training a pointing breed to sit on command

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Novice123
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training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Novice123 » Wed May 22, 2019 8:30 am

My pup is 5 weeks old now. I am really looking forward to taking ownership (French Brittany). I went to visit the breeder and he didn't understand why I wanted to teach my dog the 'sit' command. I told him that I wanted that command to keep my dog under control when we go in or out of our house or when the dog is let in or out of it's outside kennel. I will also teach heel, come & kennel. In the dog training video that I watch, 'sit' and 'stay' are one and the same command. The breeder was concerned that teaching 'sit' might result in the dog sitting when the dog is broke to wing and shot. However, I have no interest in breaking my dog to wing and shot. I am interested in a hunting dog for upland birds that will point and retrieve. What do you think of teaching 'sit' to a pointing dog? What is the reasoning for teaching a dog to be broke to wing and shot? As a beginning trainer, I don't want to mess up my dog's mind with training to be broke to wing and shot for fear of making a 'blinker' out of it. I am saying this in the context that I have never trained a dog to be steady to wing and shot and am obviously not a professional trainer or even an experienced amateur. With no plans to train the dog to be steady to wing and shot, I see no value in the 'whoa' command and instead was planning to use the 'sit' command. Please help me with the logic or lack of logic of my ideas.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Steve007 » Wed May 22, 2019 8:59 am

The Internet has its limits – or perhaps my typing skills have their limits. I'm sure others will fill in for my unwillingness to address the subject of why your dog should be steady to wing. Steady to shot is a different story for many. But I'd suggest you read a few basic books on the subject of training pointing dogs.

As an aside, there is no reason you shouldn't train your pointing dog to sit (and down) for general control around the house or when out, and to make him a better companion. But it has no relevance in the field, except when hanging around and not actively hunting. The theory on the part of some is by training them to sit, he will, under pressure, sit in the field instead of holding his point. He won't, or, if so, stand him back up and tell him to hold his whoa. Whoa is a separate command, and you should teach it, as well as down. He won't confuse them. My wirehair has a UD, which is an extremely advanced competition obedience title. He understands sit very well. But it has no relevance in the field when working birds for a pointing dog.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed May 22, 2019 9:32 am

Steve007 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:59 am
The Internet has its limits – or perhaps my typing skills have their limits. I'm sure others will fill in for my unwillingness to address the subject of why your dog should be steady to wing. Steady to shot is a different story for many. But I'd suggest you read a few basic books on the subject of training pointing dogs.

As an aside, there is no reason you shouldn't train your pointing dog to sit (and down) for general control around the house or when out, and to make him a better companion. But it has no relevance in the field, except when hanging around and not actively hunting. The theory on the part of some is by training them to sit, he will, under pressure, sit in the field instead of holding his point. He won't, or, if so, stand him back up and tell him to hold his whoa. Whoa is a separate command, and you should teach it, as well as down. He won't confuse them. My wirehair has a UD, which is an extremely advanced competition obedience title. He understands sit very well. But it has no relevance in the field when working birds for a pointing dog.
I agree totally with Steve. The only time sit has, or can have an adverse effect on the dog, is when it is taught as a default response. Balance all of your commands and you won't have a problem. You're wrong about whoa. It is a vital command in teaching a dog not to creep or teaching it to honor. I want a dog at LEAST steady through the flush. I don't think it's all that important they're steady to shot but THEY DO MARK THE FALL BETTER WHEN STEADY TO SHOT.
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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Novice123 » Wed May 22, 2019 9:51 am

Steve and Gone Hunting: it is only with a humble attitude that I ask the opinion of those on this forum. With the answers the two of you have provided, I can now see the value of teaching my dog the 'whoa' command and the 'sit' command. The breeder is willing to help me for a small fee and encouraged me to train my dog to be steady to wing and shot. When my dog is really strong on holding it's points and has the proper maturity and hunting drive, I may very well seek the trainer/breeders help to teach the dog to be steady to wing and shot. It might be fun to trial my dog, if it turned out to have that level of talent.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed May 22, 2019 10:58 am

Each and every thing you teach your dog to compete in a trial will show HUGE benefits in daily hunting.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by averageguy » Wed May 22, 2019 11:49 am

Novice123,

I have taught all of my GWP puppies to sit because we hunt doves and then teal before the quail and pheasant seasons open during the puppy's first hunting season. I need and want my pup to sit beside me and mark and retrieve doves starting on Sept 1st and they all have. I also teach Whoa and have evolved to training my pups to be steady to Wing, Shot and Fall. Through the long wild bird seasons hunting alone I am not in a good position to maintain the steady to fall standard and don't, but I do require my pups/dogs to be steady to wing because it keeps them safely out of my line of fire when birds fly from their points and I am trying to shoot them. After the close of hunting seasons I can easily train them back to a steady to WSF standard for running a hunt test and recently did that with my current dog, and it was easily done requiring just a few well timed and understood corrections.

