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|12/15/2007 12:17 AM
Subject: Re: [working-gundog] prey drive 4 = drive 2
>>The problem of an
inherent lack of cooperation has cropped up repeatedly in the gun dog world
for one reason... North American field trials.<<
What type of field trials are you referring to Cj? Horseback field trials?
Walking field trials? AKC field trials? American field trials? Shoot
To Retrieve Field Trials? Bird Hunter Challenge field trials? And
what stakes exactly are you referring to? Gun Dog stakes? All age stakes?
All VERY different events with very different levels of training and
>>A dog that runs and hunts
with total independence of the handler is prized in field trials. A dog
that runs and hunts while ignoring the handler is an uncooperative dog.<<
I have field trialed for 34 years. Horseback field trials. I have judged
8 National Championships in five breeds, AKC and American Field. I have
Placed a dog first that was totally independent of it's handler. I have
Placed a dog first that was uncooperative or ignored it's handler.
didn't take long for uncooperative breed lines to become the top rated trial
dog producers. Now a dog that doesn't care where the owner is may be a hell
of a trial dog but it's a terrible bastard to foist on an innocent on foot
I do not know a field trialer in this country that does not foot hunt their
dogs. None. I also do not know of any field trialer that seeks or desires an
"uncooperative" dog. Quite the contrary.
>>Field trialers may admire a dog that takes off and is gone all
In ALL AKC field trials a dog that is gone for one sixth of the time
(five minutes in a thirty minute stake, Ten minutes in an hour stake)
is disqualified. NONE of us field trialers admire a dog that is
Hard to win with a disqualified dog I must say.
>>But the on foot hunter cannot get anything from such a dog, he might as
well be hunting alone... in fact he is hunting alone, the dog has no
interest in doing anything with him or for him.<<
Neither can a field trialer. As I said before, we foot hunt ALL of our trial
>>It's quite easy to read field trial results and pedigrees with a lot of FT
champions but if you don't know the field trial business you might be asking
for an uncontrollable hunting dog.<<
I think the knowledge of different stakes would be helpful. There is a HUGE
Difference in All-Age dogs vs. Gun Dogs. Field trials have both of these
In them. Gun Dog stakes are dogs that can easily be hunted on foot, and are.
All of the Horseback Gun Dogs are also ran in foot stakes. An example of
Is the same dog that placed in this years GSP Walking National also placed
Our horseback National. Same dog.
Perhaps a knowledge of what type of dogs are in the pedigree, such what
and events they are competeing in, would be more helpful.
>>Not all FT dogs are lousy hunters but
big running dogs produce big running offspring<<
Big running is NOT synonymous with non-cooperative. A dog may run big, but
when it is worked on foot. Smart dogs do that. The only way to know if they
ability and that level of brain power is to field trial them. Cooperative
dogs can run
in a field trial one day, and be foot hunted the next, in heavy cover. Kind
where we hunted our horseback field trial dogs last weekend. (Ask Rick
our trial dogs ranged.)
>>I have known a
number of people who spend more time hunting for their dog than hunting for
As have I. But I have also know a number of people who spend more time
getting their dogs
back from chasing rabbits, or antelope, or deer than hunting for birds. Bad
bad training, no matter what the background of the dog is.
>>Germans like dogs that "hunt to the gun", these are not close
working dogs but they are dogs that always know where the hunter is and will
adjust their search to hunt in the direction the hunter is moving. Good
versatile hunting dogs always know where their owner is and will keep track
of the hunter by sight, sound and scent. This is sometimes called
"biddability" and it cannot be trained nor can an uncooperative dog learn to
be "biddable"... the behavior is innate.<<
I agree with most of this. Not the part about not teaching a dog to be
Biddable. Out here in the West, we hunt much larger areas than in
Germany. I have seen how the Germans hunt. They have very small areas to
Their dogs must be in ABSOLUTE control at all times. Not my idea of hunting.
Dogs that range the distances that their dogs do would be totally worthless
in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Montana, Idaho, the Dakotas, and
many states in the Midwest.
>>You can easily recognize uncooperative dogs in the field, they are wearing
e-collars and their owners have very loud whistles...<<
This is the most absurd statement I have ever read. Hunters who care for
dogs hunt them with e-collars. The collar may never be used. However if the
comes across a rattlesnake, a javalina, a coyote, or the many other things
out there that could harm your dog, you have a means to discourage the dog
from a "close encounter". Dogs with a "high prey" drive will in most
Attempt to get involved with these critters.
>>such dogs may be just fine in open country where you can see for a
but in cover they are miserable and unproductive. Many times there is no
opportunity to check a pup with the Scott test and you find yourself with a
big running dog, does his range close in when you go into thicker cover? If
doesn't close the range in heavy cover you may have an uncooperative dog.
helps quite a bit but it isn't going to change the dog's level of
dog may become obedient but every day afield is a test of wills and a very
Again, big running does not equate to uncooperative. A dog that is hunted in
country, should run really big. If it does not, it is useless as a pointing
You might as well have a flusher. But of course, if you are in heavy cover,
dog should adjust his/her range.
It has been my experience that people who "fear" dogs that range out are
folks who's dogs are not very well trained. Dogs that will not hold birds
a very long period of time can not get very far from their handlers, they
put birds up out of shotgun range. Dogs that also are not steady
to wing and shot will break on the flush of the birds, also not giving the
the opportunity to work stragglers that are left behind in the covey. My
the cover. If it is open country, I could care less how far they range. When
point, they will hold until I get there.
I think that the Scott test is great for what it was developed for, Guide
of which Labradors are some of the best suited. In my opinion, and I say
drawing from thirty plus years of breeding and selecting hundreds of high
hunting & performance dogs, I think it is of Little value in the selection
quality Pointing dogs.
>>Remember that a beautiful far ranging independent hunting style that's
lovely to watch may not be a pleasurable companion in a bird cover.<<
As I said earlier this depends on the cover.
>>All of this, of course, means that you have to know something of the
what's available before buying a pup.<<
No doubt. But I think that the most important thing you can do when buying a
is research. Most of all, if possible, hunt with the parents. My personal
are very high. I would not own or hunt with 99% of the dogs I come in
So I guess it is after all "in the eye of the beholder".
You have a lot of interesting thoughts and ideas Cj. Most of the time I
really enjoy reading
your posts. However, when it comes to having knowledge of field trials and
field trial dogs,
you come up a little short. Perhaps you should leave that subject to the
guys that are out there
active in that arena and have some experience in it.
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