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quijibo

When will my dog "Get it" ?

30 posts in this topic

I have a 20 month old Red Setter that has me a little concerned.I have had him out hunting at least a dozen times and he has yet to find a bird. I have kicked up 26 Pheasants, 4 grouse and a Coyote. He only noticed maybe 6 0r 7 of the Pheasants. He never noticed the Coyote even though he made two sweeps downwind of it(one within 10 feet).I didn't see it until it got up and walked away.

I have participated in NAVHDA training(he passed NA), he spent a month with a Pro trainer in the Dakotas and I have tried to be very consistent with his training. He has been pointing everything but birds since @ 4 mo's.

I know that Setters take a while to "mature", am I expecting too much? Yesterday was our Pheasant opener, maybe he needs a while to calm down? Maybe he was upset that I was kicking up so many hens.

The trainer said that he found his share of Sharpies and flushed them right up. Maybe he is lacking discipline?

Am I overreacting?

Adam in Co

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Man that's a tough call.....You need to figure out if that dog has a nose..Some dogs hunt like crazy and look great doing it but just don't have a nose. Now I'm not sure if they just can't smell as well or thier brain just isn't tuned into olfactory like it should be

By 20 months the dog should be making game on those birds you are flushing esp. when down wind..I'm not saying he should point every time but he should know those birds are there..I've had quite a few setters and most were scent pointing at 4-5 months if not they would for sure make game and flush....You might try hunting him with an older dog and when that dog points bring him in on a check cord and whoa him.. Then let him watch the whole thing transpire, the flush, the shot, the retrieve.. Get him as close to the action as possible so he might be able to catch a sniff of that bird...Do that a few times and might get the switch to turn on. If not it might be time for 4 new paws and a new nose as sad as that is to think about......Good luck...uplander

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Thanks Uplander,

It just needed to find out if my expectations were unrealistic before I called the breeder and talked to them.

I'm not sure what would happen if it turns out that he can't find his nose. He's got a couple of other strikes against him. He likes to pee on stuff and he's quite the barker. But, he's also very popular around here and he absolutely adores me. My wife finds it endearing that he just stares at me all the time. We also have two other non hunting dogs that aren't going anywhere.

He was the last of the litter and the breeder told me that he would probably be a bit headstrong. Maybe he just needs a little focusing. Might be time to bring him back to the trainer for force fetching. unfortunately my wife and neighbors would never let me do this at home.

I'm not the type that gives up on dogs and I actually enjoy a challenge, but you can't fix genetics.

Maybe I will call a local trainer and see if he can give me an experienced evaluation. If I can find one that has ever seen anything but a GSP.

Adam

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Boy I feel your pain.

I took my 10 month old Britt out yesterday. He found a total of 0 pheasants but found 6 field mice. He even pointed them.....

I'm not really sure what the next move is to turn on the light bulb. There were pheasants around. My buddy worked his 4 year old yellow lab and she flushed quite a few birds. We worked the dogs alone since it was his first time out chasing pheasants. We took one of the dead pheasants and let him smell it hoping it would spark something.

I worked with him on live pigeons and he was all over that smell. He pointed by sight on the live pigeon and he found one by smell.

Anybody have any advice on the next move?

Thanks.

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10 months is very young..He just doesn't know what he's after.. You need to buy some pheasants or take him to a game farm. Once again I would go with an older dog and keep your dog on a check cord if possible. The last thing you want is him to start chasing birds all over the place with no regards to you..It sounds like he is scent pointing he just needs to figure out what he is trying to find...Good luck ...uplander

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Thanks for the reply Uplander.

He did well yesterday in regards to hanging around. He never ran off and worked the field back and forth. Once when my buddy fired his gun he took off toward the blast. He knew something was going on.

I had him on a 25' check cord while hunting. I just let him drag it around so I had 25 feet of dog and not just 5. He had on a bell which made it easier for me to keep tabs on him. We have been working on the "whoa" command in the yard. He did OK but needs a lot more work on this. He heels great when walking to and from.

He is a really well mannered dog. My wife thinks it is funny how he follows me around ALL DAY. When I go outside to the garage and I don't take him with me, he sits by the door and whines. He is ALWAYS looking for me, ALWAYS. Even yesterday, he would stop and look for me all day. Once he spotted me, he would come over and "check in" without being called.

My 10 year old son and I are excited for it to all click. I think the next time we go out I will work with him while the older lab is around. She has a great nose and hopefull it will help him make the connection.

