Problems with 8yr old GSP

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nategsp
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Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by nategsp » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:18 pm

Having some troubles with my gsp. He is 8 hrs old. Trained and has been hunting since 2 years old. Mainly on pheasant. But trained mostly in Hungarian partridge either way the dog has been stellar with pointing, a few hiccups but expected.

Last 3 training sessions he has been busting birds like crazy! 2-3 times this last one alone, He ranges far so I only really seen what happened couple times. (GPS on the dog) but I see the birds flush. We mainly train on Hungarian partridge due to Proximity.
Scenario:
Busts birds stops to flush (good)
I see where they land and we work our way there. He ranges out and comes back Working his way into the wind and doesn’t scent them! Last moment his head hit the ground and they bust.

BUT!! He had 3-4 false points and not producing anything.
What gives on the false points but isn’t pointing the birds.

I know it is old scent or whatever he is smelling with the false points but wouldn’t 4 birds smell way stronger?

Could I be having bad luck with scenerio? Or is my dog being a weirdo lately?


Look forward to the advice.

Thanks.

averageguy
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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by averageguy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:55 pm

Doing my best to follow your post but not entirely sure I have. If the dog has been reliable for 8 years I am not sure what is going on. Unusually bad scenting conditions?

The Huns my dog and I hunted a couple of weeks ago ran like crazy (more so than the Huns we have hunted in other states/terrain) and the dog had to track and relocate many times over distances that in some cases were approx 200 yards pursuits. Also hunted behind some other dogs which were not able to keep track of the running Huns and never had productive points on them. Those Huns were moving laterally to the side out of the scent cone as they ran and unless the dog was skilled enough to move laterally to get back into the scent cone they lost them.

Are you sure the Huns were not running and your dog was just hanging up on the scent of where they had just been? Has the dog been reliable to work, keep track of and relocate successfully on running birds in the past?

nategsp
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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by nategsp » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:53 pm

He seems to either be not scenting them or they are running like crazy. The false points are what puzzles me. I had him out pheasant a couple weeks ago. Did 50/50. I don’t know if his nose isn’t as good as it was. I thought maybe he was enjoying the chase during the pheasant hunt, we had a lot of bird contact but could only shoot Cocks. Flushes were a mixed bag so they got shot at. He is trained to stop to flush but in that case he was going on pretty much everything he pointed.

Back to training, I thought he just started running at them For the chase but throw in a bunch of false points and I’m puzzled.

Meller
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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by Meller » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:47 pm

Have you taken him back to the training field, if not that should test his nose (especially with a hard plant) and if it isn't his nose, it may be time to reinforce what is expected of him! :)

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by shags » Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:55 am

The easiest thing would be to look in the dog's mouth and check his teeth. Filthy gunky teeth can affect dogs' sense of smell and cause health problems. While you're there, notice if he has any nasal discharge; copious watery, bloody, or pus indicates a problem.

If those check out OK, it's back to training. I'd keep him under control, and not let him range out where you can't correct him as it sounds like in your OP. I wouldn't allow him to bust birds, then circle around and locate those same birds. If he busts, correct, then move on to 'new' birds and hit the busted ones later, preferably from a different direction than the original approach. IME dogs can bust then get overly cautious on the delayed chase, false pointing, creeping, etc so going on to different birds in the training field eliminates that.

You might have to back up and quit letting things slide. Get the dog right then worry about shooting birds.

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greg jacobs
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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by greg jacobs » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:53 am

Around here huns run and are hard for dogs to handle. Sounds to me like you have some running and spooky birds. Might be the birds and not the dog.

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:34 am

To me, when he stops to flush he's telling you they ran and he couldn't successfully relocate. Same with the wind. The wind thing is a fluke in my opinion. Sure nothing I'd get on the dog for. Unless. I saw him scent the birds then road in on them. It's really hard though to know when the bird runs and when it doesn't. Most of the time the intensity of the point will tell you that. I'd just keep on hunting'.

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:38 am

I struggle to understand how an 8 year old dog is running too far? Was it recently that he started running too far? If not, why was he allowed to run so far until now? I harp on this because I honestly believe that while you are reporting what you think is happening, it is hard to know what is happening with a dog that is that far. I appreciate that most experienced dog folk can surmise what transpired but before you embark on a fix, you need to KNOW what the issue is.
For starters, while I hunt prairies with low cut grain fields as far as the eye can see, there is a practical range for hunting those Huns. Too far is just as counterproductive as too close.
At 8 years of age, you will require a healthy insertion of technology to resolve his range, which really is unfair to your dog at this point in his life.
I am also ambiguous about the false pointing. Again, how does a dog start false pointing at 8 years of age? I'm not disputing you in any way. It's just that in my experiences, a dog at 8 years of age is has already booked enough experience to understand the rules of engagement that define success. Changes at his age/this juncture, have been induced/imposed. Are they significant changes in species, habitat, etc. or are they initiated by negative self-taught experiences of late, which you are not aware of because of his distance from you?
I unequivocally rule out your dog's nose being an issue. How can I do that at the other end of a cyber medium? Well....let's just wait and see.
My counsel for many owner/handlers was a lesson I learned some years ago. Before looking into your dog's issues, look in the mirror. An 8 year old dog doesn't elect to alter his ingrained hunting strategies over-night. There typically is a catalyst/motive. "Change" to a dog, can take on many faces.

