Introduction to Spaniel workI have a 8 mo. springer spaniel with very little training. We would like to get her hunt ready but I don't know how to start training her any suggestions.
thank you for your help. Well, you don't give me much info on your dog. But let's assume that your pup is the bold type that is not afraid of anything. First thing we need to do is an introduction to birds. Do this in a familiar area for the dog. Some times a pup that has never seen a pigeon can be afraid of it.
Now take a cold dead pigeon let the pup sniff it then throw it a couple of feet away. Encourage the pup to pick it up but only a couple of times. Only use cold dead pigeons with no blood on them. After this is mastered go to a live bird. Put the live bird in a nylon stocking and let it's head stick out. Then progress to a clip-winged bird. At this point if the pup is picking up a clip-wing you can move on to planting flyers.
Set up your field so that you have medium cover. Have two friends assist with this it, will help a lot. Have each friend hold a clip-winged pigeon. Start off by casting the pup to a assistant give it a over command, I would do this with a whistle. Then have the assistant shake the bird and make noise. The pup will run over to take a sniff and get excited. Blow two pips on the whistle then the other assistant makes noise and shakes the bird. This will get the pup to quartering down field. Also at this point the pup is really getting worked up. Then toss a bird out in front and fire a cap pistol BEHIND you. In most cases pup will run out pick up the bird and the shot means nothing. But by shooting and tossing birds the pup will see that shots means bird. People also means birds to the pup because the birds are always with the people. At this point plant a couple of clip-winged birds in the field. Tease the dog into a quartering pattern and let the pup smell a clip and catch it, then move to a flyer. During all this you will need to move up in gun size but take it easy. Don't shoot a 12 ga over pup and expect no reaction. When you move to a shotgun to shoot flyers have the helpers at the edges shoot the bird. Do it with as small of a gun as the gunners are comfortable with.
At Any point if you need help just ask that is what I am here for.
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