Training the Hungarian Way - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By einspänner
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,563
Training the Hungarian Way

I promised some of you a thread on a training event Scout and I went to in June with her breeder. It's about time I made good on that promise.

Back in June, Scout's breeder flew to the States to deliver some puppies and run a three day training event which would cover basic gun dog training and introduce the German testing system. Ever since I got Scout, it had been my dream to train with Zsofi who has the most titled HWVs in the world. We drove down to CT on a Saturday and arrived to see 20 some wirehaired vizslas and even more people. Pure chaos, but the best kind. Maybe a bit too much for poor Ash, who just wanted his house back to himself.



Caught up with old friends.





And made some new ones.





A longhaired vizsla (not a recognized breed, but a genetic mutation that can show up in smooth or wirehaired litters)



Overall, it was a relaxing day which we needed before the long training days ahead. Spoiler, this is what I looked like at the end of each day.



Group photo!




The next morning a much smaller group reconvened for training. Zsofi, the breeder, started out with a lecture on her training philosophy and why she loves wirehaired vizslas over the other continental pointers.





Much of it I had read before here and other places. Basic stuff like building on training one step at time, if the dog makes a mistake it's because the trainer didn't explain it well enough, etc. What surprised me though, was her philosophy on discipline. I believe strongly that dogs need both positive and negative reinforcement, but I've also been wary of disciplining vizslas harshly because of their sensitive temperament. I don't want to misrepresent what she said so won't elaborate much here, but by integrating some physical discipline I saw a remarkable increase in Scout's obedience without once crossing the threshold that would make her shutdown. This is a controversial topic, so if you'd like to hear more feel free to PM me.

Zsofi also emphasized that you should always praise a dog to an even greater extent than you would discipline and she is quite exuberant in praising a dog while it's working. That was quite difficult for a reserved person like myself to get used to.

After the lecture we headed to a nearby park for some work on birds. Puppies were introduced to the wing on a string.




And the bigger guys on a check cord to chukar.





Most of the dogs and owners had no prior hunting experience. This girl and handler however had done some extensive training in preparation for her NAVHDA NA and her VJP (German system test).



After a lunch break we headed back to the house for an introduction on drags with dead rabbits. Speaking of breaks, I think I will break here and do another post later on the rest.





pez999 likes this.
einspänner is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,563
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

Sorry for the delay. To say a lot happened in the last month would be an understatement.

Day 2 and 3:


We started off the second day with some water work at a public dog park. This was pretty basic retrieving work. The only thing that sticks out me is again the praising. Zsofi recommends constant encouragement. For Scout this was distracting because she is used to me being much quieter. Starting out with a puppy I could see how this would make the training exciting. The basic principle again is to make sure the dog is successful. Throw rocks to attract the dog's attention or throw another bumper, but make sure the dogs comes back with something and position yourself to receive the dog. They may try to get around you, but reinforce that they are retrieving to you. It's also a good idea to have a command for the dog to leave the water and search on land.



This little pocket rocket, Ruby, had a lot of drive. She was more than happy to climb the rocky embankment to get her bumper.





Little Finn snuck in a nap while the big dogs trained.



The training got overshadowed by a rather bizarre turn of events though. I'll tell the full story later if you're interested, but the short version is a lady ended up attacking a member of our group. Cops were called. It was crazy.

So we ended water training early. After lunch we reconvened for some more rabbit work. They marked the start of the track and went over the spot a few times with the dead rabbit to leave behind a lot of scent. You could even sprinkle some fur on the spot. For a beginning dog you might even let them watch this initial part to give them a hint, but then you would cover their eyes. They then dragged the rabbit using a rope tied around the feet, increasing the distance and the amount of turns as the difficulty increased. The dragger can either remain at the end of the track to ensure the dog finds it or can walk to the beginning, being sure not to cross back over the track. The dog is then brought to the start with the leash around it's neck, but not clipped to the collar and told to sit. You then wiggle your fingers over the starting spot to attract the dog's attention, maybe make some noise. Once the dog picks up the initial scent, you walk with the dog for a few steps, holding on to the leash. Once the dog seems to be following ok, you let go of one end of the leash, so that it slips away from the dog. Ideally the dog follows the track to the end and retrieves the rabbit. If your dog will not retrieve a rabbit, then you leave a dummy. Again you want the dog to be successful and connect tracking with retrieving. She had these really neat dummies made of rabbit fur. One model was a zippered pouch that you could put food in.

