point or not General Chat

Discussion in 'German Shorthaired Pointer' started by Peter harrington, Apr 26, 2022.

  1. Peter harrington

    Peter harrington New Member

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    Peter harrington

    point or not

    i have recently adopted a 3 year old GSP, although i have taken him where there is game including pheasants ,partridge, woodcock ect he has shown no attempt to point.
    He looks to be hunting, but does not seem to have the prey drive i need, is there a way of helping him become a pointer.
    I have lead him within 2 ft of a pheasant but he never showed any signs that he knew it was there or he could smell it.
    It would appear the last owner would throw a ball for him trying to tire him out, so is ball obsessed, is there a way to teach him to do what he was bred for
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  3. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Does your GSP come from a working line or from a show line? In a working pedigree Champions will be shown as FTCh's, and in a show line pedigree they will either be Sh.Ch. - or just Ch if they had a Show Gundog qualification. There is a big difference between the two bloodlines.
    Another point is that the display of working characteristics would have been reinforced from a very early age in a shooting home. This would not be seen as important in a pet or show home.
    There would be no harm in signing up for some basic Working Gundog classes though. The essentials of training are roughly the same whatever the discipline, and you would pick up a lot of knowledge about the sport.
  4. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    It may be that his instinctual prey drive has been fully redirected to the tennis ball - so you need to re-redirect him back to his instinctual prey.

    You can try putting a pheasant wing on a fishing pole. Dangle it at a distance to help him learn to "see" the game. If he won't look at it, try putting the tennis ball on the line with the wing at first.

    I'm not a hunter or bird dog person so take that with a grain of salt. I'm just looking at it from a general training position of using redirection to change a dog's instinctual or learned behavior.

    Your biggest challenge may be that he has learned that catching the prey (tennis ball) is not only fun but makes the fun last longer. So even if he does refocus on the birds, he may not ever be happy just pointing at it.

    I agree that signing up for a class is a good idea. At the very least, the trainer could provide some expert advice as to whether your dog could relearn the instinctive behavior and if so what it would require and if you're willing to go to that extent (IMO if the trainer says I would need to do aversive training to make him a gun dog, I'd choose to give up on that goal).

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