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Looking for advice: Updated, again

Looking for advice: Updated, again

Postby Compton30 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:08 am

It looks like the rain is finally going to let up for a day here in Central PA so it's time to get back into some field work with my pup on pigeons.

I have introduced him to birds as per the George Hickox training dvds have instructed and he's ready to move on to the next step, which is planting a bird, leading him perpendicular into the scent on the check cord, then working to get in front of him and flushing a bird for him to chase but that he won't catch.

Now for the part that has me nervous(first bird dog and training myself). He hasn't pointed on scent yet, but he has pointed every single tweedy bird in my yard, so it's there. I'll add that he is only a shade over 7 months old.

If, and if I wasnt expecting this I probably wouldn't be writing, but if he doesnt point the planted bird, what should I do? A small tug on the check cord if he just turns and makes a beelinefor it?

He is collar conditioned, and pretty good on whoa right now, but not perfect. I am always trying to find new distractions to tempt him, and usually I can with new dogs or people. I am very hesitant to correct him on a bird at this point, so I planned on just keeping my mouth shut until he was completely solid on whoa with any distraction(s) because I know he'll break the whoa on a bird right now. Next Spring I'd like to bring the whoa command into the bird training, ideally, and just have him steady to flush for this fall.

Any help or advice is really appreciated. I always get nervous when a new step in the training comes up because I don't wanna screw up my buddy, ie first time using the collar, gun intro, etc. So any thoughts or advice will help alleviate some of the pressure I am putting on myself. Thank you!
Last edited by Compton30 on Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Looking for advice

Postby averageguy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:37 am

I agree with your teaching Whoa away from birds but not using it around birds until after your pup's first hunting season. I want to retain all of my puppies style and intensity around birds and do not mechanically restrain or Whoa a puppy into a point for that reason.

At this stage I use pigeons set in remote control launchers. Ideally homing pigeons so you can reuse them but if not use feral ones. Make sure they are strong flying birds. I work my puppies in silence and let them drag a light check cord but I do not hold on to it. I let the puppy hunt and when it smells the pigeon if the pup goes into the scent instead of pointing I immediately launch the bird, let the puppy chase, but I am walking to the next bird. When the pup breaks off the chase I call it come go in the direction I am heading towards. Most puppies with a good pointing instinct will start pointing the birds pretty quickly using this method. I will have introduced gunfire prior using released birds which has been discussed in other threads on this board.

Once the pup is pointing the pigeons in a launcher in natural cover, and holding well enough for me to get in front of it, I will start launching and shooting the pigeon for the puppy (feral pigeons are my shooters). Now we have a puppy that understands that pointing and holding a point while I flush yields the Holy Grail of a bird to retrieve. Then we hunt wild birds as much as possible through the puppy's first season, and take up steadiness training using the trained Whoa command after the first season and before the second. I only shoot birds the puppy points and let the bumped birds fly off with no shooting to maintain the standard of performance that only pointing yields a shot bird.

The check cord that I have the puppy dragging is so that when the puppy has the dead bird in its mouth, should it become a little possessive and not come all the way in with the bird, I can calmly get my foot on the check cord, gently reel him in to me, praise and pet him profusely and after that, gently take the bird away and quickly move onto the next thing.

Enjoy, it is a wonderful stage of bringing your puppy along. The Method I posted is laid out very clearly in the Perfect Start and Perfect Finish DVDs if you are inclined to invest in some more excellent training materials.
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Re: Looking for advice

Postby Pedro » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:45 am

Refreshing exchange of information and methods concerning actual bird dog training. Thank you both.
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Re: Looking for advice

Postby Gordon Guy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:37 am

averageguy wrote:I agree with your teaching Whoa away from birds but not using it around birds until after your pup's first hunting season. I want to retain all of my puppies style and intensity around birds and do not mechanically restrain or Whoa a puppy into a point for that reason.

At this stage I use pigeons set in remote control launchers. Ideally homing pigeons so you can reuse them but if not use feral ones. Make sure they are strong flying birds. I work my puppies in silence and let them drag a light check cord but I do not hold on to it. I let the puppy hunt and when it smells the pigeon if the pup goes into the scent instead of pointing I immediately launch the bird, let the puppy chase, but I am walking to the next bird. When the pup breaks off the chase I call it come go in the direction I am heading towards. Most puppies with a good pointing instinct will start pointing the birds pretty quickly using this method. I will have introduced gunfire prior using released birds which has been discussed in other threads on this board.

Once the pup is pointing the pigeons in a launcher in natural cover, and holding well enough for me to get in front of it, I will start launching and shooting the pigeon for the puppy (feral pigeons are my shooters). Now we have a puppy that understands that pointing and holding a point while I flush yields the Holy Grail of a bird to retrieve. Then we hunt wild birds as much as possible through the puppy's first season, and take up steadiness training using the trained Whoa command after the first season and before the second. I only shoot birds the puppy points and let the bumped birds fly off with no shooting to maintain the standard of performance that only pointing yields a shot bird.

The check cord that I have the puppy dragging is so that when the puppy has the dead bird in its mouth, should it become a little possessive and not come all the way in with the bird, I can calmly get my foot on the check cord, gently reel him in to me, praise and pet him profusely and after that, gently take the bird away and quickly move onto the next thing.

Enjoy, it is a wonderful stage of bringing your puppy along. The Method I posted is laid out very clearly in the Perfect Start and Perfect Finish DVDs if you are inclined to invest in some more excellent training materials.


+1
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Re: Looking for advice

Postby Compton30 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:15 pm

I dont have a remote launcher yet. If when he turns toward the scent rather than pointing it, can I just throw a pigeon out of my vest? I know this is less than ideal, especially compared to the remote launcher, but it's what I have to work with. Are there any other alternatives?

