Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

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Gertie
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Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Gertie » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:05 pm

I went out yesterday and spent some time with a local pro trainer and got to see first hand what can happen when a pointing dog has learned sit before learning whoa. In a nutshell, it becomes their go-to response when there is any pressure. I was told not to teach my pointing dogs sit at all and I'm curious if any of you do, when you do it, and why? Also, if you do teach sit, have you had any problems with it later?

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Sharon » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:19 pm

My dogs live in the house; I teach sit. Never found it to make any difference at all in pointing skill. True, some dogs will sit during field training sessions when unsure of what to do, or pressured too much , but imo that has nothing to do with being taught to sit in the house etc.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by MSU Aggie » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:26 pm

I have been told by numerous trainers that teaching sit to a pointer is not advised until after steadiness training, for the reasons stated above. I find it easier in the long run if I teach whoa in place of sit/stay to a puppy. The once we get to steadiness the dog already has this concept but we crank up the expectations.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by polmaise » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:35 pm

I find they do it better than some 'Traditional' sitting breeds ...even in the field :wink:
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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by S'setter » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:58 pm

We use it in the house with current dog... So far not an issue! But have seen a softer tempered dog revert to it... with a little pressure. I never used sit with our setters that we showed... Judges only views the dog for a short time in the show ring... Didn't need the dog sitting at the wrong time!

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by pato y codoniz » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:57 pm

Gertie wrote:I went out yesterday and spent some time with a local pro trainer and got to see first hand what can happen when a pointing dog has learned sit before learning whoa. In a nutshell, it becomes their go-to response when there is any pressure. I was told not to teach my pointing dogs sit at all and I'm curious if any of you do, when you do it, and why? Also, if you do teach sit, have you had any problems with it later?
No problems and I teach sit, place, etc very early in the process to non-trial dogs.

Regardless of what the dog knows prior, I teach whoa using the standard table/rafter method and in the field using 2 ecollars, one on the neck and one on the belly.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by bwire » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:16 pm

My first two dogs were taught to sit. My current pup has not been taught to sit and I don't see a difference at this point. I thought about this before and I always had a question about out it.

A person teaches the dog to sit. The dog is being trained in the field, feels pressure and sits.

A person doesn't teach the dog to sit. The dog is being trained in the field, feels pressure and does something else.

What's the difference between the dog sitting and doing something else to escape the pressure? To me (and my very limited experience) the problem is not the behavior of sitting but what is causing the pressure for the dog to sit. If a dog is going to sit to escape pressure wouldn't it do something else it was taught to escape the same pressure if it wasn't taught the sit command?

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Soarer31 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:14 am

What's seems to to be problem????
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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by codym » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:41 am

I had a couple dogs that were taught to sit and it was a pain during steading. They always wanted to sit, used the whoa post and flank collar to fix it, but it took alot more work to get the dogs to stand consistently with style. We have some dogs that come in alot and they learned sit and lay down after they learned whoa and they didn't have any issues. I think in most cases teaching a pointing dog to sit before steading is just setting yourself up for more work later. I train with a pro trainer quite a bit and every time he gets a sitter he complains, it's usually not a huge issue and Ive seen it overcome in almost every situation but it does take alot of care and extra time to fix. If I have a dog thats a field trial prospect I avoid letting the dog sit around me at all unless were in the house relaxing. If a dog sits during a field trial your done.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Brazosvalleyvizslas » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:31 pm

One of the first commands that my Dogs learn is the Sit/Stay. Never had a problem.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by polmaise » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:51 pm

I used to show dogs 'un benched' and the training process to teach 'stand' is the same as 'sit' !

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Big bloc » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:18 pm

In the past I used sit on dogs. Don't need now. I use STOP. STOP for everything. Stop on birds stop on on anything. Freeze now. It works

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Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by rselliott725 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:43 pm

OP, your trainer is right! This creates a problem that is very time consuming to undo. Sometimes it's impossible to undo. If you have the choice, wait to teach sit until the dog is whoa broke and steady to wing and shot. Those two things can stress a dog out once the training has been progressed to birds. The last thing you want around birds is a default response that has to be addressed around birds and links more stress to the situation. Save you and the dog the added step of undoing something. Sit is too easy a command to teach to let it slow the progress of a pointing dog. Teach it to a broke dog. My .02.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by polmaise » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:08 pm

