Getting a dog pointing

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

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Willie T » Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:57 pm

You fellas have a good discussion going. I teach Whoa in the yard away from birds. When the dog gets birdy, I may or may not be able to see it. Either way my reaction is the same. Say nothing and let it work it’s birds. It can be almost impossible to determine the exact moment it makes actual contact. Most often with wild birds, the dog finds where the birds have been well before it finds, controls, and points the birds. If a young dog that’s learning a particular species has the wind and bumps them I will say nothing. With experience the dog will recognize different birds by scent. With experience it will also learn to work different species. The dog also learns to assimilate cover and species and when birds are and are not approachable. If you are not convinced of that, think back to the intense low and tight points that look so damn stylish. They happen in cover where the birds are approachable. That is the easy part for the dog. In low diffuse or scattered cover the birds are unapproachable and the dog must approach with caution and stand them at greater distances. I’m in the camp that whoaing a dog while it is working birds limits the potential end product.
If it happens with a dog that should know better that comes off point and in my estimation intentionally takes the birds out, I will whoa the dog and simultaneously administer a behavior altering correction as the birds go up.(“whoa damnit” is the command I would likely use) Then I immediately physically pick the dog up and place it back where it broke point to take the birds out. I will let it stand there four or five minutes and think about it. Then release it and hunt. A few times is usually all it takes for the dog to rock up as long as the birds hold. Shoot that bird and don’t miss. I see it as a teaching moment with a clear line of communication using a known command and part of the steadying up process.
IDHunter,forgive my rambling post and hopefully you will grasp what I am trying to get at. Your dog was pointing birds for you. Had you shot them, he most likely would still be pointing them for you. That is what I meant by cooperation is a two way street in my earlier post. He will point again but catching birds on his own is what set him back. In light of you not killing the birds he pointed, it is exactly what I would anticipate. You need to understand that when the dog gets the bird in its mouth, it has won. You want the dog to win. Figure out how to use the dog getting a bird in its mouth to teach what you desire. It is a powerful tool that can not be understated. It takes birds to make a bird dog.
Willie
Willie T
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby IDHunter » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:47 pm

Willie T wrote:You fellas have a good discussion going. I teach Whoa in the yard away from birds. When the dog gets birdy, I may or may not be able to see it. Either way my reaction is the same. Say nothing and let it work it’s birds. It can be almost impossible to determine the exact moment it makes actual contact. Most often with wild birds, the dog finds where the birds have been well before it finds, controls, and points the birds. If a young dog that’s learning a particular species has the wind and bumps them I will say nothing. With experience the dog will recognize different birds by scent. With experience it will also learn to work different species. The dog also learns to assimilate cover and species and when birds are and are not approachable. If you are not convinced of that, think back to the intense low and tight points that look so damn stylish. They happen in cover where the birds are approachable. That is the easy part for the dog. In low diffuse or scattered cover the birds are unapproachable and the dog must approach with caution and stand them at greater distances. I’m in the camp that whoaing a dog while it is working birds limits the potential end product.
If it happens with a dog that should know better that comes off point and in my estimation intentionally takes the birds out, I will whoa the dog and simultaneously administer a behavior altering correction as the birds go up.(“whoa damnit” is the command I would likely use) Then I immediately physically pick the dog up and place it back where it broke point to take the birds out. I will let it stand there four or five minutes and think about it. Then release it and hunt. A few times is usually all it takes for the dog to rock up as long as the birds hold. Shoot that bird and don’t miss. I see it as a teaching moment with a clear line of communication using a known command and part of the steadying up process.
IDHunter,forgive my rambling post and hopefully you will grasp what I am trying to get at. Your dog was pointing birds for you. Had you shot them, he most likely would still be pointing them for you. That is what I meant by cooperation is a two way street in my earlier post. He will point again but catching birds on his own is what set him back. In light of you not killing the birds he pointed, it is exactly what I would anticipate. You need to understand that when the dog gets the bird in its mouth, it has won. You want the dog to win. Figure out how to use the dog getting a bird in its mouth to teach what you desire. It is a powerful tool that can not be understated. It takes birds to make a bird dog.
Willie


