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Border Collies and Hunting


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#1 Guest_jackieandryan_*

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 09:36 PM

So I shot a gun around Rylee for the first time today. My other two dogs hate it and generally run and hide. Much to my surprise, she seemed very interested in the gun every time I fired it. My larger dog who usually hates the sound of a gun actually sat next to me a few times while I fired it. I am guessing he saw the puppy doing it and realized it was ok.

I am just curious if anyone has ever managed to have success hunting with a border collie. Obviously, they aren't bred for hunting, but they do love exercise, enjoy fetching, and are extremely smart. I am not planning on turning her into a bird dog by any means, but I was just wondering if anyone had heard of it working before.


thanks,


Ryan

#2 Dixie_Girl

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 01:36 AM

I would be very careful with Rylee. Jackson was always fine when my grandson and I were target shooting. Then one day, when my grandson was shooting the .22, Jackson flew up and tried to grab the very front of the barrel. If not for Cody's quick reflexes, he would have shot Jackson's mouth off! He stays inside the fence now when we are shooting. And he lays at the fence watching us the whole time! So, just be careful. Border Collies don't always react right away to things they will eventually react to. They like to think about it some, then scare the hell out of you when they finally do react to it!
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#3 Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 08:28 AM

Hunting with Border Collies (sheepdogs) was remarkably common at one time. It just takes the same kind of training a purpose-bred hunting dog would take, to get the dog mannerly and avoid the kind of accident Linda describes.

The only thing is that I believe most hunting dogs are trained on the electronic collar. That would not be suitable for a Border Collie. I do know there's some people who are using positive reinforcement and operant conditioning (clicker) to train hunting dogs, and that would work much better for a Border Collie.
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#4 clara

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 10:51 AM

most hunting dogs are trained on the electronic collar


I don't get this. I've also heard of some ear pinch box that people are using to train hunting dogs. Growing up, my dad always had retrievers, some that competed and did very well. I disagreed with some of his treatment of the dogs... they were not pets, outside kennel dogs only... but he always used only positive reinforcement methods to train. This was back in the 70's, and I never saw him or any of his buddies use punishment type training methods. Have retriever trainers just gotten lazier or were they unique?

#5 Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 11:28 AM

I knew someone who bred and trained hunting labs in the seventies and early eighties (I didn't know him then, he did that then). He said times changed very suddenly with the use of the collar, and in fact the breed changed more than he liked. So apparently it wasn't usual in the seventies.

What is an ear pinch box? Or do I really want to know? :rolleyes:
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#6 clara

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:27 PM

I heard of the ear pinch from a friend who's BIL got a champion line Labrador and was using some kind of mechanism to do an ear pinch when training him to retrieve. She said it was a little box of some kind, designed to pinch the dog's ear while training. I never thought much about it again, other than to lower my opinion of her BIL, who I had previously met and liked well enough. I also read an article by Susanne Clothier that talked about the ear pinch, but didn't go into details.

Clothier article

So when you asked, I googled it. I couldn't find any box like my friend described (maybe it's something that people make for themselves?), but I got a better idea of what the purpose of it is from this article.

Force Fetch

Not a training technique I'd advocate, since it seems unnecessary. Maybe retrievers are different these days, but the hunters I knew when I was young never had a problem using the dog's natural desire to please and to retrieve to train them.

I liked this review of the force fetch book on Amazon

This book is going to be used a kindling in the fireplace. Never before have I read a book on training a dog that left me feeling as bad as this one did. Let me make perfectly clear that I am not new to dog training, nor to hunting. I have trained an Akita to UDE, and I have field trained an American Water Spaniel for upland bird hunting.
The techniques described in this book are utterly inhumane. I was actually enjoying the book until I got to their section on forced retireve. Basically the philosophy here is that you create pain and stress in the dog, and the only resolution to this unpleasantness is the retireve. There is not reward for a job well done, just the relief of pain. As you progress in the training, the more pain and stress you put on the dog.

Some of the specific things that upset me in the book are:

1) Using a switch on the dog
2) Tying a dogs moth shut around a retireving dummy
3) Ear pinch (being sure to dig your thumb nail into the uderside of the ear according to their directions).
4) "Burning" (their term) the dog with an electric shock collar (I am not agains proper use of an e-collar, I just think that "burning" is a bit far).

In a nutshell, this book explains to the trainer that in order to have a good field dog, you must completely break its spirit, and individualism. Thus creating a dog that is a machine just spending its life looking to relieve pain and stress.

I will never recomend this book to anyone. I can see by the other reviews that I am in the minority. The decision must be yours.



#7 G. Festerling

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 01:33 PM

I know nothing of hunting with BC's however I have seen an Australian Cattle Dog outshine a set of really nice hunting dogs a few years back. He was supposed to be their stock dog but seems like he more of a liking for the weekend activities. A retrieving fool he was!
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#8 border_collie_crazy

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 07:26 PM

1) Using a switch on the dog
2) Tying a dogs moth shut around a retireving dummy
3) Ear pinch (being sure to dig your thumb nail into the uderside of the ear according to their directions).
4) "Burning" (their term) the dog with an electric shock collar (I am not agains proper use of an e-collar, I just think that "burning" is a bit far).

In a nutshell, this book explains to the trainer that in order to have a good field dog, you must completely break its spirit, and individualism. Thus creating a dog that is a machine just spending its life looking to relieve pain and stress


oh my, that is a very strange way to teach. I have been to a retriever class that taught forced retreive and it was NOTHING like this.I mean digging your nail in? tying the dogs mouth shut around the bumper? burning? that just crualty. I mean the training class was hardly entirly positive methods, but honestly, the methodes were mixed, and they WORKED. one Goldie pup was there, had been to 3 preveious training classes and failed every one of them, this dog totally ignored his handlers, yanked the leash payed no attention, he was out of control. this dog ended up the STAR of the class.before the end of the 8 weeks he was heeling perfectly off leash, sitting and staying without a fuss, leaping into the water on command bringing back bumpers from the middle of the lake and delivering to hand and loving every minute of it lol.

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#9 Ruger's Dad

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 08:29 PM

Eons ago I trained our German Shorthair for hunting. I basically didn't do any more with her than I have Ruger. Good old basic obedience. However, I believe the instinct was there for the Shorthair to find birds. Our Shorthair was great at retrieving doves and pointing quail and pheasent. She would actually point birds in our yard.

There is a guy at work that says he has heard of Border Collies being used to bird hunt. I think anything is possible with these guys. Give it a try and see what happens.

I would recommend a couple of things. One, find the DVDs based on Richard Wolters training methods. They are humane. I don't recall any pinching of the dog and definetly no electric collars. I did see the forced fetch taught on the Water Dog DVD. I didn't have to teach the Shorthair to pick up a bird, she just did it. She did not like picking up doves though because the feathers just fall out and are a mess in a dogs mouth.

Second, get ahold of some bird wings from the species that you are hunting. The wings can be used to train the dog both in scent and what you intend to go after. Make a game of playing with the wings and finding them.

I am assuming you are not duck hunting in cold water. The Border Collies do not have the type of coat like the labs to ward off the cold. I really think you could make a go of it on upland game birds.


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