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Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:27 pm

I've never trained a pointing dog. I'm not a very knowledgeable or experienced dog trainer in general. I've had a couple great labs that have done well enough to allow me a few good pheasant and duck hunts with just some basic obedience type training. After months of research, I became attracted to everything about the French Brittany. I believe it to be the ideal dog for me for the bulk of my hunting, which will be ruffed grouse and woodcock in northern Wisconsin, with the occasional trip to the Dakotas for pheasants. I found there were very few breeders of the French Brittany anywhere near me. When I happened to stumble on one close by, who happened to have a little orange and white male still unspoken for, I decided I wasn't going to wait a year on the typical reservation lists for this breed at the limited number of breeders around the Midwest. The dam was just a local hunter here in Wisconsin, and the sire was a hunter brought in for stud service from Indiana I think. The owners of the sire and dam are just hunters, and I suspect the bloodlines of the parents were largely unknown, as they don't seem to have any competition accolades in their pedigrees. The dam was OFA hip certified "good", and the sire was OFA certified as "excellent". Both parents were AKC and UKC registered. I guess this was essentially what may be referred to as a backyard breeding.

Everything I read said to pick a good well known bloodline to increase my chances at a good hunter. I didn't want to wait because I needed some more joy in my life after my last lab died this past fall. I decided to take a chance and I'm sure you guys will just shake your head at my gamble. I've fallen in love with this little guy, who is now eleven weeks old. I should also add, for some reason, the dam kind of blew off this little male, who wasn't born a runt, but declined in size for whatever reason, until the breeder and his daughter bottle fed him to get him up to size, although he was still only 2/3 the size of his littermates. For this reason, the breeder discounted the pup, because he didn't know if the dog would have some sort of unknown developmental problems or if he would turn into a good hunter.

Anyway, I digress. The pup is growing (though below average size), and very feisty (almost too feisty with his biting). He is a lover though, and will live right inside the house with us. I am really forming a bond with this pup, and plan to take him with me everywhere I go, whether fishing, camping, to the store, wherever. Right now we are still just trying to get him house broken, working on really nailing down his name, coming when he is called, and some fun retrieving with a little toy. At eleven weeks old, I finally wanted to see if this pup would point, so I tied a pheasant wing with fishing line to a rod. I tried now on two separate occasions, but the pup only chases the wing, and refuses to point it. When he finally loses interest, I put it away. I don't think I'll do this again.

I've read about guys having pups locked on and holding birds at point at 14 weeks old. I honestly believed most pointing dogs by eleven weeks would point a wing. Naturally, knowing that I didn't hold out for a high dollar pup with big names in the bloodlines, I've begun to wonder if I've got a pup that might not have a strong pointing instinct. Do you guys think I'm a bit premature here in my concerns I might not have a strong pointing dog given this little background? Second of all, please bear with me as I have a couple thread topics I'll be starting to get some insight on other dog training matters that I might not find in the search function. Thanks guys.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:23 am

Hi -

I'd like to address some of your concerns, if I may. I own pointers, always have, always will, so consider the source.

First there is the concern about the breeding on your pup. The owner of the sire and dam thought enough of their dogs to get OFA certifications before breeding. That, by itself, says a lot. Both dogs are owned by folks who hunt them, and they thought enough of each other's dogs to breed them. That says two things to me... one that you are dealing with solid hunting stock and two, in all likelihood, the owners want a pup for themselves. As hunter, that would make me comfortable.

There may be limited opportunity for French Britts in your area to compete in AKC events, so the lack of field titles may be geographic in nature. Also, French Britts, as I understand it, tend to hunt a little closer than their ASmerican counterparts, which would put them at a disadvantage in AKC competitions, where dogs are expected, and encouraged, to range out well beyond what the average hunter would be comfortable with.

As a pointer person, I have become accustomed to pups coming out of the birth canal ready to point. However, I do realize that MANY breeds simply do exhibit that kind of behavior. In truth, a fair number of pointers take a while to want to point.

Your pup is actively trying to chase and catch. THAT is what a bird dog needs. Desire to hunt, to seek, to chase. The point comes later.

You are already doing the very best thing you can do, which is to make good friends with your pup. Be patient...do not worry. It will all happen, but it will happen on the DOG' s schedule, not yours. Do not press, do not push...let the pup be a pup and let it learn at its own pace. Be patent, be encouraging and be persistent. Above all keep your sense of humor. Have fun together.