I hear ya Willie. I know I definitely messed up by not taking full advantage of some of his earlier points. Many were in training sessions where I couldn't shoot, but we did have some that I should have killed the bird on and I didn't for a variety of reasons. That was definitely a mistake on my part, and one I will try hard to avoid in the future. Can't help but think back to the first rooster he pointed staunchly. That damn bird held so long I was starting to doubt the point, and I let down my guard a bit. Of course right after that the bird flushes and I completely whiffed on both barrels. Shortly after that encounter is when my dog caught his first bird, and I can't help but think how differently things might have progressed if that point had gone differently. But either way, we are where we are now.
Funny store relating to one of your pieces of advice here, and a potentially good sign for things to come... yesterday we went for a few hour walk in chukar/hun country. Within the first 15 minutes we bumped a covey of huns. The dog didn't really bump them bad, they were super skittish and got up 50-60 yards in front of him and I don't think he ever even scented them before they flushed. He has never pointed from that distance so I wouldn't have expected him to. But regardless, when they flushed I stopped his chase immediately and brought him back to where he was when they flushed. I whoa'd him, styled him up, and had him stand there for 2 minutes before releasing him to hunt. 20 min later we were clearing some good looking brushy lava rock country and he locked up nicely on another small covey, from about 20 yards away. This was a no-mistaking-it type of situation. He was moving pretty fast and he hit the brakes and gave a no doubt point. I was 50 yards behind him, so out of range for a shot, and the birds were again skittish and flushed within about 2 seconds of him being on point, so I didn't have an opportunity to shoot. Also didn't really get to see if he would hold his point because of the skittish birds, but I was pretty excited just to see that. Perhaps a coincidence that it worked this way, but I'd like to think that by implementing a little training after the first covey it may have helped him point the second one. Either way, I will definitely be using that tactic of taking him back to the flush point and making him whoa there for any such opportunities the rest of our season.
IDHunter
Started
Started
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:15 pm

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby slistoe » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:42 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:Saying "whoa" before the birds flush seems like a good idea (or not). Saying it afterwards seems like a waste of time.

If you are not advocating using whoa to get the dog to point, then what is the purpose of using it before the birds flush? And then you completely discount it's use when it should be.
User avatar
slistoe
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 11:35 pm

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:10 am

Slistoe: I may not have been clear. The dog should establish point on its own. Thereafter, if the dog creeps then a "whoa" seems reasonable (or not) depending on how you train. Sounds like you don't say it. My point was that saying "whoa" after the dog is chasing busted birds has little effect in my experience. As well, it often happens a long ways off so whatever I say at that point is immaterial.
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:20 am

Bruce Schwartz wrote:Slistoe: I may not have been clear. The dog should establish point on its own. Thereafter, if the dog creeps then a "whoa" seems reasonable (or not) depending on how you train. Sounds like you don't say it. My point was that saying "whoa" after the dog is chasing busted birds has little effect in my experience. As well, it often happens a long ways off so whatever I say at that point is immaterial.


You say using Whoa has little effect on a dog chasing birds. Nothing could be further from the truth assuming the Whoa command has been throughly trained first away from birds, then proofed with an ecollar then combined with flown birds.

Literally untold thousands of dogs have been trained exactly this way. You can go to Perfection Kennel's FB page and see it being done over and over in the videos they post for free.

How do we break dogs from Chasing Deer?

We use high levels of stimulation when the dog chases a deer and say nothing as we do this. We absolutely want the dog to have a negative association with chasing the deer and so we remain silent while we apply the stimulation. If we instead were to yell "NO!" and stimulate the dog we end up with a dog that will not run deer when we are around but will gleefully run a deer when we are not around.

Bob Farris tells us to shock the dog when it chases a bird, ABSENT an already TRAINED command. The dog is supposed to understand that it was specifically the "Flying" bird that is the problem but the sitting bird is not.

That is asking a WHOLE lot from a dog.

It is very possible instead that the dog simply understands that birds are bad and best avoided. Just like trash breaking with an ecollar results in many dogs thinking deer are bad and best avoided.

