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under the van.....

 
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dsprfct
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PostPosted: 10/01/03, 7:48 pm    Post subject: under the van..... Reply with quote

Okay, I'm hoping I haven't completely ruined my dog. I have a 4 month old named Barley. He has been coming along just fine with retrieving and doing some pointing. Sit, stay and come are not too bad either...although "come" is not his favorite thing to do always. I have limited time with training but have trained two other dogs using Richard Wolters "Game Dog" book as a guide. Both dogs turned out great (they were both Humane Society rescues)...not the best bird dogs in the world but great dogs. Oh, they were mutts not GWP's.
I have been taking him out and tossing a feathered dummy which he loves. We have also made a few trips out to scare up some wild birds and he has about a half dozen legitimate flushes and has really begun to cover ground and get "birdie".
I have been trying to condition him to noise by banging books together while he eats (which doesn't phase him at all) and yelling as loud as possible while the dummy is in the air. He's been fine with that as well.
My daughters wanted to shoot some clay pigeons and I thought Barley would be fine with the shotguns....not so. He lasted a couple of shots and I got distracted with the kids shooting. Next thing I knew, he was under the van. I took him out to run and fetch the dummy afterward and he was fine with that. I'm hoping he is young enough to start over with a more proper introduction to the gun.
Do I even dare to take him out hunting this fall?

Thanks,

dsprfct
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Brandon Ward
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PostPosted: 10/02/03, 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off throw the Wolters book away and get some good reading. I prefer Joan Baileys book How to Help Gun Dogs Train themselves or The Best Way to Train your Bird Dog the Delmar Smith Method by Bill Tarrant. There is a good video that Janet Nahorn put out, she is out of Mason Creek Kennels the name escapes me right know. Right now with were you are at I would let the dog just be himself take him out let him chase and bump some birds but I wouldnt put any pressure on him let him get crazy about birds. I would also get a hold of some live birds in a couple of months and try to get the dog just plain nuts about birds. George Hickox has a video out explaining how to introduce gunfire to dogs I would buy it and review the way he introduced the gun. Basically you take the dog out to the field after the dog has been introduced to birds and is really wild about the scent etc. etc. you take him out while a friend is standing about 100 yards behind you with a blank 22 pistol you have the dog by your side you take out a wing clipped bird (a pigeon may be too big so lets use a quail there easy too find and cheap) clip the wings so it cant fly away and while you are standing there with the dog on your side you throw down the bird and let the dog give chase once the dog is on chase your friend should fire 1 shot with the blank pistol. If the dog reacts have your partner stand farther away. If there is no reaction then your parner can start to move closer to eventually he is 5 yards back then go back to square one and have your partner stand 100 yards back with the shotgun again repeating the process until he is close to you. This takes time and I wouldnt rush anything because of the situation you put yourself in I would be taking things real slow this is a very young dog let him have fun take him out let him be a puppy. And throw the Wolters book away it is the biggest piece of rubble you could ever read.
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KYSER
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PostPosted: 10/03/03, 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I havent reviewed wolters material but the general concensus is as brandon stated, but.... if your comfortable with it and it works for you who is to argue. I have the Hickox tapes and the way he intros to gun fire is to take a harnessed bird so it cannot fly and have a helper back about 50 yrds with a blank gun. If you dont have a blank gun try just the percussion cap on a muzzle loader, somethig with a mild report. He throws the bird up in front of the dog and when it hits the ground he signals the helper to fire the blank and then lets the pup chase. Let the dog have the bird and keep decreasing the distance the helper is firing the blank until he is next to him. I would do the blank one day, a shotgun primer the next, they are suprizingly louder than you think, then a 22 long the next day. Watch for any sign of apprehension. Before using the shot gun next to the pup, he flushes a bird and lets them chase then shoots over the pup while it is chasing, didnt say if he shot the bird or not, I dont think he did, however, I dont think it could hurt if he associated a bird flying, a loud bang and a bird coming down for him to mouth. Best of luck. If he is sensitive to all this there are some tapes for curing gunshyness. I have information on it if you need it.
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Keith
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PostPosted: 10/03/03, 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it real slow with the gun and start with caps or blanks from a distance. Most of the gundogs I know of that were ruined early were by improper introduction to gun fire. I have introduced several litters of pups to gunfire and have never had a pup become gunshy just by taking it slow and careful. I have read that most gunshyness is manmade and I believe it.
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dsprfct
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PostPosted: 10/04/03, 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all of you. I guess I have to plead ignorance to any other methods of training other than the Wolters books. The previous two dogs I trained turned out great and my brother in law has a lab who is quite good as well.
The suggestions you provided are the ones I was going to try. I don't have access to any captive birds though so I'm just going to try to get him into some cover that should have birds and have a buddy along to fire the gun from a distance.
We have been out a couple of times since the range and he is just as excited to be out looking for game as he ever was. With going slow, I'm hoping that's going to be the part that wins out in the end.
Thanks again for all the advice.

Dsprfct
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Brandon Ward
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PostPosted: 10/06/03, 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not have a harness on the bird I would wing clip it. The reason I would do it this way is because you want some commotion, some noise something to really draw the dogs attention to the bird. The bird flapping the wings will really get the dog focused on the bird and not the 22 cal blank pistol that is being fired from your pal standing 50 yards back. Again purchase the Hickox video from lcsupply.com It would be money well spent. Take your time and doit right. If you have positive results from the Wolters book and have your training methods the way you like them stik with them. Good luck
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dsprfct
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PostPosted: 10/08/03, 10:09 pm    Post subject: next step Reply with quote

Well, we made a trip out to the field with a friend who shot his 20 gauge while we tried to scare up some birds.
He was about 100 yards away and it was quite windy. He shot the first time and Barley barely raised his head. We got progressively closer and the most he did was jerk his head up and look at me. I was also carrying my gun (empty) so he would get used to that as well.
All in all, he didn't seem bothered by the gunfire. I think there were maybe 8 shots in all and the closest we got was about 50 yards. My buddy had to take off and Barley and I kept wandering around and ended up scaring up a half dozen birds or so.
Thanks for all your suggestions.
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