Tyson's training log --- 2 guns, Ty kicked ass
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    As I embark on this journey to train myself and to try to mold Tyson into a functional hunting dog, I thought I would post occasional updates in one thread. A place I can share what is working, what is not working, and how Tyson is progressing.

    Over the past few months, Tyson's training has been almost exclusively on off leash work and recall. We have practiced recall daily in the back yard, and most weekends we get out hiking and let Tyson do his thing. Yesterday we turned a corner. I took all three dogs for a walk around Lake Raleigh. One side of it is a paved path with public fishing access. The other side is rugged and there are some very poorly maintained and often difficult to follow trails. Once we cleared the congested area, Tyson was off leash the entire time. For the first time in all of our various off leash adventures, two things happened: 1) He started quartering! and 2) He started using his nose a bit. I noticed this first with Joey that around 7-8 months of age, he began to follow scents more intensely. Tyson will be 8 months on the 30, and he's just now beginning to follow his nose. So those are both exciting developments. He also chased a few birds and small game animals. At one point I heard a big animal take off through THICK cover about 30 yards away. Tyson took off like a rocket to investigate. I kept walking down the trail slowly, whistling every 30 seconds are so. He found his way back 2-3 minutes later. I have no idea what it was, but I suspect a deer.

    We also began some scent and retrieving work in the yard a few days ago. I elected to begin with a Chukar dummy and bottled scent. When injecting the dummy, the needle separated from the syringe spraying me and half my kitchen with chukar scent. Yuk! I got that cleaned up and finished injecting the dummy. Then I introduced Tyson to the clicker for the first time. I was using small pieces of turkey hot dog which he seemed to really like. In fact, he liked them so much I couldn't get him to focus on the dummy at all. By the end of the 20 minute session, I was able to get him to chase the dummy 5 feet or so, sniff it, then return to me for a treat. So, I plan to try again without the hot dogs. Just get him excited about the dummy to start. I worry he'll hard-mouth it to death, but we'll figure that out if/when it happens.

    That's it for now.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by dlroberts at 2011-10-24 12:26:47
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    Good first entry. I'll have to keep an eye on it to see how things are going.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Query

    What is your backup plan if Tyson did not come back? How long would you wait. And is it stressful for you those 2-3 minutes? Was it stressful when you first started out?
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Dave when are you gonna come back over here? Maybe we can run Ty on some chukar and pheasants here and run him with Hana? Or I found a hunting preserve that allows the use of dogs so if you ever have the chance to come by SD again we can run Ty and Taro on some hogs.

    Sounds to me like Ty is going to develop into a nice hunting dog. Do you have alot of chukar over there?
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • white_bearwhite_bear
    Posts: 295
    :shame: what's chukar and pheasants?
    Irina and the kids: Tenshi, Hinu, Tsuki, Kito, Dori, Mizuki (JA) and feline beast Loulou.
    http://akita-ken.ro/
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    @the_november_rain Tyson wears a collar with ID tags and a riveted ID plate, so if he really got lost, hopefully he'd be returned. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous at all, but we've been practicing recall daily for the last three months so I was more excited that he was showing interest in game than nervous I wouldn't get him back. Also, Tyson is very attached to me. If he is at all in control, he'll come back.

    @shishiinu Man, I'd love to get back out there! It's a LONG drive though. As for chukar numbers, I don't know for sure. I know there's some top notch waterfouling to be had on the coast though.

    @white_bear Chukar and Pheasant are upland game birds. They are ground birds that are typically hunted with pointing dogs like GSPs or flushing dogs like spaniels.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • white_bearwhite_bear
    Posts: 295
    Cool, thanks.
    Irina and the kids: Tenshi, Hinu, Tsuki, Kito, Dori, Mizuki (JA) and feline beast Loulou.
    http://akita-ken.ro/
  • AmiAmi
    Posts: 35
    "We also began some scent and retrieving work in the yard a few days ago. I elected to begin with a Chukar dummy and bottled scent."

    It sounds like a great idea to try, my NK loves to hunt pretty much everything. I think a dummy in a controlled environment would work great, since I'm not a hunter myself.


    @ white_bear, that's "potarniche" and "fazan"
    Ami, Yuki, Dai-chan, Taro, Tora
  • white_bearwhite_bear
    Posts: 295
    Lol, thanks ami! All clear now. I think I don't know anybody in Europe hunting with their NK, it would be cool if there were and it would be interesting to see how they do it over here.

    Ooops, sorry dave, we're ruining Ty's training log lol
    Irina and the kids: Tenshi, Hinu, Tsuki, Kito, Dori, Mizuki (JA) and feline beast Loulou.
    http://akita-ken.ro/
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #2:

    Tyson is finally completely comfortable with the cap gun. It's taken 5-6 weeks of daily work, but he doesn't even flinch when it's fired right before or during feeding time. I can be 2 feet from him and he's fine with it. So that's a HUGE success. I need to proceed on two fronts in this department: 1) I need to up the noise by either going to a .22 or .32 blank gun. and 2) I need to introduce gunfire at times other than meal time. My goal is to do this in the field, because the Shibas still aren't wild about the cap gun. I need to catch Tyson when he's distracted chasing something or during play. So we'll be working on both of those transitions (not necessarily at the same time) over the next few weeks/months.

    I gave Tyson a day off from playing with the bumper, and started over again with the hot dogs. I just wanted to get him excited about it and wasn't particularly concerned with any specific behavior. I held it by the toss rope and ran around the yard which he really seemed to like. That got him pretty riled up, so I started tossing it a few feet away. He retrieved the first two or three times, then lost interest, so we went back to just running around. Then today, I reintroduced treats (this time kibble) without the clicker. I got him riled up again, and started rewarding him for putting his mouth on the bumper. I didn't care what part he grabbed, as long as his mouth surrounded it completely. We were at it for about 15 minutes today and he got that part pretty solidly. So, more progress!
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Sounds like you are making some really good progress. I would definately start with a .22 blank, it will have enough of a crack thats louder then a cap gun and alot of time you can transition to a scattergun or a centerfire after a dog is confortable with a .22.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Sounds like you and Tyson are making some great progress! :)

    I can only imagine that the Shibas are not too fond of the cap gun... Haha.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • Entry #3:

    We've continued to work on retrieving and started work on scenting. It's amazing what a day off from training will do. After a few days of me reinforcing Ty for mouthing the bumper, I was finally able to get him to do two retrieves to hand at the end of the training session. I praised the hell out of him and gave him a treat "bonanza" for the second retrieve to hand (dropped four or five treats on the ground at once, rather than hand him one). Then I skipped a day of training and when I came back, Ty was basically jumping out of his fur to retrieve to hand. He couldn't get enough. I even switched bumpers and went with a quail scent and he didn't skip a beat. He is energetically chasing down the bumper and retrieving all the way across the yard (60 ft or so). About 50% of the time on a long retrieve he will get distracted and drop the bumper. He responds very quickly when I remind him to bring it back though.

    Yesterday we started on a blind retrieves (where he gets a visual mark on the bumper, but doesn't get to retrieve until I give the command to do so). I'm focusing on that for two reasons: 1) In the field birds may fall in thick brush or in bushes and he won't always see them right away; and 2) I want him to get used to using his nose to find game.

    We did four or five short retrieves where I walked out and placed the bumper 3-5 feet away while he maintained a sit-stay (or "whoa" as I'm now calling it) and he did perfectly! So I started making it a bit more difficult by burying the bumpers under some pine needles. He gets a visual on the general area I am hiding the bumpers, but has to use his nose to find them. At the rate he's learning, I suspect he will be a bumper retrieving machine in no time flat!

    From here, I plan to begin hiding multiple bumpers in a few days, and then ordering some bird launchers to simulate flushing a bird. Then I'll introduce the .22 cap gun to the process as well.

    Progress!
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    I'm glad your making progress sounds like Tyson will be a great hunting dog soon.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Wow! Sounds like Tyson is making great progress! And it sounds like you are both having fun in the process.

    Any chance that Joey (or even Lucy) get to play too? I know they could never be hunting dogs (as the whole off leash Shiba thing I am sure gives you cold chills just like me!), but I think they would have a blast scenting out the bumpers and retrieving for treats.

    Let me know, if so, it may be something that I try with Bella and Nola.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • Joey would absolutely love it! He has a naturally soft mouth and has always liked retrieving tennis balls. Lucy would do it to, but she has a much harder mouth and is so tiny the relatively large bumpers would be difficult for her to carry without biting down. I could probably buy some smaller bumpers for her to play with though. I think all of my dogs would love to do it, provided they were playing alone. When they are all out there together, there are some dominance (and I mean that in the correct usage of the term) issues that prevent the others from playing. You should give it a try, it's fun for all!
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    I think I will have to do that! :)

    Nola may have the same problem as Lucy, as she has a tiny mouth compared to Bella.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • Entry #4:

    Well, we hit road blocks on two fronts....

    My goal is to train Tyson on two fronts and then slowly integrate them: 1) scenting and searching out game; and 2) the flush-->shot-->retrieve sequence. He's got the retrieve down near perfect now, so I started to introduce the shot with the retrieve.

    I took him out with a bumper and my cap gun. We did a few retrieves and I got him very excited over it. So, on the fifth or so retrieve, I threw the bumper and fired the cap gun while he was in mid-chase. He flinched a bit, but kept going enthusiastically and finished the retrieve. LOTS of praise and kibble. I then immediately went back to a few retrieves without the cap gun just to keep him excited. Then tried the cap gun again. A slight hesitation, but he completed the retrieve with a little encouragement. LOTS more praise and kibble. I continued alternating a few retrieves without the cap gun and then one with for a while. Each time he got slightly more hesitant after hearing the shot. After about the fourth or fifth retrieve with the cap gun, Tyson stopped retrieving. He would chase down the bumper, sniff it, and then come back without it. He did this even after I stopped firing the cap gun. So we played with the bumper for a bit just to end on a positive note.

    Given his hesitation, I decided I would abort that tactic for a while just to keep the positive association with the bumper up. So, I started focusing a bit more on scenting. I started this by putting him in a sit-stay, walking out a few feet, and burying the bumper under some pine straw. He did great, although he was less enthusiastic about doing those retrieves than he was about chasing the bumper after I threw it, so I made sure to mix in a few throws between the buried bumpers. As I started to increase the distance of the buried bumpers, I noticed he was losing interest. He would get to the general area, and then seem to get distracted. If I walked out toward him, he would snatch up the bumper and bring it back.

    After a few days of burying bumpers, I decided to kick it up a notch even though he was less enthusiastic about finding it. I brought two bumpers out, one scented as a quail and one as a chukar. I buried both and encouraged him to "hunt". That, unfortunately, just seemed to confuse him. He started breaking his sit-stay early and getting the first bumper, then he would bring it over to the second bumper, drop it to pick up the other one, and then drop both and return without any bumpers.

