Is it bad to point toys?

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roloc
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Is it bad to point toys?

Post by roloc » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:16 pm

Check this out. I just got this pup on Saturday and it will be the first time for me training an English Pointer. I have trained 3 previous labs before but I was wondering if it was bad to have a dog point it's toys this early. I know a lot of people don't have dogs point wings because they don't want them to sight point everything but this was just a toy and the dog actually started doing it on it's own so I figured I would just reinforce the command, what do you guys think?

example video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttRLkG7Z ... ideo_title (yes I abuse my gopro)

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kninebirddog
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by kninebirddog » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:30 pm

it is still sight pointing...cute game but wouldn't over do it
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roloc
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by roloc » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:28 am

So I am very curious about this topic. Because where do we draw the line with this stuff? I mean we play fetch with the toy to and he mouths the crap out of it, I would think he could tell between a bird and a toy in that instance, why not pointing?

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ezzy333
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by ezzy333 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:45 am

Don't worry about it. She is a puppy and let her point anything she wants. It will only strengthen her pointing instinct. I have never worried about a pup sight pointing and have never seen any ill effect from it. I have heard people talk about the sight pointing but I have never seen that come into conflict with smelling as they get older. Plus I want my dogs to sight point anytime they see a pheasant or any other game. Stop to flush is sight pointing and from a dogs point of view all we are asking is it stop anytime there is game around whether it can see or smell the birds.

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DogNewbie
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by DogNewbie » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:28 am

I've been worrying about this as well since I live in the city and every morning on our run Briar is looking for squirrels, not smelling them out, because he can see them a long way out. But he's familiar with pigeon scent and when he smells it he slams on the breaks. I've also been hiding his bowl of food in the backyard when I feed him at night so that he has to sniff around and find it. Just get him to use his nose. It's nice that it's dark by the time he's eating now.

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kninebirddog
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by kninebirddog » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:38 pm

I have seen where some dogs that had been played with sight pointing to much not want to point on scent they wanted to crowed in on birds till they saw them...out here in sparse territory it becomes very evident versus where there is a lot more cover

I encourage pups to use their noses more versus sight pointing...But with that said I do also have to work walking birds out here because the cover is sparse

So basically work the nose more then the eyes :wink:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by DogNewbie » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:15 pm

Another idea to help him start using his nose is to get a Frisbee and put some sent on it. Then take him out to the front yard at night and throw the Frisbee over the roof and have his go find it. That's what a family friend of mine did with their lab and it worked pretty well I guess.

roloc
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by roloc » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:09 pm

Those are some interesting ideas. And it is good to know that it isn't going to ruin them but that you should just focus on the nose more than the eyes.

I am just reaching a certain point where everything I read kind of contradicts the last thing I read and if I listened to all of it I wouldn't even be able to play with my puppy.

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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by ezzy333 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:54 pm

roloc wrote:Those are some interesting ideas. And it is good to know that it isn't going to ruin them but that you should just focus on the nose more than the eyes.

I am just reaching a certain point where everything I read kind of contradicts the last thing I read and if I listened to all of it I wouldn't even be able to play with my puppy.
You just expressed my concerns also. Too many people are trying to convince newcomers that puppies and birddog all require lots of time and work ot they will never hunt. The time and effort they talk about is dependant on how much training you want to do. Dogs that aren't trained a lot usually make pretty good hunting dogs but if you are wanting to go into the trials and testing there can be an almost endless training program to get it done.

When or if you get a nice well bred puppy enjoy it and stop worrying that you have to be doing a lot of training and enjoy the puppy while you train it to become part of the family like I said before. The serious training will come later if that is what you want to do. And if you do nothing that is hunting related except take the puppy for free walks in the field once or twice a week you are not going to ruin the puppy.

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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by mxdad777 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:32 pm

