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I am new to gun dogs/training. I was thinking about getting a quail harness to train with. once the dog points the quail, what c

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  • I am new to gun dogs/training. I was thinking about getting a quail harness to train with. once the dog points the quail, what c

    I am new to gun dogs/training. I was thinking about getting a quail harness to train with. once the dog points the quail, what comes next (aside from praise). the bird doesnt flush obviously. I know i can re-plant the bird somewhere else, but is this all that is supposed to be accomplished? just a point? any help and tips are appreciated....

  • #2
    Personally I don't like bird harnesses. It gives an unnatural presentation to the dog. If done incorrectly it can also lead to your dog thinking it can catch the bird. Spend a lot of time teaching them to hold to point on a wing and then move on to planted birds.

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    • #3
      aljoe- that's the same thing i was thinking. its not natural. the bird gets pointed and then it does nothing. i think it would be helpful to a puppy to get them acclimated with the bird as an early starting point for training (point, scenting, prey drive, etc) but after a few times i didn't really see the benefit of it. that's why I wanted to know if there was anything else you were supposed to do after the point.

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      • #4
        I'll be interested in this. Never knew there was such a thing. Sorry, I can't be much help here. I bought no equipment or did anything special when training my Brittany. No check collars, barrels, e-collars (yep, you heard me, no e-collar), bird throwers, pigeon traps, etc. Started her behind my flushing labs and she was pretty much along for the ride the first season. But last fall she really started coming into her own as a pointer and all by her own. For her the most important thing has been establishing control and that has been taught simply through day to day contact. I now walk the three dogs to the park unleashed through city streets (if the bylaw people don't catch me!). No problem even if squirrels, cats, and tweety birds are about. The real test was the other day when we encountered a bunch of pigeons picking gravel in the street. No problem though it took some stern reminders. But if I'd even passed a squeaky fart they probably would have charged off across the street.

        By the way, I do not use the Whoa command. For the life of me I could never figure out why anyone would. It sounds exactly like no. If my Britt points a porcupine (and she usually does) THEN she gets "NO!" Instead when she's onto a bird I'll use "Wait" when she's on point (usually "Waaaaaait"). Which is the same command I have used to keep them in the living room while I'm filling their dog food dishes. Or sitting with me when I throw the ball for a retrieve. I use "HUP!" when I want them to return and "BACK!" when I want them behind me. If the situation is urgent, I'll hiss it at them. Anyway, I find that if a dog is well under control verbally then instincts will pretty much take over the rest making it easy to mold them to what the situation requires. For example, I field hunt geese with the dogs for a month or two before I go west for uplands. No problems keeping the Brittany settled and hidden under the decoy bag while the birds are flying (though she sure likes to rip around the fields when we're walking in to set up in the morning). Then when we get to Montana she adapts immediately to casting for uplands. Mind you I'm not into the field trial scene or showing off for other hunters (I generally hunt alone). Still my dogs are pretty good hunters. Maybe not perfect but hey, the longer I have to stay in the field to fill my bag, the happier I am. The alternative is sitting on my butt in the motel. Keeping the dog under control is what's important, not just for filling the bag but for the dog's safety as well.

        Before I leave this subject, I have to admit that my situation is somewhat unique. First, I live with my dogs, they're not kenneled. Living with the dogs will ALWAYS give any handler a leg up developing control. The dog learns how you think better if it has more contact on a daily basis. Second, I am particular about picking my pups (though I got last pick with the Brittany - just lucky there). My younger lab doesn't even have papers but I could tell she was a winner when I first laid eyes on her. And she has been a fantastic upland dog right out of the chute (from age three months! - see profile photos). I have never used e-collars or any of the other gizmos but I attribute that more to both of the above than any particular skills I might have. I have never had to work with a particularly hard-headed or stupid dog (and we have all seen those!). Also I have the luxury of spending months in the field every year, day after day. Admittedly few are so lucky. So, I guess I'm not condemning the gizmos. I think it depends a lot on the particular dog and the training environment available. But don't think you HAVE to train your dog that way. For example, I don't see the need to use an e-collar on a dog that is particularly devoted and sensitive. In fact, it may cause problems. I'd say err on the side of caution and try training that kind of dog without one first. And if you are into impressing other hunters I can tell you that these days having a team of dogs working well WITHOUT e-collars will make the other guys stand up and take notice!

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        • #5
          Sorry, my composition skills seem to be "particularly" messed up this morning. What was in that coffee anyway. Pfffft. Decaf! That explains it.

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