5 Year old GSP no longer points.

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

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5 Year old GSP no longer points.

Postby MarshallJohns » Mon Oct 10, 2022 10:39 pm

I have a 5 year old GSP/English Pointer mix. We've gone out couple times every season and had no luck. This is my first hunting dog and really just getting into upland hunting myself. Last year I decided to finally take him to a pheasant farm to introduce him to birds and while he did a great job of finding the birds and his retrieve was immaculate he's lost his pointing. From the time he was a puppy till about the time I took him to the pheasant farm he would point crows, seagulls, robins, etc. if he saw them on his daily trips to the park. He's been on about 30 game birds total(pheasants and chukars), being both placed birds and birds in traps. The traps he started to just treat it like his chuck-it and just sit next to the trap and wait for me to pull the cord. I've been trying to work on his point with wings but he just finds them and picks them up like he tries to do with birds. Some of the birds have been sub par and didnt really want to fly so he'd just pick them up and bring them to me. Is the best course of action only getting him on as many wild birds as I can now that he knows what he's looking for or are there some other tips and tricks I can try to help improve his point in between getting in the field?
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Re: 5 Year old GSP no longer points.

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Nov 13, 2022 4:09 pm

Not trying to offend you, but the "training" you have been doing is why the dog's point went away. Everything you described is detrimental to the dog pointing.

Buy and study the DVD Perfect Start from Perfection Kennel. If you could take the dog to one of their clinics it would be excellent for both of you.

The short of it is, if you have access to strong flying homing pigeons and remote launchers the dog can be conditioned to point again. I suspect it had a good genetic point before bad conditioning erased it.

Key to using the pigeons in launchers is working the dog in a good cross wind and launch the bird the moment the dog turns it's head into the scent cone which indicates it has scented the bird. Doing this repeatedly and consistently will bring back the dog's point. Do not wait for the dog to point, launch the bird the moment it's head turns to the scent.

Once you get the dog pointing again, hunt it on wild birds. Do not put the dog back on poor flying released birds that it can crowd and catch.
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Re: 5 Year old GSP no longer points.

Postby orhunter » Mon Nov 14, 2022 9:27 am

What AG said. First sentence.

Sounds like the dog missed its first (possibly second, third, fourth) year of hunting. Use it or lose it. A couple of times a year does not make a hunting dog no matter what it was born with.
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Re: 5 Year old GSP no longer points.

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Nov 14, 2022 4:52 pm

He hasn't lost his desire to point, it's just that everything you describe is a point by sight. Your key is to only work him on planted birds, downwind from them, and always on a check cord so he can't catch them. Electronic traps work the best, but that's a heavy investment, especially at his age and with his breeding. It is possible that if there is a NAVHDA chapter near you or a game farm, they will let you borrow or rent electronic traps.

You're a long way behind the eight ball with him so the sooner you start the better. You'll have to start him just like a puppy and put him together from the ground up. It can be done though but it's a large investment in time and resources.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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