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kinderbeano

Stopping Pointer Chasing Birds

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So I am looking for some help in how to stop my Brittany spaniel chasing flushed birds. He's only 6 months old and is going well with sit, stay, heel, marked retrieves and beginning stop whistle work. He has pointed some pheasants while out walking and I tried him on dizzied pigeons a couple of times too. Every time he chases several hundred yards. I want to stop this behaviour before it becomes an issue.

 

Now I'm new to gun dog training so I've been reading a lot, and I think there seems to be two schools of though on how to stop the dog chasing.

1. Let the dog chase everything until he learns he can't catch birds.

2. Train him to stop to flush.

 

Now I'm more keen on training stop to flush but all I can find is American articles that use e collars, check cords, throwers and every gadget imaginable. I'm just a bit lost as to what to do.

 

Can anyone give me any tips on what has worked for them or what I might do? As I've said this is my first gun dog and I'm really keen not to f**k him up.

 

Thanks lads and ladies.

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Could do with someone with experience in this to answer this as I'm still having problems with my sprocker pup, 8 months old, sits and recalls to whistle in garden but constantly looking for birds to chase in field, can't get her to look at me just mad for birds and will run after them completely blanking me

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I've bought a bird launcher (not a remote one ) . And a 6 metre and a ten metre lead . Obviously started with the 6 metre . I.d set the launcher and get the dog to find it on the lead once the dog went on point I.d tell it to hold the point . Using what ever command your going to use . Then release the bird either when you send it it or just on point . But once the bird is released I.d blow the sit whistle . It's then on to the ten metre lead . Then try it without a lead . Obviously make sure the dogs doing it 100 percent how you want it too before trying it with out a lead . Not sure if this is totally correct as I am learning too . I even get mine to sit if a black bird or anything jumps up on a walk . Just to try and install it into it .

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stop letting him hunt and chase he is only 6 months old you have no real control of him yet or are you ever likely too if you keep training him this way. Brittanys are the worst offenders at hunting up and going deaf. At his age he needs loads of fun retrieving practice and fun obedience. you are rushing and will end up with a pest of a dog flushing everything in the next county. Work towards entering to hunting seriously at 18 months

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Could do with someone with experience in this to answer this as I'm still having problems with my sprocker pup, 8 months old, sits and recalls to whistle in garden but constantly looking for birds to chase in field, can't get her to look at me just mad for birds and will run after them completely blanking me

You need to keep your dog on a check cord, when he f**k off you have to be able to stop him. Get old of him apply some pressure so he knows he had done wrong.. Scruff him or something alike... Take him back to the spot he broke from and make he do what you where trying in the first place. You need to get the, to want to work for you... The ones that want to work for them selfs you need to be keep on top of them or they will be away from you. Had one like it and in the end I shipped it off to pro who put it back on track for me.

 

Even better is for you not to take it near any birds find a quiet field with little distractions. Also if the dog runs off and doesn't come back when you call then you need to go back to recalls. Do it a million times and no free running at all until you are further on in your training.

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Could do with someone with experience in this to answer this as I'm still having problems with my sprocker pup, 8 months old, sits and recalls to whistle in garden but constantly looking for birds to chase in field, can't get her to look at me just mad for birds and will run after them completely blanking me

You need to keep your dog on a check cord, when he f**k off you have to be able to stop him. Get old of him apply some pressure so he knows he had done wrong.. Scruff him or something alike... Take him back to the spot he broke from and make he do what you where trying in the first place. You need to get the, to want to work for you... The ones that want to work for them selfs you need to be keep on top of them or they will be away from you. Had one like it and in the end I shipped it off to pro who put it back on track for me.

Even better is for you not to take it near any birds find a quiet field with little distractions. Also if the dog runs off and doesn't come back when you call then you need to go back to recalls. Do it a million times and no free running at all until you are further on in your training.

ok, I thought I had it cracked with recall she comes back to whistle every time ,I train her in corner of field next to my house but if a seagull or crow flys over she's off and no recall so not sure how I no when she is ready if she's alright when no birds fly past?

