We can train your dog! Do you want a personal hunting companion, or a hard driving field trialing dog, or something in between? Give us a call and let's talk about your goals for your bird dog. There are few opportunities that are better than taking a well trained bird dog to the field, watching him hunt, watching his poise, his drive, his beauty on point, and we can help you make it happen!
Even a very young bird dog knows that birds are fun! Our job is to take that talent and love of hunting and turn it into a fully trained dog that loves its job. The bird dog has been developed over the years to have a great sense of smell, an inner drive to hunt, and the ability to find its prey and then freeze into a solid point that tells its owner where to find the prey. It is poetry in motion to watch them work!
Our puppy program is built around the needs of a youngster so that they can develop with confidence. Your puppy should have a fun, productive experience while being introduced to birds and unfamiliar stimuli.
During their time with us, they will have the opportunity to find, point, and chase birds. This helps in building the puppy’s drive for hunting. We also begin to introduce some basic commands that are essential for bird dogs. They must learn to come when they are called, to heel and to learn WHOA! To the novice, Whoa looks a lot like Stay. But we don't want the puppy to sit and stay, just to learn that when the Whoa command is given they need to stop and wait for the next direction from the trainer. Your pup also needs to understand that big things like ATVs and horses are safe, and that gunfire is nothing to fear. We believe most gunshy dogs are man-made. Proper introduction to gunfire is important. When your puppy learns that the BANG noise is always associated with finding birds, it will never fear gunfire.
Our advanced program is directed toward finishing your bird dog. This training introduces an e-collar, a necessary tool for hunting with a bird dog. It is not a tool for punishment. It is used to help direct the dog while it is off leash and often several hundred yards out in front of the hunter. Some e-collars are designed with tracking devices, which we recommend. Notice the 2 antennae on the dog to the right. Her e-collar contains a tracking collar and can be used to find her in heavy cover or if the hunter loses her.
Our goal is to produce a finished bird dog that is steady to wing and shot, will retrieve, and will honor another dog's point.
An important part of our advanced program is in knowing what the owner wants and expects of the dog. Then we begin with reintroducing basic commands that the dog learned as a puppy. Your dog will work first on a check cord and then at liberty as it progresses through our program.
Once the dog understands and obeys basic commands we begin the process of breaking the dog to be steady to wing and shot. Honoring is often a natural response and we will encourage your dog to always honor another dog on point. The retrieve is part of this training regimen and we teach your dog to retrieve. We encourage owners to teach the retrieve with their dogs as pups, making a game of it so that our job is easier when it is time to learn to retrieve a bird. Sometimes force fetch training helps the young adult dog learn to retrieve every time it is asked to bring a bird back to its owner.
Force Fetch Training
Notice here that the dog is a young adult and he is standing on a table. It is harder to see the item he is working with but he is picking up a training dummy to give to his trainer.
When teaching the Forced Fetch, the dog learns to fetch an item and bring it back, undamaged, to the owner. A table is often used so that the dog learns to concentrate on the job at hand. Once the dog learns to fetch on the table, he will be asked to do the same on the ground. He will get accustomed to fetching anything he is asked to go get and bring back, no matter what distractions might be in the way.
How long does this take? It depends on the dog. With a dog that has had fun fetching toys with his owner, the forced fetch is simply the next step and it will probably be very easy to teach him that fetch is non-negotiable and the item must be retrieved in every instance. We force fetch exclusively pointing breeds such as setters, pointers, GSPs, etc.
Give us a call or email us via our Contact Page and let's talk about your puppy, or your adult pointing dog and how our training programs can benefit you both!