Pointing Dogs


November 20, 2006, 06:56 AM
Any body have any information on what would be the best way to train a dog to point . Growing up all we had were flushing dogs . I have been hunting with a friend of mine that uses a pointer ( he got the dog that way so he is not sure on how to train one ethere ) and I really like it . I'm just not sure on how to get them to hunt that way .

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USMC - Retired
November 20, 2006, 08:14 AM
Pointing can not be taught that I know of, it's something the dog is born with. Get yourself a good German Shorthair (or whatever lesser pointing breed dog you prefer :neener: ) and teach him his name, to sit, to stay and to heal and your in there. That being said, you may have to train him to hold point. Jumping the command to flush can be a common problem in puppies, and and you need fix it up front. Fixing the problem once the dog is older is a much tougher job.

November 20, 2006, 08:50 AM
Buy the Best Way to Train Your Gun Dog: The Delmar Smith Method by Bill Tarrant. Find a club or someone local to you that you can trin with. The book is very good, but there are some things that you won't understand until you see it done.

I would never train my pointing dogs to sit. They will figure it out on their own, but once taught, they may do it on point or during other times when it isn't wanted.

Don't buy an e-collar until someone who knows what they are doing teaches you to use it properly.

Remeber, a pointing dog with good genetics has all the hunting ability he needs. Most of the training should be about control of the dog. He must absolutely must know know the "whoa" command.

Use live birds. The wing on a string thing is not bird dog training.

Good luck!

November 20, 2006, 09:04 AM
Hi RK...

I'm on the same page with USMC, RK though I would say if you can afford a "finished" or "well-started" dog and will take some ... well, handling pointers ... from whomever you buy the dog from, you will be miles ahead.
Developing a good pointing dog from puppyhood is an Art - simply because when you have a good pointer it IS a Work of Art.
If you get a pup, there are three things you must have and three things you must not have. You must have Patience, More Patience, and Even More Patience. You must not have Temper, Some Temper, or Any Temper.
As for a pup not holding point - that takes time - more so with some pups than others. Unless your pup can read a calendar, don't use a calendar to decide when your pup should be good at holding point. It is very easy to cause a pup to break point by trying too soon/too often to teach him/her not to.
Another critical (IMHO) training point - don't attempt to train while you are hunting.
Would also salute USMC's recommendation of the German Shorthair. Yes, there are other very good pointing brereds out there and some of them having been pointing for centuries longer than the GSH. I would still get the GSH.

Good Luck and Enjoy the Journey! :)

November 20, 2006, 09:07 AM
Life is too short to hunt with a short-tailed dog. Just say no!!

;) :D

Dale Taylor
November 20, 2006, 10:44 AM
Having hunted with a German Shorthair for 12 years, they are the best. Mine hunted with a friends 2 English pointers the first year. GSP did not range as far, but was good when I was afoot or in vehicle. Had Viszla when I lived in Michigan, but advise GSP. daleltaylor@att.net

November 20, 2006, 01:03 PM
I have hunted and trialed with a lot of GSP's. Some good dogs, but I am not yet willing concede "best."

November 20, 2006, 03:00 PM
Lucy's a GSP, but we don't hunt with her. She has a gorgeous point, though, and she has her full tail.
When she's showing me something, she is *on* it, and can be extremely focused.

She can also be quite a drama queen.

November 26, 2006, 01:58 PM
hi guys,i hunt useing gwps,i had the short haired in the past and they are great when you get them right,i moved onto the wire haired only for there tuffer coat and they do cover and water well,as for teaching them to point,i use pigeons or any game bird you can,live,if you put there head under there wing and give them a little shake they will go into a trance like state,you can then hide them in the grass or where ever you want to hunt your dog,bring your pointer into them with the wind in his face ,he should show an interest when he gets on to it,if you want to see him pointing then put 3 or 4 in a row and about 10 feet apart or so,your dog will point by the time he gets to the 3 one,you can use this to teach the dog to drop to shot and to flush on comand,hope you get the jist of it,good huntin.

November 27, 2006, 05:16 PM
Bill Tarrant's book is a fun read, but for training I prefer Richard Wolter's "Gun Dog." I've only owned llewellin setters, so I can't speak for the german shorthair. Lots of people like them, though.

As mentioned above, pointing is bred into a dog. All you have to do is reinforce their natural inclination to point.

Here is what I did with my current dog. We played wing-on-a-string a lot when he was little, and he would always point the wing on his own after a few minutes of chasing. As soon as he jammed up on point I would say "whoa" to teach him the command, then ease up to him and stroke his back to calm him. That let him know I approved of what he was doing, and he started holding at a very young age. I was able to shoot birds over him when he was about nine months old.

There is a phenomenon called "second-year madness" where adolescent pointing dogs decide to bust birds. Getting through that is just like raising a teenager, and that is a whole different discussion.

Of course, you also have to train your pointing dog to sit, stay, heel, and fetch. If you don't have control over him in these areas, you won't have control over him when he is on point.

November 27, 2006, 05:49 PM
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