• Edward A. Jesson posted an update in the group HGD Community 10 months ago


    Thanks for taking the time to talk to me the other day about my gun shy pointer. As a quick follow up (to you and to anyone else who might have experience with this!) when letting him be a puppy again, i.e. chase birds, potentially catch a few, is it best for me to be throwing the birds (be it quail or pigeons) or should I let him find planted birds “naturally”?

    • Hello Ed.
      He needs to find planted birds naturally. Good birds that will fly when pressured by the dog. He needs to catch a few. We need to help him forget the negative association he made between hunting and that loud noise. We do this by building drive. When we have him bumping, chasing and having fun again, we begin reassociating the bang (at a distance) at the most exciting time, a split second before he catches a bird. His drive for the bird must be higher than his fear of the gunshot.

      • Brad,

        I have a follow up question now that I’ve been working with him for a few weeks on this.

        As a reminder, I am dealing with a gun shy pointer. He’s finding the planted birds naturally, and holding point pretty well. However, when he (occasionally I) flush the bird he does not chase. This makes it somewhat difficult to fire a shotgun at a distance!

        Any suggestions here? Other than having a second person fire the gun from a long way off?

        • Hello Ed,

          I release birds in the field. Then I leave and wait at least 10 minuted for the birds to settle. I release the dog. and follow him toward the birds. DON’T go to the dog!!! Stay away at least 100 yards and be quiet. When he finds the bird, leave him alone. He may point. If he does, just wait as long as it takes him to decide to flush the bird. If he flushes but does not chase, don’t shoot. Repeat this a few times and he will soon begin chasing. Don’t shoot the first few he chases. Let him catch them with no gunshot. Once he is happy again bumping, chasing and catching birds, we begin including the gunshot.