Breaking a puppy point?

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Breaking a puppy point?

Postby reader4 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:28 pm

As this is my first versatile, I found myself wondering what to do last night when my 3mo-old pup locked onto point at a bush with roosting birds. At first I thought he would just let it pass after some seconds went by, but we've also been working on "whoa" quite a bit and it seemed to just click in. He was rock solid and wouldn't budge. I wasn't quite sure what to do next. Praise for the lack of motion (though I didn't say "whoa")? Call him? I didn't want to call "here" since I wasn't confident he would comply, but gentle coaxing was getting me nowhere. I decided to just pick him up and carry him away until the "spell" was broken. Is this pretty common? Thoughts?
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby orhunter » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:38 pm

First, you shouldn't whoa a pup around birds otherwise the dog is following a command and not pointing. True pointing is 100% the dog. I think you did the right thing. An older dog we should be able to call off point (if you want to) but a pup should be left alone when it's doing the right thing. At some point, a pup learns what we hunt and what we leave alone so that sort of thing won't last.
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby reader4 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:52 pm

Thanks for the feedback. That was my thinking as well. He was doing the right thing on his own so I gave a little gentle praise and half expected it might distract him, but he just held solid for a couple of minutes. This point was very different than the many sight points on moths, dragonflies, bubble bees, toads, yard flags ... but we did need to get back into the house at some point.
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:01 pm

I would have flushed the birds and given him a lot of phrase .Forrest
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby J D Patrick » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:38 am

Drahthaar1108 wrote:I would have flushed the birds and given him a lot of phrase .Forrest



that was my thought as well,,,
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:40 pm

I stay silent while my dogs both young and old work birds or are pointing. Once they are staunch I move in and flush the birds also remaining silent.

With a pup, if possible I loop around and come in from the side vs trying to pass the pup from behind as the latter very much encourages it to break and take out the birds. Whatever the pup does is fine at that age and I keep silent and take in the show. The good ones chase and as long as they are safe I let them. I walk towards the next likely bird cover, the less bold and more cooperative ones will return to me and get in front. The wild ones need some recall to get them back at times and so I do that with those types of pups.

I train the Whoa command away from birds but never use the command around birds until it is used to teach the pup to stand steady to flush, wing, shot and fall. I wait until after the pup's first season of hunting wild birds to do that training. I never utter the word Whoa while my dogs are working birds or pointing birds. They have the nose and need to learn when they have sufficient scent to point staunchly, relocate or move on out of the area after determining there is nothing there.

In the situation you describe I would have stood and observed for quite some time to see if the pup would break. Then I would loop in slowly from the side to flush and see what it had. Let the pup chase the birds when it flies and investigate the scent in the cover. I would stay silent the whole time.

I praise a good bit for adherence with commands and retrieving with puppies and young dogs. Most confident puppies will not need or heed your praise when they find, point and chase birds. Your praise in that specific situation will most likely fall on deaf ears as the pup is overwhelmed with excitement on the scent. I just watch, say nothing and take photos or video if I can.
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby Willie T » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:50 pm

I would have watched for a good while. If the pup remained staunch, I would have put the birds up after a while. Being a lefty I prefer to approach pointed birds from the right side. So I would have looped wide right and circled in on the point to flush. I also would make sure the puppy knew I was pleased with what it had done. Like the others said, I would remain silent. The point and bird handling is a dance between the dog and the bird. Good sign of things to come!
Your pup is telling you it is ready for you to put it on more birds by the way.
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby reader4 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:58 pm

Thanks again. I would have liked to flush but they were actually just finches in for the night. It was about 10pm so that didn’t sit well with my ethics I guess. I do view the finches as a step up from pointing moths!

I did watch for maybe 3-4 minutes, including the little pets on his flank. It’s like magic for a first time pointer owner. I read it the same way — need more birds!
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Re: Breaking a puppy point?

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:00 pm

You need to get you a pigeon loft started, then you will always have birds to work your pup . Forrest
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