    Having succeeded in thoroughly confusing him on two fronts now, I decided to take a few days off from training. Tonight, for the first time in 4 days, we went back out with a single bumper. This time I leashed him to a tree and buried the bumper. I made sure to pretend bury it in 2 or 3 places, so he didn't have a good visual of where I had left it. The short of it, he did GREAT! He really started using his nose to find the bumper, although he wasn't all that good at it at first. He walked by it a few times before he really locked in. Once he got it figured out, he started becoming far more accurate, picking the right location almost immediately and excitedly retrieving to hand.

    So, for the second time in this process, I have learned that taking a few days off, especially when you seem to have hit a wall, can work wonders. :-)

    I'd say he's making some great progress! My next plans, other than reinforcing what he has already learned, include three things: 1) buying a few more bumpers and bird launchers to simulate an actual flush. 2) getting a .22 blank gun to use during meal time so he gets used to more noise and the cap gun won't bother him as much. and 3) bringing in some actual birds (I've got a call in to the hunting preserve so hopefully I'll be able to get them this or next weekend).

    That's it for now.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • Sounds like a minor road block. Just to throw this out there Dave, but I would probably recommend getting Ty kun on some live birds. He seems really comfortable with the bumpers but he may need some actual time with live birds. Its a bit different training a Kai compared to a retriever where they really dont care what they carry in their mouth.

    Its one of those things where it seems like you are on a flat spot with the bumpers where he is now comfortable but need to be introduced to live birds. He's still young and should be fine with it. It will probably build his drive a lot more by using some thing that will fly or run. Give me a call and I can explain what to do a bit better.

    It seems like Ty now has the bumper associated with the loud noise from the cap gun so try throwing a curve ball in there and start introducing birds like quail, chukkar, or pheasants. I would go with the pheasant since it will last longer. They usually cost about $18.00 a pop for a live rooster. You can clip the wings and attach a water bottle or a 4X8 piece of card board with a string to its leg to keep it from going too far.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • Gen, I will definitely give you a call. I left a voicemail for the guide I know at the hunting preserve and I'm waiting for him to call back. I was planning to go hunt some released birds with one of his pointers and let Ty retrieve those frozen (after I bring them home of course) for a while, but if you have some other suggestions I'd definitely welcome them!
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • Right on Dave! wish I could come out and hunt with ya.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • No big breakthroughs to report on the training front. But I did just touch base with the guide at the preserve and Tyson will be getting his first introduction to live birds on Saturday morning. I'm psyched! Although not too psyched about having to get up at 4am to make it down there on time. lol.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    It'll be worth it, & you'll be having so much fun you won't realize what time it is ;) ~
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    Nice!!!! Go Tyson!!!!
  • Go Dave and Ty! Hope it works out.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • Entry #5:

    After talking to the preserve guide, I found out they only have Chukar and Pheasant right now. So, I decided it was time to break out the pheasant dummy I've been saving. The chukar and quail dummies are all rubber and both relatively light. The pheasant dummy is a cloth dummy with real pheasant feathers zip-tied on. It weighs 3 times what the other dummies weigh. I wanted to Ty to get some exposure to something that big and with that scent before he saw a live bird for the first time.

    I began training today by leaving Ty inside and hiding the chukar and pheasant dummies out in the yard. When I let Ty out, he made a nice quartering loop and zeroed in on the chukar within a few seconds. Perfect retrieve with lots of praise. I then put the chukar in a tree branch to get it out of the way and gave him the command to "hunt" for another bird. He went back to the previous location of the chukar dummy and started sniffing around. After about 10 seconds, he gave up and headed for the other side of the yard, nose to the ground. Like a laser he zeroed in on the pheasant and went right to it. I called praise to him from across the yard and encouraged him to retrieve. No dice.

    So, after he sniffed and pawed at the partially buried pheasant for a minute or so, I went and picked it up just to reinforce to him that he was indeed in the right spot. He immediately showed a bit more interest once the pine needles were cleared away. He started to grab at it, so I held it by the rope and let him jump at it as I walked back across the yard. That got him really excited, so I stopped and let him make a closer examination. He immediately started to try to pick the feathers off of it. So I took it away and continued walking back across the yard. Right when I got back to the chukar dummy, he jumped up and ripped the pheasant out of my hands. As I went to take it back from him, he grabbed it and went to hide and inspect it more closely. I gave him a few seconds to enjoy the spoils of his victory, then I approached and took it away.

    I exchanged the pheasant for the chukar and threw it out in the yard for him to retrieve. He ran right to it, sniffed, and returned to the tree where the pheasant was. He started sniffing the air and jumping up on the tree trunk. At that point I knew I had him, so I exchanged dummies again and began tossing the pheasant 10 or 15 feet for him to retrieve. At first he chased enthusiastically and then just sniffed, but after the third try he started to retrieve really well. I then leashed him to a tree and buried the pheasant in the yard. When I released him to "hunt" he took off like a bullet, bounding around the yard nose working at full capacity. After a quick detour to an old location, he found the pheasant and enthusiastically ran it back to me. LOTS of praise and treats, a few tosses and retrieves, and we repeated. He really picked it up quick!

    So, I'm very hopeful that Saturday morning will go well. He seems to either really like pheasant, or really like the real feathers. Either way, I'm extremely encouraged by his enthusiasm. :-)
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Way to go Tyson! :)

    Glad he seems to like the pheasant. The few times I have run into pheasants on a trail with the dog, they both went NUTS. And Bella rarely goes nuts. So I can imagine that Tyson was pretty stoked.

    I hope the trial run goes well this weekend. Try and take some pictures if you can!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • Good job Dr.Dave and Tyson. I can almost see it all going down. Sounds like fun times for all.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    Good job Dave and Tyson! I love reading your progress.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Good luck Saturday! woo hoo!
  • Entry #6:

    After my last entry, I decided to change things up in training a bit in preparation for our trip to the hunting preserve yesterday. Up until last Wednesday, all of Tyson's training on dummies had been in the back yard and I figured a change of environment might confuse him. So, on Wednesday I took him out front (no fence) to do some practice instead of in the yard. I wanted to help him generalize before I took him out in the field. He started off doing pretty well, but then got very sloppy on his retrieves. There were just too many interesting things to do out there. The good news was that he did generalize his training from the back yard pretty well. The bad news, he picked up a bad habit of dropping the bumper 4-5 feet away and taking a long detour around before returning to me. I decided on Thursday we'd work the back yard again with the pheasant bumper he likes so much to get him excited again. Fail. After about five minutes if him being disinterested and half-assed, I played with him for a minute or two to end on a high note and decided to call it quits.

    At that point, there was only one more day until our first trip to the hunting preserve and my initial enthusiasm gave way to confusion over what to expect out of him. Ultimately I decided the trip was more for me to get a sense of 1) Does Ty have the interest or desire to find birds? and 2) What are the areas that are going to need the most attention during his training? So, we took the day off from training on Friday and went to bed early. We got up Saturday around 4:45am, pottied and fed the dogs, loaded up the truck to hit the road around 5:30am. When taking Ty to the truck, he decided a romp around my neighbor's yard would be more fun than a ride in the truck. After he pottied again, he reluctantly loaded up and we hit the road on time.

    When we arrived at the preserve at 7am, Ty was pretty stressed. They have a bunch of off leash dogs that live there. Combine them with all of the strange smells of a farm (manure, penned birds, diesel fuel, fertilizer, etc.) and the fact that we never get up that early and Ty was completely out of his element. I met up with the guide, Ken, and we chatted for a few minutes about what we were going to do while Ty stayed in my truck. We loaded up two other dogs in Ken's truck. One GSP/Lab mix named Bink and a Vizsla named Remy. Bink is quite possibly the ideal bird dog and is finished. Remy is a 7 month old gangly puppy who is just now learning to be a hunting dog. We drove over to the training station and I took Ty out of the truck for the first time. He was not happy at all. He barked a lot and kept jumping up on me for reassurance. I ignored him and gave him treats in between barks which calmed him down some. After about 10 minutes, he was calm enough to take a treat from Ken and to sniff Remy, but Bink was just plain scared of him.

    So we decided to take the three dogs out to one of the ponds and let them play. That worked wonders! Within 30 seconds, the three dogs were having a blast chasing bumpers around and splashing around in the water.

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    Bink was soooo fast into the water that neither Ty nor Remy would actually chase bumpers past where they could stand, so we put her back in Ken's truck and let Ty and Remy play. Then, Ty would still give up as Remy was faster into the water than he was. We let the two of them play for a while, and then we put Remy back in Ken's truck. At that point, we finally got Ty swimming! He got LOTS of praise and encouragement from me after his first full water retrieve of a bumper and we decided to go right to live birds. We loaded Ty into the dog box in Ken's truck which he was basically happy to do once I threw some treats in there for him and we went to catch a few birds. That was my only mistake all morning....I forgot Ty's treats in my truck which would have some effects later on.

    We caught two pheasant and two chukar and headed off to another spot in the preserve to introduce Ty to a bird for the first time. Ken hid one of the chukar in some tall cover under a mesh box. I put Ty on a 12 ft. check cord, gave him a big hug and pat, and told him to "go hunt" (which was the term we had used in the yard when he was supposed to look for buried bumpers). He had no clue what to do and kept looking back at me for input. So I walked out past the bird about 20 ft away and he didn't even sniff in its direction. I circled back and he still continued to focus on me. So I took hold of the check cord and led him in to the bird. When we got about 1 foot away, he dropped his nose to the ground and sniffed the bird. LOTS of praise from me. I then kicked up the mesh box and let the bird flutter around (it had clipped wings). Ty immediately chased but was hesitant to grab it. So I picked it up and tossed it a few feet away. Ty chased and bit off a bunch of feathers. Progress! I tossed it again, and Ty picked it up. Lots of praise! (Crap, where's that kibble?!?!?!).

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    We continued to play with the bird for a few minutes and Ty really started getting the hang of it. So much so he even retrieved it from water!

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    (Unfortunately those are the only photos I have because I found it too hard to manage taking pictures while training.)

    After that, we put Ty back in the truck and gave Remy a few opportunities to scent and retrieve the bird. We then moved on to a new location. This time we took a female pheasant, gave Ty a good sniff while he was still in the truck, and then put her under a mesh box on the edge of some cover. I took Ty out of the truck and let him run along the low cut grass. He charged off ahead and as he ran by the bird his head turned left, hard. He definitely smelled it, but wasn't quite sure what to do. So I let him continue on a few feet before calling him back. On his second pass, he went right up to the bird sniffing intently, and then walked away. He could smell it, but again he didn't know what to do. So I called him back. He went right up to the bird so I praised the heck out of him and kicked up the box. The bird took off down the edge of the cover and Ty was on her like white on rice. Chomp! A bunch of feathers fly up. Ooops! With a lot of encouragement he brought the bird back to me and we continued to toss it out to let him chase and retrieve. (Again, lack of kibble made the bird more interesting than bringing it back to me.)

    The third time, rather than put the male ringneck under a mesh box, we left his wings alone and tied his legs to some parachute cord. While I held Ty on the truck bed, Ken went out and dragged the bird through the cover to make a nice scent trail. After it was set, I set Ty free to "go hunt" and he wandered around "smartly". As he got near the scent trail, his nose hit the ground and he followed it enthusiastically to the bird. I couldn't even catch up in time. Again, lots of praise and lots of tosses and (check cord aided) retrieves. (Damn kibble missing again!)

