I am a duck hunter and want to know how and when to introduce puppies to live birds. My puppy now 6 month old was at the breeders for 5 months who was supposed to do some basic training, house breaking, crate traininig intro to birds etc. but I am not sure how much training happened.
My puppy does so so with bumbpers but not very interesed in frozen birds. I took teal out to the trainer and she had pigeons around for the puppies.
I was hoping to rev her up a little bit with intro to live birds. Using a quail and work my way up to ducks. How and when do you intro to live birds.
Hi there. In my experience it is never too early to get a puppy birdy. As soon as our pups are mobile, they are playing with bird wings. By 7wks they are actively retrieving a bird, doing a little tracking with their noses and love any bird scent. They are ready to take on a live/small bird around that time... We start with fresh duck/goose FIRST because the pups get used to the weird tasting/smelling oils in them. Once they are excited about those, we introduce the pheasant, quail, etc. It's hard to say what your trainer has done. But, when we sell a pup...that pup is ready to take the next step and they are so naturally birdy. Great dogs are easy to work with. Hope that helps.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
What a doll!!
I agree - earlier getting them wanting those feathers the better. You can buy pelts and wings on ebay..add some scent to them and use them instead of dummies or bumpers.
I agree with everyone as well.. As soon as they get moving work the wings....I had Piper at 9 weeks in a "Puppy Run" with my local hunt group and she did land and water... I will scan in some pictures later...
I start teasing with a clipped wing pigeon as early as possible. It drives 'em nuts!
Here in Hungary we do it a bit different. We train our dogs with tennis balls to retrieve till they get enought big and old to hold normal sized bumpers. Only after the dog is retrieving perfectly we introduce them the birds, rabbits. Of course first with fresh ones, and only later with frozen, coz it has different smelling for the dogs.
We say, that you dont need to teach your dog-- u need to breed it. This means, you dont have to give much attention on birds when the puppy is just a few weeks/month old, coz a well breeded gundog will always pick up what the owners point even if its on the ground or falling down from the sky.
Genetically a well breeded gundog is really verrrry into picking up birds, (rabbits), the only thing you need to teach first is obedience...
In my case, I have a 2 year old black lab, we take part in field trials and cold game tests. He was 7 month old at his first cold game test, where he first met pigeon, phasan, rabbit, and duck. We had no possibilities to practice before, it was a quick idea to take part with the pupp on that test...
He did the cold game test well (ok-ok-ok we coundt finish it, he was too hyper and didnt wanted to stop when I blew the whistle), and retrieved everything! He run to the pigeon, looked at it, looked at me, and when I told him to pick up, he just ran back fast with the bird in his mouth...
My other dog is 10 month old. Till now he only met tennis balls and bumpers, but now im planning to train with birds coz there will be a test soon what we need to complete so i can breed with him.
Sorry if my english is crazy, just a learned language
I would love to talk with trainers, I think we could exchange experiences!
At 7 weeks both Wave and his sister looked at a clipped wing and would go the other way
At 8 weeks they would go to and then lose interest if it ran or flapped.
at 9 weeks the pups would attempt to get the birds but seemed a little uncertain and not very succesful
at 10 weeks they both suddenly became very very interested in the clipped wing pigeons and would do very short retrieves 10-15 feet.
at 11 weeks the pups would chase down runners with wild abandon.(Flat land)
at 12 weeks the pups were easily doing 15-20 yard retrieves with clipped wing pigeons. (land across side of hill)
yesterday they both did 20-30 yard retrieves both on land and in water again with the live clipped wing pigeon.(down one hill up another for land)(across a pond and then up a hill for water) initial retrieves were with dead pigeons final retrieves were live clipped wing
They both should be ready to pass a WC in a few more weeks.
Light, "weedy" individuals are definitely incorrect; equally objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat. Females should weigh between 55 and 70lbs and Males between 65 and 80lbs. Height females 21.5 to 23.5 inches males 22.5 to 24.5 inches at the withers.
HR Greenwoods Sealion Tsunami SH "Wave" born 3-9-2010
Greenwoods Amber Wave VCD2 RA SH AX OF WCX CGC "Amber" born 4-13-2005
Miles was given a clipped wing to play with when he was still with the breeder. Retreiving bumpers didn't really interest him until about four months of age and after I added a little duck scent to it. At that same age, he was given a live pigeon to retrieve which he did enthusiastically. I was a little concerned about giving him a live pigeon too early just in case he was "whacked by the wing" and became fearful. He is a retrieving manic now at 4.5 months. I'll wait until he gets a little bigger to retrieve ducks. His sire is a field champion and the dam is a master hunter...so the genes are there. Welcome Black Lightning! Interested to hear you comments.
- Never trust a dog to guard your food -
Beck's Frequent Flyer (Miles) 1/26/10
Beck's Keepin' It Simple, JH (Simon) 4/25/07
Noel's Duncan Delight, CDX (Duncan) 1/28/97 - 10/30/08 (Miss you big guy)