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Thread: Bird dog training. Getting ready?

  1. #1
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    Default Bird dog training. Getting ready?

    My most important project this summer is learning to train my brittany. Moving recently, I left known entities like the Arctic Bird Dog Association which was pretty active there in the Anch/MatSu and offers help training bird dogs.

    Fortunately I found a trainer, purchased some chukars from the folks in Pt. Mackenzie and I and my brittany have been receiving training from a good upland bird dog trainer. Things are going well. My dog is pointing and learning to hold on flushed - tethered chukars. The birds are doing well too - getting fed well, getting exercise, turning out to be some pretty buff little birds. No casualties. The dog is learning to whoa well and the other day ran up on a robin she could see until she scented it and then made her point. The robin flew off while I approached but I was able to keep the dog whoaed until release, walking up and touching her. She is learning...

    Any bird dog training stories from others getting ready and tuning up for hunting season?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
    My most important project this summer is learning to train my brittany. Moving recently, I left known entities like the Arctic Bird Dog Association which was pretty active there in the Anch/MatSu and offers help training bird dogs.

    Fortunately I found a trainer, purchased some chukars from the folks in Pt. Mackenzie and I and my brittany have been receiving training from a good upland bird dog trainer. Things are going well. My dog is pointing and learning to hold on flushed - tethered chukars. The birds are doing well too - getting fed well, getting exercise, turning out to be some pretty buff little birds. No casualties. The dog is learning to whoa well and the other day ran up on a robin she could see until she scented it and then made her point. The robin flew off while I approached but I was able to keep the dog whoaed until release, walking up and touching her. She is learning...

    Any bird dog training stories from others getting ready and tuning up for hunting season?
    Chukars are hardy. I had a coop full of them year before last. Haven't done much bird training, mostly exersice for my older setter, and basic ob stuff for the new pup. To this point, I have allowed my setter to break at the flush. I think this year Im going to tighten him up to hold until shot. I'm thinking I won't be carrying a gun much this year. I'll have a couple other friends shoot, while I handle him. Should be fun!
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

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    I know, I know, I've let both of you down as far as my trapping pigeons and us getting together. Been too busy to go through the rigors of trapping birds. And Alaska Woodsman, I couldn't help you anyhow since I directed you toward Bob. As it looks I may not be doing any refresher training on my Brittanys, but they don't really need it anyhow. I usually start out the season on the Augst 10 opener by hardly shooting at all, just use the warm early season and young birds to tighten up my dogs a bit. Typically they'll start out the season steady to wing, shot, and fall, but as the season progresses and the dogs and I go into predator mode, likely my youngest dog, Charlie, will start breaking at the shot. Just as likely at this time I'll be more focused on shooting birds and let the dogs start to slip. But this year, perhaps I'll be shooting my cameras a bit more while my newest upland magazine models (Tom, Ryan, and Glen) do the shooting, and in that way I'll also be more attentive to dog training in the field.

    But even though a person might not be doing any specific pointing dog taining with captive birds, it's important for those dogs to be in top physical shape and ready to face the rigors of hunting all day, and maybe two days in a row. I road my dogs for several miles once or twice a day, four to five days a week on dirt and gravel to toughen up their feet as well as the rest of their bodies. It's also important to work them a bit in warmer weather to get them prepared for early season warm days. I take them for a swim in a local pond at the conclusion of their running in warm weather. Good time to get your dog used to the things you'll expect of him during the hunting season, things like: drinking from a bottle you'll be carrying along with you in the field, and wearing any e-collar/beeper you'll be using, and riding safely in a secure dog kennel.

    Jim

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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Jim, Ive been so darn busy anyhow! I'll work with Pax on steady to shot this season. He is only two years young at this point. Plenty of time. Otherwise Im fine with him breaking at flush. Safety concerns is my main motivation. Im planning on using this year more for training, and for frineds to hunt over Pax. Im ready for a photo shoot! Hahaha. Preseason prep is critical.
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

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    Yep, and Bob is a great contact for training a bird dog. I only have experience with retrievers. Keeping them close enough to shoot when a bird flushes and getting them trained on a variety of retrieving and obedience commands is as much as I knew. Working with an honest to gosh upland bird dog trainer is critical for me because I had no upland bird dog experience at all. My little french brittany is pointing birds (the 6 chukars I bought are at Bob's and they take turns). He has pigeons too that home back to the coop after flushing from the launcher. The chukars we tether with a long cord to the launcher. They get launched fly afew wing beats and then land fairly unruffled about 14' away. I pick them out of the grass and put them back in the bird bag. The chukar idea was to have birds with a stronger, different scent than the pigeons which are also, great.

    Bob owns Northern Pet Care up the Chena Hot Spring Road near Two Rivers. Last time I checked those chukars were doing dips, pushups and the speed bag. They are in great shape. I like going there working my dog and learning the ropes. I can't be there all the time. So there is room for others to work with Bob tuning up your dog....

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    Very happy for Gal! And you, too, I suppose. :-)

    Just remember how this season will be easy on your ammo supply 'cause there won't be any shooting of birds over her until she gets all this stuff down, which might be right away, and in that case you'll be cleaning lots of birds. But you can always clean my birds!

    Jim

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    OK, I can do that, but I'm keeping the case of shells I bought. I need the practice anyway as I remember....

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    I have been giving my two canine friends opportunities to practice their gentlemanly skills of honoring each other on point. They both get the concept and do a decent job, Ember honors but thinks that she should also get to retrieve Pie's bird. Pie reluctantly backs but her mind is focused on finding the next bird.

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    Burke,

    I've felt your pain! Glad I'm not still feeling it, although, occasionally two of my Brittanys will let the more aggressive retriever, Charlie, do all the fetching work. Sometimes I stop for a little reminder work on the dogs while in the field. On the other wing...if there are multiple birds down the dogs each find and fetch their own. It's always a work in progress, until the dog gets so old we no longer care if the dog follows any of the rules, just that he's out there hunting and having fun. I'm hoping to get one more little hunt in with my 15 year old Buddy. He's not doing well and almost crossed the Rainbow Bridge a month ago. But he's still with me.

    Best of luck to you!

    Jim

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Wow 15...I bet you cannot even come close to counting the memories Buddy has produced with you.

    Pie is closing in on 11 and doing well. She has slowed down but works hard. She has learned that I have loosened my reins for her and definitely takes advantage at times.
    Actually I have relaxed some in general since leaving montana and NSTRA trials and getting Pie's AKC hunt test title.

    We still love each other and our time in the field!

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    Good for Miss Pie! My other miscreants are 12, 7, and 4, so I'm looking at getting another pup pretty soon. I won't until Buddy passes on though.

    And Buddy and I have seen some sights, and done some things alright! I've taken a huge pile of birds of all types over his points. I know it's over 1300 birds. The ruffed grouse cycle was ridiculously high in his very first year of hunting, and he learned quickly and never looked back. He sure has been a good one...but they all are.

    Jim

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    Default Good new dog hunting location

    Does it really matter where I start hunting with my dog. She is about a year and a half old, is it too late to start training her?

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    AKsilverado,

    No, it's not too late to start training your dog, but I wouldn't dally any longer. And it is training, so don't expect to be shooting any birds over your dog this season. If I were you, I'd hot foot it to wherever anyone from the several Anchorage area gun dog groups was meeting or training and either get lined up with a pro trainer, or pal up with some backyard trainers to get some help.

    Best of luck to both of you, and please let us know of your progress. There are some good dog men and women on this forum who can help you along the way.

    Jim

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