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by nategsp » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:44 pm

Thanks for the feed back. Regarding range I do I have garmin on him so I know if he goes on point or not. And I can still see if birds got up without a point. Ranges about 100 meters. He isn’t running to far from me. Where I hunt it is acceptable to range out far.

He has false pointed his whole life, which I’m not concerned about due to it hasn’t happened all that often. And chances are their were birds there. And maybe has done it 10% of the time he has hunted all together.

I understand that an 8 ur old has it engrained on what I have taught him. But I haven’t taught him to bust birds and only to do false points. Like I said this is a new hurdle I encountered In The last training sessions, just seeing if this is gonna be a problem or if this is an off chance of a run of bad luck while training.

I will be taking him hunting this week so we will see what that brings. I find he is a dog that you give him an inch he will take a mile. I am just hoping that he doesn’t think it’s ok to bust birds. I really don’t know if it was the scenario I was in or string of bad finds with wind, cover etc.

I am hoping as of late he didn’t get any bad habits.

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by shags » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:11 pm

IME false points are a young dog thing and not something a seasoned dog would be doing. Young dogs can take a little time to figure out the difference between 'birds here' scent and scent left by a runner, some feathers, droppings, etc.

Can you read the difference between a real point and a false one? Usually the dog is looser when no bird is there, although some dogs depending on the training, are loose on everything. Did you train the dog to stop at first scent no matter what? That might contribute to false points. Does he bust birds when you are close by, or only when you are at a distance? Does he false point when you are close, or when you are a ways away? Is he unraveling because you shoot birds no matter how he behaves, or do you insist on your preferred behavior before you shoot birds over him?

I think you and the dog could benefit from some training situations in a controlled environment with no pressure to kill birds. If you control and know exactly what's going on bird wise it will be easier to sort out the problems, fix them, and then go back into a hunting situation and see how he does. Allowing the dog to slowly unravel isn't difficult because you kind of get by regardless. but then you pay the price when poor behavior builds on itself and becomes a pain in the neck. Maybe he's been given that inch and is working on the mile. IME it doesn't take much to remind a trained-but-unglued dog about your rules, and get him back to where you want him. But make up your mind to either train or hunt, doing both doesn't sound like it will be productive for you right now.

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by nategsp » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:56 pm

I totally understand. Regards to hunting this week. It’s more of a training hunt on pheasants. Going alone to work on the dog, no shot over wild flushes or not pointed birds. Etc. Yes I agree I need to plant birds and know exactly what’s going on. But -30 weather in sask and winter is rolling in so the planted birds are gonna wait till spring.
I just want to get him a lot of bird contact and work on him. Pheasant’s are seeming to hold better than Hungarians around here right now so it’ll be a good test for him.

False points he is solid as if something is there. I find when a bird is running on him that’s when the tail starts wagging on point.

Thanks again for the advice. I know what I gotta do and not let it slide this time.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:18 pm

Well said Shags!
In summary, I think the dog is the product of some early low expectations that have continued to erode over time.
At 8 years old, whatever remedial efforts you are going to try, expect a challenge.
Technology is what I call, "The cheapest insurance you can buy." That said, when technology becomes an integral part of how you get your gun dog home, you're asking for trouble. I use technology myself to find a standing dog but not because it is in the next time zone! It's more because of the habitat. You can't see a dog at 40 yards.
Just because your GPS tells you your dog WAS on point over yonder, does not mean he/she is doing this for the correct outcome and might further explain why he has developed these tendencies.
I hunt the prairies on low cut grain fields that are flat, as far as the eye can see. You can walk until your truck disappears and then some. Working too far is no more productive than working too close. There are a lot of things that can happen to a dog that is too independent - none of them are good.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:06 am

Here are some telling questions you might ask yourself Nate.
How much does your GSP weigh?
As per your GPS, they typically indicate the average pace/speed your dog runs at. What is that number/speed after say...20-30 minutes of hunting?
How do you typically redirect/turn/recall your dog when he is 300+ yards out?
What is the average duration of your Huns hunt with this dog - 30 minutes,1 hour, 3 hours, + ?
Oh...and as for being a dog that "if you give him an inch he takes a mile", that is not unusual at all.
Would you happen to be hunting in southern SK?

