German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America Forum Index German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America
AKC Parent Club for the German Wirehaired Pointer
 
 ForumForum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
 gwpca bulletin boardGWPCA Home Page   gwpca bulletin boardBulletin Board   gwpca bulletin boardGWPCA Rescue Page 

when is too early?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America Forum Index -> Training for field
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
pointon
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 18
Location: North Texas

PostPosted: 04/21/05, 10:30 am    Post subject: when is too early? Reply with quote

Well, I just picked my 1st GWP up last Friday. I'm tickled to death about her temperement. She's as laid back as any puppy I've ever seen. She's so laid back that I find myself worrying that she's not curious enough to be birdy.. Surely it's too early to make that judgement, right? She's extremely intelligent as she picks up commands like "come" and "sit" super fast. She consistantly retrieves when we play, she's already learned the "come" command and she's pointed the "wing on a string" 3 or 4 times, very steady.. All this at 7 weeks and 4 days. I've given her a frozen quail to paw at(just for a minute) to familiarize her w/ the scent but she's just not that interested. She's more concerned where I'm going and if I'm going to leave... My next step is to get a live quail and either harness it or smother it and let my dog paw at it for a minute or two? I really want to get her worked up about birds... That's it.. I don't want to try and start teaching her anything other than obedience and play until after 6 months. However, I do want to expose her to birds and encourage her prey drive.. When is too early for the dead bird, live birds, any bird...? Any advice and experiences would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you see that I've mentioned something in here that you see as a bad idea, feel free to tell me about it.. Can you tell I'm scared I'm gonna screw my girl up? Surprised
_________________
training tips are welcome
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Keith
Master
Master


Joined: 27 Dec 2002
Posts: 163

PostPosted: 04/21/05, 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently have a pup that is 4 months old. I started just like what you are doing. I run her in the field, and let her do water retrieves. I had a guy call a couple of weeks ago that said one of her littermates is already scent pointing quail. I know she is ready and just need to find some birds. As an aside, her mom ran in a NSTRA trail a week ago. The last in my region for the season. I was 10 minutes late and missed my brace so her score didn't count. But I got to run in a later brace without any chance for points. It was a warm day and the heat affected some dogs performances. Top dog found 4 birds. Second place dog found 4 birds. She found 8 birds. The pointer she was braced with found 1. She really tore the field up going from bird to bird like a machine. I love running wirehairs here. The rest of the dogs are almost all pointers. The first time she won nobody there even knew what kind of dog she was. And the best part is she could go right from the quail field to a duck hunt on a large lake and do a great job retrieving ducks. She does it every year. What versatile dogs!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
walltentwire
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 18
Location: Alberta

PostPosted: 04/22/05, 12:18 am    Post subject: Just relax Pointon... Reply with quote

My first wire is now about 18 months old. when I look back at what I learned training my first gundog, I realize I was a expecting a bit too much in the first few weeks.
I just took my pup out and ran him in all kinds of cover, day after day, and ran him into hundreds of wild Hungarian Partridges and as many pheasants as I could. He bonded very closely to me being in the field so much together, and at 14 weeks I was letting him run loose on the Sporting Clay range and he was just fine with 12 guages blasting all over the place.
By 6 months he was already holding on point like crazy, responding to voice, whistle, and hand signals, and retrieving dummies. Of course now he's just a monster of a gundog, and I'm wondering what I was worried about back at the beginning.
When I start my next pup, I'm going to be less nervous.... I read a quote somewhere that "show that gundog what his job is in the first 4 months of his life and chances are, soon he will be showing YOU the finer points of the game" This is exactly what happened to me. Learning to really trust my pup ( and read him ) was just as rewarding as bagging that big rooster that my pals just couldn't get at with their Labs.
Have fun!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dualgwp
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 19 Oct 2002
Posts: 491
Location: New Hope PA

PostPosted: 04/22/05, 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pointon.... at this age, all you need to do is let her be a baby puppy and expose her to everything you can. Take her for car rides, introduce her to new people and dogs, let her take walks in a park, the woods, fields and start to play in a pond or stream. Let her little puppy brain sort out all of this new stuff... make it fun, interesting and exciting for her.

As far as bird introduction... don't push it too fast. Even a bird as small as a quail can scare a 8 wk old puppy if it flies into it's face. Won't ruin it for life, but just no need to even go there. I suggest you wait until the puppy is investigating well on it's own, is bold on it's walks and not too worried about your whereabouts. Some pups we introduce at about 10-12 wks, some a bit younger, some older.

If you have access to wild birds, they will teach a puppy a lot, but if not, you can take a pen raised quail, pull some wing feathers (so it can't fly far) and put it in the grass or a bush. Bring the puppy around and encourage it to find the bird. Don't be discouraged if the first time or two the puppy doesn't seem to "get it". Once those smells connect between the brain and the nose and eyes.. the light will come on. Don't worry about the puppy catching this first bird... if she does it won't ruin her for life. Once she is really turned on, then you don't want her catching any. Sometimes letting them catch the first bird or two is a good thing.

