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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Opening day was a week ago, and that demon spawned little puppy I started with 10 months ago Is just a total joy in the field. If this was the last day of the season, it would be total success. We have a number of things to work on, no delusions there, but this boy can hunt!!Finn shows me something new everyday.
He's been over pressuring, and sometimes downright bumping, birds these past few weeks, but today a Rooster pheasant taught him patience. He bumped the bird and then chased it about 300 yards through the air. He again bumped it and chased it a couple hundred yards. On the third time, he stayed rock solid on point until I got there. I'm not sure who got tired first, Finn, or the rooster. :) Whichever one did, it seemed to work. The next bird, he locked up solid, and waited for me to cover about 40 yards, and the rest of the morning went a lot better. He actually got a fair bit of point work in this morning because my shot gunning is abysmal. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside these past few days.:mad:
Got some accidental "backing work" in today also. The first bird he bumped took him right into a pretty little setter on point. He honored her point, and stayed still for her retrieve. It was really nice to watch. I was sure he was going to be a bonehead, but he wasn't.. We hunted with her for a little while, as she was working a bird in the briars for her owner, and then we separated and went our way.
He works pheasant different than quail. With quail it's all head up high, nice figure eights and when he gets' close he moves in straight lines until the point. With the pheasants, he's making big circles around the area and then tightens his circle, until the first of a series of points. It's kind of cool to watch in a open field, but in the briars and brambles it gets a little unnerving. Half the time I only know where he is because of his bell. We'll see if that pattern habit continues, or it's just his way of self teaching???
One thing he is doing, that I could use some help on, is "pointing dead" on pheasants. No issues with retrieves on quail. Pheasants though, he points dead, with no retrieve.I've never had a dog do this, so it's new to me. Thoughts????
 

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very nice and great description as always, i can visualize Finn, must have been lots of fun.

The only thing i have always been told that especially with young dogs if you trained with quail than suddenly switching to pheasant could throw them off. they know it is a bird but it smells different than what was engraved in their brain as expected behavior. I am sure the more experience hunters can add more color, it is just what i have been told by our trainers to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
" if you trained with quail than suddenly switching to pheasant could throw them off. they know it is a bird but it smells different than what was engraved in their brain as expected behavior. "
I was kind of thinking along these lines also, and that maybe all of the gun work, with retrieve may have given him a different picture of expectations.
I'll tie wrap pheasant wings to some launcher dummies and see what happens. Hopefully they stay attached, and don't come off in mid flight!!:giggle:
 

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Sounds like you both had a great time, and that's what really matters when you're out with your dog.

For any new species, that a dog points, but is unsure of the retrieve.
I just treat the dog like a puppy. Pick up the bird, move it around to get the dog excited, and do short throws. As soon as their mouth touches the bird, I called them to me. Repeat the process a few times.
Most dogs will start retrieving them.

I did it with Cash's first goose, and last year with Hunter's first dove.
We also did it with Ranger's first duck.

I try to keep a frozen bird or two in the freezer. Just for dog training, but fresh dead works better.

What I dislike about pheasant, is a crippled bird can be clawing at a young dogs face. Some dogs decide they don't want to pick up pheasant.
Another's get a harder mouth on cripples, and it can carry over to other birds. I fully understand why they do it, and it's never stopped me from hunting pheasant with dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"Sounds like you both had a great time, and that's what really matters when you're out with your dog."

My feelings exactly! And oh yes, we are having a great time! What he's not doing correctly, is more than compensated by what he is doing correctly.

"I just treat the dog like a puppy. Pick up the bird, move it around to get the dog excited, and do short throws. As soon as their mouth touches the bird, I called them to me. Repeat the process a few times."

My wife kind of pointed out the same things that you and Gabica have, that I'm not training him the same as the other V's we've had.
I'm going to make up some pheasant training dummies, and we'll work with those when were not out in the woods. We'll dial him back a notch or two, and go back through some basic fetch exercises. Somewhere in that process I created a hole that we'll fix.
Thank you both for the constructive feedback.
 

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Because we like to dove hunt. I've put the cart before the horse, plenty of times. I know in advance, it's going to cause holes in my training. Plus be a lot more work later.
The reason I do it.
I get so much enjoyment, from seeing them having a blast in the field. We are never guaranteed tomorrow, so let them have fun today.
 
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