Well, I really goofed up this time. I have a 6 mo old female GSP named Pickles that I've been training since she was 10 weeks old. This is my first dog to train and I've thought I'd done pretty well up till now.
Up until now, I got her coming to "here", still working on down but she knows what I want here to do...just overcome with excitement, and also working on "hup" so she'll stay still by me when I need her to. She's retrieving a tennis ball well, on land and water. I've had her on probably 30 or so live quail and she is definitely bird crazy. She goes absolutely nuts when she knows we're getting ready to play with the birds. I've been throwing the ball and sometimes turning out a bird for her to chase and then popping the cap gun when she's in pursuit and it didn't seem to bother her a bit. Here's where I messed up.
I took her out to shoot the real gun over her. I thought she was ready and I did it the way I thought it was supposed to be done. I put out a bird, let her find and point it, I flushed the bird and when she was hot on its heels about 40 yards out I shot. She didn't run for the hills but she did put a little distance between me and her. I called her and she came right back to me and didn't act too nervous so I thought maybe she was fine. I put out another bird and I noticed that she didn't point it as close as she usually does. She pointed it, but from 10' away when usually she is like 3'-4' away. I flushed the bird and when it flew she ran the other way. I was literally sick to my stomach (and still am). I didn't shoot again and loaded her up and back to the house we went.
That was last weekend. Since then, I've been popping the cap gun from a distance right before I feed her and let her out to play. I worked a little closer for 3 days until I was within 20' and she never acted shy of the cap gun. She perks up at attention but she'll run right up to me after I shoot it. Then a few days ago I got a quail out, let her see it and smell it in my hands. She was all amped up, running circles around me and jumping up and down like her usual self. But when I threw the bird she took a couple steps after it then turned around and just stood there. I walked towards the direction of the bird while urging her and then she did go find and point the bird but when I flushed it...same thing. What do I do now???
I've continued to shoot the caps around her, which don't seem to bother her and I shot the .22 yesterday a few times from about 50 yards away. She runs right up to me after I shoot but then when I threw her tennis ball to play she didn't even want to chase after that. It was like she knew I had been shooting and she was afraid to chase cause she thought I might shoot while she was running after it. What am I going to do??? Please Help!