GSP ate a quail!

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campbellj21
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GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:51 am

Okay, so yesterday we are on our last quail hunt of the season, half of us were on one side of a strip cut and the other half were on the other side with my GSP Squirt (we got separated and were waiting for a spot for the other group to cross). A single quail got up and we shot it, the bird fell into the middle of the strip cut, I yelled to the guys on the other side to send Squirt into the water to retrieve it, now keep in mind he has never had a water retrieve, but seeing how he loves to get in the water and he loves to retrieve I thought we would see what happens. So to my enjoyment, Squirt bails into the water and retrieves the bird, YAY!!, his first water retrieve...well that is when everything went down hill. Unfortunately me being on the other side I was not able to be there to get the bird from Squirt, I yelled to the other guys to give him the command of GIVE, he would not, so I yelled GIVE, and when he still refused I tried to give him a bump with his e-collar, and wouldn't you know it wasn't working (that will be fixed ASAP), so within a few seconds he had softened the bird enough to SWALLOW IT!

Now, this is the first time he has ever even ATTEMPTED to eat a bird he was retrieving, this year alone I have shot 40+ birds over him, and not only did he not try and eat them, he has always had a very soft mouth with them and followed the GIVE command to perfection. He is 6 years old and I have had him for 3 1/2, he has never tried this, and like I said, this year he has been perfect on the give command (only giving it once).

Has anybody ever had something like this happen to them, was this just a dog having a "dog" moment, or should I be concerned? Could it possibly have something to do with him being super excited with everything that was going on (first water retrieve, different people trying to get the bird from him)?

I'm taking him to a preserve this coming weekend and you can bet I'll be paying very close attention to his retrieves.

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Angus
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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Angus » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:51 pm

Maybe he sensed it was the last quail hunt and wanted one for himself. Seems to happen a lot and I do not think you should worry at this point.

If it happens again and again it becomes a pattern and then you should take measures to stop it.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by topher40 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:17 pm

Could you explain what your intent of shocking the dog with the collar would be? IMO thank God it wasnt working.

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campbellj21
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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:04 pm

I use the e collar for two reasons, safety (for example, he is in danger of being hurt or killand can't hear a recall command) or if he is ignoring a command that i know he knows and can hear me, which usually doesn't happen.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:08 pm

topher40 wrote:Could you explain what your intent of shocking the dog with the collar would be? IMO thank God it wasnt working.
Out of curiosity, why would you have not used it? I am by no means an expert.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Tyler S » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:41 pm

First water retrieve. The birds nice and soggy, something different....etc.

Iam no "expert" either, but I wouldnt pop a dog with a bird in his mouth, unless his safety were in concern. You could end up with ALOT more trouble than you have now, not that you really have trouble. I personally wouldn't worry about it. I think I would be working on some water retrieves before next fall.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:46 pm

Noted, I'll make sure I remember that, thanks for the advice.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Doc E » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:59 pm

Let me just hazard a guess here --------------- dog isn't Force Fetched.



.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by topher40 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:05 pm

You never want to shock a dog with a bird in the mouth, especially. What would happen if you got shocked everytime you did a good job at work? You would quit trying to perform well. In turn that is what you were teaching the dog. Doing this with a working collar could easily break the dog from wanting to fetch birds.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Cicada » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:30 pm

My old Male GSP would eat the odd shot up quail or hun......... he was just hungry. If I fed him a light meal he never bothered and he was not all that hard on the birds.

Grant

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:46 pm

Doc E wrote:Let me just hazard a guess here --------------- dog isn't Force Fetched.



.
Actually he retrieves to hand very well, that is what puzzled me, seeing as how he has never done that, if you are talking about pinching his ear to get him to release the bird, I don't know, never had to try, and I didn't train him, bought him finished, so I don't know what method they used.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:51 pm

topher40 wrote:You never want to shock a dog with a bird in the mouth, especially. What would happen if you got shocked everytime you did a good job at work? You would quit trying to perform well. In turn that is what you were teaching the dog. Doing this with a working collar could easily break the dog from wanting to fetch birds.
Thank you, I will definitely remember that. I was going with the dog clearly ignoring a known command, I would never shock him without the command coming first and being ignored, but I can see the danger of applying that rule in this situation.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Brazosvalleyvizslas » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:29 pm

Mine ate part of two week old dead horse. Talk about smelly farts. Trust me, it's better that he wanted to eat that quail rather than the opposite which is not wanting it in his mouth in the first place.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campgsp » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:02 am

Tell me if I'm wrong, did your dog soften the bird and swollow it whole?
That is really a big throat your dog has or a really small quail. :D

To me it sounds like the dog has learned to only listen to you when given a command not entirely a bad thing but that could have caused him to not "give" to your friend weather or not you yelled a command across the stream.

