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Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby jcaff1019 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 pm

Hello All,

I will be getting a Brittany puppy here shortly, and this will be the first pointing breed that I have ever trained. I have been reading, Best Way to Train your Gun Dog, and it has been very enjoyable and insightful. However, I am very unclear on when to start teaching specific things. I know that every dog is unique and will start learning things at slightly different times, but I’m looking for a general rule of when to try teaching these specific tasks.

I know this might be way off, but this is a template of what I’m trying to understand...
8 weeks to 4 months: toilet training and crate training.
4 months to 8 months: teach sit, here, heel.
8 months to 1 year: go exploring with a check cord
1 year to 18 months: teach check cord

and so on and so forth. I don’t have much of an idea of when to try training specific skills, and I don’t have the slightest clue about pointer specific training. I know most, if not all of these things, are an on going process that you can work on for the rest of the dog’s life, but I sure believe in having age appropriate tasks (you are not going to teach a 4 year old calculus, and you are not going to run a 10 week old pup on a check cord). I’m also sure that I’m leaving a lot of other training tasks out, so any and all suggestions on training my first pointer puppy is much appreciated.

Thank you!
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby RayGubernat » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:00 pm

There is no real timetable. At least not one you can mark off on a calendar.

The time it takes for a pup or dog to demonstrate proficiency on a particular skill depends on two HUGE variables. The first variable, as you might expect is the aptitude of the trainee. some dogs are just quicker on the uptake than others.

However, that is NOT the most significant variable. The real determinant of how long it takes for the dog to demonstrate proficiency at a skill...is the skill level and proficiency of the TRAINER as well as the frequency of the training sessions.

Simply put...a pro trainer can do things in three months that a person with a 9 to 5 job, a family and a home simply does not have the time for. A pro trainer has land, birds, training equipment and often...a helper available just as soon as they walk out their bqck door. The average person does not.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your dog is to make a list of the skills you want to teach.

Then pick a skill and read up and check out some videos of how to teach that skill to your youngster. If there are five ways to do it...pick the one that makes the most sense to you and your particular situation.

Then assemble what you need to go and teach that skill, review the method and then go work with the dog.


PLAN YOUR WORK...then... GO OUT AND WORK YOUR PLAN.

When the dog executes the skill while still being happy and at ease, maybe a dozen times or so, you can think about moving along to the next skill on your list. You will still have to continue to do repetitions of the learned skill to keep it crisp and sharp, but repetition , successful repetition is your friend.

There are lots of things you can teach a bird dog. However, I focus on what it needs to be a successful hunting partner.

The pup has to come when called. On the double. Every time.

The pup has to stop when told to stop and not move a toenail.

The pup has to kennel up(go away from me) and do it with alacrity.

That should keep you busy until the pup is eight or ten months of age.

When a pup can do these things fairly well(not perfect because they are not machines) the it is time to introduce birds...preferably hard flying pigeons.

One of the first things I teach a dog to do is to come when called. The next thing I teach a dog to do is to heel and stop(after the manner of Paul Long).

That , and whatever else you want the dog to learn, should keep you both quite busy for the next six months or so.

repetition, repetition, repetition.

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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby shags » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:01 pm

You can easily overlap all that stuff from the time you bring the puppy home, except the exploring with a cc. No cc needed for exploring.

With every interaction you have with the pup, you are training it. So be aware and do it right. You can toss treats into the crate and tell him “kennel” as he dives in for it. You want him to sit, make him sit as you put his food bowl in front of him and no dinner for him until you release him. Recall can be taught countless times throughout the day. See where this is going...most of what you want to teach doesn’t have to be formal training sessions, it’s just day to day interactions.

Remember two things. Don’t give a command you can’t immediately enforce. And It Takes As Long As It Takes - dogs don’t learn on our schedules.

