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At what age can my dog start hunting upland birds?

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At what age can my dog start hunting upland birds?

Old 02-01-2011, 10:04 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Originally Posted by 4evrhtn View Post
I also have a pointing dog (which is what a spaniel should also be)......
A spaniel, in this case an English Springer, is a flusher not a pointer.

Teaching a bird dog to be an effective hunter is a process. I have a Springer that I have hunted over for 8 years. Since your dog is very young, the very first thing he must be is obedient. Without that, you are wasting your time and your dog's.

Focus on basic obedience training; come/sit/stay/heel, etc. Once that is completed, you can move on to the actual bird training. Books, videos, on-line info are all helpful.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:39 PM
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Spaniels are flushing dogs except for the Brittany, who is a pointing dog.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:19 PM
Typical Buck
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Yes you are both correct, it is a flusher, but should be only on command after it has pointed and given a command to flush (given the dog has been trained to it's potential) hence my statement "should also be" . The French spaniel is also a classified as a pointer as well as the Brittany. Thanks for the clarification that I did not explain thoroughly enough. The dog is still to be trained as a pointer in regard to marking the bird.after which if desired by the owner it can be used to flush the game as it instinctively wants to do.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:36 AM
Typical Buck
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Not to sound confrontational but for the Brittany 'spaniel' designation has been dropped. The French spaniel is interesting but if they are ever recognized by the AKC, I believe they will also try to re-designate the name, somehow.

The springer spaniel is not 'officially' a pointing breed. If there ever was a flushing-type dog, the springer would get serious consideration. The reason for that is they are small and very vigoreous in getting at the bird. In areas where normal sporting dogs won't attempt to go, ie. under brush, logs, etc. I would want the dog to go in and flush it automatically w/o any direction from me.

Here in Western Wa., we have thick berry bushes, so thick it is easier to stand on them rather than trying to crawl through. I've only seen rabbits, birds and springers navigate thru this stuff. My little setter was after a bird once which I shot. I have a picture of her standing on this stuff with the bird under her. Hedgerows here can be +10'h x 40'w x length of the field. If a spaniel went in this stuff and pointed, you would have a hardtime trying to get running birds to flush.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:49 AM
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There have been times my shorthair has been in some thick nasty stuff and locked up on point and since I have trained mine to be released by touch instead of verbal command I have had to go in after him and physically release him during testing. the other option would be to command "Leave It" and possibly get DQ'd if he then repositioned and pointed the same bird twice. I love watching my Pointing dog work but sometimes due to the training and what it is I am doing with the dog I also must work and get in the briars myself.

Getting back to the topic.... I would spend more time training this pup and getting him to be rock solid in his obedience before actually hunting with him. I stress the steadiness factor because of safety reasons when hunting in the field. A pup who is just left to go on its own and learn to hunt for itself without the basics understood first will become more difficult to control later in training and more time will be spent undoing what the dog learned he can do for himself. If you have a lab that you want to run through a field and locate birds and catch them or bust them out of cover and hope the bird is within range when it flushes that is one thing but I prefer to know the dog understands he is supposed to hunt within range and already have contact with birds in a controlled setting before turning him loose and seeing what he does.
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