Hunting Dogs

Recon_Doc

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
99
So forgive my ignorance but, I rescued a 4 yr old GSP last night. Owners are moving to Spain with the military and gave him to me for free. He is a trained upland pointer. I plan on using him for quail hunting. My question is how do I keep him trained in the off season? Is there something I should be doing work wise with him over the summer? Any advice is really appreciated!
Thanks
Doc
 

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
2,452
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
I will start off by saying I'm 3 years into my first dog and don't know much about pointers. The couple of things I've learned so far that I think are sort of universal...

If they have a couple of years under their belt, they don't forget how to hunt so actual hunt training is minimal now. We save some wings in the freezer and pull one out from time to time for "fun" retrieving games and nose work. We work on a few things sometimes (like being steady when excitement is happening), but that's about it.

We never stop working on obedience.She doesn't get any passes, and it really pays off when you can take her anywhere and do just about anything with her, hunting or not hunting.

Conditioning is a year round job. I know some people who let their dogs get so overweight and out of shape, then just start hunting them and the poor dogs can hardly walk after a couple of hours hunting. It is so much easier on the dog (and you) to keep them in shape all the time vs try to whip them back into shape in time for hunting season.

Since he's new to you, a lot of what you do between now and next season will be building rapport and trust. I'm sure he'll teach you more than you teach him! Happy hunting!
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,523
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
Obedience, conditioning, fetch training, build a bond. Has he been force retrieve trained? Probably has. If so, do continual training on this to keep him sharp. j

Hunt him as much as you can in the fall.
 

putm2sleep

New member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
2,559
Location
Colorado
well - in the old days, my grandpa and I would take our GSP out in the country, and make her run behind the car (yeah he had an old Crown Victoria, and we would run her a 'country mile or two), then we would do obedience. He liked the shock collar too when hunting. Never worked - he cussed that thing when she'd get out of range and bust a covey, oh boy those are great memories.

I still have that gen 1 e-colar.

>>note: I have never trained a dog with one or used one. I DO NOT recommend them. I have used a 25lb log chain to slow a gsp and keep it close :) it slows them down good - makes them point crooked but works. That dam dog should have been a sled dog, helluva quail dog though.

You could get in shape and run 10k each morning with him. Bond as said above and have fun.
Nice find.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
63
Location
Big Bear Lake, CA
well - in the old days, my grandpa and I would take our GSP out in the country, and make her run behind the car (yeah he had an old Crown Victoria, and we would run her a 'country mile or two), then we would do obedience. He liked the shock collar too when hunting. Never worked - he cussed that thing when she'd get out of range and bust a covey, oh boy those are great memories.

I still have that gen 1 e-colar.

>>note: I have never trained a dog with one or used one. I DO NOT recommend them. I have used a 25lb log chain to slow a gsp and keep it close :) it slows them down good - makes them point crooked but works. That dam dog should have been a sled dog, helluva quail dog though.

You could get in shape and run 10k each morning with him. Bond as said above and have fun.
Nice find.

Am sitting here laughing at your post. I have 3 GSP's, a 10yo, a 8yo and a 3 year old. You pretty much nailed it with your decription. Love em though. Great dogs!

Dan
 

RingneckGSP

New member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
12
I have been hunting with gsp's for over 10 years and I try to focus on some of these things. Exercise and conditioning (could include swimming in warmer months), keeping obedience and retrieving dialed with yard work, and training on wild birds which also gives me some good conditioning. Sometimes I also like to duct tape a bird wing to a bumper and hide it during yard work or walks to work on finding wounded or downed birds.
 

belly-deep

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
3,465
well - in the old days, my grandpa and I would take our GSP out in the country, and make her run behind the car (yeah he had an old Crown Victoria, and we would run her a 'country mile or two), then we would do obedience. He liked the shock collar too when hunting. Never worked - he cussed that thing when she'd get out of range and bust a covey, oh boy those are great memories.

I still have that gen 1 e-colar.

>>note: I have never trained a dog with one or used one. I DO NOT recommend them. I have used a 25lb log chain to slow a gsp and keep it close :) it slows them down good - makes them point crooked but works. That dam dog should have been a sled dog, helluva quail dog though.

You could get in shape and run 10k each morning with him. Bond as said above and have fun.
Nice find.

I've never met a dog trainer who doesn't use e collars. Food for thought for the OP.
 

Walkathon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
1,213
Location
Central Minnesota
I've got 2 female GSP's and they are great pets and hunting dogs. I use an E collar and only have to beep them to get them to listen. They hunt ruffed grouse and pheasants, Mine try to sleep under the covers with me and my wife. Probably why we don't have any kids....anyway. Like the other people have said- work with the dog to get him to listen to you on basic commands and he will probably hunt instinctively since he has some repetitions under his belt. The only real training I ever did with my dogs was with the wing on a string to show them that they can't catch birds (the wing) by breaking point
 