I might just try and sell a TC 22-250 for the scratch to get a remote launcher and a better e-collar.
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Re: Looking for advice

Postby Gordon Guy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:22 pm

I've done it before without launchers and it works too. It helps if you have a helper throwing the bird and you concentrate on the dog. When the helper throws the bird try to have them throw the bird through the scent cone which takes the pups attention from the planted bird and puts it on the one flying away. The only thing I would add is to use more than one bird at a time, have at least three birds hidden out of sight in separate locations, (one bird each in 3 locations) but not so buried that the scent would have a hard time being detected. As you're walking pup perpendicular and down wind of the birds, and if you're sure that the pup is in the scent cone and should be scenting the bird but hasn't alerted or pointed throw a bird anyway. Pup will then associate the scent with a flying bird. Don't use the check cord to stop the pup in the scent cone. Only use it to direct the pup to the scent cones and keep pup away from the planted bird. Then go to the next bird. The birds can be stationed 30 or more yards away from each other. I use mesh bags to put the birds in that are "planted", that way they are where you put them. One can use quail or chukar in the bags and throw pigeons too. I have a hard time consistently sleeping pigeons long enough for them to stay put through all of this commotion. By the time you get to the third bird odds are he'll point when he gets into the scent cone.
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Re: Looking for advice

Postby Compton30 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:59 pm

Thanks Tom, I really appreciate the advice. It's gonna be a short session today. I only have 3 ferals left because I've been struggling through some learning curves and watched more than I care to admit fly away. Luckily I have a healthy supply from an Amish family I can fall back onto for now.

I'm gonna try and rehome some so I don't have to keep doing this. Mr. Don F gave me some good advice on that.

If anyone else has any tips I'm glad to hear them. I'm gonna give the advice I've gotten today a run and see how it goes. Thanks everyone!
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:50 pm

Things went a little like I expected and a little better than expected. When he hit the scent he started running towards it. I tried throwing a pigeon out, as mentioned to do, and he just didn't notice it. I was probably too far behind. When he got to within 10 yards he did point it briefly. I restrained him from pouncing on the planted bird and when he stopped pulling on the cord I threw the last bird I had and he took of running after it, according to the plan.

I really need more birds now as I wish I had had double of what I used today. I think some progress could've really been made. I'm gonna try taking my 8 year old stepson out with me and see if he's capable of being the person who tosses the birds. Man I need a launcher badly
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:57 pm

Where do you live?
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:10 pm

Central Pennsylvania. Tyrone, PA.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:05 am

5 NAVHAD Chapters in your State. Perhaps you could reach out and find a training partner who has pigeons and launchers.
The Chapter I am most involved with has both at every training day for anyone/everyone to use, and numerous members train on a regular basis. http://www.navhda.us/chapterinfo.aspx
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:37 am

averageguy wrote:5 NAVHAD Chapters in your State. Perhaps you could reach out and find a training partner who has pigeons and launchers.
The Chapter I am most involved with has both at every training day for anyone/everyone to use, and numerous members train on a regular basis. http://www.navhda.us/chapterinfo.aspx


Oh yeah I looked at joining a NAVHDA chapter before even bringing the pup home, unfortunately the closest one is a 2 hour drive away. Just not even a possibility with family and working night shift.

How do they decide where to open up chapters? The distribution is pretty poor in my opinion. I wish the Central PA chapter of NAVHDA was actually located in the Center of PA.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:49 am

https://www.navhda.org/membership-chapt ... -resources

Chapters are started by grass roots folks who petition to startup a new Chapter. You could do it if you have like minded folks around you who want to do the work (which is considerable). The link has the process to do it. It also has a NAVHDA Membership list for each state if you were inclined to look through and see if anyone lives close enough to you to reach and see if there is mutual interest in training together.

The closest Chapter to me is 2.5 hours one way. While we do train dogs at training days, no dog can be trained with once a month work. The Training Days are about helping new folks who need to learn some training techniques so they can apply them when they go home. And for me (and others) it is about making contacts, seeing other dogs and breeds work, and getting a Hunt Test environment exposure for my dog which I cannot duplicate at home. Over the years I have made contacts and gone on to both train and hunt with some of them, continuing to this day.

I expect there are folks that drive 2 hours to attend the functions of the Chapter nearest you. Some of them may be over your way and thus be a possibility to do some training together. Many phases of training benefit from an assistant to do something e.g. work the bird launcher, gun birds while you work steadiness corrections as/if needed, plant birds, throw bumpers/birds when working long distance marks, backing work, honoring on retrieves ... So you have something of value to offer the other person should you choose to reach out to them and inquire about the possibility of training together. My Wife helps me.

Just trying to help. At the stage your pup is at, access to launchers vs working birds on the ground is worth every effort you can put towards making that happen is my input.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Pedro » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:54 am

You can reuse your pigeons if you tie a piece of garden hose to their legs. Need to experiment with length so that they can fly 40-50 yards, but not get away. You'll need a helper for this. Put out 2-3 pigeons, check cord dog thru scent cone, stop him moment he shows slightest sign of hitting scent, have helper walk in front and flush bird, let him watch it fly, check cord him away from contact and proceed to next bird. To flush I pick up hose until bird is flapping to give it a head start. Very good drill for instilling prey drive as they can see bird fly away and land. I'm sure there are a bunch of videos out there if you search.

