Flusher grabbing birds

1/25/17 @ 4:42 PM
ORIGINAL POST
lunckerhead
lunckerhead
USER since 12/31/04

I have a flushing English Cocker Spaniel who has gotten into the habit of grabbing the pheasant in cover and not flushing them.  This tends to happen at the game farm I belong to when the birds do not seem to readily flush from cover.  Any tips on breaking him of this.  Can they be trained to point?

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 15 Posts
7/24/18 @ 6:47 AM
Birdyboy
Birdyboy
USER since 8/24/07

Trouble is, if you are hunting planted birds, you can’t control the pup breaking in and grabbing them up unless you train them not to. A lot of hunt clubs use pointing labs as their guide dogs for that very reason.  Don’t know that it’s a flaw if they breed and train them that way.  Again, your cocker is doing what it’s born to do. Good prey drive. Keep working with the pup. 

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7/11/18 @ 2:00 PM
getinout
getinout
USER since 12/22/09

Cockers flush birds.  It's what they do by nature.  The problem is your birds are too weak to flush.  It's a bird problem, not a dog problem.  The best flushing dogs drive in hard on birds with intensity.  A dog with a hard driving flush is highly desired by flushing breed owners and breeders.  I would never want to see a flushing dog point birds.  A flushing dog pointing birds is considered a flaw in that dog or breeding.  I would tell the bird supplier that he needs to deliver better quality birds.    

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7/3/18 @ 10:45 AM
Birdyboy
Birdyboy
USER since 8/24/07

Strong prey drive in that pup. If you get on more wild birds, especially ruffies the dog will learn that they cannot retrieve what you can’t shoot. I had a flat coat mix with a great nose but she started jumping in and catching pheasants. Took her grousing a few times and she got more methodical after flushing six in a row way out in a dry river bed. Then, she started pointing the following year. Wouldn’t flush until I released her. She was a fun little dog to hunt with. Sadly we put her down last year at 14. 

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7/12/17 @ 11:16 AM
barkerdog
barkerdog
USER since 9/9/05

Get a pointer-

just kidding your dog is doing what is is bred for/supposed to do. hunt wild birds more so it learns he cant catch is about the best thing you can do


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6/14/17 @ 11:11 AM
fishdaily
fishdaily
USER since 4/3/03

You have a good bird dog. Think of it as a bonus. No shells fired. No bbs in the meat.  My 16 yr old Golden used to do that as well.  Kinda frustrating at times but its great for the dogs"drive" to get a reward like that. 

The inly way he got 'Fixed" was during grouse hunting he grabbed a porupine.  A few needles in the snoot and he is now a pointer.

He is retired now, but my favorite memory of catching birds was at the game farm. he caught a black rooster with beautiful tail feathers.  I would of got that one mounted but in the grabbing process quite few back and base of the tail feathers came out.  

Hunt that dog all day long!! 


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3/22/17 @ 4:33 PM
Capt Quint2
Capt Quint2
USER since 4/14/15

Lunkerhead you have  good dog.  The dog is doing what he/she was bred for!  Good flushers will catch birds on the ground even more so with game farm birds.  Be happy you have a good bird dog!

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3/21/17 @ 1:07 PM
TRetzlaff
TRetzlaff
USER since 12/4/09

This is the kind of prey drive a spaniel should have. Nothing is wrong with the dog. I would either switch game farms or give the birds more time before you hunt them. I doubt you will get them to plant birds with a softer touch. 

BTW. I have seen  wild roosters caught by dogs in South Dakota. My Springer did it several times two years ago. In my opinion it shows how hard my dog is willing to hunt for me. I don't think you have an issue. 

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2/25/17 @ 7:36 AM
Turkey Dogs
Turkey Dogs
USER since 6/26/04

Have you considered hunting turkeys with him? The dog flushes the flock, then call them back in. About 98% of the time, a dog won't ever catch a wild turkey. You can train on them starting ~mid-August for free, through the end of the season Dec. 31 - 4 1/2 months! Wisconsin has far more wild turkeys than all the pheasants on game farms. Non-native Chinese pheasants raised in barns are no more wild than banty chickens. Don't blame the dog for doing what comes natural. Put him on the grandest of all game birds. A wild turkey can outrun a lot of dogs, they don't leave the ground until the dog almost catches their tail. I'd show you a picture, but it happens so fast, so far away, no one ever got a picture. Nearly unlimited permits in half the state.

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1/30/17 @ 1:53 PM
fishmunkee
fishmunkee
USER since 3/20/02

An ecollar is (most likely) going to teach the dog it will be punished for finding that bird. Not a lesson I want my dogs to learn.

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1/29/17 @ 9:38 PM
river_chaser
river_chaser
USER since 10/3/12

Just some thoughts that may or may not be practical

Try to hunt wild birds more often like grouse

Switch to another game farm and see how that works

Like Migr8r says, ask if the game farm can release the phez's with a softer approach.

My neighbors lab tends to capture phez's. The way my neighbor sees it, less lead pellets to ruin the meat.

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 15 Posts