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Will rescue be good pointer?

Hello, I am 15 years old and enjoy hunting. Two years ago my brother got me an english setter for my birthday from a guy that no longer wanted the dog. I was really excited to teach the dog obedience (she never had been taught anything except sit) and eventually hunt her. Her obedience is coming along quite well for being four years old and never having obedience, but she was thaught to point and hunt rabbits instead of upland game. I have repeatedly tried to tell her no and then bring her out of the view of the rabbits in our back yard, but nothing seems to help. It seems like the more I try the more she wants to point the rabbits. I would really love to hunt her because I can tell that she would be a great pointer and would do well hunting, but I want to hunt upland game with her; not rabbits. Do you have any suggestions that might help?

First I must ask if the dog has ever been exposed to game birds? If no then you really need to do this. If yes - then I ask does she point?
There are a couple of things you could do.
  1. Disregard the rabbit pointing all together. If you are out hunting birds and she points a rabbit flush the rabbit and scold the dog if she gives chase. Don't ever - ever - ever shoot a rabbit for this dog again. If she has pointed a bird and you shoot it praise the dog and give the dog a treat. Eventually I suspect the dog will come around.
  2. Don't want to wait or maybe the above is not working or maybe the dog does not point birds.
    1. Don't want to wait. Seek professional help. Look for a qualified pointing dog trainer who hunts! They should be able to help. There are methods of what we call trash breaking that can be very useful to you but doing it yourself at this point may not be a good idea.
    2. Visit Look for a chapter near you and ask for help. These people are just like you and I. These people are just folks who are there to help train you, train your own dog. People of NAVHDA can and will give you a fair evaluation of your dog. They can help you expose it to birds and get the best out of your dog through positive training. If you are like other young enthusiastic people I have met you'll like NAVHDA as WE HUNT! So check out NAVHDA web-page.

Good luck,

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