Heath catches back up with Jason Carter from Merrymeeting Kenneland author for Project Upland. Jason is a NAVHDA judge, NADKC member, director of youth development, secretary of NAVHDA’s youth committee, clinic leader and trainer at Merrymeeting Kennels. Heath and Jason go over several articles Jason has written for Project Upland. They start with having a plan when training dogs, to food reward. They finish off with five different mental states of your dog and how it affects your training. There is so much information, tricks and tips packed into this one, you’re gonna have to listen twice. Come on along on this Journey with us!
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On this episode of The Journey, we are going back to Maine. It's a great state and I seem to like it up there. Got a lot of people with a lot of dog knowledge. So we're gonna be back with Jason Carter today, and if you guys remembers, been a couple. A couple weeks, maybe a month or so ago, had him on, he's a NADA judge n a Dkc member.
He's a director of youth development, the Secretary of Nada youth committee, the clinic leader, and he is a trainer at Mary meeting Kennels. And [00:03:00] guys, if you go to Upland Project and pull up the read on the top tab, pull up, read, and then you can go in and look at the articles. And if you scroll down, you'll see several articles from several different authors.
I have found all these articles to be very very good articles. And then you can click on Jason, and then when you click on him, it'll pull up all of his articles. So I was just sitting here going through a bunch before I got him on the horn. And we are actually gonna touch on some of these articles cuz they're so good.
I don't wanna pass 'em up. And I know I'm aggravating him to death by bringing him on all the time. But when you have somebody with this much experience and knowledge and trains dogs, basically for a living, you want to get, you want to get every ounce of information from him, you can. So Jason House things up your way this evening.
A little snowy up here. We got a another storm coming through two storms this week. So [00:04:00] we have plenty of shoveling and plowing to do. But things are going well. How are you? I'm good. It's raining here so we don't have no snow. It's been cold last two days. It's been cold, so haven't done a lot today.
I've, I'm just trying to catch up from being in Vegas. I'm telling you, man, it was a, that was a great trip. Met so many good people. Like it, it was just off the chart with the people and the how nice they were and forthcoming and accommodating. It was beyond my expectations, but I'm still trying to flip times, like I'm still back and forth with the time change, but yeah, that's what I'm doing.
That's great. That's great. Must do you have any schools or anything going on right now, or are you just piddling? Right now we have this is our off season. We're still finishing off rabbit season hunting season, so we're, we haven't really kicked into dog training yet. Oh. Let's just kick it off with that right there, because last time we had you on, we talked about the tough [00:05:00] decision to breed and Yeah.
As I've been thinking about this is, this has been on my mind for a while and I'm trying to, I'm trying to work it out in my head. How come. , we miss out as hunter, as hound hunters and hound owners. And let's just say dog train. Let's just say dogs. Any sport dog, no matter what it is, could be bird dogs, bear dogs, coon dogs, line dogs, retriever, it doesn't matter.
Let's just say any type of sport dog that you're using. If you're not a professional trainer or an experienced trainer, one thing that I have noticed is the lack of a plan. Does that make sense? For sure. We see it quite a bit in, in our, yeah. Yeah. And I was thinking about this on my flight back home.
That's when it was, gearing up in my head and I'm like, okay, I gotta work on this. But if I'm doing a [00:06:00] detection school, like I have a lesson plan to go by. I go step one dog has to be, I gotta test these hunt drive and then I go to step one, which is imprinting him on odor.
And we like to get about a thousand reps, which is small cuz we want to hit that 5,000 mark. But due to time I try to do a thousand reps on each odor and I start with the hardest odor first. And I break the hardest odor down by the chemical compounds in that odor and which, how many compounds the dog has to be able to pick up to recognize that it is an odor of whatever narcotic, which happens to be cocaine.
So I go through that step and that process. Some dogs I can zip right through it in a week or two. And then other dogs, I'm in it for a month. But I understand that it's a part of the process. I understand that if I rush this step one, which is my foundation, I'm. , I'm going to be hurting [00:07:00] myself later on down the road.
And as I thought about this, I'm like, okay, if I'm out here training my hounds, what is it that I need to be doing in an alphabetical order? So I need to, I spend a lot of my time with my pups. I'm a big believer. I get 'em loading and leading and coming to me and just good behaviors is what I'm working on as they're small.
And then, I go to the, I start switching their environments. And we all know that environments are huge. Most of our dogs fell out of the law enforcement side because of environmental issues, not because they don't have the driver the want to. A lot of it's the issue, the environmental issues.
So we start switching environments and then we put 'em on the game that we want 'em to chase. And then, I continue those steps and if I have a problem, , I've got plan B, C, D, E, F, G, whatever. And if that dog doesn't learn by that particular method, then I have been fortunate [00:08:00] enough and blessed enough to be around people at like yourself that have taught me.
Okay. Heath, wait a second. There's more than one ways to do this. There's 10,000 ways to train a dog. . So I feel as dog owners in the sport world, whatever that may be, that we need to start formulating plans and we need to see those plans through, because if we don't, then we're shortcoming of our dogs and it's gonna tell when they get to of age.
Yeah. What's your thought process on that? As far as plans go, dogs aren't cookie cutters. You can't engineer 'em. We all want to engineer a plan. Week one we do this. Week two, we do this. Week three we do that. And if that doesn't work out, then what? And think about a new trainer and someone just getting on board, there's not a whole lot of tools in that toolbox.
