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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone got any tips for getting dogs to carry a bird properly pls? My bitch is coming up two and always chooses to pick up and carry birds by their wings (size regardless). When we train, ive tried using a dewinged bird, then taping the wings round the body to encourage her to grasp the body-which she does, but as soon as she goes back to a norm bird shes back on the wing!
 

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To be honest, the more she DOES it, the more she will believe it is right. presumably at 2 this is her first shooting season, so it shouldn't be too ingrained a habit right now. It TENDS to pass, clumsy picking of birds, as they get more experienced and comfortable with 'what is FAR easier', which is, of course, to actually carry the bird properly.

However, personally I would get out and train through this problem. Not using dummies... any dog can pick a dummy correctly... its one of the few times I would consider using cold game useful.

At 2, she now needs to learn that picking incorrectly is 'bad'. Not *terrible*, not 'yelling or chastising', because then she may not pick a bird again... but I would get out with a bird or two brought home from your shoot. Put rubber bands on the bird so the wings cannot 'splay'. Use this a number of times over two or three days then disguard the bird, don't overuse any piece of cold game or it will make problems worse as it gets gobby and manky.

Then release ONE wing. Just do short memeory backs to send her for it... when you release the one wing, send her, then follow her up so you are really close. If you see her scoop and pick properly, stacks of praise etc etc. But if you see her immediately think 'ahhhh lets try and pull out this wing...' be close and grumble at her.... 'nooooooooooo'..... then pause. See what happens... walk slowly backwards..... if she goes to nose the wing again... walk and pick the bird up and elastic band the wing down again. Then praise hugely.

Try and release only one wing at a time. And then both. You just won't really be able to mimic this on dummies.

I ould also drop back if at all possible to starting this on partridge, grouse or woodcock, maybe even pigeon.... something much smaller than a pheasant. i would also start my pheasant 'programme - as above) on a hen bird rather than a large male pheasant ....

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brilliant thank you, ill give that a try. I do opt to use a hen over a cock bird, but unfortunately only usually have pheasants to work with since the few partridge are in high demand, we don't have grouse and shes not the biggest fan of pigeons!
 

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As Di.

I also think that the real "secret" is for the dog to find it's easier to pick correctly. A retrieve over a safe easy fence is useful. We have a nice hunting gate I use. A bird held around the body is far easier to jump with than a bird swinging around by a wing.

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just noticed my second post got ********!! Thanks John, I've not tried that, but will do.
 
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