WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

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GUNDOGS
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WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:54 am

I began training our pup JERSEY right away when we got her (10 weeks)..started with come, whoa, here, off, kennel and quiet day 1..began her on birds, a check cord, walking on heel and having friends and neigbours pet and check her ears ect to get her use to being handled right away as well..as a result to early training and obedience she is almost 6 months old and steady on birds, retrieves to hand (most of the time) obeys all commands VERY WELL and is a pleasure in the house..my husband and i always believed EVERYTHING YOU DO WITH YOUR DOG IS A LESSON and therefore even if for a 10 minute walk we are keeping in mind she is learning so be consistant with heel ect..we also are strong believers that every sporting dog NEEDS A JOB..and training and obedience is a must to keep a pup/dog balanced and well behaved..our neighbour got a viszla pup 2 days after we got JERSEY and his breeder instilled in him to NOT work on training or birds until about 6 months and so he that what he did..now his pup barks, wont walk properly on lead (she bites and pulls it) she has NO manners and seems unguided/lost when you meet her..he came with us yesterday to take JERSEY to the pond on a frozen duck we have that we used for tracking and retrieving and he said he was litterally blown away with her obedience and abilities and really was upset he waited until 6 months to begin training as he said "i can see JERSEY is so content and satisfied"..now he is debating giving the pup back to the breeder cause the behaviours she has are as he said "intolerable" especially the barking and lack of connection to him :? ..i have seen this time and time again with my rescues and dont understand why people think puppies arent being allowed to be puppies if they are trained early and with some, but very little pressure..i believe in balance but i do believe in training a dog especially a birddog early and ive seen nothing but postitive results with our pups and when i see people like scott dealing with a pup 6 months old and their behaviours i wonder why not begin teaching them right away what is expected so you have less chance of bad habits developing at all and why wait to bring them out on birds when its what they thrive on doing and seem to be so happy in the water and field working a bird or dummy and going to training days ?? how old was/is your pup when you begin training and what results have you had??thanks..ruth :D
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by HDAU » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:36 am

Ruth-
I am interested in seeing the different answers too! I know that Wolters teaches to the same concept-train early, train often, but understand that everything that we do/allow/correct is training our hunting partner to act a certain way. What training methods did you follow? I have less than two weeks now and I want to hit the ground running as soon as I put a collar on him.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by ROTTnBRITT » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:42 am

My breeder started with "come" as soon as the pups were weaned. He would give the command at feeding time so the pups would associate "come" with come here and you will get some food.
I started working on whoa at like 12 weeks or so. Introduced birds about the same time.
He is not to far along on bird work due to lack of training. But he is very well mannered.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Onk » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:46 am

Ruth, As advised to do here on GDF I pretty much let Dexter just be a pup for the first 6 months of life. He did learn the leash, check cord, kennel, sit, here and to retrieve to hand ( only 2-4 times each time we would do it and only playing in the yard). Other than that I let him explore the yard and my 40 acrea farm as often as I found the time. Now that he has turned 6 months old, I now have him at the trainers to help me introduce him to his first birds, something I just am not set up for. It takes birds and I have none. Go to work with him this weekend, can't wait! I'm having some seperation issue's, my wife I think is leaning to the opion I'm cracked just a little! :lol:
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by markj » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:10 am

EVERYTHING YOU DO WITH YOUR DOG IS A LESSON
Ah grasshopper, you are ready to burn your arms and leave :) I always thought he got a baddeal there. But you are so correct, a pup is like a baby, every waking minute it is learning as it is born knowing only to eat and crap. I am tryong hard to get my boy back on track wit hthis as he was teasing the pup which in turn got her to jump up on him and scratch him up. No teasing it teaches pup bad things, he seems to understand today as I told him he was cruising for a bruising :) and was gonna get a rear end warm up. Is all I need to say to him, havent had to spank him yet.

Every interaction with any dog is a learning thing. Let dog jump on you, it will every time it sees you. My pup is fetching to hand, will release on the drop command, is pointing, has had shots next place up and didnt even phase her. I work her on a check cord, use a pinch collar, just doing the basics for now nothing to stressfull. I make everything a game for her to play, hide the fetch object so her nose kicks in. Take her places let folks see her and pet her etc. Working on whoa now and some of the more advanced stufff as a test. It is fun.
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by RayGubernat » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:17 am

Ruth -


Some breeds do tend to take longer to mature than pointers of GSP's and rushing it can cause problems. Usually the breeder is the best source of what will work for their dogs.

To be fair, you must understand that Pointers and GSP's are almost certainly the two easiest breeds of dogs to bring to the highest level of pointing dog training. Brittanys and setters re not far behind, but they generally have a softness about them which requires taking extra care. Setters ar also generally a bit slower to mature

I would suspect that a well bred dog that does not listen is more a product of ineffective training/socializing/bonding than anything else. Some breeds tend to be very soft, yet stubborn and willful. That can be a difficult combination to work with, requiring a knowledgeable, patient trainer. I do not know too many V's, but the few I have come across have been very soft and yet quite willful. They are also fairly smart, which can work to the detriment of an inexperienced trainer, becasue the dog will manipulate them instead of the other way around. They appear to be quite willing to hold a grudge also. They can indeed be a challenge to train.

Be happy you chose the breed you did. You can discipline the dog and it usually will not sulk. You can yell at the dog and it will not drop to the ground, pee itself and shut down. You can mess up and the dog will get past it very quickly. Some breeds(or individuals) just ain''t like that. Pointers and GSP's are usually so driven to find birds that they will do almost anything you demand... endure almost anything thye must... and tolerate or overcome almost any trainer screwups... in order to get a bird in their mouth because that is what they live and breathe for.

I play/train.socialize my dogs from the time I get them or from the tim,e they are born. I will do heel/whoa drills using a pigging string from nine weeks or so.

I don't do much with birds until the dog has the yardwork well in hand, but part of that is because I am dealing with field bred pointers that come out of the birth canal with more desire to find birds in a single puppy than most other breeds have in their entire litter. Pointers are also usually a bit tougher and more resilient mentally than many breeds and more independent minded. Not unlike GSP's in many respects.