RayG

FWIW, my very first dog...one of the best dogs I ever owned...was the product of real backyard breeding. Jack was a dropper... part pointer and part setter, with a touch of GSP thrown in there for good measure.

I killed hundreds and hundreds of birds over that dog over a span of about 12 years.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby rinker » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:32 am

I'm a pointer guy also. The best dog that I have ever owned by a wide margin never pointed a wing one time. She never pointed anything until she was about 9 months old. I would not worry about pointing the wing and I would not spend a lot of time with it.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby cjhills » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:10 am

I would certainly not worry about the pup not pointing a wing. Sight pointing and scent pointing are pretty much unrelated responses to birds. Pointing early has basically nothing to do with how the dog hunts as and adult.
I have seen many very small French Brittneys in hunt tests most were pretty impressive little dogs.
As was previously mentioned the fact that the parents had hip certification says a lot.
get a good recall now and a lot of bird exposure after about five months. My bet is you will have a bird dog......................Cj
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:06 am

Thanks for your thoughtful replies gentlemen. That puts my mind at ease. I'll stay the course.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Sharon » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:38 pm

Welcome to the forum. :)

"The dam was just a local hunter here in Wisconsin, and the sire was a hunter brought in for stud service from Indiana I think. The owners of the sire and dam are just hunters, and I suspect the bloodlines of the parents were largely unknown, as they don't seem to have any competition accolades in their pedigrees. The dam was OFA hip certified "good", and the sire was OFA certified as "excellent". Both parents were AKC and UKC registered. I guess this was essentially what may be referred to as a backyard breeding." quote TBL

I guess it depends on your definition of "back yard breeding". but the above it definately more than I'd expect.
Get the dog well socialized now and you do some reading in the meantime.

POint! Training the All Season Bird Dog by James Spencer... book

Huntsmith ..Puppy Development DVD

Training with Mo... book

https://drsophiayin.com/app/uploads/201 ... cklist.pdf
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby KCKLH » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:55 pm

Best bird dog I ever had was an undersized GSP we found on the side of the road. She was clearly the back country line bred type of animal. She smoked our champion bred field trial stock in terms of birds found.

Plenty of good hunting dogs have come from backyard breeders or lacked champions in their pedigree. A lot of good hunters don't necessarily want their dogs to do what field trial dogs have to do and they like to breed the dogs that perform their preferred way. (Never wanted mine steady to shot on pheasants) That's where a lot of criticism comes from imo. Though admittedly some people do do piss poor breedings. The weight loss as a pup is slightly worrying.

You like your dog. That's the most important thing. Second most important is that the dog likes you which I'm sure he will given what you've posted. Third most important your dog wants to chase birds. Teach him basic commands and the dog will pretty much teach itself to hunt for you. Even if he never points he may still hunt. He's still young though and hopefully picks it up.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby JONOV » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:35 pm

To answer your question, I do think you're being premature. I don't think there is anything wrong with your dog at all. At that age, worry about his socialization. I think it was cjhills who said it in another thread, but at that age, you want the dog to think that the world is a big wonderful amazing place, and that you are God. Enjoy your puppy and socialize him well.

When it comes to puppies, comparison is the thief of joy. Its kind of like a kid. A kid that walks at 9 months old isn't any smarter or more athletic than a kid that walks at 14 months. It doesn't indicate squat in the long term scheme of things. But a parent might get mighty anxious when the neighbors baby is walking around three months ahead of their kid.

The facebook/message board/instagram/whatever puppy pointing when its still sucking milk makes for great marketing for breeders, but I don't think it tells you much, especially with nothing but a wing. In any case, different breeds mature and develop differently.

Some breeds, and I think Brits are among them, you can buy a dog out of the classifieds or craigslist or a facebook posting and find a dog that will hunt well enough for most folks.

Look up Ferrell Miller interview on youtube. He's one of the most accomplished field trialers and breeders out there. Look at what he does with his pups. He has a pigeon on a string and pointer pups jumping all over after it.

When i didn't know any better, I used to play fetch with a pheasant wing up until I went to a Navhda meeting and was advised that maybe it wasn't a great idea. He never pointed it. I would throw it for him, watch him chase it and tear around the room with it. What fun, maybe not a great idea but I don't think it did any lasting damage.

When my pup was 14 weeks I took him to his first Navhda chapter meeting, someone handed me a flightless chukar and I set it out in the yard for him. He chased it all over. Hilarious to me, fun for the dog.

