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#11787583 - 02/01/17 Re: New dog journey... [Re: pointer]
rondrews Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 499
Loc: Northwest Wisconsin
Some dogs have a propensity for a little hard mouth. He may have been whacked by a wing or had a bird peck him. I think the more he retrieves the less the problem will occur. Don't use a shock collar for this problem, you might end up with a dog who won't pick up a bird. I used to use a collar on my GSP's but I found that they do more harm than good. I finally sold mine. Better off with a whistle.
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#11788751 - 02/01/17 Re: New dog journey... [Re: pointer]
supercrewd Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 5534
Loc: Gunnison, CO
I am using the Dogtra and mostly have to use the pager function. I have delivered a few shocks after the pager use and a smart dog makes the connection. Labs on the other hand...

As mentioned above, only use the collar for negative actions, don't try to reinforce positives like holding the bird.

Big runners like the GSP would probably benefit for reinforcing "come" with the shock collar. Close hunters would get by with a check cord until perfect. Most people are too soft with the training, they quit when the dog is "pretty good" and not 100%. I am more guilty of that now as I age.

My Golden turned one recently, went to NE to celebrate. Our first hunt, two day trip to NE in Nov. Collar on but not really needed.


Of course she went into season in Jan so no trips out of town to hunt. Recent trip to the game farm, she flushed half the planted birds. Wanted to get her nose into more birds before end of the season.


My daughter cut school to join me and really made the day. I cut the hunt shorter as to spare her from one of "those" hunts with dad...


Edited by supercrewd (02/01/17)
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#11793812 - 02/03/17 Re: New dog journey... [Re: pointer]
pointer Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 10997
Loc: Indiana
Thanks for the advice fellas! I'm thinking I'll probably end up with a collar. I'm betting he takes to it quick. We use an invisible fence at home, so he's familiar with vibration/tone/shock.

I'll keep working with him on the fetch and hold. Though I really wish I had more birds around to put him on, I do get a kick out of watching him do his thing and the training.

s'crewd- Great pics! Looks like that dog is getting it figured out. Congrats.

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#11805067 - 02/07/17 Re: New dog journey... [Re: pointer]
pointer Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 10997
Loc: Indiana
Hank and I hunted two more pheasants on the preserve this past Saturday. It became much more of a "rodeo" than intended... First bird, he pointed and it flushed. I was slow getting the gun up as I was trying to take a picture of the point. Ended up missing it and it made it across a wetland. We'll get back to that bird.

Second bird, he points, but breaks a bit too early flushing the bird. I go to shoot, but get a click instead of a bang. I hadn't ejected my last spent shell. I mark the bird and we start that way. It landed in a CRP tree planting, which is much different cover than the mix of milo and warm season grasses they plant the birds in. AT this point, the bird has it's track shoes on... It took a while, but we finally get in pinned, flushed, and shot. He brought it mostly back to me and it was more than a touch tenderized... That said, Hank kept in search mode and didn't seem to waver on the task. I think the wind was just strong enough for him to keep getting whiff's of the bird that he never quit working the cover. I was pretty pleased with that part as mostly on these types of deals it's a very short search for birds.

Back to the first bird. We make it over to near where I had marked the first bird. Hank did great navigating the frozen wetland. I did too for the most part, until I found a few spots not quite frozen enough for my weight... It took him a bit to work out the scent, but eventually we got it worked out and the bird pointed, shot, and retrieved. This one was less 'tenderized'!

All in all, it turned out to a a productive training day. He had to work some scent trails out and to pin down a runner. I'd call it progress!

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#11922144 - 03/24/17 Re: New dog journey... [Re: pointer]
pointer Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 10997
Loc: Indiana
The kids schedule has been making it tough for Hank and I to get in much bird work. On Tuesday, we headed out to the conservation club. He's always so full of energy to start with I've taken to getting him a run/walk in prior to putting any birds out. I've been using this time to work on recall and range. He generally does okay with both, but does tend to range farther than I'd like. If I felt more confident/comfortable with his pointing I don't think the range he wants to be at would be a problem, but we're not quite on the same page yet. After our walk, I put out a pigeon in a launcher and took him on a circuitous route downwind. Though he's not consistent with it, but he picked up the scent about 50 yards from the bird and quartered into the wind and locked up on point. He held it for a good couple of minutes as I made it a point to take my time getting up to him and flushing the bird. It was a good day.

Yesterday I took him back out to the club for more of the same. However, two other members were there and I scrapped my plans and worked with them. Though a bit earlier than normal, there are quite a few woodcock in this part of IN right now. We had 3 dogs out, all under 2yrs of age. In 90 minutes we put 13 woodcock in the air! Hank didn't really lock up and appeared to have no idea of how to back the other dogs points, but he hunted hard and got the scent of a new bird in his nose. I hope to get him back out there soon to see if he can figure out the woodcock on his own. Great experience, but I won't lie and say I was "happy" with how he did. As well as he's been pointing pigeons I was hoping he'd do a bit better. Maybe next time...

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#11929525 - Today at 04:55 AM Re: New dog journey... [Re: pointer]
pointer Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/08/02
Posts: 10997
Loc: Indiana
Saturday Hank and I did a "fun hunt trial" as hosted by the Indianapolis chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society. Long story short, you and the dog are judged on your ability to find, point, shoot, and retrieve 2 pheasants in a 20min run. I'm not real sure on all the criteria, but they were not required to be steady to flush, but did need to be staunch to point. They only had to retrieve to within 6' of the handler. Basically, I looked at it as a fun day to meet some folks, get Hank a run in, and see some dogs work.

It was very windy on Saturday, so it seemed to be hit or miss on how well the dogs were finding the birds. This was making me a bit nervous as older, more experienced dogs were not finding their 2 birds in the allotted time. When it was our turn, we headed down the field, perpendicular to the wind. Shortly thereafter, Hank starts getting birdy and bang. Point! He made a short lunge and repointed. The bird was moving on him, but he held the second time. I flushed it and dropped it with one shot. He retrieved it to hand! We worked the rest of the field down and back the other way. He got birdy a few times, but never went on point. Mind you there had been 7 runs prior to this, so there had been a lot of birds planted, shot, and running around before we hit the field. Hank got about 80 yards out on the last loop through the field, started getting birdy and hit a point. I could tell he wasn't super sure as his tail was still wagging. As I closed the distance he locked up. I moved in to flush the bird and nothing. He repositioned slightly once I got between him and where he was pointing. Then I saw the hen scurrying through the grass. He held and she flushed. I tipped her with the first shot and again with the second. She lit in a tree at the woodline about 75yds away, then fell. Hank ran into the trees, found her and was on his way back with he flushed another bird! He dropped the bird he had and gave that hen chase. I was able to get him stopped, he came back to the dropped bird and brought it to me. Not quite to hand as once he got to me he spit it out at my feet. It was over 70ยบ at this time and he was panting pretty hard, but I was still a bit discouraged he didn't hang on to it for another 10 seconds.

We didn't come home with any hardware as a few of the things he did were not great for scoring (staunchness and dropping the bird), but I was tickled pink! He found the birds, pointed them (for the most part), I actually hit them, and he brought them to me. He did great quartering the field and covered the ground and cover very well. We're far from done, but it was a good show of how far he (we?) have come. Once home I celebrated with a beer or 3 and the boys made sure Hank got plenty of treats. It was a good day!

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