ezzy333 wrote:Too many people are trying to convince newcomers that puppies and birddog all require lots of time and work ot they will never hunt. The time and effort they talk about is dependant on how much training you want to do. Dogs that aren't trained a lot usually make pretty good hunting dogs but if you are wanting to go into the trials and testing there can be an almost endless training program to get it done.
Ezzy
It's funny you mention this. When I was a youngster growing up, we always had a Brittany as our family pet. They were treated just like any other dog that a person would bring home from the pound. They were played with, loved, taken on walks, let in the house to lay by the fire on cold nights, ran beside me on my bike going to the local playground, etc. They were taught basic family commands (sit, shake, stay, etc) but never exposed to any "hunting" training. The only thing we did that resembled training was playing fetch in the back yard with a pheasant wing tied to a 2x4 piece of wood.
Every November on the opening weekend of pheasant season my dad would load our dog up in the back of the truck and we would go hunting. The dog would run all over the fields, point the birds and retrieve them back some what close to my dad. The only thing I ever saw go wrong was one year we were hunting an area where there were quite a few jack rabbits. Our dog started chasing these rabbits and my dad couldn't get her to stop. Finally after about rabbit #4 my dad shot the rabbit and beat the dog with it. He then tied the rabbit to our dog and made her drag the rabbit back to our truck. After spending a few minutes at the truck, he took the rabbit off our dog and we started hunting again. Next time a rabbit jumped up, the dog took one look and ran the other way. She never chased another rabbit. I'm not saying this is the right thing to do, or the way I would have handled it, but it sure worked.
Anyway, my point is......If you get a bird dog from a good line, chances are they will hunt regardless of what training you do or don't do. Enjoy your dog!
PS I might add that this all took place back in the late 60's to early 70's when there were about 20 wild pheasants per acre. Boy how I miss those days!

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cmc274
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by cmc274 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:38 am

I will second that it isnt a big deal. A dog can differentiate between stalking a toy in the house and finding game. Two pics of my now 5 month old pup. Jolene pointing tux and jolene pointing birds. One had nothing to do with the other.

Image

Image

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brad27
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by brad27 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:53 pm

One of the funniest things I've seen was this past summer around camp. One young V pointed a grasshopper and another one backed. I wish I had a camera.

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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by K9luke » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:34 pm

Be glad the dog has the genetics and instincts that you want it to have. Once you get it out hunting on wild birds they will teach it the rest of what it needs to know.

Have fun !

roloc
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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by roloc » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:13 am

Thanks guys! I was getting fairly upset that it seemed that it was nearly impossible to have a good family dog and a decent hunting dog. Everything I read about normal puppy stuff seemed to contradict the hunting stuff making it virtually impossible to have both. I realize that by having a family dog it is probably not going to be a field trial champion but that is not what I want. If it creeps on a bird every now and then so be it I guess, I want it to be as well rounded as possible.

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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by DogNewbie » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:04 pm

roloc wrote:Thanks guys! I was getting fairly upset that it seemed that it was nearly impossible to have a good family dog and a decent hunting dog. Everything I read about normal puppy stuff seemed to contradict the hunting stuff making it virtually impossible to have both. I realize that by having a family dog it is probably not going to be a field trial champion but that is not what I want. If it creeps on a bird every now and then so be it I guess, I want it to be as well rounded as possible.
So far with my experience the most important aspect of making a hunting dog also a great house pet is daily exercise. That puppy is going to get it's energy out one way or another and it really helps if it's on your terms not his/hers. I think there are always going to be traits in a hunting dog that make it being a house dog more difficult. For example, you pretty much can't take my pup for a nice calm walk on the leash in the city...way too many squirrels to chase. It's very frustrating at times, but then I have to remember that I paid specifically for that kinda of prey drive and getting him to ignore squirrels or walk at heel the whole time is something that will be a constant struggle. But knowing that he'll eventually be that crazy about birds makes it worth it in the end!

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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by proudag08 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:30 pm

DogNewbie wrote:
roloc wrote:Thanks guys! I was getting fairly upset that it seemed that it was nearly impossible to have a good family dog and a decent hunting dog. Everything I read about normal puppy stuff seemed to contradict the hunting stuff making it virtually impossible to have both. I realize that by having a family dog it is probably not going to be a field trial champion but that is not what I want. If it creeps on a bird every now and then so be it I guess, I want it to be as well rounded as possible.
So far with my experience the most important aspect of making a hunting dog also a great house pet is daily exercise. That puppy is going to get it's energy out one way or another and it really helps if it's on your terms not his/hers. I think there are always going to be traits in a hunting dog that make it being a house dog more difficult. For example, you pretty much can't take my pup for a nice calm walk on the leash in the city...way too many squirrels to chase. It's very frustrating at times, but then I have to remember that I paid specifically for that kinda of prey drive and getting him to ignore squirrels or walk at heel the whole time is something that will be a constant struggle. But knowing that he'll eventually be that crazy about birds makes it worth it in the end!
Great advice!

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Re: Is it bad to point toys?

Post by SHORTFAT » Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:18 am

My crazy English Pointer points everything from my mother in law to the tv remote... she's nuts... but when she's in the field on wild birds, she's all work, no play. It's almost like she has a split personality. She'd never make it at a FT, but I was looking for a family pet that hunts too. It's all in what you want, combined with how much time you put into the pup. The only thing I would avoid is playing any type of tug of war with a bird dog pup. But just have fun with her... Good luck! :D
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