Good luck with the new pup. Enjoy the process.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby Sharon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:13 pm

You bring back many memories jcaff :) I was going to see my dog as a Champion at one year of age. :)

Sorry, but I don't like your plan. :) Consider getting (Google) " Perfect Start, Perfect Finish.or "Training with Mo"

Depending on the dog, as well said previously, I think your plan is too slow and is missing the key ingredient - BIRDS

8 weeks to 4 months: toilet training , crate training, teach sit, here, heel+ getting some independence in the field if the snow isn't too deep.
Spring:
4 months to 8+ months: bird introduction/ conditioning to the gun(6+- months)
8 months to 1 year +-: in the fields and wood looking for birds /learning independence/planted birds / steadying to the flush

PS If you are going to be nervous ( as most new gun dog owners are), about letting your dog off leash at 4 + - months ( to gain independence in the fields), consider getting an e collar with a locator feature to give yourself some peace of mind.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby jcaff1019 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:08 pm

Thank you so far for the tips. What I’m really trying to understand is what is age appropriate for the dog with specific tasks. I already have a good idea of how to train (I have trained labs before, and I teach 5th grade for my career) so I understand the enssentials about how to get my point across in an effective way. What I don’t know, is what drills and tasks are very important to improving my dog’s hunting skills.

For example, when I teach 5th graders, I know that writing skills, math skills, and reading skills are essential to student growth. As well as that, I know that specific tasks are more appropriate for their age than others. In regards to math, I’m going to teach them how to divide with decimals, multiply fractions, etc. I am not going to teach them advanced statistics, because they are not developmentally ready to learn such skills yet.

So when I’m looking at a dog, I’m applying the same rationale that at a certain age/stage in their life, they will be much more able and susceptible to grasp the training I want to teach them. However, I don’t know what all those skills are supposed to be. I’ve never formally taught a dog to hunt, I’ve only taught basic commands like sit, stay, come, and fetch. I just exposed my dogs to hunting from then on out. However, I would like to take my training a step further. Teaching my new pup how to quarter a field, how to use their nose to scent as well as their eyes to locate, how to stop on command and look for direction, then execute change in direction. Lastly, to not bust a point.

I am not sure in what order to teach these skills. I know the age is different from case to case, I just want a generality to go off of so I can get a basic idea. Obviously my dog probably won’t follow the regimen timing exactly, but it will give me a good place to start, and I can differentiate my training to suit my dog from there.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby Featherfinder » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:15 pm

As mentioned there is no set time for achieving milestones with pup. The challenge with having a pup as I see it is that folk impose unrealistic expectations on pup (anthropomorphising) and then on the flip side make excuses for a young dog's overt/blatant misbehavior.
Last fall I had a dog here that was reliably steady to wing, shot and fall, retrieving to hand, as well as handling like a dream at 13 months. To impose that timeline on every dog that graced my kennel is unfair. Dogs develop when they develop. It is our responsibility to provide them with opportunities to be all they can be. It is not a cookie-cutter process. This is one of the greatest variances between seasoned pros and green amateurs.
Sorry, but the criteria for developing a brag bird dog is not written on any calendar. With this I hasten to add that most folk (in general) simply do not understand the aptitude or natural potential for growth within a young dog. At say....12 months a dog has missed a number of learning windows. It doesn't mean this dog is a write-off. It means the process for recovery is very diverse than the more natural progression approach.
In closing, I would like to offer that the title for this post is, "Looking for training timetable for pointers." I know this will come across inappropriately but my intentions are good. For the OP, the vernacular within our sport suggests that "pointers" are English pointers. When talking about breeds that point, we typically call them pointing dogs or pointing breeds....not pointers. You can call me whatever you like but my intentions are to educate the OP, not criticize or ridicule.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby jcaff1019 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:52 pm

Fair enough, if there are no realistic timetables to go on, what are the standard forms of training to achieve results in quartering, locking up on woah, and using scent vs eyes to locate game?

Also, what is a good order to go in regarding the training a pointing pup should acquire? (You are not going to teach a dog how to quarter a field before teaching them how to sit or come right?) I in no way intend to judge anyone, but I think people assume that I have general knowledge in regards to what you train first, what typically comes second, etc. I do not have any prior experience to go on here, that is why I’m trying to get explicit and clear directions so I can have a starting point. I don’t want to start training with an unclear idea of what I’m doing. I want to be able to make a plan from start to finish, then change that plan as I notice what the dog needs work on.

