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Allergies and Scenting Ability

Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby Dakotazeb » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:52 pm

If a dog has allergies is it possible for that to effect their scenting ability? As I've posted before on this site it appears that my 14 month old female Brittany has an allergy problem. Currently controlling the itching and biting with a Cytopoint injection every 8 weeks. But here's the situation. She was at my trainers for 2 months this summer living in an outdoor kennel. Here she lives in the house with my wife and I. When the trainer first got her she just wasn't using her nose but after 2-3 weeks her nose appeared to turn on and she did well the rest of the time at the trainers. So I get her back and for the past two months she is back in the house with us. I don't have access around here for birds so I was unable to get her on birds since she was at the trainer. 10 days ago I took a trip to Montana to hunt Sharpies and Huns. Only hunted two days as the rain cut my hunting short. But during those two days my dog never pointed a bird. We got into quite a few birds and she had many opportunities. She would run and just blow through them like they weren't there. I came home quite frustrated. I recently talked to another trainer and explained everything that has gone on with this dog since I bought her. He feels that perhaps there is something in our house that is causing here allergies and in turn affecting her scenting abilities seeing how after 2-3 weeks in an outdoor kennel her nose seemed fine. Does anyone have an experience with anything like this?
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby Sharon » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:52 pm

We know getting older can affect smell acuity. Makes sense allergies might too. However, I wouldn't just go with that. If the dog is still not pointing birds ask for some help in the training section.
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby ezzy333 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:18 pm

I don't think there is a direct connection but very possible the indirect connection could show up. Allergies cause the nose and sinus to plug and then the pup can't smell
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby Leeza » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:51 pm

Have you noticed any correlation between the the timing of the medicine injection and the loss of scenting ability?

I have a dog that lives in the house that seems to be allergic to that situation and when she lives outside a lot of the symptoms disappear. I have tried a few things but have just chalked it up to household dust and dry air. I do not give her allergy medicine because the symptoms aren't really bad enough to warrant it.

She never has a problem scenting birds. Just throwing out the possibility it may be the medication putting a damper on that nose?
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby shags » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:01 am

I've had young inexperienced dogs not recognize as game birds, species that they've never worked before. Dogs trained on pigeons and pen-raised quail have busted woodcock and phez the first time or two they've encountered them. The situation required a little bit of correction, and after that the dogs had no problem with those 'weirdo' birds.

During the period when the hurricanes were active, we had hot, dry weather and winds from the east ( or somewhat east). Training on birds was just a headache, as dogs had a very difficult time scenting. A trainer friend lives around the corner from us, and he bemoaned that even his best most experienced dogs were having a hard time - with 20 or so released birds on the ground, he was pulling his hair out as he'd have total of 2-3 productive points out of 5-6 of his better dogs. Even those points, the dogs were right on top of the birds. I had the same experience during that time, my older dog who has a great nose had difficulty, and my rookie dog was even worse. Once the hurricanes died and normal weather returned, training is back to normal. We're in the midwest, so hurricane activity doesn't bring us more than shifting winds. Point being, maybe scenting conditions were poor during your trip.

One other thought, do you use scented products in your home and truck, like air fresheners, fabric softener, fabric deodorizers, bleach/cleaning solutions? On your trip, did you camp and have a smoky fire? IME all those things can affect scenting ability.
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:39 am

No correlation between her receiving the Cytopoint injection and scenting. We've also eliminated all scented products like laundry soap, fabric softners, air freshners, etc.

I do really think she can smell okay. I just don't think she has figured out that she is suppose to stop and point. The reason I say this is because the one Sharptail I shot in Montana when she was in the field with me was a wild flush. I was walking grass ridge and she was 100 yards away in a stubble field. She never saw the flush or fall but came running over at the shot. The breeze was blowing directly from the downed bird toward her. She when straight to the bird and retrieved it. Also, the other day I took some of her food kibbles out in the backyard and would throw them in the grass. I'd throw several at a time so she had to sniff them out to find them. I think she found darn near every one.

However, this is really strange for this line of dogs. There are all great hunters and trial dogs with natural abilities. That's what makes this all the more confusing and frustrating.
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby shags » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:49 am

Being from a particular line doesn't guarantee any kind of performance from individual dogs. It may increase or decrease chances of desired performance, but there are no guarantees - stars and duds happen.

IME dogs need to be 'trained' to be trained for different venues and environments. They need to learn that the same rules apply at the trainer's grounds, as in the woods, as in the grasslands, etc. It's frustrating until they finally get it, but once they do you're good to go.