    To finish up the day, we took all three dogs back to the first pond and let them play for another 20 minutes. Ty loved it, although he got a tiny bit possessive of his bumper with Remy. I don't blame him though, it was his bumper from home. H e wasn't over the top about it though. Ken loaded up Bink and Remy to take them back to the kennel and I toweled off Ty to get him ready to leave. After I finished he ran off in the direction of the kennel. Grrrr. I called him once and he didn't flinch. So I closed up my truck and drove off after him. When I got onto the road I looked in my rearview and there was Ty sprinting down the road after my truck. I made him chase me for 30 seconds before I pulled over to let him in. I'm hoping he got the point that he needs to not run off like that, but somehow I doubt it.

    Ken was floored by how well Tyson did on his first time out. He did better than Remy who is a purpose-bred bird dog. Although Ty is 2 months older and has been training for those two months. Remy is only just beginning. Ken's exact words were, "Tyson did 200% better than I could have possibly imagined. If you keep it up he will be as good if not better than most of the bird dogs out there."

    That being said, my critical mistake to not bring kibble and reward him for retrieving birds is going to take some undoing. I now have four birds in my freezer that I'll be using for training this week to help break him of the feather plucking habit and to try to teach him that bringing the birds back to me is more fun than keeping them for himself. I don't think it will be too hard, but it's going to take some work.

    Overall, "tickled to death" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about Ty's performance. It was just amazing to watch him come alive out there. I don't think we'll be wining any field trials together, but he sure seems like he is going to make one hell of a hunting companion. :-) On top of that, he really looked like he was having fun which is really all I can ask for!

    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by dlroberts at 2010-09-26 22:25:49
  • Awesome! Goodjob,both of you!
    :)

    (as I am typing, and thinking of you and Ty hunting, Im sitting here at our lil wifi spot outside town hall, a flock of 22 turkeys just walked by...a nice omen, perhaps?)
  • That sounds amazing Dr.Dave!

    I don't know of anyone who has ever trained a Kai to hunt birds in the 'western' style of bird hunting. I'm really interested to see how this works out.
  • Thanks guys!

    @TheWalrus - What's the difference between the "western" style and the type of bird hunting they do in Japan?
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • very cool. glad to hear training is going well.
    Stacey living with Tora, Kazue, Ritsu and Kuma the Shiba
    www.suteishiikennels.com

    DSCF0686IMG_0940 - Version 2DSCF0714IMG_1151

    10443860_10202258803333634_2133731540_n
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Yay! Glad things went so well! You need to take along a photographer, though... :)

    I am also curious to know the difference between the "western" style and the Japanese style of bird hunting.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    I'm glad things went well except for the missing kibble. =)

    Ty sounds like Saya she loves to tear feathers off of things..
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Thats great Dave, I wonder how Ty would do in a duck blind? I am amazed at how Ty has really turned on to being so quick to pick up on the birds. I'm so glad it worked out great!
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • @dlroberts Dave, as to how it's different, well I guess they don't really teach Nihon Ken bird dogs over here so much. Basically it's just getting them out there to the mountains, where they mostly are used to hunt Yamadori. It's a pheasant like bird, but lives up in the mountains, and is pretty wary. I'm just assuming you're going to be training Tyson as a traditional bird dog, giving him commands and such.

    With the NK bird dogs over here, it's pretty much a silent affair of walking through mountain ravines with your dog. When the dogs catch scent, they take off uphill and immediately flush the bird. The hunter reads his dog's movements, and has to generally keep himself in a position to take a good shot off the flush. Most of the dogs will retrieve.

    I guess the things you won't see much of is pointing, whoa, blind retrieves (on command). Of course some hunters train their dogs more than others, but there's just not the whole training regimen that you usually see for western style bird dogs.
  • @shishiinu - I suspect he's be pretty happy to chill in a duck blind once he got some excitement and energy out. He just loves to be around me so he'd probably just nap with his head on my leg until it was time to go to work. :-)

    @TheWalrus - Thanks for the explanation! I suspect Tyson's first year is going to be exactly like what you describe. I'm trying to make it all fun for him, so I'm not worrying about sloppy retrieves or anything like that. I'm not sure he'll have much interest in blind retrieves, but I'll certainly be attempting to try them with him once he matures a bit. He just entered his adolescent "I'm going to do what I want" phase, so for now I'm just going to let him do what he wants to make sure he's enjoying his time on birds as much as possible.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • Loved the pics and the update! It sounds like he did really well....Yay! It was really interesting for me to read about how bird dogs are trained, too. I had know idea how it was done...
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #7:

    Last week rained a LOT. Tyson is really funny about the rain. He likes water, he doesn't mind walking in the rain, but when the backyard is soggy he has no interest in being out there. He'd rather hold his bladder than go out into the soggy backyard. So, after last week's introduction to birds, we took a few days off, only to meet up against four straight days of rain.

    I took one of the now frozen chukars out with Ty and tried to get him interested in it. He was extremely interested in it while still in the house, but the soggy yard was enough to turn him off. I tried getting him to retrieve it a few times, but he just wasn't having it. He would chase and sniff. And because he wasn't all that interested, my typical pick up the bird/bumper and ignore him for a minute tactic didn't work at all. After five minutes of attempting to get him to retrieve, he finally picked up the bird, ran it to the door to go inside, and stood there waiting for me. "Ok Ty, I can take a hint." I took the bird from him, gave him some pets to he didn't think I was upset with him, and let him in. The second we got inside he started jumping up to grab the bird back. Silly Tyson!

    We repeated that on Tuesday and Thursday of last week in the rain. Then, Friday turned beautiful, so I was actually able to encourage him to do some retrieves. We started Friday's session out with our standard play, but he wasn't interested in retrieving, only sniffing the frozen chukar. I picked up the bird and held it while he inspected it thoroughly, pulling it away if he grabbed for an appendage (like the head or legs). After about a minute of that, he started to settle, so we practiced the "take". I would reward him for putting his mouth on the bird, then for taking it from my hand and dropping it, then for taking it from my hand, holding it, and releasing it back into my hand. After a few minutes of that, we did a couple of retrieves and I decided to stop there on a positive note.

    Saturday we woke our asses up early and went down to the preserve again. We met up with Ken and Remy at 8:00am. This time Ty was more excited than nervous. A full six miles from the preserve, I could see him sniffing the air (I had the windows down in my truck). We loaded Ty up and caught 7 quail from the bird house and went out into the field. We let Ty and Remy run around chasing each other and play with bumpers for about 30 minutes to let them habituate to the new field we were working in. There were cows in a neighboring field and Ty showed some interested in them, but his recall was perfect when I asked him to ignore them and come back to me. There were two guys in a neighboring field hunting Doves and Ty didn't show any reaction to them, so I decided we should try shooting a bird over Ty to see how he did. We put Ty and Remy in the truck and tried to grab a bird out of the bird box. Those little quail are lively suckers! Two birds squeezed out of the box and flew away. Two birds to the hunting gods. I got a line on one of them, so we took Ty down there to see if he could find it. He showed a lot of interest in one area where I figured the bird had landed, but after searching the area for 10 minutes, we gave up. Back to the truck to catch another bird.

    This time we managed to get one out of the box and Ken planted it about 50 yards downwind. I had Ken do the shooting so I could keep a close eye on Ty to watch his reaction. I let Ty out of the truck and worked him around to the side of the bird about 30 yards. When we got about parallel with it Ty got a whiff and took off directly for it. He started pawing wildly at the kick pen. "WHOA! WHOA!" Ken and I both yelled, but it was too late. Ty knocked over the kick-pen and flushed the quail. BANG BANG. Ken emptied both barrels of my 12 gauge O/U and missed. Stupid me followed the bird and didn't see Ty's initial reaction. When I looked back at him, he was staring off in the direction the bird had landed, tail not up, but not down either. I whistled him in and praised him, then started working him toward the area the bird landed. He was a bit tentative, not ranging out more than 10 yards or so. So did my best to get him interested again. I ran around going in and out of the cover, trying to make it a game for him. He sniffed around a bit, but didn't enter the thick cover at all. We worked up and down the row of cover the bird landed in and on our third pass, Ty flushed it again. BANG, one shot and it's down. That was too much for Ty. His tail went down and he jumped all over me for comfort. I ran out to the downed bird and tossed it for him to chase. After two or three tosses, he made a nice retrieve to hand, so I treated and praised and hugged him.

    We then went back to the truck, and I loaded him up to give him some quiet time. Remy got a chance to point and retrieve his first bird and it was just beautiful to watch (I'm now almost sure I'm going to own a Vizsla some day). We then decided to give Ty another bird, but not shoot over him. Ken planed another quail about 50 yards upwind this time. He carried the gun, but wasn't planning to fire. Ty worked the wind beautifully. He didn't quarter at all, he picked up the scent right out of the truck and followed it in perfectly. When he got to the bird, he stopped, sniffed, and waited for me and Ken to approach. I praised him, kicked up the bird, and Ty made his way back to the truck. The three shots from the last bird were clearly too much for him. We took Remy out to police up the bird and it ended up in a tree. Because Remy couldn't see it, we decided to give a third bird to the hunting gods.

    After that we took Ty and Remy up for a swim and he did great! He made a number of 30+ yard water retrieves of a bumper, including one where he had to find the bumper in a distracting mixture of floating sticks. It required him to approach and inspect every floating object until he found the bumper. I was SUPER proud of him.

    So, day two on live birds was definitely a success. But, he's going to need quite a bit more work on his gun shyness. I'm confident we'll be able to fix that, but it is going to take a lot of work.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Sounds like you all had loads of fun. Sucks that Ty's gun shyness is some what hendering progress but like you said, it should improve over time.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • It's very exciting to read about your progress with Tyson and he is doing so well! :o)
    Looking forward to hearing how he does next time...
    Tanja
    ... all the way from hillbilly Denmark ;)
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #8:

    We've started work on the frozen birds in the yard, and Ty is really getting the hang of it. He's learning quickly that birds need to be retrieved, not played with. Differential rewards are really working well with him. I've started giving him larger rewards (3 pieces of kibble and lots of praise from me) for a quick and direct retrieve and smaller rewards (1 piece of kibble, no or small praise) for less enthusiastic retrieves, and he's getting much more prompt.

    We've still got some work to do on his retrieving to hand. He'll get close enough for me to grab it, but I can't get him to front and sit before delivering the bird. So we've got some work on that. And of course, the gun shyness. But that's a whole other endeavor entirely.

    A funny anecdote: Last night I planted two frozen quail and two frozen chukar in the yard for Ty to "hunt". He found them and retrieved them all smartly. After, I tossed one of the chukar for him to retrieve three or for times to end the session with some play. Fast forward to this morning. I've got the dogs outside before I leave for work and I notice Ty is chewing on something. I call him to me to inspect and he won't "out" it. So I take it from him and much to my surprise, it's a chukar head. EEEEEEEEEEWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! It must have snapped off one of the birds when I was tossing it for him to retrieve. So gross! LOL. I guess the upside is that he's now very focused on bird scents. :-)
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by dlroberts at 2010-10-06 12:27:57
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Glad that Ty is doing so well! Sounds like he is definitely a bird hunter in the making.