In my experience 2 or 3 bird contacts a couple of times a week is plenty at this time. I personally wouldn't be putting a lot of pressure on a 7 month old pup.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:16 am

averageguy wrote:https://www.navhda.org/membership-chapters/locate-chapters-and-members-chapter-resources

Chapters are started by grass roots folks who petition to startup a new Chapter. You could do it if you have like minded folks around you who want to do the work (which is considerable). The link has the process to do it. It also has a NAVHDA Membership list for each state if you were inclined to look through and see if anyone lives close enough to you to reach and see if there is mutual interest in training together.

The closest Chapter to me is 2.5 hours one way. While we do train dogs at training days, no dog can be trained with once a month work. The Training Days are about helping new folks who need to learn some training techniques so they can apply them when they go home. And for me (and others) it is about making contacts, seeing other dogs and breeds work, and getting a Hunt Test environment exposure for my dog which I cannot duplicate at home. Over the years I have made contacts and gone on to both train and hunt with some of them, continuing to this day.

I expect there are folks that drive 2 hours to attend the functions of the Chapter nearest you. Some of them may be over your way and thus be a possibility to do some training together. Many phases of training benefit from an assistant to do something e.g. work the bird launcher, gun birds while you work steadiness corrections as/if needed, plant birds, throw bumpers/birds when working long distance marks, backing work, honoring on retrieves ... So you have something of value to offer the other person should you choose to reach out to them and inquire about the possibility of training together. My Wife helps me.

Just trying to help. At the stage your pup is at, access to launchers vs working birds on the ground is worth every effort you can put towards making that happen is my input.


Great point. I hadn't thought of it as an exercise in networking more than one of training the dog. I feel stupid for not seeing that sooner. Especially when it is the entire reason I'm on this website. Maybe I will try and get out to a training day and makes some contacts if possible. Great advice, AG. Thank you for opening it up to me
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:17 am

I also do not put pressure on a 7 month old around birds which is the beauty of using launchers silently. There is zero pressure involved.

A flapping bird low to the ground and slow to get up, followed by flying 40 yards is actually a lot of pressure on a 7 month old puppy. My GWPs would be doing back flips on the end of the check cord to get at birds presented in that fashion at that age.

Please do not take offense at the above. Not here to argue, just sharing experience gained from what has worked and what has not over the years. I have used the garden hose method and moved on something much better. At 7 months I would choose to not work the pup on birds on the ground at all until I could afford the right equipment and just get it into wild birds meanwhile.

All the time I see puppies which have been allowed to crowd and catch birds that are doing nothing but rushing in full bore when they hit scent because of it. A 14 month old Prize 1 NA WPG, an awesome 7 month old DD, a couple of PPs, all come to mind that I see on a regular basis at our training days. The pups had/have plenty of natural instinct to point, but improper work on birds on the ground which could not be controlled or presented in a natural fashion has taken these pups backwards vs forwards in their development.

I fear I will rub someone the wrong way but it is hard to not speak up for the sake of the dogs involved. Feel free to ignore and I hope I have not offended.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby JONOV » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:28 am

Compton30 wrote:
averageguy wrote:5 NAVHAD Chapters in your State. Perhaps you could reach out and find a training partner who has pigeons and launchers.
The Chapter I am most involved with has both at every training day for anyone/everyone to use, and numerous members train on a regular basis. http://www.navhda.us/chapterinfo.aspx


Oh yeah I looked at joining a NAVHDA chapter before even bringing the pup home, unfortunately the closest one is a 2 hour drive away. Just not even a possibility with family and working night shift.

How do they decide where to open up chapters? The distribution is pretty poor in my opinion. I wish the Central PA chapter of NAVHDA was actually located in the Center of PA.

Make the drive, at least a couple times. Its worth it.

Also, Some of them train in various places. I know if one chapter around here that holds trainings in area that are 2 hours apart, depending on a lot of factors.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:46 am

Lol man you don't have to worry about me taking offense to anything. I asked for help. I know my current circumstances aren't ideal. I'm not gonna be offended by anything anyone offers up to me, because they didnt have to take their time to offer it up in the first place, but they have.

I'm just trying to do the best I can with what I have until I can do the best I can with better tools.

As I said, no offenses taken by me. I appreciate any and all advice
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Gordon Guy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:42 pm

I think he was referring to me... :) Yes, averageguy is right on again There are a lot of things that could go wrong with pen raised birds/pigeons and pup that you will pay for later. One or more of which you experienced yesterday. Consider his advise "At 7 months I would choose to not work the pup on birds on the ground at all until I could afford the right equipment and just get it into wild birds meanwhile. " my advise. Another +1
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:15 pm

You guys are breaking my heart haha. I'll just have to do my best to get him out in as many wild birds as possible. I dont think he'll be ready to go for the fall at that rate, but that's okay. It was naive of me to have unrealistic goals being this my first dog and without proper equipment.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Sharon » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:06 pm

No need to make it so difficult. I trained my dog without a launcher and hard flying pigeons.... easy to buy here for a few dollars. Planting the pigeons is not all that hard. The birds will teach the dog to point and stay mostly. Young dog will scent the bird, hesitate and point - then chase. I let my dog chase for a week or so as wild birds were rare at the time. Then on goes the cc and training continues.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:56 pm

What breed is your pup?
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:23 pm

Sharon wrote:No need to make it so difficult. I trained my dog without a launcher and hard flying pigeons.... easy to buy here for a few dollars. Planting the pigeons is not all that hard. The birds will teach the dog to point and stay mostly. Young dog will scent the bird, hesitate and point - then chase. I let my dog chase for a week or so as wild birds were rare at the time. Then on goes the cc and training continues.


He's never caught a pigeon he wasnt allowed to catch, as they all fly well. He does exactly what you mentioned in the process, scent, hesitate, point, full sprint flush.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:24 pm

averageguy wrote:What breed is your pup?