If a dog has been trained to sit on the command sit it should sit .
If a dog sits without that command on a trial /test or hunting then something is really wrong with the training.
I don't believe for one minute that a dog in the house or yard or the local pub would replicate a sit on it's own with a point or a flush in the field !
'Sit means Sit' :roll:

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Dirty Dawger » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:01 pm

Teaching your dog to "sit" has nothing to do with the cost of milk. "Sit" is a requirement for some dog owners more than others however if you break it down it becomes transparently clear. NO dog wants to sit when it is on point because it is parallel to backing up for a head-start!
"Sit" can in fact become a default response to misdirected pressure. In-other-words, if your dog does not understand the expectation, she/he will sit as a default - the dog's impression of, "...hope I get this right and the boss is happy because I have NO idea what he is asking!?!"
If your dog actually sits down on point, you need to look within yourself rather than the dog as to the resolve.
There is NO dog with a decent prey drive that chooses to sit when it wants to catch a bird. If anything, the opposite is more likely.
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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by DonF » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:41 pm

Gertie wrote:I went out yesterday and spent some time with a local pro trainer and got to see first hand what can happen when a pointing dog has learned sit before learning whoa. In a nutshell, it becomes their go-to response when there is any pressure. I was told not to teach my pointing dogs sit at all and I'm curious if any of you do, when you do it, and why? Also, if you do teach sit, have you had any problems with it later?
I strongly suspect this trainer is or can be a hard trainer. I think it would be kind of nice for the dog to have a way to tell you to lighten up. Of course rather than
sit it could just drop it's tail and hunker down, better response? I don't think so. I have never ever had a dog sit on me in training that wasn't doing just that when it came here. Years ago a guy from way up north in Wash came down with his dog that was sitting every time it heard whoa. Yep he had her confused. Took about three minute's to fix the problem! I find it strange that the dog has a go to response like that. No why it probably does? Sit was taught without pressure, he's right safe mode. Know why it happen's in the breaking process? Way to much pressure being applied. I guess you could say that if you teach your dog to sit, you teach it how to tell when your applying to much pressure. Does this guy train trial labs? Ask him what heck week is! Come to think of it, I'd bet that more trainer's follow the no sit rule because someone told them about it early on.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Trekmoor » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:05 am

I train pointing breeds to sit to voice, to hand signal, to whistle, to flush, to shot and to fall of game. None of them ever sit on point .
I.M.O. if a well bred pointing dog sat on point the trainer has been using too harsh methods. I think such a dog is almost at the stage of blinking birds through fear of correction ?
These are the two pointing breeds I work at present, both breeds sit on command and both breeds point or honour another dogs point with no hint of a sit. A sit command is too useful for me not to use one.

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Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Luminary Setters » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:59 am

Most teach sit better than any other command, and many teach it without even knowing it.

Not all, but dogs that have a lot of heel-sit training can be a trainers nightmare. Sit is general taught by a tug on the collar standing beside the dog, putting the dog in a situation very similar to steadiness training. It's easy to see why the dog defaults to sit.
Dogs that have been heavily trained with treats, and are only complying to get a treat can be the worst to default to sit without any bird related pressure- one of the downfalls of a program that has no compulsion training.

On the Internet, people are quick to accuse pro trainers of heavy handedness or even abuse without knowing any of the facts, and often overlook the fact that many dogs sent to pros arrive with a lot of baggage that must be sorted out. As Don posted, sometimes the fix is quick and easy, but often it can take weeks.

Like many instructions say, "read completely before beginning assembly." Before you sign up your eight week old bird dog pup for obedience at the big box store, you need to know where you want to end up and consider all of the ramifications of your training program on the finishing work coming up a year down the road.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:29 am

Luminary Setters wrote:Most teach sit better than any other command, and many teach it without even knowing it.

Not all, but dogs that have a lot of heel-sit training can be a trainers nightmare. Sit is general taught by a tug on the collar standing beside the dog, putting the dog in a situation very similar to steadiness training. It's easy to see why the dog defaults to sit.
Dogs that have been heavily trained with treats, and are only complying to get a treat can be the worst to default to sit without any bird related pressure- one of the downfalls of a program that has no compulsion training.