    And eww... on the chukar head. Haha. :)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #9:

    It's been a while since I've written an update, so I thought I'd write a quick one. I've been a bit distracted with various things, so Ty and I have been on a 2-3 day per week schedule rather than the 5-6 we were on before. He is now 9.5 months old and is starting to assert his independence a bit. He's gotten somewhat sloppy on his retrieving, so I've been increasingly mixing in some other skills for him. We've been focusing on "heel" and delivery of birds.

    My ultimate goal is to be able to train him to deliver birds while sitting on my left side, facing forward. Do I need to do this? Absolutely not! But it's fun to try and that's what this experience is all about. I've been working on heel with treats only, but I'm thinking it might be time to dust off the old clicker. Tyson will heel for a few steps, but is having trouble realizing that heel means my left side, and not just by my side. He is also having trouble learning that "heel" means he needs to move into that position if he isn't already there. But we're working on it.

    I'm also starting to teach Ty to "hold" birds/bumpers and wait to deliver them. We've been practicing with is favorite Nylabone because he likes to hold that. I'll give him the "take it" command, ask him to "sit", then give him the "leave it" as I hold the corner. He's got that down very well, even without treats (getting the nylabone back is a reinforcer). Because he's so used to delivering bumpers and birds on retrieves, he's having slight trouble generalizing to bumpers. He'll take it, then immediately drop it and look for his reward. Clicker time again. :-)

    To link the heel with the retrieve, I've started turning my back to him when he comes back with the bumper. He seems to be fine delivering with my back turned toward him. Slowly, I'm beginning to turn a bit sideways as he retrieves so he learns to move into heel position when he retrieves. I think we'll get there with a few more practice sessions.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Sounds like things are still progressing. :)

    And yep... Clicker time!

    I need to dust my clickers off, too. Since the spring, I have been a little more lax with their reinforcement training than I should have been. But now that we are back to just the three of us, it is time to get the ball rolling again!

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #10:

    Over the last week or so, I've been working with Tyson in the house on delivering to hand and on heeling. I dusted off the clicker and after about five minutes, he really got the hang of it. We've been working inside in part due to the earlier darkness making it difficult to get out in the evening for training after work, and also because he seemed to be getting a little bored with retrieving practice in the yard. After two session with the clicker, Ty was retrieving the dummy in the house at about 10 ft, bringing it back, sitting, and waiting about 5 seconds for me to grab it. BIG progress. We also did some work on heeling. At first I tried to lure him to a heel position while I was standing and he just wasn't getting it. My fault, not his. So I start by walking up next to him and taking a step forward. When he got up in position, I'd click and treat. After a few minutes of that, I start 1/4 turn and he would move back into a heel for a click and treat. Then I tried 1/2 turn, but he didn't get that. He just started sitting in front of me expectantly. I backed off to 1/4 turns again and he was fine. So then I started walking around my house in circles and I'd click every time he got into heel. He got that super fast and really well too. So he's making progress on those fronts for sure.

    Today, I woke my ass up super early and took Ty down for some more bird time. This time I bought two pigeons. My goal was to work on his gunshyness. That's all I really cared about today. So, I gave Ken my cap gun and sent him off about 30 yards. I put Ty on a check cord and took one of the pigeons and tossed it out about 10 yards (I had clipped its flying feathers so it couldn't really fly far). At first, Ty just sort of looked at me, then he gave chase. Bang bang on the cap gun. Ty didn't notice at all. He also didn't retrieve at all. lol. CHOMP! Ooops. I dragged him back in with the check cord and he handed me a bloody pigeon. I tossed it again. Bang bang bang bang on the cap gun. He paused slightly, but then went right to the pigeon. I had Ken move back about 5 yards and we repeated. After three or four more tosses, Ken was about 10 yards away and Ty didn't seem to notice the cap gun at all. Then, a nearby hunter fired a 12 guage and Ty decided he wasn't cool with that. We quickly packed up and moved 1/2 mile away to get some more distance.

    I clipped the flight feathers on the second pigeon and tossed him out into cover about 40 yards away. With Ty on the check cord, we started working the area looking for the bird. He didn't quite get the idea this time. In previous times, he's hunted beautifully, quartering at a nice lope with his nose working the entire time. Today he basically stuck to my side while I guided him through the brush. Ken spotted the bird before Ty did, so I worked Ty up to it. At first he didn't see it and was totally confused. But then he caught sight of it and started lunging excitedly. I tried to get him to sit but he just wasn't having it. Fwap fwap fwap fwap off flew the bird. Ty busted it. It landed in some tall wheat and we went to look for it. Ty just didn't seem interested today. So after a few minutes of me trying to Coax him to hunt, I decided to give him a rest and put him back in the truck. Remy (a Vizsla) and Moon (a Brittany) came out and policed up the pigeon in four minutes. Seeing the two of them locked on point was quite a sight. :-)

    After that, we loaded up and went down for a swim where Ty did his typical one water retrieve and then lost interest in trying to outswim the other dogs. He had a good time splashing around and trying to steal bumpers from the other dogs that had swam out to get them. After a good cooling off swim, we loaded up the other dogs and let Ty chase the pigeon one more time. This time I fired the cap gun and threw the bird myself. He wasn't fazed in the slightest! I got six or seven solid tosses on the bird and by the final toss I unloaded six or seven cap shots. Ty didn't retrieve, but he didn't eat the bird either. He ran to it and stood over it sniffing. I can work with that. :-) So, we'll head back down in a few weeks with a .22 blank gun and repeat the process.

    In short, today was a big success in terms of starting to get Ty over his gunshyness. It also showed me I need to drill him harder on his retrieves, because he was definitely not interested today.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #11:

    I've been really bad about posting updates on Tyson's training, and due to being busy with work I've been pretty much even worse about training Tyson. :-( We've had sporadic training sessions over the last few weeks in the back yard with bumpers to work on his retrieving a bit. I started using the clicker to encourage prompt retrieves, rather than allow him to stand over the bumper for a while before picking it up. It worked really well, but that was as far as we had gotten...that is until today.

    Given that it's been three weeks since our last training outing with live birds, I decided today was as good a day as any. We hit the road at 7am this morning. It was pretty chilly at 35 degrees, but by the time I got down to the preserve it was a stunningly gorgeous day at nearly 70. Today we worked Ty with Remy the Vizsla, Bink the lab/GSP mix, and Zack the 5 month old English Pointer. Ty and Zack were like peas in a pod, but Zack definitely liked to RUN a lot more than Ty does.

    After allowing all four dogs some time to stretch their legs, I worked Ty and Zack on a wing for the first time. If you've never seen this done, it's pretty amazing. You take a wing from a game bird and tie it to one end of a 5 ft. length of fishing line. You then attach the other end to the end of a fishing rod. You start by swinging the wing around the dogs to get them excited. Both Ty and Zack enthusiastically tried to pounce on the wing. After a minute or so of that, I flopped the wing down into the grass and bam, Zack locked onto point for the first time. Amazing! Ty had a little vinegar left in him, so he tried to pounce around Zack. I quickly lifted the wing and flopped it back down on the other side of Ty. He tried to pounce again, so I lifted and re-flopped. We repeated this little dance for about 2 minutes, then all of a sudden, Ty figured it out. "If I don't pounce quickly, it won't go away." What would you know, Ty was pointing the wing!!!!! My jaw dropped. He pointed it three or four times for about 10 seconds each time. Pretty amazing for a big-game dog is you ask me. :-) Ty got a HUGE hug and LOTS of pets from me for that.

    After that, I gave Ty some water and put him in the truck to rest and so we could plant a clip-winged pigeon. Today, we tied it's legs together and made a scent trail by dragging it through the tall grass for 100 yards or so. I loaded my cap gun and set Ty free to "go hunt" about 10 minutes later. At that point there was barely any wind, and Ty pretty much wandered around aimlessly within 10 feet of me, so I walked him around until the wind kicked up a bit. We went past the bird to work him back into the wind, and he definitely picked up the scent drag. His nose went down and he started scampering a bit more enthusiastically. He worked in towards the bird very nicely, walking past it at about five feet twice, both times pausing momentarily at the closest point. I knew he smelled it, he just wasn't sure where it was, so I walked in closer and gave him a visual queue on the bird. He pounced it immediately so I fired off two rounds from the cap gun. No reaction at all. He happily chomped his bird. I wrestled it away from him and tossed it about 10 feet away. I then emptied the remaining four shots in the cap ring while he chased it. I reloaded the cap gun and repeated. A full three rings of caps and no reaction at all from Ty. Great progress!

    Next, we took Zack out with a fresh bird and let him find and point his first bird. He was a real champ about it, but if it hadn't been for the check cord he probably would have caught the bird very quickly. We threw it up and let Zack chase it down. Ken fired his .22 blank gun up in the air. That thing was LOUD! It was probably just as loud as a 20 gauge. Zack hesitated for just a split-second, then continued after the bird into the woods. We followed him to find him pointing it from 3 feet away. Good boy Zack!

    Then came Remy's turn. Remy is already started. He's far from finished, but he can find, point, and retrieve reasonably well. This exercise was all about the gun for him. So I loaded six green crimps into the pistol and off Remy went on the same bird that Zack had been using. I held back about 10 yards and let Remy do his thing. He located the general area of the bird within two minutes, but was having trouble zeroing in on it. Then he accidentally bumped it, got a bit scared, but recovered quickly and pointed it from 10 ft away. It was a sight to see! Ken picked up the bird and tossed it for Remy to chase. I let him get about half way there and fired one shot behind my back into the ground. Still pretty loud, but not as bad. Remy retrieved the live bird, and we repeated until all six crimps had been fired.

    Ty's turn again. We made a fresh drag with a fresh bird for Ty. I loaded another six green crimps. This time I hung back about 50 yards and let Ken work Ty up to the bird on a check cord. He certainly didn't remember the pointing he had been doing on the wing. LOL. He did find the bird quickly though. Once he flushed it, I fired off a single .22 blank and got no reaction from Ty at all. So I moved in about 10 yards and let Ken toss the bird for him a second time. Another single shot from the .22, no reaction from Ty again. Excellent! A third time, with no reaction. One the fourth and final toss, I was only about 15 yards away from him and I fired two blanks with absolutely no reaction from Ty. HUGE progress, lots of praise, and I decided to end the session right there. No need to push too hard when he's making such amazing progress!

    We let all the dogs run around for about 10 minutes, then loaded up and went over to a pond for a cooling off swim. All four dogs took turns making water retrieves of bumpers and had a blast chasing each other.

