Range...Is it in the genes?

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Catharina
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Post by Catharina »

I had to think of this thread this morning and yesterday -- Kibo and I were on a walk in the woods with several people and SEVEN other dogs of various breeds and ages. Guess who was the only dog that couldn't happily mosey along the trail or close to it :?:

Right, got it in one. He was good about coming back to the whistle each time, but as for staying within my sightline - nope, not Mr. Flies-Through-The-Woods-Like-A-Demon. Darn Brittany genes.
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adele
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Post by adele »

Oh ya, its in the genes. I met a man who asked me where I got my Britt. I told him the breeder's name and he said "Oh his dogs really range far". No kidding, that's what he said. So, I gather that not only is it normal for Britts to range but MY Britt comes from stock renowned for their ranging behavior. Double whammy.

Also, when I was researching the breeder, I phoned some people who had bought dogs from him. One woman said that her dog took off once too often and her husband had to take over the training. She said that their other Britt, from another breeder, didn't run away like that. (She also said the dogs were healthy so, in my arrogance, I figured I could train my dog and all that mattered was that the line was healthy. HaHaHa joke is on me.)

Oh well look on the bright side, this way we can blame genetics, "Its not my fault, she has bad genes".
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Catharina
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Post by Catharina »

I have read in several places that the "range" of a hunting dog is genetically hard-wired. I'd be interested to hear if people on this forum think this is true, too.

Barb, should we start a thread on "field trials" for this, or will the right folks read it here?
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Kibo, a.k.a. "The Flying Nose"

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

Voila!!! Here we are in Hunting/Field Trials :lol: :lol:

FWIW Cassie ranges close for the most part, within 1-200 yds, if that is considered "close" :? I think it is close enough because I can yell at least that far if the wind is right :wink: Her breeder did not hunt, show only, so don't know what she is hard-wired for.....except she has automatic ear disconnect when she is in hunt mode :wink:
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Cindy
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Post by Cindy »

Looks like we have one of each. Kayla tends to stay fairly close (100-200 yards), does alot of running around us in a large circle (she could be part herding dog), always comes immediately when called and tends to check in if she's been gone for a while and we don't call her.

Jill seems to have a HUGE range. When we let her off leash she always runs straight ahead and can be out of sight and ear shot in seconds!!! We've been working on this ALOT lately and just this morning started to have some reliable success. But never fear - just as the walk/run was getting near the end she took off and didn't come back for 5 minutes!! She's still a Britt!! But the good part with Jill is that she ALWAYS comes back, even if it's on her own terms. It may take her a while but I never worry that she won't return. Of course this is OK where we live but I'd never let her go in unfamiliar territory without keeping her very close. And fortunately she will stya close but it requires constant verbal commands. A work in progress for sure! :)

I wonder if it has anything to do with their color. Both of the liver and white dogs we've had stayed close and both of the orange and wide ones had wide ranges. Interesting ....
Last edited by Cindy on Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Dave
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Post by Dave »

Big Running Brittanys seem to be very popular among field trial people . I prefer a short ranging dog if I'm hunting . I almost bought a trained gun dog yesterday . Her trainer said she stays way too close . I was watching his big ranging dogs and thinking the only way I'd get to that dog before he fell asleep on point would be on an ATV :roll: :wink: I then thought , If I had my 22-250 and bi-pod I could shoot the bird from 400 yards :P :lol: Dave
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CJ
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Post by CJ »

I'd say mostly genetics, but training, exposure, and social skills have a lot to do with if/how those genetics play out. A pup out of big running all age blood lines can/will shorten up if it's had a rough start to life and then is gets reigned in constantly by its owner/trainer. Also, if they are only ever hunted on close in quary, they will tend to be close company as well. Soo... even if they are "wired" to range, a lot can effect that wiring after the fact.
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Jacksbuddy
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Post by Jacksbuddy »

I think it is KarenP who has always said, "check the bloodline/it's in the breeding".
Dave I have a dog that comes from a long ranging line that has grown into a beautiful gun dog.
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Karen_P
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Post by Karen_P »

The old saying goes "you can bring a dog in, but you can't push them out", and this is mostly true in my opinion.

A proficient trainer can absolutely push a dog's range to some extent, but they're not going to be able to take a hard-core boot licker and turn it into an all age dog. Things like overhandling and heavy-handed corrections can make a dog overly dependent on his/her handler, and therefore shorten it's range considerably.

But yes, in my opinion a dog's natural range is 80% genetics, 20% luck (maybe 70/30) :D
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