Brittany won't point


30-06 lover
June 27, 2009, 07:02 PM
I have a 8 month old brittany that isn't pointing. I took her out on live birds for the first time today (piegons) and she found the birds, but just wagged her tail and sniffed them...Two out of three she actually flushed. :( I was surprised that there was not even a flash point. :confused: As a young pup, she was a pointing machine (rod and wing), which is why I am so dissappointed and worried with her performance today. I even grabbed the rod and wing today after the live birds to she if she would point, and she failed to point there as well...same as the live birds, she just sniffed it and chased it.

This is my first pointing breed, so I don't really know what to do, or if I am just expecting too much. Any advise or thoughts will be greatly apprecitated.

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June 27, 2009, 07:49 PM
Sounds like my Golden. Loves to point at whatever; but, if I shoot anything, she wants no part of it. I caught her one day laying on the deck with a chipmunk about 2 inches from her sun bathing. Still love her and it's fine with me. She retrives dummies in the lake almost as good as my Chessie did, but still no hunter. Life if beautiful; so enjoy her is my advise and don't worry about little things that don't really matter. She is still young, so watch her and she'll either come around or won't. I'm betting she will be outstanding in a year if you don't push her. Let her have her puppyhood and enjoy it with her. PM me next June to let me know. Thanks.

June 27, 2009, 11:50 PM
I'd say give 'er a little more time, she's young. She may be confused by the live birds....did you have her on a check cord to reinforce her points? How warm was it? Sometimes heat dissipates the scent and so dogs will bump/miss birds more so than when the ground is cool and damp. Wing and rod reinforces the pointing on sight more than by scent, this too may be confusing her. Or it could be the excitement of live birds made her forget to point. Don't worry, odds are she'll come around, and believe me, if this is your first pointer, she'll teach you more than you'll ever teach her.

June 28, 2009, 12:39 AM

I did the rod and wing thing with my Vizsla, and it seemed to work when he first experienced real birds.

The point is actually a very slow stalk. The dog wants to get the bird, but he knows that if he gets any closer, it will fly away.

Did you do that with the rod and wing? Pop it out of reach when the dog got too close? That can help teach a dog to point.

Otherwise, I'm not sure.

Where are you in CA?

June 28, 2009, 01:02 AM
I wouldn't worry too much at this age. Keep her around birds all you can. Let her enjoy them, chase 'em, whatever. Remember, she' still a little kid, let her have fun. Each dog will progress at their own rate. You really can't teach a Brittney to hunt and point--either they have it naturally or they don't, but you can definitly encourage and improve what they have. I've only had 1 Brittney that that didn't want to hunt and point, but they do occur. She came from good stock and all, but just wasn't interested. I found her a good home that just wanted a great pet--she may have been sweetest Brittany I've ever seen, made some kids a sweetheart pet, but she was no hunter. That was $1000 down the proverbial drain! If things aren't looking up after she's 12 to 16 months, take her to a pro for a few days. They can tell you quickly if she is going to make it. Make certain it is a person well experienced with Brittanys, preferably someone who specializes with Brittneys, not just bird dogs. Brittanys have to be treated right. Their feelings are mighty fragile, and a strong hand only hurts their feelings and they won't do diddly. You want to concentrate your training at this age on obedience. Worry about concentrated hunting stuff later. This fall, get her in the field all you can, every Sat. & Sun if you can, but have a good mind set that she may not perform as you want the first few times, and DON'T get mad and yell at her when she busts birds, etc. Keep her under control (the obedience training) and work with her kindly, patiently. Just really praise her when she does good. Also, we all know it's fun to hunt with buddies, but for the first few hunts it should be you and her, that's all. You could take her to a pro (remember, a Brittany pro) for a few days now, just don't expect to produce a polished hunter at this age, and I wouldn't recomend sending her off to school for a long stint at this age--just a few days, a week maybe. Give her time. You made a fine choice for a bird dog, but remember, she's a Brittany, not just any old bird dog. She needs to be treated like a Brittany, kind and gentle. She'll probably end up amazing you at just how smart she is.

