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After some members of this ning have seen it, one of them encouraged me to publish the link of a video. I didn't want it because I thought others will not be interested in.
I'm convinced that pointing basically comes from the hunting, so the predatory instinct. So I decided to make a try with one of my friend's 3 year old mixed breed dog who always lived in the city, probably has no pointing dog blood in it but who has the necessary predatory instinct.
Sure, his point is not as expressive as if he would be a member of a pointing dog breed and training is still in an initative phase but it worked. (dog and pheasants all still alive!)
So here's the link:

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Interesting, but training a dog to stop and stand still when it can SEE a bird, is not the same thing as a dog that instinctively points airscent when some distance from a bird that it cant even see.
Probably I will never know if this dog would ever point by only smelling the game and if he would ever develop a field covering searching style because lack of time and possibility. Trying to train this dog to point came into my mind because I've seen some dogs from pointing breeds that neverthless all effort of good trainers just didn't want to point - neither seeing the game, nor smelling it on a field. In all these cases lack of predatory and killing instinct were observed. This experience doesn't mean I would ever change Irish Setters to another pointing breed or any other breed, though I like pointers a lot:)!
I think it is very interesting to see what we all deep down know...practice makes perfect.

And although "our" breeds are supposed to have the pointing instinct and therefore should be able to learn much quicker it nevertheless looks as even other breeds can learn.
In fact what is the ponting instinct but a natural way "to freeze" in one position during hunting?
And that is practiced by cats as well.

Great film!
With bird dogs its not just "freezing" upon seeing game. The working bred setter reacts instinctively to airscent, before it has even seen the bird. This starts when the puppy is around 12 to 13 weeks. Suddenly you see the puppy stop, the head goes right up, often it sits and looks as if it is going into a trance, as it licks its lips. The pup is actually tasting airscent for the first time.It isnt even seeing the game that produced the scent, only experiencing airscent. This is the real beginning of pointing in a setter, and it isnt something you can train. Either it is there or it isnt. I watch for the puppy doing this from around 11 weeks
This is something different from the puppy sight pointing a wing. Most puppies, any breed, will "hunt", and crouch ready to spring at a fluttering object, so will a cat
Having done a lot of pretty complicated dog-training and watched a lot of what dogs are capable of learning, plus having seen the video, I still feel it can be done to TEACH a dog to point.
When it comes to reacting to scent only, that would actually be no problem at all.

I have trained army-dogs to react to scent of humans/discarded items and the same is true when it comes to search and rescue. When it comes to army-training, no sound must be made and communication must be "silent" between dog and owner. These dogs (in some of the exercises) react ONLY to scent at a distance.

Having watched the film, I can well see that it can be done if you felt inclined to.

But of course its always easier if you have a dog that will have part of this "naturally". And yes, a Border Collie is a far more natural dog when it comes to obedience compertition, but it works with a setter too...you just need a lot more determination and patience. :-)
The same would be true when it came to teaching a dog to point.
I was waiting for the dog to be out of leash. I think that is one of the easiest tricks to teach for a dog. Even my Jack Russell terrier points for grouse and without a leash! She has been living with setters all her life :) but she has a much bigger will to rush and try to catch the bird than my setters. My setters wait for my command to rush and they obey , my terrier does not!

But breeding a hunting dog should not go for that. In some cases it has, sadly :( or the urge to get trial prizes...
Dear Katariina,
Sorry, my English is very far from perfect. Could you please explain me the meaning of your sentence:
"But breeding a hunting dog should not go for that. In some cases it has, sadly :( "
What the word "that" refers to?
Thanks in advance
It means that like in hunting setters and pointer the pointing instinct is deeply heritable quality and should not be something you teach the dog to do.

In some cases that has happened, the dogs do not point anymore, they don´t have it their heritage(genetics)

I was not referring to what you have done teaching a mixed dog to point(though not without a leash, at least not in that videopic). It was a general opinion and I am quite sure you understand what I mean.

Or do you think that the breeding of once naturally, instinctly, genetically pointing dogs, should go to that one teaches the dog to point? Surely and hopefully not!
No, Katariina, I really hadn't understood what that sentence was referred to and thanks for the explanation, now I understand. And no, we really didn't release Bruno (the mixed breed dog) from leash as this "teach to point" thing was just my idea to see if it was possible without pointing blood but with predatory instinct. We don't have intention to go further with Bruno to perfect his behaviour on the birds but who knows......:)
Sure one of the most beautiful scenes for my eyes when a young, untrained pup raises its nose to smell the scent and approaches the game and finally stops to point - (and after flush chases the game with passion:)




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