A Novice and his Dog

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connorj
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A Novice and his Dog

Post by connorj » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:10 am

Hello All,

My name is Connor and I am currently raising a 1 yo Lab/Pointer Mix. She has been showing good signs in her obedience and retrieving. I am new to gun dog training and appreciate the wealth of knowledge available here. We are located in Southern California but my hope is that she will soon be hunting Nevada Oregon and Washington in the near future.

Timewise65
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by Timewise65 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:21 am

Welcome....

The hard part will be deciding if you are going to train the dog as a Pointer or Retriever. That would be determined by what you plan to use the pup for...upland game or waterfowl? Of course some of us do both, for us we train for all conditions, but you have to start out focusing on one style of hunting and then expand it after you have the basics completed.


Good Luck

connorj
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by connorj » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:30 am

Thanks for the advice. Deciding on Pointing vs flushing dog is still a battle for me since we have had limited introductions to birds. I got her when she was 6 months so I have not had any chances to see her instinct come out but she has done what appears to be a point. I have been heavily focused on obedience, Recall,Sit,Heel,Woah. I don't know how much flushing handlers use woah but I have to imagine it is still beneficial to a flusher in case she gets birdy and I need to slow her down to catch up.

mnaj_springer
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by mnaj_springer » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:15 pm

I think whether you train as a flusher or pointer is going to depend the dog's instincts and how you want to hunt. If you want a flusher, you can make a flusher, but if you want a pointer, you may be subject to what the dog's instincts tell it.

There are some more experienced trainers here that could probably give you really good advice on how to introduce the dogs to birds in a way that will help you understand your dog's natural skill set. Personally, I'd plant some hard flying quail or chukar in a field without the dog seeing, then take it for a walk in the field. When the dog finds the bird, let him do his thing. If he points, great! If he flushes, I'd stay tight lipped and let the bird fly away. Rinse and repeat. I know my Pointer flushed her first couple bird contacts, but has been steady to flush (at least) since then, so if you want a pointer, don't think flushing the first birds is an indication of a flusher. And different pointing breeds develop at different speeds, so it may be something that only time tells.

As far as training a flusher, I uses "sit" with my springer when she's tracking a running bird and I need to catch up. A solid "whoa" in that situation would do the same thing, although it doesn't win you points with flushing dog purists (who cares). The biggest thing is if you train as a flusher and your dog wants to naturally punch out, you'll have to work to keep it in gun range.
“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Meskousing
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by Meskousing » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:40 pm

I'm a bit new, so I'll ask a question. Why would you want to stop a flusher? Isn't that what they do?

If a flusher is chasing a running pheasant (or grouse, etc.) and you stop the dog, then the bird will run into the next county. A flusher's job is to catch or at least make the running bird think it's about to be caught, so it flushes. If you stop the dog, then the bird gets a head start.

If the dog is getting out AND is birdy, catch up. The dog is doing his part and the hunter must do his part by keeping up. Try some off-season wind sprints ;) We train the dogs, so shouldn't we train ourselves. From my experience, when the dog gets birdy and chases a bird, sometimes I get lucky and the bird flushes towards me. Sometimes, the bird flushes away from me.

birddogger2
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by birddogger2 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:21 am

Meskousing wrote:I'm a bit new, so I'll ask a question. Why would you want to stop a flusher? Isn't that what they do?

If a flusher is chasing a running pheasant (or grouse, etc.) and you stop the dog, then the bird will run into the next county. A flusher's job is to catch or at least make the running bird think it's about to be caught, so it flushes. If you stop the dog, then the bird gets a head start.

If the dog is getting out AND is birdy, catch up. The dog is doing his part and the hunter must do his part by keeping up. Try some off-season wind sprints ;) We train the dogs, so shouldn't we train ourselves. From my experience, when the dog gets birdy and chases a bird, sometimes I get lucky and the bird flushes towards me. Sometimes, the bird flushes away from me.
I'm a bit old, so I'll answer your question. My days of running after a bird dog are long gone and my days of running wind sprints are even longer gone. That is a good part of why I hunt over pointing dogs.

I smiled when I read your post and must admit that I am a bit envious. I actually remember when.... Oh to be young and limber. :lol:

God bless you and keep on doing what you do. Enjoy your hunting any way you choose.

Best wishes from a crusty old fart.

RayG

Meskousing
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by Meskousing » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:51 am

birddogger2 wrote:
I'm a bit old, so I'll answer your question. My days of running after a bird dog are long gone and my days of running wind sprints are even longer gone. That is a good part of why I hunt over pointing dogs.

I smiled when I read your post and must admit that I am a bit envious. I actually remember when.... Oh to be young and limber. :lol:

God bless you and keep on doing what you do. Enjoy your hunting any way you choose.

Best wishes from a crusty old fart.

RayG[/quote]


My comments about wind-sprints was tongue-in-cheek, so I hope you nor anyone else took offense. I'm a grouse hunter (never shot a wild pheasant) and it's never so easy to catch up to a dog that's birdy and motivated. My AWS works pretty fast and can be tough to keep up to, so I fully understand the benefits of a slower working spaniel and pointers.

However, my question about the benefits of stopping a spaniel/flusher was sincere. I'm still new to the game and enjoy a good conversation about dogs, training, and hunting.

Best wishes from a middle-aged guy that hopes to be a crusty old fart that hunts with a dog.

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deseeker
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by deseeker » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:20 am

I think running with a gun to catch up isn't a very safe way to hunt IMO :cry: . The reason to stop the dog is: if the dog is getting out of range following the bird, it does no good to allow him to continue on and flush it out of shotgun range. If you stop him and catch up and then release him to track the bird again, maybe then you will get a shot that is in range JMO. I used to hunt Springers before I switched to brits and that is what I did back then. PS I won't hunt with anybody that runs with a loaded gun--Again JMO

polmaise
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by polmaise » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:38 pm

birddogger2 wrote: I'm a bit old, so I'll answer your question. My days of running after a bird dog are long gone and my days of running wind sprints are even longer gone. That is a good part of why I hunt over pointing dogs.

I smiled when I read your post and must admit that I am a bit envious. I actually remember when.... Oh to be young and limber. :lol:

God bless you and keep on doing what you do. Enjoy your hunting any way you choose.

Best wishes from a crusty old fart.

RayG
I smoke a lot ! and wait :wink:
I used to run a lot .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE3uIrzt0Jg

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Sharon
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by Sharon » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:50 pm

Meskousing wrote:I'm a bit new, so I'll ask a question. Why would you want to stop a flusher? Isn't that what they do?

If a flusher is chasing a running pheasant (or grouse, etc.) and you stop the dog, then the bird will run into the next county. A flusher's job is to catch or at least make the running bird think it's about to be caught, so it flushes. If you stop the dog, then the bird gets a head start.

If the dog is getting out AND is birdy, catch up. The dog is doing his part and the hunter must do his part by keeping up. Try some off-season wind sprints ;) We train the dogs, so shouldn't we train ourselves. From my experience, when the dog gets birdy and chases a bird, sometimes I get lucky and the bird flushes towards me. Sometimes, the bird flushes away from me.
You want the flusher to sit when the bird flushes for the same reason you want the pointer to hold when the bird flushes- you don't want to shoot your dog.!
Because a beagle doesn't sit or hold , many a beagle has been shot .
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mnaj_springer
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by mnaj_springer » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:26 am

Meskousing wrote:I'm a bit new, so I'll ask a question. Why would you want to stop a flusher? Isn't that what they do?

If a flusher is chasing a running pheasant (or grouse, etc.) and you stop the dog, then the bird will run into the next county. A flusher's job is to catch or at least make the running bird think it's about to be caught, so it flushes. If you stop the dog, then the bird gets a head start.

If the dog is getting out AND is birdy, catch up. The dog is doing his part and the hunter must do his part by keeping up. Try some off-season wind sprints ;) We train the dogs, so shouldn't we train ourselves. From my experience, when the dog gets birdy and chases a bird, sometimes I get lucky and the bird flushes towards me. Sometimes, the bird flushes away from me.
I have mine sit because despite my level of fitness there are limits to what is humanly possible when running through the cattails and willows or alders and aspen.

I don't think it automatically means the bird runs off. A couple years back my springer was on a hot trail and I knew it based on her body language. I let her track and stopped her when she got to the edge of my range. Then I released her and she continued tracking. I had to stop her a second time to catch up. While she was sitting there I could see her put her nose out like she was scenting something. Lo and behold, I released her the second time and 20 feet from where she sat, she flushed a hen pheasant.

I truly believe that in that scenario the hen stopped running because she lost track of where my dog was and froze, much like the way a bird holds for a pointer. For me this has worked on pheasants and ruffed grouse, presenting me with shots I otherwise would not have had.
“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

polmaise
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Re: A Novice and his Dog

Post by polmaise » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:06 pm

Meskousing wrote:I'm a bit new, so I'll ask a question. Why would you want to stop a flusher? Isn't that what they do?

If a flusher is chasing a running pheasant (or grouse, etc.) and you stop the dog, then the bird will run into the next county. A flusher's job is to catch or at least make the running bird think it's about to be caught, so it flushes. If you stop the dog, then the bird gets a head start.

If the dog is getting out AND is birdy, catch up. The dog is doing his part and the hunter must do his part by keeping up. Try some off-season wind sprints ;) We train the dogs, so shouldn't we train ourselves. From my experience, when the dog gets birdy and chases a bird, sometimes I get lucky and the bird flushes towards me. Sometimes, the bird flushes away from me.
1. Yes that is what they do . So when the rabbit runs it does not chase ..in this neck of the woods . :wink: ..and even when Mr Rooster wants to do the same in the Cattails or wherever !
2. In some parts where we would like the flusher to produce the game to be shot , by the gun rather than the dog catching it ..we call that shooting . ..although I have seen a few Coursing moments . :lol:
3. Getting lucky when the game flushes towards you is predominately to do with luck and often predetermined with wind direction cover and hunting pattern of the dog you have trained in that setting .
4. A flusher ..flushes and a pointer points and a retriever retrieves . A spaniel is good and a Pointer is good and a Retriever is good . An Hpr does all ,but Not every retriever is a terrier . :wink:

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