Today’s Tip: Hunting- Bird Dog Training
A well-trained bird dog should bring a downed bird directly to your hand. If the dog is running around playfully with a bird in its mouth it gives him the feeling that he is in charge, and can also lead to hard-mouthing birds and damaging them. While training a dog to retrieve is a topic that deserves much more than a brief tip, the delivery of a bird to your hand is the final act of the dog’s job, so don’t overlook this critical piece of training.
As with the other dog training topics I have discussed, this one too involves patience, and teaching the dog thoroughly. After you have taught your dog to hold an object for a prolonged period of time, then teach him to bring the object directly to your hand. Have your dog hold the object, tell him to sit, then walk away about 20 feet and call him to you. Use a check chord from your hunting gear if necessary at first so the dog understands that he is to come directly to you instead of wandering around or only coming part way.
If this happens when you are hunting, it is critical that you stop hunting immediately and correct the behavior. Too many hunters will ignore the behavior so they can keep on shooting, which is the absolute wrong thing to do, and is confusing to the dog.