Obi spaniels training log

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by bbrown, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hhmmmm where to start....

    Obi is almost 6 months now, up to this point we've been working mostly on keeping him close so I predominantly drive to where we'll train, get him out, do some training and go home. He may go for walks when he's much, much older but until his hunting is absolutely on command it's very unlikely.

    I often wander apparently aimlessly round fields or football pitches (we have a completely enclosed one nearby that allows dogs) getting him to work the ground around me and every now and then I blow my stop whistle. When he sits he gets a retrieve as a reward. Up until now I haven't asked him to be steady at all.

    I use his food to get him to take a straight line out to something, sometimes I put the bowl by a white electric fence post, sometimes it's just the bowl. It's a good way of establishing straight lines without doing too many retrieves. I save about a third of his daily food allowance for training like this, it used to be his lunch but he's not getting lunch anymore but I still keep it back for training.

    We're using a clicker for heelwork as he pulls like a train as his nose drags him around. This is slow work but I'm determined that I want to do this with positive reinforcement so it'll take as long as it takes :) we do a little at some point every day.

    So that's where we're at (I've probably forgotten something ::) )

    Yesterday I took both dogs down to the training kennels as I had managed to squeak an hour off for lunch and the trainers had an hour free too. I work with one of the trainers every Monday with Riley (who's obviously a retriever) and the other trainer competes with her spaniels so while we worked Obi they were both there.

    First things first and I was told it was time to apply some control to Obi now. So far I've been very much treating him like a puppy and he's had a lot of leeway. So the rule is (apparently) leads on means the dog can switch off, leads off means the dog is working. So when Obi's lead comes off he needs to be looking at me waiting for instruction not bounding straight off like a wild thing unleashed ::) It may be that the instruction is to go for a pee and a sniff but everything now is to be done by permission. (that probably sounds really harsh but this is how the trainer trains her spaniels to get to competition standards)

    We agreed that his heelwork needs a lot of work, we have different approaches to that which is ok but I'll be sticking with mine :)

    I was shown how to use hand scent to encourage him to hunt. Ripping up grass and rubbing it in my hands before throwing it out. It really got his nose down ferreting around you could hear him sucking like a Dyson ;D
    Then we'd put a ball down and encourage him back over that ground as he was hunting. He was really good, showed off his fabulous nose and a lovely soft mouth. The trainer was really good at fussing him and then coaxing his head up for the delivery, she rubs his chest and then moves up his neck and strokes his ears, then gently slides a hand under his chin. I'm really poor at this as I rush to take the ball or dummy so lots of practice needed.

    I had to work the side of a bank with him but get him to keep an eye on me so as he moved past me I had to turn, as he turns to come with me I pip my whistle. This will be my turn command but at the moment he's mostly leading that in order to link the pip to the turn. As we went on I was asked to pip in order to turn him and he was really good so the association is definitely building in his mind.
    I was told off for re-issuing commands and using commands when my dog should be looking at me waiting for what's next oh and talking too much ::) The trainer wants me to be really, really quiet. If the command isn't responded to I have to go and get Obi not re-issue or try to encourage. There's no punishment but not obeying isn't allowed. I sometimes have him on a long line when I'm on my own to prevent self rewarding.

    We also looked at the beginnings of steadiness. Obi was sat up and I moved away from him probably no more than three metres, he stayed sat so I dropped a ball out where he could see. Then as he stayed sitting I moved away from the ball so that we were three points of a triangle Obi, me and the ball. Then he got sent for the ball.

    So those are the things for us to work on for the next few weeks......lots to do and this spaniel training is hard work! A LOT more walking and running around than I ever remember doing with Riley. I'll be in trainers not wellies soon!! I'm not sure our trainer will be getting a minor breed any time soon but I think she was pleasantly surprised by my little spaniel ;D
     
  2. Karen

    Karen Moderator

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    Wow Barbara!!!! That's a great write up, and very interesting...
     