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I would use a long lead or check cord and take her a place where these birds fly by... Get her to sit and stay walkway and walk back to her practicing sit and stay etc... For every 5 or 6 stays call her in to you and start to build up a recall. If she doesn't come back then you have the check cord to take control. You need to call the shots not her, you literally need to practice everyday for weeks. I have had the same problem with one of my cocker pups recently I spent over a month just doing this until everything was perfect every time. Not 8 out of 10 but every time, now things are going my way the tables of changed she knows she is better off going my way as going her way is no fun anymore. Also I do a bit of placeboards training which help with concentration might be worth a look. Good luck mate I know what your going through it's a pain maybe also think about doing a session with a local pro in your area. After a session or two with the dog should get you pointed in a better direction than your currently on.

 

Regards HL

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A long line can work with a dog but not in the way folk believe,

the dog is rewarded by staying rooted to the spot where the bird was flushed, the line just sets up a situation where the dog is rewarded for stopping with the shot bird been returned and given to the dog in that same spot

at the end of the day all the dog wants is a bird in its mouth, when chasing doesn't work the dog is open to alternatives that will, it's creating an environment where the dog is successfull

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I'll throw my twopence in.....

 

As the dog is only a pup, I would let him find out he CAN'T catch the birds. The only way he will learn this is from experience.

I let my Brittany hunt up and point snipe from an early age. After I flushed them, he would be off chasing them.

Eventually with a combination of him learning they were uncatchable and also with me instilling the STOP command, he steadied up.

Brittanys are quite excitable as a rule, but they are also smart and will work out what works and I wholeheartedly agree with Casso's comments above.

I believe that it is important for them to be around game at an early age, where they are still learning about life.

I think this helps with this particular breed.

 

Everyone has their own methods that work well for their breed.

Perhaps join a Brittany forum for more specific breed oriented advice.

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Nearly every post regarding a gundog problem is caused by doing too much far too soon. And then when a answe is posted it is usually disregarded because it's not what the o'p wants to hear. That is why you very rarely see a well trained gundog on a shoot. Regarding a check chord, I have never seen a good gundog trainer use one. Go back to basics and get them 100% sorted. Not 99% but 100% then go.and see a good gundog trainer. If you can find one !!!!

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Nearly every post regarding a gundog problem is caused by doing too much far too soon. And then when a answe is posted it is usually disregarded because it's not what the o'p wants to hear. That is why you very rarely see a well trained gundog on a shoot. Regarding a check chord, I have never seen a good gundog trainer use one. Go back to basics and get them 100% sorted. Not 99% but 100% then go.and see a good gundog trainer. If you can find one !!!!

I don't disregard the advice one bit , I also don't no how to determine the dog is 100% sorted without trying it in the field ?

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For god sake the pup is only six months old. Don't let it near any game. work on dog whistle Stop, Quarter, Return. Get these solidly installed into the pup. Give some retrieves you retrieve 80% of these your self. So it doesn't think every thing is for it. This all takes time you and the pup have to build up a trust bond it has to believe you know best. Succeed in this you will have a dog you can trust rely on and more importantly enjoy for the next ten years working together. Keep doing what your doing you will have a dog you will not be able to let of a leash, or even aloud to take onto a shoot.

Sorry to be harsh, let it be a pup work with it all summer and it should be ready for next season.

Jim

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Thanks for the advise lads. As I've said above this is my 'first' ever gun dog so I'm trying not to mess it up.

I'm going to take a step back and focus 100% on the basics. I've started using a 30ft check chord when bringing him for a walk so I can keep control and help get his attention for recall/stop whistle etc. I feel like I need to take him out because he needs exercise too but don't want to let him hunt yet.

I'll keep training to the back yard for now and just take things slower. It's easy to get excited with the first dog and try do too much. Think I need to train myself as much as the dog and tone things down a bit.

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