Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > General Hunting Forums > Upland Bird Hunting
At what age can my dog start hunting upland birds? >

At what age can my dog start hunting upland birds?

Upland Bird Hunting Whether you are into pheasants or grouse, quail or chukars, find out what you need to know here.

At what age can my dog start hunting upland birds?

Old 01-26-2011, 10:27 PM
  #1  
Spike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Default At what age can my dog start hunting upland birds?

I have a 3 month old English Springer Spaniel pup. I would like him to be my bird dog someday. At what age can he actually hunt, and when should I start training him on hunting tasks? I do not really have much bird hunting experience myself. I hunt big game but have always wanted to bird hunt. I just don't have anyone to do it with, so I got my own partner!
Richarcala is offline  
Old 01-27-2011, 04:49 AM
  #2  
Spike
 
jackassflats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: AZ
Posts: 34
Default

He is at the right age now. Make sure he comes back when called and just take him out and let him find birds. The fine tuning comes later.

Right now he has to learn to have fun and get used to gun noise. He is like a toddler taking his first steps.

I train pointers, so I don't know what's involved in springers. Think I remember, when they are on a bird you make them stop until they are supposed to flush the game.

My pups learn obedience from the day they are starting to wander around. Cookies and more cookies to come back, check cord and at about a year check cord and e collar. And gun shots, start at a distance or with a starter pistol. Two 2x4 short ends slapped together are cheaper. Use them at any situation, if he eats, sleeps or just has fun. This noise has to be part of his life.

The best trained and bred dog will not hunt to his full potential if he dreads the noise of the gun going off. JMO
jackassflats is offline  
Old 01-27-2011, 05:14 AM
  #3  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Fourche South Dakota USA
Posts: 192
Default

I also have pointers but a dog is a dog and there is a ton of stuff you can start working on as jack mentioned
nulle is offline  
Old 01-27-2011, 08:51 PM
  #4  
Typical Buck
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location:
Posts: 860
Default

I like to wait until the dog start showing interest in birds before working with them in the field. In the meantime, take the dog out alot to different fields to get them use to it. OB training can be done before and during field training..

Get a book on versatile training and join a local club. NAVDHA would be good as they also have a green book for training.

Also, concerning gun introduction, take it slowly and do it properly. Don't push it or you'll end up with a gun shy dog. Get a starters pistol and .22 short blanks. Go to a game farm and use birds to intro the gun. Take a friend with you to fire the pistol.

This is the way I would do it: first couple of birds, get the dog jacked up. Tie the bird using a long chord then tease and play with the dog. Next, plant the bird and let the dog flush. When flushes, shoot the pistol at about 50-100 ft away. No reaction do it again. If the dog reacts, put the pistol away and do it again the next outing. Stand closer with each bird then graduate to a louder sound (.22 popper rounds) or .410. Next time out, back up abit and start with jacking up the dog. During this time in the field, you can use a check chord when you deem necessary for stopping the dog.

Most books will explain the procedure much better than this short instruction. But the principle remains the same, you want the sound of the gunshot to be associated with birds.

Last edited by Mite; 01-27-2011 at 09:15 PM.
Mite is offline  
Old 01-28-2011, 08:09 AM
  #5  
Typical Buck
 
4evrhtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Central PA
Posts: 829
Default

I also have a pointing dog (which is what a spaniel should also be).
My advice do not take your dog hunting until the dog knows what it is he is supposed to do. DO NOT fire any weapon around him until he has been conditioned to loud noises at home and in the yard. After the dog understands he is supposed to hunt birds do as posted above with birds purchased for training purposes. Take your time and do it right from the beginning instead of taking your dog out to "see what happens". 3 months is too young to hunt your pup in a real hunting scenario. If you spend your time now training him for 15 to 20 mins twice a day you will have less trouble later on trying to undo bad habits that the dog learned on it's own ( for instance letting him flush birds) once he learns he doesn't have to wait for your instruction it will be harder work to make him steady which is necessary for him to be a great hunting dog capable of being run in hunt tests and NAVHDA. That's my advice to make things easier for you down the road. Also buy a couple upland training books/DVDs by different trainers and find a system or combination of systems that will work for you but without consistency you will not have the quality dog you could have. End very training session on an upbeat note and make your dog do what you command, he has to know you're his master and there is no option other to obey. Patience and consistency will always pay off better than harshness and abuse.
4evrhtn is offline  
Old 01-28-2011, 10:31 AM
  #6  
Spike
 
jackassflats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: AZ
Posts: 34
Default

Do you guys ever get any dogs that are used to gun noise? Never seem to be a problem with my pups.
jackassflats is offline  
Old 01-28-2011, 11:36 AM
  #7  
JW
Super Moderator
 
JW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,968
Default

I see quite a few but then I work at a kennel that does offer to fix those mistakes.

Those mistakes mainly caused by banging loud objects with no bird conctact. I also cringe every time I see a pup at several of the local trap and skeet ranges I go to and to hear I am "conditioning the dog!" Again no bird contact. Correct way is with a pup taht is off age that is mature enough that once the bird flushes it is distracted enough the loud bang makes no difference.

Others may see it different and so be it.

I now don't say a word as I am tired of getting bashed. Carry on.

JW
JW is offline  
Old 01-29-2011, 07:00 PM
  #8  
Spike
 
Dakota Swede's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Unityville, South Dakota
Posts: 17
Default

There is nothing like live performance - for people or for dogs.

The key is ---- don't overwhelm the dog during the hunt, by noise or activity or excitement. Keep it fun and exciting.
Dakota Swede is offline  
Old 01-31-2011, 04:13 PM
  #9  
Spike
 
jackassflats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: AZ
Posts: 34
Default

Didn't mean to bash anybody.

Dumbest thing my ex ever did was to take the Lady to the range to condition her. She never hunted for him, did fine with me.

Pups are almost three weeks old and used to the vacuum rumbling around their pen since day 2, also tv and Uncle Phil yelling (dementia or alzheimers). The react nicely to clapping hands and will come for any loud noise once they are 6 weeks old. Loud noises mean food or treats to them.

And I had the gun shy ones too. Ex boyfriends 2 shorties were scared of birds and gun shoots. Took me two years to fix them with lots of patience and attention.
jackassflats is offline  
Old 02-01-2011, 09:21 AM
  #10  
Dominant Buck
 
Rebel Hog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: WC FL
Posts: 26,323
Default

Depends if it was from Champion blood lines, if not, as soon as he will sit, stay, come and stop on command.
Rebel Hog is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.