Got a new pup - sort of!

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nj gsp
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Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by nj gsp » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:24 pm

Hi folks,

I just recently found an English Setter pup. No owner has stepped forward, despite heavy efforts to get the word out. No "lost dog" calls to the poilce, shelters, or animal control people. So between that, the condition I found him in, and his intense fear and distrust of men in general (but he loves me to pieces 'cause apparently I'm his hero) I am pretty sure he was mistreated by his former owner and abandoned intenionally. He was starved, nothing but skin & bones (poor dog!) although he's healthy now and certainly eating well. I was going to give him over to a rescue group, but he seems to have already adopted me, and so there we are. :roll:

He originally had zero interest in birds - and I mean zero. None. Nada. What setter does not have a glimmer of natural pointing ability? A friend suggested that perhaps he had never been exposed to birds. So I exposed him to pigeons. He now has a tremendous prey drive, just goes batty on birds. His point is by no means stylish, and it's extremely brief. He does have a natural stop-to-flush that lasts exactly one second, but that's something we can build on.

He's only about 8 mo old, so right now I'm focusing on the yard work for obedience and I'm not worried about doing more than just getting birds in front of his nose as much as possible. Anybody have some suggestions on how to help this young pup develop the pointing ability I'm sure he has inside him - somewhere?

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rkappes
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by rkappes » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:40 am

I know one thing. If we had more people like you in the world it would be a better place! :D

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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by RayGubernat » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:09 pm

NJ gsp -

A setter can take some time to mature, under the very best of circumstances and your has already had who knows how many setbacks.

The fact that the dog is so highly motivated is a very good sign because a dog with that kind of desire can overcome a lot. The fact that it is hesitating at all at the flight of the bird is also a very good sign as far as pointing desire is concerned.

I would continue to bond with the dog, continue the obedience and also continue to expose the dog to pigeons and if possible, other STRONG FLYING birds.

A pro trainer I know takes his setter pups out running in front of a 4 weeler with a bag of pigeons. the pups run and play ad every so often come around by the 4 wheeler. The trainer throws a bird out toward the pup and ...the chase is on..... Since the piugeon does not land, the pup eventually tires of the chase and comes back around to the 4 wheeler and "presto"...an other bird to chase magically appears.

Eventually the pup learns two things... One...it cannot catch a bird. Two... the trainer is where the birds(and the fun) is at.

This experience, coupled with yardwork will encourage the youngster to stand and watch the bird fly away...sooner or later.

Just keep doing what you are doing. The youngster will come around. Remember they tend to be a little soft and can be a little slow to mature and you will be fine. Make good griends with that setter. If it has the kind of drive that I sometimes see in a good setter, you will want the dog to like you...because if they like you they will come back for you.

You are a good soul. I wish you both much good fortune together.

RayG

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nj gsp
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by nj gsp » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:28 pm

Thanks everyone for your kind words. I guess I have karma to burn! I could not just leave him there, but I'm sure a lot of people did.

So that's going to be my plan - just keep spending some time on the yard work and keeping him exited about birds.

Thanks!

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ekoog82
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by ekoog82 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:43 pm

Wheres the pics???

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fourtrax
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by fourtrax » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:00 pm

Yes pics please.
Good on you for adopting / rescuing.
Two of my 3 bird dogs are rescues & turned out great.

You will also need to start carefully exposing to gunfire when he is so prey crazy / distracted.

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wes_gsp
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by wes_gsp » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:59 pm

fourtrax wrote: You will also need to start carefully exposing to gunfire when he is so prey crazy / distracted.
I would hold off on the gunfire for a while. As it sounds, this pups early experiences in life have been pretty negative and may not take well to the shrill sound of loud gunfire. This is not the most important thing right now in this dogs life and would focus a lot of attention on building his prey drive. Shoot only when the pup is VERY birdy, chassing and a good distance away from the shot.

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nj gsp
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by nj gsp » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:25 am

I agree. The pup is nervous around new things, strange sounds (like the neighbor's dryer vent - he barks at it), and strange people definitely freak him out. Right now he's just getting lots of love, a little bit of training & discipline, long runs on the check cord, and he gets to find a pigeon now and again. He's so turned on to birds right now he's exited by everything flying. We had a brief sight point on a 747 Sunday afternoon! :lol:

So I'm in no rush to expose him to gunfire any time soon; plenty of time for that later on. Thanks for the advice folks!

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nj gsp
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by nj gsp » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:19 pm

Since my last post in January, there have been a few developments. First, my wife does not like the new dog. Worse than that, she was diagnosed with cancer - colon cancer and it had spread to her liver. So that has made it a pretty rough year.

I tried to find a home for the dog, with no takers - he would bite when he was frightened or felt threatened - just mouthing really - but nobody wanted a dog that might bite; not even a setter rescue group. I worked with him and spent a fair amount of time on yard work; he became more disciplined, started to trust people, and was more friendly, but I still could not give the dog away. It looked like I was stuck with him.

I didn't have the time to dedicate to training him for the field. So, in order to get some training, exposure to birds, and see what he could do, I sent him off to a pro. Now after a few months he's home again and he's proven he's got a good nose, he's steady to flush and mostly steady to shot (that still needs a bit of polish), retrieves anything from anywhere - land or water - and fits the definition of a started gun dog. However, he is still not pointing well. It's reasonable to assume that whoever abandoned him did something to ruin his point. Goodness knows he was treated badly enough and probably beaten regularly. He does point sometimes, so it's in there somewhere. Maybe a season of hunting and exposure to wild birds might help - and he's still a young dog.

The problem is that although I really like the dog and I think (and hope) he'll come around, my wife still doesn't like him and doesn't want anything to do with him. I'm out over $3K on this dog so far between training, birds, and vet bills, so I'm hoping I can find a way to make this work. I'm slightly attached to him too - he's a sweet dog and just wants to be loved.

No good deed goes unpunished!

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Sharon
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by Sharon » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:27 pm

If the dog had no I.D./collar it often means they were set loose on purpose. He's lucky he found you;enjoy.( I'm very sorry to hear about your wife.)
Last edited by Sharon on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by shags » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:53 am

NJ GSP,

You are a hero.

I hope the dog continues to improve and is a good buddy for you.

And best wishes and much mojo for a positive turn around in your wife's health.

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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by Bird Dog 67 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:29 am

shags wrote:NJ GSP,

You are a hero.

I hope the dog continues to improve and is a good buddy for you.

And best wishes and much mojo for a positive turn around in your wife's health.

x 1000

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nj gsp
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Re: Got a new pup - sort of!

Post by nj gsp » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:06 pm

Thanks everyone for the kind words. My wife is more important to me than any dog, but that doesn't mean I'm not hoping we can make this work.

Of course, If he never gets his point back, he'll still make a good retriever. He swims like a fish.

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