Getting a dog pointing

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

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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:33 pm

Everything I suggested follows the Perfect Start approach. Including the use of pigeons in launchers to provide pointing opportunities and bring out a pup's pointing instinct and caution around birds.

I let my pups chase especially for awhile, but 300 yards is A LOT of chasing. I am hearing this pup has been on wild birds a bunch and been chasing birds hard for quite a while now with no sign of letting up. If anything it has gotten worse since catching some birds.

Jon will tell you there is nothing wrong with starting to use trained recall to bring a pup around from excessive chasing, which is what I suggested at this stage.

I am not talking about requiring the pup to stand to a flushed bird, but calling the pup off with a trained recall command after it has gone a reasonable distance after a flushed bird vs letting it continue to run 300 yards after the bird is the better handling at this stage.

Critical and already covered between IDHunter and myself in this thread, is the pup knows and understands the recall command. Also critical is reading the dog. This pup is described as a bold bird crazy pup with a lot of wild bird exposure under its belt approaching one year of age. A perfect candidate for applying some trained restraint.

Training and using the Whoa command after the hunting season is over to move into steadiness training is also what I suggested.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Willie T » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:44 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Everything I suggested follows the Perfect Start approach. Including the use of pigeons in launchers to provide pointing opportunities and bring out a pup's pointing instinct and caution around birds.

I let my pups chase especially for awhile, but 300 yards is A LOT of chasing. I am hearing this pup has been on wild birds a bunch and been chasing birds hard for quite a while now with no sign of letting up.

Jon will tell you there is nothing wrong with starting to use trained recall to bring a pup around from excessive chasing, which I what I suggested at this stage. Critical and already covered between IDHunter and myself in this thread, is the pup knows and understands the recall command.

Training and using the Whoa command after the hunting season is over to move into steadiness training is also what I suggested.


I agree with all you have said AG. I just think finding a productive way to put birds in this pups mouth (which is what ran him off the rails) might be powerful motivation to work for the gun. Birds obviously push this dogs buttons.

Edit to ask: Idhunter, when you worked him on launched birds, did you shoot the ones for him he did it right on?
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:01 pm

Whoa break your pup in the yard, No Birds.
Use pigeons in a launcher, approach birds cross wind with pup on check cord ,when he hits sent he should point , if he doesn't launch bird, walk the opposite way the bird flushed with the pup, this should stop him from chasing after 10 or so birds, once he starts holding point for a short time kill the bird for him. Forrest
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby orhunter » Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:34 pm

Forrest: MOFW. Thanks for breaking it down into something that make perfect “simple” sense. Too many words, so little said.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby IDHunter » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:03 pm

Willie T wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:Everything I suggested follows the Perfect Start approach. Including the use of pigeons in launchers to provide pointing opportunities and bring out a pup's pointing instinct and caution around birds.

I let my pups chase especially for awhile, but 300 yards is A LOT of chasing. I am hearing this pup has been on wild birds a bunch and been chasing birds hard for quite a while now with no sign of letting up.

Jon will tell you there is nothing wrong with starting to use trained recall to bring a pup around from excessive chasing, which I what I suggested at this stage. Critical and already covered between IDHunter and myself in this thread, is the pup knows and understands the recall command.

Training and using the Whoa command after the hunting season is over to move into steadiness training is also what I suggested.


I agree with all you have said AG. I just think finding a productive way to put birds in this pups mouth (which is what ran him off the rails) might be powerful motivation to work for the gun. Birds obviously push this dogs buttons.

Edit to ask: Idhunter, when you worked him on launched birds, did you shoot the ones for him he did it right on?
Willie


The pigeons that were worked correctly were not shot, because they were homers that belonged to a guy who was helping me out. Next time we work launchers I'll buy some birds that can be shot so that he gets his reward for doing it the right way.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:00 pm

IDHunter wrote:The pigeons that were worked correctly were not shot, because they were homers that belonged to a guy who was helping me out. Next time we work launchers I'll buy some birds that can be shot so that he gets his reward for doing it the right way.


It is the shooting of the bird when the pup points and holds point, and not shooting the bird when they don't, that helps them connect the dots that the only way they get the bird is by pointing, holding point until you flush the bird.

Initially I will launch and shoot the bird while the pup is holding point without adding the additional pressure of me being completely in front and simulating the flush.

Once the pup is holding well enough to do that a few times in a row, I advance the training to me getting completely in front of the pup (I circle around to the front and avoid coming past the pup from the rear because it is less competitive for the pup) and then launching the bird.

