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Gun dog Training (Couldn't use search function)

Posted: 23 Feb 2011, 23:46
by poodledoodleted
Hi guys,

Just wondering if anyone had any experience with gun dog training - just for fun!

Ted has a very strong chase/prey drive and i'm not 100% sure how to deal with it effectively without him becoming a terror.

The problem is I would still like him to play with his balls and everything so I dont want to completely extinguish his chase drive but don't much appreciate it when he chases joggers, cyclists, dogs, birds, rabbits... etc etc! Hes kept on a long line at all times because of this behaviour but I feel mean however, I know I probably shouldnt let him off where any of the above roam until I have the problem sorted.

I thought maybe trying to harness the behaviour may help???

Or if anyone has any other ideas on how to harness this behaviour (other times of training etc) let me know :D :D

I've tried having a nosey on some of the gundog websites and I must admit they TERRIFY me! They don't seem too impressed with labradoodles for some reason but I don't see why Ted wouldn't be perfect for the job! :lol: :lol:

My mum has a friend who is training her 3 (yes 3) puppies as gundogs (2 spaniels and a lab all under 6 months) so I believe there must be somewhere that does it near me... I'm going to get some more info off her when my mum returns from her jollies!

Any advice would be much appreciated!!


Ted and Sam

Re: Gun dog Training (Couldn't use search function)

Posted: 24 Feb 2011, 00:13
Where are you we have had several succesfully trained as gun dogs and assistance dogs

Re: Gun dog Training (Couldn't use search function)

Posted: 24 Feb 2011, 00:31
by poodledoodleted
I think a little too far away - Cheshire :shock:

However, It is great to hear that It is something that he would possibly able to do :D I was getting a bit worried reading some of the things online!

If you know of anywhere nearer to me please let me know and thanks again for assuring me its possible


Re: Gun dog Training (Couldn't use search function)

Posted: 24 Feb 2011, 01:46
by Bid
I have the exact same problem with Poppy. She is incredibly well behaved - recall excellent, retrieve brilliant, but I can't let of off lead. She has such a strong prey drive that all she does is trot along behind me waiting for something to chase, and when she goes, she is gone! I can be out there looking and waiting for hours - on one occasion after dark, which is too dangerous to risk - she can cross a lot of roads in that time!

I have tried all sorts of training - her chase-recall using balls is good, but our problem is deer. We have done 1-2-1 training with a gun dog trainer, (a nice one using reward based training - nothing scary), and tbh I think that is the best approach so far (and I have tried a lot of approaches!). I have some notes on our training - if you PM me your email address I'll let you know what we've done so far. We've stopped for a while, but the trainer is building what I think is a dog-proofed rabbit pen where the bunnies have excape routes, but the dogs are secure, and we will hopefully start again when it is ready.

I am still not convinced that there is an answer for Poppy, It is so tempting to let her off lead, but all it would take is one deer to pop up and I will have lost her, so she stil walks on a line. :( . It's not all sad though. There are some secure fields where she can chase her ball, and she goes to a hydro pool for some swimng which she loves.

One thing about chasing balls though - they do simulate the chase ( there is a theory that teaching a dog to retrieve a ball is teaching it to chase). I've had a good long think about this, and after talking to the trainer about it, and reading up a lot about it, I go along wit hthe theory that chase is an addictive thing. Poppy has had some really long chases, and loves her ball to a ridiculous degree. If she wasn't so obsessed by it, I would be very tempted to stop the ball games as it can only add to her addiction, but she is now at a point where I think she would get very very distressed if she didn't have that outlet, so 2 or 3 times a week I take her somewhere she can chase her ball safely and we do training exercise based around that.

I really really hope that you don't have the same problem - it's no fun having a chaser :(

Re: Gun dog Training (Couldn't use search function)

Posted: 24 Feb 2011, 12:30
by poodledoodleted
Oooh No, I don't think I realised how much of a problem It could be. :cry: :cry:

Thanks for the advice Bid, I think I may have to stop with his ball as I am sure it is making it worse (It is very squeaky and prey like). which isn't great as we all wanted a dog to play fetch with but I Have to do what keeps him safe.