It is, it's what they're told. So if that dog doesn't fall into that, that perfect situation they're lost. [00:09:00] And so what I always encourage folks to do is always train as if the wheels are gonna come off. Let's say this doesn't work, okay? You do have a plan. You went, you did your work you studied up.
I would encourage you to follow one system of training. The YouTube trainer will struggle and is not very effective. But if you can find at least one, one method to follow you'll be far better off than trying to do three or four different methods that contradict one another. Yes. Yeah. Yes.
That's big time. Yeah, go ahead. Yeah. Follow that system. That, that works for your philosophies. And, but when you're training, you want to train as if something's gonna go wrong and then have it in, in, at the ready for when it does. If you're not, you should be surprised that the dog does it correctly.
That's how ready you are. . If you had a, if you had a set of keys in your hand and you drop those set of keys, that's about as much time as you [00:10:00] have to Mark A. Good behavior or mark a bad behavior after that then thought process going the dog's head. And they may not bridge that information in that learning.
So it really is really super important that when you're training, you have to catch yourself not to give that correction, not to give that marker. Because the dog did it correctly. That's how ready you need to be in your training. And it's super important to have a plan put together and have those resources available prior to even getting the dog.
So a lot of times a breeder when you do get a dog from a breeder, the they'll either, like for us we set up a year's worth of training for each of our puppies. , try just to get 'em going. But the breeder will have resources. Normally we'll have resources for you to reach out to to follow that whatever type of training you want to do.
And it, it'd be important to, to just stick with that, those resources, but have those resources at the ready. You're gonna need, you're gonna need that information.[00:11:00] And you, we all study up ahead of time, try to get trainers like yourself and try to get involved in those classes to gear us towards it.
But you've seen the final product. Someone right out of the box. That's not the case. They don't, they may not have that information. They, they may not know where they're going. They know where they're going for the next month and what they should be doing for that age of the dog, but they may not know where they're going in the end.
So I'd encourage a lot of folks to just see what a finished dog looks like. Cause then your intuition can kick in. , you'd be like, oh, the dog's doing this. Okay, I need to change gears. I need to change direction. I know what to do. But if you don't know where you're going, you have to rely on that cookie cutter approach.
So again I would really encourage folks to just to see what I finished dog looks like. And then you can start tweaking that as time goes on. Yeah. And I'm just sitting here, I'm visualizing the stuff that you're telling me. And, I think that's one of the things that set me up.[00:12:00]
for having a little, a little bit more success out of the gate is I was able to hunt with an older gentleman that had really good dogs. And, then my expectations was riding off of his shirt tails, which, I don't know that I've ever caught , those quality of dogs yet, but I'm always striving for it.
He set the bar. Yes. Yes. Yeah he did. Yeah. And a again, back to what we were talking about yeah, you've gotta have a plan in place. You've gotta be able to navigate through it. Dogs, like you said, dogs are not cookie cutters, and I've gotta know that if this goes wrong, okay, I can do this, and if that don't work, then, I can tweak it here a little bit here and a little bit there.
And having people around you that has. That knowledge and experience is invaluable. , yeah, we do a lot of networking with folks and trying to get together and working together because when you, [00:13:00] especially if within your own litters, if you can get those folks together they can see where each other are at.
They may, the dogs individually may not follow the same timeframe, but they're gonna be pretty close. And it keeps folks interested, keeps 'em inspired to keep going and to keep working their dogs. We're all given Ferrari for dogs. We want the, we need to learn how to drive those things.
. Okay. And a lot of times, depending on the discipline you're following it, it takes a lot of. to get where you're going. And so to have those networks of folks around you to help you along is important. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I was just thinking about that on my flight, but I've been thinking about it for a while how do I get to this point and I see others struggling and, or how did I get to this point?
And I really just one of the guys said, it just seems it comes natural for you, Heath. Like it just comes natural. For me, I feel like a lot of it is, again, I've been blessed with people around me that's mentored and coached and helped me. [00:14:00] And I, when I go into training dogs now, like I've already got that, that in my head, okay, I've gotta get through this step before I can even try to go to this step.
And, the 20 year old me was in a rush. Yeah, exactly right. I wanted it done Now, , and today I'm not in a rush. I'm looking at the overall, the finished product, just like you said. , I'm looking at the finished product and I know that if I take my time and I use due diligence that it's gonna be successful and it's gonna be a pleasure to be around.
It's gonna be my partner and my buddy, and it's gonna cause my blood pressure to stay down. Yeah. And all the things that come with having an enjoyable hunt and enjoyable time out in the woods with your dogs. And as I've gotten older, that's become more important to me. You have two seasons.
You, you have hunting season and you have getting ready [00:15:00] for hunting season. That's right. And the dogs love to be worked. And the more you can do it the better off you'll be. . Yep. That's exactly right. That's right. So yeah, I just wanna touch base with you on that. Cause like I said, it's been on my mind and I feel training dogs the way you do that you always go into, you always start your training prepared to know what you need to do and where you need to get to.
Jason, I was reading some of your other articles, and I'm just gonna start off with we are gonna finish up, the goal here is to talk about the five mental states of in dog training. And that's gonna be very important because two of the dogs that I have, we're gonna talk about them when you get to breaking this down.
Sure. But one of the, one of the articles, you just talked about it, you talked about understanding timing and dog training and Yeah, like you said, you got about two seconds and that's it. and you gotta prepare your head. You gotta be in the game. You have to be diligent about looking at the dog [00:16:00] and understanding what it's telling you.
