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Paying Attention

Paying Attention

Postby JJWISE » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:32 am

Took my Boykin Spaniel pup for his first hunt, but the doves were flying high after 3 days of heavy pressure in this particular field, but I managed to bag one late in the morning. That's when I noticed my dog wasnt paying any attention, he was trying to chew on leaves and sniff everything. I'm sure this is completely normal for a new puppy, but what would be the best course of action to get him to "pay attention"? He retrieves great in a variety of training situations, but he seems to know that dummies are about to start flying and he's ready to retrieve. Out in the dove field, when birds can pop out at any time from anywhere, he's unaware that one even hit the ground for him to retrieve.
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Re: Paying Attention

Postby Trekmoor » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:09 am

I think you were expecting too much from a pup .....the younger the pup the less it's attention span will be. It would take more than one bird shot during an entire morning to encourage a pup to give the skies and fields it's attention.

Maybe try having a friend throw bumpers that the pup can easily see fall in a field while you sit in the blind with the pup and fire a shot just prior to the bumper or the dove being thrown. If the pup gets the idea that you raising the gun may mean a retrieve it's attention span will probably increase.

Failing that, shoot a lot more doves ! :lol:

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Re: Paying Attention

Postby jpowell44 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:55 am

JJWISE wrote:Took my Boykin Spaniel pup for his first hunt, but the doves were flying high after 3 days of heavy pressure in this particular field, but I managed to bag one late in the morning. That's when I noticed my dog wasnt paying any attention, he was trying to chew on leaves and sniff everything. I'm sure this is completely normal for a new puppy, but what would be the best course of action to get him to "pay attention"? He retrieves great in a variety of training situations, but he seems to know that dummies are about to start flying and he's ready to retrieve. Out in the dove field, when birds can pop out at any time from anywhere, he's unaware that one even hit the ground for him to retrieve.


If he is anything like my Boykin, once he sees a few birds fall he will know why y'all are in the field. With a little more experience I am sure that he will get the hang of it.
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Re: Paying Attention

Postby NEhomer » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:21 pm

How old is your pup and what prior experiences has he had? Does he show interest in dickey birds?

At 4 months, I put a pigeon in a cage and let my setter have at it..... he went ape over it and I knew I had a bird dog.
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Re: Paying Attention

Postby JJWISE » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:56 pm

Trekmoor wrote:I think you were expecting too much from a pup .....the younger the pup the less it's attention span will be. It would take more than one bird shot during an entire morning to encourage a pup to give the skies and fields it's attention.


I had pretty low expectations, this was just one concern I hadn't thought of until it happened. We would've had a more active morning, but I had to work until 7am so there had been quite a bit of shooting already by the time I got there at 8.

So y'all think just shooting more birds around him will likely take care of it? Trekmoor I'd been thinking about some drills similar to what you suggested. He doesn't seem to care about chasing live birds that much, but he loves to retrieve dead/ frozen birds, wings and bumpers and will absolutely go crazy if he can get ahold of some feathers.
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Re: Paying Attention

Postby Trekmoor » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:59 am

O.K. sorry I got it wrong ......work does get in the way of the sporting man sometimes ! :lol:

I'd definitely be doing a few drills that link being in a blind to banging off a gun to retrieving. It's either that or shoot a lot more birds from the blind that the pup can see fall. It's about creating links in the pup's mind from one thing to another.

You may find eventually that just clicking off the gun's safety catch is enough to cue in the dog that a bird is approaching. The dog will then go to "high alert" immediately !

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