No More Money From Me Until DU Finds A New Trainer


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By Pit Boss - 9/12/2012 4:42:55 PM
I find it increasingly difficult to justify donating money to an organization (Ducks Unlimited) that prints articles opposing the use of E-collars. Please read the second paragraph in the article. 

By flannel - 9/12/2012 5:52:48 PM
I use e-collars as well, but I don't see the article as offensive as it is simply a description of one particular view that one particular trainer holds. I'm sure at some point e-collars will become obsolete, as nearly everything in existence does over time. If he has found a way to get as good or better results without one, why turn a blind eye instead of considering the possibility?
By Pit Boss - 9/12/2012 7:11:09 PM
flannel (9/12/2012)
I use e-collars as well, but I don't see the article as offensive as it is simply a description of one particular view that one particular trainer holds. I'm sure at some point e-collars will become obsolete, as nearly everything in existence does over time. If he has found a way to get as good or better results without one, why turn a blind eye instead of considering the possibility?
Ding! Ding! Ding! You are exactly right Flannel! This is why I am so Pissed off. DU gives him a platform to market his product, with my money, and like you said, "I am sure at some point e-collars will become obsolete". That is what is so frustrating! It is because of people like him that collars will become illegal. I cannot wait to get back to the good old humane days of training. :laugh: 
You don't think this is a negative comment?
"He eschews the use of shock collars and does not submit his retrievers to the rigors of force-fetching."
 E-collar training is an effective and humane way to train. You said he has found "as good or better results" Where's the proof? 
By Mallard Mugger - 9/12/2012 8:05:35 PM
I eschew being politically correct :w00t: 
By flannel - 9/13/2012 1:59:29 PM
Pit Boss (9/12/2012)
flannel (9/12/2012)
I use e-collars as well, but I don't see the article as offensive as it is simply a description of one particular view that one particular trainer holds. I'm sure at some point e-collars will become obsolete, as nearly everything in existence does over time. If he has found a way to get as good or better results without one, why turn a blind eye instead of considering the possibility?
Ding! Ding! Ding! You are exactly right Flannel! This is why I am so Pissed off. DU gives him a platform to market his product, with my money, and like you said, "I am sure at some point e-collars will become obsolete". That is what is so frustrating! It is because of people like him that collars will become illegal. I cannot wait to get back to the good old humane days of training. :laugh: 
You don't think this is a negative comment?
"He eschews the use of shock collars and does not submit his retrievers to the rigors of force-fetching."
 E-collar training is an effective and humane way to train. You said he has found "as good or better results" Where's the proof? 


I said IF he has found "as good or better results." I rarely rely on e-collars as it is, I use one occasionally to speed-up or solidify a certain command that isn't being fulfilled to my expectations. If you're so reliant on e-collars and feel that much anxiety about not using one, maybe it's time for a new training program(?).
By Pit Boss - 9/13/2012 4:51:15 PM
My mistake, I thought you actually had proof that he has produced as good or better results without the e-collar. So if you have no knowledge of him having any success or being as successful as e-collar trainers, why do you come out in support of him? If you use a collar, why on earth would you support someone that opposes the use of one and that speaks publicly against the use of them? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I can see if he is producing FC's, but he is not. Every week e-collar trained dogs are earning their AFCs, FCs, NFCs, NAFC titles. How many tennis shoe trained dogs are titled each year? How many using the Wildrose method?
I need to be clear, I am by no means opposed to an individual electing to train without a collar. I am opposed to an individual slamming e-collars. I am really opposed to DU giving him a platform to promote his anti collar agenda with my money. If you want proof how effective they are, go to your nearest trial and ask the people running their dogs if they use an e-collar? If you can train just as good a dog without the e-collar, why do you suppose Mike Lardy, Danny Farmer, Dave Rorem, Roy Gonia... still use one? 

I thought you might want to look at this list of retriever hall of famers. I didn't see Mike Stewarts name on the list. Perhaps I just missed it. I would think with his effective non-collar methods of training that he would definitely be right up there with Lardy and Gonia?

By flannel - 9/14/2012 9:15:45 AM
Well, I wouldn't say I'm supportive of him, but if it sounded that way I can see where you're coming from. All I really meant was, if some has found an equally or even a more effective way of training without utilizing an e-collar, why oppose it just because that method/trainer prefers not to use them? I'm not saying he has created success or that Stewart even knows what the hell he's talking about. It's been my experience that the people who create the biggest uproar in opposition to e-collars, are also the ones who wouldn't recognize one if you placed one in their hands. If at some point a good, competent trainer did discover another, more effective method that did not necessarily include e-collars, why not at least consider the possibility and investigate further before condemning the method simply based on the absence of e-collars? 
By hunter951 - 9/14/2012 1:35:36 PM
Some of his methods differ from techniques employed by other dog trainers, but they work for him. Proof is in the finished product. Included among his long list of fine retrievers are Ducks Unlimited mascots Drake and Deke.

