Bird dogs 101 please!

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Rileigh
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Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by Rileigh » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:35 pm

I have a 4 month old spaniel mix she is a rescue. I am NOT a hunter, i am a trainer though. My boyfriend has asked me to learn to train her to be a hunting dog. I live in the country, so plenty of room to train. I have a gun of my own so I am able to train while my boyfriend is not around.

She shows interest in birds, so we thought it would be good for her to learn. I understand not all dogs will be cut out to be hunters, and being a mix, I also understand it may be tougher... My main reason for teaching her to hunt is to keep her mind and body active. My boyfriend wanted a purebred hunting dog, specifically a novascotia duck tolling retriever... But I vetoed it because I personally choose to rescue.

I train dogs with positive reinforcement, though ive only done obedience training and "tricks"... Ive never trained a dog to do a specific job.

At the moment, we are descensitizing Rileigh to the sound of a gun. Ive also considered getting a pigeon from craigslist and clipping its wings and letting her "have at it" or some how getting a wing or something and tying it to a fishing pole and getting her excited about it...... Am I on the right track? If not what else do I need to do? Eventually I will need her to learn to retrieve the bird, but I can tell that will be a bit tougher as she is catching on slowly to it... So I figure id start with the easier things first like getting her excited avout a bird, then maybe put a dead bird on a string and throwing it out and having her go chase it back to me....

Im really just brainstorming at the moment, hoping someone will correct my errors as I have never trained a dog to hunt... K thanks guys, hope to hear some good things from yall

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Cajun Casey
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by Cajun Casey » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:16 pm

You have a dog of flushing retriever origin, not pointing. You might want to look for the book "Hup." There is also a book called "Positive Gundog Training" that uses four-quardrat theory and clickers.

If you are going to gunbreak, you want good flying birds the dog can chase. See if a local pigeon racer will sell you some.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Rileigh
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by Rileigh » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:49 pm

cool, ill check the book out. I know ive seen a flock of homing pigeons in my area... Jus gotta find their owner lol :lol: Im pretty excited to start teaching her, I love learning new training techniques and such. I practically jumped at the chance when he asked me to train her to hunt with him :D now its just a matter of LOTS of time and research

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GUNDOGS
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by GUNDOGS » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:36 pm

you should have some birds for the dog to go on before introducing gunfire, the dog will be distracted with the birds and not concentrate on the sound of the gun..no need to rush it though, get her on birds and get her enthusiasm going and work on basic obedience lessons first..also wings are ok for getting good photos of a pup pointing and for playing around with new pups but the dog will get use to sight pointing if you over do it and i dont think it will be of any use to your dog..great reads cajun casey suggested..good luck and have fun.....ruth :D
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Rileigh
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by Rileigh » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:50 pm

Do I just tie a string to the bird(s) so they will stay in the area, or somewhat clip their wings so they can glide or just... Let em go & have her watch?

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displaced_texan
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by displaced_texan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:50 pm

What will he be hunting with her?

Reason I asked is he wanted a retriever, but has a spaniel (flusher)
I have English Pointers because they don't ever grow up either...

Rileigh
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by Rileigh » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:58 pm

To be honest, he just wants a dog he can hunt with... Now that its been narrowed down to flusher... I guess whatever kind of birds that are "flushed" lol, I know it sounds incredibly vauge... But hes a beginner hunter who just wants to hunt something lol. Hes a city boy who recently moved out into the country with me. Now that hes here, hes like "i have to hunt something that involves a dog"

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displaced_texan
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by displaced_texan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:15 pm

Rileigh wrote:To be honest, he just wants a dog he can hunt with... Now that its been narrowed down to flusher... I guess whatever kind of birds that are "flushed" lol, I know it sounds incredibly vauge... But hes a beginner hunter who just wants to hunt something lol. Hes a city boy who recently moved out into the country with me. Now that hes here, hes like "i have to hunt something that involves a dog"
Nothing wrong with that!

Where are yall? Just general idea if you don't want to be to specific:D

Where will affect what he will have access to hunt:D
I have English Pointers because they don't ever grow up either...

