Prey drive

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Re: Prey drive

Postby orhunter » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:23 pm

Nice try Tait. We all know a Griff has a better nose.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby Stretch » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:37 pm

orhunter wrote:Nice try Tait. We all know a Griff has a better nose.


Proved that in my NA test. Made me smile ear to ear when he was the only dog that could track the pheasant.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:24 pm

Stretch wrote:
orhunter wrote:Nice try Tait. We all know a Griff has a better nose.


Proved that in my NA test. Made me smile ear to ear when he was the only dog that could track the pheasant.


Did all the other pups fail the NA?
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Re: Prey drive

Postby Stretch » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:28 pm

One other dog got a perfect score. How I have no idea because it didn’t point or find the pheasant in the track part and they also shut everything down for 30-45 minutes to find the dog after he turned it loose on the track. When they did find him he was chasing a deer so you tell me how you get a perfect score and do that. He also had to chase the dog up and down the bank of the pond during the swim part of the test. Along with throwing five different bumpers to get him to swim.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby flitecontrol » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:54 am

If you have a copy of the booklet that deals with that test, it should explain why. I haven't attended a NAVDA sponsored NA test, but if it's like others, the only requirement at the water is for the dog to go in. It doesn't take points off for how it gets in, but I have seen points deducted for dogs that took an extremely long time or never got to swimming depth. Keep in mind that some owners never exposed their pup to water before the test. For those living in the Frozen North, it may be the first time the dog has seen open water, and the water may be very cold. I certainly wouldn't want to go swimming in the frigid waters where many tests are held, and can understand why a pup would be reluctant. Many dogs that don't do well at the water test go on to be good water retrievers, but then that's not what the water test is all about.

As for chasing deer, that's what puppies do. There are no points deducted unless the dog refuses to stop the chase when called, resulting in a lower score in Cooperation.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: Prey drive

Postby ryanr » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:23 am

Stretch wrote:One other dog got a perfect score. How I have no idea because it didn’t point or find the pheasant in the track part and they also shut everything down for 30-45 minutes to find the dog after he turned it loose on the track. When they did find him he was chasing a deer so you tell me how you get a perfect score and do that. He also had to chase the dog up and down the bank of the pond during the swim part of the test. Along with throwing five different bumpers to get him to swim.


It's called a max score. And the track does not mean the dog has to come up with the pheasant (though it's usually a good indicator) or point it. And a pup is not expected to be deer broke, judges aren't going to knock a dog for the unfortunate luck of having a deer get up in front of it and chase.. Also obedience isn't judged in NA, though cooperation and there's a bit of a relationship there. However the judging team has more experience judging tests than you or I combined so I have confidence they knew what they were looking at with each dog.

Congratulations to your dog, no need to try to put down other dogs or question the judging team.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
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Re: Prey drive

Postby ryanr » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:23 am

Stretch wrote:One other dog got a perfect score. How I have no idea because it didn’t point or find the pheasant in the track part and they also shut everything down for 30-45 minutes to find the dog after he turned it loose on the track. When they did find him he was chasing a deer so you tell me how you get a perfect score and do that. He also had to chase the dog up and down the bank of the pond during the swim part of the test. Along with throwing five different bumpers to get him to swim.


It's called a max score. And the track does not mean the dog has to come up with the pheasant (though it's usually a good indicator) or point it. And a pup is not expected to be deer broke, judges aren't going to knock a dog for the unfortunate luck of having a deer get up in front of it and chase.. Also obedience isn't judged in NA, though cooperation and there's a bit of a relationship there. However the judging team has more experience judging tests than you or I combined so I have confidence they knew what they were looking at with each dog.

Congratulations to your dog, no need to try to put down other dogs or question the judging team.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
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Re: Prey drive

Postby Stretch » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:59 am

Not putting down the judges or the dog. This was my first time ever being at NA test or having a bird dog. I said I have no idea how he got a max score. I’m not a judge and don’t know rules or what’s expected out of a dog in the test. I will tell you that I was told by a judge I by far had the best dog that day. And I have been around hunting dogs my entire life and I know he make an idiot of me and himself next time out.
I apologize if it came off as if I was putting the other dogs down or the judges down.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby hicntry » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:01 am

Personally, I don't see how any experienced dog person can see speed or distance as an indicator of prey drive. The intensity that a dog works at is the most telling indicator of prey drive. Jonov is on the money when he says it has much to do with the dog owners perception and how he has been indoctrinated. Folks in bite "sports" believe that a dogs willingness to chase a rag on a flirt pole shows prey drive when all it shows is a dog that has been taught to play the game since puppyhood. Let's face it, tests and such are basically social get togethers for the proud parent"owner" to show off his kid"dog"/ If the owner doesn't know what his dog brings to the table without the tests, said owner needs to spend a lot more time in the field.....with his dog.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby flitecontrol » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:10 am

hicntry wrote:Let's face it, tests and such are basically social get togethers for the proud parent"owner" to show off his kid"dog"/ If the owner doesn't know what his dog brings to the table without the tests, said owner needs to spend a lot more time in the field.....with his dog.


I thought the ultimate goal was to help determine whether a dog has the potential to produce good offspring. We can socialize without dogs, and some pups aren't worth showing off. But it's helpful, when making breeding decisions, to know how a pup and their littermates did in tests.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: Prey drive

Postby booger » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:07 am

flitecontrol wrote:
hicntry wrote:Let's face it, tests and such are basically social get togethers for the proud parent"owner" to show off his kid"dog"/ If the owner doesn't know what his dog brings to the table without the tests, said owner needs to spend a lot more time in the field.....with his dog.


