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Trichoptera

Pointer dog training

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Yesterday in the paper there was an add for a free "German Short Haired Pointer". My wife is an animal lover and we already had 6 dogs, mostly small dogs, but the Pointer is my dream dog and so I called about it. We went to look at the dog and ended up deciding to bring it home even though it was not exactly what I was expecting. We think it is an English Pointer and not a German. I will have pics sometime next week as this week is crammed. He is a 2 year old intact male, which we will get fixed. He had been named the generic "Hunter" and we decided to name him Loki, the greek god of mischief. I think it will probably be fitting. I walk a couple miles 3 times a week or so, plus we have a dog run and medium yard so he will get plenty of excersize. The rough part is that at some point an ignoramus was using a shock collar on him. He is very timid around me, which may just be because of the newness but I think he will require a lot of work if I use him to hunt. He has a beautiful natural point. I would love to train him for pheasants and grouse, and was wondering what "pointers" you would have for me to make that happen.

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Trichoptera, I am the proud owner of a German Shorthair and I will say that I love the breed, loyal, sweet and HARD Working. Shock collars are a great reinforcing tool (not really a teaching tool). I didn't introduce mine to one until she was 1.5 years old when she 100% without doubt knew better. People rush the collar too much and use it out of frustration on high levels. Mine has a setting 1-8, I never have needed more than 2 and took my time introducing it to her and learned the proper way. I've heard of guys ruining a dog using collars. I usually only use it to in force the come command and heel -Never with whoa on birds. Any way, I HIGHLY recommend Rich Wolthers book "Gun Dog". It's a rapid training series designed to train a dog from 6 weeks old on through life. It's a great resource. I think that the timidness will go away with time and love. If you going to hunt the dog then you are going to be his gateway to the activity that he loves and he'll appreciate that. I love when I let my dog out of the house when I'm carrying a shotgun or her kennel, she runs to the back of my jeep and runs in circles. I also recommend the Fly rod and bird wing game which is a great tool, and fun way, to see how he acts around feather. I really got into dog training and owning a bird dog and seeing them work is the best teacher of all and you always are learning more. I would start out by assuming that the dog doesn't know anything. Teach sit, some people will tell you not to because of pointing but I never had a problem, Stay, come, heel and most important WHOA, and work your way into other commands. Use the fly rod and wing to teach whoa but only to teach whoa or "easy" the command I give to tell my pup to creep up to something i.e a moving bird. Never let him catch the wing. Off the top of my head that’s what I came up with. I enjoy talking dog training so feel free to PM me with any questions you may have. Best of Luck and enjoy the new dog.

 

P.S some might say that a 2 year old dog is too old, I don’t think it is unfortunately he has had a chance to get set in his ways. Starting from scratch should erase bad habits.

 

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Good advice from Matt, (as usual) especially about the shock collars. Using them at high levels is abusive, but at low levels, all they do is get the dog's attention. A two-year-old dog should work out just fine. He already knows how to hunt - it's just a matter of channeling his instincts. Gaining his trust may take a little time, but he'll get there if you make a serious effort. It's good to know that I'm not the only lunatic out there with six dogs. We'd have more, but we'd probably have to sleep in the woods. It's crowded enough around here as it is, not to mention noisy.

 

BTW - Loki was the Norse god of mischief, rather than Greek. He must have been pretty influential, considering all the mayhem the Vikings caused back in their day.

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I have one year old long haired German pointer. The use of shock collars are forbidden here in Finland and thats good because it is so easy to ruin your dog with that. Dog must always have fun when you are teaching him/her. I have had some obedience problems with my dog but slowly dog has learned that she will get more freedom if she does what I want.

 

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A dog chasing a squirrel won't stop on command because he thinks it's a way to double his fun - he'll stop because he knows who the boss is. And a dog who won't stop on command will soon be a dead dog in this neck of the woods. If you think a shock collar will ruin a dog, you should see what a half-ton pickup will do. Learning slowly is not an option here. Dogs don't need freedom, they need control if they're to survive. They'll happily live within the pack structure that you set up - they're genetically programmed to do just that. My dogs have ten times as much fun as I do on any given day, and they all live to ripe old ages. I use a tough, non-abusive approach to training, (nearly always without a shock collar) and anyone who thinks my animals hold it against me are welcome to try approaching me or my wife in a threatening manner. They won't do it twice.

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My intent was not to judge anyones training methods. I'm sure everything goes fine as long as our dogs enjoy what we are doing (of course you must make sure that you are the leader of the herd and that may not be so enjoyable for dog). We have plenty of room for training and hunting. I don't take my dog near roads or somebody's house when she is runnning free. I never shoot if dog doesn't stay.

 

 

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Sorry if I came on too strong Jukka - it's obvious from your dog's picture that he's happy and well cared for.

I guess what I meant to say was that not all dogs respond to positive reinforcement. I have six dogs, and three of them are large and aggressive by nature. Their job (aside from providing companionship) is to provide protection, which they do very well. Positive reinforcement just won't keep them from escaping or hurting people. They're too independent and intelligent for that. My little dogs have never had any training at all, and they've never needed it. They come when called and they understand what the word "no" means. I guess what works for one dog may not work for all.

BTW - I once trained a pet pig - now that was a challenge. (LOL)

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Thanks for the great responses. I realize shock collars have there place in dog training but if you don't know dog training it is very easy to ruin a dog with the shock collar. Loki has adapted well to our other dogs which are smaller than he is by quite a bit, so that is one big sigh of relief. If he was agressive towards them he would have to leave. He has turned out to be a great dog and I think will be a fine companion for years. I have wanted a dog like this for a long time. He is laying at my feet right now dreaming about all the things we will do together. I am starting a basic dog obedience class in January and will order the Gun Dog book as well. We went for a walk the other night and he does well on a leash. The biggest challenge I see with a hunting dog is training them to come when called and not run off. One good thing we found out when checking his vet records is that he is only 17 months old.

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