I have a 3 month old English Springer Spaniel pup. I would like him to be my bird dog someday. At what age can he actually hunt, and when should I start training him on hunting tasks? I do not really have much bird hunting experience myself. I hunt big game but have always wanted to bird hunt. I just don’t have anyone to do it with, so I got my own partner!
Also, is it possible to completely train him at home, or should I seek professional advice?
Answer by Herbie & Fern-Hoochie
You can start training him now, if he is mentally ready.
Get him used to bird.- dead game wings, for him to just carry around.
You can introduce him to the basic commands that he will need to use as well-
*he needs to be happy sitting for a long time
*he needs to be steady to things flying and being thrown all around him
*he needs to have a reliable recall
*he must be able to freeze
there are much more. He needs to be trained to a whistle though-acme 211 1/2.
You can start him off on dummies as well.
And get him used to swimming early on too- but no bad experiences.
As well as load noises- remember you gotta shoot over him- he can’t be gun shy.
It is possible for you to train him at home if you know what you are doing. If you don’t then get professional advice cause you don’t want it to go wrong.
I wouldn’t recommend actually taking him hunting until he’s 12 months preferably- you don’t want them to be too young. and you certainly do not want to rush him.
Sometimes it is best to start when they are about 8 months. Hunters and gun men etc, don’t start properly till 6 months. Well that’s how we roll in the UK. But we don’t have our dogs solely for birds, cause out of the season their aren’t many birds and so we have to work them with rabbits- which can be harder to train as the dog is required to freeze etc.
I didn’t start my b1tch ill she was 10months. I did all the training alone, until I reached a point where I no longer knew what to do- so I joined a club and she’s now a partly trained gundog-well probably better than that- I just haven’t shot over her yet so she can’t be considered fully trained.