    I think I'm going to have to get myself a 20 gauge because I think Ty will be ready to be shot over on the next trip. :-)
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • Good work,you two! :)
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    Awesome! & It must've been really cool to see him point! You'll make a bird dog out of him yet, Dave! :)

    Go TY! ~
  • TheWalrusTheWalrus
    Posts: 1613
    Great to hear about the progress.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    Nice work Dave!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Nice! Sounds like things are really starting to work out for Tyson and the birds. :)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #12:

    There's no denying it, I've been horrible about training Tyson for the last few months. The end of November was horrendously hectic for me, in early December it was deer season and Ty got left at home. Then came the holidays and the associated travel, and right when I was getting back into a routine with Ty, I got sick. Like really sick. I was pretty much in bed for five weeks, only to find out that you can, in fact, get mono at age 29. Who knew?

    Anyway, as a result, Tyson has gotten zero in the way of training over the last 2.5 months. That all changed this week though. I started him back on a wing on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week. (That's the old pigeon wing on a fishing poll.) It took him a good 10 minutes to settle, but after that he started to get the hang of flushing slowly. I don't ever expect him to whoa completely when he sees a bird, I'm just trying to reinforce the stalk part of his prey FAP so I have time to get into position for a shot after he flushes.

    Last night I started bringing back more and more of the skills we had been working on in the fall. We started the session with about five or so minutes on the wing. Once he settled, I got two beautiful slow flushes from him in a row, praised the heck out of him, and moved on to retrieving. He enthusiastically retrieved a chukar dummy on the first, second, third, ..., seventh try. Wow! He hasn't skipped a beat despite my lack of stick-to-it-iveness. Good boy! I decided to kick it up one more notch, and brought out a frozen chukar. He was all over it! The first toss, he just wanted to sniff it. So I picked it up and tossed it again. This time he sniffed for a few seconds, then picked it up and dropped it. Progress. He got some verbal praise for that. Third toss, he retrieved to within 4 or 5 feet of me. GOOD BOY! Treats, praise, and another toss. Again, got withing a few feet of me. By the fifth toss, he was dropping the bird at my feet and on the ninth and tenth tosses, he retrieved to hand! I was floored at how well he did. I decided to stop on a very positive note and I let him cary his bumper around for a while to celebrate. :-)

    I also have purchased some new training gear that I'm excited about. I got a .22 blank pistol that will help with his gunshyness. I also picked up a remote bird launcher. It's a neet little thing. It's a vented box with a canvas platform attached to springs. It then has a wireless receiver attached to a release mechanism so as Ty approaches it, I can push a button and it will launch a bird/dummy/whatever up into the air. This will help in steadying him to flushes and enable me to work on his gunshyness without needing any help. I also picked up a really cheap 20 gauge side-by-side as the next step in Ty's gunshyness training.

    Tomorrow, we hit the preserve for some live bird work. If he progresses like he was at the end of the fall, I'm hopeful I'll be able to shoot a bird or two over him with the 20 tomorrow. I don't want to push him too much though. Slow and steady wins the race!
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • Wow! That's very impressive!! Well done Tyson! and you offcourse!
    Reading all those hunting stories makes me want to come over to the states!! :-)
    No hunting in the Netherlands... :-(
  • So it sounds like it's all good....so remove the bad dad part : ).
    It is amazing what they remember. I don't think we give them enough credit sometimes.

    Great job...
    Snf
  • Sounds like you've done a really good job with him :) He obviously likes working with you! :D

    I am so impressed by what you've managed with him!! :D Maybe someday, you could persuade someone to record some parts of a training session, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's curious ;)
    Tanja
    ... all the way from hillbilly Denmark ;)
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    That's great news! We all fall off from time to time. I'm no exception to that. It's just about getting back on track, and it sounds like Tyson is doing great!

    One thing that I've seen in Kais, my favorite thing, is that they seem to just "get it". They get what you want from them quickly and do it despite their stubborn strong will.

    Great job!!!!!
  • flushing is a spaniel kind of function, as opposed to pointer, right?

    I am not actually surprised that after a break, Ty did extra well. This is a performance pattern in many sports/arts. Good boy Tyson!
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Right on Dave! Glad you are doing much better and Tys progressing well.

    I'm curious to see how Ty does as a bird dog. I think you have the first ever NK bird dog in NA too!
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    @chrys, Yes, flushing is a spaniel/lab type of thing. A well trained flushing dog will have a very close range (<35 yards) and will sit as soon as the bird flys up. Ty has the range, but at this point he's not experienced enough to handle the flush calmly. <br />
    The difference between a pointing dog and a flushing dog is that a pointing dog's prey FAP has been altered to favor the stalk heavily. Through training and reinforcing that stalking, you get a dog that freezes and waits for permission to complete their FAP. It's pretty amazing to watch actually.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • KevinKevin
    Posts: 346
    I would love to have a pointing lab someday. Bird hunting is really one of the holes in my hunting experience.
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Its always a great experience to hunt behined a good upland bird dog. Hana and I almost consistantly hunt waterfowle but the few times Hana have been out, she has been a great flusher and retriever. she just loves to hunt and thats all she likes to do.

    I'm definately a great fan of the Lab, although not a big fan of the clingyness and super hyper ADD style temperment of the hunting labs. My friend has a pointing lab and the way that dog works pheasants is just amazing. By the way my friend has pointing lab pups available for anyone wanting one.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • My male Dalmatian MacGregor had fairly good flushing instincts. I didn't deliberately "hunt" him, but I took him on walks in the wildland area near our house. He was on a long lead to comply with the leash laws (and for his own safety). He would "work" an area and occasionally flush pheasants. Dalmatians have been used frequently as hunting dogs, usually for flushing birds. They are also pretty good ratters. They are best known as coach dogs and there seems to be an inherited predisposition for where they would coach (beside the coach, under the axels, in front, etc.)

    Dalmatians share many of the same temperament traits as NKs -- including some of the stubborness and independence.
    Post edited by sukoshi_mom at 2011-02-19 12:12:45
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #13:

    Well smack my ass and call me Sally! I was completely blown away today. I mean utterly floored by Tyson's performance.

    Having been on hiatus from training at the preserve since the middle of November (almost 3 months now that I do the math), I expected today to be a "refresher course" for Tyson. I dragged my ass out of bed early this morning after a late night finishing up some stuff for work. We hit the road before 7 and got to the preserve at 8:15. Tyson was chomping at the bit from the second he saw me put on a cammo shirt and load his training box and my shutgun bag into the bed of my truck. He was bouncing and whining the entire drive down there.

    I first let him out of the truck and he was a bit stressed. The preserve's owner has 8 or 9 GSPs that he lets have free roam on the property, and they almost always hang out on the porch of the office where I meetup with Ken. Ty got a stream of hellos from all of the GSPs. He growled softly at each one and then sniffed them before moving on. After about 10 minutes, he settled enough to start playing with Gretta, an oversize female GSP. They played really well while I waited for Ken to arrive.

    When Ken got there, I loaded Ty and my gear into his truck and we went out into the field. We put a quail in my new remote bird launcher and a clip-winged pigeon under a kick box. Since it had been so long, I wasn't sure how Ty would react to the bird or to the gunfire, so I decided that I would have Ken work him up to the pigeon first while I hung back with the .22 blanks. I let Ty out of the box, gave him a quick hug, and gave him the "go hunt" command. He bounded off to my right very intensely. That was great! He's usually a bit more timid, so his intensity really made me happy. After making a round to pee on all of the hay bales in the field, Ken called him over and he started hunting the area we wanted him to. I mean, really hunting. Quartering beautifully and with purpose, nose low, and at a quick pace. I was completely shocked. There was a good stiff 10-15mph wind, and Ty worked it like a seasoned pro. He was making a pass in front of Ken and passed a good 15 feet in front of the bird, stopped on a dime, lifted his nose up, sniffed, and made a confident move directly to the pigeon. GOOD BOY TYSON! He went in, sniffed, pawed, sniffed some more. GOOD BOY! Ken kicked the box off the bird and off it went. BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG! Ty didn't even flinch when I fired off four straight rounds from the .22. At that point, he had caught up to and grabbed the disabled pigeon. He didn't retrive, but he definitely had the bird. Ken took it and tossed it for Ty a few times while I continued to fire off .22 blanks. Tyson's tail stayed up nice and high, he was enthusiastically chasing the bird, and apparently having a blast!

    I was extremely happy with his performance, so we put him up for a few minutes to rest and took out an 8 month old GSP that Ken has been training. We decided to work her onto the quail in the my launcher just to see how it worked. While I was loading my 20 gauge, she ran off the 70 yards to the quail and pointed it from 8 feet away. Wow! We went over, launched the bird, and I hit it on my first shot with my new 20 gauge. A good omen! :-)

    Because the other quail we had brought had escaped the bag, we decided to put the last pigeon in the launcher and work Ty on it. We let him out of the box and off he bounded, enthusiastically hunting again! This time, I decided to work the launcher and have Ken shoot my 20 gauge so I could keep an eye on Tyson. For the second time, he quartered smartly and with purpose, working the steady wind perfectly. Within a minute, he was on the bird. I could barely keep up. lol. GOOD BOY! I got Ken ready, then released the bird. Ty jumped for it, missed and took chase. BANG, BANG. Ken emptied both barrels of my side-by-side and winged the pigeon. Ty was not going to let this bird get away. He was on it like white on rice. He chased it down the hill, across the fence, and into the swamp. When the bird landed in a tree, Ty jumped up and flushed it out, only to give chase again. Ken and I just watched from a distance. It was so beautiful, I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. After a good two minutes, Tyson finally wore the wounded bird out and was able to get a hold of it. GOOD BOY TYSON!!!! Still no retrive, but absolutely amazing considering he hasn't seen a bird in 3 months. He didn't flinch at the shot of the 20 gauge, and his persistance meant the bird ended up in my truck and not lost. That is as ideal a training experience for a young dog as you could possibly ask for!

    After a rest and trip to the bird house to get some more quail, Ty got an opportunity to hunt two more planted quail. After dizzying them, we planted them on their backs in some tamped down hay. Nice, dense cover, which would prevent them from running. Ty worked from the truck up toward the area of the field we planted the birds. He ran by the first bird, slammed on the breaks, lifted his nose, sniffed, and confidently walked directly in. I quickened my pace to get in range for a shot, but I was too late. Ty plunged into the cover and came out with this quail in his mouth. He let it go and off it flew. BANG, BANG! I emptied both barrels of my side-by-side and missed. :-( Ty trotted over to me, jumped up, whined, and then took off, working the wind in toward the fenceline where the quail had landed. It was almost like he was saying to me, "Don't worry about missing dad, I'll get him again." :-) He quartered into the fence and got real interested in this one area, but he couldn't get through. Ken and I walked him over to an area where we could climb over and let him under the fence, and off he went. We followed, and when he got real "birdy" (meaning he circled with his nose low to the ground, covering every inch of a 20ft square area) we started kicking around to find the bird. Next thing I know, I hear a high-pitched squeak and Ty comes out of some low cover with the quail in his mouth. GOOD BOY! I go over to him, give him lots of praise, take the bird, and toss it for him to chase. I repeated that a few times to reward him. Then we dropped that bird off at the truck and headed off to find the second planted bird.