A lot of us get caught up in the moment, who's around us, what's going on. If it's a hunting scenario, maybe more into the hunting scenario than what's happening with your dog. So if you're not there in the moment, there's no way you can have the right timing. And if you're not there with how to deal with what you're seeing, then you're gonna you're not gonna have any learning because the dog, you're not gonna be able, you're not gonna be ready with that tool when you need it.
Yeah. And one of the, one of the things you was talk, you was talking about, and I'm gonna skip articles, but I'm gonna talk about the timing. You talked, one of your articles, you was talking about training the character of your dog because all dogs are different. And you said that right about the time.
But you start bragging or boasting on your dog in front of your buddies or friends. Yep. Yep. They gonna make a fool out of you. . A hundred percent of the . I can tell you that for . Yeah. Man, I tell 'em when my dog's open, they like, what are you doing? I'm like, I don't know. They're running a co that away.
If they run a code I'm not lying to [00:17:00] anybody. I'm not letting them down . They can only go up from there. But go back to the timing when you was talking about that. And the reason I wanna, I wanted to bring that in is because our emotions Yeah. We get, our egos get in the way.
We make bad decisions during that process. Yeah. We let our motions override us and I'm guilty, like I can raise my hand, sit in the front row cuz this, that's been me. Yep. I'm more aware of it now. Fire because we all are invested in our ducks to the point where emotions can get in the way.
Yeah. But you know that your emotions play a big part of that timing and like you said, and that's a very good statement you made about you've gotta be in the moment and you've gotta understand what needs to happen during that moment. Yep. And that and you can't be in your head.
You gotta be reacting to what the dog is telling. Yes. Because it's not always gonna align with what your plan is. This dog's gonna be perfect, there's not gonna be a problem. And then, oh my God, there's a problem. And then you get set back in your training. [00:18:00] Yep. Because you weren't ready for that moment when it appeared.
And you gotta be, you gotta just mentally be watching that dog and understanding what it's telling you. Yep. Which brings me to another article and we started into it and I was like no. Wait, we got, we gonna talk about this later, is. , the food, the training, the treats. Yeah. Yeah. And you so just go into that because when you brought up your dad, it like, hit home for me in 2005 for sure.
When we first started training when I was a kid you didn't use treats, dogs are supposed to do what you tell 'em to do, we're too married treats. And about 20, probably about 20 years ago, my mother came on board. She started training and she started bringing out the treats and started, she went through obedience school and they were using treats there.
So she introduced it and suddenly her dog was beyond his dog, . So he started looking a little sideways at her and he put his ego to the side and started giving it a run. And to this day, he's, early training is street training, imprinting those puppies to to [00:19:00] love what they're doing and to pair with you.
Yeah. And it's a positive association. I know I've brought that up on this pod on the podcast numerous times that anytime you can reinforce that with a positive , it only builds stronger and stronger behaviors. A phrase we use a lot is a dog that wants to work is acts far differently than a dog that has to.
Yes. So I wanna go back to 2005. That's when I started my canine career in law enforcement. And the first dog that I had was a yellow lab. And I just done narc, hourly, done narcotics and tracking with him. And I was told by the trainer at that time, we put a choke collar on him and I had to do obedience.
And if the dog didn't make the right hand turn pop, you give him the command correction command and you made him do it. And I asked about food then, even though I was. absolutely illiterate when it come to dog training that way. I'm like why do we don't, why don't we [00:20:00] use food? Oh, we don't do that.
We don't do that. That dog can't have food be treats or anything because he's a narcotics dog and he has to smell narcotics and the first treats in the car, then we can't have him alerting to that. So we were, we, I was taught probably, your dad's way beyond me, but it was compulsion, which means you make the dog do what you want him to do.
Yep. And when I started into my second dog, he had already, he had a previous handler that was sent to a school. They used the same methodology and I always didn't, I never liked the dogs with the eaters pin back and you could see more white in their eyes. , you know exactly what I'm saying. Yep. And I never liked that look, but I didn't understand enough about it at the time.
to really know better. And then in 2013 started going to the classes and the seminars and [00:21:00] had numerous trainers. And that's when I really learned the difference in classical conditioning and opera conditioning and the four quadrants of the operat conditioning and Yeah. Las Cabrero from P SDK nine was the first class that I set in and LA was all about using food.
And I'm telling you, man, his dogs perked up, ears forward. That tail was wagging. They couldn't perform the task fast enough. Exactly. It's drive based. Yes. You're the dog. The dog is working in drive. It's doing what it wants. It's doing what it loves to do. Yeah. And early imprinting is you teach it to love what you want it to do.
Yes. So when I seen that, you could have probably jerked me out of a chair and it would, it was a eye-opening of experience for me, and I've never looked back. Yeah. Never looked back. We go as far as we don't put bowls of food down for our dogs [00:22:00] as puppies, if a dog is food driven enough where he just loves to eat and will use e eat its own kibble then we don't we train our bull because that dog is waking up in the morning hungry Yep. And wanting that food desperately. And so that just creates that that attitude, that strong drive to do whatever you ask it to do. . And so for a few months of his life we don't put a bowl down for the duck.
Yeah. I'm, I'm with you, even with my hands. I do the same thing. Or if I do put a bowl down, it's for a jackpot. . Yeah, exactly. Yep. I'm on the same page with you, Jason. I firmly believe in that dog's gotta have food to survive and when he's wanting to work for food, you could just about get him to do anything.
