New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post Reply
Jake888
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:56 pm

New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by Jake888 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:51 am

Hello everyone. First off, forgive me for the wordiness of this post. I've been reading the forum for a long time now but just became a member. Just moved down to Dallas, TX from Oklahoma. I'm a proud new owner of a 10 week old male GSP (name : Watson), and would like to thank Mr. Tommy Wisdom at Rio Concho Kennels, in San Angelo, Texas for providing me an awesome little pup. This is my first gun dog and am looking forward to chasing critters with him for many years to come.

I've been working on clicker training for basic obedience before conditioning with the e collar, and most of my training research has been this site, Training with Mo', Jerome Robinson's Ultimate Guide to Bird Dog Training, and Retriever Training Basics with Danny Farmer. We will be hunting Rabbits, Woodcock, Snipe, and Ducks.

So on to my question. I see alot of versatile hunters on this forum who hunt rabbits will work their pup until steady on birds and then just start to shoot rabbits over them until they get the message that bunnies are acceptable game. Since most dogs will naturally find rabbits this makes sense if rabbits are your secondary priority when in the field. My question is if rabbits are my PRIMARY game while hunting what are some good ways to introduce a pup to bunnies? It seems impractical to me to trap 2-3 rabbits and work the dog on a caged rabbit like a pigeon in a launcher, especially since the whole point of the launcher is to teach him that he can't chase the bird if he gets to close, and with a rabbit he will still be able to chase it once it leaves the trap since its on the ground. Also, the rabbit might just hunker down in the trap and not flush out. I am just looking for a way to naturally steady-to-shot WITHOUT using a whistle, becuase it seems if unless I train on birds first then I must teach a whistle stop after the flush. I know in Britain they will whitle their dogs to stop chase. Will they eventually get the point and stop without the whistle? If I have to whistle train him then I'll probably just be check cording him with caged or live rabbits. If I have to train him on birds first I will.

I look forward to meeting everyone and appreciate all the knowledge I have already recieved from the forum, and thanks in advance for advice on this one!

Jake
Attachments
WP_20140610_20_05_09_Pro.jpg
WP_20140610_20_05_09_Pro.jpg (260.25 KiB) Viewed 4884 times
WP_20140610_20_02_01_Pro.jpg
WP_20140610_20_02_01_Pro.jpg (250.88 KiB) Viewed 4886 times

User avatar
oldbeek
Rank: 4X Champion
Posts: 615
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:47 pm
Location: Lancaster CA

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by oldbeek » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:24 pm

My last Brittany would point a cotton tail then gently pick it up and look at me. When I tell her no fir, she would set it down and watch it run away. She came to me as a rescue and had spent some time with a Beagle trainer. Have no idea how she learned this trick but she was very intelligent. My first GSP would point rabbits just like quail. When I would move in his ears would perk up and a little tail wag. I knew a rabbit was coming out. Then he would nudge them with his foot and watch them scurry away. I never shot them.

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8277
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by Sharon » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Welcome to the forum.

A rabbit in a launcher- that would be interesting. :)

I trained beagles for many years. They learn by experience , meaning go somewhere where a rabbit is sure to be found, as often as possible. Make sure your shot is accurate.

I never did but some use a rabbit pen for a young pup. .. a rabbit in an enclosure... 10 X10 or...
Letting a youngster work with an experienced beagle helps too , to a point. Not too much of this or the youngster will lose his independence for searching.

You'll have to follow a plan for teaching the dog to retrieve it to you , or you'll have a chewed up rabbit unfit for man - very fit for beast. :)

Don't forget using a good plan for conditioning to the gun first.

Take your time; don't hurry the training.

Why didn't you get a beagle if rabbits are your first choice?
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

User avatar
CDN_Cocker
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:59 pm
Location: ON, Canada

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by CDN_Cocker » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:41 pm

Should've got yourself a spaniel. My guy is great at finding and flushing rabbits. Just get your pup experience on rabbits. Bird dogs point birds because thats what we give them exposure to and reward them for. They say "birds make bird dogs"... you can substitute bird in that quote for whatever game you seek.
Cass
"If you train a young dog for momentum, precision will arrive. If you train for precision, demanding perfection, momentum will depart." - Rex Carr

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by birddogger » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:23 pm

I am just looking for a way to naturally steady-to-shot WITHOUT using a whistle, becuase it seems if unless I train on birds first then I must teach a whistle stop after the flush. I know in Britain they will whitle their dogs to stop chase. Will they eventually get the point and stop without the whistle? If I have to whistle train him then I'll probably just be check cording him with caged or live rabbits. If I have to train him on birds first I will.
Just teach him to stop at the sound of a gunshot instead of a whistle.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
Tejas
Rank: Champion
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:58 pm
Location: Trophy Club, Tx

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by Tejas » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:52 pm

From my experiences shooting a rabbit being chased by a dog would make for a very risky proposition for a dog.

Perhaps I don't understand, are you going to teach the dog to point a rabbit and then be steady through the shot?

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by birddogger » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:47 pm

Tejas wrote:From my experiences shooting a rabbit being chased by a dog would make for a very risky proposition for a dog.

Perhaps I don't understand, are you going to teach the dog to point a rabbit and then be steady through the shot?
I agree.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

JKP
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 968
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:14 pm

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by JKP » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:46 am

The Euro dogs learn the "Halt" command just for this reason....down on the whistle. When furred game flushes, the dogs learn over time that they "drop" on the flush...not much different than the "Hup" for retrievers.
I use it and like it. Dogs only associate it with furred game so you still have to train steadiness and manners on feathered game.

User avatar
RoostersMom
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1755
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: North Central Missouri

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by RoostersMom » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:31 am

See if you can find a beagle training operation in your area. They generally have "running pens" to train the beagle pups. This will be a fenced in area where there are abundant rabbits. You can practice there.

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8277
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by Sharon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:37 pm

JKP wrote:The Euro dogs learn the "Halt" command just for this reason....down on the whistle. When furred game flushes, the dogs learn over time that they "drop" on the flush...not much different than the "Hup" for retrievers.
I use it and like it. Dogs only associate it with furred game so you still have to train steadiness and manners on feathered game.
Wasn't even thought of when we were breeding/training beagles, but that is a great idea. Many a beagle has been shot by an over excited hunter shooting too close to the running dog.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

Jake888
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:56 pm

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by Jake888 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:02 pm

I am looking to have him point at rabbits and hold until after the flush and shot, then retrieve the rabbit. Exactly like every other upland bird. My question is how to train him not to chase WITHOUT a whistle?

User avatar
CDN_Cocker
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:59 pm
Location: ON, Canada

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by CDN_Cocker » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:26 pm

Why are you against a whistle? Anyways just say whoa then. Whistle isn't needed.
Cass
"If you train a young dog for momentum, precision will arrive. If you train for precision, demanding perfection, momentum will depart." - Rex Carr

polmaise
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2393
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by polmaise » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Looks pretty safe to me! With a trained dog :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPHoaHEAIO0

User avatar
CDN_Cocker
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:59 pm
Location: ON, Canada

Re: New Pup/Introducing Rabbits

Post by CDN_Cocker » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:08 pm

polmaise wrote:Looks pretty safe to me! With a trained dog :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPHoaHEAIO0
Love Nick Ridley's videos. Wish my go pro vids turned out like that!
Cass
"If you train a young dog for momentum, precision will arrive. If you train for precision, demanding perfection, momentum will depart." - Rex Carr

Post Reply