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Thread: Training older dog to hunt upland

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Newman/Gustine Area
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    223

    Default Training older dog to hunt upland

    I have an older GSP. He is about three years old now. I got him from a young couple who kept him as a family pet. He is a purebread and AKC registered. When I got him he was wild. He would take off running and not listen to me when I tried to call him back. I worked with him awhile and I got him sit and come to me when I call him. I wanted to start and try and train him for upland but unfortunately because of physical injury I was sidelined for many months. What is the prospects for teaching this dog to hunt upland? I took him pheasant hunting this year. I was quite pleased. He is not gun shy. He does stay close to me and does not run wild. While he is attracted to birds flying around his kennel, he doesn't appear to have interest in pointing pheasants out in the field. Any suggestions on how successful this dog could be and how should I start?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    I had a Brittany very similar to your GSP , we simply took her hunting and put her in front of a lot of birds , there were no hunting preserves that I know of in our area back in the day but we had a decent population of wild birds . I think if you had a preserve close this might be the way to go , especially if you know the owner he might let you hunt left over birds at a reduced rate .

    For me the book “ The Best way To Train Your Bird Dog The Delmar Smith Method “ has been a great tool and it’s step by step method and a great read to .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
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    1,880

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    I'll second Brittman's advice..."lots of birds."

    Repeating the bird situation will enhance the dog's "prey drive." Keep repeating the bird and dog situation and the dog should catch on quickly.

    You may find a trainer that would help for a couple of sessions, although most would rather keep the dog for a complete introduction to birds training.

    Good luck with your new hunter!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    rural Wisconsin
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    1,356

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    Newman? About five years ago, I took in a GWP who had a similar background, except the previous owner thought that using a shock collar until it was drained was the way to get a wirehaired pup to behave. Here's one of the posts from when I was training her. It will be fine.

    https://www.ultimatepheasanthunting....inker+training

    And the introductory thread: https://www.ultimatepheasanthunting....inker+training

    Hope these help. Be of good cheer!
    Kis
    For hunters, Fall is the island towards which we swim all year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
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    4,132

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    It sounds to me like your dog is doing a good job for you afield as it is. I would avoid any heavy training at this point and let it come to him. He was born to hunt and his instincts should continue to kick in. My two cents worth.
    - From the office of Colt, Stoeger, Browning & Savage
    - Kansas: Big Cock Country

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Newman/Gustine Area
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    Thanks for all the tips!! I tried having him retrieve bumpers for the first time. He isn't interested in retrieving them. The first dog I've ever had that wasn't interested in it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
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    What happens when a bird is shot - how does the dog respond?

    I've watched trainers use pigeons and shoot over the dog several times over. The dog gives chase, bird is shot and the dog usually attempts to run after the downed bird.

    If the dog isn't interested in bumpers, try another object: ball, sock, feathers tied to wood block, feathers tied to soft training dummy...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    De Soto KS
    Posts
    222

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewmanCA View Post
    Thanks for all the tips!! I tried having him retrieve bumpers for the first time. He isn't interested in retrieving them. The first dog I've ever had that wasn't interested in it.
    Tape a pair of pheasant wings on that bumper and tie the bumper to a long rope, throw it out and let him go after it and if nothing happens pull it in by the rope and try again. He will get the idea.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    NW Iowa
    Posts
    28

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    Quote Originally Posted by BritChaser View Post
    It sounds to me like your dog is doing a good job for you afield as it is. I would avoid any heavy training at this point and let it come to him. He was born to hunt and his instincts should continue to kick in. My two cents worth.
    Yep, just teach him some manners to keep control of him and get him in the field every chance you can. He will learn to hunt better every time out, in a short time he will be a bird finding/pointing machine. The retreiving might not come quite as easy for the GSP, you might need to work with him on that. He should be almost perfect for all but the dog snobs, he will do what he needs to do for you to get your limit...but you still have to do your part. Enjoy him, you don't have to break his spirit to have a great hunting companion and pet. I guess it just depends what you want/expect the dog to do. He will get your lunch if you have the time to work with him, but the hunting, you won't need to teach that, just give him opportunities to learn.

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