That million-dollar bird dog is like finding a needle in the Grand Canyon
I don’t believe in the search because only YOU define the prize.
Choosing the breed is the first step, from there you start a passionate journey in becoming an owner, handler and companion, hunting upland birds together. It’s important to understand and foster your bird dogs internal hunting characteristics and instincts. For example, pointing, flushing and water dogs each have their unique hunting DNA that can come ‘ready-mixed’ and just waiting to be lead, nurtured and trained.
Helpful tips (breed & details): Breeder that also hunts his dogs, history on the lineage, bitable, field trail or foot hunter, weight & size, health & nutrition, big runner or close ranging, dew claws or not, minor belly hernia’s can be fixed easily, Fox face or square head.
Where to start:
- Family first – house obedience, crate training and socializing.
- Find a mentor – someone who specializes in training bird dogs, hunts with his/her dogs and cares for the advancement of both handler and dog.
- Early training and recognition exercises – don’t teach parole tricks (sitting, laying, etc)
- Don’t play tug-a-war with your dog – once the dog starts to pull, let go of the toy and let them have it.
- Early pressure-point familiarization, simple recall and retrieval exercises.
- Building confidence and independence – setting up for success, to begin formal bird dog training.
If we could mash together all our bird dogs from the past, we might come close, but right now, just knowing that day will come matters.