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by DonF » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:04 am

I think you definitely need the training field. You have a big running dog and you don't see it other than the tracking collar but see birds flush and from that determine that the dog is pushing the birds? Actually if that's it, you don't know what is pushing the birds! Dog has been fine for 8yrs and all of a sudden this start's? Naw! How often has it been on Huns over the years and what has happened with them before. I think what you have is birds not holding. Now with a big runner you could get there and find no birds and end up with the impression the dog is false pointing when actually the birds ran out. Or you could get to the dog and find the birds a hundred yards off and get the impression the dog has a super nose but again, maybe the birds ran out to where they were comfortable! The dog, did what it was trained to do, not relocate on it's own!There's a few different thing's happening and without being able to see what is really going on your not gonna ever know! Back to the training field or better yet on to the pheasant's your dog sounds like it handles well, see what happens. Go to pheasant's and things go back to normal and I'd be giving the dog a lot of benefit of the doubt. The price of a big running dog is you haven't a clue what's going on till you get there and even then you can't be sure as you haven't seen a thing other than a blip on a tracking collar!

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by nategsp » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:14 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:06 am
Here are some telling questions you might ask yourself Nate.
How much does your GSP weigh?
As per your GPS, they typically indicate the average pace/speed your dog runs at. What is that number/speed after say...20-30 minutes of hunting?
How do you typically redirect/turn/recall your dog when he is 300+ yards out?
What is the average duration of your Huns hunt with this dog - 30 minutes,1 hour, 3 hours, + ?
Oh...and as for being a dog that "if you give him an inch he takes a mile", that is not unusual at all.
Would you happen to be hunting in southern SK?
Hey! I would be hunting in southern SK! I take it your from the area as well or hunted the area?
average duration of hunts are around 30 minutes.
redirection I use whistle and for recall I use the tone button on the E collar.
weight is around 50 pounds
regarding pace I haven't checked it in awhile so couldn't tell ya.

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by nategsp » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:17 pm

DonF wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:04 am
I think you definitely need the training field. You have a big running dog and you don't see it other than the tracking collar but see birds flush and from that determine that the dog is pushing the birds? Actually if that's it, you don't know what is pushing the birds! Dog has been fine for 8yrs and all of a sudden this start's? Naw! How often has it been on Huns over the years and what has happened with them before. I think what you have is birds not holding. Now with a big runner you could get there and find no birds and end up with the impression the dog is false pointing when actually the birds ran out. Or you could get to the dog and find the birds a hundred yards off and get the impression the dog has a super nose but again, maybe the birds ran out to where they were comfortable! The dog, did what it was trained to do, not relocate on it's own!There's a few different thing's happening and without being able to see what is really going on your not gonna ever know! Back to the training field or better yet on to the pheasant's your dog sounds like it handles well, see what happens. Go to pheasant's and things go back to normal and I'd be giving the dog a lot of benefit of the doubt. The price of a big running dog is you haven't a clue what's going on till you get there and even then you can't be sure as you haven't seen a thing other than a blip on a tracking collar!
I will be going for pheasants tomorrow to see what happens. fingers crossed!.. if things don't pan out I will be getting some pigeons for him to work on. its getting cold here and he is kinda wimpy with cold weather so gotta get some in before the weather really turns. Whitetail deer opens up on friday where I am from and I dont like hunting during that time.. certain areas are like war zones!

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Re: Problems with 8yr old GSP

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:47 pm

I just connected the dots Nate. You have a challenge ahead of you now, for sure.
You need to go WAY back into building your expectations. Not easy for you to do but even harder on an 8 yr old dog!
This more reflects the un-training so many folk do that require a dog to be re-trained. I know this first hand because I'm not a quick study and learned these lessons the hard way some years back. The field trial community is typically the greatest purveyor of the un-train strategy. It actually works quite well in an arena where you don't want the same dog winning all the time. :wink:
The tell-tale comments sounds like this, "You gotta see my dog run!"
I have been known to ask, "You own greyhounds?"
I made it out west this year for 1.5 days before that freak snow storm hit, Nate. We could otherwise have hooked up! Not coming back out until next season.
You need to start by getting that dog to understand that you and he are a team. You may have to up the ante by carrying a pile of pigeons in a bird bag and every time he sweeps by (in remote proximity) fly a bird for him. Say NOTHING. Just watch him chase. When he swings by again repeat...repeat...repeat. It would be best if you didn't have this process interrupted by wild birds because he has already learned that the farther he gets from you...the more birds he finds...the more fun he has chasing....the less fun you have...etc. etc.
The other reason why he is bumping Huns (and I know SK Huns) is because you HAVE to use a whistle to get your renegade dog to half-asked handle!
In doing so, you are alerting the Huns for miles around therefore your dog's chances for success are severely marginalized. Yup...he is going to bump most of his finds because the birds have already started running some time ago, unbeknownst to you. The moment your dog is in remote proximity to these savvy birds...they are GONE!!
As I said, this is going to be a significant hurdle for you both now, with him being 8 years old.
Give me a shout when you get your next pup Sir....if I'm still around. We'll start 'um right and you will truly be amazed at the difference in YOUR hunting experiences on wild birds, and not just Huns.

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