As to results, my dogs are generally steady to wing and shot by the time they are 12 months old and pretty much dead broke by fourteen to sixteen months and are competitive AKC and AF trial dogs.

My most recent trainee was a derby last year. I did not run her in any puppy stakes. She has a first place placement in an AKC amateur derby (which is walking), a second place in an open AKC derby(horseback), two first place placements in AF amateur horseback derby, one third place placement in an AF Open Derby(horseback). She did not place in two of the trials in which I entered her. She had dead broke finds and an acceptable ground pattern in each trial in which she was entered...even backed a couple of times, which was a pleasant surprise.

She has done a little better than some of the dogs I have trained for trials, but that type of progress is pretty much what I have come to expect of my young dogs. Heck, I might even be getting better myself. :roll: :roll: Naaaah, it ain't me...its the dog. :lol:


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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by RoostersMom » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:22 am

Good question Ruth! My answer would be that we have worked almost all the dogs on birds from the time they were about 3 months old. All dogs were raised in the house until 5-6 months old. Some have stayed in the house, some have gone to the kennel. Birddogs have been on birds since 3 months old and beagles on rabbits since that age as well. All of our birddog pups have been worked on "here, whoa, out and kennel" since they walked in the door. All are exposed to what I call "happy puppy" walks since day one and every single one of our dogs are crate trained and very well socialized. For the littermate beagle pups, I sent one to a friend for several weeks to lessen the dependence on the other one (but I did not do enough of that).

My sis was just out here and we spent 2 1/2 days with her at Jon and Cindy's place (Perfection Kennel) with her GSP pup (pictures coming) who has been handled daily on obedience, quartering and "whoa". He is 7 months old, didn't know water (they're from New Mexico) and didn't know birds. By the morning of day 3, he was standing his birds while we walked in front of him to flush, he was readily retrieving to hand and hunting with his nose, and the coup de gras - he is now leaping into the pool. We can't keep him out of the darn thing - he now loves the water. He was further ahead of my rescue dog because he had the nice work on the whoa and an obedience background - but she was more wild about birds than he was at first, but she is an English Pointer. All things equal, I'd rather get them on birds early and work on the "command and control" later - but my sis did the opposite and her dog is a very nice pup and doing fine.

They didn't have birds or know a training club so he wasn't introduced to birds before 7 mos. She wanted to do this step right because she is new to the program so she drove on up here from NM to spend a few days training with Jon and Cindy. Thanks to you guys on GDF - and your work with Jersey, I've found her a NAVHDA club in NM to check out and she's going to join if it's a good group of folks.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by kninebirddog » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:29 am

There is allowing them to be young with structure setting them up to be able to work better as adults. Work with in their parameters..They can be taught stuff with out it being a drill. as we have to remember what we allow them to do we teach them to do..So I find people who give the excuse oh he is just a pup and then when the dog gets older and they get upset over the very thing they allowed as a pup they only have themselves to blame for encouraging the undesired behavior with the Excuse "he is only a puppy" it doesn't mean you have to be a dictator but you can display some lines of discipline to aid you pup to growing up to be that well mannered dog :wink:
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by snips » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:50 am

I question taking a pups independence at early age over obedience....I do not do it, as I want a dog that will blow me off at times....I mold them as they grow and mature, but they are left to be pretty much wild children....I want them to come at 6-7 mo....Thats about it :D
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by mcclinj » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:02 am

Maybe I did it backwards, but I started on bird training right away, and only lightly touched on obedience. Now that she's pretty birdy, and it's getting hard to find birds around here this time of year, I'm beginning to work on retrieving and obedience. I also need to go back and introduce the gun, but I do have some birds lined up for that. (It's a shame though, she's mostly steady, so I'm gonna have to let her chase some again)

I'm gonna start on obedience here this week, and hopefully she can sit quietly in her dog blind and our duck blinds. She's retrieving to within about 8 feet of me now. SHe has no problem with kenneling, but I'm not sure how she'll do if there's no door like on a dog blind.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by birddog1968 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:26 am

snips wrote:I question taking a pups independence at early age over obedience....I do not do it, as I want a dog that will blow me off at times....I mold them as they grow and mature, but they are left to be pretty much wild children....I want them to come at 6-7 mo....Thats about it :D

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by utprizewire » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:51 am

I question taking a pups independence at early age over obedience....I do not do it, as I want a dog that will blow me off at times....I mold them as they grow and mature, but they are left to be pretty much wild children....I want them to come at 6-7 mo....Thats about it
Bingo.. Possibly some breeds you can get away with it some not. Regardless, I am not into taking chances. As soon as I see the independence/run and drive then it's time to do some yardwork.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Chukar12 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:23 am

I believe that the early shaping of behavior in a gun dog is of vital importance. I prefer that commands, discipline and compulsion come after a puppy is 6 or 8 mos old, I guess if I think about it all I really ask them to know is their name and the word no before then, other than that..we dont talk much my pups and I. I use a checkcord and pressure points on the neck with my body either moving or stopped to show the dog what I want. I use the chain gang and a crate to teach them to tolerate restraint. I use a table to teach them to stand still while I touch them (Rick Smith shows it well in Puppy Development) I use a clicker a place board and a barrel to teach them to stand still, all the while they are having fun and learning that: 1. life has restrictions, 2. there is a boss and 3. certain behaviors garner rewards. They get some bird intro at 5 or 6 weeks after that limted pigeon pointing from a launcher or Higgins releaser (once a week or every two), and wild birds if they can find them. We make excercise and play the first priority.

Making a dog fit our restrictive lifestyle and or making them mature too early comes with a price later on. I do not suggest it will be visible or relevent to every person. In fact, a person who always wants their pointer in sight quartering and waiting for commands may benefit from more structure early. As a guide working dogs on wild birds and watching clients with their dogs I have found that many dogs that are over-worked on training birds early by well-meaning inexperienced folks end up with dogs that don't search objectives well and crowd wild birds. The most common expression about this I hear is how "spooky" the birds are and that they are "flushing wild." I do realize that this wont make a difference to many of us as we are limited in our hunting to preserves and the like where birds wil tolerate this.