He's a Shorthair pup
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:52 am

I have used harnesses, manual trip launchers, tip up cages, wing locked birds, dizzied and planted birds, birds shook out of the cage and allowed to fly and settle where they may. Now I use launchers which are far simpler, present birds in a much more natural manner, and the opposite of "difficult". Most of us who have been at this awhile have arrived at using launchers, (even as some relay how they used to do it differently). Which is telling.

Relative to upland birds, I trained my first GWP by introducing him to few pen raised quail at 8 weeks of age, and then getting him into the wild bobwhites I had where I lived at the time, and by driving 4 hours one way several times through the summer and getting him into wild bobwhites and pheasants. No whoa, no check cording. That pup had a day at 7 months of age that fall where he had 11 finds, points and retrieves on wild bobwhites.

Your GSP does not need to be trained to point. He has the genetics for it.

Using the right techniques it is worthwhile to build his search for birds and teach a positive association with him finding, pointing and holding a point and you flushing and shooting them. If you can accomplish that ahead of hunting season you will be ahead of the game.

If instead your puppy learns to road in on the bird scent, point very close to birds, or worse catch them, and or he begins to associate birds with discipline and pressure, you are going backwards. Some pups do ok with check cording them into birds set on the ground to restrain them into pointing, and many others learn to crowd birds, catch birds, loose style, develop the bad habit of creeping and crowding birds, and flag on point.

I looked around yesterday for used remote control launchers hoping to bring them to your attention. Found several ads but all were sold already. If you were to invest in 2 new DT launchers and one remote, it would set you back about $550. After using them you could sell them in 5 minutes for half price which would reduce your cost of using them to develop your puppy to $225. If you look around you might find a training partner interested in sharing and splitting the cost. You might also find someone such as myself who has training birds and equipment and enjoys working with puppies willing to help you.

Even just a few sessions of the right work in this area is far better than more sessions of the wrong work.

What wild birds will you be hunting this fall?
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:44 am

Ruffed grouse and woodcock are the wild bird offerings of PA. They do have a pheasant season but they're not wild birds
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:56 am

Well a lot of what we have discussed has been put to rest as my wife just gave me my anniversary present and it's a remote launcher.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby DonF » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:16 am

Compton30 wrote:Well a lot of what we have discussed has been put to rest as my wife just gave me my anniversary present and it's a remote launcher.


Good move. Think back to where you were when you started this post. Your pup was pointing dicky birds in the yard but not the pigeons you had. There'a a reason for that, pup couldn't catch the dicky birds. Now with the remote launcher you have to do the same thing, keep the pup from catching the birds! Likely in the yard watching the pup point dicky birds you were mostly quiet, same thing with birds in the remote launcher, keep your mouth shut and let the bird in the launcher train your pup. Now unless you can find some really crazy pen raised birds, don't use them. They don't fly well enough! Stick to your feral pigeons, they get off the ground and land in a tree! back to the dicky birds, once they flew, they didn't land where to pup could catch them did they! Way to make this work is you have to think like a wild bird! You will be the one releasing the bird so you have to get the bird out of the trap. You have to know where the bird is and where the scent cone is. Doing that you will know when the pup enters the scent cone. Right then the pup should make some gesture with it's head so you will know it smells the bird. That is when you pop the bird. do not wait to see if pup will, grantee you a wild bird won't! The pup doesn't freeze right now pop the bird. most likely it's gonna take maybe five birds and you do your part right and the pup will point before you can pop the bird! Don't pop that bird! Your pup has done it just right and hit the bird hard. Hit the bird hard and the chances of holding the bird go up! Do not go to your pup and pet him or style his tail or put his feet where you hope they'll be, leave it alone to do it's job. Do not come from behind the pup and walk past him, lot of dogs when you do that will walk with you, that doesn't work.

Now you know where the bird is so you do not have to look for it. Come in wide around the pup and the bird and watch the pup at all time's. When you start toward the pup, the bird will be between you and a line ff the pup's nose, walk toward the pup's nose. Do not kick grass trying to draw the pup off, you likely will and getting it to mess up is not in the plan. People do that so they can correct the pup, I think they just like to ruff up the pup for their own selves believing they accomplished something. Your pup is standing there wanting to get the bird, your job is to use the trap and show it how. Keep your eye's on the pup at all time's from the moment you go toward the bird. The pup moves at all, any movement, pop the bird, keep your mouth shut and go to the next bird! Lesson the pup got was that any movement on it's part cause's the bird to leave, remember the dicky birds? In relatively short time you will get the bird out without the pup moving at all, love him up then! And then go on to the next bird. Now while I'm doing this, I'm also doing yard work a bit. Whoa training and I use the original Delmar Smith method. Why? Because it works for me. You may find a way you like better if so use it. Doesn't matter how you teach it, only that you do. Once your pup can be stopped anywhere on command, I introduce the flyaway bird. Yea, who the pup and after it's standing well, simply release a pigeon. The pup will break and you reinforce the whoa command. You have intentionally pulled the pup off the whoa command with the bird. You'll find pretty quick that the pup won't chase when you release the bird. So at this point start bringing the command and release of the bird closer together. What your going after is to eleminate the command and toss the bird and the flying bird becomes the command. From there I go on to a dead bird dropped on the ground and a wing clipped hobbled bird on the ground. Neither is necessary if your just wanting a hunting dog but the wing clipped bird will teach the pup to stand with a bird walking around in front of it. Yu can involve yourself farther than you might want to.

