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#6352860 - 06/30/16 07:44 AM Pointer Training Advice Needed...
Zeiger Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 06/14/16
Posts: 15
Loc: Georgetown, Texas
Over the years I have hunted dove with others that have had gun dogs and have always wanted one of my own. Long story short I did a lot of research and ended up buying a German Shorthaired Pointer (Zeiger). He turned one year old this past Sunday (June 26th). I am looking for advice on training - tips, tricks, programs to follow....any input is appreciated. Ideally I would like to use him for pointing (quail, etc.) AND dove. Because of where I live (Georgetown, TX) I do more dove hunting but am wanting to get into quail and pheasant. I realize he is a pointer but have read that GSPs are good versatile dogs. I saw one a couple of years ago in a dove field outside of Pflugerville (her name was Abby) that was a stud at retrieving dove. She got all of her owners birds and a couple of mine! She is what got me looking at GSPs.

I bought Zeiger from a breeder in Kansas. I sent him back up there for training and just picked him up last Friday. He is currently trained to whoa, here, load up, finds and points birds, retrieves downed birds.....I want to have a plan of action to continue working with him on these commands and more. Right now he releases his point as soon as the bird flies - before the shot. I have read arguments for and against training to be steady to wing, shot, fall, etc...give me your thoughts and how I should proceed in training him. I would also like to teach him the heel command. He doesn't seem to like water much so I want to get him acclimated to water and I also need to work on his retrieve. He will always go get the bird, ball, or whatever you throw or shoot, however he doesn't always bring it all the way back.

I have never trained a dog to do more than a couple of tricks so Zeiger and I will be learning together.

I realize this is probably way too much information but I have never had a gun dog and want him to be trained right and ready to roll come bird season! Thanks in advance for your input.

#6352881 - 06/30/16 08:05 AM Re: Pointer Training Advice Needed... [Re: Zeiger]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 46123
Loc: Katy-Fulshear

There is more on the above thread but here's a start.

Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I've had a few PMs asking about my training method. I did this on another forum, so I still have the pictures in my album, so here goes;

All bird dogs point. The breaking process teaches them to hold point. There are two ways to teach a dog to hold point, with dozens of variations. The first way is to let the birds train the pups. That generally involves launchers and pigeons, with some whoa breaking mixed in. It's very effective. I use the Delmar Smith method, substituting the e-collar for the bump under the chin. My dogs are completely whoa broke before I put them on birds. I use pen raised quail, because I can be done with them for the summer. I like to start in August, and finish in time for hunting season.

I start off on the whoa post. I introduce the e-collar the same day, that I introduce the whos post. Here's cracker on her first day with the whoa post;

I keep them on the whoa post only until I can get out in front of them, and then go to the yard for heel and whoa. Cracker tended to sit, so I had to start with the suitcase hitch. I go from the yard to longer walks. The pup has pretty well gotten it down after three weeks.

I then go from the walks to whoa in the field. Here's Cracker in the field in the field, before I put her on birds. This whole process has taken me around four weeks.

This is her first day on birds. I train alone, so I had to plant the bird, where I could wrap the CC around a bush. Notice the slack CC.

I kept her on the CC for three training days. She only went around on the bird one time. Here she is after 9 training flushes.

I started walking some of the birds out after a few days. Here you go;

A little side note. My birds were not recalling all that well, so I used Cookie to point them while I netted them;

A lot depends on the pup, and you have to adjust for each pup. Cracker has never taken out a single pointed bird or covey.
Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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