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Dog Temperament in the duck boat


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Looking for advice on keeping the dog focused and quiet in the duck boat.  Was out today and we shot enough ducks to keep her busy, however my dog is such a hyper hypo that it's a  little annoying.  Either whining or jumping back and forth from the front and back of the boat.  Do I just need to establish the expectation and keep on her till she finally gets it or is this how some dogs are in the boat? This is her 4th year duck hunting and she has continued to improve each season.  Overall I am happy with her work, especially with the limited amount of hunting I do.  We were out today for 3 hours, shot 8 birds and she did great on the retrieving end and is pretty much focused on the skies, but if something is not constantly dropping from them I feel like I have a screaming baby on my hands.  It's not really that bad, just very annoying.   I would just like her to sit in her spot, stare at the skies and wait for my command.  Is this to much to ask?

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How is she on the sit command?  That is the basis of everything.  She needs to learn to sit still and wait until the next command.  I don't even teach my dogs "stay" because it isn't necessary if they are solid on "sit".  Every dog has the ability to be steady, it is up to you to teach them.  A lab that isn't steady in the boat is not only annoying, it is potentially dangerous with loaded guns and the potential to capsize a boat in open water. 

If she knows sit but just needs some reinforcement, it may just take a couple trips where you don't even bring the gun along and let others shoot while you handle the dog. 

If she's real bad, I would recommend going back to the basics. It will be tougher with an older dog versus a puppy but is definitely worth it. Check out the retriever training DVDS by Bill Hillman. They are spendy but definitely worth it.

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I think you need to go back to basics. What you are trying to do doesn't have to be reinforced in just the boat.

You need that dog to obey and listen to each command you give. If you are trying to get her to sit/stay then that's what you need to work on.

You can practice and work on that command every time you open the door to the kennel to let the dog out. You tell her to sit/stay and you open the door. If she doesn't you know close the door and repeat.

Every time you give your dog a bowl of food don't just give it to her make her sit/stay before she get its. There are  varieties of situation that the sit command can be used for. Start with small exercises and work your way up to bigger more complicated tasks, repetition, repetition repetition. Be sure to praise and always try to end work on a positive note. 

I think the most important thing is don't give a command you cant reinforce.

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Hey guys thanks for the tips.  What you are saying really makes sense.  I have been working on these items this week, not expecting a completely changed dog out there but looking forward to continued exercises this weekend out in the blind.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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