    On his final bird of the day, Ty again worked the wind in beautifully. I swear he smelled it all the way at the truck, because he didn't quarter at all, he just worked directly toward it with minor course corrections. Before I knew it, he stuck his nose into the cover and a quail came running out between his legs. It took flight with him in chase. I raised the 20 gauge, but the bird never got high enough to shoot while in range. (As a rule of thumb, you never shoot a bird if you can't see the sky behind it.) Ken and I watched it land in the swampy area just off the field we were working in, so we worked Ty down toward it. This was tougher because we were working upwind of the bird, so Ty couldn't smell it on the approach. He worked into the swamp a bit, so Ken and I followed to the edge. He crossed a shallow pond (really a glorified puddle) to this small island and was about the go off the other side, when he turned, took two steps back toward us and up flew the quail directly over my head. BANG, BANG! I missed the first shot, but winged it on the second shot. Ken and I watched it land at some really dense cover along the fence, so we worked Ty back up to it. This time the wind was working in our favor. Ty worked mainly to my right, downwind of me and the bird. As we got close to where I thought it landed, Ty started approaching the fence. I spotted the bird heading for cover and was about to call Ty over when I saw this black blur come out of the corner of my eye and plunge head-first into this REALLY dense cover. I heard the bird squeak, but Ty came out empty. He tried to get through the fence, but couldn't, so he ran 15 yards up the fence, crawled under and came right back down. He was all over that cover, sticking his nose in as deep as he could, pouncing around, and whining like crazy. I went across the fence and tried to help by kicking around to scare up the bird. After about 30 second, Ty lunged nose-first into a particularly thick area. I heard a squeak, and out comes Ty with the quail in his mouth. GOOD BOY! Lots of pets and praise, a few tosses of the quail, and we decided to call it a day.

    Tickled to death is one of the more apropos phrases to describe how I feel about Ty's performance today. He did amazing! His recall sucked today, so I know I need to work on that, but he actually hunted today. And not just going through the motions, he was intense about it. He was on a mission to find birds, and he did. I LOVED it!

    A few more trips to the preserve where I can keep building up his confidence and teaching him how to work the wind to find and flush birds, and I'll be ready to hunt over him on the wild quail population in NC. I think he'll be ready to go by next season for sure!
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • sjp051993sjp051993
    Posts: 1605
    That is awesome news!!!!
    Stacey living with Tora, Kazue, Ritsu and Kuma the Shiba
    www.suteishiikennels.com

    DSCF0686IMG_0940 - Version 2DSCF0714IMG_1151

    10443860_10202258803333634_2133731540_n
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3975
    Wow, good boy Tyson...Dave maybe next time you can bring along a camera person so everyone can see Ty in action:)
    image
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    Way to go Tyson!!! [ & Dave too! ] ~
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Thanks guys! I just finished cleaning the birds from today. I've grown quite a taste for quail over the last half year or so. ;-)

    @Calia - Now that he's over his gunshyness and I don't need to watch him as closely, I can definitely think about bringing a camera and recording him in action. I just have to remember. :-)
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Sweet! Thats definately a started bird dog for sure. You have done really well with Ty, Dave. All the hard work pays off at the end and now you got a good versatile hunting dog.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    That is awesome! Way to go the both of you!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • That's absolutely amazing--especially considering the "break" you guys took for those months. Congratulations to you and Ty!
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    I'm loving this thread! You should take videos!
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #14:

    After the success we had on our last visit to the preserve, and given that I won't be able to go again next weekend, I decided to take Tyson out for some more practice last Sunday. This was my first time working him by myself. I've gotten the basics from Ken, read a bunch of books, and watched a bunch of videos. Now it was time for me to take the reigns completely to train Ty without any backup. The short version is, things went well, but we hit a pretty major snag. :-/

    I slept in a bit on Sunday, so we didn't hit the road until well after 11am. Ty was definitely confused by the late departure. To compound things, the temperature was absurdly warm for spring in the high 70s. When I pulled into the preserve office, my truck thermometer read 79. Ty was pretty unhappy the entire way down. I let him out to play with the preserve dogs while I waited for James, the owner, to arrive and fetch the six quail I had arranged to purchase. He played well for about 15 minutes while James and I chatted over a diet coke, and then we hit the field.

    I picked an area they call "10 acre field" to work in because it was isolated and a new area for Ty. I drove to one end, planted a quail in my remote launcher, and then parked my truck in the middle of the field. I got all set up, then I let Ty out of my truck. I wanted to work him on a wing for a few minutes, but he was ready to go the instant his paws hit the ground. Who am I to stand in his way? So I shouldered my 20 gauge and off we went. Ty started off beautifully, making a few nice passess before zeroing in on some dense cover. I got ready, thinking there might be a bird left in the field from some hunters who had missed it. As I walked up on Ty, I found him digging wildly in a rodent hole. I walked him off it and he went charging off on the hunt again. Within about 2 minutes, he scented the bird and walked in on it confidently. To simulate a real flush, I released the bird as he was approaching, but before he had actually found it. He was probably about 2 feet away when the bird popped 8 feet in the air, and took off flying for the trees. I missed with both shots and the bird landed in a tree. Once it landed, Tyson ran off to hunt the area under the tree. He was busy, so I shot it out of the tree to him. Down it came, Ty grabbed it, and took off through a thicket of thorns to enjoy his victory lap. I made my way through, grabbed the bird, and tried to trade him some kibble for it. He wasn't interested. :-/ I didn't think much of it, so we walked back to the truck where I watered Ty, and put him up while I planted the next bird.

    Ty did really well on the first bird, so I figured I'd get a video of him working the next one. This is where things started to go down hill. I let Ty out of my truck, and started working him into the wind toward the bird. He got close, smelled it, turned away, put his tail down, and moved on. I tried to bring him back for another pass, but he decided he had enough and started going back to the truck. When get got about 35 yards downwind of the bird, he clearly smelled it again. He turned, his tail went down even farther, and off he went to the truck. What he did is something referred to as "blinking" in the bird dog world. It is a common behavior in dogs that are gunshy. Here's a video of it. The first blink comes around 0:24 and the second around 1:23.


    I put Ty back in my truck, ran the AC, gave him some icewater, and went out to get the planted bird. The remote launcher has a beeper you can activate to help find it, but I accidentally hit the release button when I went to turn it on. Out popped the bird, I fired twice, and missed both shots. I hunted where I thought the bird had landed for a good 20 minutes, but couldn't find it. So I tried to bring Ty over to flush it for me. No luck. He refused to enter the cover and just walked up and down the field. I decided to call that one bird to the hunting gods, and take Ty for a swim to let him relax a cool off.

    We packed up and relocated to a field with a sizable pond. I let Ty retrieve a few bumpers from the water, toweled him off, and put him up while I went to plant the third bird. We went out hunting again, and this time Ty blinked really badly. I stood a few feet from the bird and tried to call him in. He refused and started heading back to the truck. After a verbal correction or two, he finally came to within about 20 feet of the bird. I gave him lots of verbal praise, and encouraged him to move in closer to me. He took a few tentative steps. Again, lots of praise from me. At that point, I realized Ty's issues weren't gunshyness, but he was afraid of the bird launcher. So I picked up the launcher and showed it to him. He shyed away. I then took the quail out, and held it for him, he showed some interest, but was still a bit hesitant. So I took a few steps away from the launcher and called him over. He came up, sniffed the bird, and tried to take it from my hand. So I threw it up and shot it. Ty was on it immediately, picked it up, and started doing his victory lap! Good boy! I took him to the pond and let him swim a bit more as a reward.

    I then loaded him in the truck, moved to a new location, and planted a fourth bird. This time I planted it without the launcher. Ty zeroed in on the area of the bird very quickly, but blinked again pretty badly. It only took me a few tried to get him in close enough to inspect the bird. I kicked it up, but it didn't flush. That ended up being good, because now Ty could see the bird, not just smell it. He sniffed it intently from about 2 feet away, so I kicked it up again, and off it flew. I winged it on the first shot, and downed it on the second. Ty took off at full speed to gather up his reward. It had flown downwind, so Ty had a little trouble locating it. After passing it by 20 feet, he turned, and took a direct line to it. Good boy!

    I then loaded him in the truck again, moved to a new location, and planted a fifth bird. Again, I planted without the launcher. Ty took a bit longer to find it this time, but still got there efficiently. This time, rather than shy away and move on when he blinked, he just stopped about 15 feet away from the bird, and looked around uncomfortably. Progress! I took me only two tried to coax him in, and I flushed the bird. I missed both shots and the bird flew over and landed somewhere in front of the fence around my truck. I walked Ty over there, and he just tried to get back in my truck. He didn't have any interest in hunting for this bird. I tried to coax him, but he just wandered the fence line without using his nose at all. I hunted for the bird for a solid 30 minutes before giving up. Another bird to the hunting gods.

    I decided to make the sixth and final bird a guaranteed fun experience for Ty. I packed up my shotgun, donned my bird gloves, busted the quail's wing and tossed it for Ty to chase. He was in heaven chasing this bird around in circles. He would catch it, chomp it, let go, and off it would run again. This went on two or three times, before he finally brought his reward back next to the truck and curled up in the shade. I went over, praised and pet him, took the bird, and tossed it for him a few times. I wanted him to know I was proud of him, even if he didn't have his best day of training.

    After letting Ty play with the bird for a few minutes, I took it away and started packing things up. When I was almost done, I looked around to see what Ty was up to, and noticed him hunting between the fence and my truck. What?!?!?! There he was, nose going wild, sprinting around in circles. I had a HUGE smile on my face. I just watched him doing his thing for a good 30 seconds, when all of a sudden up pops this quail. It flys about 30 feet to the other side of my truck, and Ty follows. I met him over at the bird and encouraged him to get it. He pounced and came out with this quail in his mouth. GOOD BOY TY! Lots of praise and a few minutes of toss the bird and Ty was super happy. I then grabbed my unloaded shotgun so he would continue the game while I was carrying it. I want him to realize that the gun means fun games with birds.

    Anyway, three hours later, we're all out of birds and I have one VERY tired Kai Ken on my hands. This was not his best day of training, but I was still extremely proud of him. He worked hard, despite being afraid of my bird launcher. And he didn't quit. I rewarded him with some additional praise, and another 10 minutes of swimming before we drove home. Overall, another great day in the field with my man Ty. :-)
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 348
    Dave,
    I don't have a lot to say, but I just wanted to know how much I enjoy reading this log! Your writing is great, and I love the stories and watching the progress. Kudos to a day that finished strong, and I look forward to the next entry!
    Photobucket
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Thanks a lot! I'm enjoying writing it too. It's a trip down memory lane for me every time I click on this thread. :-)
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Nice day Dave. I definately saw where he blinked, I guess its just work and patience to sort that boy out. How old is Ty now? One of things to also remember is that NK's hunt better as they mature. So that being said dont give up man.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    I need to develop an eye for this because I definitely wouldn't have noticed the blink if it hadn't been pointed out to me!
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    @shishiinu - Ty turned 1 year on December 30th. So he's still really young. I'm hopeful that by the start of next season (November) I'll have him squared away enough to make a few trips east where there are still healthy quail populations.

