Stage 1

Stage 1 of training is a 6 week course, designed for puppies 4-6 months old. This stage of training is to help develop the pups natural abilities. Its also a stage that helps build desire, boldness, and independence.

In this training stage we will have LOTS of fun time. Where the pup is taken out daily for runs. This will set the ground work for teaching the pup to handle, as well as build desire and independence. During the runs, the pup will encounter dickie birds, butterflies, bugs and fun things puppies like, as well as be exposed to wild quail.

Being able to see and chase will stimulate the pup to want more. Finding, bumping and chasing wild quail will teach the pup what quail are and what they smell like, building their desire to want more and to start searching for them.

Also in Stage 1, puppies will be introduced to the check cord and depending on the pups age, and its boldness, the pinch collar. In stage 1 with control of the dog through the check cord we will card birds and start planting birds.

When working the pups on planted birds, we always work the pup into the wind so they get to use their nose to find the birds. Once the pups finds the bird, we will have the pup stand as long as they will. This stage isn’t as much about teaching patience, its more about teaching the pup to use its natural abilities through building up his/her desire.

With the check cord, we have total control of the pup so no planted birds are caught. We always plant the birds very lightly so if the pup gets too close, the bird flies off. In this stage we use homing pigeons.

Its also important at this age to start working with the pup’s retrieve. We do our best to stimulate that desire with bumpers, as well as dead birds. In my opinion it is important to have feathers in a puppies mouth as early as possible.

When working the pup on planted birds the pups desire to chase and try to catch the bird is at its highest. When we reach that point I will start to add in throwing a dead bird after the bird flushes.

Some puppies will run out and pick up the bird and hold it, some will pick it up and bring it right back to you, others will pick it up and drop it. We stay persistent at trying to get their natural retrieve out, but as we know thats not always the case.

Stage 2

This stage of training is normally for dogs at least 9 months to a year old. The youngest I will take them in for Stage 2 is 7 months, and that’s only with a bolder pup. Again I prefer them to be at least 9 months to a year old.

During this stage, I work each dog every day. The days I’m not doing bird work I will be running them in fields in search for wild quail. Your dog will be taught to the point of “Steady to Flush”. This is the level you see most hunters have their dogs trained to. After completing stage 2 you can expect your dog to:

1) Be properly gun conditioned
2) Be properly e-collar conditioned
3) Be taught to handle in the field
4) Be taught to find birds with their nose and stop on scent of a bird.
5) Be taught patience on point until you are able to walk up and kick the bird up, or until the bird leaves its resting place.
6) Your dog will be encouraged to retrieve shot birds if they will, thats if the dog has the natural ability.
7) We also encourage all owners to come out and learn what we’re teaching your dog. The more you know the better your dog will handle for you.

For those of you that take me up on coming out and learning, if you apply yourself right :

1) You will learn how to plant birds.
2) You will learn how to keep your dog patient on point , with the use of the check cord and pinch collar, and the e-collar.
3) You will learn to handle your dog in the field.
4) You will learn that there is a good time to shoot a bird for your dog and a wrong time.
5) You will learn that hunting with a birddog takes work on your part but in the end you will respect the birds in your bag a lot more.

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