Let a pup chase or no?

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Re: Let a pup chase or no?

Postby Willie T » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:54 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
Willie T wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:I let a pup handle a LOT of birds. From 8 weeks their chasing clippies, catching and carrying them. They're pointing launcher birds and when I pop the launcher, I stop them on a CC. I may let them occasionally chase, but not much. I don't think chasing a bird ever taught a dog anything, unless it was a dog with no desire that stops the chase because he didn't want to really catch it anyhow. It certainly can make them harder to steady later. If they're handling a lot of birds (retrieving them to you), what does chasing do? To me it's one of those old wives tales that has little merit.


With a steady diet of wild birds it can teach the puppy they can not catch the bird. Once the dog flushes the the bird, the jig is up. From there it learns that by hunting together and pointing it for you to shoot, it can catch them. I do understand that working with launchers and pen raised birds, and the possibility of the dog catching them is a genie that is hard to put back in the bottle. A steady diet of wild birds, not so much.


Someday Willie, you'll run in to a dog that would far rather chase than point. They are or can be horrible to break. I never create a problem I'll have to later correct. In my view, wild bird or not, I have never seen any reason to let a dog develop a bad habit and chase. But, whatever works.


You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear! If you need to teach a dog to point you are gonna have a long row to hoe. The point is instinctive and if that instinct is lacking, I’m going to find a dog that is suitable to my pursuits, rather than be miserable in the field with a so called pointing dog that won’t point.
I’m guessing you have heard of Farrell Miller? He produced some of the finest pointing dogs this country has ever seen and has the titles to prove it. I subscribe to his philosophy and it is hard to argue with his success.
Willie
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Re: Let a pup chase or no?

Postby orhunter » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:23 pm

“Rather chase than point.” I’d take a pup like that off birds so it doesn’t get the chance to screw up. Reintroduce birds somewhere down the road to see if the point has kicked in. I’d keep doing the on/off thing till I got the correct results. If after a complete hunting season the point failed to develop, I’d be looking at a new pup. I wouldn’t judge the point on pen raised birds.
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Re: Let a pup chase or no?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:59 am

The best dogs I have owned so far have loved to chase birds when they were puppies. It is an indication of great things to come.

I see the following common mistakes when using training birds. One people do not control the situation i.e. Launchers vs planting birds on the ground where they have no control. Two, they want to see their puppies point so they let them creep and crowd the bird, hoping the pup will eventually point instead of launching the bird immediately which teaches the pup that advancing into the scent cone is futile. Three, they wait until the pup is too old and bold. Four, they continue to use pen raised birds past the point of their productivity and do not get the dog on wild birds. Five, they talk to the puppy instead of letting it work the birds in silence, including saying Whoa which they have not even adequately trained and are misusing instead of letting the puppy learn when it has enough scent to point and hold a bird. Six, they jerk the puppy around on a check cord introducing an unproductive level of artificial handler involvement, instead of letting the pup work on its own and using the launcher to control the situation presenting the training bird in as close to a wild bird as possible.

Training birds used right are excellent to get the pup pointing initially, which then positions the pup and handler well to take advantage of the pup's wild bird finds in its first season of hunting. Then on to the wild birds where they learn all the stuff that matters most. Then back to the training birds once those lessons are learned for the obedience elements of Steadiness.

There are a huge volume of excellent wild bird dogs which cannot pass a hunt test and there are a bunch of dogs which can pass a hunt test but are no great shakes on the wild birds. Steadiness is obedience, nothing more. Maintaining it while hunting upland birds is a pain and most who do are guiding vs gunning. There are many more completely, always broke dogs through shot and fall on the internet than in the field, once the birds are falling is my observation.
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Re: Let a pup chase or no?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:06 am

WillieT wrote:You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear! If you need to teach a dog to point you are gonna have a long row to hoe. The point is instinctive and if that instinct is lacking, I’m going to find a dog that is suitable to my pursuits, rather than be miserable in the field with a so called pointing dog that won’t point.
I’m guessing you have heard of Farrell Miller? He produced some of the finest pointing dogs this country has ever seen and has the titles to prove it. I subscribe to his philosophy and it is hard to argue with his success.
Willie


When you're a pro, you take what your given. They're not all silk purses so you learn to seldom create a problem or behavior you'll have to correct later.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Let a pup chase or no?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:09 am

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:[quote="WillieT]

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear! If you need to teach a dog to point you are gonna have a long row to hoe. The point is instinctive and if that instinct is lacking, I’m going to find a dog that is suitable to my pursuits, rather than be miserable in the field with a so called pointing dog that won’t point.
I’m guessing you have heard of Farrell Miller? He produced some of the finest pointing dogs this country has ever seen and has the titles to prove it. I subscribe to his philosophy and it is hard to argue with his success.
Willie[/quote]

When you're a pro, you take what your given. They're not all silk purses so you learn to seldom create a problem or behavior you'll have to correct later.[/quote][/quote]


I would expect a pro could easily discern whether they are dealing with a puppy with a poor pointing instinct vs the opposite. No reason they cannot be handled differently as needed, but those Pups with a good pointing instinct do not need or benefit from being restricted from chasing when they are babies. As long as the birds used are strong flying pigeons which get up and away quickly and or wild birds, the pup will learn chasing is futile and pointing is the only path to a bird in the mouth.
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Re: Let a pup chase or no?

Postby Willie T » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:34 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xN9Bj7x0jx4GH. Here is a link to an interview with the pre-eminent pointing dog man of our generation. He discusses flushing and chasing as well as some of his accomplishments. Enjoy!
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Re: Let a pup chase or no?

Postby Dmog » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:43 am

I let a young pup chase a strong flying pigeon released from a remote trap. It allows me to become better at reading the dog when it hits scent, when its going to break later on, prey drive, how strong a search it will have, and allows me to start anticipating things. I learned that timing is everything to avoiding and correcting issues down the road. The pup will tell you what you can and cannot get away with as you learn that particular dog. A well bred hunting dog will allow some margin of error on your part but with experience, you will decide what things you will want to avoid and it is part of the journey together. Steadiness training is obedience and I am careful to read my pup's maturity as I apply pressure in whoa training in the yard without birds to tell when we are ready to move to steadiness. I will also back off steadiness if the search is being effected. I think the chase part people say builds prey drive, which is also building the search distance but more importantly it is letting you observe your pup and learn its tendencies while it is learning cooperation. If done efficiently, the transition will be the pup learning that it needs you to actually get to retrieve the bird, thus avoiding the pup catching birds. The pup has to get exposure to the wild birds you want to hunt and the cover type you want to hunt to develop and learn how to work together with you. All the while, the trainer needs this same exposure to read the pup's body language.
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