Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: To Retrieve or not to retrieve

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    124

    Default To Retrieve or not to retrieve

    So I picked up a GSP pup late last winter. I've been working "Ruby" on obedience, commands and finally on birds. At 9 months old, She is finding, pointing and holding her birds(planted homing pigeons). I think she is ready for me to shoot some birds (controlled) over her. She has a very strong retrieving instinct-she has always brought me things to hand (even things she shouldn't have)-I'm dying to shoot some doves over her this dove season.
    My concerns are... Would I be foolish to shoot doves over her before she has a quail/upland season under her belt? Has anyone here started a young pointing dog's career shooting doves first?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    rural Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,364

    Default

    Hey there, Gettinbirdie...

    Should be no problem at all. Most of those who have an area available have trained their pups on pigeons, extensively. If anything, the wild game scent of quail should draw her to them even more directly, and the retrieve is just a matter of her knowing she is to bring the bird back to you.

    The last dog I trained was a GWP and I used pigeons, then I bought a live pheasant from a game farm, tethered to a branch (about 4 ft long) and hid it in tall grass and weeds, then brought the dog out on a long leash and walked her along until she caught scent. The lead was just to restrain her and reinforce the points.

    Worked well.

    Don't fret. In fact, you could probably buy some quail or pheasant wings online and use them for practice retrieves.

    Best wishes.
    Last edited by Kismet; 08-24-2019 at 10:43 PM.
    Kis
    For hunters, Fall is the island towards which we swim all year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Every pup(all were pointing breeds) I've trained were trained to find birds and point them till I shoot. This was the number one priority, once this was accomplished I've touched on retrieving. I never hunted them as "retrievers" hunting stationary(pass shooting doves) till they got a season of upland/pointing wild birds in.
    I've always been nervous about pass shooting birds and having them retrieve first in thier first season, in fear that I would mess up all the pointing dog training I put into them.
    This will be a first for me-I'm going to take Ruby out tommorrow morning (1st day of dove season) to pass shoot doves. I've had a few "ol'timers" tell me that she'll be fine and as long as I put the effort to polish/staunch her up before quail opens. That everything will fall in place.
    Anyone here have any issues due to pass shooting first with their pointing pups?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Monroe Georgia
    Posts
    340

    Default

    Some dogs you can get away with any thing but I wouldnít do it

    I want a pup to be hot after the birds when I shoot one for him, so the gun shot is associated with that bird falling and any fear from the sound is overcome by the pups prey drive desire to get his mouth on the bird.

    Most pups will not know whatís going on dove hunting and will be spooked by the shot if they arenít focused on the bird

    Itís a risky way to intro a pup IMO

    Iíve been training pointing dogs since 1966 so Iím speaking from a lot of experience. Itís a lot easier to avoid creating a problem than it is to fix one.
    Last edited by bobman; 09-19-2019 at 03:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bobman View Post
    Some dogs you can get away with any thing but I wouldnít do it

    I want a pup to be hot after the birds when I shoot one for him, so the gun shot is associated with that bird falling and any fear from the sound is overcome by the pups prey drive desire to get his mouth on the bird.

    Most pups will not know whatís going on dove hunting and will be spooked by the shot if they arenít focused on the bird

    Itís a risky way to intro a pup IMO

    Iíve been training pointing dogs since 1966 so Iím speaking from a lot of experience. Itís a lot easier to avoid creating a problem than it is to fix one.

    Well said Bobman!!! I got a little too confident, thought I knew the dog well enough too-wrong! After thirty years of training my own I've learned that some things just don't change, I got none to blame but myself!
    I've been yard working Ruby on gunshot with a bumper and her feedings since that first day of dove. I've also "went back" to working her on planted pigeons (without any shots). Been 2 weeks now, she's solid on the birds, but still gets nervous around the cap gun(toy cap gun-not using blanks yet) work. I'm optimistic-she'll come around...I just can't go to the next step(shooting planted birds ) till she gets comfortable around the gunshot. I'll post updates as I go...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Monroe Georgia
    Posts
    340

    Default

    You need to let her break and chase birds after they flush ( you can steady her later if thatís important)

    Then when sheís really chasing a flushed flying bird she can see kill it for her

    You want the bird to fall in front of her when the sound happens so she associates the sound with a bird falling

    One shot each bird, if you miss let it fly off, no boom boom boom


    Then when you hunt this fall hunt alone until sheís really over this, stick to the one shot each bird method no boom boom boom

    Iíve done a lot of gunshot correction training in my life donít rush it
    Last edited by bobman; 09-20-2019 at 12:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    124

    Default

    We worked on the shot for a month( since the dove opener), she finally calmed down and got comfortable around it at feed time.i felt she was ready. I secured a dozen really good flying penned quail- Saturday, Sunday and tonight we took 4 birds every evening out to a big brush pasture I have permission to.
    Ruby was flawless- running and pointing these quail from 30 yards out in 90-95 degree weather like she did it her whole life. She retrieved all of them too! I really feel I got lucky this time and I couldn't be more pleased with her. We are going to use her strictly in pointing/upland fashion only this season. I'll introduce her to passshooting/ retrieving doves next fall after she gets a season under her belt. We are heading to ND this week for sharpies and Huns. She 'll be riding on the rig with the other dogs.for this trip.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Monroe Georgia
    Posts
    340

    Default

    Great news and good work

    She sounds like a wonderful dog

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •