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Holding birds in place for training

I,ve got a 5 month old french brittany spaniel, he is doing well with training , i wont to get him into birds. Im picking up some quail & Phesant today, do you recommend putting them in onion sacks or carding them. Thanks.

Congratulations on your French Brittany Spaniel. I know you'll be pleased. As for training with pen raised quail and pheasant, I would be careful.

I prefer to start a young pup on quail/pigeons only because they do not run like a pheasant. Since you're teaching them to hold point, a running bird would confuse the pup.

You seem to understand this as you mentioned using onion sacks and carding. I'm not sure about the technique of 'carding' but I understand that you want to hold the training bird in place so that you can bring your dog in to train it to point.

Onion sacking and hobbling can be very awkward for the trainer and the pup. His attention span is short thus you will want to release the bird quickly after he establishes point to instill the predator trait in him that tells him he has to ease in and hold point or the bird will fly. Also, if he does not point naturally, you'll want a way to quickly release the bird so that he cannot catch it. Either way, a check cord is a must on pen raised birds as the dog could catch the bird and set you back in your training.

There are several techniques for introducing birds and my favorite is to use remote controlled bird launchers, that way you have total control of the situation. You can get manually operated launchers that are far less expensive. With the manual launcher, you will need a long string attached to the trigger mechanism. The string will need to be stretched out straight downwind of the launcher as this is the direction you will be coming in to train. If the dog doesn't point, simply grab the string and pull it to release the bird -- remembering to hold on to the check cord so he doesn't catch the pen raised bird.

Hope all this helps. Good luck.

Dave Jones
Chief's Brittanys
Guided Upland Bird Hunts, Gundog Training, Started Gundogs, and Brittanypuppies
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