Dog Won't Point

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

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Dog Won't Point

Postby Dakotazeb » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:41 pm

I have a 15 month old female Brittany out of some excellent lines that I got when she was 6 months old. But here's the situation. She was at a trainer in Colorado for 2 months (June & July) this summer. When the trainer first got her she just wasn't using her nose and over running her birds, but after 2-3 weeks her nose appeared to turn on and she did very well the rest of the time at the trainers. So much so that the trainer told me she was the "real deal". When I picked her up we took her in the field and she pointed the pigeons (in launchers) very well holding point steady through the flush and starting pistol shot. I don't have access around here to birds so I was unable to get her on birds since she was at the trainer. Two weeks ago I took a trip to Montana to hunt Sharpies and Huns. Only hunted two days as the rain cut my hunting short. But during those two days my dog never pointed a bird. We got into quite a few birds and she had many opportunities. She would run and just blow through them like they weren't there. I came home quite frustrated. Today in the field she found 5 hen pheasants. On one pair she was in some trees when they blew out with her in hot pursuit so I was unable to observe what exactly happened but I'm assuming she flushed them. However, the other 3 were individual birds and I was able to observe her hitting scent, trying to follow the scent and then flushing the birds with no inclination to stop and point. I've never seen this in a pointing dog I've owned and am at a loss of what to do. All my previous Brittanys were pointing birds at a much younger age. I've been told to give her time and she will figure it out. Any insight and suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby orhunter » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:12 pm

Dog is unfamiliar with the new birds, will need to shoot a couple and let the dog know, this is what we're hunting.
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Dakotazeb » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:03 pm

orhunter wrote:Dog is unfamiliar with the new birds, will need to shoot a couple and let the dog know, this is what we're hunting.


Hey Harvey, I hope it's that simple! One thing for sure is this dog has run in her. That first day in Montana she logged 30 miles according to my Alpha. She is crazy about birds but just won't point.
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby 3drahthaars » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:39 pm

I agree ... needs to mske connection.

Planted pigeons are one thing... game birds can be another.

All pups are a little different.

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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Doc E » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:24 pm

? Maybe ? The trainer only used birds in launcher boxes --- dogs will learn to point launchers even if they don't contain a bird.

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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby bwjohn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:13 pm

more bird contact and more bird contact and more bird contact!!!

some dogs just get it slower than others, you said she was late to use her nose, still just not making that connection. If you really want her to pan out for the future and be a top notch dog, don't worry about this hunting season and let her figure it out. maybe don't even take a gun, take a camera instead and enjoy.

if the blood is there, I am sure at some point it will work out (no pun intended).

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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby SMAbby » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:04 pm

So close to hunting season makes it hard. You just have to run her on the birds and not shoot what she doesnt point honest. Pheasants are especially tough in this situation. So if you see her working, point, workin,point and bird flushes, you have to decide if it was honest.

Let her learn this season and get to work in the spring.
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:16 am

all excellent suggestions/observations
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby 3drahthaars » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:13 pm

SMAbby wrote:So close to hunting season makes it hard. You just have to run her on the birds and not shoot what she doesnt point honest. Pheasants are especially tough in this situation. So if you see her working, point, workin,point and bird flushes, you have to decide if it was honest.

Let her learn this season and get to work in the spring.


My pup's first wild bird was a hen pheasant. After we flushed it my buddy said she deserved the retrieve and it would have been worth the ticket...

It took me 4 DDs to realize the importance of killing birds over my pup in the first season. I've sluiced ducks for the others, but the "ticket" would be in order on my next pup.

I don't preach breaking the law, but it is SO important to provide the exposure during the formative age.

Good luck,

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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Dakotazeb » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:59 pm

Thanks everyone for your input. I'll hunt her a lot this fall, try to get her on as many birds as possible and see what happens. Then it will be back to the trainers after the first of the year.
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Dakotazeb » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:59 pm

Saw a glimmer of hope in the field today. Went across the state line to Minnesota for their opener. Have a friend over there with 3 quarters of CRP. Bree and I were in the field for about 3 hours and she found 3 hens. Birds are really down in the area. The first two I saw her working the scent and then the hens flushed. But when we were almost done for the day she went over a little hill to my right. When she didn't come when called I walked over the hill and found her locked up solid on a nice point. She remained steady while I went in front of her and flushed a hen. She did release on the flush but just to see her finally point a pheasant made my day. Hopefully it is the first of many to come. I was so excited she was actually on point that I forgot to snap a pic. :D
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Densa44 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:02 pm

Have you tried Rick Smith's whoa post? He has a web site Huntsmith I think and it has worked for me.
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:05 pm

Good going! Best for you to work the dog and let someone else shoot. I often just take the camera and don't shoot at all. Congratulatons!
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby 2britts » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:48 am

Sounds like my first Brittany. She over ran most of her points as a young dog. She had a great nose but crowded birds and chased when she should have established and held a point. I took her off birds, broke out the whoa board and reestablished the whoa command. Did it for 30 days. She turned out to be an awesome dog. Some dogs, like my second Britt point and hold right out of the box. Make bad trainers (myself) look like champs, others need some patience and a little more time. Female Britts in my experience like to play head games with their handlers. It's what makes them fun to train.
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Re: Dog Won't Point

Postby Duckdon » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:09 pm

Don't over look your obedience work in the yard and field. It's far easier to work with and train an obedient dog than the other way around.
I shoot wild birds early in a pups training.
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