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Blinking III

Q1: I bought a Vizsla approx. 2 mo. ago that had very little training. I think I may have spoiled him already.

I put a pigeon out for him and the first thing he did was lunge at it. I restrained him w/ a light jerk and said "no". Now he will find pigeons and quail very quickly but then shy away from them, almost like he's pretending not to see them.

I left a quail loose today, he continually tried to catch it and finally did. I left him to do with it what he wanted to for a while and then I hid it again. He did the same as before - found it and shied away. Is there anything I can do, Thanks, Aaron.
Q2: I have a question regarding my 2 year old female Weim. Last weekend I hunted with her on a preserve. We had ten birds, ten finds and we got six.

However, a peculiar thing happened. We went out twice that morning. They put out 5 birds in the 1st hunt and we got three. She busted the first bird and we did not shoot or acknowledge. She found and pointed the remaining four however one of the birds flew to low and she is not steady to wing so we let it go. On the second round she hit the field like a bat out of hell and busted a bird about 60 yards from us. I did not yell at her but I did call her in and then released her. After this incident she would find and point a bird but when I would approach her to kick the bird up she would cower and on the last bird she actually got of point. When she backed off her point I said "Bird in there, Where's the bird" and she got back on point. As soon as she pointed I kicked up the bird, shot it and she retrieved to hand. It was very weird and I wonder if this behavior is considered blinking. It seems as if she was scared of me when I approached however she is not scared of me in daily life. She follows me everywhere and always wants to be with me. What do you make of this behavior and where would you go from here?

Answers to Q1 and Q2
What you are describing is indeed a form of blinking. Usually this occurs when a dog has been corrected around birds that are still on the ground. A soft dog can start blinking on birds even if the correction was simply a loud/angry sounding voice.

My advice is to go easy for now and let her regain her confidence by giving her lots of birds that she cannot catch. If busting and chasing becomes a problem, deal with it later. Right now you are at a critical point with her and you need to help her regain her confidence by not instructing her at all around birds. Lots of Praise!

When she has regained her confidence, then there are several ways to correct busting and chasing that will not make her soft on point or blink. I have some advice on my web site that describes this technique. Of course yard work away from birds is fundamental but because of her blinking, I'd go easy on everything. Good Luck!


Dave Jones
Chief's Brittanys
Guided Upland Bird Hunts, Gundog Training, Started Gundogs, and Brittanypuppies
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For more information on blinking, try:
Blinking II

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