The point of this is that when using the trap, to make it work best, IMO, is to do just what the wild bird will do and keep your mouth shut! You could take your dog out on wild birds and do the same thing but, the wild bird will not co-operate with you and on some days, may skip school! Pigeon in the trap never skips school and always co-operates. You would be well advised not to use pen raised game birds in this. They won't skip school and will not always co-operate. problem being they may not fly off away from the pup well enough. They let the pup catch some and your teaching the pup to catch them, simple as that! Once you dog is bullet proof you can then introduce game birds. But don't go from the remote with pigeons to a game bird on the ground. What I do here is go to the pigeon's in a trap I kick over with my foot, just a hardware cloth trap with the bird under it to hold the bird there. Cover to top well with cover or as I do, black tape. The top isn't covered and the bird will struggle and dump the trap leaving you high and dry. Your dog will be used to not being able to catch the pigeon so now your gonna start moving the bird with your foot. heck, shoot a few of these for your dog, the reward he's been looking for all along. After doing this quite a bit and shooting some for him, trade out the pigeon for a game bird. Now I'd prefer quail,they don't run as much as chukars do. And try to get them that do fly reasonable well. Shoot every time you release one. That way even a bad flying bird will jump up, you'll shoot and your dog can associate the shot with a down bird. Avoid a situation where you teach the dog that some birds just dont fly well. I have a friend, still on here I thing, has a really nice E Setter but has learned the difference between wild and pen raised birds. Does fine on wild birds but having trouble on pen raised birds at trials. Same exact birds, one wild and one pen raised. Do your best not to teach that. Best, if you can stay on pigeons till hunting season start's, in the kick trap and shoot for your pup. what will happen is you'll go from pigeons you have been making act wild to wild game birds that will further educate the pup. Do not shoot a wild bird he doesn't handle right. It will not take long and the pup will handle the game bird as well and the pigeons you used. Everything is in place, you've simply went fron a bird that smells like a pigeon and act's wild to a bird that smells different and act's wild!

If you reach a point where your dog is getting h hum on pigeons, that is your faulf. You have gone from making the bird act wild to making it a training bird. Some dog's will leave a bird like that, they understand the game is just a game and that is your fault. Always make the pigeon act like a wild bird.

Keep in mind I don't know one person that can actually tell the difference between a pigeon and any game birds smell, dog's nose's are just that much better than our's. I also have never seen a dog that would quit on pigeons so long as it was never turned into a training bird. Show your dog how to catch the pigeon and it will be happy finding them the rest of it's life. You turn the pigeon into a training bird, the dog doesn't. A bird is a bird is a bird. I've got a few wild ring neck doves penned up here thinking I'm gonna try them training one day. bet a dollar to a sugar cookie my dog's point the first one!
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:09 pm

Compton30 wrote:Well a lot of what we have discussed has been put to rest as my wife just gave me my anniversary present and it's a remote launcher.
:D Great News.

The wife shot this video when my dog was 17 months old. It was low 80 temps and his tempo reflected it. That aside, Note what he does the moment he hits scent and the distance he is from the bird. Cover prevented him from getting a mark on the shot bird but he comes up with it. This is what you will be able to accomplish with your pup. Best of Luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxT_jBKhm8E
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Sharon » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:49 pm

Fun video! :) You're much more of an expert than I , but were you not afraid you might flush the bird into the dog coming in where you did?
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:05 pm

At that stage of training the dog was close to 100% steady to WSF. I was using a tip up cage set such that the bird would go out the upwind end facing away from the dog (who would presumably/predictably be downwind). Purpose of the tip up cage was to prevent a train wreck of a caught bird if the dog just happened to be on top of a bird when he crossed scent for whatever reason. I walked the path I did to reduce competition with the dog who at that stage understood that doing his job correctly was the only way he would get a bird to retrieve.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Sharon » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:04 pm

tip-up cage ? One you had control of. Got it. Thanks.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby polmaise » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:30 pm

Compton30 wrote: I'll add that he is only a shade over 7 months old.

If, and if I wasnt expecting this I probably wouldn't be writing, but if he doesnt point the planted bird, what should I do? A small tug on the check cord if he just turns and makes a beelinefor it?

So any thoughts or advice will help alleviate some of the pressure I am putting on myself. Thank you!

Not even the cord on ! .. But then hey, do what works for You.
............
Nice video Average guy !
...........
Planted are good for training young flushers.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:06 pm

polmaise wrote:
Compton30 wrote: I'll add that he is only a shade over 7 months old.

If, and if I wasnt expecting this I probably wouldn't be writing, but if he doesnt point the planted bird, what should I do? A small tug on the check cord if he just turns and makes a beelinefor it?

So any thoughts or advice will help alleviate some of the pressure I am putting on myself. Thank you!

Not even the cord on ! .. But then hey, do what works for You.
............
Nice video Average guy !
...........
Planted are good for training young flushers.


Appreciate the input, Mr. Polmaise. Now that I have the launcher, I can see your point of not having the check cord on him. But I also can see the advantage as AG noted of the retrieve aspect.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:42 pm

How many launchers are you guys running? I see that you guys have mentioned starting to walk to the next bird after the dog has chased after the one you just launched.

