View Full Version : English Pointer, would like some info!
01-24-2011, 8:38 AM
I just got a male 17 week English Pointer and am looking for some advice on training like how , when to start, are puppy classes a good thing for hunting dogs, is it worth it to send him off to get him trained, e collar training, is it to early to get a chukka card and try and work him on birds at his age and was wondering if anyone knows of a pointer dog training class in or close to the bay area which is where i am located?
Thanks for the input.
01-24-2011, 9:05 AM
Get teach me please and start immediately.
puppy class is fine. Actually I recommend it, your dog will socialize with other dogs of all types. Thats a good thing. They may or may not teach healing, I wouldn't teach that until after he was done hunting training. If you do he might not range later.
Also I would limit your "sit" commands. What can happen is when you are teaching him to point, if he has been told to sit too many times, he actually sits when he locates a bird. These all can be corrected but it just adds time to your hunting training.
Pointers require alot of birds, if you don't have a reliable access to pigeons it makes training tough. If you never trained before it requires alot of time and patience. It also costs quite a bit in gear once you add it all up. I say find a trainer in your area and GET HIM TRAINED.
Also the hardest thing you will do is force fetch the dog. If you've never done it its best to have a pro to do it. Watch him learn and then when you get another dog you'll be all set to train him yourself.
If you decide to train him yourself I recommend George Hickox's upland dvd. Actually you should buy it even if you plan on having your dog trained professionally. Alot of good info.
Great looking pup. I hope you enjoy him.
01-24-2011, 10:02 AM
If this is your first pointer - or first hunting dog, and want to do it correctly - contact Sheldon Twer in Oakdale - twerkennels.com - they specialize in English Pointers.
He is the premier Pointer trainer in the western states, and often has the top dogs in the country coming out of his kennel. Aside from that, hes a real interesting person (He's a former professor (Phd) turned dog trainer).
He has trained 2 of my dogs, a GSP and Buck, my English Setter.
-Also, Congrats on your handsome new puppy! Have fun.
01-24-2011, 11:36 AM
Twer has done 2 Chessies and a lab for me. No Complaints.
He has also done more than labs for guys I hunt with as well as a handful of pointers. Good man.!
01-24-2011, 7:14 PM
Handsome dog and I'd suggest the following:
1.a yard with room to move or daily walks
2.Start on basic commands (make sure pup learns, here, wow etc)
3.Wing on a string and birds as soon as possible.
English pointers tend to be roamers so a long line for now and a e collar later.
The "Gun dog" book by walters is an excellent resource. I prefer training the dog yourself as it trains you as well. Learning to hunt with a dog means you need to know and understand the dog. You need to be able to read the landscape and move your animal accordingly and let the dog hunt. Move down wind with scent in the dogs face whenever possible. Enjoy. If you are around Sacto PM me and I'll tell you about my favorite clubs and trainers.
01-24-2011, 7:20 PM
Whatever you do, do not use an e collar until you know exactly what you are doing with it!! You will screw up your dog. Do not rely on books or videos for use of an e collar either. A good trainer won't or shouldn't use it until they know exactly whats going on with your dog. I have a tough freakin dog in a chessy, and an e collar can ruin even the toughest of dogs without the right skill behind the remote.
01-24-2011, 7:58 PM
Cute little guy. I would spend the next few months enjoying having a puppy and letting him be one. Take him everywhere and expose him to everything, including cattle, horses, etc. Give some thought about how you will introduce him to gunfire. Some dogs are more sensitive than others.
Decide how trained you want the dog to be. A competent meat dog will find game, be generally well behaved in the field be steady to wing and (mostly) will retrieve to you, but delivery will be inconsistent. A finished bird dog will rock solid to wing, shot and fall ("fully broke") and will retrieve to hand, sitting for the delivery. Its search will be impeccable and it will hold birds at point for a long period of time.
First bird dog, I would hook up with a one or more of the following: A pro, a training group, an individual who has successfully trained at least couple bird dogs to a fairly high level. The cost of a pro is reasonable once you figure in the cost of gearing up, travel, birds, etc you will spend doing it yourself. Ideally, get one that focuses on EPs and really understands the breed or at least pointers. Training groups are good, but you'll need to make a couple friends within the group for really productive training sessions
Standard puppy obediance training is a good start.
He won't be ready for bird work for awhile yet. I'd guess six months at a minimum. A friend's EP was a complete idiot until the light went on at about 16 months, then he was a machine.
Avoid the Wolters books. Lots of reasons, too many for here, but essentially he was a chemist turned outdoor writer and he relied on german data for guide dogs that he misunderstood. Nobody serious about training uses his methods anymore. The lab guys use Rex Carr's and Evan Graham's books a lot. I train/test my dogs in the German system and also NAVHDA, so I use the NAVHDA book and also some obscure german manuals. Not sure who's methods the AKC pointer guys are using.
Don't walk, run. pointing dogs need a lot of big running, off leash exercise. I try for daily for 1/2 hour to an hour on some big acreage with brushy ravines and tall grass ont the flats and slopes. Get the snake break training and vaccine (training is most important, vaccine optional). Dog should be 7-8 months before the snake break training.
Wing on a string: Its a one-shot puppy test, not a training technique. It will teach sight pointing. You want the dog to use its nose, not its eyes.
I am a huge fan of force fetching. I did it to may last dog and this one is headed to a pro. Its a tedious process that takes up to a couple months or more, 2x a day. The result is well worth it either way. A reliable retriever with a correct hold and delivery is a joy in the field.
Good advice on the ecollar. They are a useful, if nonessential tool when used correctly. They are torture devices when used incorrectly. Countless dogs were well trained before they were ever invented and countless dogs have been messed up with them since. I am amazed how many guys are afraid to let their dog out of the house without one. I almost never have one on my dogs when hunting and use them only occassionally when training
01-24-2011, 9:00 PM
Great looking pup!
01-24-2011, 11:04 PM
Where are you located? I can get a lot of pheasant wings for training. And you might also get a bottle of bird scent to start with.
Take your time and don't rush the gun.
02-23-2011, 5:42 PM
Thanks for all the advice , sorry about the late response.
I just started taking him to birds landing for chukar and he is having a blast. Nails em every time. Holds steady with a "hold" command, just lots of fun to watch.
Anyone have knowledge of anywhere else to go to do chukar or pheasant hunting( hens for now) that might be closer to oakland than Birds landing? I would love to get him out more and if i can save some time getting to and from it would be nice. Although i gotta say Rick and Kieth at the landing are thumbs up in my book.
02-24-2011, 7:46 AM
Good looking pup!
02-24-2011, 7:51 AM
Here are some good videos with some good tips to get your pup in the right direction.
nice looking dog (-:
There's only a few weeks left for pheasant, but try Suisun Marsh Hunting Preserve. About 40 minutes away. Just off I-80 in Suisun, right behind the Bud brewery. (Hwy 12 exit, Chadbourne Road).
Check out Black Point as well. just off 37. I'm there in 45 minutes door to door from Oakland.
Good looking pup. Have fun with him. It will all come together in time. Training groups, a couple sessions with a trainer where you can learn as well are all good. Ask lots of questions, especially if you're unsure of the right way to make next steps, etc.. There's no prize for getting there the fastest, this guy will be at your side for years to come.
But as someone else said, birds birds birds. My springer just had her first season (18mos old now) and each time out was better than the one before. Good luck!
02-24-2011, 8:02 PM
One of the best books I have ever read for training bird dogs and pups in general is Hup! by James B. Spencer. Excellent book.
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