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Point, don't flush!

Posted by C.J. Kausel on 3/19/2021 to Training Tips
Point, don't flush!
Last month we discussed working on problem areas during the off season. One issue covered pointing dogs creeping in after a point or outright flushing the bird. The other issue was flushing dogs ranging out too far and out of gun range.

This month we discuss the issue of pointing dogs outright flushing the bird. The problem here is the dog not only wants to see the bird, but it also actually wants to catch it.

Step # 1 – Go back to your “whoa” training drills. I recommend you go back in the archives to the March 2019 Training Tip. This was the first of a series on teaching the “whoa” command. A total of five lessons, March through July, will help you teach staunchness and steadiness on point. Work through these drills to get your dog to point and not flush.

Step # 2 – Obtain some pigeons. Google local exterminators, as they will sell them to you or even give them away. Get yourself a bird bag (Dogsunlimited.com). They come with a shoulder strap for easy carry in the field. Place several pigeons in the bag and have your dog on a 30-foot or longer check cord. Assuming your dog is trained on re-call and quartering, release your dog, dragging the cord, as you would to hunt a field. When the dog runs by, toss a bird out of the bag so they can see it. If he chases, LET HIM! He will learn he cannot catch the bird. After he chases a while, give the re-call command (here or come), and get him back. Dragging the check cord will tire him out quicker. If he is whistle trained, all the better. If you have done your homework on step # 1, you can “whoa” him in the field once he realizes that he cannot catch the bird. Continue this drill until he responds to the “whoa” immediately after you release the bird.

Congratulations, you have just taught your dog to stop on flush! This is very important in reaching your goal of teaching your dog not to jump in and flush birds.

This will keep you busy for the next month when we will discuss the next steps of the process. See you then.

C J, Shawnee  &  Duchess