Lastly, I apologize for the misleading header of my post. Is there a way I can change the name of the title as the original poster?
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby RayGubernat » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:42 pm

I take out my cheapo "wonder lead" and start doing heel/whoa drills with the dog at about 4 months. Very short duration drills, about five minutes morning and evening. I do them after the manner of Paul Long.

I will also do come drills with my wife as helper. We use two checkcords and sit opposite each other, each with a checkcord and a pocketful of treats. The (ideally) hungry pup is called by one of us clapping and welcoming gestures and if it does not come immediately, it gets pulled to the caller, gently but firmly, then praised,given a treat and held close. then the other person calls and claps hands, etc. as the first person releases the dog. Again if the dog does not come arunnin', it gets reeled in, praised, treated and held. By the end of the first session, most pups have to be held back and once called and released...race to the other person for a treat and praise. After a few sessions, the treats become intermittent and eventually are phased out altogether. The praise becomes less lavish, with a pat or two on the flank and a "good boy" being the praise. All the while, the dog must come flat out full tilt when called. anything less gets the dog reeled in.

When the dog is fairly reliable with the heel/whoa drills I will put the dog up on a wobbly bench and style it up, stroking and styling the dog...getting it comfortable just standing there. Some folks use a barrel, some use a table, some do it on the ground, but the principle is the same... the dog stands and gets stroked up and styled up...learning to stand still and stand tall.

Incidentally I do not teach my dogs to sit...I actually prevent them from sitting when doing the heel/whoa drills. If I do teach a dog to sit, it will be done well after they are steady on their birds. I want the dog's "safe" place to be standing there like a Marine major on a parade ground.

Others do things differently and often in different order. No big deal. Just do not confuse the dog. Do not be afraid to back up and try a different approach, if the dog seems confused about what it thinks you want it to do.

Lastly, no matter what you are training, keep it fun for the dog(and for you too) and keep a level head. A healthy sense of humor is a great asset, because puppies and dogs CAN get you crazy sometimes. If at all possible, end every training session on a good note. If the session is a disaster, go back to something the dog does well do that and end there.

Hope some of this helps.

RayG

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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby Sharon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:01 pm

to give you some simple answers:

"Teaching my new pup how to quarter a field"... easily done with a taught voice command

"how to use their nose to scent as well as their eyes to locate": all in the breeding/genetics/practice

"how to stop on command and look for direction, then execute change in direction. " : You 'll be able to do this with a simple command just as you teach "come".

"Lastly, to not bust a point." : The programmes I suggested will show you how to teach this.

PS I'm an old teacher too. ( Maybe you're not old.) I think this may be a disadvantage when it comes to training a gun dog. :) As you said, when you teach fractions there are maybe 15 steps you go through. Unfortunately , training a gun dog is not like that. Frustrated me too initially too.

PPS Changed the thread title as you asked. If that's not what you want let me know.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby Gamedog » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:06 pm

My GSP has just turned 4 months. In the 2 months I've had him, he does the following on command:

Sit, stay, come, heel, whoa (<--all HUGELY important), down, off, no, kennel, place, up.

He was a natural retriever from the day I brought him home, but struggled with "drop it". After a few weeks, he now drops on command. I've trained him to "hold it" by putting whatever I am carrying (always either a bumper or Dokken Gamble quail decoy) up to his mouth until he opens, after which I force into his mouth and repeat the command.

I introduced him to birds at 10 weeks and turned on his instincts early. At 12 weeks he was finding and pointing birds. At 16 weeks I have him holding point at 10 yards or so from birds.

Quail wings and quail scent (used in conjunction with the quail decoy) have also worked wonders for his training.

It takes more dedication and patience than anything. Up to this point, all of his training has been done by me. I've used "Game Dog Second Edition" by Richard Wolters as my guide book and it is solid. My boy is way ahead of his litter mates because of it

Tomorrow, I will be sending him off to a 1 month course of nothing but field training with a trainer. He will be focusing on whistle commands, introducing ecollar commands, check chords, scent trails, pointing style and only if he's ready, gunfire.


