introducing my 12 wk old golden to live birds
Im new to this forum (and to seriously training a retriever) so thanks in advance for any advice!!
My golden is 12 weeks old and to date have been following the Game Dog/Water Dog natural training method by Richard Wolters.
From what i understand, its time to be thinking about introducing him to some smaller size live birds and would appreciate any advice anyone can give on best place and way to do this.
Should i be thinking about going out and buying a couple chukar/quail or is there anyone/anyplace around that would let me come out and let Rio get into pens where i could then re-imburse for any "damages"??? Other suggestions/thoughts?? Ill definitely be introducing him to grouse and some low stress duck hunting come Sep 1, but want to get him sniffing live feathers now...
I introduced birds to my puppies just once before we start training how to hold and deliver to hand. Usually this intro is just a test to see how birdy the dog is and usually used clip wing pigeons. After that its bumpers and dead birds. Until you have a good recall and hold your risking creating some bad habits on a dog that young as well as trying to take a 16 week old hunting. I dont push my dogs to do any of that adult dog stuff until way after they have their adult teeth, have a controled retriever and are collar trained.
Id suggest you get some dead birds, frozen is fine and play with those and I mean play.
I haven't looked at WaterDog in a very long time and there have been some changes in the way puppies are trained by even the pros.
where are you at?
Depending on where you are at there may be access to birds.
Dont mean to contradict Linda, she makes a good point...it might make a difference on what your final goal is for the dog as to how much bird introduction you make with the young dog. Are you looking to primarily hunt upland? Waterfowl? Get into hunt tests or trials? How much drive does the dog demonstrate otherwise? etc. Wing clips are a good first step...
Contact Laurie Boeck at F&G in Fairbanks, they have a major pidgeon problem they're looking for people to help "remove" birds. Traps are cheap too. We didn't do chuckars this year, otherwise I'd love to have helped you out! Maybe next year we'll have the time to raise another batch. www.granitemountaingamebirds.com
By now your pup is 4 months. Just curious how your training is going?
There are lots of things I like to accomplish before introducing birds to any dog. Fill us in on where you're at with your pups training.
Check Craigslist and the local free ads in the paper for ducks and chickens. Many people get rid of them because they do not want to kill them. I would start with a dead bird first to get the pup used to it and not scare the dog. On the live bird tape the wings back.