What is a bird dog?
If you are a hunter of bird, a bird dog should be a must in your “arsenal”. This term is used to refer to any dog designed to aid hunters to hunt or retrieve birds or other small game. A bird dog can easily be trained to perceive the scent of birds and follow the trail.
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Bird dog breeds
Some dogs are more suited than others in the game of perceiving fowl. A flusher, which is the most common type of bird dog, uses his eyes and nose to hunt down upland birds. Usually, a bird dog is a great swimmer as he will sometimes need to catch water birds. The most common types of dogs used as bird dogs are flushers, pointers, and retrievers.
The following are the most common bird dogs used by hunters to retrieve or hunt small game:
- English Setter
- Red Setter
- Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever
- German shorthair pointer
- Britanny Pointer
- Golden Retriever
- German wire-head pointer
Training a bird dog
A responsible owner of a bird dog, either a flusher, pointer, or retriever, is responsible enough to realize that training a dog for hunting will take time. In order to have success, there must be a pre-season training. Some dogs like to run next to their owner. Others will travel ahead of their owner to track down game and direct the hunter towards it.
So, depending on the type of dog a hunter has, so must the training be. Professional trainers suggest warming up dog’ s legs by running or walking. It is advised to do this through the water since the dog´ s pace is usually faster than a human. In order to prepare the dog for the hard working, the running exercise through the water is recommended for at least a month. This will condition the pet to work for long hours.
The most important part of the training of a bird dog is obedience and commands. It is important that the dog knows his limits; when to eat, when to sit, or sleep. This will make it easier for him to obey commands from his owner.
It is also important to train the dog not to hold too strongly to the bird to avoid him bringing you a damaged bird.