Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

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capthunterdude
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Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by capthunterdude » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:57 pm

I took my 4 month old GSP out to the field today for the last day of dove season here. Just wanted to get him out in the field, expose him to shooting and let him run around a little. Not really trying anything formal, just trying to keep my mouth shut. Unfortunately I did not have a check cord on him, only his leash. (He will have his check cord from now on). My brother was on the other side of the field hunting doves about 100 yards away. No big deal I thought. Well my pup saw a bird drop and took off across the field after the bird. I was unprepared for this and quite surprised by his reaction. He headed staight for the bird and began running toward me. About 15 yards away he stopped and started eating the bird. I tried to get it away but didn't want to play a game of chase. I could not enforce the come command so stayed away from it. I ran away from him and he would advance to me but always stay around 10 yards away. I finally managed to get the wings back from him.He ate the whole thing. Should I be concerned with this? What should I have done? I didn't want to deter him from birds, but didn't know what I should have done.

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Sharon
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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by Sharon » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:33 pm

Not a big deal at that stage. You should have said nothing.

You learned the lesson. CC needed at all times at this point.
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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by birddogger » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:41 pm

Sharon wrote:Not a big deal at that stage. You should have said nothing.

You learned the lesson. CC needed at all times at this point.
+1

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capthunterdude
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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by capthunterdude » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:12 pm

Great. I think this taught more of a lesson than it did my pup. I tried not to react to him eating the bird. The mere fact that he ran all the way across the field to pick up the bird kind of caught me off gaurd. I am glad that he learned today that gun fire means birds. Every gun fire after that he was looking around for a bird.

He will be on a check cord always from now on.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by Ruffshooter » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:27 am

Personally other than eating the bird, Great reaction to a dropping bird. I would be happy 100%. And really out hunting all day, go get the bird a little hunger pang hits you and here you have a perfect little snack right at your gullet. I might have eaten it also. :wink: Like said not a big deal right now, but really can't be allowed to do it ever again.

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ezzy333
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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:42 am

I'd be tickled to death. He did what you would expect a pup to do with the exception of eating the bird but that will resolve itself with a little help.

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capthunterdude
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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by capthunterdude » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:58 am

I didn't think he would be able to even mark a bird at the distance that he did. He was so excited about getting to it. I really was shocked at the desire he had to get to it as this was his first time in the field while hunters were out.

Looking back on it, I wished my reaction would have been different to his actions. I tried to get the bird back and may have played a small game of chase with him. I tried everything I could not as he has issues with the chase game already.

I will know next time.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:27 am

capthunterdude wrote:I didn't think he would be able to even mark a bird at the distance that he did. He was so excited about getting to it. I really was shocked at the desire he had to get to it as this was his first time in the field while hunters were out.

Looking back on it, I wished my reaction would have been different to his actions. I tried to get the bird back and may have played a small game of chase with him. I tried everything I could not as he has issues with the chase game already.

I will know next time.
Thats normal for a puppy.

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It's not how many breaths you have taken but how many times it has been taken away!

Has anyone noticed common sense isn't very common anymore.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by Greg Jennings » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:52 am

No harm done.

Expanding the conversation a bit, I wouldn't have taken a pointing dog to a dove hunt. There is really nothing that they're going to learn and there are some downside risks. No upside + potential downside = Don't do it.

If the pup was not 100% confirmed in their introduction to the gun, I wouldn't have them around any shooting that wasn't tied to a bird they're on. Chasing, standing it, whatever. Ditto firecrackers and similar.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by A/C Guy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:42 pm

Greg Jennings wrote:No harm done.

Expanding the conversation a bit, I wouldn't have taken a pointing dog to a dove hunt. There is really nothing that they're going to learn and there are some downside risks. No upside + potential downside = Don't do it.
That is absolutely true. Our dogs picked up all sorts of bad habits this dove season.
Every time you shoot a dove, the dog is rewarded with a bird that they did not point. That leads to busting birds and flushing birds instead of holding point.
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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by Neil » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:59 pm

A/C Guy wrote: That is absolutely true. Our dogs picked up all sorts of bad habits this dove season.
Every time you shoot a dove, the dog is rewarded with a bird that they did not point. That leads to busting birds and flushing birds instead of holding point.
Whereas I am not saying that a steady diet of dove hunting is a good thing, I question it lead to busting and flushing on its own, I suspect there we some other contributing factors, like the dog was not fully trained.

We are so very quick to tell people to "Never _______ ", when I think we ought to say, "seldom _______". It is really unlikely that one or two dove hunts will have a negative impact, if you go back to the basics following it.

And it would serve as good retrieving training,

Neil

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:57 pm

I have friends that use their Brits for dove retrieving regularly and have not witnessed any problems because of it. Not much different than taking them duck hunting and I sure don't see that as a problem either. Just asking your dogs to perform a different task and I sure think they know the difference. At least the ones I have seen do.

I am sure it is right that retrieving ducks or doves does not improve the dogs pointing but it does help with the stopping to flush and the marking of a downed bird. I just wouldn't take a pup till it has a year experience in the field but once it has that experience then I have always seen dove hunting as a positive and not something to be avoided.