I thought the ultimate goal was to help determine whether a dog has the potential to produce good offspring. We can socialize without dogs, and some pups aren't worth showing off. But it's helpful, when making breeding decisions, to know how a pup and their littermates did in tests.


It also gives people a goal to shoot for and a reason to get out and train their dog.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby JONOV » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:26 am

booger wrote:
flitecontrol wrote:
hicntry wrote:Let's face it, tests and such are basically social get togethers for the proud parent"owner" to show off his kid"dog"/ If the owner doesn't know what his dog brings to the table without the tests, said owner needs to spend a lot more time in the field.....with his dog.


I thought the ultimate goal was to help determine whether a dog has the potential to produce good offspring. We can socialize without dogs, and some pups aren't worth showing off. But it's helpful, when making breeding decisions, to know how a pup and their littermates did in tests.


It also gives people a goal to shoot for and a reason to get out and train their dog.

Is there any reason it can't be all three? And, it can be all three to the same person even.

They want to see if a dog is worth breeding or not and if you have examples of littermates and half siblings, it lets you do that, and can identify a rash of issues that crop up in a group of related dogs, as well as if the overall trend is positive, and make a more educated decision.

People want their dog to do well, its human nature. Despite comments about "participation trophy's" its a very American trait, competition to have the highest score at the end of the day.

And it provides a concrete goal and accountability marker for people to continue to train their dogs.

Its no different than a Powerlifting competition or a track meet or 4H.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby hicntry » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:59 pm

Regardless of why people feel the need to test, the bottom line is.....
"The intensity that a dog works at is the most telling indicator of prey drive."
Ignorance can be fixed but stupid is forever.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby Willie T » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:25 pm

A lot more than prey drive goes into speed and range. Athleticism, conditioning, breed, and particular lines within a breed all heavily influence speed and range. Also what a particular dog has been exposed to and how it is handled also play a significant role in speed and range. Depending on your primary upland target species and how cover and terrain impact visibility, coupled with bird density, and scenting conditions, speed and range can be more or less of an asset. In the wide open bobwhite country of west Texas the talented Americanized EP's rule. They can Scorch the ground and sustain it like no other pointing dog. The Ferrari of the pointing dogs. Denser ruffed grouse or woodcock cover negate that range and favor the close working methodical dog.
Both can exhibit extreme prey drive. As previously mentioned, it manifests as intensity while seeking and encountering game.
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Re: Prey drive

Postby KJ » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:17 pm

Stretch,

The fact that your dog got a 112 and the other two dogs didn't get prize Is doesn't prove anything regarding which dog was better or had more prey drive. It is actually HARDER to get a 112 with a dog that has extreme prey drive, especially if they don't have equal amounts of cooperation and point to balance it out, especially if they are over about 9 months old.

Your training partners may be right, but don't let that get under your skin. I haven't seen any of the dogs in discussion, but if you gave me 10 DDs and 10 griffs and you were evaluating on prey drive alone, I would put my money down on the DD every single time. That is just the way they are wired. Now that doesn't mean the DD would necessarily be a better hunting dog. It takes a lot more than prey drive to make a great hunting dog. I have hunted over and seen some nice griffs at tests, but I don't know that I have seen any that would be described as having elite level prey drive, and it's usually the water that separates them. More on that later.

And I am not measuring prey drive in just speed and range in the field, even though that is what I personally prefer in a dog. I have seen several closer, slower working dogs that had incredible prey drive. While I do think an aggressive field search does certainly say something about the dog's prey drive, it is really more about the dog's focus and determination during its search that matters. Even more importantly, what is the dog's focus and determination after no bird contacts for 2 hours? This is where many fail - they come in closer. Dogs with real drive push out further. 'Prey Drive' and 'Search" are attributes that have some overlap, but they are also different traits altogether.

I think a dog's water work is a better true indication of their prey drive, than compared ton the field. Many dogs look great in the field, but fall short at the water. Dogs with great prey drive really don't need much training for a duck search. They simply get on a few ducks, then decide that they will go find their own ducks after that. You don't have to train to 'push them out' during duck search training; you have to worry about getting them back. These dogs don't hesitate to retrieve because it is cold or icy.

Whether people want their dog to kill fur or not, it does gauge a dog's level of prey drive. Hence the "prey" part of "prey drive".

So, when I am evaluating they prey drive in my personal dogs, I ask:
1) What is the dog's range, focus, and determination when searching for upland birds after a few hours of no bird contacts.
2) How fast do they take off on duck search training, and how do they handle cold water waterfowl retrieving.
3) What are the dog's overall predator tendencies? Does the dog turn inside out when I try to leave to plant a duck? Will they not leave my pigeons and game birds alone? Do they naturally want to engage any furred predators? I don't personally hunt fur or want my dogs hunting fur, but their natural reaction does help tell me about their prey drive.

If the dog is excellent in all 3 areas, I feel pretty confident that the dog has the level of prey drive that I want to see in our breeding dogs.

The average hunter will usually be most successful with a dog that has GOOD prey drive and is a well balanced dog in all areas. Dogs with GREAT prey drive take the right handler to be successful with, especially if they aren't well balanced in pointing and cooperation.

Congrats on your 112 and good luck with your dog.
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