Everything in Farris writeup makes sense except for the HIGH RISK of stimulating young dogs on birds with no associated trained command preceding it.

You could not pay me to do what he is advocating to my pups. Some dogs will get through it ok. Many will not and will instead develop a generic negative association with birds all together.

Not remotely worth the risk given we have methods that have been used to successfully train thousands of dogs which do not run the same risk.

IDHunter,

Here is my adult dog Spud this past summer. Trained with the methods I have posted, learned from the Perfection Kennel DVDs and Clinics I have recommended.

That dog excels at working running birds of all kinds. He was excellent on Huns from his first hunt forward (Canada, MT, NV). He was excellent on Chukars last season in NV, finding, pointing (125 yards off the last covey of the trip) and relocating as many times as needed to keep track of constantly running coveys.

The methods works really well when applied correctly and problems are avoided through the dog's development.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV4Qjz-KxVQ

Here he is working a public land surviving PHD rooster after the season closed. The rooster was constantly moving. See how he works the bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qpNuGYf2fI

The rooster kept running and he kept relocating but staying off the bird, pointing when it stopped and moving when it moved on. He eventually got it pinned down and the rooster flushed within easy gun range a few hundred yards on down that cover.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGqvlwr6UKE
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2823
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Dmog » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:42 am

I guess I have been fortunate. Both my dog's body language is relatively easy to read when they are "creeping" or repositioning vs taking out birds. I can tell they have scent and are cautiously working the birds. I watch quietly and start getting myself in position to help the dog. When they bust they typically either don't show me any bird sign or when inexperienced show the sign with a slight pause and body language to indicate where they sensed the prey and rush in. I think this maybe important to how you would handle each scenario and the training the dog has had ie Whoa overlayed with ecollar is tools in your tool box to use. If you do not have the training in place then you don't have the tool. First year dog hunting, I choose not to have the tool "Whoa" in my tool box and will use my "recall" tool. I agree that once my dog's have had the formal "Whoa" and FF training, it is much easier to correct unwanted behavior. For me, creeping is not an unwanted behavior if it is happening when I am in shotgun range. If the dog is creeping when I 80 yards away then we have issues to correct. Young dog that I haven't whoa trained yet, then I typically stop and watch the dog bust and chase. I may turn and walk the other direction or I may use recall if the chase is excessive. I certainly do not have the experience to offer what is the best way but do have enough to know that whoa training is an invaluable tool for your dog. I choose to wait because I have seen both my dogs' range come in as I instilled whoa in the field and less so when they have had a wild bird season under their belts.
You never have to tell a dog what time to be home, give them the keys, and they never ask for money.
User avatar
Dmog
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:58 pm
Location: Pratt, KS

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Dmog » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:02 am

IDHunter wrote:Thanks all, some really great detailed explanations and suggestions. It sure is nice to have this forum with so many people willing to share their knowledge. I'll start implementing some of the suggested training and we'll see how things progress.


This is a great forum that I have found invaluable information on. It is much better than the FB armchair experts in my opinion as most everyone on here is on here to help.
You never have to tell a dog what time to be home, give them the keys, and they never ask for money.
User avatar
Dmog
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:58 pm
Location: Pratt, KS

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:35 am

AverageGuy wrote:You say using Whoa has little effect on a dog chasing birds. Nothing could be further from the truth assuming the Whoa command has been throughly trained first away from birds, then proofed with an ecollar then combined with flown birds.


You talk like this is a backyard event. Ever yell "whoa" at a dog chasing a deer, regardless of how well the command was installed? Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The farther away the less it works. The collar, and saying nothing, does seem to work though.

I'm not versed with Perfection Kennels methods but I advocate solid training for "whoa" and use the command daily with all my dogs. I have a loft full of pigeons and I use wing clipped ones and ones on a string, and ones in release traps. I teach STF. I'm very cautious in how I train regarding use of the collar.

