Is it me or the dog?

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GSPdude
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Is it me or the dog?

Post by GSPdude » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:22 am

My 6 mo old GSP is doing fine with finding the live pigeons I put in the brush for her. I began tying 1 or 2 to shrubs on the advice of my brother-in-law, and then tying a cardboard card to the foot on some advice I saw somewhere here on the forum. Ruby has no problem finding these because as soon as she is near they flap and crash around, or fly off. She will point if I give a tug on the check cord and say "woah", but if left to her own devices she charges right in and grabs and mauls the bird. I thought the problem then could be solved by putting the birds in launchers so they wouldn't flush. Ruby then just passes them by with a casual sniff. I tried placing a launcher with a bird and dragging a dead bird around that lead to the launcher, and she found that, but then lost interest.

What am I doing wrong? Am I going too fast and being too impatient? What is the right tempo for getting you dog to hold a point? Have a million questions and getting frustrated with myself which is probably coming across to Ruby.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
"A gun gives you the body, not the bird"
-H D Thoreau

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Ryman Gun Dog
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by Ryman Gun Dog » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:40 am

GSPdude,
It simply sounds like your GSP may be a slow developer, let the dog mature a little more.
RGD/Dave

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snips
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by snips » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:46 am

Too many gimmicks...Pigeons can be slow on the take off, it does not take a young dog long to figure that out. :roll: Young dogs need great flying birds that they cannot catch...If you have some great flying quail that you can let the pup drag a very small CC, if the pup knocks a couple of these it would help the pup start pointing...But when the pup points I would get the CC or step on it so the pup cannot get used to catching birds...Let the pup point naturally on his own, step on the CC leaving some give...Stand there and do not attempt to flush the bird, but wait til the pup puts it up. At that time I would let him chase to end of CC then pull him off another direction...If using pen raised quail they only have one or 2 good flights in them then pup finds out he can catch them...So helping that bird get away is best.
brenda

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Greg Jennings
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:55 am

Your BIL has it wrong. Do not tie the birds to the brush. You need for the birds to be able to get up and get away from your dog.

Depending on how many birds the pup has caught, you may have already dug a hole that will take a lot of work to get out of. Don't make it any worse than it already is...do not let that pup catch any more birds.

slistoe
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by slistoe » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:36 pm

Never mind the pointing. She comes downwind and indicates scent of the bird pop the launcher. She is waiting for the excitement of the visual cue and the catch which you have programmed her for. You need to reprogram her that the scent is definitive proof of the existence of a bird. At this point you need to let her chase the flown bird because she is no programmed to the powerful adrenaline rush and you will need to wean that off slowly.

Yes, your BIL had it wrong, and if the carded pigeons were incapable of flying well enough to escape the dog you had that idea wrong as well.

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Ridge-Point
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by Ridge-Point » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:32 pm

You have quail and chukar right out your back door. Hard to make a mistake when your pup is on wild birds.

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GSPdude
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by GSPdude » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:08 am

slistoe wrote:Never mind the pointing. She comes downwind and indicates scent of the bird pop the launcher. She is waiting for the excitement of the visual cue and the catch which you have programmed her for. You need to reprogram her that the scent is definitive proof of the existence of a bird. At this point you need to let her chase the flown bird because she is no programmed to the powerful adrenaline rush and you will need to wean that off slowly.

Yes, your BIL had it wrong, and if the carded pigeons were incapable of flying well enough to escape the dog you had that idea wrong as well.
Slistoe,

How do you think I should wean her off that adrenaline rush? The bird has to outfly her? Is it just lots and lots of exposure to birds and her learning self-control?

We come across wild birds quite often. She is in the field with me everyday, and chases quail and partridge. She really is more visually oriented right now as well, and I have been trying to play some "use your nose games" and trying to set up other situations where she has to rely on her scenting capabilities.
"A gun gives you the body, not the bird"
-H D Thoreau

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daniel77
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by daniel77 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:24 am

When she moves (breaks point) pop the bird. She learns that moving causes her to lose the bird. Wild birds will do this because they won't tolerate too much crowding. You want to simulate that when using pen birds. From the dog's view, the bird is the one doing the teaching, so you need not interfere too much, other than releasing the bird if the dog fails to or breaks point. In other words, keep your mouth shut, and let the dog learn from the bird. You also don't start out trying to have the dog hold for 5 minutes. Get a good point, and move on. Once you've popped the bird, let her chase. She'll come back, and when she does, have another bird ready for her. This way she learns that you'll get her more birds, and she'll be encourage to stop chasing so much thus you're getting closer to steadying her. Be happy, cause it sounds like your dog has plenty of drive, now she just needs some direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z73wq6E ... re=related

As far as getting her to use her nose, work her in a field of tall grass with a crosswind. Plant your birds in heavy cover so that she comes across their scent without any chance of having seen the bird. Watch her closely, and as soon as you see her indicate that she sense the bird, pop the launcher, unless she pointed. Doing that will teach her that she needs to lock it up when she smells bird, or she loses the bird. Once you've done this a few times, watch your dog closely, and make sure that she gets the opportunity to point. In other words, don't pop the birds too quickly once you know she has associated the scent with the bird. If you don't already, make sure you have a check cord on her at first, so that things don't get too wild and out of hand. No good comes of that.
Two cannibals were eating a clown. One looks up at the other and says, "Does this taste funny to you?"

