No interest in birds.

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brule
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No interest in birds.

Post by brule » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:10 pm

Well the title says it all. I'm training an 8month old GWP that has no interest at all in finding birds let alone being in the presence of birds. He comes from great lines and I'm following a method of training recommended by the breeder and I'm taking everything slow. I take the pup to the game farm roughly once a week to get him bird exposure but he could care less about the birds. I did the bird intro, which he really could've cared less about. And of recent I tried to let him take chase to try to get some drive in him but he could've cared less. He'll retrieve great if I throw a bird, but he won't initiate any type of pursuit. So I'm looking for ideas of what to do to try to get some prey drive into the pup. I know some will say it will come with time, but how do you train a dog that has no desire at all to find birds? Could the pup be one of those dogs that just isn't going to have it?

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by birddog1968 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:21 pm

Its pretty futile to try and train one with 0 prey drive.....

Have you let the dog just have his way with a bird? Eat it if he wants? You have to do anything and everything to wake up this dogs prey drive....
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:43 pm

If you have a place to do it you might try putting him in a small pen with two or three birds. Other than that I think all you can do is keep exposinbg him and wait. 8 months is still young so don't give up yet.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by Vonzeppelinkennels » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:44 pm

I agree get the dog bird crazy before going any further or why waste your time??

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by rinker » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:55 pm

I would give you exactly the opposite advice. I think you may be pushing birds too hard. I would probably not show the dog a bird for a month or two. When you start working him again make sure that he gets his mouth on the first bird that he shows any interest in.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by Doc E » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:11 pm

brule wrote:I did the bird intro, which he really could've cared less about.

What did you do for initial bird introduction ?



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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by ultracarry » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:32 pm

Would have already put an add in the classified section as fixed gwp for sale.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by SpinoneIllinois » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:57 pm

I haven't had to try this with either of my dogs, but someone told me it worked: Stake the dog in the middle of a training field, then bring in another dog that hunts. Plant some birds and, with your dog watching, go crazy with praise and excitement for Dog No. 2 when it does its thing.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by DonF » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:01 pm

8mos old? Wouldn't worry a whole lot just yet. if you can't get him a pen with birds, that's what I would do and have done, take him out to a good open area and turn loose a couple pigeons with their flight feather's pulled. First tie their legs with a pipe cleaner, leave them far enough apart they can walk but not to fast. With their legs tied like that they can't run off and will do a lot of flapping around. Stay out there with him until he catch's one and if he kill's it, don't sweat it. You just want to get him to do something to catch the bird. He may just stay with you and watch for awhile but stay there and if he has any desire at all, it will surface. Don't encourage him at all, mouth shut till he get's the birds.
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by AzDoggin » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:25 pm

I swear I heard once of a last ditch effort to make a dog birdy -- the owner switched over the dog's diet to raw (skinned out) birds. The dog then got more interested in the feathered variety. Have to wonder how it affected the dog's mouth on retrieve, tho.

Not recommending it, just heard about it. Could be an old trainer's tale for all I know.

I like DonF's ideas best otherwise. Don't know how any dog could resist that...

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by Doc E » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:09 pm

Doc E wrote:
brule wrote:I did the bird intro, which he really could've cared less about.

What did you do for initial bird introduction ?
Again, I ask. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



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Last edited by Doc E on Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by mountaindogs » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:12 pm

You need to get with a trainer who can help you read the dog. Alot could be happening and alot could go from helping to hurting with just a few details.

Personally how you started the intro and how the dog acted exactly would help. I would want to be very sure this wasnt the beginning of blinking before I proceeded.

Doc E you beat me to it ;)

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by Ruffshooter » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:24 am

FIrst off It is hard for anyone to deciffer a dogs manner without actually seeing it work. What you see may not be the correct story or annalists.

GWP can be slower to react to birds. Does this dog show any desire for any other game, ie. squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, etc.?