I have contacted a game farm to see if I can buy a couple birds. I would like to bring him out knowing there are a couple of birds in the field to find. Not sure if my approach was wrong but they sounded surprised that I wanted to do that.

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At 20 months any pointing dog should be pointing birds and know what's going on.

Quote:

he spent a month with a Pro trainer in the Dakotas


What did the Pro trainer have to say?

Quote:

Maybe he was upset that I was kicking up so many hens.


The dog's feelings aren't the problem. It should be the one finding and pointing those hens.

Quote:

The trainer said that he found his share of Sharpies and flushed them right up.


He shouldn't be flushing birds as the trainer said. He should be finding and pointing them.

Is the dog finding and flushing birds? Or is the dog just plain not finding them and you are flushing them by happenchance. Is the dog deliberately blinking birds?

Quote:

Might be time to bring him back to the trainer for force fetching.


Forget about retrieving. That's the last thing you need to worry about right now. This dog needs to work on finding and pointing birds first and foremost. If you take it to a trainer, make absolutely sure that you convey your expectations to the trainer. Basically you need the trainer to get this dog to start finding and pointing birds.

Quote:

Maybe I will call a local trainer and see if he can give me an experienced evaluation. If I can find one that has ever seen anything but a GSP.


An eval would be a great start and it should only take a week or 2 to do this. It would be great if you could be present at some of the sessions to see what the trainer is doing and what the dog is doing. Btw, there's nothing wrong with a GSP trainer as long as they're a good trainer. A good trainer is a good trainer regardless of breed.

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GSPMAN hit it on the head and did it very politely. At almost two years old all pointers who are not show bred MUST be hunting and pointing on their own, or they should be culled, fixed and taken out of the gene pool. I did say show bred for a reason, and Reds are kind of known for that.

The shot at GSP trainers was a little out there confused.gif and some of the most knowledgeable people on here have GSP's. I'm sure you can find a good Red trainer in your area. The only problem is they might teach it to prance around in a circle and look pretty rather than hunt.

By your own description if this dog has any NAVHDA titles I have totally lost all respect for that organization and it's NATURAL ABILLITY certification's.

CW

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I had my Britt out in Arizona hunting quail at 5/6 months and he was already going right to work by the time he was out for the second season he was just great. Of course quail once flushed and found again will hold and you will get some great points. Roosters will maybe hold for the first week after that it’s mostly flushing that going on. The best advice I have is to work with another dog that’s good, your dog will or should start to emulate what the good dog is doing and thus hopefully (GET IT). I would be glad to help

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Thanks for the offer tmvikings. I might take you up on that. I'm going out to a training club this Saturday to work with some live birds. Then on Sunday we are going to go down and hunt for awhile. Email me and maybe over Thanksgiving Break we can hook up. I normally go down to the Herman/Hoffman/Morris area and hunt.

jareed@charter.net

Thanks again!

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Quote:

I did say show bred for a reason, and Reds are kind of known for that.


Actually it's the Irish setter (not the Red Setter) that's more commonly bred for the show ring although there are some very good field bred Irish lines out there too.

Red Setters, which is what quijibo owns, were developed specifically for the field and are only registerable in the American Field FDSB.

I'm sure quijibo would like to find a trainer that specializes in setters and probably would like one that has knowledge of Reds. I don't know of specific Red Setter trainers but there are a number of E Setter trainers around. Setterguy or JBDragon might know of a Red Setter trainer in the state.

Can't speak for NAVHDA but most of the prelim titles in any organization are pretty easy to obtain. If they were too hard it would be a barrier to entry and nobody would do the tests and the organization/events would die. For instance the AKC JH title isn't too difficult and honestly doesn't mean much. I ran my dog in JH this spring for something to do and there were many dogs I saw that passed that I wasn't overly impressed with. But my tastes vary from most folks when it comes to bird dogs.

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Quote:

By your own description if this dog has any NAVHDA titles I have totally lost all respect for that organization and it's NATURAL ABILLITY certification's.


are you saying its too easy to get a PRIZE 112 for NA? What about the Utility Tests? I have my own thoughts on NAVHDA some good some bad. I know my dog and I wouldnt be where we are today without the training with the club.

I was unhappy with my tests results but not with how my dog performed. The scoring that was given compared to others was not consistant.

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Thank you for making that point. Red Setters are field dogs only!

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Where did you get your Red?

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My folks live out in the Spicer area on Green Lake so that might work! Lot’s of birds out that way at least I saw a ton this past weekend when deer hunting. Other wise I do all my hunting down in Scott County south metro. But I do think the best thing you can ever do is that 10 min’s a day training, plus get him/her out in the field every chance you get, once he gets a bird himself he will remember how to get it done. Practice makes perfect.

