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terryt

Hey GSPman,I need some advice

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terryt

just got a new gsp, 2 yrs old not trained and not seen the outside of a kennel until i got him, need some some work on pointing, he does point at all, got any good advise to give me on how to get him how to point

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gspman

Please give some background on the dog.

You say it doesn't point. What have you been doing with it to determine this? Sounds like it has spent a lot of time locked in a kennel? Has it been socialized at all? Is it a confident or shy dog? Has it been abused? Is it gun shy? Any obedience training in it? Does it show any interest in birds at all? Will it do retrieving games (maybe simply with a tennis ball)?

I think I'd take things slow. I wouldn't introduce birds until I had a good handle on it's personality and also built up it's confidence some. First things first, get it out and socialize it. Take it out and about to socialize it and expose it to new things. Get it running around in a field with some cover in it on a regular basis. Make sure it goes with you when you change direction, etc... Just get it used to that setting. See if it'll do some retrieving of a ball or dummy in the cover. Try to get the dog to be bold, happy and confident.

Once you have it's confidence built up then start introducing birds. It may take a while to get the light switch to turn on. You might need to pull the flight feathers off the bird (pigeon) and just give the bird to the dog to mouth it. Sometimes this awakens the hunting instinct. If it likes it then tease it with the bird and get it fired up. Then with a checkcord on the dog just toss the bird a few feet and see if it'll go after it and pick it up. If it does, reel the dog in with the checkcord and praise the he77 out of it when you get your hands on the dog. Don't take the bird away right away though. Let it mouth it while you are petting it and telling it how great it is. Then gently take the bird from it's mouth, put the bird away somewhere and praise the dog some more. Then stop for the day. Next time out hide the bird in some light cover and lead the dog in on a checkcord. See if the dog reacts when it hits the scent cone. If it does, hold it there with the cord and see if you can style it up into a point and get it to stand there. It may take a little bit of this to get it to start using it's nose to find and point the bird.

Having said all this you need to be prepared that the dog may never turn on either. This could take some time so try not to be impatient. If you expect it to be a great hunting partner in a month I'd tell you to temper your expectations. If after a while you are at wits end then I'd suggest taking it to a pro for an evaluation. They might say there's hope or they'll say give up and start with another dog.

Anybody else have any tips or ideas? Anyone go through this with their own dog that can share their experiences? Now is a great time to help a fellow hunter.

gspman

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Ely Lake Expert

TerryT,

My family took in 2 GSP's in mid september last year (2 sisters). At that point they were 10 months old and grew up in kennels like your dog. After having them for only 2 weeks we took them with on duck opener, which in retrospect was a bad idea. The first big flock came in, 6 of us unloaded our guns into the sky. One pup was shaking at my dads feet and I found the other one a quarter mile away sitting out a deck of a hunting shack. Well I took them back to the hunting shack and they spent the day there. We were concerned that they would be gunshy because of it, so a couple of days later we took them out running for the day and at the end of the day we shot clays with them nearby. That didn't seem to affect them at all. We took them out duck hunting again a couple of weeks later with just 2 guns, that time they were fine with the shooting and would even go out in the lake when we shot but they didn't bring any ducks back. A couple of weeks later we took them on their first pheasant hunt within a hour of being in the field they had both pointed and retrieved pheasants (I was so proud of them grin.gif ) It was a pure instinct, no real training and they pointed a bunch of birds their first day. We took them out several more times last year and by the end of the year they were like they have been doing it for many years.

Hopefully it will work out this well for you, though it could be tougher being that your dog is already 2.

Good luck,

ELE

PS. Just to get them used to retrieving, GSP's love tennis balls. Mine are obsessed with "their ball"

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