This month we will start our series on field training pointing dogs. You now have completed the yard training 5 Lesson series. If you missed some or all of this program, you can go back the last 5 months (March through July) to learn or review this series. Your dog must be WHOA broke in order to proceed with the field training series.
We start our pointing dogs in field training with a simple FLY AWAY drill. Here we are teaching the dog that he cannot catch birds on the wing. The best birds for training in this program are pigeons. Either feral, or better yet, homing pigeons as they return to the loft and can be used multiple times. In either case this is an inexpensive way to teach your dog not to chase. Do not use pen raised quail or chukars for this drill as they tend to fly only a short distance or not at all which is counter productive to this part of the training.
Get yourself a bird bag with shoulder strap. Place several pigeons in the bag and send your dog out for a quartering drill in the field. As the dog is running along toss out a bird so the dog can see it. He/she will chase the bird and that is what we want. DO NOT COMMAND WHOA at this point. Re-call the dog (HERE or COME) in after the dog has chased for a while. Repeat the process until the dog only takes a couple steps or does not chase at all. Now he/she has learned they cannot catch a flushed bird! Repeat this drill several training sessions until the dog consistently stops and does not chase at all. This drill is important as he/she will learn to remain staunch on point sooner and will not have a tendency to “creep in” after establishing point.
You and your dog have a whole month to work on this. Then he/she will be ready for the next step, Staunchness on point. See you again next month.