I think I only really realised how bad the problem was yesterday when walking along the road (which he is only on for 2 minutes while we get to the field) he tried to chase a motorbike - which nearly had him in the road if I hadn't kept to the furtherest side of the pavement - then 3 tractors came past and the same thing happened... so I think I have to do whatever I can.

He will literally chase anything though (he doesn't play rough and tumble like other doods - he just chases) which is not great when I live in the countryside and there are lots of animals. I also wanted to take him to Tatton park which is close to us but full of deer so not a chance. He was also destined to do the 3 peaks challenge with us next year but the number of mountain sheep especially on Snowdon means that will be impossible off lead (although it would be great if he could pull me up the hill).

Thinking back I think I have inadvertently taught him to do this. His main puppy friends are lurchers and they let him chase them for how ever long he wants. He does have a doodle friend but he scares the life out of Ted with how rough he is.

I've just been on the phone to one of the ladies at my dog training school to see if her focus group sessions would be any good (as you can choose what to go over instead of the structure of KC awards) but scarily she thinks 1 - 2 - 1 is the only option with him. I explained how I thought 5 1/2 month may be a bit too young to be worrying and she assured me I should have come sooner :oops: I think because he has been to training classes since 10 weeks that I thought I could have dealt with it myself. Obviously not :x

So He is going to be booked in for 1 - 2 -1 outdoor training. However, she has already warned me - it may not work. She said the prey drive is very much a chemical thing and once i've let it happen just once its very difficult to control, which makes me worry.

I'm stilll very interested in Gun Dog though as I suppose it would allow a controlled chase? Therefore, maybe it would work on the same principle of recall away from dogs (i.e. recall them away but let them play after)

I know a few rabbit hunters??? (I know that is not what they are called) and they now all want Ted (He must sound brilliant to them) I just wish I knew some way of solving this. So any tips would be greatly appreciated! :D

I would just like to add that Ted is kept either on his lead or a long line at all times. If he does ever get any freedom is a secure area then the long line is dropped. (But i'm always on look out) This is only usually on our own land (about 6 acres) when the farmers sheep next door are in a different field because at 5 1/2 month he can easily scale 4 ft fences. (what have I got myself into - hybrid vigour at its best and he is crossed with a mini)

Thanks so much guys your a god send!

Sam and Ted

Re: Gun dog Training (Couldn't use search function)

Posted: 24 Feb 2011, 14:04
by Bid
Poor you :( . I have developed a few strategies for keeping Poppy entertained and exercised, if they are any use...

She walks on a bungee lead which attaches to me, so if she suddenly surprises a deer and goes, I can't lose her!

Beaches are great for us because so far it has never occurred to Poppy to chase birds, but avoin them at all costs if Ted chases birds!

On some walks Poppy wears a backpack with a doggy first aid kit in it - it adds a little bit of weight so that she gets more exercise from walking.

As I said, she goes for a leisure swim at the hydrotherapy pool once a fortnight and that really really works her hard.

Like you, I have the use of a secure field where she can gallop about, but she does need a ball or her Wabbit toy to make her run. She has a couple of special friends who have visited her field with her and she will run with them!

Do keep us updated on how it goes - you never know - Ted might be young enough to get him to change his ways - I still haven't given up hope with Poppy.

Just remembered this too - have a look at this guy's book - ... g-chasing/, and maybe ask your trainer what she thinks of the lemon on the gum technique described in the last chapter. I have worked through the book, and taken Poppy to one of the author's workshops, and he agreed that Poppy is one of the few dogs still there at the last chapter, but I am not yet convinced that the lemon approach would work. I may yet try it though! :D

Re: Gun dog Training (Couldn't use search function)

Posted: 24 Feb 2011, 15:25
by poodledoodleted
Thanks Bid :D

I've got a lot of work to do!

Its amazing how everything is related. Teds got a bit of seperation anxiety (only from me) so I better deal with that - I never knew that would make chasing more enjoyable???

I think if my trainer already hasn't I will get her to read it - just incase she suggests I try and stop him chasing anything ever again! And I will be sure to ask about the lemon.

Thank you so much... I'll be off to start some training!