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old dog new tricks

 
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mikeharris
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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: 08/22/03, 10:58 am    Post subject: old dog new tricks Reply with quote

I have several times looked at adopting a GWP. I am familiar with the temperment and abilities of the breed and find them to be outstanding. My question would be, is it possible to train a three year old dog who has not hunted before as a bird dog?
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cmmilach
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Joined: 23 Oct 2002
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Location: Centennial, CO

PostPosted: 08/22/03, 12:36 pm    Post subject: Old Dog, New Tricks Reply with quote

Hi,

If the dog has any natural ability at all, you should not have any problem teaching him to be a bird dog. Most of it is natural instinct, you only need to channel that ability.

Good Luck.
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Dave1967
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PostPosted: 08/25/03, 3:57 pm    Post subject: Old Dog New Tricks Reply with quote

Mike I don't think the question is whether or not you can teach and old dog to hunt. The question is whether or not you can properly identify and correct the bad habits or problems the dog has developed before you get it. Gun, bird or water shyness (any or all) may have all been developed by some past experience and your not having any idea how the problem was caused will make it more difficult for you to correct.
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KYSER
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Joined: 06 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: 08/25/03, 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting a rescue dog could be a crap shoot. As Dave said, it's probably there because of some sort of a fault, hopefully not agression.
Althoug, a lot dogs that are given up are in the 2 year old range because
of a stage they go through and because the owner thinks it the dogs fault they give it up. Two years of training and vet bills and after the dog has gone through that stage the next owner has made out like a bandit. If yor not a pro trainer or have never trained a pointing dog you would probably be better served with a puppy. Just my take on rescues. If you do rescue a GWP I think everyone involved with them would say Thanks! What a great breed.
P.S.
I cant imagine missing puppyhood with a GWP though.
Best of Luck
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Illona
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Joined: 08 Nov 2002
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 09/04/03, 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, I got my girl out of rescue. Granted, she was 7 or 8 months old, but she didn't belong to a hunter. I do not train her for hunting either. However, my vet trains and hunts with his two GWPs, and I have absolutely NO doubt (and I don't think he does) that he could take this high-drive girl -- now 21 mos old -- and turn her into a fanatastic hunting machine.

I think most of the younger GWPs are in shelters because families have adopted them and haven't taken the time to meet the dog's physical needs. I know that was DEFINITELY the case with this girl. They are not an ideal pet for an average owner who thinks a walk around the block is all it takes.

I've seen some 4-6 yr old GWPs in rescue that are already trained for upland bird, etc., and if you read their stories you discover that they were given up because of some familial situation, not because the dog wasn't a good hunting companion.

And then there are the seniors...dumped because some idiot felt that they were no longer good for the hunt, therefore disposable.

I applaud you for considering a rescue. There are MANY awesome GWPs out there in shelters (I even found a griffon the other day; gorgeous girl!) and most GWPs come from good hunting stock. Shelters are also very open to you taking the dog for a good long walk; I did with my girl. I spent 2 hours with her. Surely you could get the dog into a field and at least get a glimpse. Better yet, bring a couple scented dummies...ya never know. My girl's natural instincts FAR outshine those of her vizsla and GSP friends.

Illona
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