dukes_daddy

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
812
Location
Riverton Utah
A good dog has hunting built in and you just get them out enough to develop and build those traits. With my wirehair a few things that worked well for me.
- Buy some bird scent and tag a toy and hide it for them to find.
- Fetch with one of those dumby birds and if has a hard mouth correct. An ear pinch gets attention quick.
- Jog jog jog and let him out front. Labs follow; pointers lead (sorry couldn't help myself). Ideally find a dirt/gravel road it helps toughen their pads.
- E-Collar yes. Almost lost my dog when he took after wild horses and a coyote. Pointers are head strong and nothing wrong with a corrective tap.
- Get on birds. Once people know you have a dog it's amazing how often your phone rings. Everyone likes hunting behind a dog. Also never let others direct or correct your dog. Pointers will range naturally and I had a guy freak when the dog got beyond 15 yards (he had a lab - sorry 2nd time). Let the dog hunt.
- Relax - Don't sweat details like the dog holding point after flush, backing other dogs, getting heady and bumping birds. Work through it and enjoy.
- Family/Kids - Make him the family pet. I think getting the belly scratched and curling on the coach improve them around other hunters.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,523
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
Pointers will range naturally and I had a guy freak when the dog got beyond 15 yards (he had a lab - sorry 2nd time). Let the dog hunt.
- Relax - Don't sweat details like the dog holding point after flush, backing other dogs, getting heady and bumping birds. Work through it and enjoy.
- Family/Kids - Make him the family pet. I think getting the belly scratched and curling on the coach improve them around other hunters.

These are some great points right here. Don't expect him to work close to you all the time. He's not bred to. Learn to be comfortable with him 150 yards out in front. If he can't hold the birds he can't hold the birds. He needs to learn to hold the birds, not work closer so you can shoot them if they bust out.

Don't reinforce bad habits by shooting birds he bumps. Only shoot birds he points at first until you get a good feel for him and how he works. Dogs are like humans, some are good, some are bad. Your dog doesn't bite you when you shoot poorly so don't be a dick to him if he's having a rough day and bumping birds.

It might be worth finding out what kennel he came from and talking to the breeder about what to expect from this dog. I.e. is it super hot breeding of BIG runners, or are they slower working dogs that are more mellow for GSPs.

Edit: For heaven's sakes, have enough of a working bond with your dog that you aren't out there blowing on the whistle and yelling at him all day. That drives me insane. There are a lot of days that I hardly give my dog a command. That is what you should strive for. If you're having to yell and whistle all day then you need to look at what's going on that's creating that. As one breeder told me "people just need to shut up and let the dog hunt".
 
Last edited:

Recon_Doc

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
99
This is why I love this page! All great advice. THANK YOU everyone. So lat night I took him out for a walk for the first time. We came across a huge patch of ice plant. probably 40 feet wide, and a foot high. I let him off the leash he does 2 complete circles around if sniffing. He spots something, points HARD for about 45 seconds. I tell him good boy and he fucking RIPS through the ice plant trying to grab whatever it was he found. I had to pull him out of it. His original owner said he roams out to about 100 yds and runs figure 8's. Im gonna take him out on a hunt Saturday morning, I dont have an E collar yet, so my only concern is him bolting and taking off into the desert, and not coming back . That would suck!
 

Walkathon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
1,213
Location
Central Minnesota
One other thing- give them plenty of exercise. I take mine to a large chunk of woods designated as a park and let them do their thing about 3 times a week. It keeps them from getting mental
 

What Map

Active member
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
1,135
Location
Bozone
See if there is a hunting dog club in the area. If they have regular training sessions for members, join it. Our club is the Missouri Headwaters Gundog Club.
http://mhgdc.org/
We have training sessions each week for the entire summer. Lots of help training your GSP.
Good luck and enjoy your new puppy.
 

Danvet

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
189
Location
SW KS
I've owned and hunted with pointers/setters all my life (have a setter now). As a native Floridian, it was quail that was our quarry. Fast forward to living in Kansas now for almost 30 years. If you let your dog, of any kind/breed, "range out there" while you're hunting pheasants out here, you won't get many shots on public/WIHA land. Doesn't matter how long the dog will hold birds. They never get the chance to hold them. If your dog is at 25 yards, most birds are getting up at 50-100 yards. Thick cover, lightly hunted birds, snowy weather will help birds hold. It isn't unusual for birds to start flushing on the other end of a quarter section as you're getting out of the truck, loading up and getting the dogs out. Especially later in the season after much harassment, it's tough.
 

Recon_Doc

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
99
Good advice What Map, found a great club out here inn Phoenix. Going to check them out for sure
 

belly-deep

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
3,465
This is why I love this page! All great advice. THANK YOU everyone. So lat night I took him out for a walk for the first time. We came across a huge patch of ice plant. probably 40 feet wide, and a foot high. I let him off the leash he does 2 complete circles around if sniffing. He spots something, points HARD for about 45 seconds. I tell him good boy and he fucking RIPS through the ice plant trying to grab whatever it was he found. I had to pull him out of it. His original owner said he roams out to about 100 yds and runs figure 8's. Im gonna take him out on a hunt Saturday morning, I dont have an E collar yet, so my only concern is him bolting and taking off into the desert, and not coming back . That would suck!

In addition to an e collar, I would recommend one of the Garmin GPS tracking collars. They are great for big country or thick cover.
 
AMK Sportsman

Forum statistics

Threads
94,509
Messages
1,408,408
Members
29,645
Latest member
Markleathers
Top