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fabiomilitello

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About fabiomilitello

  • Rank
    Born Hunter
  • Birthday 03/08/1994

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    Male
  • Location
    Surrey
  1. I'm on the Surrey/London border, by Heathrow airport
  2. He still hunts like a gooden so I'll get him finding the dummies in bramble for a couple weeks then, thanks for the advice mate!
  3. Hi all, A bit of a weird issue. Got a 2 and a half year old lab, his first season was the season that's just gone. He did brilliantly hunting in cover, and for the first half of the season was picking up like nobodies business. Towards the end of the season, he got way too excited on the duck drives and I decided to keep him on the lead, otherwise he wouldn't listen. This gave me clear indication that we needed to work on the start and stop whistle a lot more in the off season. Fast forwards a few months, a couple of months ago I was training him on this whistle. I'd throw his dummy out while he sat down, sent him in for it with the command "Get it", as he ran back, I'd blow the whistle loud and clear. If he didn't stop and sit down, I'd sprint towards him and he'd soon sit down. Eventually, we got it down to a T and he was stopping as soon as the whistle tooted. I was very happy with his progress after just an hour and called it a day. The next day, I took him out again, did the same exercise (in a different area). I threw the dummy, sent him in for it, then blew the whistle. He didn't stop straight away, so I did what I was doing yesterday and sprinted in his direction. He stopped, I rewarded him, took the dummy and started again. I threw the dummy with him sitting next to me, sent him in for it - but he didn't budge. He just looked at me, refusing to go. This hasn't changed for about 2 months, and the most progress I get is that every now and then, if he doesn't budge after sending him in for it, I begin to run towards the dummy while excitedly calling his name and giving him the "get it" command. Eventually, he runs towards the dummy to pick it up. But this is quite rare, and most of the time he'll stay seated and just look up at me. I have no idea what went wrong, or why he is so reluctant to go in for dummies now. I don't know if its related to the incident with the whistle (so for good measure I've not used the whistle since). What I have noticed he does though, is if we play catch (I sit him in front of me, take a few paces back and throw the dummy just above his head, so he can catch it in his mouth - the book "The Pet Gundog" by Lez Graham says this is a good way to train steadiness) - he is more than happy. So what I've started doing is throwing it purposefully over his head, so he has to turn around and run up to it to get it. I'm hoping this might reignite his desire to retrieve again. Any ideas on what I can do here? The only other option I have is to keep at it with the retrieving, and hopefully come September on my shoots duck-only day, his carnal desires of retrieving live game might kick in and he'll start retrieving again. Thanks in advance!
  4. This question is so open ended lol, spaniel men will say go for a spaniel and lab men will say go for a lab. There is no right or wrong answer!
  5. He's been on the lead since he began getting brave about running about, and he won't be let off it now for the rest of the season. You should hear the whines! I'm going to just do some strict retrieving training, and hopefully he'll get the idea that the duck drive doesn't mean he can just run amok. Thanks for your advice mate
  6. Hi all, I have been working my 2 year old labrador all season and he has been as good as gold. I work him on the beating line, he stops on the whistle, recalls, and takes basic casting hand signals when he's quartering in bramble. However, on the last drive of the shoot I work him on, it's duck only. As you can imagine, its manic - ducks falling everywhere, being shot or just landing in ponds out of exhaustion. At first, he was fine with this, but as the season went on, it seems he got more and more excited when it came to this drive. It's gotten to the point where I now need to keep him on the lead during the duck only drive, because he will run off to get retrieves without me sending him in - and worst of all, if a duck lands in a pond out of exhaustion, he will dive into it to try and retrieve it, and i can't get him out with all the whistle pipping and swearing in the world. How can I stop him from doing this? In the off season I am going to work heavily on his retrieving, and hopefully a side effect of this will sort the problem out. But I'm unsure about whether or not it will work, and don't want him to peg another load of unshot ducks next season for me to find out!
  7. The risk with any purebreed dog is inherited problems. I have a working lab, and he had FTCH in his blood line and great hip scoring parents, but he has HD and elbow displacia and he's only 2! So don't let the "working" line fool you into thinking that they are free from problems. Like I said, any pure breed dog comes with them - working or show.