Yep. And it's a great tool. It's a great tool to start a solid foundation, just like your mom was doing years ago. Yep. So just creates that relationship of that working relationship that you want the dog to have. You want that independence, but at the same time, you want the dog to [00:23:00] understand and want to work for you.
. Yep. Parent. Yep. And a lot, they have to understand the task. That's something that people, that's where you said you've gotta understand where you're at the moment. . . Yeah. Yeah, you, and that, that goes into reading your dogs and what you touched on earlier where you let the dog lead instruction, you let dog lead the program that you're following.
It let it go at its pace, not your pace. When you start over pressuring dogs, then you're stealing exactly what we're talking about. You're stealing that drive, that warrant. Yeah. And you can find that you're in trouble. You're gonna, you're gonna miss out on some important aspects of your training.
Great trainers don't have holes, good trainers, good trainers, can back up and fix problems. But great trainers just don't have 'em cuz they allow the dog to take its time and to train at its pace. Do you ever, and I had this conversation today with a good friend of mine.
Do you ever let the dog do self-discovery?[00:24:00] For sure. You're saying like still. . Yeah. We were talking about working out problems and Yeah. Yeah. So I feel and through my experience, letting the dog work that pro, and even if it takes it two or three trips to the woods letting that dog figure that problem out without my assistance makes a stronger dog.
Yeah. It maybe something we have in common would be when you take that puppy out for first one of some of his first walks and allowing that puppy to maybe not whistle to that puppy, allow it to use his nose and track you and find you. , using that early nose work and teaching that dog, don't show it out of the box quite yet.
Let it have to use its brain and let it have to think it through and create that type of learning where the dog has to figure it out on its own. Yeah. And back to the treats about, sure. About what age. What age do you guys start yours with that? For, for us, cuz we have bird dogs [00:25:00] is, once, once they're reinforcer, like obedience, we can do that for the life of the dog.
, whatever. We're not gonna carry treats into the woods with us because those treats don't matter when there's birds around. When the game is out there, when the prey drive is up those trees really don't matter. So we start fading them probably right around six months of age when we start introducing them to birds.
We'll, we will, we'll start putting the trees away. We call it fading. . So you're melding throughout your training. We start with continuous re not to get in the weeds, but we start with continuous reinforcement, which to retreat for every good action as a puppy that's. , and then we move into intermittent reinforcement, which is far more powerful because now the dog wants, and it's oh, I didn't get it this time.
How do I get it? And so the dog starts working a little bit harder with intermittent reinforcement. And so sometimes it's a treat, sometimes it's praise, it's touch, it's a verbal praise, a marker. And so yeah, so we, if probably right around six [00:26:00] months of age, that treat becomes a little less important.
But we're treating, as far as obedience throughout , just to keep that obedient, making them crisp and keep it working probably for the life of the dog, here and there. But per, for as far as the fading process, right around six months, we start fading the treats.
Wh when do you start with that pro? Like you start 'em soon as they get weaned off the mother? Do you start 'em at 10, 12 weeks? What age do you really start that food stuff with them? The journey on Hounds Man XP has teamed up with one tdc, this dual action support for oral health and mobility in our dogs.
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, we start in the bowl, but then eventually we'll just spread it out into the grass Yep. Or into the snow or whatever, and let the dogs start finding it on their own. So they're starting to do that nose work early on. And then before they go home. We're using our whistle commands with the pups and when they, there's a bowl of food right there for them. Yep. So now we're working on recall. That's all we do a lot of that legwork before they even get to their home. Yeah. And there's no better time to do it. You're shaping that puppy so young that he don't know anything else.
Yeah. Their basic survival instincts are to [00:28:00] follow food, follow you for safety, and so you're just using what it's doing naturally. . Yes. Yeah, absolutely. . Absolutely. And I, I'm doing this, I do the same thing you do. I start my puppies out doing the same thing.
They gotta use that nose to, to find their food. And we're, we're working 'em on different different levels. Different surfaces load, yep. They, when they're big enough to jump in the truck, I put a platform up for 'em so they can get up in the back of the truck and feed 'em. Yeah. Same per same process.
Same thing. Jason, let's get into the kind of what, what we was gonna talk about and I've got, like I said, I've got two dogs that I'm gonna talk about. Some of this. You wrote an article for Project Upland and guys, if you wanna read his articles, there's plenty of them in there.
You just gotta go to plot Project Upland and hit read and they'll pop up. But you wrote this article, it's been a couple years ago the mental state of. of your, you and your dog can make the difference in training between success and [00:29:00] failure. Yep. Yep. And so let's talk about the five different stages that you wrote about.
, and I'm just gonna put this out there right now, like I have, I've got a, I'm, I've got a Mai right now that's going through the process of detection work. He's just started just getting him imprinted and he is so jacked up when you get a toy out. Like he, he almost gets bug-eyed. He looks like the cartoon character that gets bug-eyed and the tongue comes out and he can't cut, quit slobbering.
And I will not let the handler work him until this dog relaxes and is calm. Let's talk about the calm dog and how he learns. . Backing up just a little bit I learned these from as mentioned before, I'm a teacher and we had a behaviors come in and they were talking about How the different learning styles of children and how depending on what's going [00:30:00] on in their lives, how that affects learning for them.
And I, I'm like, okay, another behaviorist, here we go. And then he started talking. I'm like that, that really pertains to dog training. Wow. And, be I realized that behaviors, behavior doesn't matter where. What you're training or either a person or a dog. It's the same stuff.
, it was, I very, I got very attuned to what he was saying and he went over the, these five different types of learning, emotional states that kids get into. And I realized that those are the exact same emotional states I've seen in class. And so that's where it all originated.
