Training Older dogs

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Training Older dogs

Post by Elhewramblinman » Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:08 pm

I have three dogs, 9 months 1.5 and 4 years of age. None of which have ever seen a bird. Anyone have an successful tips to pass along on training these “older” dogs.

The 9 month and 4 year old male don’t have much prey drive. The 1.5 year old Female has great prey drive. Any help with this would be appreciated.

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Re: Training Older dogs

Post by Garrison » Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:13 pm

Are they out of hunting lines?

A friend and I took on this GSP out of a NAVHDA breeding at 3 years old as a project. We didn’t have plans other than a bit of rehab and finding him a home, but he grew on us and we ended up sharing him until my friend moved to Idaho and forgot to take him :lol: . We didn’t have much in the way of expectations because he was really “gun shy” we were told, he was. We had some speed bumps at the start, he didn’t know he was hunting at first, and then he didn’t know he was hunting for us when he found out what birds were. We had to let him find his way back to the truck a few times while keeping an eye on the gps for a couple hours. Once he got it out of his system, he became as reliable as they come. Most often out of view, but always in contact and never lost. Gun conditioning took a long time, and a lot of birds, no fault of his own. Other than that, we started him as we would any young dog, and his instincts took over. He became a pretty good bird dog and filled tailgates for whoever he was with across the U.S. (chukar, valley/mountain quail, pheasants, huns, and a couple sage hens). He figured them all out and retrieved to hand. It just took a bit more patience to unravel the problems he came with.

If they are from hunting stock, and love birds, or learn to love birds, start them from the beginning like you would any pup, and treat them like you would any other dog. I personally believe after getting bird intro and guns behind you, the term “training” as related to pointing dogs is largely overused. If they are bred correctly, have wild birds to work, and want to be with you. All we have to do is keep our mouths shut, drop the tailgate, and give them time and opportunity to figure out what we, and birds are all about.

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Re: Training Older dogs

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:17 am

What breed of dog's and WHY do you have THREE untrained dogs?

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Re: Training Older dogs

Post by mask » Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:41 am

training an older is not much different than training a younger dog. Start with the basics then birds, lots of birds and repetitions, repeat about 5 days a week and see what you have. I send folks home with training with Mo.

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Re: Training Older dogs

Post by shags » Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:30 am

If I can do it with what I had, anybody can :D
A couple of bench bred Irish Setters, aged 7-8 years. Got them finding birds and steady to wing and shot. Prior, they'd never even been off lead outside the back yard.
Just start like you would a young dog. Give them a chance to realize that there are birds on the ground, and they need to hunt. At first, to them it's just off leash time in park so they gotta figure it out.
After that, use whatever method you're good with.

Have fun!

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Re: Training Older dogs

Post by DonF » Sat Aug 27, 2022 5:08 pm

Had a guy bring me a 6yr old GSP male he told me he'd never run. I'm pretty sure that was an understatement! That dog had no interest in anything. Finally trying to get him to look for birds I took him into the quail pen and just stood there and watched him. Big nothing for about 45 min. Birds would walk by and he'd look but that was it. finally one walked under him and he leaned down for a better look and the bird flw off. Few more time's and he tried to catch the birds, getting somewhere then. Took him back out in the field and the doldrums returned, right up till he got scent of a bird. he tried for a look and the bird flew on him and it was like turning on the on switch! I think if it's bred in all you need do is figure out how to let it out.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

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