This is in the first paragraph. If his methods work for him, I'm fine with that. I know that you have had VERY successful results with e-collars, but Drake was a good dog, and now Deke is holding the banner. Maybe they wouldn't win titles. But if they can effectively and efficiently deliver a downed duck to hand, that completes their job, doesn't it? I don't think that he should be the one to tell you not to use an e-collar, because that's his opinion, and for other dog trainers, it's not his decision. Personally, I have found an e-collar very useful in training, but I'm not going to tell everyone to use one. If you can train a rock solid, enthusiastic and energetic, efficient retriever using a certain method, (barring of course physical abuse such as can openers and rat shot) CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy him for his whole life and take pride in what you have accomplished!:)
By Tim Price - 9/14/2012 2:11:24 PM
hunter951 (9/14/2012)
Some of his methods differ from techniques employed by other dog trainers, but they work for him. Proof is in the finished product. Included among his long list of fine retrievers are Ducks Unlimited mascots Drake and Deke.
This is in the first paragraph. If his methods work for him, I'm fine with that. I know that you have had VERY successful results with e-collars, but Drake was a good dog, and now Deke is holding the banner. Maybe they wouldn't win titles. But if they can effectively and efficiently deliver a downed duck to hand, that completes their job, doesn't it? I don't think that he should be the one to tell you not to use an e-collar, because that's his opinion, and for other dog trainers, it's not his decision. Personally, I have found an e-collar very useful in training, but I'm not going to tell everyone to use one. If you can train a rock solid, enthusiastic and energetic, efficient retriever using a certain method, (barring of course physical abuse such as can openers and rat shot) CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy him for his whole life and take pride in what you have accomplished!:)


OK here's the main issue many American lab guys have with Mike Stewart....he markets his dogs by making negative statements about why our American dogs are inferior. And many of the statements really aren't true but he is great at getting people to drink the Kool-aide. I've seen some non-Wildrose brit bred dogs run Master stakes that were nice dogs.  I've got no problem with Brit dogs. The issue I (and many others) have is his continued bashing of American labs and our training methods. The bigger issue now is because of his relationship with DU he has a large pulpit from which he can spew this marketing. And those with no clue think that because he is with DU that he must be the best dog trainer. Not so much. He may, however, be the best marketing guy is dog breeding history. See quote below from his own website to see one example of what I'm saying. Hope this helps...    

Many American-bred Labs have been indiscriminantly bred for color, confirmation, or convenience often with little regard to game-finding instinct, trainability or natural retrieving desire. Other matings have resulted in a hyperactive, head strong, or hard dog that may prove too high powered or "hardheaded" for the average sportsman.

Some of the deficiencies that may occur in the American Lab have been masked by force training methods. For instance, a British trainer discards a hard-mouth or hyperactive dog and does not repeat the mating. American handlers have tendencies to "train it out" through force conditioning methods. Unfortunately if such an animal is later bred, the deficit is likely transferred to future generations.
By Pit Boss - 9/14/2012 8:40:32 PM
hunter951 (9/14/2012)
Some of his methods differ from techniques employed by other dog trainers, but they work for him. Proof is in the finished product. Included among his long list of fine retrievers are Ducks Unlimited mascots Drake and Deke.

This is in the first paragraph. If his methods work for him, I'm fine with that. I know that you have had VERY successful results with e-collars, but Drake was a good dog, and now Deke is holding the banner. Maybe they wouldn't win titles. But if they can effectively and efficiently deliver a downed duck to hand, that completes their job, doesn't it? I don't think that he should be the one to tell you not to use an e-collar, because that's his opinion, and for other dog trainers, it's not his decision. Personally, I have found an e-collar very useful in training, but I'm not going to tell everyone to use one. If you can train a rock solid, enthusiastic and energetic, efficient retriever using a certain method, (barring of course physical abuse such as can openers and rat shot) CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy him for his whole life and take pride in what you have accomplished!:)
Deke? Now there 's a stylish dog! DU you should be proud of that dog. I think a dead turtle has more drive than Deke. I would like to see what that dog would do if you sailed a goose 300 yards? What titles do Deke and Drake have? His dogs look like they couldn't find an Penguin in a bathroom. They may find it but I think I would fall asleep watching the retrieve.
I need to repeat that I am not telling anyone to train with a collar, and I can care less if you train without one. I just do not want to read his marketing BS anymore. IMO, George Hull said it best...
By hunter951 - 9/14/2012 8:48:55 PM
I think that's a little critical. My dog doesn't have a title to his name, but he is a decent hunting retriever that does what I tell him to, gets his ducks, and then sacks out with me after the hunt to watch the game.:satisfied: I am not trying to start an argument, I just wouldn't stop supporting the incredible work DU is doing just because their trainer has some big problems. Nice talking with you, sir.
By blizzardhunter - 9/14/2012 9:10:36 PM
Pit, I think you hurt his feelings.  I get what you are saying.  I started the Wild Rose thread and have seen how thats gone.  I don't support him and am new to training and was just wondering about the book.  I am working with my first pup, through force fetch and collar conditioning.  After the early woodie season we will be doing collar fetch.  I love the collar.  I have worked my a** off with this dog and the collar made my solid dog jaw dropping amazing.  What Pit is upset about (I think) is someone like this gives animal rights groups fuel to stop proven training methods and if he convinces hunters to not use these methods who will be left to stand up for it.
By Mallard Mugger - 9/15/2012 3:00:02 PM
I have noticed that "the Gentleman's" way of training has been soley pushed by DU for a while now.  While I'm not against an individual training in that manner, by no means, it's the voice of those who are quoted or put out material on the method, have no use for other avenues of training.  Plus, the Carr based systems are allowed to be chastised openly and freely while they produce the highest quality dog, day in and day out.  Where are Mike Stewart's placements in Field Trials?  Good thing the boards are seldom monitored or we would not have a say here either.  It's the free reign he, and anyone pushing this method, has in the magazine without opposition that is so frustrating.  The Gentleman's way being pushed is only one method/system.  It's not the ONLY one though.