What is the process with just a single launcher? I'm really talking about what to do AFTER the first bird is launched. Just load up a new bird and then move the launcher to a different spot? I'd probably need to take him back to the truck while I'm doing this because he wouldn't just allow me to plant it without him being right there.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby cjhills » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:58 am

One thing to be aware of. Your dog will learn very quickly to track you to the launcher. If you set it out with a four wheeler drive in circles and try to make it confusing. Same with walking. but more difficult. You can plant the bird from the truck and drive a different location to release the dog. No matter how you plant he will start to pick up your scent around the plant. This is one of my problems with launchers. Maybe some of the launcher trainers could address this problem. Also the more launchers you have the more chances of things going wrong, like launching the wrong bird. You need to deodorize the pad occasionally....Cj
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:20 am

I think your best play using one launcher is to have a helper. You would move on down the field with your puppy after working your first bird while your helper comes in, moves and resets the launcher and then you can swing back and work the pup into the area to work another bird. Blaze orange flags or flagging tape tied on cover above the launcher is very helpful in allowing you to have an easy visual necessary to gauge how close your pup is getting. I carry a bowhunting wind checker bottle of colored powder so I know the wind direction at all times and will work on retrieving or OB subjects on days when the wind is too variable or weak to make for good training in this area. You want a decent amount of steady wind ideally for your early work in this area as it allows the pup to be honest and you to make easy determinations as to when the pup gets the scent of the bird. In the video I was training in some pretty thick and tall natural cover which is what we had built to, but lower cover will allow better flow of scent in the earlier stages of your training.

Another thing to be aware of is most of my GWPs have quickly learned to run a boot track to the bird if allowed to do so. I prevent this by coming in from the upwind side to place the birds and working the dog in from the downwind side such that it never crosses a boot track before it will smell the bird. I move the locations of where the birds are placed in each training session and rotate the fields I train in as well. If you are able to do the same it will keep your pup more honest and prevent it from successfully rushing to the area where it has found birds before vs building a more natural search for birds in order to find and point one.

Seems a bunch of us have digital cameras and or cell phones and having your helper video tape your training sessions is very helpful in reviewing afterwards and preserves some great moments of training your puppy. It also allows you to share your videos with anyone you choose whom you might be seeking some training advice from and or the breeder of your puppy for performance feedback. These times of training puppies goes too fast and it is nice to have something to look back on down the road.

On the check cord subject, I use light home made ones made of a stiff braided material which will not wrap up in the brush and let the puppy drag it. I do not hold on it, but I will calmly get my foot on it in situations where I need to, which is most commonly a puppy who is parading around with a shot bird showing some of the normal possessiveness that shows up with bold puppies. (I do retrieve work elsewhere to address this ...)
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Sharon » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:35 pm

Compton30 wrote:How many launchers are you guys running? I see that you guys have mentioned starting to walk to the next bird after the dog has chased after the one you just launched.

What is the process with just a single launcher? I'm really talking about what to do AFTER the first bird is launched. Just load up a new bird and then move the launcher to a different spot? I'd probably need to take him back to the truck while I'm doing this because he wouldn't just allow me to plant it without him being right there.


Which is why I don't like launchers. Yes you'd have to take pup back to the truck unless you have a helper. With dizzying pigeons you can plant as many as you want while pup is sitting in the truck - wear gloves.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:36 pm

Sharon wrote:
Compton30 wrote:How many launchers are you guys running? I see that you guys have mentioned starting to walk to the next bird after the dog has chased after the one you just launched.

What is the process with just a single launcher? I'm really talking about what to do AFTER the first bird is launched. Just load up a new bird and then move the launcher to a different spot? I'd probably need to take him back to the truck while I'm doing this because he wouldn't just allow me to plant it without him being right there.


Which is why I don't like launchers. Yes you'd have to take pup back to the truck unless you have a helper. With dizzying pigeons you can plant as many as you want while pup is sitting in the truck - wear gloves.


I see your point, Sharon. This launcher rabbit hole is seemingly never ending.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:30 am

DonF wrote:
Compton30 wrote:Well a lot of what we have discussed has been put to rest as my wife just gave me my anniversary present and it's a remote launcher.


Good move. Think back to where you were when you started this post. Your pup was pointing dicky birds in the yard but not the pigeons you had. There'a a reason for that, pup couldn't catch the dicky birds. Now with the remote launcher you have to do the same thing, keep the pup from catching the birds! Likely in the yard watching the pup point dicky birds you were mostly quiet, same thing with birds in the remote launcher, keep your mouth shut and let the bird in the launcher train your pup. Now unless you can find some really crazy pen raised birds, don't use them. They don't fly well enough! Stick to your feral pigeons, they get off the ground and land in a tree! back to the dicky birds, once they flew, they didn't land where to pup could catch them did they! Way to make this work is you have to think like a wild bird! You will be the one releasing the bird so you have to get the bird out of the trap. You have to know where the bird is and where the scent cone is. Doing that you will know when the pup enters the scent cone. Right then the pup should make some gesture with it's head so you will know it smells the bird. That is when you pop the bird. do not wait to see if pup will, grantee you a wild bird won't! The pup doesn't freeze right now pop the bird. most likely it's gonna take maybe five birds and you do your part right and the pup will point before you can pop the bird! Don't pop that bird! Your pup has done it just right and hit the bird hard. Hit the bird hard and the chances of holding the bird go up! Do not go to your pup and pet him or style his tail or put his feet where you hope they'll be, leave it alone to do it's job. Do not come from behind the pup and walk past him, lot of dogs when you do that will walk with you, that doesn't work.