Also when you shocked him for not "giving" (by the way never do that again with bird) he said screw you and ate the bird in retaliation. Just a thought.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by birddogger » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:59 am

Tell me if I'm wrong, did your dog soften the bird and swollow it whole?
That is really a big throat your dog has or a really small quail.
Most bird dogs can swallow a quail whole if they want to.

Charlie

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by original mngsp » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:22 am

Had to chuckle on this one.

My first GSP pulled this one on me once. We had broke him and force fetched him over the winter as a 2 yr old. First event of the year was a walking ft with the retrieve done shooting the first bird on course. Dog had a good stylish find, flushed the bird, gunners shot dog standing high and staunch. Bird fell into a small pond about 3 feet from shore. Went back and sent the dog for the retrieve, right to the bird, picked it up rolled his head back and swallowed it whole without even a chomp. :lol:

That was his only miscue ever on a retrieve. After that one he retrieved everything promptly and with a superbly tender mouth.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by DonF » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:58 am

Might have been better if he had eaten a crow! :mrgreen:

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Doc E » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:19 am

campbellj21 wrote:
Doc E wrote:Let me just hazard a guess here --------------- dog isn't Force Fetched.
Actually he retrieves to hand very well, that is what puzzled me, seeing as how he has never done that, if you are talking about pinching his ear to get him to release the bird, I don't know, never had to try, and I didn't train him, bought him finished, so I don't know what method they used.
Many dogs will naturally retrieve to hand, but even dogs like Labs are "always" FF.
Ear Pinch has nothing to do with having the dog 'release the bird'.
FF is a process that starts with HOLD -----> Formal Hold ----> Ear Pinch to get the dog to FETCH & HOLD, not to release (DROP).

FF is about a lot more than just good mouth habits, but mouth habits are a large part of it.

However at age 6.5, it might be a bit late to go through the FF process.



.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:44 am

Doc E wrote:
campbellj21 wrote:
Doc E wrote:Let me just hazard a guess here --------------- dog isn't Force Fetched.
Actually he retrieves to hand very well, that is what puzzled me, seeing as how he has never done that, if you are talking about pinching his ear to get him to release the bird, I don't know, never had to try, and I didn't train him, bought him finished, so I don't know what method they used.
Many dogs will naturally retrieve to hand, but even dogs like Labs are "always" FF.
Ear Pinch has nothing to do with having the dog 'release the bird'.
FF is a process that starts with HOLD -----> Formal Hold ----> Ear Pinch to get the dog to FETCH & HOLD, not to release (DROP).

FF is about a lot more than just good mouth habits, but mouth habits are a large part of it.

However at age 6.5, it might be a bit late to go through the FF process.



.
Cool, thanks for the info, hopefully this isn't the start of a trend with him, he has been so good to this point.

If anything I'm the one that needs the work, and I think he knows it:grin:

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by cptn » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:58 am

I'm not a hunter, but I love this forum. And I see this all the time?

What does a dog being "forced fetched" mean? I think I may have an idea, but I see it all the time, and I'm not sure.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Neil » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:25 am

Not to worry, it might not happen again. And you were right to try to reinforce any known command with the ecollar, too bad it was not working. There is little chance that you would have done any harm, and it may have prevented future problems. I am not suggesting you burn him at the highest level, just a light tap would have done it.

It seems that someone once wrote in a book never to use the ecollar around birds, I suspect back when we only had one level HIGH, so it was good advice back then. Then others keep repeating as gospel, But with today's collars on the lowest levels with momentary that is just not true. Nearly every experienced trainer I know uses the collar around birds more than anyother time.

The advice to have him FFed is good. But if you don't go back to teaching release.

Go light with the ecollar, be careful and enjoy the hunt.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by DogNewbie » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:54 am

cptn wrote:I'm not a hunter, but I love this forum. And I see this all the time?

What does a dog being "forced fetched" mean? I think I may have an idea, but I see it all the time, and I'm not sure.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
FF is a training technique that teaches the dog it must fetch when the command is given. It's done with slight negative stimulation (usually an ear pinch or toe pinch) so the dog learns that obeying the command results in the negative stim turning off. If done correctly and at the dogs pace, the end result is a dog that loves to fetch, has high confidence (because it knows the expectations and knows how to avoid stim) and has a tight bond with the trainer. Or so I've read....I'll be starting FF for the first time in a couple weeks.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by deke » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:53 am

Just be glad he didnt try to swallow a pheasant. My dog wont drop birds for my buddies out hunting either, they have to grab him and then i yell from across the field and then he will drop it. And next time out have some decency and at least bring him some hotsauce :wink:

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by snips » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:04 am

Wet bird with strange people trying to get it from him is understandable...Will prob not happen again...Same thing can happen whenother dogs are trying to take a bird from a dog...