The other thing is: sometimes when our pups are not doing things we expect them to do by a certain time, we have anxieties and our emotion,s although we may try to hide them, show to the pup so they read us and wonder why is dad being like that. Don't be clingy or worried. Yeah hard sometimes.

Is this dog gun broke or introduced to gun? What is its reaction to the gun? Have you shot birds for the pup and did he retrieve them? Do you duck hunt? For a gun broke dog that can sit in a blind and will swim for a downed bird. Seeing ducks come in and you shooting them and the dog gets to go get them can be a trigger for other bird work.

Take the pup out for field and woods walks for a few weeks. Let him have his head.

Put dead birds out for the pup to find on its own. then, after a few days of nothing. If he finds one say nothing. If he brings it to you quietly praise him and a little stroke or two.

Put the birds out and you stay away, do not say anything, do not follow to close, let the pup just have the field and its head.

If you do the bird pen thing, again I would wait a couple weeks of no bird contact then do it.

This is a situation of finding the trigger if it exists. So what ever you have been doing is not the trigger and you may have over loaded the trigger. To much to soon for this dog. Just speculating.

Just Ideas, May not work.
Good luck.
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by birddog1968 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:16 am

AzDoggin wrote:I swear I heard once of a last ditch effort to make a dog birdy -- the owner switched over the dog's diet to raw (skinned out) birds. The dog then got more interested in the feathered variety. Have to wonder how it affected the dog's mouth on retrieve, tho.

Not recommending it, just heard about it. Could be an old trainer's tale for all I know.

I like DonF's ideas best otherwise. Don't know how any dog could resist that...

I feed all my dogs bird parts when they're young......Never had one with almost no drive, but if i did he'd be kept a little hungry and fed some bird parts after sessions. Its never made any
dog I've ever owned hard mouthed or a bird eater....done young it builds a lifelong love for birds. That said I've never had a dog show no interest in birds...and my feeding parts thing is long
over by the age of 8 months. Personally if i had to wait nearly a year for a dogs prey drive to "Wake up" he'd be sold....JMHO.
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by bb560m » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:58 am

brule wrote:I'm training an 8month old GWP that has no interest at all in finding birds

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by DogNewbie » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:03 am

bb560m wrote:
brule wrote:I'm training an 8month old GWP that has no interest at all in finding birds
Always picking on the ugly dogs :)

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by brule » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:55 am

Well, to answer the question about how I introduced pup to birds, now that I have computer time. Sorry I work lots of hours and have limited time to spend on the net.

I started with penned up pigeons, brought pup to cage, let him mill around the pen for awhile, but got no real reaction. Let him mill around for awhile, and after no real reaction we ended the day. Next day same thing, but this time I removed a pigeon, let him see the bird, and then released it. Pup gave no chase, just no real interest in the bird. Tried once more with same reaction, so ended day.

Then to see if I could get the pup to give chase to a tethered bird, I placed a bird on the ground tethered, brought pup in he showed some interest, but very little. Untethered one wing to see if some movement would get him excited. Very little. Now if I throw a bird and to have him retrieve it, great. He retrieves the bird, brings it right back to hand. Nice soft mouth, perfect retrieve. Try to get dog to take chase on his own, nothing.

And yes I do duck hunt, so pup will be doing double duty. Retrieving he does great. Retrieves birds excellent. Finding birds, no. Chasing birds or having interest to find birds, no. But if he's sent to retrieve one, he'll do that excellent. No gun shyness at all. Not a flinch what so ever.

