Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Subject: RE: [working-gundog] prey drive 4 = sharpness 1,questions
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12/15/2007 6:03 PM
Subject: Re: [working-gundog] prey drive 4 = sharpness 1,questions 1. Can a completely non cooperative dog learn to be cooperative? >>Cj said: An inherently uncooperative dog is not capable of working with a human, it appears to be a behavior that can not be learned but is inherited from the parents. Such a dog can be trained to be obedient but obedience isn't cooperation. In fact training to be obedient to all commands is really the only way that one can hunt with an uncooperative dog. I have seen trainers work for months or even years trying to make an uncooperative dog into a cooperative dog, I have never seen success in this effort.<< I once thought this to be true also. A couple of years ago a friend of mine Had a field trial dog that kept running off to the front. He would never be Gone for more than a half hour but it was long enough for him to be disqualified. This dog could not be scouted because it was always to the front. He told me that he had an All-Age dog in the making. I disagreed with him, I told him that he simply had a run-off.(an uncooperative dog). Contrary to popular belief All-Age dogs also have to be cooperative. In fact, more than gun dogs do due to their extreme range. It is easy for a dog to "get lost" when they are as far out as this type of dog, but a good All-Age dog always knows where you are and they show themselves periodically. This person kept his dogs in a kennel. He had lots of dogs. He was first and foremost a hunter, secondly a field trialer. He took this dog out of the kennel and made him a house dog. He also let the dog ride in the front seat of his truck with him everywhere he went. After about a year of this his dog became one of the most cooperative dogs I have ever seen. He became a nice gundog and finished his Field Championship in less than three months. 2. Can a dog be cooperative in one setting, but not in another? >>Yes but this takes some explanation. An inherently uncooperative dog will not have spells of cooperation....The answer is yes but only for innately cooperative dogs that are turned off by incorrect training.<< I have seen dogs that were VERY cooperative with me. I rarely had to give them A command in the field. These same dogs "blew off" their owners. This was a people Problem. As it is most of the time. I have also seen dogs that were very cooperative hunting dogs. Dogs that handled Unbelievably well to the gun and foot handler, but were maniacs in field trials. Totally different dogs. Perhaps this is learned uncooperative behavior. 3. Can a dog that is born with a high level of sharpness, lose that ability later in life and exhibit a low level of sharpness? >>Not usually, a sharp dog is a sharp dog for life. Illness or injury can dramatically reduce the appearance of sharpness and old age can dull the edge but talent tends to persist with a good dog. Like cooperation, sharpness can be beaten out of a dog by a stupid trainer but the urge is just hidden in the presence of the damned fool that caused the problem. I have encountered dogs that would hunt vigorously for anyone except for their owner.<< I agree. An example of what you stated above is gun shyness. A sharp dog can Be made to have a fear of birds when a gun is introduced improperly. Just one Example. 4. Can a dog that exibits hardly any sharpness as a young dog, later in life exhibit a very high level of sharpness? >>Not usually a very high level but a dog that is disinterested in birds can sometimes be stimulated to sharpness by proper exposure. . . . Cj I have trained dogs that had very little interest in birds initially. Especially older dogs (2 to 3) that were not introduced to birds at a young age. After the dogs are introduced to a large number of birds they become "bird crazy". But I think in this case they always had a High prey drive, it was just dormant. I have also found through experience that if you introduce dogs to game At a very young age that they will have a higher level of prey drive as Adults. At least I have found this to be true with my experiences. tc
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