I aim to have him reach his JH by 8 months, we'll see how it goes.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby deseeker » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:52 pm

Here's a trick you can get a pup to use his nose--even at 8 weeks old. Your pup knows what his food smells like--take 10 or 12 kibbles outside and put them into a pile in the grass so he can't see them. Take the pup down wind of the food and walk him perpendicular to the wind starting about 15 feet away--if he doesn't smell it, do it again only closer--when they smell it they will turn into the wind and go to the food. I do this with all my pups before I send them to their new homes(not when the temps are cold--like now). After that you can do the same thing with birds, once you have introduced the pup to birds. You really don't have to teach a dog to use it's nose--it should already be there because of the genetics.
Ray gave you a good tip on come-- with the 2 ropes, a helper, and treats--you can do that at a very young age and they pick it up real quick
I'm also a believer in early exploring without a check cord. Start of in short cover and follow the pup. After a while call the pup and change direction before he gets to you--keep doing that and the pup will keep track of you as well as explore. Next time out, go to a little bit taller cover and do over. Occasionally hide behind a tree, pup will think he lost you and come looking for you--after doing that a couple times he will do a better job of knowing where you are while he explores. Have fun with your pup :D
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby Featherfinder » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:28 am

To say that I do things "differently" is an understatement. Young pups can be taught basic obedience (and natural retrieving skills) starting right at 8 weeks of age. Retrieving is at the forefront of my whole training process. Why? Because I have yet to work with a dog that I couldn't get to point but as for retrieving.....that natural ability has been compromised over many years of trialing. I'm glad to say, I personally am seeing it return even in both pointer and setters
It's not the expectation that is challenging. It is the process. As mentioned, keep it fun but extract as many variables that can introduce unfair obstacles, know what you intend to work on ahead of going near that pup, deliver the lesson with confidence. Dogs don't like to follow lost leaders - and yes, they know if you know. I ask that new pup owners lay out the whole early obedience program on paper. Break it up into logical segments, determine which items/props you need, get everything clear of your training area and then as I said, deliver the lesson - short and sweet is better that persisting in trying to achieve a milestone. Too often folk turn a lesson into a drill and the pup/young dog loses interest or worse yet stresses out! Even if YOU think pup hasn't learned what you hoped for, walk away, wait 2 days repeat or intersperse with another segment before returning to the training obstacle. Do NOT avoid the challenges within yourself in regards to a successful session. Look at what you are doing versus what you intended to do. Use this in the next lesson. USE A STOPWATCH when doing training. I know....why bother? The reason is not having one promotes 2 things:
- incompetence in preparation (where did I leave that line/bumper/treats/etc.) and therefore you become that lost leader,
- pups have a short attention span obviously but you can get carried away because they are SO much fun...until you push too long and they derail.
I teach "whoa" but I have to admit, it is a VERY weak obedience command in my repertoire. I focus on producing a high class gun dog and as such, there is no use for this command. If anything, it creates issues (false points and/or unproductives) with owners that cannot seem to approach a standing dog without incessantly blabbing, "Whooooa.....whooooooa.....WHOOOOOA!
Drives me crazy! Why? Because dogs LOVE black and white situations or if you prefer right and wrong (unlike humans). So, you're hunting grouse in early season and your dog is working the deadfalls, pine stands, etc. You haven't seen him for a short while. Do you start out with your series of "Whoooa...."? Of course not! How do you know he is on point? My next question then is, "Do you expect that your dog will not hold point if he is out of sight simply because you did not support him through the process with your series of, "Whooooa...."? I think you are starting to see the weakness in this obedience "Whoooa.." series when it is applied to hunting wild birds. Here it is in a nutshell. I reiterate, dogs love black and white. If they stick a find, they know they are to hold until sent on - not because they need your incessant "Whooooaaa..." to stay there but because they are expected to stay there. ANY compromise of this expectation is clearly a mistake - no gray area here.
As much as this is supremely utile in hunting wild birds, it also served me in trials. We (the judge and/or I) would find my dog on point. I would casually ride towards the dog, dismount, await for the judge and offer him the reigns to my horse (even if it ground tied ;). Then, I would walk past my dog, kick around and flush the bird with my back to the dog facing the bird's escape, fire my gun, casually replace my gun in it's holster as I turned back towards my dog (standing RELIABLY tall and intense) before sending it on. More-often-than-not, some other handlers would approach a find and the first words out of their mouth BEFORE they got to their dog was - you guessed it - "Whooooaaa....!!!" W
So, which "dog" looks like it has the more polished performance (assuming all other things are equal)? Remember, there is only 1 first place.
One last tip is, if you're having a crappy day, are not feeling well, got a speeding ticket on your way home, DO NOT go near that pup for training. They are very cognizant of mood transferals and may presume that they are in some way, at fault. Tomorrow is another day! You can play with pup, but don't "train".
As already mentioned, HAVE FUN!!! Sorry for being so long winded but my best intentions are for those pups that I might somehow help to get started on the right paw.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby setterpoint » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:36 am