When he was 8 months old he took his NA test and got the highest possible points in nose and pointing. About all I did other than planting birds to develop the instinct was check cord him after he began to be a take out artist. Still working on that, but all in good time.

I would advise you to find some sort of group to work training your dog. Pointing dog clubs, Brittany or French Brittany club, NAVHDA, etc...I lucked into going to NAVHDA, one of the better decisions I've made training my dog. Other people that have been down that road before can really help you.

Good Luck. Have fun.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:25 pm

Thanks for all the great thoughtful responses gentlemen. You have put my mind at ease.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Sharon » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:58 pm

Hey, this Lady gave you a good answer. :)
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:31 pm

Whoops! Sorry! I better start looking at user names before I go presuming things.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby greg jacobs » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:39 pm

Your decision was made when you took the pup home. Don't over think this just enjoy the ride. One of my best shorthairs was a backyard breeding and she cost 25 bucks. She could read my mind.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby setterpoint » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:30 pm

the best grouse dog i ever seen was a brit.someone give the dog to my frind he was about five mo old i would put that dog up against any dog any where i used to say old brandy could make a grouse we hunted behind some guys one time we didnt know they were there we had birds in the bag the guys told us we didnt jump no birds. so enjoy your dog i bet it will turn out fine
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:53 am

Sharon wrote:Hey, this Lady gave you a good answer. :)


Whoops! Sorry about that! I should take a look at the usernames before I presume things.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Featherfinder » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:42 am

As I read it, you have already acquired the pup so all the genetics/health clearances are now history. As for the wing-on-a-string-thing, I tell folk to get their camera, get the pup to point or flash point that wing, take the pic and then put the wing away until you get your next pup. You can get a Chihuahua or a St. Bernard to point a wing so that should tell you the value there-in.
The proverbial ball is on your court. You need to buck up on processes, strategies, concepts that will help your dog develop BUT that only follows you having a clear understanding of what the attributes of a well-trained pointing dog are. You admit being a novice. You were candid and that will serve you well. That being the case, why would you embark on ANY training processes without knowing what the big picture should be? You'd be surprised at how many people that have had a number of pointing dogs discover what a competent bird dog can do after dog number 4 or 5! Only when you have a good grasp on the goal(s), should you begin your training journey.
Pup is young so you have some time to do the preliminary studies but not as much as you think. I am not, nor have I ever been a person that waited on pups to reach a certain level of maturity to develop. There are SO many salient learning opps for a young pup - ones that will serve him/you as he grows up. In this regard, I believe many novice trainers do not have a good grasp on understanding a pup's level of learning. The field trial community is typically the worse case scenario in this regard. Those that are truly successful trainers understand that even young pups are like sponges and waiting means passing by valuable developmental opportunities. Too often, most people see training as this formal task/chore/challenge that starts at X months of age, when in fact, this is not the case. You control pup's world. You can provide utile learning opportunities for your pup much sooner rather than later. Set the stage for fun lessons, set him free, keep your mouth shut, and allow him to learn from the choices he gets to make from the scenarios YOU staged in the set-up.
It is NOT unusual to have a reliably steady and retrieving pointing dog that handles wonderfully without hacking and whistle blasting at a VERY young age. The only thing you can't do early is make him a savvy hunter. That can only come from actual hunting experiences but at least he has the ground rules and the rules are the rules....period. Don't do what some folk do and train for a certain level of performance and then throw half of them out the window in real live hunting situations!
Right now, educate yourself, socialize pup as already stated, then get started!!!
All the best with your new pup!
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby cjhills » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:57 am

Thinblueline,
My guess would be that your goal is a family dog which will point birds, hold the point until you get there, allow you to flush the bird and retrieve it after the shot. Very few weekend hunters care if the dog is steady to flush,shot and fall. In fact most shoot anything that flies. I do have a little problem with my puppy buyers doing that,it can be hard to keep a dog pointing if you do that. But, they go hunting to get birds, not to train dogs.
With this in mind, try not to stress yourself to much. If you make what some people call mistakes who cares. If you want to change something later, you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks. The point is do what you want to do and enjoy the experience. it should be fun for both of you........Cj
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby DonF » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:28 am

I don't care for the term, backyard bred. Suggest's that the pup's are worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Go through some pedigree's of these back yard dog's and you'll find some very big name trial dogs. What, wrong guy got it so it's of no value anymore?
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby ezzy333 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:03 pm

DonF wrote:I don't care for the term, backyard bred. Suggest's that the pup's are worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Go through some pedigree's of these back yard dog's and you'll find some very big name trial dogs. What, wrong guy got it so it's of no value anymore?