And, you talked about a calm dog and a calm dog is one that learns seamlessly. It's and a word that, rings true and something that everyone should really focus on is balance. We always want keep our dogs in a certain level of balance. And when our dog is outta balance, or we're outta balance, it throws our dog training.
And you have to back up. But [00:31:00] a c a dog that's calm learns seamlessly. One, one of the situations that happened to me is I was at a s Schwarzman show. We were doing dog demos there, and I was going around to the different venue vendors around lunchtime and I was talking to them and throughout.
My dog is very calm, relaxed, very stoic, kind of dog. And sh she would be sitting there and she'd get bored every once in a while and stand up and walk off and sniff somebody or something. And then I would tug her, bring her in, she'd sit down. I had treats in my pocket. I gave her a treat.
And throughout the day, without even realizing it, I taught my dog that if it walked to the end of that leash, it's gonna get a treat. I was a silly pest dispenser all day long. And to this day, if she's sitting long enough, she will pull back to the end of that leash and try to get a treat from me, especially if I have treat in my pocket.
It was just a real eye-opener for me. Like those calm dogs learn and when they learn forever. , especially when they want to do something. So that, that calm mindset when you're, is [00:32:00] what you're after you, you do your most of your leg work in that, when a dog is feeling comfortable and relaxed and that happens because you're comfortable and relaxed.
If you're alert, I mean our dogs sit there and look at us all day long. They know the moment we have any type of emotion before we know it. So if you're training in, in and you're frustrated, the dog's gonna change states. And in these five states, the dogs bounce back and forth all the time.
It's fun. When we're in class, a lot of times if I'm heading the class or my father's heading the class, the other person walks around and looks at the dogs and you can always see like the dogs shifting back and forth. They'll connect. Maybe two alpha males will look at each other.
They might be that growl or they'll stand taller, puff their chest out. But they're, you can watch the dogs and the handlers go through those five phases, of, oh don't call on me. I'm not gonna raise my hand. I'm gonna step back. I'm not gonna make eye contact. And the dog's doing it too, and it's really fun to watch.
I'm fortunate enough that we [00:33:00] do have group classes where we can handle a lot of dogs and see those types of behaviors so that those folks have done their homework. And we talked about having a plan. Those folks that have a plan and know what they're doing for that class, . No, they're calm.
They're sitting there, they're ready to go. And that dog knows exactly what it's doing. It's sitting there, calm and so whenever we present them with something, the dog is ready for that learning. And they're bombproof, they're self-assured. Unflappable. They're stoic. They're ready for that learning, and they take in that information and, and it creates a really nice learning environment for both the handler and that dog, because they're successful.
, and Tom Dog is, talking about success. If I try to go with a four to one rule, if that dog is failing one time out of four, but has three successful trials, I'm kind, I'm on the right track, or more but if the dog is failing more than it's succeeding and you're trying to push the dog then you're gonna change it its mental state.
And you might go to, you might, even go to fear or [00:34:00] even terror. But the conduct, talking about a conduct a com is one that that's ready for learning. It will pick up information very quickly. Yeah. And the Europeans told me this probably about the same time you wrote this article, maybe Yeah.
Somewhere around there. 18 at 2018, 19, clear heads prevail. Yeah. And that they were har they were really harsh on their training method with that. The dog needs to be calm, he needs to be in a calm state. And, ever since then, like it's resignated with me. And when I seen your article, I'm like, ah, yep, he's got it.
Yeah, one of, one of, in the n a dkc, one of the tests that we have to do is called vn. And the dog has to show that it can decom, it can lay down and relax amongst other dogs, other people. And just the dog understands how to control his emotions and puppies and young dogs, they struggle with that.
They [00:35:00] bounce through these levels faster than we, we can watch 'em, as they get older, they, a young dog, a young dog that's been trained to to work and understand and what the handler expects from it. Those dogs can stay calm. They're relaxed.
They've been, you've done your socialization, you've done your exposure to different environments, different places. The dog doesn't need to go up and escalate it. It can become, because you did your legwork. You put in the time. One thing I've noticed too is you can tell about the.
holding the lead by the way they hold the lead. , do they have it wrapped up in their fist? Have they got it looped three or four times, or are they just casually holding it? You can tell what you know then when you see that what to expect from that dog. And a lot of times problems happen because of that leash.
Yes. When they're two inch, when they have a two inch leash and they're pulling on the dog because they're insecure, or if they're walk taking their dogs for walks and another dog, a person goes by and they start pulling on the dog they're letting the dog know hey, be alert.
[00:36:00] Something's up. Yep. Yeah. And they're forcing that dog in that direction because they're putting pressure against it. Exactly. Yeah. And dogs have a position reflex opposite. That's right. , you push stand up, you pull on 'em, they're pull ahead. . Yeah. Yeah. So I've learned to watch it for the lead and look how they're handling it.
Especially in, in our classes. That's very important. , I need them to hold the lead a certain way. And, your new handlers are doing exactly what we're just talking about, man. They're wrapping that thing up. They got their hand wrote through it, and they're choked halfway up on the lead.
And every time you're telling 'em something, there's always pressure into the collar or the harness, depending on what you're doing. And you're like, no man, you gotta relax. Cuz when you relax, the dog relaxes. They're afraid to make a mistake. , mistakes are where learning happens.