They called me over to snap some pictures of this boy carrying the rabbit.



He and the rest of his little pack were our host's dogs and had very little interest in any of the training, a very obvious point of frustration for their breeder who had no problem calling their owner out for spoiling them. When he finally decided to retrieve the rabbit, she could not have been more excited. It was funny too, to watch their vegetarian owner cheer him on while also being completely grossed out by the whole thing!

They certainly had plenty of drive when I first met them as 8 week old pups. Anyone remember these two?


Well this is what they grew into.


Pretty sure they have some French bloodlines. I'm not sure what they feed them over there, but these guys have the biggest bone structure of any HWV I've seen.

Once Remi had the rabbit, the rest of his gang magically became interested too.



Speaking of variations in the breed, every single dog pictured here is a wirehaired vizsla, even the wireless ones. The gene is a fickle one to breed for. The girl jumping up for the rabbit is a littermate to the hairy male in the background.









einspänner is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,563
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

After the rabbit tracking, we headed over to a private field. It had a pond so we continued with some water work, free of drama this time.
Don't even think about stealing this dog's retrieve.



Someone snapped this pic of Scout on my camera.



Then we moved on to field work. I don't remember too much at this point to be honest. I think we broke into three groups. One led by Zsofi with a tethered bird. One led by Tanya, a trainer from the Yukon (whose HWV Szinva will hopefully be the first of the breed to become a Versatile Champion at the upcoming NAVDHA Invitational!) with a bird in a tip-up cage. And the last with Laci, Zsofi's partner, doing some retrieving with rabbits, birds, and dummies. Actually some of that might have happened the following day, but stick with me on this.

Szinva, waiting patiently for his mom to return


Heinz creeping up on a caged quail.



Jazz, a young dog they were working on building power over the bird with.



After a couple chances to catch the live bird, he was hooked.



Those of you familiar with the West method already know about stroking the tail or the dog's back while on point to calm them and quietly praise their holding. Zsofi does that, too and I think it's cool to see some crossover. A couple things she/Europeans do differently are actually encouraging the dog to creep up on the bird. I could be wrong from my limited experience, but it seems in the States that a dog is expected to remain staunchly on point until sent to retrieve, unless asked to relocate a running bird. In Europe the handler and the dog creep up on the bird together after the dog establishes point. I can't really explain beyond that because I don't have a good grasp on it, but maybe someone else can shed light on that. The other interesting and different thing they do is, during training, once the dog has pointed the bird, and you've steadied him, but won't be shooting the bird, you have a helper flush the bird while you keep the dog steady. Then you pick up the dog and walk away. She says you never want to call a dog off a bird, so you physically remove them while praising them.

Zsofi insisted on taking this picture of Scout and I doing just that. :



The other major difference in training methods between North America and Europe is of course the controversial e-collar. I've seen threads with folks in the UK reviling the e-collar like it's some of sort of torture device. I've never used one because I'm cheap. Whistles are the primary tool for distance work and training for whistle commands is basically the same as training for e-collar in that you first teach the dog the command on lead and then overlay the new tool. She uses a double sided whistle. One side is a regular whistle and the other has pea for a trill sound. The normal side is used for lots of commands by varying the number or whistles or the length. The trill is only used for an emergency type stop/whoa command. She says Germans train their dogs to lie down on the trill, but because Vizslas are less hardheaded a sit is fine for them. To train this quick sit, you put the dog on leash, walk around casually, and then suddenly blow the whistle, while pulling up on the leash and pushing down on their butt. Eventually the dog sits faster than you can push them into a sit. She demonstrated this with one of the dogs there and within 5 repetitions the dog had it.

The final day we did blood tracking for the first time. Setup is similar to the rabbit tracking, except this time you can use flags or something else to mark the track the whole way, as well as using treats in addition to the blood when first training for this. At the end of the blood track you don't expect a retrieve because this skill would likely be used for deer. They also had some deer scent which they applied to the bottom of their shoes, so while they set the trail they were also leaving additional scent. They use cow or deer blood which they get from a butcher or processing plant. I think pig would work fine here, but over there parasites are a concern. Put the blood in a condiment type bottle. You then walk along and shake blood out here and there. Closer together at first, and as you get more advanced farther apart. Plant flags and treats along the way and at the end leave a bowl filled with lots of food as a reward. We used grilled chicken. The other difference between this and tracking dead game is that the dog remains on lead with the handler accompanying them. Otherwise you start them out similarly with a sit and then attracting them with your fingers to the start.

Scout picked this up wonderfully and it's definitely something I'd like to continue with her.

We ended the day with more field work, rabbit tracks, and retrieving work.

All in all it was a fantastic experience. A weekend I'll mostly remember, haha, for the rest of my life.



There are tons more pics if you flip through at my flickr page. Just click any of the ones posted and it'll take you there. Also this album of pics taken by Laci and Zsofi. https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/LP5781

That's all for now unless I remember more training tips. ;D



einspänner is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,563
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

Fine I lied. I'll go ahead and eat up the rest of your bandwidth with a few of my favorite portraits from the trip.

This girl's owner told a fascinating story of how they got their first HWV from a breeder in Slovakia, maybe 20-30 years ago.






Scout's half-sister, Maika











Ok, I'll stop now. I promise.

einspänner is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 12:52 PM
Administrator
 
texasred's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,714
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

Sounds like a fun packed, three day learning experience. Minus the crazy person at the park.
Other than the physically picking the dog up after another person flushes, I don't see much of a difference with that part. In US a lot of trainers just walk the dog away in the opposite direction.
I was hoping to see Fox in a box, as that's something I've never trained.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Life is just a leap of faith.
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.
texasred is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,563
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

Yeah, I've always been intrigued by the fox in the box exercise. The first two videos look like they might be a different exercise altogether, but it could also be an earlier step in training for it. In that case I imagine you would build up the height of the wall gradually and/or practice with lighter dummies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjAkb7j14rs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHT4hy_vvHA
https://www.facebook.com/zoldmali.ke...3672971692110/

I watched some more videos of field work and it looks like the dogs flush the birds on command. Creeping after the initial point is not corrected, but rushing in would be. In the training environments I've been in here for NAVHDA both would be a big no-no, but I've also heard from the same group that their dogs have a flush command when hunting pheasant out west. Maybe it's more a test versus real life hunting distinction than a US vs Europe distinction.
einspänner is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 03:18 PM
Member
 
1stVizsla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 74
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

Just seeing this.... VERY interesting. I will read/study this for over the next few days as we have just started our V on quail chicks (as Bob directed) 2 months ago and getting her into the field and water (taking her to our place on Lk Michigan this weekend, but still trying to ease her into water, especially big water slowly) as much as possible as she is growing (now 5mo old).

Looks like there's LOTS to digest here!! Thanks for the pics ;D
1stVizsla is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 03:37 PM
Administrator
 
texasred's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,714
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

When training (not puppy training where we let them chase) we try to get them to where they are steady until released. Normally the release is a light tap on the dog. Owners that test and trial keep that training up, even if the bird runs. As a hunter, I find it a waste of time to keep kicking up brush if the birds are on the move. If a dog can learn to relocate runners on their own, without putting them in the air. I will let them do it. The bad part about letting a dog flush on command, some of them will start competing for the flush. I've did it before, but try not to. I like to carry a few pebbles in my pocket in certain fields. If the brush is to thick to get in and flush the bird. A couple of thrown pebbles will get them up. Not so sure if that would be the Hungarian way, but it works.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Life is just a leap of faith.
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.
texasred is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 05:44 PM
Administrator
 
harrigab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: kendal UK
Posts: 4,103
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

Quote:
Originally Posted by einspänner
Those of you familiar with the West method already know about stroking the tail or the dog's back while on point to calm them and quietly praise their holding. Zsofi does that, too and I think it's cool to see some crossover. A couple things she/Europeans do differently are actually encouraging the dog to creep up on the bird. I could be wrong from my limited experience, but it seems in the States that a dog is expected to remain staunchly on point until sent to retrieve, unless asked to relocate a running bird. In Europe the handler and the dog creep up on the bird together after the dog establishes point. I can't really explain beyond that because I don't have a good grasp on it, but maybe someone else can shed light on that. The other interesting and different thing they do is, during training, once the dog has pointed the bird, and you've steadied him, but won't be shooting the bird, you have a helper flush the bird while you keep the dog steady. Then you pick up the dog and walk away. She says you never want to call a dog off a bird, so you physically remove them while praising them.

this to me can depend on the kind of shoot we're on. If I'm shooting on what's known as a walked up day I like the dogs to remain on point until I catch up with them, I never rush this as I'm walking with a loaded gun, albeit with the safety "on", when I'm level with the dogs I'll stroke the tail and hopefully the dog will creep forward with me following until they're right up on the bird (if it's sitting tight), then it's a quick flush command to get the bird up into a safe shooting chance,,,that's my theory anyway for that type of work.
Most of our work though is on "driven days" where I won't be shooting but walking towards the line of guns with the dogs quartering in front of us. The last thing we want is a dog going sticky on point as we have to keep our line moving in a controlled manner, so if one of the dogs goes on point it'll get the flush command immediately, hopefully it'll be a covey of birds but quite often it can be a single or brace of birds. A lot of HPR owners tut tut using their dogs in a beating line on driven shoots as they reckon it dumbs down the hpr traits, personally I think that opinion is codswallop as my dogs both know the difference and what is expected of them on the different shoots.

edit: I cut out my pics to make this easier to follow. -eins

"never argue with stupid people, they may drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience"..Mark Twain

Ruby's d.o.b. 21/6/2011,,Lyharr Grouse Shot d.ob. 7/01/2015
harrigab is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,563
Re: Training the Hungarian Way

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasRed
When training (not puppy training where we let them chase) we try to get them to where they are steady until released. Normally the release is a light tap on the dog. Owners that test and trial keep that training up, even if the bird runs. As a hunter, I find it a waste of time to keep kicking up brush if the birds are on the move. If a dog can learn to relocate runners on their own, without putting them in the air. I will let them do it. The bad part about letting a dog flush on command, some of them will start competing for the flush. I've did it before, but try not to. I like to carry a few pebbles in my pocket in certain fields. If the brush is to thick to get in and flush the bird. A couple of thrown pebbles will get them up. Not so sure if that would be the Hungarian way, but it works.
That makes perfect sense to me. I'm not sure how well I'm representing the Hungarian way.
I'd asked Tanya who has tested her dog in both the European and NAVHDA systems if this working style is undesirable in NAVHDA or if you'd be docked points. I was asking specifically at the time about using directional commands for water work. Her basic answer was no, it's allowed, but you want to make sure the dog actually obeys the command the first time and that you're not constantly hacking out commands so as to remove the dog's independence. So I think as long as it was obvious that the dog was creeping or flushing or whatever in a controlled manner with my permission, I believe it would be permissible.

And tying into Doug's comments. I think the benefit of a versatile breed is that you can use them for different situations and they figure it out. I'm wondering if some of the training philosophies in use with versatile breeds are passed down from working with Pointers where you might want a more regimented or limited working style. I can understand the concern about eroding their pointing instincts or creating competition. I also think it would be self-corrected easily enough after they miss a few birds because of it.
einspänner is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Hungarian Vizsla Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome