Today’s Tip: Bird Dog Training
Puncture wounds and broken ribs can render birds unsuitable for eating. Teaching your dog to hold a dead bird properly is a matter of repetition. When your hunting dog is young, don’t play tug-of-war or let him/her play with squeaky toys.
To begin training your dog start by placing your hand in his mouth and gently grasping the lower jaw. He will fight it at first, but he will relax after a few moments. Verbally praise the dog and remove your hand. Repeat this exercise over and over.
When the dog willingly accepts your hand, make him hold a wooden dowel, about an inch and a half in diameter. Quietly praise proper holding and give him a light pop under the chin if he starts to drop the dowel. In the beginning, only do this for short periods of time; start with 30 seconds, and slowly increase to 2 minutes. As the dog grasps the concept, move from a dowel to frozen birds, and eventually to freshly killed birds.