Next step in training my 5 and 1/2 month old GSP

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bayleymay27
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Next step in training my 5 and 1/2 month old GSP

Post by bayleymay27 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:10 pm

My first GSP pup is now 5 and a half months old now. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old. General obedience training has come along extremely well and he is amazing with recall. As soon as he hears the command he comes running back as happy as can be. I got my GSP for duck hunting in Georgia and I’ve been working on general retrieving tactics. He retrieves when the motivation is there, I have to get him pretty wound up and excited about his bumper and I’ve been keeping it to 3-5 retrieves per session about 4 times a week. Every now and then he looses interest but he is generally pretty good about it. I’d like some tips on Image
specific water and land retrieving drills I should start with him. I’m hoping to have him ready for next season but need some guidance on what the next step is.


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birddogger2
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Re: Next step in training my 5 and 1/2 month old GSP

Post by birddogger2 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:00 pm

Beautiful youngster you have there.

I never did waterfowl(preferred to bow hunt) and am not well versed in formal retriever training methods, so the only thing I can suggest is that you read a couple of books or view a couple DVD's and select a "program" to follow. In any training endeavor, having a clear plan and a step by step process is invaluable to the success of the endeavor.

There are folks on here that are much better at the retriever end of things than I am. Hopefully someone will chime in with suggestions as to which program might work for you. I have heard the name Evan Graham many times regarding retriever training.

BTW, the fact that your youngster is doing well with recall is flat out awesome at 5 1/2 months. Good for you both. You are obviously doing something right.

RayG

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Next step in training my 5 and 1/2 month old GSP

Post by gonehuntin' » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:27 pm

As Ray said, the program you will want to follow for a duck dog is the Smart Fetch series from Evan Graham. I really don't understand why you got a GSP for duck IF you don't also do waterfowl. A retriever breed would have suited your needs better and been easier to train as a handling waterfowl dog.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Next step in training my 5 and 1/2 month old GSP

Post by gonehuntin' » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:38 pm

You'll have to keep in mind with these German dog's that some take to becoming a handling waterfowl dog and some don't. They are brilliant dogs which can make them very difficult to train; they bore easily. So, if you are to make it a full fledge waterfowl dog, keep sessions short and interesting. Really, without seeing the dog it's hard to say, but my inclination would be to stop formal work like obedience which can bore the most dynamic of dog's to death, and concentrate on fun things like pointing and retrieving balls. Dog's with little retrieving desire love retrieving bouncy balls like tennis balls. The other thing is, some dog's develop later than others. That's why it's important at this age not to bore or pressure them. Let them develop on their time schedule. Fun, fun, fun; that's what it's all about.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

bayleymay27
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Re: Next step in training my 5 and 1/2 month old GSP

Post by bayleymay27 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:30 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:You'll have to keep in mind with these German dog's that some take to becoming a handling waterfowl dog and some don't. They are brilliant dogs which can make them very difficult to train; they bore easily. So, if you are to make it a full fledge waterfowl dog, keep sessions short and interesting. Really, without seeing the dog it's hard to say, but my inclination would be to stop formal work like obedience which can bore the most dynamic of dog's to death, and concentrate on fun things like pointing and retrieving balls. Dog's with little retrieving desire love retrieving bouncy balls like tennis balls. The other thing is, some dog's develop later than others. That's why it's important at this age not to bore or pressure them. Let them develop on their time schedule. Fun, fun, fun; that's what it's all about.
Thank you for the tips and advice. I will try to spice up the training sessions and make them more fun. I got a GSP because I’ve loved the breed since I laid eyes on one and most of the waterfowl hunting I do is early teal in Georgia when it’s still warm and then I go to college down in Tampa Florida for the rest of the fall and the hunting down there is hot as can be. I figured a lab with that thick coat would over heat. This last season we were hunting and it was 85 degrees in December. One of my buddies who hunts Tampa bay recommend a GSP to me because the thinner coat.


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Thirdy8special
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Re: Next step in training my 5 and 1/2 month old GSP

Post by Thirdy8special » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:12 am

Wish you had posted at 8 weeks old. I would have said watch Dr. Dale Hubbard youtube videos. You might still watch. Teach 'place' 1st. Then fetch to place/hand, then hold. Its done with positive treat training. My Llewellin setter is crazy about fetching, blind retrieves, takes hand directions.
Its either that or ff. You can try wings attached to the dummy to spice it if don't want to try treats or ff. Use a leash because dog might not come back easily using wings. A small duck with feet & one wing tied will help for beginning water retrieves but use a leash and get in the water with them.
Watch the videos 1st and try that. My pup was a fetching fool by 4 months. Fetch to hand & hold done. Videos are free. You can message the Dr for free. He just likes to help people.
Ps...don't let the dog know you have the treats when you start the fetch to place beforehand, and I didn't use the clicker in any of it.
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