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GUNDOGS
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by GUNDOGS » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:49 pm

Rileigh wrote:Do I just tie a string to the bird(s) so they will stay in the area, or somewhat clip their wings so they can glide or just... Let em go & have her watch?
All of the above is fine..google "carded pigeons" its a good technique for you to be able to reuse your pigeons for training, you dont want her to be able to catch them..pigeons are usually a buck or two a piece so its upto you how many you want to just let fly away and how many you want to reuse..i get about 15 every few weeks to a month or if i reuse them more they can last a few months it just depends..make sure you dont train with trees around (if possible) cause the pigeons go right for the trees and if you want to recatch them its hard when theyre in the trees lol..theres alot to introducing your dog or pup to birds and its best to read up on it along with any other training, you can go on you tube and watch just about any kind of bird dog training to get some ideas..have a look at this link as well and after looking at some videos and doing some reading on here as well as some books or magazines you will learn what methods you like and want to try..feel free to ask many questions on here too theres lots of help with good knowledgeable people that have been doing it for years..welcome to the world of bird dogs and add your location or tell us your state so its easier to help you on the kinds of birds and groups you have access too :D ...good luck...ruth

http://www.mfrye.com/acshe/TrainingTips2.html
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Cajun Casey
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by Cajun Casey » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:10 pm

Rileigh wrote:To be honest, he just wants a dog he can hunt with... Now that its been narrowed down to flusher... I guess whatever kind of birds that are "flushed" lol, I know it sounds incredibly vauge... But hes a beginner hunter who just wants to hunt something lol. Hes a city boy who recently moved out into the country with me. Now that hes here, hes like "i have to hunt something that involves a dog"
Maybe you all should have considered a beagle. :mrgreen:

Seriously, you say you have a "spaniel mix" and that can cover a lot of ground, from cocker to water spaniel. If you don't have a picture to post, could you describe the dog? Any idea what the other part of the mix is?

Pheasants and grouse are the two birds that most often come to mind when hunting a flushing dog.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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Ruffshooter
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by Ruffshooter » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:27 am

Although he wanted a retriever, the spaniel mix is also a good retriever.
Retrievers are used as upland dogs as well as spaniels. The training is the same if using the dog for the same purpose.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever is traditionally used as a luring and flushing dog for ducks. If your boyfriend wants to hunt ducks, your training for obedience is a good step. The big thing with a flushing dog is gun range, the dog needs to hunt in range meaning approximately 30 yards and in. I would pick up the spaniel book mentioned Hup! You will learn a lot. Also join a local spaniel club.

You must be a special girl if you boy friend let you pick out his hunting dog. :wink:
Rick
The best part of training is seeing the light come on in your little prot'eg'e.

Rick

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GUNDOGS
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by GUNDOGS » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:41 am

Ruffshooter wrote:Although he wanted a retriever, the spaniel mix is also a good retriever.
Retrievers are used as upland dogs as well as spaniels. The training is the same if using the dog for the same purpose.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever is traditionally used as a luring and flushing dog for ducks. If your boyfriend wants to hunt ducks, your training for obedience is a good step. The big thing with a flushing dog is gun range, the dog needs to hunt in range meaning approximately 30 yards and in. I would pick up the spaniel book mentioned Hup! You will learn a lot. Also join a local spaniel club.

[*]You must be a special girl if you boy friend let you pick out his hunting dog. :wink: [*]
Rick
My hubby has always let me pick the pup too and its because if it does anything wrong like jump up on the counter and eat food, bark, potty in the house ect he can say "hey, your the one who picked it" and then i cant complain, im on to him :lol: ...ruth :mrgreen:
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AZ Brittany Guy
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:04 am

Yard work (not on birds) should focus on; come to you, go with you and sit still. When you get a conditioned response with those commands then you move to the birds. (assuming you have had a proper introduction to birds to confirm the pups prey dirve). Don't try to correct a a pup on birds untill pup has the yard commands down pat.

Flushing / Retreiving dogs are supposed to stay in gun range, flush the birds then sit and stay untill you release them to retreive the dead bird or continue hunting.

Find a training book from a reputable trainer that you understand and stick to one system. When you have a complete understanding of that system you may have enough experience to introduce different approaches. Join a bird dog club and pair up with an experienced person who uses the same method that you are using.

Good Luck and have fun. :)

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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by KelseyCooke » Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:28 am

Does that mean I can blame my stepdad for our awesoooome French britt? haaha.
I'm picking out the next pup, that's for sure. :D
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Re: Bird dogs 101 please!

Post by RoostersMom » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:08 am

Rileigh,

I foster a ton of birddogs for the local shelter and a breed rescue - as long as this dog likes and is excited about birds, you'll do fine with her. We have adopted a great EP this year that I think will turn into a fantastic bird dog with some time and bird contacts. Training should be (as much as possible) on live flying birds. Homers are great - wild birds are better. Lots and lots of bird contacts are what a dog "new to hunting" should have as much and as often as possible. Don't expect "progress" for a while, teach her to come and then let her get out and explore the bird grounds, finding many planted or wild birds in a session. Doesn't really matter at this age what she does with the birds, just that she gets out there and finds them. You will want to work her on "quartering" with a long check cord (cc). Teaching her to switch direction and keep moving in a back and forth pattern in front of you. Also see if you can find a local Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever chapter in your area or a local dog training club - they would have access to hunting areas as well as dog training tools.

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