I can't agree more. "Backyard breeder" is nothing more than a putdown of someone who hunts their dogs instead of trialing. It has little to do with who did the breeding and nothing to do with where it was done. There are good and bad no matter where or by whom/

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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Featherfinder » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:34 pm

cj, you are dead on. A huge number of pointing dog owners are shooters first. For many, a dog is just a tool for putting up birds. A tell-tale sign is when you hear, "That dog is working too far!" Translation: "That dog won't hold point anyway so he better be within gun range!"
That is why there are SOOOO many pointing dog owners that should have flushers. This is not a put-down of the glorious flushing breeds. It's just that developing a competent pointing dog is a lot of work for the weekend warrior. Why bother?
Get a decent flusher, then put a pattern on her/him. They typically already retrieve anyway. Done.........load up the truck!
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Max2 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:11 pm

[quote="Featherfinder"]cj,
That is why there are SOOOO many pointing dog owners that should have flushers. This is not a put-down of the glorious flushing breeds.

I could not disagree more . Folks should have the dog that does it for them.
Ezzy ~ Your last post makes much more sense to me then any of the others for this thread.
Just my humble opinion !
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:39 pm

Featherfinder wrote:cj, you are dead on. A huge number of pointing dog owners are shooters first. For many, a dog is just a tool for putting up birds. A tell-tale sign is when you hear, "That dog is working too far!" Translation: "That dog won't hold point anyway so he better be within gun range!"
That is why there are SOOOO many pointing dog owners that should have flushers. This is not a put-down of the glorious flushing breeds. It's just that developing a competent pointing dog is a lot of work for the weekend warrior. Why bother?
Get a decent flusher, then put a pattern on her/him. They typically already retrieve anyway. Done.........load up the truck!



I don't know, but I honestly never had much of an issue getting a decently bred bird dog puppy to point and hold a bird. They learned, fairly early on, that I expected them to hold the bird until I got there. If they did...they got to wrap their gums around a bird and retrieve it...and if they did not...there was heck to pay. If the dog tried to "help" me flush I was very much OK with that. If the dog took off after the bird, once it was in flight, I was OK with that too. I did it this way with a bunch of dogs over the years.

The really difficult part came when I got into competitive dog games...the ones that require a dog to be steady to wing and shot. THAT is a whole 'nuther level of training, to be sure,...but the real PIA is maintaining that level of training in the hunting field. Maintaining that level of training IS work and can take away from enjoyment while hunting.

If I did not field trial, I most probably would not keep my dogs steady. No real reason to... not for me.

I am a borderline lousy wingshot and I need all the help I can get. My kill percentage would really suck if I were to hunt over a hard charging flushing dog. A well pointed bird goes a long way toward my not wasting ammunition.

Different strokes for different folks. I really like hunting over a dog that finds, points and holds a bird 'till I get there.

RayG
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby cjhills » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:47 am

Featherfinder wrote:cj, you are dead on. A huge number of pointing dog owners are shooters first. For many, a dog is just a tool for putting up birds. A tell-tale sign is when you hear, "That dog is working too far!" Translation: "That dog won't hold point anyway so he better be within gun range!"
That is why there are SOOOO many pointing dog owners that should have flushers. This is not a put-down of the glorious flushing breeds. It's just that developing a competent pointing dog is a lot of work for the weekend warrior. Why bother?
Get a decent flusher, then put a pattern on her/him. They typically already retrieve anyway. Done.........load up the truck!

Just so you understand what I am saying, I am not putting down shooters.
I have had many Master titled dogs who are rock solid steady in a hunt test or trial situation, but when I hunt with my family and friends these same dogs are not always steady to wing and shot. I can not watch the dog, watch for other hunters and shoot the bird shoot. They will hold point and allow the gunner to flush and they will retrieve. That is all most hunters want or need and I am betting once he gets the chase out of the little Frenchie and gets him retrieving he will be very happy with him.
one other thought, He might want to be a little cautious on retrieving Pheasants that might weigh more than the dog.
If you can keep your pointing dog in range and let him flush, more power to you. We sometimes forget that most people go hunting to get birds not to train dogs.
Some of my best days in the field are with my family and friends and a good pack of meat dogs. Sometimes more dogs than hunters. But I also really enjoy hunting alone with to or three dogs who range 2 or 3 hundred yards and hunt like the well trained pointing dogs that they are.......Cj
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:53 am

I've enjoyed everyone's comments and thank you all for taking the time to respond. I should point out I meant no offense or disrespect to anyone by using the term "backyard bred". Having not bought a puppy in over eleven years, I haven't done much recent reading about new gun dogs, and I just saw that was a commonly used phrase which I understood is kind of loosely associated with this type of breeding situation.