I think we'll take a break for a bit and try one of the suggested things. If nothing gets better I'm going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place because I would sell the pup, but the wife isn't going to let that happen. And it really sucks because I paid a good amount a money for this pup. He's still intact so I wouldn't have to sell a fixed pup, which could make it harder.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by Sharon » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:44 pm

ultracarry wrote:Would have already put an add in the classified section as fixed gwp for sale.
X2
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by DonF » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:53 pm

You didn't tether the pigeon right. Pull the flight feather's and hobble the legs. a bird with it's wings tied up won't make near as much commotion and it stumbles around because of the hobbles.
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by birddog1968 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:28 pm

THe idea behind fixing him is so nobody else trys to breed a hunting dog with no drive......
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by mountaindogs » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:08 pm

When it comes down to it chase is not supposed to be part of the birddog job. Except for its component in retrieving which you have. Seems to me if he will get it if you throw it you should start there... with what he does like. Set it up like a retrieve but use a live wing clipped bird.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by RoostersMom » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:15 pm

brule wrote: I think we'll take a break for a bit and try one of the suggested things. If nothing gets better I'm going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place because I would sell the pup, but the wife isn't going to let that happen. And it really sucks because I paid a good amount a money for this pup. He's still intact so I wouldn't have to sell a fixed pup, which could make it harder.

If he doesn't work out for you, fix him and find him a good home if the wife will let you. You WANT to fix a dog that isn't up to par, not breed it or sell it to someone else to breed just to recoup your costs. If he doesn't end up being a good birddog, why on earth would you want to sell him to someone who would breed him? Hopefully this will be all discussion - maybe he'll just take a bit of time to get a prey drive going on. Keep working with him, he might make it!

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by DonF » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:51 pm

As I recall, this pup is only 8 mos. To early to give up.
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by JIM K » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:08 pm

no way i could give up dog.to me,killing bird is not fun.being in woods with pup is.
2 things i would do.
i would get in woods and take walks and let pup have fun.
keep doing that.
see if you can find a person that has dog that will let your dog hunt with.
some dogs will not do this, some will.,

i seen this work with beagles.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by ultracarry » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:13 pm

But even better is if the lines are good lines and the person that did the breeding was decent... Why no bird intro at 6-8 weeks?

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by ezzy333 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:46 pm

ultracarry wrote:But even better is if the lines are good lines and the person that did the breeding was decent... Why no bird intro at 6-8 weeks?
Who said there wasn't? And what does it tell you?

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by wems2371 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:57 pm

Have you done anything in the presence of birds that may have scared him--gun intro, e-collar, launchers, pheasants?

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by DGFavor » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:05 pm

But even better is if the lines are good lines and the person that did the breeding was decent... Why no bird intro at 6-8 weeks?
I personally prefer the breeder doesn't do any of that stuff - much prefer they socialize the bejeezus out of 'em - alot more benefits to come from being bolded up and comfortable with his buddies and people at that stage than can possibly come from mauling a bird or fruitlessly chasing a wing on a string.

Dog like that would do well to gang run/flock with some buddies - if it's a boldness problem, dark alleys always feel more comfortable with a group; if it's a drive/excitement problem, hard for even the most timid pup to resist gangin' up on something if his buddies are doin' it. :wink:

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by steamer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:49 pm

have you talked to the breeder about this? did they offer any advice? i think i would have him stand there get someone to hold his lead if needed , then i would hold a bird and carefully tease him with the bird dont over do it but hold the wings good and let him smell it. hold it up by his nose and let him figure it out. get that light to come on . if he starts to show interest nipping at the tail and trying to get the bird i would move the bird away from his face and let it fly away. hopefully he gives chase. i think i would use a game bird for this a bob white if i could them. i agree 8 months is to young to give up.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by 3Britts » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:55 pm

I don't see where this has been asked, so here goes.
Has your dog been altered.
I have seen dogs that where altered prior to becoming birdy, having been introduced to birds or experienced interaction with birds, and have never gotten the drive to find birds. The dogs have made good retreivers. This is not true of every dog, just some.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by Wildweeds » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:53 pm

I thought this very thing with a CH sired setter,hung onto him for 2 hunting seasons............... he never got any better,gave the dog away free........... neutered.Junk is junk,you know it when you see it,I had one junk pup in my litter last year(IMO) well I shipped the 4 pups I kept/leftovers off for bootcamp,didn't say how I had them rated,Trainer called with his rating which was the same as I had em,three birdcrazy,nice handling,desire filled stylish running 1 year olds that run the front and hang out there.................. the other,is an idiot that don't get more than 50 yards from the quad.I'll most likely be giving that one away too..........

