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fisher

dog not finding birds

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my 19 month old lab is having trouble with up land skills.

We worked on the basic and force fetch as training. As I read on for training up land work. I read was that I needed bird Well live bird a hard to come by. Now we are grouse hunting every weekend and I am seeing bird that he has missed. I don't think he knows what hes looking for.

He will walk at heel for a wail then I tell him to (find them) so he runs out a head. Then one will jump just off where he should have winded and found it.

How do I train to stop this and where can I get some birds. I going to gander to by some more feathers now.

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Mine does the same in the early season. It seems he really needs to get in an area where this is a lot of scent and birds to "figure" it out. Last year in ND he was clueless for the first day. All the second day the lightbulb came on and all went great from there.

The first time I took him out, all he hunted was rodents. It was very discouraging.

It will come. Get some miles under their legs and get them into an area with lots of action and scent.

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As a trainer of a young dog - it's all about experience. I've been training on pigeons all year - and finally put him on pheasants. I threw about 6 retrieves of a dead pheasant to get him used to it, taste, smell, heft, etc. Then I planted a pigeon and a pheasant downwind - and man, did he go after the pheasant - like he was shot out of a gun. But he did struggle with finding it, as the bird moved on him - pigeons usually stay put (in fact, we ran by and almost over the other one I planted and he ignored to find the pheasant).

Granted, I have just limited experience, but I think they just need to be on more birds.

Question for you more experienced trainers - would you keep a couple shot grouse for further training - ie, plant it in training situations, etc?

Great topic...

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With my lab I like to reintroduce the scent of the bird at the start of the day. Like a little of the bottled scent that is sold as a training aid. This year I am using my dockens dead bird with wings attached for grouse. So far it has worked well. She knows what she is looking for.

Who knows, mabe I just have a dumb dog who needs a little help at the end of the day.

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With my lab I like to reintroduce the scent of the bird at the start of the day. Like a little of the bottled scent that is sold as a training aid. This year I am using my dockens dead bird with wings attached for grouse. So far it has worked well. She knows what she is looking for.

Who knows, mabe I just have a dumb dog who needs a little help at the end of the day.

Great idea. Who cares, anyway? Take a couple pix of your pooch with a bird in the mouth and everyone will go - "What a great hunting dog" - and it won't matter if he's Forrest Gump or not....

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I think that it is best to train with live birds whenever possible. If you are not able to at your own house. I would suggest going to a game farm and having them mark where they planted a bird and use that as a training session prior to hunting. Like posted before, if you train on dead stuff or scents in the back yard, that is what the dog was trained to find-live birds produce a different scent and one bird prior to the hunt will have the dog knowing what to look for. I am fortunate to have quail and a call back pen, so every night I can have the dogs find live birds.

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Originally Posted By: Neighbor_guy

Great idea. Who cares, anyway? Take a couple pix of your pooch with a bird in the mouth and everyone will go - "What a great hunting dog" - and it won't matter if he's Forrest Gump or not....

What are you talking about?

Who cares what other people think of your dog. THE POINT OF HAVING A HUNTING DOG IS BEING ABLE TO HUNT WITH IT. That maybe the dumbest thing I have ever read on here.

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As mentioned before, you might want to try keeping a wing off a freshly shot bird and zip tie to a dummy that you can drag a scent trail around for a game of hide and seek, give lots of praise when he finds it and stop the game early on a good note so he's always wanting more.Play fetch with a breasted bird as well.

Also maybe keeping your dog at heel (nonslip) while hunting will give you an opportunity to flush/shoot a bird and your dog to mark where it lands and fetch it, rather than running up ahead. He may be possibly on his own agenda, not necessarily hunting. My lab has been known to get out ahead and hunt for herself, by keeping her at heel for the first bird or two she gets the idea that you are where the action is. Big boom= Dead Bird.

redhooks

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my 19 month old lab is having trouble with up land skills.

We worked on the basic and force fetch as training. As I read on for training up land work. I read was that I needed bird Well live bird a hard to come by. Now we are grouse hunting every weekend and I am seeing bird that he has missed. I don't think he knows what hes looking for.

He will walk at heel for a wail then I tell him to (find them) so he runs out a head. Then one will jump just off where he should have winded and found it.

How do I train to stop this and where can I get some birds. I going to gander to by some more feathers now.

Fisher, don't get to worked up about it. The more you get him out the better he will become. One thing that has been stated and is very good. BIRDS, BIRDS BIRDS!!!!!!! The more you can get him into them, DEAD OR ALIVE the better he will get.

I remember my first dogs first season. She was 5 months old at the start. All she wanted to do was pick up branches long or short, it did not matter, and run up and down with them. Man, I was so frustrated. 2 months later, by the end of the season she was finally figuring it out.

With the dog I have now, she is 51/2 yrs old and has been with a pro as much as she has been at home with us. Anyway, her first year (7 months old) she didn't have a clue what she was looking for but by seasons end she was getting the hang of it.

The really neat thing is watching the dog go from step A to step B. It is one of the biggest joys of hunting behind a dog. Just watching them pick things up and grow as a retriever is really awesome.

HAVE FUN & GOOD LUCK!!!!

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We went out west to Benson for the opener this year. We have 2 labs...one a seasoned hunter, and the other a 1 year old rookie. Our older lab started in right away and knew just what to do. The little guy faked it for a while, copying what his brother did. After we got the first bird, he figured out what he was supposed to do and did spectacular from that point on. Neither dog have ever had any professional training, it's just in their blood. It's amazing to see their instincts kick in and go crazy when they are on the trail!!

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