On the Internet, people are quick to accuse pro trainers of heavy handedness or even abuse without knowing any of the facts, and often overlook the fact that many dogs sent to pros arrive with a lot of baggage that must be sorted out. As Don posted, sometimes the fix is quick and easy, but often it can take weeks.

Like many instructions say, "read completely before beginning assembly." Before you sign up your eight week old bird dog pup for obedience at the big box store, you need to know where you want to end up and consider all of the ramifications of your training program on the finishing work coming up a year down the road.
Very well said.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:30 am

Sharon wrote:My dogs live in the house; I teach sit. Never found it to make any difference at all in pointing skill. True, some dogs will sit during field training sessions when unsure of what to do, or pressured too much , but imo that has nothing to do with being taught to sit in the house etc.
+1

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by codym » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:55 pm

Luminary Setters wrote:Most teach sit better than any other command, and many teach it without even knowing it.

Not all, but dogs that have a lot of heel-sit training can be a trainers nightmare. Sit is general taught by a tug on the collar standing beside the dog, putting the dog in a situation very similar to steadiness training. It's easy to see why the dog defaults to sit.
Dogs that have been heavily trained with treats, and are only complying to get a treat can be the worst to default to sit without any bird related pressure- one of the downfalls of a program that has no compulsion training.

On the Internet, people are quick to accuse pro trainers of heavy handedness or even abuse without knowing any of the facts, and often overlook the fact that many dogs sent to pros arrive with a lot of baggage that must be sorted out. As Don posted, sometimes the fix is quick and easy, but often it can take weeks.

Like many instructions say, "read completely before beginning assembly." Before you sign up your eight week old bird dog pup for obedience at the big box store, you need to know where you want to end up and consider all of the ramifications of your training program on the finishing work coming up a year down the road.

EXXXACTLY!!!!! Thank you for that post.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by GrayDawg » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:52 am

Sharon wrote:My dogs live in the house; I teach sit. Never found it to make any difference at all in pointing skill. True, some dogs will sit during field training sessions when unsure of what to do, or pressured too much , but imo that has nothing to do with being taught to sit in the house etc.

+1

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by GWPtyler » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:43 pm

I found out last summer training my second dog that not all dogs are created equal.

Blitz, although a hard charger, was a much softer dog than Remy. As such, the first few times I put too much pressure on steadiness, he laid down! I never taught him to lay down prior to this, although he did know how to sit.

We crossed that hurdle by backing the pressure way off. He's about 90 percent rock solid now. Few more weeks to the UT test, so hopefully that last 10 percent falls into place by then.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by SubMariner » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:45 am

Urban legend perpetuated by old timers that teaching your dog obedience "will ruin them" for the field.

If anything, it reinforces the trainer/dog bond. One Trainer (who has been "converted to the cause") put it as "setting your dog up to learn".

FWIW, neither of our dogs "sits in the field" unless we tell them to do so. One of them is an AFC & MH who placed 4th in the country in the 2014 GSP Amateur Gundog Nationals.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:15 am

SubMariner wrote:Urban legend perpetuated by old timers that teaching your dog obedience "will ruin them" for the field.

If anything, it reinforces the trainer/dog bond. One Trainer (who has been "converted to the cause") put it as "setting your dog up to learn".

FWIW, neither of our dogs "sits in the field" unless we tell them to do so. One of them is an AFC & MH who placed 4th in the country in the 2014 GSP Amateur Gundog Nationals.
This subject has been discussed a hundred times over many years and the facts seem to be exactly as were when it started.

Problem: It can cause a problem but doesn't always.

Remedies: 1. Don't teach sit 2. Teach sit 3. Wait till older to teach sit.

Nice thing is everyone can do as they prefer since it has little to do with performance but can be a handicap during training.

Practical application. Gives everyone an opportunity to find fault with everyone that has had a different experience than they have had but to not change their mind or change their training procedure. And life goes on.

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Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Luminary Setters » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:43 am

It's not an urban legend, nor a black and white issue, and I have never met an old time trainer worth his salt brush off the importance of obedience.

If a well rounded training program is employed, teaching sit out of the box wouldn't be a problem. Enough do not employ a well rounded program, or for that matter, even properly socialize a dog. Although your dog may not sit while under pressure in training, enough do so that these old timers when asked, suggest one wait to train sit. It simply opens up the door for a problem that could be avoided.

