Dog points, but won't point pheasants

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idahomarine
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Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by idahomarine » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:16 pm

I need some help with my 4.5-year-old Vizsla/Brittany mix. We’ve primarily hunted waterfowl for the past four seasons, but I decided that this year we will focus on upland. He’s never pointed pheasants, but he has quail. This spring I started working him on pigeons and he’s been a Rockstar. He slams on point 30-40 yards out and holds very well. However, I took him out for a walk this week and ran into 3-4 wild pheasants and he flushed every single one. I think he may be scenting the bird and then chasing it when it starts to move, but I’m not sure. Has anyone else dealt with this issue and if so, how did you handle it?

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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by shags » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:55 pm

Seems to me like some dogs don't recognize "new-to-them" species as game. So you have some 'splainin' to do with your dog. Did you correct him for the bumps? Go back to square one and correct however you've done with his pigeons and quail so he realizes that the pheasants are to be pointed.

Around here we don't have wild birds to train on, so the local pros that I know buy a few pheasants from the game farm to do some steadying work on personal gun dogs.

Brittany X Vizsla? That must be a high energy adventure :D

Makintrax73
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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by Makintrax73 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:47 am

Had more or less the same problem with ruffed grouse when I first started hunting them. Took a couple full days of hunting before it started to click, and multiple grouse hunting trips before he started making respectable finds on a regular basis. I more or less just whoa'd the dog on a pushed up bird. Maybe take a shot if the dog does a whoa and there's time. Eventually he figured it out ok.

mask
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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by mask » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:57 am

The short of it is buy a few pheasants plant them using a bird launcher. Use a check cord and let the dog point if he takes a step launch the bird. Do not let him chase. Repeat until he stands to your liking. These birds run by nature if a dog does not learn to be careful he will continue to bump and at worst learn to chase to bump. If your dog already knows he is to stand until you flush he will catch on fairly quickly. Best to you and the pup.

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greg jacobs
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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by greg jacobs » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:26 am

A smart old wild pheasant is a handfull for an inexperienced dog. Your dog would probably love to point them and I'll bet he knows it's a game bird. May take some time for him to learn how to handle them. No dog can handle every pheasant correctly because some pheasants just refuse to be handled. All depends on the cover and the bird.

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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by Trekmoor » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:11 am

shags wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:55 pm
Seems to me like some dogs don't recognize "new-to-them" species as game. So you have some 'splainin' to do with your dog.
My first ever pointing dog was a Brittany. She would point and hold point on wild partridge by 5 months old and on red grouse by 7 months old …..because she'd been out among those kinds of gamebirds. She was out in the partridge fields since she was 3 months old and did plenty of bumping to begin with.

I think she got no chances to find and point pheasants until she was about 9 months old and I was surprised to see that my "wonder puppy" did not point the pheasants she found. That's why I agree with Shags post, I would not do the "splainin" to the dog however, I'd let the pheasants do that while all I did was to let the dog know that I "valued" those birds too.
In no time at all my brit pup was also pointing and holding on pheasants. Dogs often point what you encourage them to think has value to you.

One way of showing the dog that a bird species has value is to watch for a bump on such a bird then get hold of the dog ….gently....and take it to where the bird was. If the bird has been there for any length of time then there will be bird droppings. Express some excitement while letting the dog sniff the droppings then take the dog a couple of yards back from them with the wind in the dogs favour. Having done that "stand" the dog in an approximation of a point, indicate in the direction of the droppings then express excitement again and quietly and gently praise the dog.

By doing this I have trained several dogs who's owners had told me had no interest in snipe at all , to take an interest in them and to point them. Many British pointing dogs just do not point snipe , those dogs have never been shown that their owners value them.

Bill T.
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idahomarine
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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by idahomarine » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:01 pm

Would it help if I put pheasant scent on a pigeon?

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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by Trekmoor » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:56 am

I.M.O. artificial bird scents are just a waste of money.

Bill T.
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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by mnaj_springer » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:33 pm

Pheasants are tough on young pointers. They don't hold and can run circles around even the best dogs. It takes practice.
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Re: Dog points, but won't point pheasants

Post by polmaise » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:39 pm

Young Pheasants and Young dogs are a good combination . They Both don't know what to do . :wink:
So , about Now is a good time for both and handler to do some footwork. Y'all may just get Lucky and call it Training

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