you can teach a pup a lot as soon as you get the dog home
first thing i would teach the pup is name ever time you want to get the dogs att call by name call the dog to you name first then come or hear what ever word you want to use .. when you feed the dog make him stand back untill told to eat ..you can play fetch use a hall way or a small area so the dog can not pick up what you throw and run off ..you can teach the dog how to lead your book will tell you what you should do house breaking .use the crate the dog will stay in at night and let the dog out first thing in the morning when your outside with the dog walk off in a diff direction to teach the dog to go with you and to the front whan you put the dog in the kennel say kennel ever time you put dog in the kennel ..but keep things short pups get tired of things pretty fast .hope this is helpful
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby Trekmoor » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:28 pm

Sometimes we can be just a bit too intelligent when it comes to training dogs so maybe, as a school teacher, the O.P. is coming under that category ? I am definitely not "too intelligent" :roll: :lol: but I have taught gundog training to many people that are. I had trouble persuading them that dogs are simple creatures so train "simply." "Too intelligent" people want to have all the i's dotted and all the t's crossed. They think too scientifically and it just isn't necessary and may confuse a pup. You don't really need to know how to make a car in order to drive it.

I'm another one that starts a pup's training just as soon as I get the pup ..... I just can't make myself leave the pup until it gets older and more confident and better on it's legs ! What I train though is always very simple stuff..... come when called by voice, come when called by whistle and sit to voice. I add definite hand/arm and general body language to these commands and if the pup ignores me then I ignore it for a wee while ....that usually makes a pup more interested in wanting to engage with me again.
I also start pups on retrieving light, soft articles ....usually old socks , just as soon as I get the pup but the retrieve "training" is all kept under the heading of play and fun with no requirement at all for steadiness.

When a pup is about 3 -4 months old and is over it's inoculations I take it out into fields and woodlands and let it develop as a hunter. I like pups to get used to "gamey ground" just as soon as possible and I like them to find birds if that is possible just about every time I take them "training." I don't go in for gadgetery when training dogs to hunt and to retrieve and pointing and holding point develops without me doing much at all .....other than taking the pup to where birds are likely to be.

All I take with me in the way of equipment is a lead and a whistle and maybe a dummy and a few "party poppers." ( The British Police are very intolerant of carrying any kind of gun in public places including the "nature ramble" places where I usually train my dogs.)

I have found that pups vary enormously in when they will begin to point. Some point almost right away, others take months longer but provided a pup comes from good working lines they will all point eventually. All I do is provide the pup with the game and the time it needs to develop as a pointing dog. Holding the point takes a while longer to develop and I let the birds teach the pup to hold a point by flying away if the pup moves in too close. At this stage I let pups chase after birds they have flushed following a point . Usually what happens is that the pup comes to realise it cannot catch a flying bird so the pups chases become less far and less determined . Only then do I step in with a bit of training, I then insist the pup does not chase after the flushed bird. Usually I don't need any equipment other than my voice to do this but , if I have to, I will use a lead or check cord as a back-up to my voice.

