Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post Reply
User avatar
PointingQuail
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:25 pm
Location: Tucson/Phoenix, AZ

Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by PointingQuail » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:09 pm

I have a 6 month old lab and for whatever reason I cant seem to prove to him that action is all in front of me. He just walks with me like he has no clue what is going on. He will look for birds I've shot but only if I have placed him very near the scent. Am I just asking for too much to soon.

PQ

User avatar
GUNDOGS
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1974
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:37 am
Location: canada

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by GUNDOGS » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:15 am

I am the one usually needing the input so believe me i dont know as much as the others on here but our GSP when he was about 7 months old was a "boot polisher" as they called him...we went to a training seminar with him to work on some issues and i will tell you what they told us and in time it worked..you take from it what you will...As a young dog starting out or new to the game some dogs keeps an eye on you wondering when a bird is going to appear and if he sees the birds being within 15 to 20 yards of you most of the time he will stay close giving up his drive to move forward..they told us to plant birds well ahead (100 yards) and as you walk the dog into the wind he learns to cast out farther from you as he picks up the scent and this helps because you know approx where the birds are as well...what keeps the dog excited is the anticipation of the birds and if he sees he normally gets the birds that are ahead of you he will cast out farther and quarter to find them extending his hunt..i dont know if i quite explained it as good as it was explained to us plus we were shown and it made sense..others might disagree on planting birds and just say go into wild birds which obviously brings out the drive more than anything but the problem is you dont know where the birds are so its not setting him up farther away..oh ya and another thing i know for sure is if you constantly call a pup back to you even during a walk he will think you want him close all the time, let him take some independance and go off a bit...stuff you probably already know but hope i could help a bit.. :D ..ruth
GUNDOGS SHORTCREEK IRON HORSE (HARLEY)

User avatar
Cajun Casey
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4243
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:59 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by Cajun Casey » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:33 am

It is a retriever, after all. I wouldn't expect the dog to be making any big casts, especially as young as he is. Get him out for walks frequently and don't reel him in every time he gets out of arms reach and you may see some curiosity and confidence surface. Teach a reliable "Here," and leave the checkcord behind.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

User avatar
3Britts
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:22 am
Location: Northern Utah

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by 3Britts » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:03 pm

I would just get it our in the field with other dogs that hunt to the front. Your dog will soon get the idea.

User avatar
wes_gsp
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:52 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by wes_gsp » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:59 pm

How is his reaction to the gunfire? If your dog does not have a lot of bird drive it is probably not the right time to be shooting over him. If the dog is not properly conditioned to and comfortable with gunfire it may discourage him from making bird contact. Not saying this is the problem but worth thinking about. Also are you hunting wild birds or planting them?

Merle
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:41 pm
Location: St. Charles County, MO

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by Merle » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:54 pm

Go for lots and lots of walks in all kinds of cover. Walk slow and sometimes just stop and watch.

User avatar
PointingQuail
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:25 pm
Location: Tucson/Phoenix, AZ

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by PointingQuail » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:47 pm

wes_gsp wrote:How is his reaction to the gunfire? If your dog does not have a lot of bird drive it is probably not the right time to be shooting over him. If the dog is not properly conditioned to and comfortable with gunfire it may discourage him from making bird contact. Not saying this is the problem but worth thinking about. Also are you hunting wild birds or planting them?
Gunfire doesn't bother him at all. I am hunting him on wild birds,(should I be planting pen raised birds instead?) but in an area that I know there going to be large cuvvies of quail. I've shot birds over him before and he seems fine with it. He will leave my side when I give him the dead bird command. The real issue is when we are looking for new birds. I suppose my best bet is to find someone with a trained dog and have him see how it works.

PS, thanks so far for all the advice guys.

Preston25
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:14 pm

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by Preston25 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:13 pm

When you hunt don't talk to him at all and sort of pretend like you're not paying attention to him. Then stand in one spot for a long time again not paying attention to him and if he's like my pups have been he'll get bored and start searching around.........

User avatar
A/C Guy
Rank: Master Hunter
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:43 pm
Location: Apache Junction, Az

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by A/C Guy » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:27 am

Merle wrote:Go for lots and lots of walks in all kinds of cover. Walk slow and sometimes just stop and watch.
Good advice. Slow down and stop rushing the puppy. You said the puppy is 6 months old, but you want it to have the confidence of a mature dog. It is following you because it is not ready to lead. When it is ready, it will run in front of you while hunting. Some dogs don't get off the owner's heels until they are over a year old. Be patient.
"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." John Quincy Adams.

User avatar
ezzy333
GDF Junkie
Posts: 16644
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:14 pm
Location: Dixon IL

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:32 am

Would be my suggestion to stop hunting and just go for walks in light cover and work at letting him get to the front. Planting birds could be a great idea to get him started.

Ezzy
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/4genview.php?id=144
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/4genview.php?id=207

It's not how many breaths you have taken but how many times it has been taken away!

Has anyone noticed common sense isn't very common anymore.

User avatar
wes_gsp
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:52 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by wes_gsp » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:53 pm

PointingQuail wrote:
Gunfire doesn't bother him at all. I am hunting him on wild birds,(should I be planting pen raised birds instead?) but in an area that I know there going to be large cuvvies of quail. I've shot birds over him before and he seems fine with it. He will leave my side when I give him the dead bird command. The real issue is when we are looking for new birds. I suppose my best bet is to find someone with a trained dog and have him see how it works.

PS, thanks so far for all the advice guys.
It would be a good idea to plant some pen raised birds and refrain from hunting for now. When you are hunting you do not know where the birds are and they can be few and far between. A young dog can get bored if nothing "exciting" happens for an extended period of time. Now when you plant the birds, you know yourself where you and pup need to go. This will help building his desire go quicker then limiting finds to wild bird only. Also IMO when you bring pup directly to a find and then to another, he starts to think you are pretty smart and will be more cooperative in going the direction you want to go. I wouldn't worry too much about shooting birds for him, let him chase the birds and even catch them to build his prey drive.

As far as hunting him with another dog, I would not recommend it. IMO the dog has to learn to hunt for himself before he can hunt with another dog. If he is put in the field with an experienced dog, due to his lack of experience he will most likely "trail" the more experienced dog which is not what you want. Take him out by himself and let him be wild. no pressure.

User avatar
PointingQuail
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:25 pm
Location: Tucson/Phoenix, AZ

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by PointingQuail » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:07 pm

Thanks for all the great advice guys. I really appreciate it.

User avatar
prairiefirepointers
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1142
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:34 am
Location: Pretty Prairie, Kansas USA

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by prairiefirepointers » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:44 pm

something I have always done with pups who are just starting to work ground and pattern is to always position myself so they are in front of me and keep moving forward. If the dog goes behind you and starts working, turn where he's now in front again and start working your way forward. He'll soon get the idea you want him in front.

Also, keep in mind he's a lab. Patience is going to be essential. He's not wired to pattern ground like a upland bird dog. He'll take some learnin. Also, there's some good advice already given about working him with dogs who pattern and hunt well. Monkey see, Monkey do.
Jess Stucky
Prairie Fire Pointers & Supply
Pretty Prairie, KS
http://www.prairiefirepointers.com
http://www.prairiefirepointersupply.com
'Distinguished Dogs for the Discriminating Hunter'
Doesn't Your Dog Deserve The Best?

"Add clarity to your life, see through the eyes of a dog"

scmelik
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Brookings, SD

Re: Cant get pup to hunt in front

Post by scmelik » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:46 am

I work quite a bit with a pro trainer that trains a lot of labs. We have had this problem more than a few times and what we have done to help with it is to plant birds so that we know where they are at. Then take the dog to the downwind side of the bird and let them get into the scent cone. Then just stand there and let the dog do its thing. It may take them awhile to actually move out towards the bird but if you give them the time they almost always go out. We also either shackle the bird or pull flight feathers so that it can't fly very far so we can go and do it again and again and again.

Another thought is to get a pigeon or chuckar and pull some flight feathers so it can't fly and throw it in the yard. Get the dog really crazy for the bird before you throw it. The more you instill the prey drive in the dog the more they will want to go out and find the birds for themselves.
Scott

no dogs currently, looking for a new pup probably a setter.

Forget about the ending and enjoy the story that takes you to the ending

Post Reply