MOst of all, exposure at this age, to everything you can expose her to is the best thing in the world. Have fun, enjoy this stage.. it really does go by too quickly.

Best of luck
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
whiskerdog1
Master
Master


Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 256
Location: Rustbelt

PostPosted: 04/22/05, 9:23 am    Post subject: Pup Reply with quote

I totally agree with Dual and not pushing your pup. Big deal if a pup can point birds at 4 months-5 months. Your dog will be hunted the next 12-14 years, hopefully. There is plently of time. Let em grow and be a pup. When they are ready youll know. Let em chase birds, squirrels, may naturally point which is great. Let em build confidence through 6-9 months. Work obedience and retrieves of wing or sock-but quit while ahead, make it fun and wanting more.
Even seen those kids whose Dads push them in little league and they burn out? It can happen with dogs too. Take your time, have fun and let em grow. For me socialization and obedience are the key as a youngster. At 8-9 mo +plus I begin to expect more-flash points at a minimum, and retrieve work-all marks. Get em lots of bird contacts at this age. If the drive is there, it is a no brainer and easy to train. After 12-14 mo. the real training starts-force fetch, Whoa w/checkcord if necessry, blind retrieves, tracking etc.
All obedience is mastered at this age including sit,heel, down, stay, fetch, back, over, track track, and so on.
_________________
Real men hunt Wire Dogs
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
pointon
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 18
Location: North Texas

PostPosted: 04/22/05, 9:46 am    Post subject: patience is a virtue Reply with quote

I hear you. When I picked my pup up I was fortunate enough to meet the breeder's trainer for his personal dogs. His trainer was purchasing a wirehair from the same liter.. The trainer also said not to rush the pup and just let him be a pup.. He was big on letting the pup grow in to his instincts and just encourage those instincts, at least for the 1st year. In my mind, I know that's the right thing.. Too many people/articles have said the same.. However, there was a reason I'm amped about bird dogs, especially the wirehair.. SO, I will be struggling w/ patience for the next year...

A quick update on my pup since last time.. You know, i was worried about her curiosity and if she would be interested in birds.... Knee jerk reaction, I know! I'm sure you guys new that!! I went out yesterday afternoon and dragged a frozen quail around the yard... I live on about 2 acres and she owns the back yard which is about 1.5 acres itself. I dragged this frozen quail around most of the back yard and then hid it behind some bushes.. I then went and got her and placed her where I started the dragging.. I walked away and as usual she stayed under foot.. I went inside for a few minutes to give her time to "possibly" catch the scent.. Sure enough, about 5 mintues passed and I went outside and she had found that quail and was pretty excited about showing me when I walked out... We played fetch a couple times and I put the bird up... I was impressed, considering I was worried about her interest in birds... Thank you all for the advice.. I already see this will be good for me to keep watch of this board.
_________________
training tips are welcome
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Keith
Master
Master


Joined: 27 Dec 2002
Posts: 163

PostPosted: 04/22/05, 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree about letting a pup be a pup and giving them maximum exposure during that first year. But if you don't live in an area where you can get your pup into birds you will have to put some out. That pup should be bird crazy by the time they reach a year of age. I even run them in fields where they can find a lot of any kind of birds, rabbits and squirrels. I have two that are just under a year now. I hunted them starting at 6 months this year with an older male. They really didn't do much, a few points, a few good tracks and a few retrieves. But they both love hunting now. And I am started on more advanced training now. They will both be ready to put in a good day in the field during next hunting season. I do like to put the occasional dead bird out for a young pup and let them carry it and retrieve it. I think if done properly it promotes a good soft mouth later on and gets them excited about birds. I also work them in the water when they are just a few months old and the water is warm enough. They love retrieving.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dualgwp
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 19 Oct 2002
Posts: 491
Location: New Hope PA

PostPosted: 04/22/05, 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a litter that is just turning 1 yr old. We kept two of them and the rest went off to their new homes.
The little girl puppy was introduced to birds around 12 wks old. She went nuts pretty much off the bat. Just had it in her.
The boy wasn't introduced until he was probably 6 months old. He was interested, but not with the pizazz his sister showed.

Both of these kids are now doing wonderfully and the boy has surpassed the girl. They have a ton of drive, point like fools (the boy is stauncher), both retrieve pretty well and both like to swim.

One other brother just came back to me for a boarding. He has not had any exposure at all to birds. We took him out to see what would happen. The first bird flew up over his head and he just sort of looked at it. Hmmm, not a great sign, he never even winded the bird. Second bird, WHAM! A beautiful point and then a serious chase. After that, the pup started hunting all over the place for more birds.

Moral to the story.. it's always the best to introduce them to as much as possible when they are little guys. But, if it's in there, it's in there.

With summer coming it's a great time to introduce youngsters to water. Just make sure you keep it fun and simple.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America Forum Index -> Training for field All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group