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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not sure if this has been discussed before, but I did a quick search of the forum and could not come up with anything. So here goes-

When it comes to training with pigeons or any other bird, what is your favorite method: planted, dizzied, sleeping, kick cage, launcher, carding, tether, etc..

I have plans of working the dogs quite extensively to get them ready for next season and would be interested to hear everyones' opinions or methods. Also, what are the tricks of the trade? What equipment is necessary - harnesses, cages, bird bag?

I have access to some pigeons and this will probably be my bird of choice for the time being. I will also be able to place a few traps in a barn, but with all of the recent stories on netting them, I feel like I have been missing out.

I look forward to all of your valuable input.

- Jeff
 

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Pigeons are a great bird to work dogs on. For pups you can put them in bird launchers to teach'em to point when entering the scent cone. Pups can smell them a ways off for they have lots of scent.

Once pup is staunch you can put birds to sleep by tucking their head under a wing, swirl them in a figure eight motion and place them in a brush pile.

They can be used for bringing a big running pup under some control. When the pup comes flying by toss a bird in front of him. They soon learn you have birds around you.

They are good for teaching stop to flush. In a big field they don't land, they just fly away. No delayed chase, nothing to pursue.

You can use them on the end of a 6 foot pole with 2 feet of string. Tie the bird to the pole. Use it to drive puppies crazy on the chain gang, then one at a time work a pup on it in some tall grass.

Put one in a cage and place it in a tree about 4 to 6 feet high where it will be hard to see. This helps when teaching dogs to use air currents. Plus when they lock up on point it will bring that nose up in the air. Take one out of the bird bag and toss it while you are making a flushing attempt.

On finished dogs you can put 1 in a cage and 3 or 4 of them to sleep. Bring the dog in for a single find with multiple flushes. This will keep'em intense thru the whole show.

When using these birds try anything that you think might work to get the desired results.

Break'em on pigeons and quail and polish them on wild birds.

Just rambleing on.

Have fun.




Back woods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. All good examples. I do most of the training on my own so I am sure I will have to get creative with the methods I choose.

Also, I know that there is a ton of experience on this forum and I would be interested to see what everyone has to say.
 

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Hi Vizsla,

You're right on target, Pigeons are a great tool for training dogs and not hard to find and best of all they are free, (call me if you want & I will explain how to get them, 586-725-5993)

As stated in earlier threads, there are many ways in using them and they all work and work well indeed.
We have trained many a dog using pigeons, it's a lot of fun and gratification in seeing what a pointer can learn in one day alone!

Boy, those were fun days.:)

Good luck

Bob_______
 

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My favorite has to be the Pigeon. As mentioned above, they will fly a way and not tempt the dog to do a delayed chase and catch the bird. Depending on the dog’s age and where it is at in its training, I like to use remote launchers. Gives me control on when to launch the bird. If the dog crowds the bird it is popped outta there. Couple times doing that and ya got a pooch lockin on first whiff. Also works well on steady too wild flush. Launch the homer, then toss a wild pigeon if all is done right on the dog’s part.

I also like to have a pigeon dizzied and planted. Once a dog is steady to flush from a launcher it is very tempting for the dog to break on a bird busting from cover by FLAPPING it’s wings and all the commotion it creates. Teaching them they have to remain steady in this situation also…

I also use them here in the yard with the dog on a whoa board. I have several homers that will just walk around the dog and not fly up right a way. Multiple flushes here in the yard, teaching them manors on birds here, then transferring it to the fields.

Like Bruce mentioned, toss one as the dog is running by, teaching them to be steady on a wild flush also works well.

My next favorite bird to train with would be the Chukka. I just plant them by holding them upside down by their feet for a few seconds (30 or so) and then just drop them into cover. A lightly planted bird will put out more scent by moving around. A bird tucked and planted hard will not put out as much scent. Once the dog is holding point GOOD and can be trusted I switch over to Chukkas. They also run a lil bit and most of them fly hard. When polishing a dog I like using chukkas and try to push the bird back towards the dog and have it flush right up in their face and over their head. Basically trying to get the dog to break so I can correct the dog and show the dog I also want you to remain steady no matter what…

I replied to several emails stating I am sorry I did not pull through for a few of you who wanted pigeons. It has just been to flippin cold out to get out and net a bunch. Once there is a break in the weather I will get back out and get us some birds for training. But untill then my feet are by the fire and scratchin the pups ears.