Opinions will vary on when it is best to teach your pup to be steady to wing or shot or fall. The two basic camps are 1. let the pup hunt through its first wild bird season and then steady it up when it closes and before its second season. I would be in that camp. or 2. steady the pup before you hunt it. A big dose of practical as to how old the pup is when it's first hunting seasons arrives figure into that, or at least should in my opinion. I want to develop the most bold hard going wild bird finder my pups are capable of and that figures into why I wait until after their first season to steady them up. It does make for some challenges in that I have to change some behavior I have allowed to occur up to that point. I have a gentle enough approach to my steadiness training and my dogs get so much hunting experience in their first seasons that it has always worked out fine for us. Opinions absolutely vary in this area.

The Perfect Start/Perfect Finish DVDs are excellent materials for you to study before your pup arrives and will give you a great mental roadmap for alot of what will be coming your way in your pup's development and training soon. There are others. Joan Bailey's book is a great one for first timers and includes alot of exposure activities/advise.

Having taught sit first I have had instances where my pups would on occasion sit when we were training on whoa but it is a very minor short term training matter. All that I had to do was calmly stand the puppy back up on its feet and gently say whoa and praise it for maintaining the correct position. They all easily learned the difference in these two commands and many other commands. I have never had a pup/dog sit while on point.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Novice123 » Wed May 22, 2019 3:06 pm

Wow, thanks for the help. I know I can get the real deal here from people that have a lifetime of experience.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by DonF » Thu May 23, 2019 10:48 am

I find whoa a very necessary command. It give's you control over the dog in all situations. Example, years ago I went to a vet that was right on a busy stretch of US 30 in Oregon. While I was inside someone came along and let my old GSP, Hannah, out of her kennel box in the truck. I didn't notice it till I got home and went back in time to see her getting ready to step out in the heavy traffic. Rolled down the window and called whoa to her and stopped her right there! The command to stop and hold your dog could be anything you want so long as you understand the command. ie: the sit command or down command would also be used. Both would have the same effect. We use the commands we use only because we understand what they mean, dog is clueless! It learns to associate a function with a sound, pretty much simple as that. On the sit command and pointing, had a guy come down with his dog for some help. The dog would be told whoa and sit every time. Watch the dog and it became obvious that sit was a safe position for the dog to a command it did not understand. Took a few min with the dog and the problem went completely away. Reason, the dog learned what the command meant so no more problem. The guy was so close but wasn't reading what his dog was telling him. Think about that. The dog doesn't understand english and the bad part is many people don't take the time to understand the dog. I teach whoa. And now and then do use it around birds, but not in the beginning. In separate yard exercise's I teach the dog a flushing bird means whoa and a walking bird means whoa. Remove the word command and make an action command. If for no other reason to teach your dog to stop in place and stay there till relieved, it could save your dog's life, it did for my Hannah.
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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by JONOV » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:02 pm

I use "whoa" walking the dog on the local walking paths when bikes come by.

I did pair it with "Down!" too often and at one point I whoa'ed him on a point and and he hit the deck. To be fair, he had pointed maybe 1 bird out of 10 that way (Setting as opposed to a standing point) since he was a pup.

I quit pairing the two and gently corrected a not-asked-for down a couple times and it hasn't been a concern since.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Steve007 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:06 pm

JONOV wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:02 pm
I use "whoa" walking the dog on the local walking paths when bikes come by.

I did pair it with "Down!" too often and at one point I whoa'ed him on a point and and he hit the deck.
I used to have "gunfights" with my dog Raspberry. We'd face-off, crouch, and threaten one another. "Are you the one they call the Raspberry Kid?", I'd snarl. Then she'd bark at me. "You killed my brother, Raspberry Kid. But I finally tracked you down. Go for your gun!" And then I'd outdraw her. She'd stagger sideways, and I'd shoot again (with my finger). Then she'd fall over with all four paws in the air.

It was great at parties and in front of friends. But ultimately, it got to where I'd gesture in her direction unrelated to our gunfight, and she'd fall over. So I had to quit. It was in the days before AKC Trick Dog Titles, or we might've won a prize.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Sharon » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:34 pm

:lol: :lol:
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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by greg jacobs » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:20 am

gonehuntin' wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 9:32 am
Steve007 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:59 am
The Internet has its limits – or perhaps my typing skills have their limits. I'm sure others will fill in for my unwillingness to address the subject of why your dog should be steady to wing. Steady to shot is a different story for many. But I'd suggest you read a few basic books on the subject of training pointing dogs.

As an aside, there is no reason you shouldn't train your pointing dog to sit (and down) for general control around the house or when out, and to make him a better companion. But it has no relevance in the field, except when hanging around and not actively hunting. The theory on the part of some is by training them to sit, he will, under pressure, sit in the field instead of holding his point. He won't, or, if so, stand him back up and tell him to hold his whoa. Whoa is a separate command, and you should teach it, as well as down. He won't confuse them. My wirehair has a UD, which is an extremely advanced competition obedience title. He understands sit very well. But it has no relevance in the field when working birds for a pointing dog.
I agree totally with Steve. The only time sit has, or can have an adverse effect on the dog, is when it is taught as a default response. Balance all of your commands and you won't have a problem. You're wrong about whoa. It is a vital command in teaching a dog not to creep or teaching it to honor. I want a dog at LEAST steady through the flush. I don't think it's all that important they're steady to shot but THEY DO MARK THE FALL BETTER WHEN STEADY TO SHOT.
I've seen dogs default to sit when pressure is applied during training. Not what you want in a pointing dog. Beginners can easily overemphasized the sit command. I believe the breeder is trying to help you not make a normal beginners mistake. Might consider whoa instead. I like what Don had to say..
I personally don't teach sit and down to a young pointing breed pup.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by setterpoint » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:21 am