    @hondru - You see those things when you are in tune with your dog and when you gain experience. In retrospect, Ty has definitely blinked in the past, but I wasn't experienced enough to notice it.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • 7Stefan77Stefan7
    Posts: 79
    Great write-ups, very enjoyable to read :-)
    Keep up the good work you both!!
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    That is so cool. I love the working dog/handler relationship.

    PS- you really got on it with the video thing! Very good.
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
    image
    Post edited by Heidi at 2011-03-03 10:35:40
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3975
    LoL Dave, don't know if anyone mentioned this yet but every time I read this thread I always picture the Duck Hunt game.

    He is making wonderful progress and I love how you gave the training session a happy ending for Ty. That video also shows how handsome he has become, and how bushy his tail is.
    image
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4543
    Ty is absolutely gorgeous! Glad he ended up having a good day, despite his set back.

    But like Gen said, they get better as they age. So just keep up the great work with him and continue to make each trip a positive experience and I bet he will be good to go by November!

    PS - You can always come slightly northwards and hunt some grouse with Nola! :)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • It is so great to read your training log Dave, it's always well written and something to learn or at the very least a good story. I have virtually no knowledge about hunting, but I have learned a bit by reading this thread, so thanks ;) I and so enjoy reading about your bond with Ty also.
    Tanja
    ... all the way from hillbilly Denmark ;)
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Entry #15

    This entry is a week old. I took Tyson out for another day in the field last Saturday, but I got busy this past week and haven't had time to write about it. Here's the blow-by-blow the best I remember it.

    The weather is turning into typical NC spring. We have days in the 40s and days near 80 back to back. Last Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. Mid 60s, light breeze, a few puffy clouds in the sky. What more could you ask for?

    I loaded up my truck and Ty and I hit the road around 7:30am. A bit later than I wanted to start, but not too bad. We got to the preserve around 9:00 to find it absolutely packed. It's nearing the end of the official release and take season, so a lot of guys are trying to get their last minute hunting in. Doesn't leave a whole lot of room for dog training, but we made due. The preserve was running low on quail, so I purchased six chukar instead. Both quail and chukar have a nice gamey scent, so I wasn't too worried about Tyson knowing what to do. Chukar have the added advantage of being 3x the size of quail which makes for a better meal at the end of the day!

    After a 20 minute romp with some of his friends, Ty and I set out into a nearby cow pasture. There were a few cows in it, so I let Ty out to round them up and chase them off. He did his job perfectly. While I was getting my gear ready, Ty chased all the cows into a big group, bayed a large bull for 30 seconds, and then ran them off of the field. A sharp "Ty! HERE!" was enough to get him charging back to me. As he skidded to a stop in a sit in front of my outstretched hand with treats, I noticed something...he was COVERED in cow dung. GROSS! I immediately put my preparations on hold, grabbed his favorite chukar bumper, and walked him over to a nearby pond to do some swimming. No way was I going to wipe that crap off of him without him at least taking a dip first. :-) He's really grown to like water retrieves. (Please forgive the poor video with my finger in the way, I keep forgetting where the camera lens is on my phone.)

    In the background of that video, you can see some of the cows he chased out of the field.

    Having gotten most of the obvious cow dung off of him, I decided it was time to plant a bird and see how he was doing. After our last outing, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. He was much calmer on the drive down, and much more relaxed in the field, so I was hopeful he wouldn't blink too badly. I dizzied and put to sleep our first bird of the day and planted it in some tamped down grass, nice and deep. I drove across the field and let Ty out to go hunt. He took off like a rocket! I barely had time to grab my 20 gauge and follow along. He ran out about 40 yards (a little more than I want him to) but worked perpendicular to the wind exactly like he was supposed to. Before long, he got very birdy. Excellent! On our last outing he was shy, today he was showing great signs of wanting to find birds right off the bat. I hustled up to be in position for his flush, but it wasn't necessary. All of a sudden, Ty plunges into the cover and pops up with a fluttering chukar in his mouth. Good boy! Lots of praise, a victory lap with his bird, a few tosses on our walk back to the truck, and I had one very happy Kai Ken (and owner!). :-)

    Because he did so well, I decided to try to get a video of him on the second bird. I planted another chukar in a different part of the field and got ready to go after it. This video picks up with Ty on the bed of my truck, me trying to safely hold my shotgun and carry the video camera. Unfortunately, I suck at that. So you won't see too much of the action. But stick with it, you'll get a chuckle at the end. :-)

    For the record, I did not shoot an already dead bird. I fired my shotgun into the trees just to expose Ty to some more gunfire. He didn't mind at all.

    At this point, I started scratching my head a bit. If he's catching birds all the time, he's not getting exposed to a bird flushing in his face (which can be scary for a young dog.) It occurred to me that my training mentor, Ken, trains pointing dogs exclusively and he's the one who taught me how to plant birds. To train pointing dogs, you want birds to hold tight so you can "style-up" your dog's point without the bird flushing. I decided to try to plant the third bird a little differently to see if I could get Ty to flush it rather than catch it. Well, that backfired. The second I let go of the bird, it took off flying for the forest. Damn! I grabbed my shotgun, let Ty out of my truck, and off we went to chase this bird down. I saw it land along the fence, so we hunted up and down the fence for a good 20 minutes. No luck. I then lifted the fence so Ty could squeeze under and start hunting the other side. I unloaded my shotgun, placed it over the fence, climbed over, loaded it, and began hunting with Ty again. We hunted for a good 30 minutes on that side of the fence. Here's a video of Ty doing his thing, you can see he's a bit slower now that he's settled in after hunting for 40 minutes straight.

    Unfortunately, we never found that bird. Chukar to the hunting gods. :-)

    After the third bird, we took a break and I let Ty go for a swim again. He got a nice drink of water and cooled off well. I then took him for some playtime with the other preserve dogs before we went back to work on our last three birds. The last three birds went off without incident. I planted them, Ty hunted and caught them, I gave him the "leave it" command, he would drop them and they would fly off. One I downed on the first shot, one I downed on the second shot, and the third I missed completely. Ty found both of the first two downed birds quickly and enjoyed lots of verbal and physical praise from me, including a few tosses on the walk back to the truck. The third bird flew away with Ty in hot pursuit. He disappeared over the hill and I quickly went in that direction, 20 gauge in hand. You never run with a loaded gun, so I couldn't catch up in time to see what was happening. Just as I neared the top of the hill, Tyson came happily trotting back towards me with the chukar in his mouth. GOOD BOY TY!

    I'll tell you, we aren't going to win any competitions, we aren't going to impress any enthusiasts, and we certainly aren't going to win any style points. But I'll be damned if we don't have a blast being out in the woods together. Don't believe me? Tell me this isn't a happy dog. :-)
    image
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by dlroberts at 2011-03-19 19:57:25
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 724
    Awesome! I love reading about Ty and his training. He looks so proud in the picture :)
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Amazing!! Ty is really improving as a bird dog. Good job Dave!
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • sjp051993sjp051993
    Posts: 1605
    great job. Tyson is really coming along. I also like his birthday mine is dec 30 as well
    Stacey living with Tora, Kazue, Ritsu and Kuma the Shiba
    www.suteishiikennels.com

    DSCF0686IMG_0940 - Version 2DSCF0714IMG_1151

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  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3975
    LoL, love the second video:) Definitely need more pictures of Ty, he has grown so much and has become so handsome
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  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3379
    It all sounds very impressive to me! So are you going to start hunting out in the wild without planted birds soon?
    Rakka 落下(Shikoku Ken), Sosuke 宗介 (Kai Ken), Hester, Stephanie, and Batgirl(cats)
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  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Thanks guys!

    @hondru - Unfortunately, upland season is over on wild birds, so it will have to wait until next year. He has a few more skills he needs to practice anyway. He'll be ready to go next season for sure.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3444
    @ Dave- Just curious about this aspect of bird hunting, "I packed up my shotgun, donned my bird gloves, busted the quail's wing and tossed it for Ty to chase. He was in heaven chasing this bird around in circles. He would catch it, chomp it, let go, and off it would run again."

    Just curious, is this the preferred method for green dogs or are there other ways to make it easy for a dog to catch a bird without having to break a wing? I know almost nothing about bird hunting, but I would personally feel guilty if I had done that to one of my quail, even tho they were food and I slaughtered them.
    Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido and Shiba Inu
    masakadoshiba@hotmail.com
    www.masakadoshiba@wordpress.com
    www.hokkaidousa.wordpress.com
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    Glad Tyson is doing better! He does look very happy - he's such a nice looking pup. I'm stealing that pic for our website. :oP

    ----
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3975
    @lindsayt I'd imagine another way would be to clip the wing feathers like you would for a pet bird, but that would need the forethought to bring scissors.
    image
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    @lindsayt - There really is no "preferred" method. As for feeling guilty, you're absolutely justified. Truth is, I felt guilty too. In fact, I questioned whether or not to post about it, but ultimately I decided that honesty is the best policy.

    I remember talking to Brad on the phone after the first day I took Tyson to be introduced to live birds. Ken, the trainer I was working with, broke a bird's wing and let Tyson chase it and at the time it made me uncomfortable. I even told Brad at the time I wasn't happy with it. I guess things change. :-/

    Generally speaking, I try to use the method that Beth mentioned. The last 5-7 feathers on the bird's wing are their "flight feathers" and by clipping those, you handicap their ability to fly. In the past, Ken had scissors in his truck. On our last two outings, I've been working Tyson by myself. After having to break the bird's wing, I've included scissors in my gear bag for future outings.

    @brada1878 - Feel free to use it!
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3444
    Good to know. I was sorely tempted to let the dogs finish off the flock for me, but I felt bad about it since I wasn't actually hunting. What kind of quail do you use for training, by the way?
    Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido and Shiba Inu
    masakadoshiba@hotmail.com
    www.masakadoshiba@wordpress.com
    www.hokkaidousa.wordpress.com
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    We use bobwhite. It's what we've got native to NC, so it's what the vast majority of breeders produce.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Well, it's been a month since our last outing. :-( I had some business travel and some weather got in the way, but I've been itching to get Ty out in the field again. I opted to ignore opening day of Turkey season and head out with Ty early this morning. It's been hot during the day the last few days (in the neighborhood of 80), so I wanted to get down to the preserve by 8:00 so we could train for a few hours before it got hot again today. Turns out it wasn't necessary at all. The weather forecast was totally wrong, and today's predicted 80 degrees turned into overcast and 55. Things were pretty soggy out in the field, wich made for a wet dog, wet socks, and wet pants all the way up to my thighs. Sounds like it wouldn't be too much fun right? WRONG! I had a BLAST! :-)

    I woke up at 5:15 and walked all three dogs for 20 minutes, fed them, donned a pair of camo pants and Ty immediately started going nuts. He was bouncing off the walls and whining like crazy. I was pretty sure it was excitement, but I couldn't help but remember a few outings ago when Ty started blinking really badly. Before that trip, Ty was whining and bouncing like he was this morning, but it was stress then, not excitement. We got in my truck, and his whining continued. It was so loud, the guy at the Dunkin Donuts drive through couldn't hear my order. "Ty, SHUT UP!!!" cry..cry..cry...cry. :-/

    For the entire 1:15 drive, Ty was bouncing and crying. I wasn't quite sure what to expect at that point. I let him out of the truck around 8am when we arrived, and he immediately got into a scuffle with one of the preserve dogs. Ugggg. I let him run around for about 15 minutes, at which point he happily came trotting around the corner covered in cow shit...again. :-( Uggggg. This is starting out to be a rough day for me. I grabbed his colar, walked him over to the hose, and sprayed him down. I then put him in my truck and climbed in to go catch some chukar. He immediately shook off, spraying me and me truck with cow shit-laden water droplets. "F**king gross Ty!" "Sorry dad, lemme lick it off for you". Blech. :-P

    I caught six chukar, put them in a bird box in the bed of my truck, and went off for one of the fields we've done quite a bit of training in before. I detoured to a pond and got Ty to retrive the chukar dummy from the water 2 or 3 times to get any of the remaining cow dung off him, then drove out into the field and planted the first bird. Today, rather than put the birds to sleep, I dizzied them and just threw them into cover. I could see them land upright and just sit. I was encouraged. I drove us clear across the field, put 8 12 gage shells in my pocket and 1 in each of the two barrels of my over under, and let Ty out to go hunt. (I decided it was time to try firing my 12 gage over Ty, in each of our last few outings I've been using my 20 gage.)