An old timer once told me "if you throw rocks at a hornets nest, eventually you're going to get stung." Remember that when you have pay a pro for an extra month to patch an avoidable hole.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by cjhills » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:20 pm

The problem with not teaching "sit" is this. If you use "whoa" or whatever command you will use when you want your dog to be motionless as a command for house manners, he will be likely to start slipping a little especially if you want him to stay in one place for a extended period while you do something else or ignore him for some other reason. Pretty soon his whoa gets sloppy. Sit definitely works best for puppies raised as family pets and is easy to teach and maintain control. If this is his default reaction he will probably do it whether he has been taught or not. We put a lot of pressure on some pretty soft dogs. All are treat trained to sit as puppies in the house and kennel. They are also trained to only sit on command when we are handling them. They never, ever get a treat just because they sit. We never have a problem with sitting in the field. Maybe because we do not treat train in the field................Cj

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Sharon » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:40 pm

SubMariner wrote:Urban legend perpetuated by old timers that teaching your dog obedience "will ruin them" for the field.

If anything, it reinforces the trainer/dog bond. One Trainer (who has been "converted to the cause") put it as "setting your dog up to learn".

FWIW, neither of our dogs "sits in the field" unless we tell them to do so. One of them is an AFC & MH who placed 4th in the country in the 2014 GSP Amateur Gundog Nationals.

OOOOOOOOh As an old timer I'd love to comment on that, but as I 've had enough flak for this week :), I'll just say "See my post above." :)

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Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Luminary Setters » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:20 pm

CJ, that's because you are doing it right, and you also have a long history of working with field dogs. It's not that teaching sit is the problem, it's how it's taught.

An example is a dog walks up to the owner and it sits, then immediately gets a rewards, either a treat, or a pat on the head. Now think of all the repetitions of sit it gets between eight weeks and eighteen months. Simply delaying the reward five seconds can prevent the problem.

I'd add to, that the dogs I have come to me for steadiness training that defaulted to sit, generally are weak on obedience. Just because a dog sits for a treat doesn't mean it's sit command is completely trained. It must perform the command off lead and at a distance reliably. Sit isn't the only command dog can default to, lay down and here, or a combination of all can present a problem too, although sit is the most common behavior discussed.

Again, it's not a problem presented by every dog, but when it does, it a hole that has to be patched. Sometimes is an easy repair, and other times it's not. I would also argue that a dog that slips on any command is a problem, and they will slip on sit as easy as whoa.

I'll add that there is nothing wrong with treat training to shape behavior. However, as it had gained popularity, like any training technique, professed experts sometimes teach the method incorrectly. One of the common ones I see is in clicker training when they fail to implement going to variable reinforcement of the treat.

The topic of this thread is somewhat of a soapbox for me, because I would say it is the number one problem I am contacted for.

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by RoostersMom » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:39 pm

I taught our first Pointer to sit first. It was not fun breaking that habit when she went on point (I'd put too much pressure on her, obviously). She would point, then I would come in to flush, then she would sit. Took about 10 sessions to get that to stop. Now, every Pointing dog in our home learns that "whoa" is the default, not "sit."

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by cjhills » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:32 pm

I have one other thought on this did the dog not know how to sit before he was taught. If he is prone to sitting under pressure he will do it without teaching.............................Cj

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by SubMariner » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:13 pm

Sharon wrote:
SubMariner wrote:Urban legend perpetuated by old timers that teaching your dog obedience "will ruin them" for the field.

If anything, it reinforces the trainer/dog bond. One Trainer (who has been "converted to the cause") put it as "setting your dog up to learn".

FWIW, neither of our dogs "sits in the field" unless we tell them to do so. One of them is an AFC & MH who placed 4th in the country in the 2014 GSP Amateur Gundog Nationals.

OOOOOOOOh As an old timer I'd love to comment on that, but as I 've had enough flak for this week :), I'll just say "See my post above." :)
hahahah -- you're not "old", Sharon. ;)

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Re: Teaching Sit to Pointing Breeds

Post by Schatz's Pop » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:08 pm

I taught Schatz to sit early on. Now the trainer says that's what she does for him after pointing a bird when he comes up to shoot.

She doesn't do it with me though.

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