  8. Right, thought I'd give a little update to the people following this thread. Saturday just gone was the shoot day. I took out the dog, and the way the shoot works is we have 4 pheasant drives and a duck drive at the end of the day. The duck drive is where the dog got nervous last time, so I went with the intention of taking him back to the car if he started getting too scared during that. The first 4 pheasant drives went swimmingly. Asher was working cover crops and bramble, and could hear the gunshots in the distance - but seemingly, they did not bother him at all. He was too occupied with his nose to the ground to really take notice. Come the duck drive, he was not nervous a fraction of the amount that he was the week before on the duck only day. He was still staying close to me, but during retrieves and even inbetween he was generally much happier with the gunshot closer to him. I think that the hours of him working and hearing gunshots leading up to the duck drive at the end of the day had conditioned him like Casso said. I'm still going to take everyone elses advice and continue him on the starter pistol during his weekend training sessions, but Casso's advice about not dropping off with the work just because he was getting a bit shaky around gun fire seemed to work the best. Thanks to EVERYONE who posted in this thread, the information here is invaluable and I appreciate all of the time you took to post a reply. All the best.
  9. Thank god I stumbled across this thread, that post is absolute comedy gold! Are you being sarcastic or pretending to be dumb? "how do they own the land,because they bought it from someone who bought it from someone etc,etc,etc" Thats your justification for stealing? People own land the same way as they own houses you plonker! Shall I walk into your house, just because you brought it off someone who brought it off someone who brought it off someone etc etc etc? I'll help myself to your flatscreen TV as well! because the land your house was built on once belonged to the "common man" Honestly, my sides are in orbit!
  10. I was with them for a year, waste of my time and money. The only service they provide is an email with a list of Keepers who have shoots that require beaters - regardless of your distance. The only thing I found helpful was the public liability insurance. I wouldn't bother with them again - I'm with SACS this year for shooting insurance and they seem to do a good service to the shooting world as well.
  11. Sounds like a dream job to me! Can't believe someone hasn't bitten your hand off for it.
  12. After re-reading your original post I see the dog had issues with the .22 blanks, which I had somehow not processed before. I have a question. What gun breaking did you do with this dog before you took it out on a shoot? How long/how many gun breaking sessions? I should have probably elaborated on that. My apologies! His first gun breaking sessions were done last winter, where I would take a starter pistol and fire .22 blanks (shorts). This was done at about 100 yards away by a friend, whilst I would stand with the dog and pet him / praise him if he didn't react. At the start, he never got nervous, he just used to look in the direction of the shot and his ears would prick/move. Eventually we got closer and closer, and we did this until summer this year. When I was using .22 blanks with the dummy launcher, they were longs, not short - so they are definitely louder. I was also firing the dummy launcher right next to the dog, as opposed to shooting it 100 yards away like we did with the starter pistol. This is when he started to get nervous around the .22 long blanks, originally when we started gun breaking him, .22 short blanks didn't phase him at 100 yards. Perhaps this is where he has developed this nervousness - the gap between using the shorts at 100 yards and the longs right next to him. I agree with your last post about using a hybrid of your model and Casso's model to gunbreak him completely. Every dog is different, and while I agree with you that taking him shooting every second Saturday alone won't make him 100% gunbroken, I do think it will help. The weekends inbetween each shoot date I will go back a few steps and perhaps use the 22 short blanks on him at closer range. I'll keep everyone updated on how he does. I'm also incredibly surprised at how much attention this thread has garnered - it's really true about what they say about everyone having their own way of training dogs! My uncle seems to think that gunbreaking dogs with starter pistols is a waste of time, and you should just take them out shooting and let them get used to it - but I digress with that. So you thought a dog that showed nervousness when moving from .22 shorts, to louder .22 longs wouldn't have an issue moving from .22 longs to shotgun blasts nearby? Hmmm..... I only used the dummy launcher after his first time near shotgun fire. He wasn't showing any nervousness on the shorts, and I didn't bother using the longs as they are reserved for the dummy launcher, and that is only used when I want him training long retrieves. So you thought you'd go from .22 shorts directly to shotgun blasts nearby? Hmmm.....(sound of hand slapping forehead) So you're saying that you aren't supposed to progress from a starter pistol to a shotgun? Every book and website/video I've researched says otherwise. I guess we don't have the luxury of going from a starter pistol to a pistol to a shotgun on this side of the Atlantic.