  3. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    And Obi is only 6 months old, sounds amazing to me :) It must be hard to keep up with two separate methods of training Barbara? xx :)
     
  4. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    [quote author=charlie link=topic=9805.msg142081#msg142081 date=1423232887]
    And Obi is only 6 months old, sounds amazing to me :) It must be hard to keep up with two separate methods of training Barbara? xx :)
    [/quote]

    In some ways it's easy because they're such different ages they're at completely different stages and that would be even more true if they were the same type ie retrievers or hunt/retriever but in other ways it's hard. I was hunting Obi today and I dropped a ball for him to travel over and I reverted to retriever style which is hard to describe but I kind of pointed to the ball to help him find it as you would with a dog who's hunting for his retrieve rather than passing over it as I should of with a dog who's hunting ground to flush game. It's subtle and it made sense but I probably haven't described it well.

    My biggest problem with him at the moment apart from awful onlead manners is how gobby he is while he's waiting in the car for his go!!! :-\
     
  5. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    Really interesting, thanks Barbara :) Sounds like he is off to a fab start.
     
  6. Lisa

    Lisa Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    Sounds like he's doing well, always things to work on I suppose but don't we all have those ::)

    By gobby do you mean barking? Or drooling? :eek:
     
  7. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    Barking Lisa, he's very vocal. I know it's frustration but I'm concerned this will become a habit when he doesn't get his own way. I'm going to experiment with turning the car round so he cant see us and shutting the boot (as long as the car will stay cool obviously) and see how we go....
     
  8. Karen

    Karen Moderator

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    I'm interested Barbara - what are your aims with Obi? I take it you are intending to work him and maybe compete with him? Do you foresee being able to take him on family walks as well, or do you think that will be too much to ask?
     
  9. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    Very interesting read about Obi!

    At training, I park my car so Charlie can't see other dogs working, and even cover his crate with a big bath towel if I have to. He is silent in the car. Other people don't do this, and their dogs bark and whine - and still do so as adults. Possible Charlie would have been silent (but I very much doubt it since he whines when he is out of the car) and the others noisy regardless, but I think it has made a big difference.
     
  10. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    I think that will work Julie as he stays I the car at class but far away from us and I know he doesn't bark then because I've checked. He also barks in the kitchen if I'm in the garden with Riley :( I think he can hear the whistle or clicker if I'm in the lounge and knows he's missing out.

    My plan for Obi is still forming to some degree. Hopefully to work, rough shooting or walk up for preference. I'd love to be able to work the dogs as a brace. If we're good enough we'll compete but I must have a dog that fits into our family and if that compromises his competition chances I'll live with that (I don't see why it should though)

    He might do the odd walk but only if he's kept under instruction or has learnt to bimble. I'm not convinced that nose will allow a bimble for quite some time though! So far the separate training is time consuming but manageable so we'll see how we go.
     
  11. heidrun

    heidrun Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    [quote author=bbrown link=topic=9805.msg142211#msg142211 date=1423300122]


    He might do the odd walk but only if he's kept under instruction or has learnt to bimble. I'm not convinced that nose will allow a bimble for quite some time though! So far the separate training is time consuming but manageable so we'll see how we go.
    [/quote]

    If he ever learns to bimble he will no longer be able to be a field trialling dog. ;) In fact the word bimble shouldn't be in a spaniel's vocabulary. ;D A few month's after Ziggy's recovery from his broken elbow I took him on a field trial training day. He hunted like a steam train as soon as I took the lead off, just like a field trialling dog should, but I was very nervous he might injure himself and without realizing it kept saying the word 'steady' probably to steady my nerves. The trainer who is a A panel judge went apoplectic, he said he never ever wanted to hear the word steady in conjunction with a spaniel hunting. ::) I took it on board and shut up. ;D
    As for the barking, I agree with Julie, don't let him see you working Riley. None of mine would like it and I always park so that they can't see me, and if the weather allows it I keep the boot door shut. :)
     
  12. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    [quote author=heidrun link=topic=9805.msg142233#msg142233 date=1423304655]
    [quote author=bbrown link=topic=9805.msg142211#msg142211 date=1423300122]


    He might do the odd walk but only if he's kept under instruction or has learnt to bimble. I'm not convinced that nose will allow a bimble for quite some time though! So far the separate training is time consuming but manageable so we'll see how we go.
    [/quote]