My dogs learn commands in my language after they have learned them in their own. I believe that leaves them with the most style and panache later on. When I overlay the words, come, whoa, fetch etc... on a dog I want them to clearly understand the behavior, because I will enforce the command every time and I won't say it twice.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by markj » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:57 am

I question taking a pups independence at early age over obedience
I must be dense or something, I see no correlation to teaching a pup simple thjings like come and playing fetch games. I do expose pups to birds at a early age like as soon as eyes open. Whoa is like tossing a treat on the floor and making pup wait to get it, stuff like that. I dont take them out and hunt over them at 5 months.

I definatly want them to come to me when I call them. I dont run chasing a pup on the 4 acres too dang old for that stuff so a treat and the come command gets it for me. I must ask, how would this break the independence the pup has? I let her run, she finds something and will point, I say good dog then come she gets a treat.
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by topher40 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:02 am

I have two pups that are 2.5 and I am just now breaking them. I dont want a robot and they have the rest of their lives to be shooting dogs. No sense in rushing things.
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by gittrdonebritts » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:12 am

I think with a pointing dog it is best to let them become a little wild and independent of course certain behaviors will get nipped in the Butt right off the bat, and teaching manners in the house if that's were they live most of the time. I've always seen it as we train our pointing dogs to the point were they are just under our control in a sense so they don't lose that desire to move forward and hunt, now with a retriever you would want some what of a robot because we may need to handle them to a fallen bird.
Hope what I'm saying makes sense it does in my head at least :roll:

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Sharon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:22 am

official training - 10 weeks is too soon and 6 months is too long.

Not to say that lots isn't taught /learned when a dog is young , but I don't start bird work real young. In the field everyday though developing independence and confidence. Socialization is my priority for the first couple months - cars, motorcycles, people of different nationalities, cats, children, horses etc..

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Chukar12 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:25 am

Markj,

What you have described may have no impact later, or it could have a great deal depending on the dog and the manner it is handled as these things are taught. I have experienced a number of dogs that are taught "come" with too heavy a hand way too young, and they spend the rest of their lives defaulting to that behavior, and it can be either out of fear or pure repetition ... they have "come back" so inprinted so early they spend half their day running back to within 3 feet of their handler and then off to loop back again. Many of these same "handlers" become frustrated and holler "go on", "alright", "get out there" etc... None of which means much to the dog by the way...

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by brad27 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:46 pm

i got my pup at 5 months old. she was returned to the breeder becuase she had too much energy and jumped on the owners two small children. started the usual stuff at about 6 months old ( kennel, whoa, heel, here, release.) bird and gun intro. some fun fetch stuff. took her to fields where she could run and find wild quail. overlaid the ecollar at 8 months. started working on her handling. haven't really applied any real pressure yet. she's almost 11 months now. have entered her in 4 trials. puppy stakes. the last two times on the ground she took first and has her points in both open and amateur. she will let you walk in front of her to flush the bird. this summer, bird work. possiblity of her running broke debry next year. we'll see. i'm in no rush. 8)

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Ridge-Point » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:48 pm

I like to break it down to formal and informal training.

Informal training: Bird exposure, checkcord dragging, dummy e-collar, gun fire, changes of direction in the field, playing fetch, trips to the hardware store, walks in the woods, water exposure, ect..

Formal training: Whoa, here, stay, heel, kennel, stop on flush, steady to flush, steady to shot, steady to retrieve, force fetch, pile work, blind retrieves, ect..

I will use formal and informal training from 8 weeks old onward, but I will try to use as much informal training and as little formal trianing as possible until after the dogs first hunting season is complete. After the first hunting season I will start doing more formal training than informal training.

I treat breaking a dog the same way I treat the force fetch. Once I start putting manners on birds I finish the job, steady to the retrieve and there is no going back. Sometimes I will break the dog after his first season, but most of the time it is after the second hunting season. I will not ask for manners on birds until I am ready to break the dog, but I will use the checkcord to gently stop him from catching a bird.

I feel that too much formal training at a young age can cause a pup to look to you too often for direction.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:47 pm

I have noticed several things over the years that I think are true. One of my pet peeves is someone needing a dog because they can't find the birds and then as soon as getting one they tell it where and how to hunt. I try very hard to develop independence in the pups, and give them the opportunity to figure out where to find birds and how to handle them. To do that I let the pup be a pup and figure it out on its own. That's if it is a pointing breed. Fl ushers and retrievers are a different ball game.

Another thing is that every pup has to have a bad year if it a good one. The ones that mind and do well the first year will drive you nuts the second year and the opposite is true as well. In other words every pup has to learn not only by doing well but by making mistakes. They are like kids and they have to experience things to learn and not just be told by mom, pop, or handler.

Many and personally I think most dogs have to have the independence or they end up robots. Robots are perfectly behaved and wait for you to make every decision for them. They hunt close so they won't miss anything or do something wrong. Independence want to self hunt but do to some training as it grows usually will take directions when given but doesn't spend time asking for them. These are the dogs that take your breath away as well as make you pull your hair, but those are the ones that give you the memories that last a life time.

I can love the pup that is perfectly behaved but will always have terrific memories of the ones that weren't. And after all what is the difference between an 8 week old and a 6month old puppy except about 20 weeks of growth and maturity., but nothing that says the young one is a bit better.

