I have a 5 month old GSP who I was originally training to be a service up until a month ago. During the time from 2 months until 4 months, loose leash walking was fine then it progressed from a 20 minute straight walk to 1hr and 10 mins. I'm guessing his energy level increased. He also stopped playing fetch, common, took toys away and gave when time needed. I called the vet and spoke about LIGHT jogs and that was a go. That was working until he discovered birds and what turned good for him was ehhh a struggle for me. I started waking up before sunrise to walk him, walked him after dusk, continued trying to get him interested in other toys, along with jogs and time in an open field. Still wasn't enough. Pounding my head on wall (not literally) and getting frustrated, I didn't know what to do. One day I took him for a walk and I noticed what I did think is the final sensory (smelling the air maybe to catch a scent riding the wind) to tell if you are going to have a good bird dog and it hit me. I'm training him to be the wrong dog. I would read this forum before I joined recently to see what others do for basic obedience, house problems, ways to blow of energy and other training methods and I was missing the big picture. I took him on a short hiking trail that lead to a river for I guess what's called terrain exposure and it was a side of my pup I've never seen before. Freedom. I'm a big guy and it was a little emotional to see that I was wanting him to be a service dog and then seeing his true nature come to life. Since that moment, we've been out to all different types of terrains with no commands, he's happy, it's therapeutic for me and I'm enrolled In a hunters safety course because I'm from a place where they don't really do these type of things y'all talk about in this forum. He's caught a dove and I didn't know what to do but praise him on the outside and panic on the inside because he mouthed on it a few times. I sat him down after he came to me and I gently pried his mouth open and took the dead dove out.I have the (Best way to train your gundog by Delmar Smith) which apparently is the Bible to all of this, on the way.
Now that I've painted a picture, in respects to what I've read online and through here, is there any feedback this forum might be able to give to me for my pup and myself? Anything helps and would be much appreciated.
Hardtops Up... Softtops Down... Brothers for life.