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Fester » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:35 pm

When a dog swims out of the water with a quail he has longer to marinate in the dogs mouth, maybe the urge over came him, LOL what I have noticed is when a bird is shot hard exposing meat sometimes he is a little more tempted to keep him for himself
Fester

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by campbellj21 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:41 pm

Thanks a lot for the responses, a lot of good info here to ponder on!

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by birddog1968 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:58 pm

DogNewbie wrote:
cptn wrote:I'm not a hunter, but I love this forum. And I see this all the time?

What does a dog being "forced fetched" mean? I think I may have an idea, but I see it all the time, and I'm not sure.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
FF is a training technique that teaches the dog it must fetch when the command is given. It's done with slight negative stimulation (usually an ear pinch or toe pinch) so the dog learns that obeying the command results in the negative stim turning off. If done correctly and at the dogs pace, the end result is a dog that loves to fetch, has high confidence (because it knows the expectations and knows how to avoid stim) and has a tight bond with the trainer. Or so I've read....I'll be starting FF for the first time in a couple weeks.
Just remember this, go at a pace that suits the dog, NOT at the dogs pace, or you'll never get it done :lol: and thats the truth.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by ThreeWires » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:13 am

It sounds like a one time deal to me...I used to see it with some dogs when they were under too much pressure in training as an f-you.

Not sure where you can find it, but there is a great story out there by Havilah Babcok 'The Reformation of BO' about a dog with a appetite for quail.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Neil » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:42 am

ThreeWires wrote:It sounds like a one time deal to me...I used to see it with some dogs when they were under too much pressure in training as an f-you.

Not sure where you can find it, but there is a great story out there by Havilah Babcok 'The Reformation of BO' about a dog with a appetite for quail.
One of the many of Dr. Babcock stories I have stolen as my own. Punch line, "I said he would eat the first bird YOU shot". He was a treasure.

How about the story of the natural shot that was killing off their birds, dropping 3 or 4 on the covey rise, rarely missing? He was asked, "Sir, are you a monacular or binacular shooter?". Said the old boy never hit another quail trying to figure out if he shot with one eye closed.

Wish I could have set a spell with the man.

The closest we have is Tom Word, do a Google, many of his stories are available free, and the books are reasonable.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by JIM K » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:45 am

Doc E wrote:Let me just hazard a guess here --------------- dog isn't Force Fetched.



.
ha, doc e you are hoot.
you have good simple method on force fetch for us that are new to it? i was looking at youtube videos etc.
my pup is eating biords at 9 months .

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Doc E » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:55 pm

JIM K wrote: ha, doc e you are hoot.
you have good simple method on force fetch for us that are new to it? i was looking at youtube videos etc.
my pup is eating biords at 9 months .
FF is a process that requires quite a bit of other training before you go to FF.
IMO, the very best training (book & video) is SmartFetch, by Evan Graham.

His website is at www.rushcreekpress.com/


.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by Neil » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:56 pm

Doc E wrote:
JIM K wrote: ha, doc e you are hoot.
you have good simple method on force fetch for us that are new to it? i was looking at youtube videos etc.
my pup is eating biords at 9 months .
FF is a process that requires quite a bit of other training before you go to FF.
IMO, the very best training (book & video) is SmartFetch, by Evan Graham.

His website is at http://www.rushcreekpress.com/


.
Well said. I have been training dogs for more than 50 years and I send my dogs to be FFed after the ground work has been laid. It is not that I can't, I have done several, it is just there are many better at it, And I don't like it. But I don't think it is for the first time trainer.

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by AzDoggin » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:22 am

DonF wrote:Might have been better if he had eaten a crow! :mrgreen:
Oh he11, I do that all the time. LOTS of ketchup and some hot sauce makes it go down best!! :lol: :mrgreen:

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Re: GSP ate a quail!

Post by A/C Guy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:44 pm

campbellj21 wrote:Okay, so yesterday we are on our last quail hunt of the season, ..... Unfortunately me being on the other side I was not able to be there to get the bird from Squirt, I yelled to the other guys to give him the command of GIVE, he would not, so I yelled GIVE, and when he still refused I tried to give him a bump with his e-collar, and wouldn't you know it wasn't working (that will be fixed ASAP), so within a few seconds he had softened the bird enough to SWALLOW IT!
My male Brittany would retrieve everyones' birds, but he would always bring them to me only. If another hunter tried to get the bird from Duke, he would run around the person and come to me. If the other hunter was too close to me, he would not release it until the hunter would step back a few feet. He was extremely possessive of every bird that he retrieved. I think that your dog was doing the same thing. The difference was, since you were not close by, he opted to eat the bird rather risk losing the bird to someone else. So unless this becomes a habit that he eats birds regularly, I would not worry about it.

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