How many times have you heard someone bragging about being self made. Did it all by themselves and that is what made them great and in the very next sentence say but I'm going to make sure my kids don't have to do that. Think pups are a lot like that to, the good one are self made with a little guidance and the rest that have relied on being taught everything are just nice dogs to have around.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by bossman » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:05 pm

I really don't want my dog's to have a "job". I hope I can build on their natural ability and increase their "passion". To make my post as short as possoble, I agree with snips, topher40, gittrdonebrits and chuckar12. In my opinion it's a lot easier to take a little independance out of a dog than try to instill independace in the dog. For the first few months, we let our pups be pups. Will introduce them to the lead and start teaching them "here". The fields we walk in will introduce them to field birds, butterflys,etc. Will be a long time before I teach "heel" and I never teach "sit". Ruth, just curious, what training method are you using? Which books/video's? It's obvious your very excited about Jersey. Always thrilled to see people passionate about their gun dogs.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:54 am

bossman wrote:I really don't want my dog's to have a "job". I hope I can build on their natural ability and increase their "passion". To make my post as short as possoble, I agree with snips, topher40, gittrdonebrits and chuckar12. In my opinion it's a lot easier to take a little independance out of a dog than try to instill independace in the dog. For the first few months, we let our pups be pups. Will introduce them to the lead and start teaching them "here". The fields we walk in will introduce them to field birds, butterflys,etc. Will be a long time before I teach "heel" and I never teach "sit". Ruth, just curious, what training method are you using? Which books/video's? It's obvious your very excited about Jersey. Always thrilled to see people passionate about their gun dogs.
Hi bossman, passionate i am :mrgreen: i love hunting, training and spending time outdoors with the dogs and my hubby for sure!! i also love meeting people such as yourself and others who share the understanding of the passion and i could talk dogs ALL DAY LONG :wink: ..your examples of letting a pup be a pup by introduce them to lead, start teaching here, work some fields on birds, butterflies ect is exactly what i mean by starting a pup young on training..i believe its teaching them with no pressure and slowly increase pressure and expectations with age..i began those little things day 1 with my pups and they seem to thrive on learning and exposure..just teaching "whoa" before eating and "quiet" when they bark, "no" when they jump up on someone,"kennel" when they get crated and "come" when i call them..this is what i mean by training a young pup..definitley bringing them to fields to work the scents and the wind whether there are birds or not is exposure and very important in my opinion and so is water exposure by letting them walk along the water and throw a dummy in for them or let them chase a few ducks to get them excited about swimming..BUT i have seen so many not do any of these things and basically play with the pup in the back yard or in the house and only walk to the corner and back with little to no experience of noises and people!! i just feel there is SO MUCH you can do with a young pup with no pressure, have fun and they will learn so much at a very young age without wven knowing you are training them :D ..as far as books i read ALOT so i have MANY BOOKS that i have been given or bought i have THE BIRD DOG TRAINING MANUAL, TRAINING POINTING DOGS, BEST WAY TO TRIAN YOUR GUN DOG, PUPPY DEVELOPEMENT 1, GUNDOG, THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BIRD DOG TRAINING, and i follow mostly delmar, rick and ronnie smith, west and gibbons and of course i watch many T.V shows and talk to alot of people on the forum and at training days talk to members of NAVHDA as well as people we hunt with..i also read the pointing dog journal, gundogs and surf the internet for any and all reading material..go to preserves mainly in michigan but here in ontario as well and talk alot to jerseys breeder brian..i take advice about training very serious as i do anything thats important to me and giving jersey the tools she needs to be the best birddog she can be is a job i love and take seriously :D ...ruth
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by birddogger » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:13 am

I agree, there are a lot of things you can do with a puppy that lays a foundation for future formal training. You can do the things mentioned with very little to no pressure, keeping it fun and still let the pup gain and maintain his independence.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:39 pm

Well my neighbour scott (with the viszla) came over with a few things in hand today..he gave us a few toys and a whistle..yes he sent the pup back to the breeder :( too bad, she was a nice lookin pup..i just know if he had been encouraged to get that pup out and do some training things would have worked out better..anyway, he says hes gonna stick to guided hunts with other peoples dog (alot less hassle) :? oh well, im heading out to work jersey on heeling off lead at the park, we just had a heck of a storm so its cool out and she loooves to find toads and bring them to me :| ...ruth
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by jcbuttry8 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:19 pm

everybody has their own method of madnuss. I have always started a pup as soon as it was at home. it is like a child. you don't wait until your child is older. They are learning as soon as they hit your house. They will pick up more with other dogs in the house.

for instance, Kona has been here three weeks. She retrieves anything you throw, she comes to the command or the wistle, she understands no and she is 11 weeks old. Everything she has learned has been through play time. She has never been repremanded. I swore no sit training until she was older. Now the other two dogs sit for treats at the end of the day, and my daughter gives the treats. I gave orders to not teach kona sit, just give the treat.

Now if I tell the other two dogs to sit, kona parks her backend on the floor and waits for the treat. They learn. Teach your dog and your dog will respond. Show them love, and they will want to do it just to please you.

Wait to long and you loos your dog. They will learn either way. They will learn the right way or they will learn to do what they want when they want and that is another bad habit to break. I have a friend that has a lab that he waited till 6 mos to train. he is having heck getting him to come on comand. He hates that Kona comes right to the whistle, but that is how it works. The results don't lie no matter what the books say.

My two cents,

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:19 am

jcbuttry8 wrote:everybody has their own method of madnuss. I have always started a pup as soon as it was at home. it is like a child. you don't wait until your child is older. They are learning as soon as they hit your house. They will pick up more with other dogs in the house.

for instance, Kona has been here three weeks. She retrieves anything you throw, she comes to the command or the wistle, she understands no and she is 11 weeks old. Everything she has learned has been through play time. She has never been repremanded. I swore no sit training until she was older. Now the other two dogs sit for treats at the end of the day, and my daughter gives the treats. I gave orders to not teach kona sit, just give the treat.

Now if I tell the other two dogs to sit, kona parks her backend on the floor and waits for the treat. They learn. Teach your dog and your dog will respond. Show them love, and they will want to do it just to please you.

Wait to long and you loos your dog. They will learn either way. They will learn the right way or they will learn to do what they want when they want and that is another bad habit to break. I have a friend that has a lab that he waited till 6 mos to train. he is having heck getting him to come on comand. He hates that Kona comes right to the whistle, but that is how it works. The results don't lie no matter what the books say.