By now the pup will probably be somewhere between 5 months and 10 months old, depending upon the individual pup and on the availability of birds . I don't hunt pups onto nesting birds or onto birds with chicks . Once the chicks can fly and can get off the ground quickly I resume the pups hunt training. Retrieve training helps to pass the time during the birds nesting season.

On the subject of retrieving....do not neglect doing a few retrieves per week or even per day ! If you do neglect retrieving there is quite a good chance that the pup will so strongly prefer to hunt that it will refuse to retrieve at all ! That was my big mistake when I trained my first pointing dog , a Brittany. She had enjoyed retrieving from 8 weeks to 12 weeks old while still in the house and garden so I reasoned that she would always enjoy retrieving and did no more retrieving. I just took her hunting. 2 -3 months later I gave her a very easy retrieve to do and she point blank refused to have anything to do with the retrieve article ! It took me months to rebuild her willingness to retrieve......about 6 - 8 months to be more exact . It was a lesson I have never forgotten ...neglect retrieving at your peril !

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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby ezzy333 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:28 am

I may be over simplifying the whole thing but we all are starting to train the minute we pick the pup up till the day it passes. We do not train a dog to hunt. We do train how the dog acts and hunts so it will fit in to our needs at home and in the field. Simple as that, no great skill, but an abundance of patience and the ability to be consistent So in my book house manners on the day we bring the pup home. A semi-weekly walk in a field and introduction to a bird as long as it is done silently within the first week or so. Retrieving games that are fun and short in the first weeks. After a few months start formal training on whatever there is a need so you and the pup can communicate in the field. And this training will never stop.

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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby Meller » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:00 am

Joan Bailey's book ( How To Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves) gives a sort of timeline to where you should be in your training at certain age's 6mo, 12mo and so on. been a while since I read it, but believe it has what your looking for. Just remember that all dogs learn at different rate's .
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby Featherfinder » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:39 am

Haven't read that book but that title says it all.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby BuckeyeSteve » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:53 pm

RayGubernat wrote:There is no real timetable. At least not one you can mark off on a calendar.

The time it takes for a pup or dog to demonstrate proficiency on a particular skill depends on two HUGE variables. The first variable, as you might expect is the aptitude of the trainee. some dogs are just quicker on the uptake than others.

However, that is NOT the most significant variable. The real determinant of how long it takes for the dog to demonstrate proficiency at a skill...is the skill level and proficiency of the TRAINER as well as the frequency of the training sessions.

Simply put...a pro trainer can do things in three months that a person with a 9 to 5 job, a family and a home simply does not have the time for. A pro trainer has land, birds, training equipment and often...a helper available just as soon as they walk out their bqck door. The average person does not.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your dog is to make a list of the skills you want to teach.

Then pick a skill and read up and check out some videos of how to teach that skill to your youngster. If there are five ways to do it...pick the one that makes the most sense to you and your particular situation.

Then assemble what you need to go and teach that skill, review the method and then go work with the dog.


PLAN YOUR WORK...then... GO OUT AND WORK YOUR PLAN.

When the dog executes the skill while still being happy and at ease, maybe a dozen times or so, you can think about moving along to the next skill on your list. You will still have to continue to do repetitions of the learned skill to keep it crisp and sharp, but repetition , successful repetition is your friend.

There are lots of things you can teach a bird dog. However, I focus on what it needs to be a successful hunting partner.

The pup has to come when called. On the double. Every time.

The pup has to stop when told to stop and not move a toenail.

The pup has to kennel up(go away from me) and do it with alacrity.

That should keep you busy until the pup is eight or ten months of age.

When a pup can do these things fairly well(not perfect because they are not machines) the it is time to introduce birds...preferably hard flying pigeons.

One of the first things I teach a dog to do is to come when called. The next thing I teach a dog to do is to heel and stop(after the manner of Paul Long).