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CW642, I didn't mean anything by the GSP comment, It's just that they are as common here in Colorado as Labs are back in Mn. Most of the people in my NAVHDA training days here had never seen a Red Setter.

One of the members of the local NAVHDA chapter breeds and trains some GSP's that would be at the top of my list if I were to go that route again. He is also on my short list of trainers that I am considering.

JBDragon, I have actually talked to you before about my setter. His breeding includes some Saturday Night and some Celtic.

As far as his NA test, he barely made prize three(95 points) at 14.5 months. He nailed the water portion and actually tracked pretty well. His desire was also pretty good. He did actually find a bird on the hunt part and he almost chased it out of the area, it is the one time that he disobeyed a whoa command.

Now that I think of it, Ruckus did very well every time that we practiced tracking. Maybe he just never thought of using his nose for hunting. When he is running around the yard he is always running and looking in the trees.

When I was researching breeders I went to a couple of competitions with Ruckus' breeders and I remember that they were very concerned about keeping their dogs focused. In fact my dogs father had walked off of a competition when he was younger. It was hard to imagine that it was the same dog I was watching that day.Ruckus' father and grandfather would have easily won their classes that day if they were a little more cooperative on the retrieves. I watched their fields all day and no other dog found all their birds as fast as they did.

I think I will contact the breeder and see if their trainer has an opening after Pheasant season. In the meantime I will be stepping up the training and making it very clear that he is working for me and his fun is a very distant second concern.

My wife has also made it very clear that I will not be getting rid of this dog. She did say that a lot more time hunting and training was OK. I wonder if she would consider a new shotgun as a legitimate training aid.

Adam

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I apologize for mistaking the Red with the Irish. I do however stand by my comment that a two year old had better hunt or it is a very very bad thing. I do raise a fast developing breed and a finished Pointer at two is not out of the question and very obtainable by three. Good luck with your Red, and all I can say is birds, birds, and more birds.

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Quote:

but found 6 field mice. He even pointed them.....


This made me LOL. My dogs are real good bird hunters and it all came naturally to them, but they also like to point other things. I have seen both of them lock up and point deer from 100 yards away, point mice, point squirrels, point rabbits, point frogs and toads, point ducks flying in, point sticks, point tennis balls. I guess one of them even pointed a fish my dad caught last year ice fishing. They are funny dogs. grin.gif

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Quote:

Quote:

but found 6 field mice. He even pointed them.....


This made me LOL. My dogs are real good bird hunters and it all came naturally to them, but they also like to point other things. I have seen both of them lock up and point deer from 100 yards away, point mice, point squirrels, point rabbits, point frogs and toads, point ducks flying in, point sticks, point tennis balls. I guess one of them even pointed a fish my dad caught last year ice fishing. They are funny dogs. grin.gif


He points fish while ice fishing...can I borrow him this winter.... Then I can sell my vexlar...grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

but found 6 field mice. He even pointed them.....


This made me LOL. My dogs are real good bird hunters and it all came naturally to them, but they also like to point other things. I have seen both of them lock up and point deer from 100 yards away, point mice, point squirrels, point rabbits, point frogs and toads, point ducks flying in, point sticks, point tennis balls. I guess one of them even pointed a fish my dad caught last year ice fishing. They are funny dogs. grin.gif


He points fish while ice fishing...can I borrow him this winter.... Then I can sell my vexlar...grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif


I wish she was that good grin.gif She only points them once they are on top of the ice, so don't go selling your vexilar for a GSP quite yet. Though they are sure alot of fun to have with. smile.gif

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Mine pointed an ATV in a plowed field last year.

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My lab will point her dummy before retrieving it if its in taller grass. Also pointed a 6-point when it was bedded down last week. Too bad I was in city limits without a gun.

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I scheduled a game farm on Saturday to work with the dog. They will have four live pheasants placed in a 15 acre field for me before I show up. The birds will be hog tied and have a wing taped so they can't fly much. They will be marked with an orange ribbon so I know where they are placed. Do any of you guys have any suggestions?

We are taking him out on Sunday for the real deal in the hopes that some from Saturday sticks.

I have been working with the dog on the basic obedience commands at home. He is doing great on that part of the training.

Thanks for the help.....

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Can I ask where and you are doing this with? How much is it? I have a lab who I would like to do the same thing with. Thanks

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If the birds are that restrained make sure you work your Britt on a checkcord so it doesn't catch the birds.

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