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Author Topic: Dog Training on Live Bird....  (Read 16166 times)
kmk75
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« on: January 14, 2009, 06:11:53 PM »

Just wondering if anyone has an experience with training a dog to retrieve live quail that are restricted from walking and flying by the use of a harness.  I was hoping to try this with my lab but I am a bit hesitant due to the fact that i don't really want to loose too many quail to shock or what not.  I would like to use the 8-12 quail I will have over and over again for training.  But I guess if I do lose one or two I will have a good meal for dinner! 

Anyone?....

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Bird Brained
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2009, 07:49:02 PM »

A dog can be taught to do anything (almost).  It comes down to how much time and patience YOU have.  If you want the dog to retrieve live birds without being hard mouthed to the point it kills the bird or the dog "chomps" the bird to kill it knowing it's alive, then that's what you need to train your dog to do by focusing on that outcome in your training lessons.

If you're doing this (reusing birds) because your too cheap to buy birds for a "bird dog" then you should have thought hard about that BEFORE you bought or got the dog because it's truly unfair to the dog.  Sounds harsh, but it literally kills me how tight @ss dog people can be by giving bird guys a hard time over a nickel or dime price difference.  I usually tell those guys to go to the other guy because 1) they don't appreciate the product I sell and 2) don't know or care what it really takes to raise the bird for minimal profit (poverty level living is what it gets you if doing it full time) and 3) I don't need that type of customer because they gripe more than anyone else and buy the least amount from me anyway - Not worth my time and effort.

Anyway, back to your question...The stress on the bird is not any more than you put on it yourself to begin with by catching it, transporting it, tethering it, planting it.  The dog won't add much more to the whole stress factor as a whole once it's trained right.

One last thing...I understand times are tough right now for everyone.  A couple options for your retrieval training since you didn't mention the lab being a pointing lab which eliminates the need for using the birds to point off scent.

1) Buy a bird dummy and a bottle of bird scent of choice.  The make dummies that look like quail, chukar and pheasant and they last a long time.

2) Kill what quail you have, freeze them whole and intact and use the frozen quail for retrieval training.  They last much longer this way.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 08:01:14 PM by Bird Brained » Logged
kmk75
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2009, 09:59:27 PM »

WOW!  A bit harsh....maybe reusing my birds has nothing to do with being cheap or a tight @$$.  Unfortunately I do not have the property to raise and release  birds at my own free will.  Wish I did.  And the only way I can get birds is to have them shipped.  So to pay $120 for 12 quail is a bit steep.  Not the fault of the seller.  Just the fault of the govt. making shipping live birds so damn expensive. 

And if times are so bad than maybe you are in the wrong business.  Fortunately I can educate myself to breed and incubate my own birds from the start if need be.  That would keep me from running into these guys that overprice their product because they feel they have the best and need to pinch every dime out of every sucker that walks in the door.

As for not being fair to my dog....She was not bought for hunting in the first place.  I only started hunting this year because I saw that she has shown the potential to be a great hunting dog even at 2 years too late maybe.  I am not only training my DOG to hunt but training MYSELF  to hunt for her. 

Now back to your more usefull advice.  I do have a training dummy (pheasant) and pheasant scent.  I am also going to use a couple of frozen birds to start her off on the retrieving.  She does great retrieving now but only with bumpers and the dummy pheasant.  I may try training her how to point, but first things first.  I am also going to use the harness that I can attach a string and weight to allow the bird to fly a bit.  Hoping to excite the dog and so she sees that her job is to make the bird take flight on my command.  We have some work to do, but the training is half the fun for both her and I.
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Vrex
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 12:05:13 PM »

Hey kmk, have you let your dog retrieve a wounded or tethered bird? I am a novice dog training and quail raising.  Both my 2 year old and the 1 year old will retrieve a live bird without killing it.  Birdbrain is right, to train correctly your dog will need to see alot of birds, I raise around 2000 birds a year for the intermediate trainers in my area and believe me $10 a bird is not that bad when considering all the work, money and effort that goes into raising birds.  If you check with the pointing dog clubs in your area you might find a local source for a small time guy like myself who caters to the guy that only needs a few birds at a time.  Anyway good luck to you.

Mike
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kmk75
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 05:39:23 PM »

The only bird my dog was ever on was a wounded grouse that I shot.  She didn't flush it, but after I shot it she came running over looking for direction.  This was the first time she went hunting this past Nov. She went nuts and started smelling around so much that she was snorting!  She found it but didn't bring it back to me.  I walked over to her as she was playing with it.  She was taking out some feathers but I didn't discourage her because I wanted her to have a good experience with her first  bird.  I didn't want to associate a shock or a no to the bird.  I was actually very surprised to see that she wasn't scared to approach it and start mouthing it.  That lasted about 30 seconds than I told her to leave it so I can put it out of its misery.  We then played fetch and I planted it a few times to see if she could find it.  She had no problem finding it but she just couldn't seem to get a good grip on it to bring it back to me.  She did like pulling them feathers out though!  Something we can work on when I get my birds. 

I can imagine that there is a bunch of effort that goes into raising birds and I wish I had the demand for them and the property because it does interest me.  Maybe I can look into getting a shooting preserve license for my inlaws property upstate NY than I can raise more birds to bring up there for hunting season.  The problem is that I live in NY and we seem to have some difficult laws when it comes to doing this.  But I am going to look into it.  In the meantime I will continue my search for a local bird supplier, but it doesn't look good.  If all else fails I will use the only place I found so far on the internet that will ship flight ready birds and guarantee them.

www.dunlaphatchery.net


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Vrex
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 05:48:38 PM »

Like Birdbrain said in your other thread, try pigeons they aught to be plentiful in NY.
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Bird Brained
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 06:18:12 PM »

...I will use the only place I found so far on the internet that will ship flight ready birds and guarantee them.

www.dunlaphatchery.net


Holy Toledo man....that's darn near 55% more than I charge for flight birds.  However, that's more in line with where the price should be for a guy to live off doing this.
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kmk75
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2009, 06:54:55 PM »

Yea.....but I don't mind paying that.  I need to get my dog some training so it will be worth it.  And if the training doesn't work out than at least I will have a good couple of meals!
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Pheasant Hollow Farm
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2009, 07:18:41 PM »

The only bird my dog was ever on was a wounded grouse that I shot.  She didn't flush it, but after I shot it she came running over looking for direction.  This was the first time she went hunting this past Nov. She went nuts and started smelling around so much that she was snorting!  She found it but didn't bring it back to me.  I walked over to her as she was playing with it.  She was taking out some feathers but I didn't discourage her because I wanted her to have a good experience with her first  bird.  I didn't want to associate a shock or a no to the bird.  I was actually very surprised to see that she wasn't scared to approach it and start mouthing it.  That lasted about 30 seconds than I told her to leave it so I can put it out of its misery.  We then played fetch and I planted it a few times to see if she could find it.  She had no problem finding it but she just couldn't seem to get a good grip on it to bring it back to me.  She did like pulling them feathers out though!  Something we can work on when I get my birds. 

I can imagine that there is a bunch of effort that goes into raising birds and I wish I had the demand for them and the property because it does interest me.  Maybe I can look into getting a shooting preserve license for my inlaws property upstate NY than I can raise more birds to bring up there for hunting season.  The problem is that I live in NY and we seem to have some difficult laws when it comes to doing this.  But I am going to look into it.  In the meantime I will continue my search for a local bird supplier, but it doesn't look good.  If all else fails I will use the only place I found so far on the internet that will ship flight ready birds and guarantee them.

www.dunlaphatchery.net




Where did you find the grouse?

KmK, go down to the Ridge Check Station and ask the guys down there who raises Bobwhite Quail. The last time I hunted the co-op was 1999. The check station should still be open since they have the deer shot gun season.

I know that there was a person who raised the Bobwhites and released them in areas that they didn't stock pheasants for his own use,and he lived on the North Shore. For the life of me I can't remember his name.

I will have to look around and see if I have an old business card.

The Ridge check Station on Randall RD is: 631-924-3156, at least that's what it was back in 99.

Steve
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2009, 07:20:08 PM »

  You may be handing a toddler the keys to a Ferrari, instead of starting him with a tricycle.  If he had the proper retriever training, he would not have trouble with birds.  I have a 20 pound Brittany that retrieves Pheasant.  It's just a matter of experience.  

  I'm not saying you shouldn't have had the dog on the bird, it's just likely to cause disappointment.

  I'll reread your posts, in a couple of days, as I'm bouncing around the country and have not been able to give them much attention.  Do a search on Amazon, and ebay for .......   retriever, bill tarrant retrieving.  Bill could love a dog into giving him a back rub, fetch him a beer, and find birds on weekends.  "Pup, Fetch it up"  was a good one, but he has at least one better one.  Anything he wrote will teach you something.
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citypickle
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2009, 08:10:12 PM »

I am No Expert but have worked with Hard Mouth Dogs  You need to get a Stiff Brush Tractor Supply will have one The hard Brown Bristles will work Perfest you want something that the dog takes a bite of that Bites Back and here in the south we use Pine Cones Cheep and Plentiful The thing is to get him Soft Mouth Retrieving. Use the Brushes in the pile or toss mark and return. If he has the idea if I Bite to Hard it Hurts, In 1 Week 20  min. a day he will bring you a Dove ,Quail even a Humming Bird you can Release that will Fly Home!!
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kmk75
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2009, 09:40:52 PM »

Very helpful advice everyone...Thanks!  And I did find a guy that sells quail out in Sag Harbor.  http://www.freewebs.com/eastwoodsquail/index.htm .  Maybe that's the guy you are talking about Steve?  I still have to give him a call.  If that doesn't work out I will try to find out what the guys know up at the hunter check station.  But thanks again....

I will try that bristle brush idea also.  As for the "proper" retriever training....well I am not a professional, but I am trying.  And as I have said in previous posts, she and I have both only started hunting this past Nov.  And she is 2 years old and I am 34.... so we have some catching up to do.  We will get there.
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fstxrico
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2009, 09:28:38 AM »

I wont pretend to know everything, but, if your lab wont pick up a bird it's cause she dosn't know how. Frozen birds are a great way to train for this as someone else said earlier. Start with normal retrieving drills and bumpers, then take out the frozen bird. Get her all excited for it, give it a gentle toss, and she should just go get it. Once she's good with dead birds you can try live birds. Even unharnessed birds, after a flush or two are an easy retrieve, but be warned, after introducing live birds, bumpers aren't the same.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2009, 08:34:41 PM »

kmk75........

Try B&D Gamebirds they are on the net,they sell live training birds as well....Your other source read careful,their quail can be from 8 to 20 weeks old depending on the supply....My thoughts a 8 week old quail can fly good but not fuller mature yet it is best to buy mature birds for trying I think...My own thoughts!!
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GunRunner Gundogs
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2009, 06:03:33 AM »

Good Luck kmk75.
I would love an update later this year on your dog's progress. All my field trial Brittany's have been force broke, so I generally don't have any retrieving issues. Some dogs are more natural retrieving than others are but no 2 dogs are a like. You can take 2 puppies from the same litter and one may retrieve everytime naturally and the other may not retrieve a lick. Personally; I take them to the bench and force break both but in the field trial game, I can't take the chance of a partial retrieve or I'm done. Most hunters aren't as worried with a full retrieve as I am but remember when you training her to be consistant. Keep us posted.
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