That , and whatever else you want the dog to learn, should keep you both quite busy for the next six months or so.

repetition, repetition, repetition.

RayG



BOOOOM!!!!!! Huge bonus points for using the word 'alacrity'!! :D

Great post.... I'm in the same boat as the poster you were responding to here, and this was a great response. I'm trying to piece together a plan and figure a lot of things out that I don't have experience with....and this gives a simple straight forward starting point. Thanks.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for pointers

Postby BuckeyeSteve » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:57 pm

shags wrote:You can easily overlap all that stuff from the time you bring the puppy home, except the exploring with a cc. No cc needed for exploring.

With every interaction you have with the pup, you are training it. So be aware and do it right. You can toss treats into the crate and tell him “kennel” as he dives in for it. You want him to sit, make him sit as you put his food bowl in front of him and no dinner for him until you release him. Recall can be taught countless times throughout the day. See where this is going...most of what you want to teach doesn’t have to be formal training sessions, it’s just day to day interactions.

Remember two things. Don’t give a command you can’t immediately enforce. And It Takes As Long As It Takes - dogs don’t learn on our schedules.

Good luck with the new pup. Enjoy the process.


I've been told not to teach a pointer to sit.... I'm not sure I really understand that, but it seemed to be relatively well accepted. Any thoughts on this? My wife would love to teach the pup sit, but I'm begging against it. Also...love the advice on don't give any command you can't immediately enforce. That makes a ton of sense.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby RayGubernat » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:41 am

Buckeye Steve -

The danger with teaching a pointing dog to sit is that it may become the dog's "safe" place. In response to pressure, a dog will generally want to go to its "safe" place.

When you are working on getting a dog staunch or steady...there WILL be pressure. if the dog responds to that pressure by sitting on point, you have just made your training more difficult.

The is, in my opinion, nothing wrong with teaching a dog to "sit", or any other behaviors or parlor tricks. They are fun things to do with your dog. I would however, suggest that things that can be interpreted by the dog as "going to a safe place", be introduced AFTER the dog is solid on its birds. For a pointing dog, the dog stopping and standing tall and immobile on its birds should probably be it's ultimate "safe" place.

Hope this helps.

RayG
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby BuckeyeSteve » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:18 pm

Ray -
Thanks! That's an excellent explanation. I appreciate it.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby setterpoint » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:44 am

hear another thing find the training book or video your going to use and stay as close to that as you can dont start trying to mix and match diff .books the reason for this is a lot of trainers uses one step to set up the next .haveing read a lot of books on this most dont tell what to do if your dog is not understandind what it says then you might have to change a little in your training.but i will say if your dog picks up one thing realy fast and the seems to not getting the next dont give up to fast take your time
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby JONOV » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:52 pm

This is working under the assumption its a family pet as well as a hunting dog.

Socialize, socialize, socialize. In addition to crate training, which is in many ways a socialization exercise, get your dog exposed to as many scenarios as possible from a very early age (assuming you won't expose it to harm like disease.) Get the dog around other dogs, young dogs and old dogs. Get the dog around little kids and old people. Walk on a leash on busy streets, in crowds, in a store like Cabelas or Bass Pro where dogs are allowed, at the kid's soccer complex and at a brewery having a beer. Take it around horses and cows, whatever. The last thing you want is a neurotic dog that has goofy fears or preferences that screw up a hunt/test/trial at the worst time.

Play with its feet and its mouth. You will at some point need to tend to a dogs feet, even if just for trimming nails but likely to doctor or pull thorns or put on boots depending where you're hunting. Ditto mouth; you don't want to make giving medicine a wrestling match, and it will make for an easier time if you force fetch the dog.

RayGubernat wrote:Buckeye Steve -

The danger with teaching a pointing dog to sit is that it may become the dog's "safe" place. In response to pressure, a dog will generally want to go to its "safe" place.

When you are working on getting a dog staunch or steady...there WILL be pressure. if the dog responds to that pressure by sitting on point, you have just made your training more difficult.