  13. After re-reading your original post I see the dog had issues with the .22 blanks, which I had somehow not processed before. I have a question. What gun breaking did you do with this dog before you took it out on a shoot? How long/how many gun breaking sessions? I should have probably elaborated on that. My apologies! His first gun breaking sessions were done last winter, where I would take a starter pistol and fire .22 blanks (shorts). This was done at about 100 yards away by a friend, whilst I would stand with the dog and pet him / praise him if he didn't react. At the start, he never got nervous, he just used to look in the direction of the shot and his ears would prick/move. Eventually we got closer and closer, and we did this until summer this year. When I was using .22 blanks with the dummy launcher, they were longs, not short - so they are definitely louder. I was also firing the dummy launcher right next to the dog, as opposed to shooting it 100 yards away like we did with the starter pistol. This is when he started to get nervous around the .22 long blanks, originally when we started gun breaking him, .22 short blanks didn't phase him at 100 yards. Perhaps this is where he has developed this nervousness - the gap between using the shorts at 100 yards and the longs right next to him. I agree with your last post about using a hybrid of your model and Casso's model to gunbreak him completely. Every dog is different, and while I agree with you that taking him shooting every second Saturday alone won't make him 100% gunbroken, I do think it will help. The weekends inbetween each shoot date I will go back a few steps and perhaps use the 22 short blanks on him at closer range. I'll keep everyone updated on how he does. I'm also incredibly surprised at how much attention this thread has garnered - it's really true about what they say about everyone having their own way of training dogs! My uncle seems to think that gunbreaking dogs with starter pistols is a waste of time, and you should just take them out shooting and let them get used to it - but I digress with that. So you thought a dog that showed nervousness when moving from .22 shorts, to louder .22 longs wouldn't have an issue moving from .22 longs to shotgun blasts nearby? Hmmm..... I only used the dummy launcher after his first time near shotgun fire. He wasn't showing any nervousness on the shorts, and I didn't bother using the longs as they are reserved for the dummy launcher, and that is only used when I want him training long retrieves.
  14. After re-reading your original post I see the dog had issues with the .22 blanks, which I had somehow not processed before. I have a question. What gun breaking did you do with this dog before you took it out on a shoot? How long/how many gun breaking sessions? I should have probably elaborated on that. My apologies! His first gun breaking sessions were done last winter, where I would take a starter pistol and fire .22 blanks (shorts). This was done at about 100 yards away by a friend, whilst I would stand with the dog and pet him / praise him if he didn't react. At the start, he never got nervous, he just used to look in the direction of the shot and his ears would prick/move. Eventually we got closer and closer, and we did this until summer this year. When I was using .22 blanks with the dummy launcher, they were longs, not short - so they are definitely louder. I was also firing the dummy launcher right next to the dog, as opposed to shooting it 100 yards away like we did with the starter pistol. This is when he started to get nervous around the .22 long blanks, originally when we started gun breaking him, .22 short blanks didn't phase him at 100 yards. Perhaps this is where he has developed this nervousness - the gap between using the shorts at 100 yards and the longs right next to him. I agree with your last post about using a hybrid of your model and Casso's model to gunbreak him completely. Every dog is different, and while I agree with you that taking him shooting every second Saturday alone won't make him 100% gunbroken, I do think it will help. The weekends inbetween each shoot date I will go back a few steps and perhaps use the 22 short blanks on him at closer range. I'll keep everyone updated on how he does. I'm also incredibly surprised at how much attention this thread has garnered - it's really true about what they say about everyone having their own way of training dogs! My uncle seems to think that gunbreaking dogs with starter pistols is a waste of time, and you should just take them out shooting and let them get used to it - but I digress with that.
  15. It's interesting that you're adamant my dog is no good and might as well retire as a household pet at 18 months old already, without seeing it work at all. He isn't afraid of guns, he has not even made the association between guns and the gunshot sound. He gets nervous around very loud bangs. Whether it's a firework, or a dummy launcher being shot next to him, or a gun. Very loud noises make him uneasy. 22 blanks and banging pots and pans is fine. It's like Casso said, I'm going to be going round in circles forever banging pans around my house and shooting blanks in a field. It's not going to cure this self inflicted problem the dog has. Again, using Casso's example, some dogs get terrified when they are in moving cars. How do you cure this problem? I would personally associate the car journeys with something positive, so the dog can make the connection with it. If you have a dog who loves going to the park, drive to the park so the dog knows car journey = park. Or if your dog likes to eat food, put a food bowl in the car while you drive so the dog can associate that car journey = food. It's the same principle Casso and I are applying to this situation. The dog doesn't like loud bangs, so rather than shoot a gun next to it and tell him he's a good boy, I'm taking something I know makes him happy (in this case, it's working), and using it as a reward for listening to bangs. Again, the dog will then understand that: loud bang = work, and work = happiness. Eventually, like Casso said, loud bang = happiness. Dogs are amazing creatures, and can associate almost anything with an emotion. My friend had a rescue dog once, and there was a certain alleyway next to her house that the dog would simple REFUSE to go down. A dog behaviouralist said it was most likely due to a similar alleyway being used in a negative manner with its previous owner, for example the owner may have been walking down an alleyway one day and beat/hit the dog. Now the dog understands that alleyways = pain and fear. Do you see where I'm coming from? Simply put, it's using a dogs positive emotions to outweigh a negative emotion.
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