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http://www.perfectpedigrees.com/4genview.php?id=207

It's not how many breaths you have taken but how many times it has been taken away!

Has anyone noticed common sense isn't very common anymore.

capthunterdude
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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by capthunterdude » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:07 pm

I understand that philosophy if I were going to be using him for an upland dog. In all honestly, this dog will have to play a more vesatile game of hunting. His primary hunting will be dove and duck. I will not be developing his pointing ability and quite frankly it has already diminished a tremendous amount as he is going to be trained much like a retriever. He will be a retriever first, flusher second. Before anyone bauks at this. I did my research before purchasing the pup. I know I could've gotten a lab as it is "tailored" to what I do. I could not however have a dog that sheds as much and as noticeable.

I might quail hunt once or twice a year at most. Some might think that is an injustice to the breed. The reality is the Shorthair is much more versatile that some give it credit for.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by capthunterdude » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:12 pm

Also, the pup has already been properly introed to gunfire over birds. I would not have taken him out if he wasn't properly intoed to the gun.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by natetnc » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:37 pm

ok, lets look at this situation (eating birds) with an older dog (2.5yo). i just found out today that my male is a quail eating fool. he has never been the first to retrieve as my female usually beats him to it. had them out today working them one at a time, first one he got to was fairly close to me and i was able to call him in fairly quick, i noticed he had a VERY firm grip on the bird. the next bird was nearly eaten by the time he got back to me, the breast was shredded. after that i always quickly made my way to the bird after the shot and usually got there soon after him, athough hard mouthed he got it to me with the breast still inside.

he is a pretty soft dog and needed some confidence as his hunting drive has been less than par for the later part of the season so i bought a lot of birds, turned them loose and let him have fun. he was finding birds, hunting hard, and holding point...... it was a successful day and didn't want to ruin it by trying to correct the bird eating. i would like some suggestions for the future though.

thanks

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by FLocker » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:28 pm

You could have had a spaniel. In my experience, it's hard enough to train a dog to use his natural instincts to work for you, much less train a dog to do another type of dog's job.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by crackerd » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:29 am

Or he could have had a spaniel retrieving a bird that, if eaten,
Image
would cause the worst case of indigestion in canine history. :wink:

Wouldn't go telling capt that his shorthair's not cut out for "doing another type of dog's job"--just being a gundog, they're very suited for it. Would tell him at 4 mos., seems he's got himself a very nice marking dog that should be a source of pride (especially on how he intends to use the dog), and also, as others have told him, not to fret over it wolfing down a little bird, which may have been accidental and certainly was a puppy mistake to start with. And puppies don't make mistakes.

MG

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by FLocker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:51 pm

I just said it was a lot harder, but point taken.

The weims and GSPs in my dove shoot are by far the most handsome dogs there, esp. compared to my little field cocker with shaggy ears and a skinny muzzle.

To put me in my place once and for all, I'd love to get an informed estimate on what % of working pointing dogs have a reliable retrieve without being force broken. My experience is that the good ones are happy to retrieve if trained to do so, but it's a lot different than a lab

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by FLocker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:59 pm

Fair disclosure: 2 of my 3 spaniels have eventually been force fetched.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by Ruffshooter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:01 am

What training are you doing to have a dog retrieve in a Dove field?
Proper gun intro.
Remain steady at the blind or by the bucket.
Marking drills.
Fetch.
Pretty much the same for duck hunting with my GSP and Brits.

Flocker what do you consider a reliable retrieve. Many would take bringing the bird back to with in a few feet. ( I am not informed just posing a question).
The best part of training is seeing the light come on in your little prot'eg'e.

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by gravedigger » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:10 am

One thing about it,they like birds.keep a check cord on the 4 month old .Lots of play retrieveing out and back.Repitition and have fun.No more than 3or4 retrieves put pup up.makes his desire a little stronger instead of burning them out.When the pup is old enough force fetch them or have it done.it will take care of any mouthing problems if done correctly.-Shawn

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Re: Puppy ate a dove, what should I do about?

Post by capthunterdude » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:15 pm

As far as training goes, I have talked to a good friend of mine that trains dogs for a living, and he recommended that I train my dog much like a lab if his primary duty will be to retieve. That is what I am doing. Their tempermant is slightly different, so that has to be taken into consideration during training. I have learned already that GSPs can be quite independent. My pup will go anywhere I do, though, even in the field

I do plan on force fetching him when it comes time (probably this summer). I plan to do it myself as I can take as much time as I need.

From day one I have trained him to retrieve. Just a couple a day or every other day. He has developed a lot of desire and style already. Hopefully he will keep it. He does like to play chase from time to time. I just walk away, retrieve the dummy when he comes to me and end the session on something positive.

Though I am not working on steadiness yet, my dog gets a steady does of sit, stay, leave it, and teaching him to control his impulses. I think this will help when steadiness comes to play. During retrieves I am not holding him back yet, or making him sit. Once I feel like he is consistant with coming straight back to me I will implement this. He is getting better so it should be soon.

If his training takes longer than a labs so be it. I have the time. I love my dog and the fact that he will a waterfowl machine, even if it takes a while to get there.

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