I teach whoa and heel come or hear and that's all I need my dogs to do,there's nothing wrong if you want to teach sit but don't see a need for it
and I have seen a dog that was taught to sit on command at an early age and they must have done it wiith ots of praise
when it came time for formal training when the dog got a little pressure put on it would want to sit down
I think that was what got the dog praise and that was it's way out of tougher training but ever thing worked out
so my take on this is don't make training harder for you and the dog so I would teach sit if you want but I would do it last

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by polmaise » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:15 pm

Just for Interest sake ?
Does your dog know the word command 'Sit' ? ..or even Whoa' ? ..
Try standing still with the dog behind you sniffing a butt or chewing grass or something ?
Look forward to the videos.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Urban_Redneck » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:53 am

greg jacobs wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:20 am

I've seen dogs default to sit when pressure is applied during training. Not what you want in a pointing dog. Beginners can easily overemphasized the sit command. I believe the breeder is trying to help you not make a normal beginners mistake. Might consider whoa instead. I like what Don had to say..
I personally don't teach sit and down to a young pointing breed pup.
This.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by birds » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:06 pm

Urban_Redneck wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:53 am
greg jacobs wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:20 am

I've seen dogs default to sit when pressure is applied during training. Not what you want in a pointing dog. Beginners can easily overemphasized the sit command. I believe the breeder is trying to help you not make a normal beginners mistake. Might consider whoa instead. I like what Don had to say..
I personally don't teach sit and down to a young pointing breed pup.
This.
So do you just let them jump all over everyone and the furniture? Or does whoa cover that too?

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by polmaise » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:14 pm

The complexities of the 'English Language' ! :lol:
Meanwhile in Dog world.........
I wonder if some take 'Whoa' as a 'Noooa' , or just plain do what it thinks is right.
'Sit' could mean 'S*(h)it' to some?
...
Training any breed to 'Sit' on command surely must be the easiest thing in the world for a 'Hooman' ? :mrgreen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_6SaqVQSw

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Sharon » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:16 pm

birds wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:06 pm
Urban_Redneck wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:53 am
greg jacobs wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:20 am

I've seen dogs default to sit when pressure is applied during training. Not what you want in a pointing dog. Beginners can easily overemphasized the sit command. I believe the breeder is trying to help you not make a normal beginners mistake. Might consider whoa instead. I like what Don had to say..
I personally don't teach sit and down to a young pointing breed pup.
This.
So do you just let them jump all over everyone and the furniture? Or does whoa cover that too?
My dogs also live indoors. I use a variety of commands other than sit/whoa - "off!" , "go away!" @#$%^&*
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Steve007 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:37 pm

Sharon wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:16 pm
birds wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:06 pm

So do you just let them jump all over everyone and the furniture? Or does whoa cover that too?
My dog also live indoors. I use a variety of commands other than sit/whoa - "off!" , "go away!" @#$%^&*
Well, you've got a herd of rescue Jack Russells, Sharon. Training is, shall we say, of limited value, regardless of words. :wink:

Birds is correct. Presuming the dogs are expected to be indoor dogs and well mannered, that is.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by polmaise » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:48 pm

Sharon wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:16 pm

My dogs also live indoors. I use a variety of commands other than sit/whoa - "off!" , "go away!" @#$%^&*
And I bet You use plenty 'Tone' and Body language Too! :lol:
...
Personally I use the word 'Bananas' ! ...Just to get a reaction from the Humans.

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Re: training a pointing breed to sit on command

Post by Urban_Redneck » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:27 am

birds wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:06 pm
Urban_Redneck wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:53 am
greg jacobs wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:20 am

I've seen dogs default to sit when pressure is applied during training. Not what you want in a pointing dog. Beginners can easily overemphasized the sit command. I believe the breeder is trying to help you not make a normal beginners mistake. Might consider whoa instead. I like what Don had to say..
I personally don't teach sit and down to a young pointing breed pup.
This.
So do you just let them jump all over everyone and the furniture? Or does whoa cover that too?
"Off" covers furniture, the best way to eliminate jumping is turn and deny acknowledgement until pup calms down. I have a jumper she'll jump vertically alongside me while at heel :oops: I use the command "four" (often just 4 fingers is enough now) as in 4 on the floor.

Sit isn't the problem per se, it's the overuse of "sit". What I've seen happen more than once- handler approaches the dog on point, the dog feels the pressure of uncertainty, and offers the easy behavior that always get rewarded- sit. Pups naturally sit often enough, reward it when it's appropriate and ignore it when it's not.

Come, whoa (stop, stand still until released), and heel, cover about 90% of what I need out of a pet bird dog in the first year.

$0.02

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