When you get a new hunting pup, we can’t wait for “Proof” that they will be a hunter. There are many steps along the training trail before the pup is truly a Hunter but being Birdie is certainly important. No one wants a dog that won’t hunt!
Jag is my new German Shorthaired Pointer pup. He is about 4 months old and has started pointing everything that flies. Fresh pheasant wings seemed to really help. I attached them to some 20 lb. test fishing line and an old fishing rod. At first, he just wanted to grab and eat it. I would launch the wing before he could, most of the time.
After several repetitions, he started sneaking up for a closer look and sniff. Now, when I lay the wing down, he cracks on point! Sometimes he leans in with a leg up and sometimes he just seems frozen. Jag looks back at me as if to say, “so what do I do now?”
Now, I get him to creep closer, then launch the wing with a pull of my blank gun trigger. BANG!!! This is the way to make sure that he associates the gun shot with a fun take off.
Having a dog that is gun shy is also not wanted. Banging pots and pans together when he eats has not distracted him. Noise is connected to food. Now the Blank Gun reinforces that the loud shot is connected to Fun!
It takes time and patience to train a dog. Sure, they are cute and smart, but they will also have a job to do. Making the pup a house dog helps, at least with Shorthairs. Training is constant. We get the paper together every morning. Pottie training is constant. I wish I had eyes on the back of my head. Jag is figuring it out but…
Some lessons take thousands of repetitions. Dogs are animals and learn from conditioning and consistency. Sometimes training the family takes more time than training the dog. Keep the commands simple. “SIT, STAY, WHOA, COME”, and the one that you will use the most, “NO!!!!!”
Dogs offer security, companionship, and love. There is no better hunting buddy than a trained pup!
For more Montana Grant, hunt him up at www.montanagrant.com.