fencing and wild birds

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birds
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fencing and wild birds

Post by birds » Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:38 pm

Hi All -
New here - seems like a lot of great collective experience. Two questions and some background to go with them.
1) I am a soon to be newbie setter owner with no experience training bird dogs. My pup is coming from great lines and I have hunted over her mother so I have an idea what I'm getting myself into dog-wise. I've been a foot slogging dogless hunter for 45 years (I know - spare me the scorn - I've been hearing it most of those years!) so I know bird habits and habitat. I live in rural Montana and plenty of wild birds are literally minutes away. How important are pen-raised birds to develop a dog that will never see a trial and will be hunted a lot (at least three times a week for 4 months) through the season and exposed to lots of wild birds during training? I have no desire to build a pigeon coop, buy quail or chukars or fool with their care. My goal is to develop a hunter and a pal.
2) I don't really want to keep my dog in a kennel while at work - I have a big yard and plan on fencing it so the dog will have lots of room. She will be in the house when we are around (and willing to put up with her :D ) and will sleep in the house at night. Without making my yard resemble Stalag 13 what sort of fencing should I be thinking about?
Thanks in advance for your time!

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Sharon
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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by Sharon » Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:41 pm

Welcome to the forum. :)

#2 Kennel your dog when you are at work. Dogs are stolen from back yards regularly. Have someone come in at lunch to walk your dog.
( I had a dog stolen.)
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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by Dakotazeb » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:00 pm

If you have lots of wild birds around I wouldn't worry about pen raised birds unless you need them to correct a problem in a controlled situation. Otherwise, stress obedience and then give your dog as much exposure to wild birds as possible. If the dog has the breeding they will quickly figure it out. As long as you don't plan to trial and are not concerned if the dog is steady to wing, shot and fall you will be fine. If you do hunt with other guys with pointing dogs I would suggest your dog be trained to honor (back) other dogs. Unless the dog is a natural backer. Good luck.

I would second what Sharon said. Kennel your dog when not home. A good friend of mine had his dog stolen out of his backyard.
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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by polmaise » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:10 pm

1) Sounds good
2) Requires a different plan ,perhaps :wink:

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by Trekmoor » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:30 am

Welcome to the forum. I completely agree....you do not need to use pen raised birds if you have access to wild birds. You don't even need an awful lot of wild birds ! I train mainly on public land that allows no shooting but which does have a few wild birds . All of my dogs for about 35 years have been trained on those wild birds and then introduced to hunting elsewhere where the birds can be shot.
It is, I think, a fallacy to think that you need to shoot the birds a dog finds in order to have a keen hunter.

My dogs all "went like stink" and yet few birds had been shot over them. My dogs got all the reward they needed just by being allowed to hunt for and find wild birds. When I eventually did shoot birds they'd pointed that only added a bit of icing to their already baked cake. A well bred dog will both hunt and point simply because it wants to.

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by birddogger2 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:31 am

birds-

A small(5X12), secure kennel, on concrete, inside your back yard will be a better choice for several reasons. Dogs WILL find a way to escape from just about any fencing system, especially if they are given enough time and bird dogs roaming free will learn bad things...if they survive out there long enough. I have NEVER seen a dog chew its way out of 9 ga. chain link, climb out of a 6 ft high kennel with a top on it or dig through 4 inches of concrete...and YES I have had a few that tried all of those.

AND a small, secure kennel will very likely be far, far less expensive than a heavy duty, 6 ft. high fence with buried wire or and/or a hot wire near the bottom of the fencing... around your whole back yard. It is also easier to keep clean. If your dog is a female and not spayed, a kennel can have a top on it to prevent "visits".

If you are in the yard with the dog, a 4 ft. chain link fence is all you will need to contain the dog, if you don't teach the dog to jump the fence or leave the gate open.

If you do as you plan otherwise, your dog will have PLENTY of time to become part of the family and a good companion.

As far as training the dog, if you have wild birds available, and you have the time to work with the dog, you don't really need pen raised birds or pigeons. There are situations where using pen raised birds or pigeons can help the training process along, which is why they are used, even when wild birds are available. You can set up situations with training birds and have a good idea of what, when and where things are going to happen, which will tend to speed up the learning curve for the dog.