Everyone's, everyone wants their dog to be perfect when you're in class but if you have that loose leash and the dog pulls ahead, that's a learning opportunity. If it was a tight leash that you held them next to your side, the dog leads you everywhere you need to go. And there's no [00:37:00] learning in that.
, and when training a dog, don't be afraid of the mistakes. The mistakes are when learning happens. Yes. And I think, again, we can go back to our egos, , exactly. We get in the way of that learning process. Most of the time when it's happening, it's because of us. It's because of me holding that lead.
Doing exactly what you were just saying. I I don't wanna mess up. Yep. I don't, there's five people standing, especially in a group of people. Like the pressure's just off the charts no. Yeah, this. So we can all learn. My dog may do that next time. Yeah. So then you go into alert.
Yeah. So an alert dog is also an, a learning mindset. They can learn but they're gonna be socially reactive to the environment. They could be distracted, a d a little bit. They're learning but there's other things. They're multitasking. And they're an alert dog is very quick to go to an alarm.
Yes. Calm dog, a calm dog. It takes a little bit to get him out of that and [00:38:00] into the alert, but an alert dog is very reactive, so they're they're gonna bounce ahead pretty quickly if you're not paying attention and go right to the alarm. Yeah. And I, I can put, I can paint a picture for your ham guys, whether you're co, don't matter what species you're chasing with a hound, when that dog perks up and those ears will come up and go back on the back of his head a little bit.
Yeah. We got floppy ear dogs too yes. When you see that, when you see that body posture, stiffing and those ears go up and back, like it's almost game time, right? Boom. Like you just said, they're paying attention to something and they're getting ready to bolt. Yep. They're going to do good or bad, they're gonna do something when you see an alert done
Yeah, that's right. Good or bad. Yeah. Good or bad. But you take those, you, you talked about some of the mannerisms that that you see in an alert. Dog ears forward, their eyes affix they stand taller. , those dogs are ready for business one, one way or the other.[00:39:00]
They're learning, they can learn. But it's a very reactive dog in the end. . And, but what you did was you paid attention to that dog. You watched your dog go from neutral ears to you know, just hanging out with you, looking around, just relaxed. And then you see it transition into that alert state.
Okay you become a little more alert. You get focused, okay, hey, and there's things you can do. You want your dog back and. . Then you can soothe it or you can touch it or you can say, Hey, knock it off. Or you can give it a correction or give it a replacement behavior heal up.
But all of those things you can you can back up and you can bring your dog out of that alert state and back to that more readily better learner in that calm state by, by doing that. And I think, the utilization of touch is often, neglected. I don't think people think about that just simply just taking your hand and touching the dog.
Gotcha. Just a little snapping 'em out of it. No, it [00:40:00] just resets 'em. , the brain goes from that alert to, oh, okay, everything's good. But if you tighten up on that leash, you're supporting the dog Yes. In state. Yeah. You're relaxing it, you're not backing it up, you're actually pushing it forward arm state.
Yeah. And I think too, one of the things you gotta hit on with alert, and that is the timing. . Yeah. You need, you need to get on that pretty quick. Or it's like you said, good or bad. They're, they just rocket launch to whatever is going on. And I like that. I like just reach down and, just touch 'em, just you just breaking the breaking the where their at and Oh, bringing them back to you.
. And it's easy. It's very easy. And, and even if need be, you step away from the problem, turn around, come back into the problem ease the dog, desensitize 'em to a situation, and then bring 'em back into to that, to that learning state, that calm state when the dog's ready, if the dog doesn't seem like you, you're trying to, if the dog becomes reactive and you're trying to teach it, it's just nobody's.[00:41:00]
then you're gonna get frustrated, and then you're gonna bring it to the alarm state because you're gonna get angry. So walk away, follow the day. Come back when you're in a calm state, dog's in a calm state, and then no harm, no foul. What's another day? Yeah. And that goes back to that planning and foresight and understanding the process is okay.
Yeah. I'm not mentally prepared for this, and it's not fair to my dog. Exactly. And I've, I've been more aware that in, in the last 5, 6, 7 years that in fact, I was in printing pinot and was working him one day me and Maddie, my daughter, and I don't know what happened, but man he just, he got all over me like, I don't know what it was.
And I felt like my neck getting red and my ears turning and I just put him in the car, man. He was like, what are you doing? I was like, we're going home. We're going home. I had him at the school working him. And I knew, like I, I caught myself and that [00:42:00] was one of my times. I was pat myself on the back.
I'm like, yeah, okay. Good job. You just worked him out of that and that, that worked out perfect and y'all are not causing conflict with each other. And but it's recognizing that stuff and understanding that like you just, you just said it. Tomorrow's another day. We can get back on it tomorrow.
One day in the grand scheme of things is not detrimental to anybody or anything. If you think about it, you're gonna come back with a tool too. You're gonna go home, you're gonna figure it out. You're gonna be like, oh, what was I thinking? I should have done this. Instead of that, you're gonna, you're gonna look it up, you're gonna talk to folks.
You're gonna be like, okay, what do I do? And so you're not only gonna come back, but you're gonna come back with a plan. And if you see that same behavior, you're gonna know how to handle it. . And it's not motion. . Yeah. Yeah. All right, what was next? So then a dog can go into the alarm state.
Now you're outta the learning mindset. Now that's a dog that can learn, but chances are it's not gonna learn. It's gonna be more worried about its environment and reactive to what it's [00:43:00] seeing in the environment. And what's happening to itself than any information that you get.