Anyway, my hopes and goals for this dog are that he generally works less than 100 yards away from me in the grouse woods so that I can get to him quickly if he is about to, or actually does get into trouble with a porcupine, wolf or conibear trap. I hope he has a decent nose and will point and hold those birds that will be held, until I get up there to flush and shoot it. Then I hope he will hunt the downed bird and bring it back to me, if I actually hit one. I have no intentions of competing in field trials; I am highly unlikely to use an e-collar, which I don't even have; and I have no interest in making the dog hold steady after the flush and shot.

My game plan is to form a tight bond with the dog, make sure he knows his name and will come to me every time I call him. I am also going to work with him (probably going to buy a wonder lead) on walking like a gentleman at heel on a leash. And finally I'm going to work with him every day to make sure he won't move when I say "whoa", or "stay". I don't plan on teaching him to sit because it's aggravating having a dog sit when I want him on his feet.

After July 31st, I can start running him on public hunting grounds, and when he goes off chasing things, I'll fire varying loads of 22 ammo, starting when he is a distance off and working closer, but only when his attention is on something else. Then my primary plan is to take him hunting by myself, as often as possible, which should be every week for a couple of months. He turns exactly six months old in mid-September when the grouse season starts. During this time, I am not going to over handle my dog, but just keep quiet, and let him figure things out on his own. I will not shoot at any bird that I can reasonably see he has scented and deliberately busted. I will only shoot at birds he points, or birds I am quite sure he wasn't around and that I surely put up myself. I recognize that even the best grouse dogs can have difficulty with these birds, and I think there is a possibility he might not even point a one. So if I have an opportunity to kill a grouse that I know he had nothing to do with, I want to kill one so he can get the idea what the point is and what we are after. I've killed enough such that I have no desire to just go blasting all over the woods with no regard for how that might affect the outcome of my dog's steadiness on point. All in all, I will not be one to do too much yelling and calling to my dog in the field or woods, because I see the importance in stealth for grouse and pheasants.

My tentative plan is to use a beeper collar on my dog, fully recognizing the irritation of the beeping sound, but needing to know where my dog is if, God forbid, he gets caught in a conibear trap. I suspect if my dog gets caught in one of those, he is most likely going to die, but if I can even give myself a few extra seconds to get him out by locating him via beeper collar, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't.

And that, in a nutshell, is my training plan. The pup did give me one quick flash point of the wing, when he first saw it, then he just chased it...and finally ignored it. I've attached the picture.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby MNTonester » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:01 pm

cute photo. he looks like the real deal
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Robbw » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:20 pm

Cute Pup! Looks about as good as any of the pups from the best breeders I've seen.

I'm going with a French Brit myself, although I picked a breeder in South Carolina that has good dogs. Big hearted, close hunting, hard working dogs for the foot hunter that love their families.

I saw that the sire and dam of this pup had their hips certified. I don't think the true "backyard" breeder does that. So I think you are WAY ahead of the game there. As for the rest, it sounds like you have a great plan. Maybe watch a few videos on introducing birds and guns which are pretty much the most important things, and then don't put too much pressure on the dog or yourself. These dogs are smart, have great instinct and know what they are doing much more than we do. Sure, the super trained trial champions have incredible discipline but I've also seen owners overdo it and wreck the prey drive.

I predict that you're going to have a great run with that dog!
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Sharon » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:16 pm

What a cutie.:)

"point and hold those birds that will be held, until I get up there to flush and shoot it....." quote thinblue line

This is a reasonable expectation , but requires specific training that I suggest you use a programme for , if inexperienced.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby jeff gruennert » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:06 pm

Sounds like you have good plan. I am also a northern Wisconsin grouse hunter. My only suggestion would be is to buy a gps collar the piece of mind it gives makes for a great hunting experience.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Featherfinder » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:18 am

Sounds like you have thought about this and have a very good goal/plan. Here's wishing you many fine memories made with that handsome pup.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:40 am

Thanks for all the well wishes guys and girls. I hope it works out. There is a chance this could be my last hunting dog so it would really be great if turns out he's a good hunter.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby cjhills » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:54 am

Thinblueline wrote:Thanks for all the well wishes guys and girls. I hope it works out. There is a chance this could be my last hunting dog so it would really be great if turns out he's a good hunter.

