The goal is to make your pointing dog “Stop, Stand and Hold Point” on the first encounter of a bird aka “scent cone or sight”.
“Training the dogs nose”. You have to train your pointing dog to recognizing the scent and build the dogs confidence.
Training Recommendation for Breaking to Scent:
Once the dog makes contact with a bird scent, it’s your job to train your dog to recognize the scent and to STOP your dog.
Pigeons or Bob Whites can be used.
You have complete control of your dog.
Your dog is E-collar broke.
You can stop dog by “Whoa” command or by E-collar.
You can enforce “Leave It” command.
You can Recall your dog.
Early training methods for scent training:
During puppy training, a cut wing from either pigeon, quail, pheasant or chukar will help drive their interest but you shouldn’t let your puppy grab or munch the clipped wing. Example: Tie the cut wing to fishing line on the end of a long stick. Place the wing on the ground near the puppy and allow your puppy to gain interest in the wing (maybe a slight twitch of the wing will help). Once the puppy STOPS and looks that the wing DONOT move the wing! Let the puppy focus on the wing for as long as it wants while standing, once the puppy is about to grab the wing pull it away and repeat. Don’t use any verbal commands during this early introduction.
Also, using planted birds will start conditioning your pointing dog on the correct scent to stop on and simple praise will encourage your dog to repeat a positive outcome. DO NOT let your pup grab the bird.
Training “Breaking to Scent”:
In a controlled training environment with planted birds work your dog while holding it’s training lead. Know which direction the wind is coming from, how strong in the wind blowing? and cross the wind from 20-30-40,etc yards away from the planted bird. Don’t start with leading your dog directly into the scent cone and WATCH YOUR DOG. If there’s notification the dog has hit the scent cone then STOP your dog, stand next to your dog and gently praise your dog. If your dog does not show signs of hitting the scent cone then move closer to the bird and rework the dog, until the dog makes contact with scent cone.
Your dog might not show signs of being highly confident (flagging the tail or looking back at the handler then looking back into scent when first standing on the scent cone). This is normal behavior and as you continue training your pointing dog it will gain confidence and begin trusting it nose.
Important Training Tip:
When your dog is on scent (Holding Point) you cannot allow the dog to move. If there’s any movement (creeping, lifting it’s leg, etc) you have to correct this immediately. You need to be stringent on stopping your dog when it hits scent and correcting any movement.
You need to understand how to recognize that your dog has hit scent.
It’s not uncommon for a pointing dog to want a full face of scent. If you are not ‘properly’ and ‘consistently’ training your dog to Stop, Stand and Hold Point, it will be encouraged to crowd the birds, otherwise known as creeping.
Once you have a successful outcome, use “Leave It” command to remove the dog from scent.
Your pointing dog is ‘Broke to Scent’:
Your pointing dog is ‘Broke to Scent’ when it automictically STOPS, STANDS and HOLDS POINT on bird scent or sight and will NOT move or break until you give the “Leave It” command.
As your dogs confidence grows with Stopping, Standing and Holding Point, you will locate and hold wild birds more often. This training will break your dog from creeping and you will not crowd holding/sticking birds.
“Don’t Crowd um” will harvest you more birds, make a better pointing dog and limits the possibility of spooking birds.
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