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How do I fix this?
Last Post 28 Aug 2009 02:57 PM by Hillbilly. 10 Replies.
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cacklencrowUser is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:23 cacklencrow
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24 Aug 2009 03:55 PM

    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!

    cnc

    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    24 Aug 2009 05:57 PM
    First let me tell you that it's happened to alot of people. So now I'll tell you how I fix it and this is just how I do it so someone else might have a different idea. Put the cap gun and 22 up it's time to start over again. You got to bring her prey drive way back up. First I'd clip wing a couple pigeons or chukars not quail because that's what you were using when it happen. Also time to use a new spot if you can or come in to yours at a different direction. Throw the clipped winged birds out and if you have to just walk around giving them a shove incourage her to chase them and talk her up till she just can't take it any more and has to go after the birds and catches them. Yes you might have to steady her up later but you need to fix this first. Another way to get her going is to chain her up and let her watch another dog work birds for awhile. That will fire her back up to. Even go back to the wing on a string in the yard but don't try to steady her up just let her have fun chasing it you might also get away with tying a quail on a string to to chase. If she shies away at any time do not show that it bothers you dog can read that and take it wrong. once you get her prey drive back up we'll go over gun conditioning but I don't think that's going to be a problem. If you have a place with wild birds she could run on with out any gun fire that would really help if in any case she don't chase you chase after them acting like it's the funnest thing in the world. She'll come around just take your time.
    Life's Short Play Hard
    blacklabhunterUser is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:3 blacklabhunter
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    24 Aug 2009 07:42 PM

     I definitely agree with Hillbilly. There is no doubt your dog is a bit gunshy but that doesn't mean she is ruined. My uncles GSP is very gunshy when it comes to training. But when she's actually out in the field, she's fine. Also my first dog a golden retriever is not much of a hunter but I do take him and let him run with my lab once in a while is terribly gun shy, to the point of hiding in the bath tub on the fourth of July. Even he seems not to notice the gun fire on a real hunt.

    cacklencrowUser is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:23 cacklencrow
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    25 Aug 2009 01:07 PM

    I live in north Louisiana and we have no wild birds.  I think I've seen 1 wild quail in the past 10 years and I'm in the woods a lot. Used to be plenty...my theory is the fire ants (which have taken over) kill the hatchlings.  It's amazing what those ants can devour in just a few hours. 

    I think I got carried away and started rushing her training a little too much.  Mainly because I wanted to take her pheasant hunting in KS this year and I wanted her to be started pretty good.  I was wearing my older GSP down on a 4 day hunt so I decided I needed another to share the load. 

    Pickles has always had tons of prey drive and energy.  She is very independent and will barge off into everything head first so after I saw the caps didn't bother her I really didn't think the gun would be a problem.  I think she interpreted the gun as a scolding.  Like I was telling her not to chase the bird.  

    I appreciate the input from both of you.  I threw the ball for her yesterday evening and she chased it and fetched very well like her normal self.  I am out of birds but will get more this weekend.  I can move to a different spot easily but changing to pigeons or chukars will be hard because there just aren't any available around here.  I will keep looking though.  Not many upland hunters around here...a few quail hunters with pointers that go to TX, tons of duck hunters... but as far as pheasants go I'm pretty much all by myself.

    Hillbilly, do you think if she goes back to chasing birds without hesitation within a week or two that I would have time to get her used to the gun by mid November?  She still acts bird crazy, just doesn't take chase when the bird is flushed.  I know I may have to forget about hunting her in November but I really wanted to take her.  I only get to go once a year.  If I  did take her I know no matter how hard I tried tried to prevent she would be shot over and if she's not ready for that I don'twant to mess her up anymore.

    Thanks Guys,

    CNC   

    BobUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:550 Bob
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    25 Aug 2009 02:24 PM
    CNC, you can try this I do this with my pups to get them use to the bangs of hunting. NO BIRDS when you do this, if you should find one in the field no harm done. Get a .32 blank pistol, carry it in your back pocket. Take the dog for a run in a field and let get out like it normally does. Then behind your back, don't let the dog see the gun. Fire one shot. Do nothing just keep walking. If the dog comes back to you for support "DO and SAY NOTHING" just keep walking. Let things get back to normal and then fire another shot. Do exactly as before just keep walking. This is good for 3 times then stop. It will take several trips before the dog will not even look at you or around. You want it to just keep running. Then you will know the bangs will not affect it.......Bob
    My Dog And I Are A Team. We Practice Every Day. I Always Trust Tony, He Knows More Than I do.
    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    26 Aug 2009 03:59 PM
    I think that it won't take much and she should be ready before November. Just remember to make it fun for awhile not so much like training and she'll come back around quickly. Try freezing your birds after you shot them so you have birds to play fetch with. Another thing that works is wings taped to a bumper. Another thing I do to save on birds is used clipped wing birds and a starter if the dog is soft you can reuse them some still die but it stretches them out more. I even use them that way and yell bang when I'm starting dogs. Check your feed store for pigeons. Good Luck and if you need any more advice someone here usually can always help.
    Life's Short Play Hard
    cacklencrowUser is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:23 cacklencrow
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    27 Aug 2009 02:14 PM

    I feel a lot better about this now.  I can see her coming back around all ready.  I'm sure she'll be fine if I ease her into it right this next go round.  

    I'll get some bumpers to tie the wings onto and freeze some birds too.  She does have a soft mouth so this should work pretty good.

    I think the pistol behind the back sounds like a good idea too.  If I act like nothing happened and ignore the shot and her reaction to it, then sooner or later I can see how she would ignore it as well.

     

    Thanks,

    CNC

     

     

    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    28 Aug 2009 08:08 AM
    Dogs read everything you do it's crazy but true so if you act upset about it, it will show in the dog.
    Life's Short Play Hard
    dogpowerUser is Offline Pheasant Chick Pheasant Chick Send Private Message Posts:60 dogpower
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    28 Aug 2009 11:49 AM
    This is very true, Hillbilly. I had a dog once that would watch Packer games with me. Sometimes when Favre would throw an interception I'd be sitting on the couch without moving a muscle and she would jump up next to me and snuggle up as if to say "It's OK, dad. He'll throw a touchdown next time." That was a while ago when Favre could still do that.
    BobUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:550 Bob
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    28 Aug 2009 12:25 PM
    Everyday when I go out to get Tony for our walk and run for him. He was always sitting on a board I made to get him up off the concrete. I could never figure out how he knew. Today I was in a position to see him as I was getting ready, he was just laying there. But when I picked up the SUV KEYS, jingle, jingle. He sat up and was waiting for me........Bob
    My Dog And I Are A Team. We Practice Every Day. I Always Trust Tony, He Knows More Than I do.
    HillbillyUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:706 Hillbilly
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    28 Aug 2009 02:57 PM
    Dogs are smart and Favre isn't doing that good any more. When my alarm goes off all my dogs even the one 75 yards from the house know it. That's when I feed in the morning. Sometimes I want to sleep in though and they don't care the alarm was supposed to go off.
    Life's Short Play Hard
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