Training a dog to point from further away - need help please

Pointing, retrieving, flushing, tracking, behavioral issues, puppy training, etc.

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Re: Training a dog to point from further away - need help pl

Postby 3drahthaars » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:06 pm

? Nose...

If he's catwalking wild birds or launcher will help.

But, if he's that close at first scent it's conditions or his nose... the latter is what it is...
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Re: Training a dog to point from further away - need help pl

Postby stubblejumper » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:53 am

I was the person with the other dog. The chukars were not planted that day, they were leftovers from the previous days, and they were mostly in heavy cover, not in the open fields that they were originally planted in. As well, some had gathered in coveys of up to six or seven birds, which seemed to add more of a challenge. For the first few birds, his dog ran right by the chukars , as if he wasn't recognizing them as birds that he should be pointing. I wonder if training only with pigeons in launchers was a factor in this? Given that the cover was heavy, the dogs often encountered birds out of our sight, which sometimes made it impossible to see the interaction of the dogs with the birds, before the birds flushed. I run my dog in fields where we often encounter Hungarian Partridges, and he has learned to point them much farther than he points the chukars that we use in training, so although my dog does point chukars reliably, he also points them closer than I prefer him to. Actually, almost every dog that tested at our club in the last two years pointed planted chukars at only a few yards. I can only remember a few that pointed them at more than five yards. We are heading out with both dogs to hunt sharptailed grouse next weekend, so we will see how his dog does on wild birds. My dog hunted them last fall, and pointed them much farther than he points chukars or pigeons, so hopefully his dog learns to do the same, just from being exposed to wild birds.
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Re: Training a dog to point from further away - need help pl

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:09 pm

Yes most likely the dog's nose is fine and it will learn to respect birds through exposure to wild ones which flush when crowded. It could also learn the same through proper use of pen raised birds but in this situation it seems that is harder to make happen than exposure to wild birds.

My 18 month old GWP will consistently point released chukars or pigeons from 20 to 50 yards off the bird. So what you are experiencing in these dogs, and others in tests does not have to be that way. A lot of folks do not properly setup and control the situation when working their young dogs around pen raised birds and it very commonly yields dogs pointing them from only feet or few yards away, as you have seen and experienced.

You two live in the right part of the world to easily fix it with exposure to wild birds. Happy Hunting.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Training a dog to point from further away - need help pl

Postby ForestDump » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:19 am

Use launchers and pop birds faster. The dog is going to get as close as you or the birds allow him to.
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Re: Training a dog to point from further away - need help pl

Postby Willie T » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:21 am

Invest some time and patience in your dog. It sounds like he has all the tools he needs. Now put him on as many wild birds as you can. Expect him to bust some before he figures it out. Don't shoot anything he busts. When he points and the bird holds, shoot it and reward him with a retrieve. In my opinion the best teacher is experience with wild birds to develop a bird savvy dog. Your dog is not busting and chasing or trying to catch them. Now he just needs the opportunity to learn how to handle wild birds. A long time ago my grandpa explained to me that "no birds equals no bird dog". There was wisdom in that simple statement. There are ways to teach how wild birds act but wild birds teach it best.
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Re: Training a dog to point from further away - need help pl

Postby centershots » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:00 am

Most of what I would state AverageGuy has already stated. I'll add if you can get a copy of an article Bob Farris wrote for NAVHDA a while back it goes over how to get your dog to point father and farther away from the bird by launching the bird when it makes scent. Great article and I believe Coveyrise64 may have posted the entire article in an earlier thread. Well worth the read. In a nutshell as stated above, no whoa, launch the bird as soon as you see your dog make scent, it will soon learn that if it crowds the bird the bird goes bye bye and therefore it will start locking up farther away. Something I do that Bob doesn't, at least I haven't seen him do it when training with him and he has stated to me he doesn't believe the dog needs the whoa after a point... when the dog points from a distance that's more appropriate and not crowding I'll then whoa the dog (only after a solid point) and pet it gently while softly saying whoa, good boy/girl, whoa good girl/boy... if the dog holds steady I'll go up and flush the bird and either shoot it, or if its a homer I'll toss a dead throw bird for a retrieve and reward. If the dog breaks or creeps the bird goes bye bye and we walk off with no praise or retrieve. I find this gets the dog understanding that we're a team, you point as soon as you know that bird is there for sure and I'll get you the retrieve. Wild birds will do the same thing if you can get on a bunch of them, think about it, the dog crowds the bird and it takes off, no retrieve. The dog points far enough away that the bird stays put until you're in position and you shoot the bird for the retrieve. Basically the same scenario... but you can simulate a lot of the wild bird action with launchers and retrieve, or lack of retrieve. Hope that made sense. BTW, sounds like you have a pretty darn good dog in the making and as AverageGuy stated this is not hard to fix.
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