But, most importantly is to get a method down pat and get out and "Just do it"

Rooster
 

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i tie pigions wings around each other by folding one over the other keeps them from flying or I use bird launchers
 

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My wife and I as well as a trainner, and a few others we know use Pigeons alone and in combination with quail. We will either dizzy up a quail and place it in cover where we want it or we will dizzy up a tethered Pigeon and place it where we want it. We like to hide them well so there is no chance of them seeing the bird. We will put out 2 to three this way. This time of year Pigeons work very well with the snow. When we take the dog out into the field we carry extra Pigeons in our pockets and when the dog comes around and hits point we will move around in front of the dog in the cover swishing the grass around making noise in the cover as if you are trying to flush the bird. This works best if you have two people one to handle the dog and pose it up telling it whoa while the other guy (or gal) is attempting to flush the bird. After the dog is steady and real intent on the scent, a Pigeon is taken out from the flushers pocket and tossed in the air several feet in front of the dog usually in such a way as you are blocking the dogs view when you toss the Pigeon. Don't let the dog chase (we are talking about the pointing breeds here but we will forgive puppies as we want it to be fun for them for the first few months) If the dog stays steady shoot the blank pistol. Sometmes we use a third person some feet away when a working puppies that haven't been shot over much yet. If the dog moves, set them back where they where, pose them up and tell them whoa and toss up another Pigeon. Never shoot if the dog moves and if after the shot they do put them back! They should mark the bird but not chase. Then go get your dog, take him by the colar and lead them away from the still planted bird. Move on to another one and release them. We can work several dogs in a pretty short time using this method. The Quail call back and the Pigeons fly back to their pen.

An added advantage doing things this way is that if you don't have a lot of room to work dogs in, you are not going to confuse them by leaving behind bird scent all over the place in a small field. Before we started doing things this way the second or third dog would always end up going to where the firsts birds where actually flushed from and it would be old scent. No bird and thus an unproductive point. You want to set up the best situation you can when starting dogs.

Tom
 

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I have seen especiallt young dogs (8wk. to 6momths) learn the game you go out plant pigeons turn them loose and they run your tracks till they find the bird. Put a pigeon in an onion or orange(mesh) sack and as you walk you can throw them. If you pitch them up wind pup will have to hunt birds not just your trail. Caution pigeons can fly(more of a jump) sack two feet in air watch it doesn't scare very young pup. I was lucky mine didn't try grab pigeon those smelly bird hipmatized them so I could pick up sack swing it as if flying away.
 

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Somtimes its good to teach a dog to run a track how many pheasents have you seen sit till you kick it up not very many wild ones. Thats right they run, there for the dog may need to track them or if you wound one there again the dog will need to track I mean dogs need to hunt the wind but tracking is equally important
 

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But, breeds do different things with different scents obviously. Working a EP which is going to be scenting the air vs. a beagle. Kayla (my V) when she gets birdy keeps her head high as possible vs. Matty (Spring) gets down and dirty whenever birdy. Its for this reason obviously that pointers will often reposition themselves on moving game. Obviously you can train pointers to ground scent (article in last months gun dog i believe "Versatile English Pointer"). But some stray away from a ground tracking retrieving pointer.

2 cents
 

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I never said a thing about a dog putting its nose to the ground and neither did worm dunker the bottom line is dogs need to track right to a bird dont matter if they air scent or put there nose to the ground. a good bird dog should do both and german shorthairs I beleave are a little more Versatile then a english pointer and thats my 2 cents
 

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Timber,

Oh boy, you are sure going to get some feed back on this one!
I for one love all hunting hunting breeds and at ont point in my life, have hunted over all of them, some better and some not so good. The ones that were not so good was a result of the owner and not necessarly the dog! Several so called hunters who buy a good dog , feed it , beat it , abuse it and then brag about the animal. Failing to realize that the owner should be trained first prior to even buying their first hunting dog, the new about to be new owner of a good dog , can't spell the word dog, not to mention the required training and the love that dogs require. And oh, by the way, the dog was always wrong,he/she crapped all over the house, chased our cats and somtimes killed one. The dog was an A$$ hole!!

Guess what, the owner of this great potential hunting dog was the A$$ hole.
Train the owner and then attempt to train dogs.
I love all hunting dogs, give them a break - you learn first!

Baitrunner______
 

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Maybe I misunderstand what you are saying but that has nothing to do with the topic or does it. you are 100% right the owners need to be trained firsted. and seeing how I have produced champion after champion and been hunting with dogs for 13years I may or may not be what you called trained but what I said is the truth dogs most beable to find and locate game wounded or not and a good dog should be able to work with or with out wind in all weather and beable to adapt for what it needs to do.
 

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Lets not let this turn into a whats breed is best. There is a lot of good information that is coming out of this post especially for new dog owners or at least first time trainers. All of us that have bird dogs believe are breed is best or we wouldn't be feeding it. The problem I see with teaching a dog to ground sent is they will sometimes crowd a bird (grouse). You can always teach hunt dead for wounded (ground sent) birds. A truly great wild pheasant dog (wich none of mine are) instead of ground senting will make a big circle and pinch bird between it and the hunter.
 

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you are right I did not mean to make it look like GSPs was the best but that is kinda the way it sounded. In fact I am a die hard german shorthair guy the best wild bird dog I ever owned was a english setter. and now I own half of 4 english pointers 1 setter and 5 shorthairs (that includes the GSPs that are all mine 2) I dont really care what it is as long as it does it right!!! sorry if I started a breed war just meant to say dogs should beable to handle all situations.
 
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