I think you are pretty much home free with that little guy.....................Cj
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Max2 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:42 am

Love'm up & take him out !
It will work ~
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby JONOV » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:13 am

You mentioned quillpigs, and you'll also run into deer, etc...If you don't use if for anything else, the e-collar is useful for breaking them from that.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby DonF » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:43 am

People who's pointing dog's flush are responsible for that. The dog is simply responding to it's training. That happen's mostly when the owner shoot's every thing that flush's with little regard for what the dog is doing. I had a guy come out years ago with a black shorthair he'd been given by a preserve that said the dog had to much drive and won't point Well about ten minute's later the dog was pointing! Guy called me after hunting season that year and said she was the best he had. You have to understand what the dog want's and then teach the dog how to get it. If your doing it hands on, be gentle. The idea is to teach him how to get the bird, not to beat him into submission.

Ont the other hand, maybe you'd rather the dog flushed. Small problem, your gonna have a lot harder time getting it to stay in gun range than teaching it to point and hold. The pointing dogs instincts call for greater range than flushing dog's, that just how they've been bred for over a hundred years. Over coming that might be near impossible!
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Featherfinder » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:45 pm

DonF echoes my sentiments and my typical hunting habits.
Birdogger2, I'm not sure why folk think they have to be better shots over a well-trained flusher than they do over a pointing dog? Killing birds over a flusher that hunts the way it should is not any more demanding than the alternatives. It could be that many folk have flushers loosely trained - not unlike folk with pointing dogs.
There-in lies the challenge. I have had this discussion with many a "meat hunter". It sounds more like, "I'm a hunter not a trailer. I don't need my dog to be steady." Hunting over a pointing dog that holds reliably will get you MORE birds than the dog that just holds to the shot - which becomes holds to the flush - which becomes, "That dangnabbbit piece of ____ dog is working too far!" . The clincher is that even though there is an investment in your steady dog, he is safer as well as more rewarding to hunt over. Too many times I've witnessed the loosely trained pointing dog owner that after a day afield is prepared to get out of his truck and drop ANY guy in front of him that doesn't use his "bleepin" turn signal! Translation: He was considering leaving that "bleepin" dog in the woods for lost!
That is in fact why I suggested in another thread that many folk would do themselves a huge favor by getting a flusher rather than a pointing dog. If you don't have the patience, understanding, dedication to develop a well-trained pointing dog, it CAN be a lot less work as well as more enjoyable hunting over a flusher. Be ruthless regarding breeding, relentless regarding pattern and most of the work is done! Oh...you might have to get your gun fitted too. ;)
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby ezzy333 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:04 pm

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, including to what extent they want their dog to be steady, which often is quite different in different environments and differing species being hunted. Just another area of no right or wrong but just personal opinion.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:12 pm

Featherfinder -

I cannot speak for others on this...only myself.

I suck as a wingshot and need all the help I can get. Shooting a well pointed bird that I can get set for and flush when I choose, is far easier for me than the typical shot presentation over a flushing type dog. But I still miss. :lol: :(

Before I got into trialing, I NEVER had a steady dog and never felt the need for one. My dogs were staunch, which to me means that they will find and point game...and wait until I got there...however long that might take. If it did not...there was he!! to pay. My dogs waited for me to get there...even if it took a half hour for me to find or get to the dog. Flushing and shooting the bird is MY job...not theirs, and they understood that then and understand it now.

I do insist on an honest dog. Always have...always will. A dog that ranges out and finds birds that I would never have, because it is covering far more real estate than I ever could, is what I want in a bird dog. My dogs roll...always have.

But a dog that takes out birds on its own, instead of pointing and holding them, is useless to me and has no place in the field with me.

Now that I do trial, I find it much more of a chore to keep a dog steady to wing and shot...and fall. I find I can't really relax and just hunt like I used to. It seems I am always in "training" mode. Not a huge deal, but it is definitely less fun.

I will say this... if I quit trialing tomorrow, my dogs would be allowed to break at shot. It is soooo much easier to get(and to keep) a dog staunch, than fully steady...again, for me... that the steady piece just ain't worth it, unless you are competing.