As to the original posters conundrum................. I'd hit the farm auction and buy some of them mini chickens that raise all kinds of heck when chased,pigeons and gamebirds really don't have any "get em jacked up" attributes,they stand around like a bump on a log or run off,none of them make an audible sound which builds excitement.
DonF wrote:As I recall, this pup is only 8 mos. To early to give up.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by bigeyedfish » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:35 am

Wildweeds wrote:As to the original posters conundrum................. I'd hit the farm auction and buy some of them mini chickens that raise all kinds of heck when chased,pigeons and gamebirds really don't have any "get em jacked up" attributes,they stand around like a bump on a log or run off,none of them make an audible sound which builds excitement.
This was mentioned in another thread recently. Bantam chickens are the little ones. Good luck.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by SCT » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:43 am

Sharon wrote:
ultracarry wrote:Would have already put an add in the classified section as fixed gwp for sale.
X2
X3 Sorry, but I wouldn't have waited until he was 8 months old for birdiness to kick in. Have you talked to the breeder, see what the litter mates are acting like. Maybe the line is slow coming on. I feel for you as it must be very frustrating.

ST

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by pointer » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:28 pm

Unfortunately, I am in the camp of getting rid of the pup and starting over. I work with hundreds of dogs each year and all of the great or good ones that I have been around start early and easy. I have heard for years to be patient with this line or that line because they develop slow and need time to mature. They will be super at two years or three years of age. I personally feel it is nothing but BS and guys making excuses for poorly breed dogs. I have yet to see a great dog or a reasonably good dog develop out of a pup that took a year or better to develop a desire for birds. Maturity is one thing but desire for birds is another. I start exposing my pups to birds at 10 to 12 weeks, allowing them simply to have fun and do whatever they want. No pressure and all fun. Most are hunting and holding to shot by six months by simply exposing to birds and letting their breeding develop naturally. I would definitely be discussing this issue with the breeder. Most reputable breeders should be willing to help you out as much as they can in this type of situation. In my opinion, their should be a guarantee on performance and this situation should be covered.

If you do decide to continue to work with the pup, I would let the pup bump, chase, and do anything that would get the pup excited about a bird. At this point, it can do no wrong around a bird. Once you have the desire, you can work on being steady and the finish work. Otherwise, as you already know, you can't begin to train or finish a dog that has no drive for birds.

These pups are anything but mature, but their natural instincts tell them what to do. If they don't have this from the beginning, I am not interested in them. That is just my preference.

These are 16 week old pups pointing birds and backing.
Image

12 week old setter pups pointing released quail
Image
Image

14 week old pup on wild birds.
Image

Good luck and I hope things work out with your pup. You have been extremely patient in my opinion.

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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by prairiefirepointers » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:04 pm

I had a pup I got about a year ago that was smart as a whip, took orders like a Marine, yet had ZERO prey drive. I tried nearly everything... :|
I sold the dog to a guy who wanted a dog but didn't have much money on the understanding that he was getting a "Project" dog. The kid that took him was raising and selling quail so I figured that it was a good fit for him and the dog. Last I knew the dog was on Craigslist a few months ago for $50..... Sometimes they just don't have it.

The crazy thing is, a littermate to that same dog is doing phenomenal on the FT circuit. Proof that sometimes life throws you a screwball and puppies are a crapshoot.
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Re: No interest in birds.

Post by ezzy333 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:37 pm

I'm not sure a single pup that doesn't have the natural desire says anything about the breeding as I have seen the same thing Jesse is talking about. And I have had pups without it at a year old suddenly get the message and develop into good birddogs. I admit it isn't what we want but it does happen.

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

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