    Ty immediately took off and started following my tire tracks. "TTTTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. WWWWWHHHOAAAAAA! Hunt over here." He was cheating! No following my tire tracks. Reluctantly, he slowed down, and turned toward me. I gave him a cheerful "Ty, Hunt over here buddy" and he quickly bounded through the tall grass in my direction. I worked him around the far side of the field that we hadn't driven through to get him downwind of the bird. He quartered pretty well, working the wind nicely once we got into position. Soon, his head popped up, nostrils flared, and he started air scenting in to the bird. I clicked the safety off and hurried in to be in position for a shot. Ty spotted the bird and pounced. No luck for him this time, the bird saw him coming, lept up, and took off flying directly into the wind. I raised my Browning, drew a bead, and squeezed the trigger. In my peripheral vision, I could see Ty watching the bird patiently from the point of the flush. That is EXACTLY the type of behavior you want in a flushing dog. BANG! My 12 gage cracked loudly, the bird took a direct hit, tumbled straight down, and off lept Ty to collect his winnings. "GAAAAABOOOOOYYYEEEEEE TY!!!!!! GAAAABOOOOOYEEEEEEE!!!!" He chomped the bird pretty good, but I was ok with it. He worked it well, was patient after the flush, didn't shy from the 12 gage noise, and quickly located the downed bird. I let him have his moment. :-) After he pulled out a few feathers, I took the bird from him and tossed it a few times for him to chase. As I carried it back to my truck, holding it at shoulder height, Ty proudly walked along next to me, jumping up trying to get his bird.

    I put the bird on the truck bed and Ty jumped up to hold it. Just then, he dropped it and started growling pretty viciously. I turned to find Bink (GSP/Lab mix), our old training buddy, had come to pay us a visit. Bink LOVES to hunt, so she runs towards the sound of a shotgun. I put the bird away and let Ty play with Bink for a bit. Then I loaded both of them in my truck and drove across the field to plant 2 more birds. This time, I wanted Ty to find and retrive the first bird, and then find the second bird rather than go back to the truck. I dizzied up the first bird and tossed it into some shallow cover at one end of the field that was bordered by a drainage ditch and some waist high cover. I then dizzied up the second bird and tossed it about 50 feet away. I did my best to follow my tire tracks back to the other end of the field, where I reloaded my 12 gage and set Ty off to hunt. Again, he tried to cheat, and follow my tire tracks. "AAAAAY, TY! Hunt over here buddy" I got him to quarter down a path along the side of the field, so we could get downwind of the planted birds. I then turned right near the end of the field to work Ty back into the wind towards the birds. We were near the bottom of the hill and the wind was doing some weird things. Ty had some trouble locating the first bird. I almost walked right over it because it had run about 20 feet from where I planted it. I walked past it, and called Ty back "Ty, hunt over here...bird in here" He ignored me for a few seconds, then made a nice loop around, passing on the upwind side of the bird. No way he was going to smell it, so I started following him back downwind of the bird. Just then, he stopped, turned around, picked his head up, flared his nostrils, and started working in on the bird. I clicked the safety off and got ready.

    Ty worked in on the bird and flushed it about 15 yards from me. "Perfect" I thought to myself as the bird jumped 8 feet up and took flight. I raised my shotgun just as the bird took a hard 180 degree turn and started flying back towards me. "Whoa" I thought to myself as I hurriedly squeezed off a poorly aimed round before the bird reached me. Miss. I pivoted as the bird flew overhead and drew a bead on it for the second time. It made a slight left turn, so I aimed farther left and squeezed off a second round. A couple feathers flew off and the bird turned harder left. I watched where I thought it landed and started over there to help Ty look for the cripple. Ty hunted the area of the fall enthusiastically, bounding around through 3-4 foot cover happily. He got really interested in this one area that I was convinced was really far from where the bird had landed, so I kept working him down the field and then back into the wind. After about 10 minutes, I decided to give up and go after the second bird and to come back for the cripple later. Ty, still not having found his bird, was enthusiastic about moving on. He worked along the side of the field, perpendicular to the wind direction very nicely. Before long, he slowed, and got very "birdy" again. I could see him slow down and begin to trust his nose. I clicked off the safety and got into position about 10 yards from where I thought the bird was based on Ty's behavior. Then Ty paused, tail wagging, eyes focused intensely. I had just enough time to think to myself "Is that a point?!?!?!?!" when Ty inched forward and up sprung the bird. It flew up and then made a hard left out towards the tall cover. I raised my gun and swung it to the left to follow, noticing Ty standing patiently and watching the bird. BANG! Down falls the bird in some short grass just short of the drainage ditch. Ty spots it, then sprints over to go find it. He runs right past it to the bottom of the ditch, searches around frantically, then bounds up the other side and disappears in the tall cover. "Hmmm, I should probably trust him, but I'm pretty sure that bird is on this side of the ditch" I think to myself as I slowly follow Ty's path. Just then, I see something grey at the very bottom of my vision, and look down just in time to see myself about to step on this downed bird. Ooops! I let Ty search for about 5 minutes, then I called him back across the ditch. He kept looking around, but just couldn't seem to scent this bird. Finally, he found it completely by accident. He was coming to check in with me and stepping on it. lol! At that point, he was too focused on the bird we found to go look for the cripple. So we walked back to the truck, I put the bird away, gave Ty some water, and put him inside.

    I then moved my truck closer to the area of the cripple, and let both Ty and Bink out to search. "Dead. Hunt dead." I said as both Ty and Bink took off. Bink, having fresh legs, and being a natural bird dog, was REALLY impressive. She casted about about 35 yards and made huge quartering loops, covering massive area, stopping on a dime to investigate scents further, and then moving on quickly if she judged they weren't important. Ty didn't have the legs to keep up with her, so he sat patiently about 10 yards away from me and watched her. I was just looking over at Ty, smiling at how proud I was of him (and also at how cute/handsome he is) when I hear the tell-tale sound of a bird flapping in water to escape an approaching dog. "Good girl Binkyyyy!" Next thing I know, there's a mostly dead chukar at my feet. Well, at least there was for a few seconds before Ty came rushing in and stole it! lol.

    First half over, I've taken 4 shots and I have three dead birds in my cooler, all of which Ty found. Pretty damn good if you ask me, especially considering the less than ideal wet conditions. :-)

    I loaded Ty and Bink back in my truck, and decided for the second half, I would plant all three birds at once. I drove a big arc around the top of the hill in the field and planted each of the three birds. I then went back to the far corner, and let Ty out to hunt. At this point, he was a little tired, so rather than run, he trotted along at a slight angle into the wind. It only took him a minute or two to locate the first bird. I saw him get birdy and hurried into position, but he took his time working in on the bird. I was only about 5 yards away when he finally flushed it, and I downed it on the first shot. Ty happily bounced over and finished it off for me. I grabbed it and tossed it a few times, before putting it in my bird vest and telling Ty to go hunt. He seemed to get the idea this time that there can be more than one bird out there at a time. He again, trotted off slowly, ground scenting. We worked up the hill a good 25 or 30 yards outside my truck tire marks, so I was pretty sure he wasn't following that path. We got to the area of the second bird, and Ty got slightly birdy, but I guess he couldn't really smell it. I walked along downwind of him, and spotted he bird before he did. I waited for a minute or so and let Ty decide where to hunt. When it became clear he was going to stay upwind of the bird, I decided to follow him and to come back for this bird after we found the third. He continued to work up the hill slowly, and when we neared the edge of the field, he began to quarter back and forth much more noticeably. Next thing I know, he's on the bird, head up, tail wagging vigorously, but otherwise frozen. A point! Holy crap! My boar dog is pointing a bird!!!!!! "GAAAABOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE TYSON, GAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" I squeaked. I walked up along side of him and continued to offer exuberant praise for him. After about 15 seconds, I took a step in and kicked up the bird. I guess its wings were pretty wet, because it barely flew anywhere. Maybe 15 feet. I wan't about to shoot it, but that didn't bother Ty. He charged off and took care of business himself. We played with the bird a bit, and then I put it in my bird vest. "Let's go hunt!" Ty looked at me quizzically for a second, seemed almost to shrug, and then took off trotting along up the hill again. I called him and said "hunt this way Ty," so he turned around and ran out in front of me a bit. He trotted back and forth back down the hill a nice 20-25 yards in front of me. Then, he got birdy again. Nostrils flaring, head low this time, he worked back up the hill a bit. Next thing I know, he's standing frozen again, except for his tail excitedly wagging. As I close in and lavish him with tons of verbal praise, I see that he's 3 feet away from the bird he couldn't find before. I keep praising him as I walk up along side him. After a solid 15 seconds, he inches forward on the bird. Up it jumped and off it flew. I leveled my shotgun on it, took a deep breath, and squeezed off a round. BANG! Down comes the bird, off bounds Ty. A perfect sequence! (Excluding the retrive part of course.)

    At the end of the day, I had all six birds in my truck, and I fired exactly six rounds. Ty pointed his first birds all by himself today too! Yeah, I'm extremely psyched!
    image
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
  • Wow! That's quite an adventure you guys had this morning. I assume you took Binky back home afterwards?

    Congrats on the successful bird hunts. Sounds like Ty is developing into a bird dog! Yay! Great way to exercise him both mentally and physically too. Is he all tired out or did he get more energized from all the tracking and searching excitement?

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    Love the photo by the way. Oh and you can tell Ty that cow dung is definitely not attractive, he looks handsome without it, lol!
    Areyarisu Shikoku Kenimage

    Shoushuu | Kotomi | Maika | Asra | Ranala

    Other Canine Members of The Airreyalis Crew: Keno & Zander (Alaskan Klee Kai) | Saphira (Belgian Groenendael) | Naishka & Takashi (Yakutian Laika)

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