Sometimes dogs just have their owners' numbers. I know a guy who bought an older setter pup which he wanted trained for his hunting trips to the prairies and chukar country. The trainer thought the pup might be a really good trial dog, and the owner agreed to give it a go. That dog did great in trials, and aside from being a little too much dog for some stakes, was in the winners circle a lot. But when the owner took her hunting, she went off the rails for him. He thought 'trained is trained' and didn't take the time or effort to insist on manners. He turned her loose and what happened, happened, and it wasn't good. When he finally got the clue and made her mind, his dog came around and he was very happy with her.

So there's a lot to look at in your situation. Remember your dog is only 14 months old - a rookie, a baby. Experience and Tincture of Tiempo might make all the difference.

Best of luck to you.
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:07 am

Yeah shags, I know good breeding doesn't guaranty a good pup. Maybe I got a dud but I don't think so. She has been quick to learn, handles very well in the field and runs a nice pattern. Appears to have a lot of prey drive and is bird crazy. Any bird on land, water or in the air she wants. She sight points great. And this dog has some huge wheels. She never seems to tire so if she does have allergies they don't effect her breathing. First day in Montana she ran all day. According to my Alpha she put on 30 miles that day. I'm going to hunt her this fall in hopes the light bulb comes on and then get her back to a trainer next spring or summer.
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby ezzy333 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:02 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:No correlation between her receiving the Cytopoint injection and scenting. We've also eliminated all scented products like laundry soap, fabric softners, air freshners, etc.

I do really think she can smell okay. I just don't think she has figured out that she is suppose to stop and point. The reason I say this is because the one Sharptail I shot in Montana when she was in the field with me was a wild flush. I was walking grass ridge and she was 100 yards away in a stubble field. She never saw the flush or fall but came running over at the shot. The breeze was blowing directly from the downed bird toward her. She when straight to the bird and retrieved it. Also, the other day I took some of her food kibbles out in the backyard and would throw them in the grass. I'd throw several at a time so she had to sniff them out to find them. I think she found darn near every one.

However, this is really strange for this line of dogs. There are all great hunters and trial dogs with natural abilities. That's what makes this all the more confusing and frustrating.

I have always been a believer that there is little difference in scenting ability among birddogs but what we observe is much more likely a difference in how dogs, and pups in particular, process what they are smelling. It is not unusual for the scenting conditions to vary from outstanding to almost non-existent in our environment.
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby Dakotazeb » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:18 pm

Well, I think after today there is little doubt that her scenting abilities are just fine. While running her in the field she found 5 hen pheasants. 2 of them she was in some trees when they blew out with her in hot pursuit so I was unable to observe what exactly happened but I'm assuming she flushed them. However, the other 3 were individual birds and I was able to observe her hitting scent, trying to follow the scent and then flushing the birds with no inclination to stop and point. I've never seen this in a pointing dog and am at a loss of what to do. Obviously at some point she needs to go back to a trainer. Would it be beneficial for me to post this problem in the Training Forum?
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby ezzy333 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:45 pm

I think most people look at all of the topics
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby bobman » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:11 pm

I would just keep working on birds I had a shorthair like that I told you aboutShe didn’t point a bird for the first two years of her life and all the sudden the lightbulb went on and she didn’t bust a bird for the next 10 was a really good dog

You don’t train a dog to point it’s in their genes and it’ll come out sooner or later
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Re: Allergies and Scenting Ability

Postby Sharon » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:39 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:Well, I think after today there is little doubt that her scenting abilities are just fine. While running her in the field she found 5 hen pheasants. 2 of them she was in some trees when they blew out with her in hot pursuit so I was unable to observe what exactly happened but I'm assuming she flushed them. However, the other 3 were individual birds and I was able to observe her hitting scent, trying to follow the scent and then flushing the birds with no inclination to stop and point. I've never seen this in a pointing dog and am at a loss of what to do. Obviously at some point she needs to go back to a trainer. Would it be beneficial for me to post this problem in the Training Forum?


............................
" I've never seen this in a pointing dog and am at a loss of what to do." quote

Totally common. So she was in " hot pursuit".. Good! She's onto birds.These are wild birds which has got the dog going.
What's needed now is yard work with planted bird and a check cord. You can do this. You really need a programme to follow.

I suggested the Training forum as you would get expert help there. Many see "Allergies and Scenting Ability " and bypass. Your choice. :)
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