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CARLS GROUSE

Setter treeing ruffies

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I have a 2 year old setter that has treed at least 8 birds this fall. It happens when we are hunting in the thick stuff and she is makeing her casts 75 to 100 yards off to the side. I can hear her bell stop and I go running to the last place I heard it but when the bird flushes and Im not there to see it or get a shot and it flies to a tree she will stand under the tree and bark until I find her and shoot the bird. Im no purest and Im sure some will frown on this but it puts birds in the bag. Am i enforcing a bad habit or should this not be a problem. Im a little nervious this will teach her it is ok to creep in on the birds without holding them.

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It is teaching her its ok to flush birds since you still shoot them for her. With a young dog it is very important not to shoot any birds they bump. The problem probably will get worse if you continue to shoot the birds for her. Grouse are hard for pointing dogs to hold since they flush easily if the dog gets to close. The dog has to learn to trust her nose and stay locked up with the first scent contact. Lots of times grouse will run when they are pointed and the dog will have to be released to relocate them. Grouse will hold for a couple minutes when they are pointed from a distance and not pressured from the dog. Using the whoa command is a great way to keep the dog from moving in once it is on point. I think it is very important that grouse dogs are whoa trained or it would be impossible to teach them not to creep. Once the dog learns to hold point you will not even have to use the whoa command.

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2tp setters has excellent advice. Depending on the amount of grouse contacts, it can take 4 maybe 5 years for the dog to learn when to "back off". IMHO grouse are the toughest bird for a dog and hunter to handle. If you have contacts with your dog on other birds that hold better (woodcock, hen pheasant or game farm birds) this is espcially evident. Down where I hunt, SE MN, grouse are not that plentiful, she learns more in one week up North than all season down here. And just remember, if a bird bumps, clearly outside the pointing range, sometimes the bird wins, the smart ones live another day.

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Carls Grouse you have a pointing dog not a coon hound..If you find your dog on point and the bird is in a tree then it might be okay to take the bird. but like the others said your dog will never learn to hold his birds if you shoot those he has bumped and treed.. Know this guy who had a beautiful red setter and turned it in to a skinny golden retiever by shooting bumped birds over that dog...Back it up and move forward slowly...Life isn't about birs in the bag. It's about clean bird work and a dog you can be proud of! Work on that and the birds in the bag will come...good luck .uplander

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Like another posted stated, you may turn your setter into a coon hound. What kind of whoa training have you done? Whoa is the most important command for a pointer and can be taught many ways without birds. You can use a platform or a whoa post. There are some good books on the subject, but it is THE cammand the pointer must know. You should be able to stop your dog at any time when you give the whoa command and when birds are involved you reinforce the point by the whoa command and when the dog does what it is supposed to do you give a lot of praise. Once the pointer has learned the whoa command you can use a shock collar for reinforcement but almost never reinforce the whoa command when birds are involved with the shock collar. If the dog continues to break point on birds after you have given a verbal whoa command you can use a check cord to keep control of the situation and then go back to the whao table or whatever whoa process you choose to use.

You need to control the whoa becasue being a Setter they have big wheels and chances are he/she is going to bump a lot of birds that arn't going to hang around in a tree.

Great choice of a dog and good luck.

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