Now you know where the bird is so you do not have to look for it. Come in wide around the pup and the bird and watch the pup at all time's. When you start toward the pup, the bird will be between you and a line ff the pup's nose, walk toward the pup's nose. Do not kick grass trying to draw the pup off, you likely will and getting it to mess up is not in the plan. People do that so they can correct the pup, I think they just like to ruff up the pup for their own selves believing they accomplished something. Your pup is standing there wanting to get the bird, your job is to use the trap and show it how. Keep your eye's on the pup at all time's from the moment you go toward the bird. The pup moves at all, any movement, pop the bird, keep your mouth shut and go to the next bird! Lesson the pup got was that any movement on it's part cause's the bird to leave, remember the dicky birds? In relatively short time you will get the bird out without the pup moving at all, love him up then! And then go on to the next bird. Now while I'm doing this, I'm also doing yard work a bit. Whoa training and I use the original Delmar Smith method. Why? Because it works for me. You may find a way you like better if so use it. Doesn't matter how you teach it, only that you do. Once your pup can be stopped anywhere on command, I introduce the flyaway bird. Yea, who the pup and after it's standing well, simply release a pigeon. The pup will break and you reinforce the whoa command. You have intentionally pulled the pup off the whoa command with the bird. You'll find pretty quick that the pup won't chase when you release the bird. So at this point start bringing the command and release of the bird closer together. What your going after is to eleminate the command and toss the bird and the flying bird becomes the command. From there I go on to a dead bird dropped on the ground and a wing clipped hobbled bird on the ground. Neither is necessary if your just wanting a hunting dog but the wing clipped bird will teach the pup to stand with a bird walking around in front of it. Yu can involve yourself farther than you might want to.

The point of this is that when using the trap, to make it work best, IMO, is to do just what the wild bird will do and keep your mouth shut! You could take your dog out on wild birds and do the same thing but, the wild bird will not co-operate with you and on some days, may skip school! Pigeon in the trap never skips school and always co-operates. You would be well advised not to use pen raised game birds in this. They won't skip school and will not always co-operate. problem being they may not fly off away from the pup well enough. They let the pup catch some and your teaching the pup to catch them, simple as that! Once you dog is bullet proof you can then introduce game birds. But don't go from the remote with pigeons to a game bird on the ground. What I do here is go to the pigeon's in a trap I kick over with my foot, just a hardware cloth trap with the bird under it to hold the bird there. Cover to top well with cover or as I do, black tape. The top isn't covered and the bird will struggle and dump the trap leaving you high and dry. Your dog will be used to not being able to catch the pigeon so now your gonna start moving the bird with your foot. heck, shoot a few of these for your dog, the reward he's been looking for all along. After doing this quite a bit and shooting some for him, trade out the pigeon for a game bird. Now I'd prefer quail,they don't run as much as chukars do. And try to get them that do fly reasonable well. Shoot every time you release one. That way even a bad flying bird will jump up, you'll shoot and your dog can associate the shot with a down bird. Avoid a situation where you teach the dog that some birds just dont fly well. I have a friend, still on here I thing, has a really nice E Setter but has learned the difference between wild and pen raised birds. Does fine on wild birds but having trouble on pen raised birds at trials. Same exact birds, one wild and one pen raised. Do your best not to teach that. Best, if you can stay on pigeons till hunting season start's, in the kick trap and shoot for your pup. what will happen is you'll go from pigeons you have been making act wild to wild game birds that will further educate the pup. Do not shoot a wild bird he doesn't handle right. It will not take long and the pup will handle the game bird as well and the pigeons you used. Everything is in place, you've simply went fron a bird that smells like a pigeon and act's wild to a bird that smells different and act's wild!

If you reach a point where your dog is getting h hum on pigeons, that is your faulf. You have gone from making the bird act wild to making it a training bird. Some dog's will leave a bird like that, they understand the game is just a game and that is your fault. Always make the pigeon act like a wild bird.

Keep in mind I don't know one person that can actually tell the difference between a pigeon and any game birds smell, dog's nose's are just that much better than our's. I also have never seen a dog that would quit on pigeons so long as it was never turned into a training bird. Show your dog how to catch the pigeon and it will be happy finding them the rest of it's life. You turn the pigeon into a training bird, the dog doesn't. A bird is a bird is a bird. I've got a few wild ring neck doves penned up here thinking I'm gonna try them training one day. bet a dollar to a sugar cookie my dog's point the first one!


Don, I've read this post probably 7-8 times for a couple reasons. First, I think it is full of sound and genuine advice. Second, It really makes me smile when you reference Jax pointing the tweedy birds in the backyard without me saying anything to him because that's exactly what happened.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:46 am

Another thing I've been thinking about, just from a devil's advocate perspective.

What if my dog just enjoys chasing birds? Is there a scenario in here where launching the bird doesn't make him start pointing/staunching him up because he just likes chasing? Maybe I'm just overthinking this.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby birddogger2 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:46 am

Compton30 wrote:Another thing I've been thinking about, just from a devil's advocate perspective.

What if my dog just enjoys chasing birds? Is there a scenario in here where launching the bird doesn't make him start pointing/staunching him up because he just likes chasing? Maybe I'm just overthinking this.



Yes there are some, few bird dogs that will never stop chasing. However, they are in the distinct minority, since they do not make serviceable gun dogs and thus, do not get to pass on that trait. The more success that a dog has in catching birds while chasing, the more difficult it will be to dissuade them of the practice. They are predators after all. That is one reason I actively discourage my bird dogs from things like chasing or even pointing rabbits and such.

Most bird dog's predatory instinct, with training and direction, will become focused on pointing and holding, because that is the scenario which yields the highest level of success for the dog. I the dog learns that the best way for it to wrap its gums around a bird is to point it and hold it until the guy with the gun gets there and shoots it for them to retrieve... that is the direction the dog's instincts will send it.

It is the trainer's job to accentuate the positive as best we can and let the dog figure it out.

I have found that if you consistently frustrate and actively discourage a dog's attempts to chase by making sure that they fail and letting them know you are not pleased ... every time...most bird dogs will give it up.

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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby cjhills » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:56 am

Compton30 wrote:Another thing I've been thinking about, just from a devil's advocate perspective.