It's not a good place to be with a dog. They're very emotional emotionally reactive. They'll even freeze up and they'll be really slow to respond to things that knows, some of the rote training that you've done with a dog knows it inside and out. Suddenly it's not doing, and you're getting frustrated cuz the dog knows how to do it.
It may even come off as disobedient. , and the dog's not listening to you. And so you're starting to correct the dog as if it is purposely not listening to you, but in the end it's because it's freezing up and it's concerned about something.
And so now you're correcting and reinforcing that it should be fearful of those things because now it's fearful of you and those things. And so the dog, it just turns into a big mess where you could step away from the problem come back with a plan, rein, re reengage the dog in that scenario, in a different mindset, and the dog will just learn instantly.[00:44:00]
But when it's in that alarm state it's, again, it's a d but a lot more reactive. And the dog could go to fear and that's not So how do we how would you recognize that? What are some things that you've seen with the alarm state? I know we talked about alerts. It's on. , the tail tucking.
, the in back it it's jumpy. , it's concerned. It's ready to, even like very benign things in its environment that it sees every day. Now it's nervous of. Yep. Some, someone walks in the room and they don't know. I'm now fearful of that person.
I'm and my focus is on that and not on you. , so it's very difficult to train a dog that, that's in that alarm state. . Yeah. Yeah. You're not gonna get much out of the dog except a bunch of conflict when you start trying to force it. Yeah. Yeah. If you start pressuring that dog through the alarm you'll be into fear and, yep.
So let's walk [00:45:00] over. Let's go to fear and terror, cuz I not, this is where I've got a story, but you roll with it and Sure, sure. Fear and terror. Forget it. You're done. You've crossed that bridge. Your dog is now in a, in its natural state of I'm either gonna fight, flight, or I'm gonna fight.
, you have cornered. Fear is I'm scared of my environment. Terror is, I'm gonna I'm just gonna react to it. Yep. You get into that, to that dog that, that, if you're into your correction to the point where your dog is fearful of its wellbeing you're doing something way wrong in your training.
You're either just not knowing what you're doing or you're responding to your own emotions. But if a dog is fearful of its environment, you can have dogs in fear and terror just because of their genetic makeup. They can move from calm to fear and terror just cuz they're not bread, right?
, have. , they don't have the genetics [00:46:00] to support what you're asking them. But, we can push our dogs into fear and terror. , and there's very little training that can happen, if any at all. When you get into fear and terror that's a real no-go place to go.
You're not gonna get what you hope for from it. And we talk about egos and things like that when you're correcting dogs and you're putting them that deep into the correction where they are fearful of their safety that's not fair to the dog. And you, there's some moral things that go along with that type of training.
. Yeah. And look, and since you're, you train dogs and you travel a little bit, this is where I've seen that fear and terror. The mo, and again I've seen it in the training part, but I've seen it more in the shipping and changing environments. And I'll give you an a good example. So I ordered a dog outta Oregon, and of course it it was transported.
I got a dog from Mike Kemp spook, and that's why he got named Spook. And he's [00:47:00] hitting all the buttons that you're already, you've talked about. He was on a a van for six days coming from across the United States, and he went from being in his place that he's accustomed to. He was, he's, he knows it's normal, it's safe to being put on a van with two strange guys stopped at multiple stops.
Throughout those five or six days pulls up in my driveway. The guy asked me what I wanna do with him, and I'm like, I just turn him loose. I live on a farm, here on a farm country. And he is okay. And he kind of gimme that look like, are you sure about this? And I'm thinking is there something I don't know.
He turns the dog loose, I pay the man, he drives off. Two hours later I'm still trying to catch this dog. And he's in that fight or flight. Yeah. And he ended up biting me. Yep. He, I backed him into a corner where I could get my hands on him and I pushed him a little too much [00:48:00] and I reached down to grab his collar and he bam, smashed.
But I understood what was going on. Yeah. I understood. Hey, wait a second. So I got the lead on him. I took him down, I put him in a kennel, and he immediately went and jumped over the dog box and got behind it. Yeah. Just scared. Yep. So I let him calm down for a couple hours. I went back. He, every time I'd get clear, close to the pin, he would jump in the back.
And this went on for. Five. It was five days, but I started incorporating the food and I just got my five gallon bucket. I turned it upside down and I sat there with food at my feet. And, as those days progressed, he got closer and we get closer and we get closer and he finally eat outta my hand.
And when he done that, I started, he started eating and everything was fine. The a little female that I got, [00:49:00] Kate, same place, same scenario. She was different. She was okay to be handled as long as you had a lead on her. But once you cut that lead off of her, she gone. Yeah. And she would stay around, but she would not come to you.
And it took me a little bit longer to get her environmentally sound. In fact, I got her where she was really comfortable here at the house and I put her in a dog box and it was like, She was flipping out again. So she went from, I got her through the fear stage and then put her right back in it with a change of environment.
So I had to wait another month or so to get her adjusted before I could even hunt her. And then, Tara, and I'll ask your opinion on this. So we had A G S P that we got, and I'm, I may have told you this last time that we got from a vendor, a handler went and picked her out, brought her home, brought [00:50:00] her into the training facility, and literally she just shut down.
If people were in there, she would go behind him and pee. And this is a 14 month old dog. But, going into that how many, how much time does that dog spend in account? . How much time did that, was that dog exposed to its environment and taken for walks? Probably zero.
, unless there was some genetic fault to the dog, the dog hadn't been brought up, to understand that its environment outside of its kennel safe. Yep. And you're you are. Point on Jason, this dog was in Europe till he was 11 months old, raised in a kennel and then tested, put on a plane flow, flown to the United States, put in another kennel, tested some more, and they done some hunting exercises with the dog.