My two cents,

Eighty-8

i totally agree :D ...ruth
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Onk » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:36 am

I think most everyone agrees pretty much, there is training for the pup from the time you get it, on up. The advise I got on here about letting Dex be a pup by exploring and not being too demanding on him for his first 6 months I think has been priceless. He can't wait for me to get home each day and he has learned tons just thru our play and time spent with each other. Talked with the trainer on my way to my work convention and he said Dex is the best dog of raw talent he has in his kennel right now and that his first exposure to birds he pointed the bird in the trainers hand. Dumb as it sounds it kind of makes you proud just like when someone brags on one of your kids!
jcbuttry8 wrote:everybody has their own method of madnuss. I have always started a pup as soon as it was at home. it is like a child. you don't wait until your child is older. They are learning as soon as they hit your house. They will pick up more with other dogs in the house.

for instance, Kona has been here three weeks. She retrieves anything you throw, she comes to the command or the wistle, she understands no and she is 11 weeks old. Everything she has learned has been through play time. She has never been repremanded. I swore no sit training until she was older. Now the other two dogs sit for treats at the end of the day, and my daughter gives the treats. I gave orders to not teach kona sit, just give the treat.

Now if I tell the other two dogs to sit, kona parks her backend on the floor and waits for the treat. They learn. Teach your dog and your dog will respond. Show them love, and they will want to do it just to please you.

Wait to long and you loos your dog. They will learn either way. They will learn the right way or they will learn to do what they want when they want and that is another bad habit to break. I have a friend that has a lab that he waited till 6 mos to train. he is having heck getting him to come on comand. He hates that Kona comes right to the whistle, but that is how it works. The results don't lie no matter what the books say.

My two cents,

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by ezzy333 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:01 pm

I think the first thing someone better do is explain just what training is before we decide when to start. I have never seen a pup that wasn't being trained from the day it came home. Everyone is! What I think most of us are refering to when we say training is the yard and field training we do for a hunting dog. And that is what should wait. You can play and develop your pup from day one but positive training that involves pressure should no be started till the pup is old enough to understand and be able to take the pressure. Even though we do start training a child from day one we don't send them to school till they are older.

Just what is training then we can go from there.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:03 pm

ezzy333 wrote:I think the first thing someone better do is explain just what training is before we decide when to start. I have never seen a pup that wasn't being trained from the day it came home. Everyone is! What I think most of us are refering to when we say training is the yard and field training we do for a hunting dog. And that is what should wait. You can play and develop your pup from day one but positive training that involves pressure should no be started till the pup is old enough to understand and be able to take the pressure. Even though we do start training a child from day one we don't send them to school till they are older.

Just what is training then we can go from there.

Ezzy
what i meant in the OP was like i said, COME, HERE, WHOA, KENNEL, NO, HEEL, basically training with a "purpose" to teach BUT with little to no pressure..even small lessons like a walk at the park around people on a cc or leash with the lesson maybe only being 10 minutes but with purpose, if you never put your pup on a leash to walk and wait for 6 months you will have alot harder of a time putting it on a leash at 6months and heading out for a walk because it will pull and bite the lead due to lack of training and at 6 months its harder to control and correct a pup then it is at say 10 weeks..training can be done in a fun way for pup but in any event still needs to be done imo..just like with swimming, do you throw a dummy in the water and let pup go after it and encourage them to retrieve it to you or just wait until its 6 or 8 months? the reason i asked is because like my neighbour theres alot of people that admit to waiting until 6 to 8 months to do ANYTHING, even the littlest of lessons..i have spoken with people on preserves and plantations that dont start anything with the pups until 6 months old maybe because they are mainly kennel dogs? which they dont learn the little things some of our dogs learn in the house while interacting with us..maybe it varies with people depending on the amount of dogs they have and depending on the purpose they have the dogs for..i think those of us with a few dogs begin earlier then those with say 10 or 20? i get what youre saying about sending kids to school when they are older BUT i will also tell you its a fact that you can teach a child to read at 2 and 3 years old (mine did) or wait and they will learn in school when they are 6..yes they will all learn to read but if you start early they will be ahead of the other kids at school their age :wink: ...ruth
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by ezzy333 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:27 pm

Ruth wrote:BUT i will also tell you its a fact that you can teach a child to read at 2 and 3 years old (mine did) or wait and they will learn in school when they are 6..yes they will all learn to read but if you start early they will be ahead of the other kids at school their age
No doubt about it, you certainly can. But I would rather my kids were out learning how to play, how much it hurts when someone hits them, how to get dirty, how much it hurts when you fall off the swing, that bees sting, flies bite, strawberries grow in the garden and are good when they are red, dogs are nothing to be afraid of, the 4-wheeler starts by turning the key, snakes are strange animals, and people are pretty nice and aren't to be scared of. Then at 6 they will have time to read, write, math, geography, history, and if they don't behave in school they might get their butts swatted and they sure will when they get home. If we just take care of the basics at home before we send them to school and expect the teacher to teach them everything we should have, then there would be time to teach the basic book learning instead of the junk we have to teach them now including feeding them.

There is a time for everything and there is so much more to be learned out of school than in. But I don't call that training, I call it letting them grow up. And the training can start when they learn a little about life.
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:38 pm

ezzy333 wrote:
Ruth wrote:BUT i will also tell you its a fact that you can teach a child to read at 2 and 3 years old (mine did) or wait and they will learn in school when they are 6..yes they will all learn to read but if you start early they will be ahead of the other kids at school their age
No doubt about it, you certainly can. But I would rather my kids were out learning how to play, how much it hurts when someone hits them, how to get dirty, how much it hurts when you fall off the swing, that bees sting, flies bite, strawberries grow in the garden and are good when they are red, dogs are nothing to be afraid of, the 4-wheeler starts by turning the key, snakes are strange animals, and people are pretty nice and aren't to be scared of. Then at 6 they will have time to read, write, math, geography, history, and if they don't behave in school they might get their butts swatted and they sure will when they get home. If we just take care of the basics at home before we send them to school and expect the teacher to teach them everything we should have, then there would be time to teach the basic book learning instead of the junk we have to teach them now including feeding them.