What if my dog just enjoys chasing birds? Is there a scenario in here where launching the bird doesn't make him start pointing/staunching him up because he just likes chasing? Maybe I'm just overthinking this.

This is a great question. I bought a puppy who loved the chase. He would chase airplanes, migrating waterfowl or anything else that flew. I think it is similar to a car chasing dog. They don't want to catch the car the just love the chase. The launchers basically made it worse. He learn if he moved he got to chase. Whoa training and a lot of high voltage ecollar stopped that and he became a pretty good dog. I admit to not being a very good launcher trainer, for me they cause about as many problems as they solve...………………….Cj
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby DonF » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:25 am

Compton30 wrote:Another thing I've been thinking about, just from a devil's advocate perspective.

What if my dog just enjoys chasing birds? Is there a scenario in here where launching the bird doesn't make him start pointing/staunching him up because he just likes chasing? Maybe I'm just overthinking this.


I may have alreay told this story here. Had a guy come over years ago with a Black and white shorthair he was given by the bird preserve he used. He said they gave it to him because it had to much prey drive and would not point. We took his dog out in my starting field with a few remote traps and in maybe 15 min had his dog pointing. Something to remember is the dog chase's because it want's the bird. Well Just as the dog entered the scent cone and gave any indication at all it smelled game, I popped the bird. Yes, the first few time's the dog did chase then it stopped just as the trap was released. Next time out the dog got stopped before I got the trap released. Suddenly the dog is doing exactly what was claimed it wouldn't do! Still a ways from getting to the front and flushing the bird though. Never went to the dog after it established point, rather made a circle to the front and took a line off the dog's nose. The bird was then between me and the dog. Back up a bit. That dog did not allow me to get to the front right away. Very important to keep your eyes on the dog at all times. any movement, any at all and pop the bird. Dog glances at you out of the corner of it's eye, pop the bird. Do not hesitate, get the bird out of there. What you are teaching the dog is that what cause's the bird to leave is it's own movement! Won't take very long for you to get to the front and walk into the dog but, as you get near, the dog will likely move. Pop the bird shut up and go on.

That guy hunted that dog with his little setter that fall and told me it smoked his setter, it was a really nice dog. Pay attention to what you are doing and get timing down! Timing is very important, can't stress that enough. You can make about any dog stop on a bird if you time the release right. You teach what is refered to as blinking.

Had a guy on here several years ago that had a dog that would leave a bird when he approached it. he couldn't figure it out. Finely someone came up with the idea the dog was gun shy and another guy here that lived close went out with him to see what was to see. Yep it was not the bird causing the dog to leave but the gun. He helped him through that and the dog was good to go. Luckily he hadn't destroyed the dog before he got help. He though the dog was bird shy but it wasn't, it was a bit gun shy. learn to read what the dog is telling you. Training a dog to hunt is no big deal. Training the owner to handle it is! Timing and read your dog!
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:50 am

Appreciate the input, Ray and Don.

Sounds like it's unlikely that the dog would be some sort of statistical anomaly that would buck the method has been described in this training.

I'll give it a run and report back. Hopefully things go as planned and we can be ready for hunting season. Either way, I'm having a blast and look forward to working with my buddy every day. Probably why I like taking things slow. These moments aren't around forever.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby DonF » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:58 am

My Stormy never showed much interest till 11 mos then really came on. Friends E Setter never showed till about 5 mos and then she turned on.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Urban_Redneck » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:17 am

Nice to see you got sorted out some....

Back to the NAVHDA training issue. Look for pointer/setter clubs closer to home. They probably can't help much with tracking or water work, but, for the pointy parts of training, you'll likely find assistance.

Weekend before last, I trained with 3 NAVHDA chapters in 3 days (FRI, SAT, SUN), all offer something a little different. The way I look at it, if I'd drive that far to hunt, I can drive that far to train.

Best of luck with the pup!
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Urban_Redneck
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:59 pm

Urban_Redneck wrote:Nice to see you got sorted out some....

Back to the NAVHDA training issue. Look for pointer/setter clubs closer to home. They probably can't help much with tracking or water work, but, for the pointy parts of training, you'll likely find assistance.

Weekend before last, I trained with 3 NAVHDA chapters in 3 days (FRI, SAT, SUN), all offer something a little different. The way I look at it, if I'd drive that far to hunt, I can drive that far to train.

Best of luck with the pup!


That's a heck of a run! That's a good way of looking at it. I am going to become a NAVHDA member. I'll check into the pointer/setter clubs and see what I can turn up. Appreciate your taking time to respond!
Compton30
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby averageguy » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm

Hey Compton 30, I thought to mention, Out of an abundance of caution I introduce my pups to a bird launcher prior to working them on the launchers/live birds in cover. I set the launcher in plan open view (I use my gravel parking area beside the house and barns) set with a dead pigeon in it. I lead the pup up to about 40 yards away and then pop the launcher and let the pup go get the dead bird that pops up in the air and falls back to the open ground beside the launcher. Assuming the pup had no problems going and getting the bird, I will do it once more again at a distance for good measure and a sound bold pup will now associate the sound of the launcher going off with the good thing of the dead bird.

And of course I will not let the pup get too close to the launcher when I am using it with live birds in cover, so the pup will not be startled by the sound of the launcher going off.

Just wanted to mention is it a good idea to introduce the launcher in the manner above so the sound does not startle your pup.
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Re: Looking for advice: Updated

Postby Compton30 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:14 pm

I plan on introducing it to him in the yard before we take it out to the field. Thanks for the recommendation on how to go about it. He's a very bold puppy so I don't think it'll be any issue but I still like to be safe.
Compton30
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