how he trained them and strangely I have never seen him use the whistle. I have however seen the dogs run in at flush point, it just could not contain itself so maybe you never fully train the urge out of them, oh and it did get corrected for this misdemeanour..
It's definitely a case of you get what you train for by the sound of it. Oh and the dog in question is from good pedigree apparently.
I wouldn't want it for syndicate shoot that's for sure
Muddling along in the hope that one day it starts to make sense.

Springfield Pointers
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by Springfield Pointers » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:40 pm

"a doddle"

That's the word I've been looking for - thanks chaps.
:)

Naj
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by Naj » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:11 pm

Springfield Pointers wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:04 am
Naj wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:23 am
Our foreign friends might be staggered by the huge numbers of birds running ahead of the beaters like chickens on some of these heavily stocked driven shoots, especially early season, when dogs, if they are allowed, have to be kept closely in check if they aren’t to spoil a drive. After saying that, I used to work my dogs on such shoots at one time and they were trained to field trial standard when it came to quartering distances. But they spent a lot of time at heel or sat waiting. Hunting can be very stop/start.

Naj
Some of your foreign friends may indeed be staggered - others not so much. But surely there's an appreciable and discernable difference between a dog that WILL hunt and can be kept close if required, to one that WON'T hunt and stays close when not required.

You can't teach a dog to hunt - That is the point I'm trying to make.
But you’re a special case, SP. :lol: I was responding to Chrokeva and some of the others who haven’t experienced it first hand.

And agree about the hunting. I’ve yet to have a dog that didn’t hunt.

Naj

Nickheref
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by Nickheref » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:21 am

Naj wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:11 pm



And agree about the hunting. I’ve yet to have a dog that didn’t hunt.

Naj


But there is hunting and hunting, I am seeing the odd young dog who will hunt like a demon if there is plenty of scent but don't seem to have any motivation or idea if there isn't. I have a question in my mind that is
"Are these dogs who only hunt on scent lacking hunting drive or are they actually quite bright and realise there isn't much about and if they had spent their first few months always hunting heavily scented ground and so expected to find game in every bush would they later have hunted any ground with enthusiasm or would they have just switched off on ground with no scent?"

The reason I ask is that these dogs almost all come from famous kennels (or their bloodlines) where there is every facility ie rabbit and flying pens and then access to almost limitless amounts of game whereas I need a dog to hunt a bit in order to find game to start with and the more they hunt the more they find and so on. It could be that it was always thus and I just haven't come across them before.

Rough_mut
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by Rough_mut » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:04 pm

I find this is situational for dogs....

The field behind my house has been barren of game since we have been here.

Consequential I use this field to play fetch with him, just as a 'tire him out' place with the tennis ball thrower.

When on this field he doesn't hunt it any more, he just focus' on me.

To my surprise this week he went into the woods for a ball I lobbed in there and he managed to flush a phesant. For the rest of that walk, and subsequently every walk after he has hunted it like a demon!

That being said, at the shoot we have to cover too much ground for him to quarter effectively, I think I let his nose tell me where the birds are!

I cannot see the point in trying to cover every square inch, when I am confident with pheasants if you use the wind correctly a dog with a half decent nose and one capable of hunting independently will find them!

I appreciate trials and rough shooting are slightly different but I cannot stand it when the bloke and his dog next to you is constantly peeping. It's no surprise the peep looses it's value over time!

Rm

Springfield Pointers
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by Springfield Pointers » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:00 pm

Nickheref wrote: But there is hunting and hunting, I am seeing the odd young dog who will hunt like a demon if there is plenty of scent but don't seem to have any motivation or idea if there isn't. I have a question in my mind that is
"Are these dogs who only hunt on scent lacking hunting drive or are they actually quite bright and realise there isn't much about and if they had spent their first few months always hunting heavily scented ground and so expected to find game in every bush would they later have hunted any ground with enthusiasm or would they have just switched off on ground with no scent?"
I have always noted that a good dog is identified by a few ingredients. One of them being that it hunts. Hunting being the operative word, and that means hunting hard to find scent where there is none. A good dog should hunt for game - until it finds some. A dog that "switches off" when there is no scent has no value as a hunting dog.

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ips
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by ips » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:16 am

Mine doesn't hunt hard unless there is scent, she will take a peek in cover but if no scent or birds will pop out pretty quick and give me a look as if to say "what was the point in sending me in there then" I remember reading something about Springer's hunting for scent cockers hunt on scent for my one this seems to be true. I can't say it's anything that has worried me as she goes up through the gears pretty darned quick once there is some action 😁
Muddling along in the hope that one day it starts to make sense.

Springfield Pointers
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by Springfield Pointers » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:05 pm

ips wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:16 am
Mine doesn't hunt hard unless there is scent, she will take a peek in cover but if no scent or birds will pop out pretty quick and give me a look as if to say "what was the point in sending me in there then" I remember reading something about Springer's hunting for scent cockers hunt on scent for my one this seems to be true. I can't say it's anything that has worried me as she goes up through the gears pretty darned quick once there is some action 😁
Maybe that's the difference that has developed between Spaniels and Pointing dogs?

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ips
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Re: Quartering / Hunting

Post by ips » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:20 pm

Well that was interesting. On our usual walk today I hunted her through the little wood were she jumped the hare. She hunted well in some long grass and general rough stuff then I sent her into a thick Holly bush thing, she had a peek then said "nah" we went around the corner and at the exact point other side she really went up a gear and bored into the bush making a hole were there wasn't one and flushed two pheasant. When she blanked it they must have been right off her nose. Now the interesting bit. I stood there trying to fathom it out then remembered about that scent thing, the light wind was blowing directly through the bush she was upwind when she blanked it (if that's the right term) . This is probably not a good thing to admit to but hey ho, oh and she was so surprised at the flush she gave a little yip something she has only done twice before. On the plus side she was as ever steady to flush.
Oh, today I went whistleless so it's a good job didn't need it 😁
Muddling along in the hope that one day it starts to make sense.

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