There is a time for everything and there is so much more to be learned out of school than in. But I don't call that training, I call it letting them grow up. And the training can start when they learn a little about life.
i definitely agree with all the above but i also think that you can teach them about life (all the examples you gave) AND teach them to read a few minutes each night or get out the work books and teach them some math too..we are basically on the same page, i just feel pups can learn life AND lessons early and all at the same time with balance of course..ive seen it first hand with the difference in my own dogs and dogs of friends who plan to hunt or even some rescue dogs..you can tell what dogs have been "taught" and which ones have been left to "be a puppy"..the 6 and 7 month old pups ive seen lately need some "obedience" and if their owners taught earlier then they would keep them instead of get rid of them..granted yourself and many others are far more experienced with raising dogs and pups than i but this is what i have personally observed...ruth :D
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by ezzy333 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:33 pm

Ruth,

It isn't an either or situation. What I want is a category you haven't touched on. I am looking for knowledge and independence. That doesn't come from being taught young but rather from letting them figure things out. And that doesn't mean they can't be house broke, taught to come, taught to lead, but it does mean they have to be able to explore get in trouble, and figure out how to do it different next time. And that doesn't happen when you are making the decisions for them or they are under your control all of the time.

I always see these ads that say such and such a dog finished his MH at 1 year or some puppy beat all of the other pups that were older. That in my mind is not something I want in a pup because when you see one that has been under intense training instead of out figuring out where the birds are or how to get over or under a fence, or learning it has to go back to the open gate to get back on the other side most end up the perfectly mannered robot type young dog rather than the pup that is pushing the envelope most of the time. I told you once I never train for a natural ability type test because I want the results to mean something. The good pup will screw up, will get lost, will embarrass you, but will end up the dog that takes your breath away instead of doing things you expected it too. If I was hungry and had to put meat on the table I would go with the pup you are developing but if I am in this for the sport and the excitement and the thrill of seeing some outstanding work that makes you just stop and say how did he do that, then I am going to give the pup a lot of room to learn when young, make mistakes, pull my hair out if I had any left, and get back to the truck and just sit down and say WOW. But this doesn't happen till the pup is grown and experienced and not necessarily trained because WOW's seldom come from training.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:14 pm

im saying that i personally see dogs that get basically NO training and run a muck for 6 to 8 months in a run, in a backyard and in the house, then oneday someone takes them out and expects much more because the dogs are "old enough" to learn things..case and point, the neighbour in my OP..his breeder encouraged him to just let the pup be a pup, no training outside of the regular routines in the home..no taking the pup to the park or petsmart or to the lake or to the schools or to classes until the dog is 6 months old and "ready to learn" and finished with puppy shots ect..so scott did what he was recommended to do and kept the dog home except for walking the pup to the corner and back each day..he didnt spend alot of time on obedience cause he figured it was best to wait and do it all when the pup was "ready" and when he came to us concerned and peeved the pup was barking, full of energy and wouldnt settle down, biting at the heels of his kid, chewing on the kitchen table, jumping up on them and counter surfing i could tell he already felt defeated by the amount of issues he had to deal with all at once..he sat in my living room and saw my dogs just laying down and said how the heck do you get your dogs to do that?..i said with EXERCISE and TRAINING..then we told him come on and lets go to the pond and you can see jersey in the water swimming and retrieving a dead bird, so he came with us and couldnt believe a pup almost 6 months old could go off lead and obey the way she does but still be having so much fun, tail going and happy to meet all the people there ect..he is somewhat new to birddogs and was under the impression a pup her age was too young to handle training and also still be happy and still be a puppy..now yourself raising dogs for 50 years may handle his pup just fine BUT for a person who is new to dogs and is just doing what they are instructed/advised to do such as wait 6 months to "train" ends up with too much on their plate at once and feels like their day is full of correcting many bad behaviours instead of the alternative which is dealing with issues as the pup growns and therefore by the time the pup is taller, heavier, stronger and older they are easier to "control" or "manage"...ruth
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by ACooper » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:10 pm

It seems that more experience with bird dogs generally brings two things in a handler, comfort with more range and/or a dog out of sight and the knowledge/ability to let a puppy be a puppy.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by SetterNut » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:33 pm

Ace is now 2.5, but I started with the come, and the rules of the house, as soon as I got him at 10 weeks.

I ran him on wild quail as soon as I could. Had to wait until the quail hatch was over and the young birds were old enough to fly well. Didn't take long for him to respect them. I hunted him his first season without any formal training on birds. But that was pretty easy, as he would point and let me flush almost from the start. But he was chasing at the flush like his tail was on fire :D

But he was very slow to mature. I tried to get him steady to wing and shot too soon, and started to see some loss of style, so I backed off. Hunted him his second season, and by the end of the season he was standing and watching them fly off some of the time. He is now steady to wing and shot on pigeons and most of the time on quail. By the start of his 3rd season, he will be where I want him.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by bossman » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:32 pm

Coop and setternut...Appreciate you comments

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by birddogger » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:37 pm

[quoteThere is no need to rush, to get a polished dog.][/quote]
Agreed!! The things the pup is learning when I first get them is not what I call training. Training is when a command is taught and must be obeyed and reinforced with pressure when necessary. For me and my dogs, that usually starts around 8 to 10 mos. old.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by VizslaGirl » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:49 pm

I haven't read the replies to this -

But I got my Vizsla at 6 months, after she was returned to the breeder. She had done nothing at that point, other than get crate trained. Within 6 months, she has learned all the obedience commands/skills required for competitive AKC Novice Rally, earned her CGC, earned her JH and is currently steady to flush, wing and (almost) shot, retrieves the bird to hand, does duck work and is pleasure to be around!

I don't think anyone should wait until 6 months to do all of this - it was just my situation - but it does illustrated that you can take a "crazy" dog (which Vs often are!) and with consistent work, and patience, turn them into hardworking, focused, well-trained dogs.
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by jcbuttry8 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:01 pm

I have to say, this argument is what truly makes this site so great. You get many points of view on a subject as small as this. I think the consensus is a pup should not be pushed until it can handle it. This is a great thread for a new owner that has never had a bird dog before.

I have been around bird dogs all my life. Started at 5 with all brittany's and then to shorthairs and gordon's. I now have Kona, the pointer. I have never had the means or the ability to run trials and now plan on running some with Kona. We will give a strong go and try our best over time to get her where she needs to be. I am sure we will stumble along the way, but at the end of the day, pass or fail, I will have a great hunting partner in the field that will do anything to help me fill the bag.

