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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up my setter pup Dublin on 4/30 and he's a sweetheart. Comes when called and knows "kennel" doing well at heel when on paved surfaces, sight points the heck out of robins and am working on Whoa. He's very smart, I take him literally everywhere with me....got kicked outta Sheetz, lol. Very socialized, loves kids and we walk, work minimum of 2 hours a day (separate sessions). He pointed, catwalked and flushed 3 pheasants at a local SGL this week. For 10 and 1/2 weeks of age He's doing great! Goes to Dave Hughes in July for a month or two.
Got a barrel to start serious whoa training.
New at this so any comments, criticisms, pointers would be welcomed.
 

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Let the pup be a pup for a while prior to serious training. Keep up the socialization and introduce him to as many things as you can (the car, dogs, kids, the vet, etc.) Take him for runs in the woods and let him gain some confidence.

The goal is to have a serious bird dog. Put him on as many birds as you can. Let him search and find them, bump them, chase them. As long as he's not catching them. Let that dog have the first hunting season to itself. Once he learns there are birds to be found and is confident out searching for them, then start the more formal training. It's much easier to take stuff out of a dog than it is to put it in.

It's so tough to not start training because you get so excited but you will be better off letting that dog gain a little maturity, confidence and figure some things out on its own.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy.
 

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BRDOGS said:
Let the pup be a pup for a while prior to serious training. Keep up the socialization and introduce him to as many things as you can (the car, dogs, kids, the vet, etc.) Take him for runs in the woods and let him gain some confidence.

The goal is to have a serious bird dog. Put him on as many birds as you can. Let him search and find them, bump them, chase them. As long as he's not catching them. Let that dog have the first hunting season to itself. Once he learns there are birds to be found and is confident out searching for them, then start the more formal training. It's much easier to take stuff out of a dog than it is to put it in.

It's so tough to not start training because you get so excited but you will be better off letting that dog gain a little maturity, confidence and figure some things out on its own.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy.
+1 on the above advice.

Work on the simple obedience the first year: Whoa, come & heel but otherwise let the pup have fun, explore and be a pup. Do a lot of hikes in the woods and fields together, let him roll and just be there as his support as he learns and discovers things. Occasionally call him back and reward him with a treat when he races back to you. DON'T be in a hurry to go full speed ahead with training from pup to finished dog, if you're patient and use restraint with your desire to get there you'll likely end up with a better companion bird dog in the end.

Am I understanding correctly, you say you work the pup 2 hours a day, minimum? Are you talking training sessions? How long per session? Even broken up into several sessions, 2hrs sounds like a lot of formal training for any dog, let alone a pup. You can get four 15 minute training sessions, for an hour total, and that's plenty for a day.
 

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BRDOGS said:
Let the pup be a pup for a while prior to serious training. Keep up the socialization and introduce him to as many things as you can (the car, dogs, kids, the vet, etc.) Take him for runs in the woods and let him gain
some confidence.

The goal is to have a serious bird dog. Put him on as many birds as you can. Let him search and find them, bump them, chase them. As long as he's not catching them. Let that dog have the first hunting season to itself. Once he learns there are birds to be found and is confident out searching for them, then start the more formal training. It's much easier to take stuff out of a dog than it is to put it in.

It's so tough to not start training because you get so excited but you will be better off letting that dog gain a little maturity, confidence and figure some things out on its own.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy.

That's some great advice right there! I often wonder when it got to be a contest to see how quickly we can turn a puppy into a finished bird dog. BTW, if you're a grouse/woodcock hunter, you're already looking in the right direction for a trainer. If it were me I'd wait a bit though.
 

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I sent my GSP away at 16 weeks to be trained. Dogs all mature differently and at different rates, the dog will tell you when it's ready for more. Came back from the late great Vince Smith of On-Point 3 weeks later. Immediately, as in two hours after he got out of the truck at home we headed out the back door to the woods and pointed a double letting my 6 yr old daughter walk in and flush them. He is now 3 and still learning, he'll be learning in the kennel in the sky, learning never stops, and I don't believe there is ever a truly finished bird dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RyanR said:
BRDOGS said:
Let the pup be a pup for a while prior to serious training. Keep up the socialization and introduce him to as many things as you can (the car, dogs, kids, the vet, etc.) Take him for runs in the woods and let him gain some confidence.

The goal is to have a serious bird dog. Put him on as many birds as you can. Let him search and find them, bump them, chase them. As long as he's not catching them. Let that dog have the first hunting season to itself. Once he learns there are birds to be found and is confident out searching for them, then start the more formal training. It's much easier to take stuff out of a dog than it is to put it in.

It's so tough to not start training because you get so excited but you will be better off letting that dog gain a little maturity, confidence and figure some things out on its own.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy.
+1 on the above advice.

Work on the simple obedience the first year: Whoa, come & heel but otherwise let the pup have fun, explore and be a pup. Do a lot of hikes in the woods and fields together, let him roll and just be there as his support as he learns and discovers things. Occasionally call him back and reward him with a treat when he races back to you. DON'T be in a hurry to go full speed ahead with training from pup to finished dog, if you're patient and use restraint with your desire to get there you'll likely end up with a better companion bird dog in the end.