I believe DU is taking this route to reach out to more people.  To me, it appears that they think they have reached the end of the "American Sportsman's" fund and are reaching out to the "Gentleman's" fund - being politically correct.  My membership came due a little bit ago, while I strongly support the work in the field, I question the strategy going forward with membership, politics, and it's choice in who it supports and promotes.  I feel it is giving in to being PC, like the country is (thread of its own), and am concerned my money could be better used in other places.  I doubt I'll renew.  This will put an end to my 20+ years of membership to DU.  Yes, it is bitter sweet for me.

PB's post did not play into my decsion, I've felt this way for a while now.  The opinions expressed here are solely my own thoughts.  There is more to it than the DU Retriever Columnist but he is a spoke in the wheel.

Posting on borrowed time regards,  MM
By flannel - 9/15/2012 4:46:13 PM
MM, what's your take on Delta Waterfowl?
By Mallard Mugger - 9/16/2012 8:58:53 PM
flannel (9/15/2012)
MM, what's your take on Delta Waterfowl?
I have not done much research on them lately.  I was a memeber a while back and felt fine with them just opted to up my contribution to DU because I had been with them for quite a while.  I do plan on looking back into Delta.
By Hog Hunter - 9/17/2012 9:26:44 PM
So let me get this straight. If you don't renew your membership then you won't be back on this forum. :rolleyes:

Hog Hunter 
By Mallard Mugger - 9/18/2012 8:35:27 AM
That's the way it has worked in the past along with deleting all of your posts.  I don't know if that is true or not anymore.  So, either a blessing or a curse for you I guess!  :crazy:
By flannel - 9/18/2012 10:47:15 AM
I too, am a former Delta member and felt they were a solid, honest organization with a lot of good intentions. However, after studying endless amounts of research regarding Delta's philosophy of predator-reduction in order to preserve duck populations, it seems that their philosophy simply falls flat. Though it seems intuitive that predator-reduction in relative numbers would likely increase nest success and therefore increase duck numbers, this philosophy simply doesn't hold up to the copious amount of studies performed on this hypothesis. The only real effect on duck populations goes back to habitat and water levels, much more akin to DUs philosophy and practices. So while DU may not be everyone's ideal, it is likely the most effective organization in the world in terms of waterfowl conservation.
By Pit Boss - 9/18/2012 3:08:58 PM
I think I will purchase two or three extra federal duck stamps rather than renew my DU membership. Adios.
By Swamper - 9/18/2012 3:47:20 PM
see ya dude.  duck stamps are a good investment.

via con Dios
By jcropsey - 9/19/2012 11:49:42 AM
Miss ya PB:pinch:

If you were NOT around in the '70's & 80's with DU, you will not recall this backlash:

DU never invested a dime in the Northeast and other areas with low duck production and populations at that time:sick:  The only place DU did projects was Canada and some pothole states plus CA:w00t:  Whole chapters looked to split and go to Delta:exclamation:  Delta's membership mushroomed & Delta didn't even invest in the Northeast either, but it was a principaled thing:P  BTW, I'm a Delta member too.

So the furor forced DU to change policy to create an initiative to put projects in every state:D 

I haven't used an e-collar and haven't force fetched previously:Whistling:  I'll be buying an e-collar with the new pup and may have to force fetch 'em:rolleyes:  Every dog is different & people are too:exclamationmark:  You obviously feel very strongly about this, so before you go, create a furor, you might be surprised and decide to stay:D
By flannel - 9/19/2012 1:27:41 PM
I wouldn't sweat it too much, he has left for good a few times!