BUT they are not absolutely necessary. Enough exposure to wild birds and the dog will figure it out. As previously stated, if you only want the dog staunch( hold point until the bird flushes), that is a fairly straightforward process. If you only wish to hunt the dog... a staunch dog is really all you need, to be honest.

I honestly believe that the yard work and obedience type training you do with the dog in its first six to seven months is FAR more important to get right, since the goal is to have the dog hunt... with YOU and for YOU.

RayG

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by cjhills » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:35 pm

1. Personally, I think you could use a few pen raised birds or pigeons for training when you need to shoot a bird or two to work on retrieves when birds are out of season or a controlled situation.
2. I definitely would not leave my dogs outside unattended all day. All they learn in an outside kennel is how to stand with there front feet on the fence and bark at passers by or anything else that goes on. Just think about what they would do all day. Dogs are perfectly happy to sleep all day in a crate or if they are dependable enough to be loose in the house. Normally a dog sleeps 16 to 18 hours a day when it has nothing else to do.
I have a small Dachshund and a 10 month old GSP that live in the house both sleep most of the time. The GSP is in a crate at night and when we are gone. Most of the time when she is free she sleeps. This is a hi powered dog in the field with a lot of run.
She does like to watch football with me. She wanted the Chiefs to win on Thursday because she thinks Pat Mahomes is cute. I told her that had nothin to do with anything.
If I was starting over I would fence a large area that they could free run in when I was home. I had underground fence at first but it has not work for years. It did work well To start with
Have fun ...….Cj

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by averageguy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:00 pm

You can develop an excellent wild bird meat dog using all wild birds and OB work in the yard, then carried over to the field. Your dog can well be a standout at hunting for, finding, pointing and recovering downed birds using that approach alone. I did it with my first GWP.

But if you desire polish such as steady to WSF, backing (if you are not so lucky as to have a natural backing dog), retrieves including sit and deliver the bird to hand, blind retrieve handling, waterwork ... you will need to use some training birds in controlled situations in order to achieve those levels of performance.

My dogs get exercise outside of the chain link covered kennel runs and time in the house with me on a daily basis. But when I am unable to supervise them, they are secure in a locked, covered kennel run with an insulated dog house set inside the walls of an insulated machine shed. No way I will ever trust my dog to not jump a fence when an extreme distraction happens by on the other side, and our fellowman at large can no longer be trusted to not steal our dogs.

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by Sharon » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:14 pm

cjhills wrote:1. Personally, I think you could use a few pen raised birds or pigeons for training when you need to shoot a bird or two to work on retrieves when birds are out of season or a controlled situation.
2. I definitely would not leave my dogs outside unattended all day. All they learn in an outside kennel is how to stand with there front feet on the fence and bark at passers by or anything else that goes on. Just think about what they would do all day. Dogs are perfectly happy to sleep all day in a crate or if they are dependable enough to be loose in the house. Normally a dog sleeps 16 to 18 hours a day when it has nothing else to do.
I have a small Dachshund and a 10 month old GSP that live in the house both sleep most of the time. The GSP is in a crate at night and when we are gone. Most of the time when she is free she sleeps. This is a hi powered dog in the field with a lot of run.
She does like to watch football with me. She wanted the Chiefs to win on Thursday because she thinks Pat Mahomes is cute. I told her that had nothin to do with anything.
If I was starting over I would fence a large area that they could free run in when I was home. I had underground fence at first but it has not work for years. It did work well To start with
Have fun ...….Cj
Very funny ! :lol: I don't know; cute does help.
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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by mask » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:41 pm

pm sent.

birds
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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by birds » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:50 am

Thanks for all your thoughtful advice! It seems obvious that
1) I'll be just fine using wild birds for training if I don't expect too much "style" from my meat dog or expect it to compete in competition.
2) Bird dogs get in trouble when alone and secure confinement of some sort is the only appropriate way to ensure the dogs safety and my sanity.
Thanks again!