On chukar one of my dogs won't creep but will locate carefully. She is 6 years old and has been through UT, HRC, has titles, whatever. Recently I've had issues with one of my young ones creeping after establishing a solid point and it's led to him busting coveys (see my admissions on previous posts). Saying "whoa" and even giving stimulation on creeps didn't help. Farris' technique seems to have solved the problem and I'm offering it up as something to consider (and I'm pretty sure "whoa" is part of Farris' training program).

I'm not saying Farris' suggestions will work for the OP but if his dog keeps busting birds after, say, another year of steady training and exposure to wild birds he might consider it (in other words, after he's done all the other stuff that's been advocated here). In my case bringing my dog back to the point of the infraction and letting him think it all over probably wouldn't have worked. Currently this dog seems to be holding a solid point and not creeping. We have until the end of January to keep proofing it, and, If he does it again and busts birds, I'll probably apply the ecollar as I've advocated. I doubt saying "whoa" will be successful.

Gotta go... we've got a thaw on and there's a few more weeks of duck hunting. Maybe I can log back in from duck camp later today.
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Willie T » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:06 pm

Dmog, I think you and I are very close in approach. When I say it is hard for me to determine the moment when the dog makes first contact, I hunt some big open country. The dog I have gets out and goes. He may be 300-400 yards out. In big country I like a big running dog. It is tough to read body language at those distances....
Willie T
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Willie T » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:23 pm

Bruce, I stimulate when the birds go up, and simultaneously give a whoa. It immediately stops at he dog from self rewarding by giving chase. Taking the dog back to the point of the infraction seems to add clarity fo the dog. In my experience it has helped multiple dogs connect the dots in short order with fewer corrections by taking as much confusion as possible away and putting the dog back where it made the mistake.
Willie T
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:11 pm

I like it
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:22 pm

Willie T wrote:Bruce, I stimulate when the birds go up, and simultaneously give a whoa. It immediately stops at he dog from self rewarding by giving chase. Taking the dog back to the point of the infraction seems to add clarity fo the dog. In my experience it has helped multiple dogs connect the dots in short order with fewer corrections by taking as much confusion as possible away and putting the dog back where it made the mistake.


Exactly Willie.
=D> =D>
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1317
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 am

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:You say using Whoa has little effect on a dog chasing birds. Nothing could be further from the truth assuming the Whoa command has been throughly trained first away from birds, then proofed with an ecollar then combined with flown birds.


You talk like this is a backyard event. Ever yell "whoa" at a dog chasing a deer, regardless of how well the command was installed? Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The farther away the less it works. The collar, and saying nothing, does seem to work though.

I'm not versed with Perfection Kennels methods but I advocate solid training for "whoa" and use the command daily with all my dogs. I have a loft full of pigeons and I use wing clipped ones and ones on a string, and ones in release traps. I teach STF. I'm very cautious in how I train regarding use of the collar.

On chukar one of my dogs won't creep but will locate carefully. She is 6 years old and has been through UT, HRC, has titles, whatever. Recently I've had issues with one of my young ones creeping after establishing a solid point and it's led to him busting coveys (see my admissions on previous posts). Saying "whoa" and even giving stimulation on creeps didn't help. Farris' technique seems to have solved the problem and I'm offering it up as something to consider (and I'm pretty sure "whoa" is part of Farris' training program).

I'm not saying Farris' suggestions will work for the OP but if his dog keeps busting birds after, say, another year of steady training and exposure to wild birds he might consider it (in other words, after he's done all the other stuff that's been advocated here). In my case bringing my dog back to the point of the infraction and letting him think it all over probably wouldn't have worked. Currently this dog seems to be holding a solid point and not creeping. We have until the end of January to keep proofing it, and, If he does it again and busts birds, I'll probably apply the ecollar as I've advocated. I doubt saying "whoa" will be successful.

Gotta go... we've got a thaw on and there's a few more weeks of duck hunting. Maybe I can log back in from duck camp later today.


Glad to see you are back peddling from your initial bad advice to IDHunter and his puppy in its first season. That has been the subject of the thread all along.

My pup had opportunities to chase deer and coyotes out of thick brush yesterday while hunting quail. I said nothing while stimulating her until she broke off and swung back my way because I wanted her to have a negative association with those animals.