If that doesn't get you excited, sell your dog and find a new hobby, cause this world isn't for you.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by snips » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:40 pm

I do not say keep a pup in a box the first year of their life.....I expose a young dog to birds from the start, I haul them around, stake them out...Run them from ATV, they learn handle, get ecollar conditioned, gun condition, might let them chase a duck at a train day...........What I do not do it put structure to their training...Lots of dogs can be robots with no flash or desire if too much structure is instilled too soon... I do not want a dog that will just pass a test, I want a dog that wants to win something, and passing a test be a bonus. Passing a test is certainly sweet, but wanting that edge is what I want...I want to see a dog give all he's got to get ahead of another dog....This is the dog I want in my kennel, in my breeding program.... I have never had any problems with dogs handling training from a year to 2 yrs old when they are started and exposed to all of these things. Testing young can certainly be done, but will that dog still have their strong desire 2 yrs later? Will the stress get to them, at some point it becomes about the person and not the dog.....If that happens it shows on the dog. This is just some of my thoughts on training too much structure too soon...And it can also depend on what you want out of a dog down the road....
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by bossman » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:20 pm

I really don't mean to just compliment other posts on this thread, but there have been some excellent points made. Snips, that's a great post!

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:47 am

i notice that what some of you are saying when you say you dont "train" a young pup under say 6 months you are still speaking of exposing your dog to the leash, birds, teaching come ect, run some fields, and thats alot different then what i am saying about NO training until 6 months old..i havent seen 1 post as an example of what i mean by NO training until 6 to 8 months..like snips said she wouldnt let her pups live in a box..now the lack of training i am referring to are the people that dont expose their pups to anything until 6 to 8 months old..my idea of letting a pup be a pup is explore and experience things without pressure or correction BUT with purpose..example, i first exposed jersey to water with the hose (almost 4 months old but would have been sooner had it not been snowing) she crept up to it and licked it then started sticking her face in it and running threw it, next i took her to the creek where we walk and i walked threw it and walked along it while she stood and cried wanting to get to me but i didnt acknowledge her and kept walking as though i couldnt hear her and bam she came running threw and waggin her stub with such accomplishment on what she had done, then i took her to the beach and had her on a check cord and walked out into the water throwing her dummy deeper and deeper until she was swimming and after that moment she was hooked on swimming and crazy about water, now she will swim out 40 yards for a dead bird or bumper and i can see her breaking threw ice to get a duck this fall, the purpose of the hose was 1) to end up training a dog that will love the water and hunt waterfowl with me 2) be able to compete in water tests and 3) create a balanced puppy by having no fear of water..my point is bringing out the hose for the first time was with "PURPOSE" and everything i do with her is for a purpose when im training, even if its without pressure and is fun..my example of not "training" would be the person who would wait until 6 months or older for ANY water exposure and throw the pup in water expecting it to swim and expect it to like the water because by that age it should be able to handle learning to swim..i dont know if im explaining whats in my head correctly but i do know that i havent heard 1 person say they wait until 6 months or older to what i consider "train" as i said we all may do it differently but still in any event are doing things immediately with our pups to get them ready to handle pressure and doing things with a "purpose"..feel free to argue with me if you think im wrong or way off base :D ....ruth
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Onk » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:55 am

I think I elect not to argue with you Ruth! Your way sounds like the advice I've gotten from most everyone since being here on GDF. Anyone that is just raising a pup in a box for 6 months should recheck the reasons they have a dog in the first place. I think those first few months are critical for the socializing of a pup also.
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"I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better." -George Bird Evans " Troubles with Bird Dogs"

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Onk » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:40 am

http://www.pineyrunkennel.com/starting_pups_Mo.htm

Here Ruth, I thought this article/interview with Maurice "Mo" Lindley went along with your post and you might enjoy reading it!
http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/genview.php?id=3600

"I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better." -George Bird Evans " Troubles with Bird Dogs"

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:02 am

Onk wrote:http://www.pineyrunkennel.com/starting_pups_Mo.htm

Here Ruth, I thought this article/interview with Maurice "Mo" Lindley went along with your post and you might enjoy reading it!
thanks for the link ONK, good stuff :D i have read and enjoyed alot of MO's interviews/articles, jerseys breeder knows MO and trains with him so he passes alot of great tips and help on to me :D .....ruth
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by Grange » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:03 am

For my lab I started while she was young. By 1 year old I had her handling well to the whistle. We were still doing some fine tuning, but she could do the double T exercise well and take a line across the country if I asked her. I started walking her in the heel position from almost day one and started very early with retrieving manner. At a about a year old I force fetched her.

Now with my english setter I took a much different approach. I worked on the here or come command earlier and played fetch in a hallway to bring out her retrieving instinct, which she has. At about 6 or 7 months I introduced heel, but I believe that backfired on my. Training heel at such a young age began to kill her run. I could tell she was confused and didn't know if she should run or stay by my side. I gave up the heel training for a while and it took a few months before she began to run bigger. As far as training with birds I introduced her to birds early on, but other than keeping her on a check cord I pretty much let her train her self. I let her learn that breaking her point causes the bird to flush. I also let wild birds do a lot of training. By 10 months of age she was steady to flush and had two Open Derby placements. I let me setter tell me when she was ready to be broke. Once I saw her start to hesitate chasing the bird after the flush formal STWS training began.

