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Bird Dog training

Old 10-24-2018, 05:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
Default Bird Dog training

I have a 1.5 yr old Goldendoodle (donít laugh) he seems to have great hunting instincts and retrieving, both land and water. I want to get him hunting pheasants but donít know where to start as far as training goes. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:14 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,906

first off welcome to the site!
I would suggest getting yourself some good reading about training a hunting dog, and READ up, and then after reading a few good books, ASK yourself if you have the TIME to put into training correctly and can afford the costs
there is a WELL trained dog and then there is a welel trained HUNTING dog, and there is a BIG difference in what a dog does for itself and then what YOU ask it to do!
countless dogs have desire to hunt for themselves and that doesn;'t always make for a GREAT hunting dog
same can be said with what ever training the dog has NOW<
as many PETS have already learned a LOT of bad habits that don't end up working well in a hunting dog
DOn't have aclue where your from, but there are a LOT of great hunting dog trainers all over teh USA, find some, go visit some and even ask if you can watch them train some, and see!
do you want a PET that just hunts, or do you want a finished hunting dog,
two totally different things!
here is a decent place to get yourself some decent hunting video/books to learn fron
but training a dog is all about TIME and being consistant, it takes patience and YOU sticking to things, making sure dog learns and KNOW"S one step before you move forward and then always going back and forth on training to make sure they stay in the game
you GET what you put into it!
keep it fun, keep it short at first and then go longer and more detailed, but always make it fun as can be, its SHOULD be fun, or what's the point for either of you's!
and again, buy more than ONE Book and video, not everyone trains the same way and some ways MIGHT appeal to you more than others!
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:42 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2

Wow, thank you for the reply. Great information. As far as my expectations... I realize I donít have a Champion bird dog, Iím really just wanting to get him to learn the basics of flushing and retrieving. Iím from MN, so if anyon
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:19 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,906

it can be done for sure, but as I said, you need to read up and learn what it takes to train and then stick to things in very simple steps, start slow, and don't move on till each step is mastered!
rushing anything leads to a dog that runs wild and is hard to control defeating the purpose of a hunting dog!
again, you will get what you put in, the harder you try and more you learn before starting the better things will end up!

same can be said on GUN breaking a dog, make sure you read up on this before you try it, a gun shy dog is very hard to correct!
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:56 AM
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Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 12,763

I hate the thought of all these designer dogs being made. That said, the standard poodle was used for waterfowl hunting and retrieving before the dog show people bred them for shows and screwed them up like they had done to other breeds, so at least you have a dog that came from a hunting history on both sides to work with. As mrbb stated you want to make sure your dog is obedient before you take him hunting.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:44 PM
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Posts: 13

I want to turn to training specialists
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:42 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,906

Originally Posted by kevin777 View Post
I want to turn to training specialists
well then do it?
NO ONE stopping you,
lots of great trainers out there if you wish to go that route!
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:11 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: NE PA
Posts: 249

I would get a trainer. Back in the late 1990s I sent my 11 month old English pointer to a trainer who also was the owner of a shooting preserve so they always had pheasants on site. and they had my dog for 1 month

The reason I sent my dog away was because the wife and I were going on a cruise and it was more expensive to board the dog for a week then send the dog away for training. I think it cost me $300. back then for a month of training. I also was able to checkup on the dog"s progress and I would drive out once a week or every 10 days and observe the trainer working with the dog.

When I picked up the dog after his training the guy was impressed with the dog and offered to buy the dog from me. My dog was steady to wing and shot and only had a few commands. If he went to far left or right I would say "Hup" and he would work his way back in front of me. If I wanted him to stop I would tell him "Whoa." if he was to far ahead I would tell him "close." If he was on point and after I shot I would release him by tapping the side of his rear.

I shot a lot of game over him. he would also point grouse. turkeys. woodcock, rabbits, groundhogs etc.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:51 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: WY
Posts: 2,053

I'm not a dog trainer by any stretch, so follow my words with caution. Six years ago, my ex fell in love with a pet store Springer puppy. She'd grown up around her family's Springers and had always wanted one. I'd always wanted an upland dog, but not from a pet shop. We all know how these disagreements turn out, and the puppy came home. At some point, I noticed him following scent in the pasture and decided to give it a try. I picked up some frozen pheasant wings a buddy had for working his Brittany and hid them in the pasture. Puppy found them, and we had a new game to play. Find the "bird," win a prize. I have another (older, adopted) dog that heads for the next county if I touch the gun safe, so I started the puppy out with a simple cap pistol that I'd hold and fire where he couldn't see it. He was a little startled at first, but got used to the sharpness of the sound while we played the game in the pasture with the wings. Within a few months, we were launching and fetching dummies and learning the whistle and hand signals (the wind blows where we hunt, so visuals are important as sound doesn't carry as well). I trained him the way I wanted him to be and kept it simple. One whistle blast (hey, pay attention to me), three blasts (come back). Lots of praise, and an occasional treat.

He's hunted pheasants every year since. He had talent out of the gate, and I'm glad that I didn't dismiss him because of his origin. He stays within gun range, rarely requires correction working back and forth in front of a party, pays attention to his party, and has a good nose. He got beat up his first year in the field by a big South Dakota rooster who wasn't quite dead yet, so he won't retrieve birds now - a compromise, since he'll find them for me and stand nearby. I have more fun with him in the field than I actually do shooting the birds. I think the keys to where we are now were his natural hunting instinct, PATIENCE, making the training/games fun for him, and keeping it as simple as possible. I have a friend who bought a GSP puppy over a year ago and has had him at a trainers for quite a bit of the time since then. Yeah, he's a driven dog, but he's more of a robot - not a dog who'll sit on the tailgate with you at the end of the day after a long day of hunting. He has YET to go on an actual, wild-bird hunt. He's great finding caged pigeons in a field, though.

My daughter found a Springer puppy at the same pet store last year. She seems to have a good nose. She points, rather than flushes. I've been working with her the same way I did my six-year-old. We'll see how she does in the field this fall.

It really doesn't get much better than being able to take your dog out with you as your bird hunting buddy.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:15 PM
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Posts: 5

How is it going? I'd like to start training with my dog soon. I'd like to know about your results.
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