Am I understanding correctly, you say you work the pup 2 hours a day, minimum? Are you talking training sessions? How long per session? Even broken up into several sessions, 2hrs sounds like a lot of formal training for any dog, let alone a pup. You can get four 15 minute training sessions, for an hour total, and that's plenty for a day.
Thanks everyone for the advice. No Ryan, I am just walking woods and fields with him the vast majority of that 2 hours, letting him explore and figure things out. Doing some obedience at same time like occasional recalls with reward, or shortening the check cord (which he ALWAYS wears) and whoaing and heeling when we come to any paved or gravel surfaces.
The most actual obedience stuff I've done is yard work with "Come." I haven't even begun to think about correcting him for anything other than jumping up on people or getting into things he shouldn't and for that he responds immediately and very well to a growly "Naaaahhh"
Like I said goes everywhere I go so intro's and socialization going well.
I fully get that he needs his "childhood." he loves to point, stalk and chase the flight of any bird we come across and I let him.
Not working any grouse or 'cock covers now for fear of disturbance so the local park's a nice alternative with some mowed areas and some higher grass and woods.
I AM ecited but also cognizant that these things take time, so......but please everyone continue to advise. It's great, and I'll get some pictures up here eventually. Thanks

Edit; This hot weather is brutal! I need this pup to burn some energy but what to do, what to do....?
 

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sounds like your doing fine.
if it were me the only thing i'd worry about is gun intro before small game season.
i'd put off the formal/serious training till real late fall or spring.


instead i'd find a pond and let the pup splash
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Twisted..........my thoughts exactly on the pond / creek. He's heard some gunshots. It's a daily thing where we live....doesn't seem to pay much attention to any loud noises yet. Whne he goes to the trainer I'm sure he'll get some gunfire intro.

One thing I haven't mentioned is I've noticed he'll sometimes sit when he's not quite sure of a situation as he puzzles it out. Has done it a few times on whoa too so I gently lift him back to standing until he does it on his own.....hoping that doesn't become too much of an issue. He's never heard the word "sit" and won't.
 

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Edit; This hot weather is brutal! I need this pup to burn some energy but what to do, what to do....? [/quote]

If you can find some water, a pond, lake, or stream where he can safely swim that's about the best hot weather exercise there is.
 

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Aces'nEights said:
RyanR said:
BRDOGS said:
Let the pup be a pup for a while prior to serious training. Keep up the socialization and introduce him to as many things as you can (the car, dogs, kids, the vet, etc.) Take him for runs in the woods and let him gain some confidence.

The goal is to have a serious bird dog. Put him on as many birds as you can. Let him search and find them, bump them, chase them. As long as he's not catching them. Let that dog have the first hunting season to itself. Once he learns there are birds to be found and is confident out searching for them, then start the more formal training. It's much easier to take stuff out of a dog than it is to put it in.

It's so tough to not start training because you get so excited but you will be better off letting that dog gain a little maturity, confidence and figure some things out on its own.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy.
+1 on the above advice.

Work on the simple obedience the first year: Whoa, come & heel but otherwise let the pup have fun, explore and be a pup. Do a lot of hikes in the woods and fields together, let him roll and just be there as his support as he learns and discovers things. Occasionally call him back and reward him with a treat when he races back to you. DON'T be in a hurry to go full speed ahead with training from pup to finished dog, if you're patient and use restraint with your desire to get there you'll likely end up with a better companion bird dog in the end.

Am I understanding correctly, you say you work the pup 2 hours a day, minimum? Are you talking training sessions? How long per session? Even broken up into several sessions, 2hrs sounds like a lot of formal training for any dog, let alone a pup. You can get four 15 minute training sessions, for an hour total, and that's plenty for a day.
Thanks everyone for the advice. No Ryan, I am just walking woods and fields with him the vast majority of that 2 hours, letting him explore and figure things out. Doing some obedience at same time like occasional recalls with reward, or shortening the check cord (which he ALWAYS wears) and whoaing and heeling when we come to any paved or gravel surfaces.
The most actual obedience stuff I've done is yard work with "Come." I haven't even begun to think about correcting him for anything other than jumping up on people or getting into things he shouldn't and for that he responds immediately and very well to a growly "Naaaahhh"
Like I said goes everywhere I go so intro's and socialization going well.
I fully get that he needs his "childhood." he loves to point, stalk and chase the flight of any bird we come across and I let him.
Not working any grouse or 'cock covers now for fear of disturbance so the local park's a nice alternative with some mowed areas and some higher grass and woods.
I AM ecited but also cognizant that these things take time, so......but please everyone continue to advise. It's great, and I'll get some pictures up here eventually. Thanks

Edit; This hot weather is brutal! I need this pup to burn some energy but what to do, what to do....?
Oh ok, I got ya, yeah these guys need to have that energy burned off daily or they can be a PIA to live with. I have a fireball of a drahthaar (off switch for the house, my a$$) that HAS to run daily off-leash for a good hour. I can get away with a lot less only in this excess heat & humidity but even then I just swim him more.

The advice to get a kayak or canoe is a good one. Dogs love to swim and it's great for building muscle and stamina without any stress on the joints and paddling is good exercise for us humans! Win, win.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Am I over working Dublin at just over 3 months of age by walking woods and fields 2-3 miles a day in 2-3 separate sessions?
 

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If he is active and running to the front I wouldn't worry about it at all. If he is lagging behind and seems tired, I'd cut back.

I don't think 2-3 miles broken up into 2-3 different walks should be an issue.
 
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