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by rinker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:32 pm

I agree with most of the posters here that you can probably get all of your training done on wild birds.

I don't agree with the kenneling comments. I have three large dog pens, each is about 35 ft wide and 110 ft deep, about the size of a sub-division yard. I have a 5 ft tall horse fence around these pens. The dogs would soon learn to climb over or dig under this fence if that is all there was. I ran a single electric wire around the inside of each pen about nose high to a dog. A dog has 1 or 2 encounters with this wire and learns to stay back off of the fence. My dogs can run, play, dig a hole, be a dog inside these pens. I think they like their pens better than a 5 x 10 kennel. I like them because they are nearly maintenance free.

I have had dogs kenneled in various ways outdoors for 40 years, I have never had a dog stolen. It could happen, and if it does, I will get another puppy.

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by polmaise » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:51 pm

birddogger2 wrote: If you only wish to hunt the dog... a staunch dog is really all you need, to be honest.

I honestly believe that the yard work and obedience type training you do with the dog in its first six to seven months is FAR more important to get right, since the goal is to have the dog hunt... with YOU and for YOU.

RayG
This .

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by Featherfinder » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:12 am

I agree Ray. I start all my wild bird dogs on pigeons because when they are young pups, I like to have inconspicuous control of what they are learning. The issue for me with wild birds is you can't as easily focus a specific hurdle with consistency. Further-to-this, you can never know for sure where the wild birds will be therefore how to prepare/anticipate what will happen. Finally, I like pups to learn that being with me gets them the greatest reward (birds). If you are running strictly on wild birds and your dog starts finding them WAY out there, that is what you've taught him. You will likely find yourself vocalizing/whistling and hunting dog more-so than birds.
My methods teach the dog that he WANTS to hunt in my general vicinity out of volition. Wild birds will "finish him" in that he will learn to find the birds where they are yet within the confines of the gun. Dogs taught this way will transition from dense grouse woods to open prairies (and everything in between) with uncanny efficiency.
I guess I am a control freak of sorts, when they are young pups. Once the basic rules of engagement are inured, we transition to wild birds. But, that doesn't mean it's the ONLY way.

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by JONOV » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:08 pm

Sharon wrote:Welcome to the forum. :)

#2 Kennel your dog when you are at work. Dogs are stolen from back yards regularly. Have someone come in at lunch to walk your dog.
( I had a dog stolen.)
Assuming the back yard is out of sight of those driving and walking past, I'd do a chain link run during the day.

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by ddoyle » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:03 am

I just read the title...I want to say all my dogs were crappy at fencing? I couldn't get them to keep the foil in their paws! :D
Doyle

birds
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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by birds » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:39 am

ddoyle wrote:I just read the title...I want to say all my dogs were crappy at fencing? I couldn't get them to keep the foil in their paws! :D
You probably just started them too early. Or maybe made the lessons too long.

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stocking property with birds

Post by Travis79 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:02 pm

I have a question. I am new to this forum. I have two 15 month old English Pointers, and for their age they are doing well. I have 400 acres to hunt with plenty of cover, but only 1 small covey. I am trying to figure out whats the best way to have birds for my pups everytime I take them hunting. I have looked at surrogators, the phantom quail kennel, regular johnny houses, and feeders. I know that I am probably after some thing that doesnt excist , but I want to simulate as close to a wild hunt as I can. However the last thing that I want to do is have birds that wont fly. I have access to good flight condtioned birds, but I never have to worry about a wild bird. Just needing some good Ive been there cone this advice. Thank you.

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by birds » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:37 am

Travis - You might want to post this as a separate, stand alone thread - you will more likely get the kind of info you are looking for. Sorry I have nothing to offer!

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:16 pm

ddolye, I sword-of get your humor! …love it!
Dogs are stolen. While some fencing plans work better than others, if some low-life wants to steal your dog, they will find a way. Just don't make it easy for them.

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by ddoyle » Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:41 pm

Feather finally someone gets it! Thanks.
Doyle

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Re: fencing and wild birds

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:42 pm

No...thank you ddolye! Where would we be without a sense of humor?
Touche!

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