Once that has gone well, I advance to getting to the front and kicking around in the grass before I launch the bird simulating me attempting to flush a bird in the grass. If the pup breaks before I launch the bird, I launch and do not shoot it.

At each incremental stage the bird flies away if the pup breaks prematurely, gets shot if it does not. It really connects the dots for the pup.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby IDHunter » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:13 pm

AverageGuy wrote:
IDHunter wrote:The pigeons that were worked correctly were not shot, because they were homers that belonged to a guy who was helping me out. Next time we work launchers I'll buy some birds that can be shot so that he gets his reward for doing it the right way.


It is the shooting of the bird when the pup points and holds point, and not shooting the bird when they don't, that helps them connect the dots that the only way they get the bird is by pointing, holding point until you flush the bird.

Initially I will launch and shoot the bird while the pup is holding point without adding the additional pressure of me being completely in front and simulating the flush.

Once the pup is holding well enough to do that a few times in a row, I advance the training to me getting completely in front of the pup (I circle around to the front and avoid coming past the pup from the rear because it is less competitive for the pup) and then launching the bird.

Once that has gone well, I advance to getting to the front and kicking around in the grass before I launch the bird simulating me attempting to flush a bird in the grass. If the pup breaks before I launch the bird, I launch and do not shoot it.


At each incremental stage the bird flies away if the pup breaks prematurely, gets shot if it does not. It really connects the dots for the pup.


Thank you. I definitely won't shoot anything that he does incorrectly at this point. I'll follow the progression you've outlined here and we'll see how it goes. This type of training really highlights the need for having your own birds. Gonna have to get creative and see if I can figure out a way to do that without getting dinged by the HOA.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:17 pm

Here is a video where we had advanced to me getting to the front but not yet adding the pressure of kicking around. You can see how I am walking down that cover line which will allow the pup to hit the scent cone at a 90 degree angle making it completely obvious when she smells the bird. Which then allows me to determine if she establishes point at first scent (she did). Had she moved towards the bird I would have launched it and let it fly away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQZx4oI2ANs

And here we are after advancing to where I am in front and kicking around some before launching the bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM0CcQEVBRA

Notice both times I move away from the launcher to a place where I can receive the pup coming in with the shot bird.

I do not want my pups hanging around the launchers. I move away from the launcher to take the retrieve and or I move away from the launcher and walk towards the next bird if I launched and did not shoot the bird. The less time the pup spends smelling around the launcher the more it does not become overly artificial is my thinking in that approach.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Willie T » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:19 pm

IDHunter, I think we are getting to the meat of it now and you have received some very good advice. You will hear dog men discuss the cooperation of a given dog. What you don’t often hear is that cooperation is a two way street. There has to be something in it for the dog.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Dmog » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:08 am

I had the HOA issue but fortunately for me, the first dog I worked at a flour mill and was able to trap feral pigeons in the good spots. The second pup I worked at an Ethanol plant and was able to trap feral pigeons at ideal spots. You may look into places you can trap pigeons or buy them. I let guys trap pigeons for dog work at the Ethanol plant, I just can't let them get on the tanks where they roost. They do ok on the ground sometimes. I also buy quail, chukars, and pheasants when available. I am careful with the Chukars and Quail though as sometimes out of a launcher they do not fly far enough for dog work on pups that chase a long ways as well as planting them. Good thing about feral pigeons is I have yet to have one not fly far away out of a launcher unless I pull flight feathers to do some whoa training. When I shoot them, it is a good thing!
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby IDHunter » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:54 pm

Dmog wrote:I had the HOA issue but fortunately for me, the first dog I worked at a flour mill and was able to trap feral pigeons in the good spots. The second pup I worked at an Ethanol plant and was able to trap feral pigeons at ideal spots. You may look into places you can trap pigeons or buy them. I let guys trap pigeons for dog work at the Ethanol plant, I just can't let them get on the tanks where they roost. They do ok on the ground sometimes. I also buy quail, chukars, and pheasants when available. I am careful with the Chukars and Quail though as sometimes out of a launcher they do not fly far enough for dog work on pups that chase a long ways as well as planting them. Good thing about feral pigeons is I have yet to have one not fly far away out of a launcher unless I pull flight feathers to do some whoa training. When I shoot them, it is a good thing!