    If he ever learns to bimble he will no longer be able to be a field trialling dog. ;) In fact the word bimble shouldn't be in a spaniel's vocabulary. ;D A few month's after Ziggy's recovery from his broken elbow I took him on a field trial training day. He hunted like a steam train as soon as I took the lead off, just like a field trialling dog should, but I was very nervous he might injure himself and without realizing it kept saying the word 'steady' probably to steady my nerves. The trainer who is a A panel judge went apoplectic, he said he never ever wanted to hear the word steady in conjunction with a spaniel hunting. ::) I took it on board and shut up. ;D
    As for the barking, I agree with Julie, don't let him see you working Riley. None of mine would like it and I always park so that they can't see me, and if the weather allows it I keep the boot door shut. :)
    [/quote]

    Well at the moment I can't envisage his nose allowing him any rest and the last two sessions we did I was more tired than him just from the concentration trying to keep him engaged and not slip away for an instant. I can't imagine taking him out for a yomp round the woods with that level of concentration :eek:

    He's funny because if Riley hears a whistle on the iPad he doesn't turn a hair. Obi on the other hand springs up waiting for instruction with his crazy spaniel ears flapping as he looks back and forth trying to work out what's going on ;D I think he's a bright one!
     
  13. Merla

    Merla Registered Users

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    He sounds just gorgeous :* Spaniels are definitely a different ball-game to labs though, aren't they? We were training with a group of mostly spaniels today and it was really interesting to see just how nose-driven they are. A lot of them had very fragile retrieves (so easily distracted on the return!) and when we were practicing some low jumps, quite a few really struggled with the concept of getting their little noses so far off the ground and were desperate to try to go through instead of over ;D ;D
     
  14. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    Yes through definitely features :)

    A while ago my friend who has a Viszla and a lab looked after Obi for the day. The Viszla went over some cover, Obi went through! As long as I don't over face him I think he will adore thrashing around in cover ;D
     
  15. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    I am interested in how much of a pet Obi will be...I'm thinking about the tensions between Charlie's pet stuff and his gundog stuff right now. Trying to work out what's a myth, what could be changed with no effort, and what could never be changed...

    So, for example, is it really the case that you will never walk Riley and Obi together? On a day when (quite understandably!) you have gone to work, organised your family life, looked after a toddler, and really don't want to train....
     
  16. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    It's a good question and we'll have to see. There are occasional days for whatever reason Riley doesn't get a walk at all. He survives with garden access and we start over the next day. The other good thing is we have decent ground just up the road where I could take Obi and hunt him up. When he's really hunting hard he won't actually need a lot of time just to do the right things with the time. If I'm short of time with Riley I quite often hunt him up. I can have Riley puffing within five minutes!
     
  17. heidrun

    heidrun Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    [quote author=JulieT link=topic=9805.msg142504#msg142504 date=1423425578]
    I am interested in how much of a pet Obi will be...I'm thinking about the tensions between Charlie's pet stuff and his gundog stuff right now. Trying to work out what's a myth, what could be changed with no effort, and what could never be changed...

    So, for example, is it really the case that you will never walk Riley and Obi together? On a day when (quite understandably!) you have gone to work, organised your family life, looked after a toddler, and really don't want to train....
    [/quote]

    Walking Obi is not a problem but free running is. It is actually not that difficult to have a pet and a working gunog. You don't have to train every day and most things can be incorporated in a walk. It is just the free running that will get a spaniel into trouble very quickly.
     
  18. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    That's very interesting - I have more questions on the pet/work thing.... (but don't want to hijack Obi's training log).....
     
  19. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    If I ever get to the point where they might work as a brace I can for example hunt obi in front of me with riley at heel. Then put a dummy out (obi sits to "flush") and choose which dog retrieves....

    We may be a little way off that though ;)
     
  20. Karen

    Karen Moderator

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    Re: Obi spaniels training log

    [quote author=JulieT link=topic=9805.msg142552#msg142552 date=1423444533]
    That's very interesting - I have more questions on the pet/work thing.... (but don't want to hijack Obi's training log).....
    [/quote]

    I'd be very interested in hearing more about that, too.
     

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