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snips
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by snips » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:31 pm

What kind of "use your nose" games are you playing? This could be your entire problem.......
brenda

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nooblet
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by nooblet » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:28 pm

Hey dude,

You will never be able to ween her off of the adrenaline rush. She is already pre-programed to find birds. It's what she does. She's a bird dog. (I dont mean that rudely.)

The advise you are recieving about "dont let her catch anymore birds" is dead on. If you need a controled environment, use planted birds. But the suggestion of wild birds is more appropriate. Your dog will NOT be able to get anywhere near a wild bird. This alone will train your dog that she cannot catch the birds - once she is gun broke, she'll learn she can only catch them if 'good ole dad shoots them for me.' The dog will learn to manage the birds etc. Oh, and you have not done any horrific damage to the pup. Time in the field is all she needs. The point is the pause before the pounce. The pause will get longer as your dog learns it cannot get to the birds - until, one day, and many birds later, your pup will be steady.

And, for what it's worth, dont worry too much about all this right now. Your dog is a pup. Go into this season with the attitude that she cannot do anything wrong. She can bump birds, she can run like an idiot, she can do whatever. Its all good learning for her - it's all exposure. Also, if you "whoa" her, she will not learn to manage those birds - she will learn that you will tell her how to manage them (you, the dude with 10,000 times worse of a nose and not an ounce of bird instict). It's her first year, just let her be.

noob

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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by slistoe » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:03 am

And, for what it's worth, dont worry too much about all this right now. Your dog is a pup. Go into this season with the attitude that she cannot do anything wrong. She can bump birds, she can run like an idiot, she can do whatever. Its all good learning for her - it's all exposure. Also, if you "whoa" her, she will not learn to manage those birds - she will learn that you will tell her how to manage them (you, the dude with 10,000 times worse of a nose and not an ounce of bird instict). It's her first year, just let her be.
What he said.

After the season get her off the uncontrolled wild bird contacts. She is looking for visual affirmation of the bird and the excitement of the chase. You may not have the time to extinguish the reinforced concept that a catch is possible with random, uncontrolled exposure to wild birds.
Set up with the pigeons and the release. Crosswind the dog with the CC. Pop the bird. Go with the dog providing light resistance but still allowing the chase. Stroke and calm her when she stands to watch the flight. Encourage an earlier stop with successive days in the field. Guage the pressure by the dog and progress at her rate. Eventually she will point the release. Push her into it. Over many repeats develop patience on point - she need to come to count on you to create the flush. If you are making her stand till she attempts a flush on her own you are progressing too fast on the length of time - you want the dog to be successful and progress at being successful, not having to be punished for making mistakes all the time. Eventually you will hold the dog in place while the bird is flushed and the dog will calmly stand and watch the bird fly without giving you any hint of trying to move. You are now ready to move away from the dog when flushing birds. Eventually the dog will point intensely for whatever period of time you care to make it, will stand intense and calm while you flush the birds and mark them as they fly. You are now ready to pin the CC on the dog and go looking for wild birds.

By the time next season rolls around you and your dog will be a force to be reckoned with.

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GSPdude
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by GSPdude » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:27 pm

Hey, thanks everyone!

There is a ton of great advice to follow and think about here. We plan on hunting every day that we can this season, so she will get a lot of chasing done.
"A gun gives you the body, not the bird"
-H D Thoreau

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Sharon
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Re: Is it me or the dog?

Post by Sharon » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:42 pm

snips wrote:Too many gimmicks...Pigeons can be slow on the take off, it does not take a young dog long to figure that out. :roll: Young dogs need great flying birds that they cannot catch...If you have some great flying quail that you can let the pup drag a very small CC, if the pup knocks a couple of these it would help the pup start pointing...But when the pup points I would get the CC or step on it so the pup cannot get used to catching birds...Let the pup point naturally on his own, step on the CC leaving some give...Stand there and do not attempt to flush the bird, but wait til the pup puts it up. At that time I would let him chase to end of CC then pull him off another direction...If using pen raised quail they only have one or 2 good flights in them then pup finds out he can catch them...So helping that bird get away is best.

Exactly . well said. You know we'll spend $1000. on a dog but not want to lose a $2.00 bird. I buy hard flying birds and let them go.
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Re: Is it me or the dog?_ADDITIONAL QUESTION

Post by outdrs111 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:48 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been reading this thread for all the thoughtful advice everyone has posted. Please tell me if by asking a question here I'm out of line (I'm new to the Forum).

All of this advice is given for a young dog. I have a 3 year old rescue Brit, and I've never had a pointing dog, only Springers. I want to do the right thing by my guy here.

Not knowing his background, I took him out to gamelands last fall after the crowds moved on to just let him do his "thing". Well, his thing was flushing 11 pheasants! He ran around like a crazy guy, and had a ball, but always checked back when the birds flew and he gave up the chase.

Did I do right by him then given that he is older? My approach has been to handle him as I would a young dog with obedience work, and we're working on "whoa" now, and painless force fetch (fetch and hold with gentle lip squeeze when he balks).

I've never had a pointing dog, so I've been trying to learn along with him.

Thank you for any and all advice, suggestions, and corrections. And I apologize if I've done wrong by posting this on this thread.

Sincerely,

Tom

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