If your Whoa command does not work at long yardages it is not fully trained and needs to be worked at shorter distances until it is. I have said all along I stimulate the dog at the same time I give the fully trained Whoa command and end the stimulation the moment he stops moving. Twice you responded it does not work but I see now you like it when Willie T posted the same (as had GH and Dmog). Glad you are coming around so that hopefully our collective advice to IDHunter can be clear for the sake of his puppy.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2823
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Coveyrise64 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:43 am

AverageGuy wrote:
I said nothing while stimulating her until she broke off and swung back my way because I wanted her to have a negative association with those animals.

I have said all along I stimulate the dog at the same time I give the fully trained Whoa command and end the stimulation the moment he stops moving.

I understand the first case but not sure about the second. Are these two different situations where you stimulate?

t
VC TJ's Highfalutin Hawkeye MH, UTI R.I.P. 4/29/05-12/18/18

VC TJ's Miss Filson MH, UTI R.I.P. 5/13/03-10/15/14

Thunderhead's All Jacked Up R.I.P. "My Buddy" 9/9/09-1/27/14

"I'd rather train for perfection than fix the problems of mediocrity" ~ Me

"There are always going to be those who prefer to freeze in the dark rather than put forth the effort to light a fire." ~ Lvrdg07
User avatar
Coveyrise64
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:49 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Getting a dog pointing

Postby Kiger2 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:31 pm

Couple of things,

First for IDhunter.

I would never put off time training and let pup continue to misbehave just to get time afield.

Since it. seems you have access to pigeons, I would do a modified Ferris approach. I would get as many homers as you can. Go to a big field. Show pup the pigeon in your hand and tease him briefly. Then release the pigeon into the air and let pup chase. Then repeat. No commands no corrections. Repeat until he quits his chase. Ive been doing this far longer than Ferris and I usually see results after just a few birds. Now I say usually. Like most things with dogs, there's always one.. May take a hundred? When he quits give him a couple more. Then do it again then next day. And then again the next day. He is responding in a conditioned way, you need to break that conditioning. Advantage is you dont have to worry about using the collar, which I suspect the dog isn't ready for anyway. Once pup has been conditioned then you can add the collar if needed.

While your doing this , you should also get the dog truly properly conditioned to the ecollar. Theres a reason most in the pointer world dont believe you can use the ecollar around birds.Its because they have historically done so without proper conditioning. The reason Ferris can stop the chase with an ecollar and have zero impact, is because his dogs have enough conditioning to understand what the correction is for. Think about it, if it was common to cause issues using Ferris methods, dont you think he would have seen it by now and stopped using it? When the dog is properly conditioned they know its not the bird giving the correction. In fact, after teaching and reinforcing just a few commands, pup knows exactly where the correction is coming from, whose responsible and is starting to associate it with a behavior. So when I stop my pups from chasing a deer, whether I say "no" or just stimulate or both, they know its the behavior of chasing the deer, its not the deer.

I would keep hunting but dont give any commands you cant enforce and only shoot pointed birds.

Bruce, if your dog wont stop reliably on "whoa" without the collar, then its not conditioned thoroughly.

So Averageguy , as you can see from the above, you can dechase with the collar.Its only bad advice if the dog is not prepared. (which gonehuntin stressed in an earlier post, Prepare the dog) As to deer or ??? The dog may not stop the chase with a voice only command, but if you dont have a voice command, the moment the chase is on and the ecollar isn't, you got nothing. The dog will get the same message whether you say "NO" or "Heel" or "whoa" and apply stimulation as it does with stimulation only. Its possible to make an argument that using "no" in conjunction with the stimulations may be more effective, the dogs get so much training with no, that they associate it with the behavior of chasing the deer.

Wille, I disagree that getting the bird in the mouth is the goal. Lots of really good pointing dogs over the years wont pick up birds, thus FF. I suspect though cant prove it, there is some type of endorphin rush for a dog on point. The Op's problem is the dog is getting more rush from chase and perhaps catch at this point.
Kiger2
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:34 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests