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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#7055286 - 01/27/18 05:02 PM Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog.
scalebuster Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 3129
I assume everyone prefers a middle of the road pup. Which would you rather train? Iíll take a hard head any day over a softie. Iím harder headed than any bird dog Iíve met yet. Iíve had them on both ends of the spectrum and ruined a nice little Brittany gyp 20 years ago before I developed patience. She was my second Brittany after a long string of pointers. My first Brit was tough as nails.

I have one little Brit right now thatís turned into a fine little dog but I think sheís been the softest Iíve ever trained, any kind of pressure shuts her down. She is pretty natural but didnít want to back. She backs now but that little bit of training shut her down for two weeks. Sheís back hunting now and pointed 2 covies and several singles last night. I just had to keep running by herself for a while until the bird lust took back over.

What makes me think about this is I had a Shorthair pup break point three times this morning (sheís been a pleasure to train.) I brought her home and put her on some pigeons and she did the same thing on the first pigeon that she was doing this morning when I walked in on the bird. I juiced her up, whoad her, and put her back in place. The next three pigeons she didnít move a muscle for 5 minutes each of walking all around her, even after the flush. Iím thinking problem solved. Weíll see in the morning. That would have been traumatic for softie.

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#7055325 - 01/27/18 05:43 PM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 46691
Loc: Katy-Fulshear
I'd take a hard headed one every time. I've had both.
_________________________
Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill









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#7055340 - 01/27/18 06:00 PM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
kindall Offline


Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 3980
Loc: Spring, Tx
I've had a hard headed, but soft on training dog.
Some days I wanted to beat my head against a wall.
Looking back, that dog probably taught me more on training, than any other dog.
_________________________

Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.



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#7055821 - 01/28/18 09:28 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: kindall]
bobcat1 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 3122
Loc: Sanger, Texas
Hard headed no doubt. Soft dogs can be trained but they usually are very smart, so you have to train with lots of repetition and praise. My hard head does it because she knows what happens when she don't. Buster is soft Missy is hard headed. Buster you show, Missy you force.
_________________________
Bobby Barnett


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#7055848 - 01/28/18 09:52 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
Bud1Pointer Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/08/08
Posts: 264
Loc: Granbury, TX
Easiest dog I ever trained was an Elhew English Pointer. I could hurt his feelings just by raising my voice. What made him easy though was his desire to hunt and make me happy. He was a very smart dog. He learned by watching me train other dogs and he never seemed to forget anything. I still miss him and he's been gone for 13 years.

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#7055858 - 01/28/18 10:09 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
cbump Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/02/06
Posts: 14847
Loc: Weatherford
My dog is too soft for my liking. I used to be way too impatient for him.

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#7055925 - 01/28/18 11:34 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
MS1454 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2960
Loc: Houston/Sealy
Soft
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Fooshman
I'll take a Black Female every time.


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#7056276 - 01/28/18 05:39 PM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
Sniper John Offline
gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16819
Loc: North Texas
I think it is more complicated that "hard headed" and "soft", or "smart". Those terms seem to have several different meanings to different dog owner/trainers. We tend to put those terms for a dog as if comparing to a human characteristic. Guilty as charged, but in reality dogs brains just don't work in the same way ours do. Genetics of course play into things like temperament, drive, instincts, etc. Why as one explaining their dog, you can have a "hard headed" dog that requires "soft" training methods.

The way I last explained to a breeder what I was looking for.. I wanted the puppy that is like a race horse at the gate. Out of control ready to explode at any moment. One that is always wandering off by itself and getting lost. One that figures out how to open the gates, climb the fences, get into the pantry, etc. The one that is always in trouble. The one that no one else in their right mind would want. One might call that "hard headed", but I was looking for the king's heart I could turn, potential for endurance, and a strong foundation of self thinking or problem solving I could build on.

My two current dogs both had fit that description as pups. One required and excelled with "soft" training methods, the easiest dog I ever trained, my lifetime best dog overall. The other often benefited from very different more conventional training methods, could not be shut down, and was the most challenging dog I ever trained out of about a dozen various hunting dogs during my adult life. For hunting ability alone, the best dog I have ever owned.

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#7056384 - 01/28/18 07:09 PM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
Sweese Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 07/03/15
Posts: 298
Loc: North Texas
It does not matter much to me. I just adjust the training to fit the dog. Some you go slow with and some a bit faster. With that said, I would always prefer a dog with a big motor and a natural desire to hunt/retrieve than to a dog without.
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Jay
Photographer Afield
www.jayschwisow.com


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#7056794 - 01/29/18 08:10 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
CinchMan Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/11/09
Posts: 1463
Loc: Country Past The City Limit Si...
Hard headed all day long.
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Say When.....

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#7056912 - 01/29/18 09:16 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
SheCrappieKilla Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/21/17
Posts: 53
All my labs since childhood have been male dogs. Don't think I have ever had a hard head, or had one as hard headed as I have seen others have.

I had plenty that were strong willed and very bold with independent thinking that were a challenge.

I now have my 1st female, wouldn't say she soft, I will say she is smart and has a prey drive that is crazy and that has been a big challenge. It is a totally different game with this female, very little pressure is needed as compared to all of my males
in the past to get the same results.

I would say I prefer bold.

Another good question is Male or Female. I know nothing about females.

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#7057088 - 01/29/18 11:21 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 46691
Loc: Katy-Fulshear
The softest one I ever had would choke at the first grass burr, but wouldn't hunt wearing boots, or hunt in front of a vehicle. She was afraid if the flapping of the wing of a crippled bird.

Her name was Peaches. She had the best nose of any bird dog I've ever seen. I remember picking the other dogs up after finding no birds. I'd put Peaches down and she would take a straight line to the nearest covey.

This is Peaches.



I broke her into the gun and hunted her with no problems her first year. She came back soft to the gun her second year and I had to start over.

How do you guys who prefer soft dogs break them to the gun?
_________________________
Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill









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#7062946 - 02/02/18 09:10 AM Re: Which Would You Rather Train? Hard Head Or Soft Dog. [Re: scalebuster]
Duck_Hunter Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/30/14
Posts: 6112
I also wonder about softness and gun breaking. Good question, Bill.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I just turned it on . I was looking bird dogs in the butt this morning.



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