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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by ezzy333 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:40 am

GUNDOGS wrote:i notice that what some of you are saying when you say you dont "train" a young pup under say 6 months you are still speaking of exposing your dog to the leash, birds, teaching come ect, run some fields, and thats alot different then what i am saying about NO training until 6 months old..i havent seen 1 post as an example of what i mean by NO training until 6 to 8 months..like snips said she wouldnt let her pups live in a box..now the lack of training i am referring to are the people that dont expose their pups to anything until 6 to 8 months old..my idea of letting a pup be a pup is explore and experience things without pressure or correction BUT with purpose..example, i first exposed jersey to water with the hose (almost 4 months old but would have been sooner had it not been snowing) she crept up to it and licked it then started sticking her face in it and running threw it, next i took her to the creek where we walk and i walked threw it and walked along it while she stood and cried wanting to get to me but i didnt acknowledge her and kept walking as though i couldnt hear her and bam she came running threw and waggin her stub with such accomplishment on what she had done, then i took her to the beach and had her on a check cord and walked out into the water throwing her dummy deeper and deeper until she was swimming and after that moment she was hooked on swimming and crazy about water, now she will swim out 40 yards for a dead bird or bumper and i can see her breaking threw ice to get a duck this fall, the purpose of the hose was 1) to end up training a dog that will love the water and hunt waterfowl with me 2) be able to compete in water tests and 3) create a balanced puppy by having no fear of water..my point is bringing out the hose for the first time was with "PURPOSE" and everything i do with her is for a purpose when im training, even if its without pressure and is fun..my example of not "training" would be the person who would wait until 6 months or older for ANY water exposure and throw the pup in water expecting it to swim and expect it to like the water because by that age it should be able to handle learning to swim..i dont know if im explaining whats in my head correctly but i do know that i havent heard 1 person say they wait until 6 months or older to what i consider "train" as i said we all may do it differently but still in any event are doing things immediately with our pups to get them ready to handle pressure and doing things with a "purpose"..feel free to argue with me if you think im wrong or way off base :D ....ruth
I posted sometime ago that the first thing that we need is to describe training. What you are doing Ruth, is what I would call raising a pup. Training is started when the pup is old enough to be a bird dog puppy and is designed to enhance the hunting instinct and not just the ordinary things that any pup needs to fit into your household. I can not believe your friend was told to ignore the pup till it was 6 months but rather it was a misunderstanding of what training is. But even then the pup was not ruined but would have taken a month or two of a more intense training to catchup with the norm.

Ezzy
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by bossman » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:46 am

This is not an argument, just a discussion and my opinion. You handle your dogs your may, I'll handle mine my way. I think what I do differently, as I said previously, I don't want my dogs to have a "job". I want them to be handled and trained so they can grow to their full potential 3 years down the line. The word "obedience" is used too much. What exactly is obedience at 6 months? I want my dogs to be accustomed to the collar, and leash. I want them to begin understanding "here". And of course they are introduced to water. But now your friend says they might send his dog back to the breeder after seeing Jersey. Well I certainly hope you encouraged him NOT too, and that is certainly nothing to be proud of. His dog needs to be better socialized and spend more time outside. At 6 months I might consider a trainer. The post hit me a little like "good dog , bad dog" and I've got the good dog. I believe Jersey is a Brittany. Bann Dee, arguablely the greatest Brittany of all time, really didn't begin his field trial career or had any "formal" training until he was 3 or 4. Actually just ran free on a farm most of the time from what I understand. Just because another dog doesn't meet your standards at 6 months doesn't mean the dog doesn't have good potential or might even go on to a better bird dog than Jersey. I have read your posts about all the titles you plan to seek, help me remember all your posts about all the wild bird hunting you plan to do with Jersey? My 2 year old is lying next to me as I type this. As a pup, we did all the puppy stuff I have mentioned, including taking him to "puppy day care" a couple a times a week to make sure he was socialized (ok, I know, sounds like I'm a sissy). At 6 months had him accustomed to the gun and took him bird hunting on wild birds. Then at a year, sent him off to a trainer. At two, I couldn't be happier, steady to w & s, backs, retrieves, hunts "dead" , heels, whoa's on command, runs with animation and purpose, reponds to "here" on command and more importantly, is happy doing it all. Ruth, all I am saying if you are happy with your approach with Jersey "God Bless". I just took exception because it sounded like you considered your friends dog a "wash out" at six months. Based on the information you provided, that may not be the case at all! Again, not an argument, just an opinion. Here's Luke at 7 months on wild birds.
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Re: WHAT AGE IS/WAS YOUR PUP???

Post by GUNDOGS » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:41 am

BOSSMAN, jersey is a GSP pup..i definitley was not implying that jersey is the "good pup" and scotts pup is the "bad pup" not at all..i am only using this situation and this particular pup as an example because they are literally a few days apart in age and on way different ends of the spectrum, not because the vizsla is less of a dog or dumb or a bad pup but because the time was not invested in her that should have been if she is to be a puppy that will be able to be livable with in the home and be enjoyed by the family and guests that come over..what im trying to relay in my posts is that its very frustrating seeing a person who is just getting into dogs, birddogs at that and be led to believe that a puppy cannot handle any sort of training until 6 months old..i see it ALL THE TIME, its not just with birddogs, birddogs are still dogs and i see so many given away, put in shelters (many birddogs by the way), and in the end go home to home or put down because of the lack of formal AND informal training a pup needs..to me its so easy to fix these situations TRAIN AND EXERCISE your darn dog!! sorry, just a little passionate about it...anyway, i cant tell you how many times i picked up a lab at the shelter or a weim or an english pointer and they are about 9 months old and theyve been given up on because of lack of training and time, so when the pup becomes unruley the owner blames the pup and now the pup is say 6,7,8,9 months old and it takes a special someone to be able to handle that pup due to their size and bad habits..believe it or not everyone is not capable of doing such training and not everyone has the patience and not everyone has money for a pro trainer and not everyone knows where to start..what i was doing by taking scott to spend a little time with jersey at the pond (lots of people and dogs go there) was to show him that his pup could learn to swim, learn to fetch, learn to come, learn to see people without barking and growling, learn to walk on the leash without biting it and that he doesnt have to feel defeated..also i wanted to let him know if he does send his pup back to the breeder and ever decides to get another pup at some point that he CAN work with the pup earlier and doesnt have to sit on the pup for so long before allowing her to take a correction and that he would find he would be alot happier with his pup instead of being so overwhelmed..he did in fact send her back to the breeder and no BOSSMAN i did not take pride in the fact that he did it he would have done it either way, he would have ended up giving up the pup to a person out of the paper because he was very clear that he was overwhelmed and either way the pup was going due to the arguing it was causing with his wife because he didnt have any control of the pup..and as i said he would have had control over his dog had the pup been trained and had an outlet such as exercise....ruth
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