HonoringI am having trouble getting my dog to honor/back. He is two years old and is a strong hunter in all other regards. When he was a puppy he had a natural honor but I did not know what honoring was and use to call him off an honor. Now he will not acknowledge another dog on point. He will keep on hunting and "blink" the dog on point. I have tried a wooden cut out and get the same results. The only way I can get him to acknowledge the dog on point or cut out is to whoa him and go and pretend to pet the other dog or cut out. I can whoa him at any time and he will stop and hold.
If I can at least get him to acknowledge the pointing dog I can whoa him and get a qualifying score for his AKC Senoir Hunter. He has been getting 8,9 and 10's in all other categories. Hello,
Thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions regarding honoring.
Honoring is one of the final lessons we teach if the dog does not do it naturally. I wouldn't worry too much as it is easy to teach.
A pop up backing dummy works well, if you don't have one, hide your manual one in such a place that when he moves through the cover it suddenly becomes visible. Check him (whoa), then release birds from in front of the dummy immediately (a remote control launcher helps immensely).
If he was trained with traditional methods, then check him if he breaks on the birds and set him back to his original location when he whoa'ed. If he was trained with an e-collar, then use the minimum stimulation to remind him to stay at whoa (this is very in depth and if you have no experience with this, seek the help of a professional). Once you've released the birds and he is back at whoa where he originally sighted the dummy, pick him up (while he's on honor) and carry him way. Then praise. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat until he knows for sure that when he sees the dummy birds are about to flush. Be consistent and don't give an inch.
One other important point. Do not let him smell the birds that are hidden in front of the dummy. In other words, bring him in from the up wind side of the dummy/birds.
When he has it solid on the backing dummy, use a live dog to train in the same way.
I believe in senior hunter, you are allowed to collar the honoring dog once he demonstrates that he does honor. This is to keep him from breaking at shot to retrieve the other dogs find.
Hope this helps. Remember, it's better to pay a professional for a 2 hour clinic and know what you're doing then to guess at what the right thing to do is. An alternative is to try some instructional videos or books on the subject.
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