June 28, 2009, 09:30 AM

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June 28, 2009, 12:46 PM
I did the rod and wing thing with my Vizsla, and it seemed to work when he first experienced real birds.

same here, AB, but I've also had pointers that would staunchly instinctively sight point, but needed to be reinforced when it came to pointing by scent only. But then my experience with pointers has been limited to owning only a dozen of them over the years, and all of them had a German prefix associated with their breed names. I have no personal experience at all with Brittanies, only was trying to offer an explanation to a new owner as to what I have experienced. Some dog owners become frustrated with young dogs when they don't perform and do things in desperation that ruins the dog for life, whereas giving the dog time to mature and learn what's expected of them would've made them a wonderful field companion. Owning a bird dog is a learning experience no matter how old you are and I'm sure I can still learn a thing or two from folk like you with much more knowledge and experience than I.

June 28, 2009, 01:31 PM
Heck, I"ve got a 2year old Golden that won't go in the water. He'll stand over a sprinkler and fill is mouth with water, run through it all after noon, but take him to the lake and expect him to get in the water, Won't do it!!! Go figure!

June 28, 2009, 03:11 PM
At her age I would not be to upset or worried about a bad day. One of the best trainers I know said the best way to train a dog is to let it train itself. What he meant was by being out more with the dog it will bring her natural ability out so she can learn at her own pace. Some dog's are better at a early age then others but the more your work with her the better she will get. Make it a fun thing when learning help's with younger dog's when possible praise her for doing good and do not be to hard when she is wrong unless she knows better.

June 28, 2009, 08:30 PM
A lot could be going on.
Scenting conditions could be poor.
Does your dog staunchly point the wing when using the wing/rod.
I assume that the live pigeons are planted birds.
If so does the "planter" wear cotton gloves to minimize his/her scent.
Every dog is different,best thing is to get the dog into as many birds as possible.
Every trainer has different opinions as to disipline and when to begin.
How is the native bird population in you area?
Years ago our Ringnecks offered great training potential , sadly, no longer.
A dog cannot be taught to point, however, the natural pointing instincs are enhanced every time that the dog "feels" the sensation of pointing.
Pointing breeds are wonderul. good luck!

June 29, 2009, 12:49 AM
I want to emphasize again that a Brittany is a speacial dog--they are different. If you use German Shorthair tactics (nothing at all against them), you could likely distroy her. She's not a Golden or a Lab--all fine dogs--she's a Brittany. Treat her right and you will be oh so happy! Treat her wrong and you'll have a dog. They are wimper butts in a lot of ways, and have very tender feelings. Yet, they are tough as nails and will do anything to please you--but they have to know what pleases you. That must be explained (taught, trained) very gently. Don't follow general bird dog training rules. DON'T take her to anyone other than a Brittany speacialist. You have a diamond. Polish it carefully. It will sparkle like you can't believe!

July 4, 2009, 09:20 AM
you need to take your dog out hunting with a few other good hunting dogs, so he/she can learn how to hunt and point. some dogs have a certain amount of this instinct, but many of them need to learn the behavior. if you bought him/her from a breeder, ask him about doing this. if you acquired it elsewhere, find some shooting / hunting buddies to go with. our hunting beagles benefitted greatly from it!

July 4, 2009, 04:21 PM
30-06 lover, please go back and read what moosehunt said, posts 5 and 11. he is right. i say this not because i know him, but because he obv. knows Brittanys. I have two things to add: (or ask)
1. is the dog an American Brittany, or a French Brittany Spaniel? If it's French bloodlines, (black, brown or parti-colored), those dogs are still flushers. It's the American Brittany that's turned into a pointer (the white and orange ones) [roans]. (Which mine does, really well, thank you)

2. mine is the hottest pheasant and chukar dog going, bar none! BUT! -- He will not look at, sniff, pick up or show any interest in a pigeon whatsoever... dunno why.

July 4, 2009, 04:26 PM
Pigeons & doves will turn off most birddogs the first time they get a mouth full of those nasty loose feathers.

Try something beside pigeons.


July 5, 2009, 07:09 PM
One of my best--naw, simply my best--Brittnays was a pointing, hunting machine, and a damn good retreiver of game birds, but would not even acknowledge the presence of a dead duck. He would walk right over one and look at me like "Dead bird? I don't see anything!" I believe they have somewhat similar smell to a pigeon. Then one day when he was about 9 years old, maybeso 10, I shot a couple ducks while we were pheasant/quail hunting. He suddenly, after all those years, just went right out and got them! His next 4 years of hunting he had no objections to ducks. I have no idea why he changed his mind.

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