« | »

My New Bird Dog and Puppy Potty Training


I am proud to introduce Top Gun Escanaba v. St.Pierre, my new 10-week-old female German shorthaired pointer. My new bird dog pup, call name “Esky,” comes from the same bloodlines as my previous two shorthairs, Izzy and Trammell. If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you may remember my young shorthair Izzy died tragically last October. Izzy and Esky share the same dam, Top Gun Hope.

Esky2Esky joined our family last Thursday after a trip to Top Gun Kennels in Iowa where we met a few of her siblings. The breeder, Steve and Jodie Ries, made my pup selection for me in advance. Steve and Jodie know me well, know my hunting style and know what attributes I was looking for in my new pup. There was no flipping over pups on their back to see which one fought me, or didn’t. There was no walking around the yard to see which one followed me, or didn’t. There was no chance of a pup having a good day or a bad one when I met them. I simply communicated my preferences and trusted them. This strategy of trust worked seven years ago with my first pup and I’ve kept returning to the same breeder ever since.

Tip: I’ve found most gun dog breeders to be similarly dedicated to their client’s needs.  If you’re looking for a pup, ask prospective breeders for the contact info from some of their clients and make a few calls.  Speaking to owners from the same bloodlines you’re interested in will provide a tremendous amount of insight into both the breeder and the line.  It’s well worth the effort.

The Name Game

EscanabaWhile I named my previous two bird dogs after Detroit sports heroes of my childhood (Alan Trammell and Steve Yzerman), I went a different direction with my new pup. “Esky” is the nickname of my hometown of Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I selected the name for a couple of different reasons. First, I’ve never met another bird dog named Esky and a unique name in the field is important to me. Second, Esky sounds similar to Izzy, which I like considering the circumstances of losing Izzy at such a young age. Lastly, growing up in Escanaba translated into my love for the great outdoors and bird hunting in particular, so naming my dog “Esky” seemed a fitting tribute to a place I love.

Puppy Potty Training

Life with a puppy is a shock to the system and our normal daily structure. In fact, I spent my Fourth of July holiday weekend not sleeping. Ten-week-old puppies want bathroom breaks at 2AM and 4:30AM, and you’d best move quickly to avoid accidents.

Tip: Puppies need to go to the bathroom as soon as they wake up. Carry your puppy outside as soon as they awake to avoid an indoor accident. Put that puppy where you want them to learn “going potty” is acceptable. Say “go potty” until they go to the bathroom. Jump up and down like you won the Stanley Cup after the pup successfully goes to the bathroom.

And it begins again; the process of training a puppy and adapting to life with a new member of the family. Stay tuned for more posts as I go through the process of training my third bird dog.

Note: I’m hoping to contact the gentleman from the Maplewood/White Bear Lake, Minnesota area who has named his new shorthair puppy, Izzy, in tribute to my pup. I’d like to express my gratitude. Please email me at stpete@pheasantsforever.org. Thank you!

Related Posts:

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

Tags: , , ,

9 Responses to “My New Bird Dog and Puppy Potty Training”

  1. Tom says:

    I have trained my dogs by placing a small bell on a hook by the door. Every time I let them out I ring the bell. In fairly short order the dog will ring the bell when it wants to go out. Makes things a lot easier and stops barking and scratching as the signal from the dog.

  2. Seve says:


    Congratulations on the new puppy. I’ve been following along on Twitter and have really enjoyed your posts. We picked up a pudelpointer pup this past April and just went through what you’re going through now! It’s been great fun for us having a puppy around and watching his first experiences (swimming, pointing, chasing, etc.). Really looking forward to following along on Esky’s journey. Please keep up the posts & updates!

  3. Tom Poorker says:

    Bob good luck with Esky. Love the name! Let me know when you and new pup are ready for a good grouse and woodcock hunt. Nothing makes a old hunter feel young like a new pup in the field. Good Luck! Tom Poorker

  4. Bob St.Pierre says:

    Tom, Seve, & Tom: Thanks for reading the post and thanks for the kind words. I’m very much looking forward to grouse, woodcock, pheasant and quail seasons! Summer is over-rated anyway, right?

  5. […] My New Bird Dog and Puppy Potty Training – Pheasant Blog […]

  6. Jake says:

    I’d wager “Esky in da golden hour” will leave better memories than “Escanaba in da moonlight”

    Congrats Bob!

  7. Barb says:

    Congratulations Bob on your new dog!

  8. Nancy Anisfield says:

    Congratulations! She’s got a great face — doesn’t get any cuter. Think of all the adventures ahead of you two together…

  9. Thanks for the kind words @Jake @Barb and @Nancy


Leave a Reply