Oh yeah I have several options locally for buying birds, so not worried about that. Just wish I could keep some for convenience (and cost) sake. May still try to get away with something creative along those lines, we'll see.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:04 pm

Some pointing dog's and especially I think GWP's don't have all that much pointing desire. What they have is a TON of prey drive. They can't wait to get feathers or fur in their mouth. When I run into that, I quit trying to get them to point launchers and go right to steady to flush. To do this, the dog should be obedience trained, force retrieved, and broken in on the electric collar. Start the dog on dummies and steady the dog up. When I mean steady, I mean, steady. I want you to work on him until you can throw a bumper, shoot, call another dog's name and have him sit there. Now say him name and send him. This will take a week or two.

Now switch to birds, all in the yard. Same deal, when the dog is totally steady on thrown clip wing pigeons with a blank shot, time to really tempt hm and switch to a bird on a pole. Hook up a clip wing to a fishing pole or pole, and flutter the bird in front of him. When he is perfectly steady to this, it's time to go to a launcher. If he moves when you launch the bird, touch him with the collar. No tone, nick him.

Don't put him on wild birds until he is 100% on launchers.

You have to understand, this is a very abbreviated description of how it's done. Your dog seems like one of the ones that would rather flush and retrieve than point and retrieve. Some will tell you wild birds will eventually teach him. That's a line of bull. With 95% of all dog's that's true, but there are some that just won't point without pressure. Once they're steadied up, you won't have a problem. It's just convincing them that it is far better to point than to flush. The dog is still at a very moldable age but it won't be for much longer. If he is allowed to continue busting and chasing until he's two, you're in for a real battle. It will be firmly instilled in him then.

If you're interested, I can, by private message, give you more detailed instruction. None of this works though without perfect obedience and collar conditioning first.
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:40 pm

Gonehunting good advise.
I live in the boonies, 50 miles to the first stop light, I have never herd of HOA, we don't have any silly restriction's thank god.
What you can do is kill 1 pigeon and use it over and over ,Just drop the dead bird going into release the live bird and when you release shoot up in air, then tell the dog to hunt dead. the dead bird freeze it when you are done ,then thaw ,try to keep it dry, a wet bird will make a hard mouth dog or even worse start eating birds . Forrest
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby IDHunter » Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:58 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Some pointing dog's and especially I think GWP's don't have all that much pointing desire. What they have is a TON of prey drive. They can't wait to get feathers or fur in their mouth. When I run into that, I quit trying to get them to point launchers and go right to steady to flush. To do this, the dog should be obedience trained, force retrieved, and broken in on the electric collar. Start the dog on dummies and steady the dog up. When I mean steady, I mean, steady. I want you to work on him until you can throw a bumper, shoot, call another dog's name and have him sit there. Now say him name and send him. This will take a week or two.

Now switch to birds, all in the yard. Same deal, when the dog is totally steady on thrown clip wing pigeons with a blank shot, time to really tempt hm and switch to a bird on a pole. Hook up a clip wing to a fishing pole or pole, and flutter the bird in front of him. When he is perfectly steady to this, it's time to go to a launcher. If he moves when you launch the bird, touch him with the collar. No tone, nick him.

Don't put him on wild birds until he is 100% on launchers.

You have to understand, this is a very abbreviated description of how it's done. Your dog seems like one of the ones that would rather flush and retrieve than point and retrieve. Some will tell you wild birds will eventually teach him. That's a line of bull. With 95% of all dog's that's true, but there are some that just won't point without pressure. Once they're steadied up, you won't have a problem. It's just convincing them that it is far better to point than to flush. The dog is still at a very moldable age but it won't be for much longer. If he is allowed to continue busting and chasing until he's two, you're in for a real battle. It will be firmly instilled in him then.

If you're interested, I can, by private message, give you more detailed instruction. None of this works though without perfect obedience and collar conditioning first.


Wow, well this is a bit of a different approach than previously suggested. Man this is what makes this stuff so hard. No offense meant but it's just hard to know who to listen to and which methods to try.

We haven't tried force retrieving... mainly because he has been retrieving pretty well without it. He's not overly impressive in that area, but he picks up the birds and brings them to me, including in water. I've considered force fetching him, but like I said we haven't even started on that yet.

I'll PM you to get more info, including a better understanding of what exactly you mean by collar conditioned and trained. Thanks
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Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby IDHunter » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:00 am

Drahthaar1108 wrote:Gonehunting good advise.
I live in the boonies, 50 miles to the first stop light, I have never herd of HOA, we don't have any silly restriction's thank god.


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