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Introducing game when you don't have access to birds

I have a 6 month old Brittany that's had basic obedience training, and I have started him retrieving and pointing a wing on a string in the yard. He is still very enthusiastic about retrieving, but lately, he'll point the wing once then all he does is chase it or flash point it at best. I realize that he may be getting bored with the wing, but unfortunately, I don't have access to live birds. Is now the time to send him to a trainer where he'll be able to work with live birds and try to get him ready for hunting season, or should I just let him have fun this year, and get serious after he's a year old? I hunt on state land and at a private club so he'll see almost all stocked pheasants when I hunt this fall and winter. He'll have the opportunity to find birds, but I don't want to do anything that might be difficult to correct later on, and if now's the time to really introduce serious training, I don't want to miss the chance. On the other hand, if waiting until next year for his formal training is the best thing to do, what should I do this summer to best prepare him for the upcoming season, and what should I do during the season to give him the best possible start? Any advice will be appreciated.

You can do it a couple of ways. You can keep your brittany at home for the summer, just take him out to the fields and let him run and develop on his own this summer. That will give him a chance to mature more before formal type training. Keep these work outs short 15 to 20 minutes at a time. I would also stop with the wing pointing, he is past that stage. The 2nd way would be to send him to a trainer now to be introduced to birds. We do this with quail and chukar flown out of a johnny house. That way the birds act more natural and the pup has to hunt for them. Let the pup have a couple of finds and put him up while he is wanting more. Don't let the pup find over 3 birds per work out. About 1 month of this type work and your pup will be hunting and pointing some birds and will be more ready for formal training when the time comes. Don't be in a hurry to get him broke this season. Take your time and enjoy watching your pup develop. Good luck and good dog training.

Maurice Lindley
Lindley Kennels
803-243-4979 (Home)
803-243-3583 (Kennel)

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