Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

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lherbert
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Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by lherbert » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:12 am

Hello all, new to the site and just got a Brittany Puppy. She is about 10 weeks old. I have been playing with her with a pheasant wing in the yard and she loves chasing it. I only do it with her for a few minutes as i want to keep her very excited about this. I took her in the field and planted a couple harnessed pigeons. I kept her on leash and she eventually found them and wanted to get them, i did not let her get them. I have read a few things and seen a few videos where people let puppies actually chase and catch harnessed or clipped wing birds. From the videos i have seen, it seems to really get the dogs excited, I have also read that you should not let a pointing dog actually ever catch the bird because they will then start to think they can always catch the bird. I was hoping to get some insight from people on here on the subject. Thanks in advance.

setterpoint
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by setterpoint » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:31 pm

I wouldn't let the dog catch a bird, dogs have great memories, you don't want the dog to think it can catch a bird just another thing you will have to break the dog from,

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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:39 pm

Iherbert -

A 10 wk. old puppy mauling a clipwing or wing locked pigeon, or killing a quail is not a huge deal, one way or another.

I would however caution against doing it for no particular reason and I would also caution against doing it repeatedly...reason or not.

If the youngster seems to lack drive, mauling a few tethered birds can build the desire to kill that is part and parcel of any good bird dog.

If, on the other hand, the youngster does not seem to lack for drive or intensity or desire...you are allowing it to do something you may well have to train it NOT to do in the future, which is kinda dumb because you are making work for yourself and having to put additional pressure on the dog during the breaking process.

Bottom line...if you need to do it...do it. If you don't... I suggest that you don't.

For what it is worth...

I typically work with high octane pointers...most of whom come out of the birth canal with more drive, desire and birdiness than most folks can handle. It is what I like. My pups typically do not even see a gamebird until they are about six to eight months old...and then in very controlled circumstances. I DO NOT allow them catch birds. Not ever... not as long as they live...if I can help it.

RayG

PS - I want my dogs to find birds and to point them and hold them until I get there. THAT is their job. Anything that interferes with that job is not something I permit or encourage. If the dog needs to be force broke to retrieve when it is three or four years old...I'm fine with that.
To me, allowing a dog to get a bird in its mouth is the highest level of reward, so I don't permit it unless the dog does an outstanding job on its primary funtion, which again, is to find, point and hold a bird until I get there.

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Sharon
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by Sharon » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:21 pm

Excellent post!

Thanks for your exceptional contribution daily Ray.
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oldbeek
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by oldbeek » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:37 pm

Exactly, Ray. I also agree. Jon at perfect start would also agree. My first dog ,I worked with a trainer that started pups on wing clipped birds. Only took a year to get her back to steady solid points.

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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by DonF » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:14 pm

I don't throw wing clipped birds for pups Throw one for a soft pup and you might end up with a pup learning to leave birds alone. What you allow, you teach!
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by ohmymy111 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:11 am

Absolutely let a young dog like that catch a bird. I would caution against using a pigeon as they are strong birds. To introduce birds to pups, and I have done well over a 100, I use a quail and pull the flight feathers from one wing. I then let the pup chase it when it runs and grab it. I want to see that pup head to the next county with the bird. I want it to be the most important thing in the world for that pup. I also only do it one session, and stop if it grabs the bird and runs. That pup will now know what birds are all about.
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lherbert
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by lherbert » Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:49 am

ohmymy111 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:11 am
Absolutely let a young dog like that catch a bird. I would caution against using a pigeon as they are strong birds. To introduce birds to pups, and I have done well over a 100, I use a quail and pull the flight feathers from one wing. I then let the pup chase it when it runs and grab it. I want to see that pup head to the next county with the bird. I want it to be the most important thing in the world for that pup. I also only do it one session, and stop if it grabs the bird and runs. That pup will now know what birds are all about.
Thanks for the response, i am a little confused though. You say you want to see the pup head to the next county with the bird, however, you say you stop if the pup grabs the bird and runs?? Can you please clarify.

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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by Pedro » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:17 pm

If I were you...I'd go back and re-read Ray's post.

I run the same type dog Ray does, except they're britts. Prey drive is not an issue, therefore I don't let them catch birds. Have helped friends with low prey drive dogs that we've let catch birds to build them up.

Now watching a pup bump and chase a bird outa sight is fun.

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ohmymy111
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by ohmymy111 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:34 am

I stop doing it after the 1st time it grabs the bird and runs
Mark Dinsmore
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by gonehuntin' » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:00 am

I don't let a pup catch a bird they've pointed. I let them ALL chase and catch clip wings I throw for them. Greatest thing in the world to develop excitement in pups and show them wheat they've been put on tis earth to do. People that don't do this are ones that wonder why their dog won't retrieve cripples or retrieve later.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by polmaise » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:29 pm

lherbert wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:12 am
Hello all, new to the site and just got a Brittany Puppy. She is about 10 weeks old. I have been playing with her with a pheasant wing in the yard and she loves chasing it. I only do it with her for a few minutes as i want to keep her very excited about this. I took her in the field and planted a couple harnessed pigeons. I kept her on leash and she eventually found them and wanted to get them, i did not let her get them. I have read a few things and seen a few videos where people let puppies actually chase and catch harnessed or clipped wing birds. From the videos i have seen, it seems to really get the dogs excited, I have also read that you should not let a pointing dog actually ever catch the bird because they will then start to think they can always catch the bird. I was hoping to get some insight from people on here on the subject. Thanks in advance.
For a Puppy :
The 'Play with' ....and 'Catch' are actually two different things , together they are disaster . In isolation they are good !
Play , would be ,see the flapping bird , and chase (that's natural in any dog breed)
Play ,would be the scent down wind of something strange and it is allowed to follow it (any breed)
Play , would be allowing the dog to find that scent where it is (any breed)
.....
At this juncture for a puppy (any breed) it takes in numerous connotations (pup gets ,excited , pup gets confused , pup doesn't know what to do ,pup grabs , pup takes off , etc ,etc etc and a whole load more possibilities ..Right ? ..but what do you do ?
..........
Catch , well that's a game that is different to Play, because the dog has primal functions (any breed) ..and it only has one tool given by the grace of god ..It's mouth .
Catch , would be got it , Now what do I do with it ? (any breed)
Catch, would be ,Now that I have it I will keep it ? (any breed)
Catch , would be , I have it now come take it , if you can (any breed)
Catch , would be , I am now going to hide it or bury it (mainly cockers :lol: :roll: )
...
Allowing any puppy to Catch and play with a live bird before any form of pre -training such as recall and or delivery is not for the in-experienced , and those pups you here or see on Internet or in real life would not have done something or all listed above for the first time .

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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by Trekmoor » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:22 am

I am a Brittany fan but I have never found it either necessary or a "good idea" to deliberately permit a puppy to maul a live bird.

My brits were all keen, fast hunters , good pointers and very good retrievers of dead or of winged game. I just took my time and let things develop "naturally" during training and work. The dogs did the rest themselves.

Bill T.
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Re: Should i let me Brittany actually play with and catch a live bird

Post by DonF » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:26 am

I think I first heard this from K9. "What you allow, you teach"! Think about it!
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

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