Buggy PupI HAVE A MALE GERMAN SHORTHAIR POINTER (11 MONTHS OLD), THAT IS MORE INTERESTED IN CHASING OR PLAYING WITH FLYING BUGS THAN SEARCHING FOR BIRDS. HE HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT TO HUNT WITH A TRAINED DOG BUT IGNORES WHAT THE OTHER DOG IS DOING AND RUNS AROUND WILD CHASING BUGS. HE IS TRAINED IN WHOA, STAY, COME, AND SIT BUT LOVES TO RUN AND CHASE ANY TYPE OF FLYING BUGS. WHAT CAN I DO TO GET HIM TO BE INTERESTED TO HUNT BIRDS THAN RUN IN THE BRUSH CHASING BUGS My grandfather had a pair of Weimeraners. One was an incredible hunter, awesome on all types of upland game and very birdy. The other one is still to this day remembered as "the butterfly dog" at family gatherings even though my grandfather passed on 11 yrs ago. This dog would chase bugs off into the sunset, and could never quite get the idea that we were interested in feathered flyers.
Grandpa never could get that Weimeraner to do much bird hunting. A dog such as this maybe just doesn't have enough "nose" and therefore will hunt/chase/point anything by sight instead (including bugs). Another possibility is that a dog like this just never had much opportunity to awaken his/her birdyness and nose and therefore has learned to hunt what is on hand, namely bugs (or possibly tweety birds).
Having said all of this, I'm not convinced that your problem is a permanent one. Let's see if we break it up-
These are the things I see which are working in your favor-
1) Your pup is ignoring the other dog rather than playing or chasing it.
2) Your pup is out there and has a desire to hunt independently (is not connecting it with birds yet, but we'll get to that)
3) Your pup is still very young and may outgrow this if you patiently work on increasing his bird interest
These are some things you ought to consider-
1) Does your pup like to retrieve, and will he do so on command?
2) If so, try using a dead pigeon for retrieving practice (you can freeze it if additional pigeons are a difficulty) keep these sessions short (leave him wanting more!)
3) If your pup wants nothing to do with a dead bird, try to find a fenced off area where there are few or no bugs/distractions and either shackle a pigeon, or have a helper use a pigeon pole (fish pole with a twine slip knot at the end attached at the base of one of the pigeon's wings). Have a dead pigeon ready for a game of fetch, then release your dog (& have pigeon out). Most likely, if you have done a good job limiting distractions, your pup will be really interested in the bird, use the dead pigeon to reward your pup with a game of fetch. REMEMBER-You are trying to generate bird interest, so don't yell or even correct your pup if he tries to eat the bird at first. You are probably going to have to give a little control up to get this pup bird crazy. But your dog is young and there will be plenty of time to reel him back in.
4) Final Note: Once your pup has learned to learn, you will always be able to teach him/train him except for in one area- inward desire. Don't overdo it on a young pup. Get him crazy about birds, and let him be crazy (and I mean crazy) about birds for awhile. Training a young pup is fine (behavioralists tell us it can begin with the new owner at 7wks in the form of games, etc.). But just be aware you can train over and curb some inward desires in some pups if you don't give them some room and time for those desires/instincts to develop. Let your pup's birdyness develop and you'll have a lifetime hunting companion.
Von Swick GSP's
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