To each their own.

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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Thinblueline » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:17 pm

JONOV wrote:You mentioned quillpigs, and you'll also run into deer, etc...If you don't use if for anything else, the e-collar is useful for breaking them from that.


That is a very good point. Where I will be hunting, in the dense and far reaching northern forests of Wisconsin, if my dog goes off chasing a deer, we could very quickly be separated beyond voice and whistle range. If that were to happen, I've got a big problem, because he will be running around alone right in the middle of wolf country. I don't know how I'd ever find him, other than to wait all night where my vehicle is parked, or leave my jacket there, and hope he makes it back without getting attacked and eaten. I can't bear the thought of that.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby Featherfinder » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:52 pm

Ray, you and I competed in the past. It was some time ago but I recall vividly. You ran GSPs. It may have been in Baldwinsville. ???
Your position on keeping a dog staunch as you called it is probably supported by the majority as opposed to my position of steadiness. I keep it simple. My dog(s) are trained to remain steady through the flush and shot until sent to retrieve regardless of species. You'll notice I used the word "trained". ;)
That said, the situations that often arise from the dog that is allowed to "slip" becomes that of a very slippery slope. The excuses start to creep in such as, "Well....I should have approached the other way." Or, "...there's virtually no wind!" Or, "The dog never had a chance on that one." While NO dog gets it right 100% of the time, I find that too many hunters get on that slippery slope and before long, you see-saw that dog back into formal training - that training you HAD in that dog before you allowed him/her to slide.
This is not a RULE or HOW IT ALWAYS happens but I think if folk were to be candid, they could tell you they have witnessed far too much of this for themselves. Furthermore, once you start the slide, the bird numbers in the bag undeniably go down.
I've even heard that dogs that break on the flush or shot get to cripples faster. That in my opinion is not remotely true. A dog that stands his ground and marks accurately will come back with that cripple just as quickly or even quicker, again in my opinion. Once that unsteady dog breaks towards the downed bird and has to dodge and dive obstacles (trees, shrubs, rocks, etc.) GONE are the advantages if he initiates his efforts off target.
Then there is that element of safety and not just that of fellow hunters but even more-so that of an exuberant, lightning quick, agile dog that is allowed to break.
Lastly, as you mentioned, if you're going to field trial you want to be consistent because that is a big part of training dogs, in general.
It's just how I do it and thanks for allowing me to share.
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Re: Expectations For My New Backyard Bred Puppy

Postby birddogger2 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:33 am

Featherfinder wrote:Ray, you and I competed in the past. You ran GSPs. It may have been in Baldwinsville. ???


Featherfinder -

I am afraid you may be thinking of someone else. I have never owned or handled shorthairs. Only longtails of the pointer persuasion. I have been to Baldwinsville a few times though.

If I were to be guiding, I would definitely consider keeping a dog steady, for the safety of the animal. We agree on that. At a minimum would have the dog steady until the shot is fired. However, for my personal hunting, there is little advantage to it, because I... and the VERY few folks I allow to hunt over my dogs..., will let a bird fly if it is a questionable shot.

I honestly find it rather easy to keep my dogs staunch in the field. Maybe it is a pointer thing...I cannot say but most all of my dogs figured out that it was to their advantage if they waited for me to get there.

If I were to do it today, I would definitely start the pup out steady to wing and shot and fall, because it is so much easier to do it that way from the get go. It should be fairly easy to keep a dog steady until the shot is fired, if I was only going to hunt the dog.

I do not allow my trial dogs to retrieve birds, as youngsters. I choose to reserve that.

The pointing dog trainer has only so many "magic" bullets in their trainer's gun. There is nothing that I know of, that will rekindle the fire in a bird dog, like allowing it to wrap its gums around a bird. So if one of my trial dogs gets a little stale on pigeons or planted birds, or if I mess up and press to hard... killing a few birds for the dog usually works wonders.... But if not...my last option is to let the dog retrieve that shot bird...even to let it break. I can fix a dog that breaks. That's easy. Re-kindling that fire and desire is not so easy.

As I can recall, I never really found the need to do that sort of thing when I was only hunting over staunch dogs. The fire stayed lit, I think, at least partly, because they were allowed to retrieve. That was apparently a very powerful reward and incentive.

As I said...to each their own. Whatever works and makes for an enjoyable hunt.

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