And then we picked the dog up. So that dog within a three month period had four different life changes.[00:51:00] Yeah. And I think sometimes people don't look at things that way, especially if you're getting dogs. From different areas and different, different places. And if they've been through a lot of transitions, they're not trusting, which puts that fear into them, and if you haven't, if you haven't taught the dog to, to trust its environment, like you said, they developed toxic stress, everyth, everything is fearful. , they have coping mechanism to pull themselves down. You don't have a relationship with the dog to talk 'em off the limb. So everything is stressful to the dog.
And you did exactly right. You sat down next to the dog and you're probably using a high pitched tone, something relaxing and you just Yeah. Dog. And called it good. You didn't push the dog. , and then imagine Spook became one, one really nice dog. Yeah. He's one of my best.
And the downfall to that is, Him and Kate and Trip. All three of those [00:52:00] dogs are pretty much, they're one man dogs. You can catch spook trip's a little hard to catch. Now anybody in the family can catch him easily. Not a problem. But if he gets into a crowd of people, he's very he'll stay there, he'll be right there.
But it's hard for you to get your hands on him. And I've worked and work everybody. He doesn't wanna be restrained by you or is it because he's worried about the situation. He's worried he, I can be standing in the middle of him and holler for him, and he will go all the way around him and come in the backside to me.
Hell, he'll come to me. But he it's the people that it is. And, but back to the little GSP we had. We spent a month and I told him to take her back. I'm like, she can't she can't work because she's in this state. And then she changed handlers again. That handler left, new handler, got her.
And in about a month she was like a new doll. Bam. He'd spent, he'd done just what you said. He didn't push her. He took her out for walks. He had her around the [00:53:00] family. He'd done the things that, that, that needed to be done for her to gain his trust. And she's a nice, sweet little dog right now. Yeah.
Dogs will do endless things for you as long as they trust you. Yes. And when you steal that trust because you had a bad day, you're really setting that dog up to fail. And you're desperate to see that dog succeed, but you're setting it up to fail. Yep. And what you do in two minutes takes a month to fix.
Oh, yeah. If then, yeah. , good training takes a hundred sessions to teach, what you want it to learn. It takes one bad session to undo all of that training. Yeah. , that's so true. That's, the younger me needed this advice I needed this when I was 20. Yeah.
Any fear in a dog makes it dumb, point blank. Fear makes your dog dumb. Yep. Yep. So when, if you [00:54:00] can avoid that at all costs, you're you'll be far better off. Times where a dog will be fearful of situations. But if at all possible try to keep fear outta your training.
Yep. And catch yourself if you're getting to that point if your emotions aren't in check and you Jason, you just said it, one, one minute of trouble set you back so long. . All right. So with those things that we talked about and the articles that you've wrote, is there anything that you want to add to what we've talked about?
Anything that you think we might have left out? They are I told you, Jason, I, after reading some of 'em, and I haven't been through all of 'em, so I'm not gonna lie about it. But I've read a lot of your opening paragraphs and I've read through several of 'em. I told you, no, I'm impressed because you're teaching the bird dogs that the stuff that you're doing with your dogs is the same thing I do in the law enforcement community.
And it's the same thing that I try to apply to my hounds in my training, even though it's a different a task that we're asking them to do. So is there [00:55:00] anything that, that, you want to add to it or maybe something that we left out that you wanted to touch on? Yeah, the only other thing I would add is get out there and train your dog.
Don't be fearful of the process. your dog needs to be trained in, in, in worst case scenario, you don't do it perfectly well. You just put a tool in your toolbox. You got a little bit better at how to train that dog. But don't train with emotions. There's no place for emotions in your training, but get out there and train.
You don't know, your hounds need obedience. You need to get those things back on a leash. You're my bird. Dogs need to understand that, that they need to be steady on birds, and that doesn't come because I give two months of training just before the season, when I'm on a clock, that's when problem's gonna happen.
So just, you got, this is a great time of year to get out there if it's not hunting season and just start the training process early. Yeah. Like your one article was, reset your dog. just reset it. And there's been numerous articles written, there's been numerous [00:56:00] podcasts done on, you do the bulk of your work in the off season, yeah, for sure. Heavy lifting, the you're setting in the stage for the fine tuning you do during the pre-season. Yeah. Yeah. That's where the loading and the leading and the call coming to you and I try to do a little trash breaking when I'm in the off season that way.
But every opportunities I get is a training opportunity for me. I don't care what season it is, off season, end season, if it's end season, and I can make that a training opportunity. That's why I. And no matter what the environment is, yes, it doesn't have to be, okay, this weekend we're gonna go train and that's the time you train.
You run into a situation that the dog didn't handle very well, you're gonna set that back up and you're gonna retrain that. . Yep. Yep. No matter where you are. Jason, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your time. Your knowledge and experience is phenomenal. Like I said, guys, I'm gonna post a link to project up Upland so you guys can go read these articles and I may even [00:57:00] copy post a couple links to these, some of these direct articles we talked about because I feel like if you go read 'em, you're gonna gain something that you can use, you can put in your toolbox and use it.
It's just great stuff Jason, and like I said, I appreciate it and we appre appreciate you coming on and spending your time with us. I'm happy to help. Always enjoy talking to you, Heath. Yeah. So as we end every podcast, Jason, thank you for helping us teach, train, and learn. You're welcome.[00:58:00]