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Thread: To Retrieve or not to retrieve

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    90

    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
    1,348

    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
    90

    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?

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