The is, in my opinion, nothing wrong with teaching a dog to "sit", or any other behaviors or parlor tricks. They are fun things to do with your dog. I would however, suggest that things that can be interpreted by the dog as "going to a safe place", be introduced AFTER the dog is solid on its birds. For a pointing dog, the dog stopping and standing tall and immobile on its birds should probably be it's ultimate "safe" place.

Hope this helps.

RayG

Ray, just a thought, but IIRC your dogs aren't house dogs. "sit" is pretty invaluable for a house dog. What if my wife's Grandmother comes over? Dog better know to put its bottom on the ground and get its ears rubbed. Grandfather-in-law loves dogs, used to run and breed cockers, but is confined to a wheelchair. Dog better know manners. Sit is one of them.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby JONOV » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:18 pm

jcaff1019 wrote:8 weeks to 4 months: toilet training and crate training.
4 months to 8 months: teach sit, here, heel.
8 months to 1 year: go exploring with a check cord

You can do all of the first three simultaneously, more or less. My wife, since she liked sitting on the floor and playing with the new puppy, was doing sit and here when he was tiny.

Also, go exploring without a checkcord too. I just finished a training day, helping a handler, and this dog has never been allowed off leash outside of the fenced in backyard "because she was afraid it would run away." We were almost tripping over it...finally got some spark in it chasing a planted quail; the first one scared it. It was the only time two people said, "well that's good to see" after seeing a dog take off into the woods for a planted bird.

And don't compare your dog's progress to anyone else's. Don't compare what someone posts on FB or other social media of their infant dog performing bird dog calculus, or even their infant dog performing 1st grade math, so to speak.

Some dogs mature differently, just like people, and mature in different ways at different rates, just like people. And, some breeds mature faster than others it seems (anecdotally, I'm not a trainer.)

Its not a sprint, and its not a marathon either. Its a process.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby shags » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:01 pm

Ray, just a thought, but IIRC your dogs aren't house dogs. "sit" is pretty invaluable for a house dog. What if my wife's Grandmother comes over? Dog better know to put its bottom on the ground and get its ears rubbed. Grandfather-in-law loves dogs, used to run and breed cockers, but is confined to a wheelchair. Dog better know manners. Sit is one of them.

My dogs know “wait” and it serves the same purpose without taking the chance on later problems with “sit” ( I have soft setters aand won’t take a chance on default sits if they get squirrely in training). “Wait” means stand there and act like a gentleman until you’re released. I don’t use “whoa” for that, because whoa needs to be reinforced if they move a muscle, while “wait” can be looser.
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby Sharon » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:55 pm

"Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed" quote

THis question is asked so often by newbies - and a perfectly good question- that if someone could actually come up with a general weekly training plan ( which is not possible) they could make a million? :)
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Re: Looking for training timetable for a pointing breed

Postby RayGubernat » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:03 pm

shags wrote:Ray, just a thought, but IIRC your dogs aren't house dogs. "sit" is pretty invaluable for a house dog. What if my wife's Grandmother comes over? Dog better know to put its bottom on the ground and get its ears rubbed. Grandfather-in-law loves dogs, used to run and breed cockers, but is confined to a wheelchair. Dog better know manners. Sit is one of them.

My dogs know “wait” and it serves the same purpose without taking the chance on later problems with “sit” ( I have soft setters aand won’t take a chance on default sits if they get squirrely in training). “Wait” means stand there and act like a gentleman until you’re released. I don’t use “whoa” for that, because whoa needs to be reinforced if they move a muscle, while “wait” can be looser.


You are correct that my dogs are outside dogs. However, they still have to have acceptable manners. I have a wife with two titanium knees and two small grandchildren(4 and 7). The dogs simply cannot be allowed to take liberties with any of them because it would be dangerous. I suspect I am not alone in this type situation.

I also absolutely will not tolerate dogs jumping up on folks, unless it is me and I invite one of them to jump up and either get stroked or roughhouse...with me. I am the only one who can do that and the dogs all know it.

I do think your solution strikes a good balance with a pointing dog that would be useful in any living situation . Thanks for sharing an excellent and very useful alternative.

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