Beginning field work with your English Setter
January 11, 2010
You can start training your puppy as young as seven weeks on game birds or wings. You can work on sight pointing by putting a wing of a game bird on a fishing line connected to a fishing pole.
Move the wing around fast enough that the puppy can't catch it, but close enough to the puppy to keep his interest up.
Do this long enough that the puppy establishes a point, then praise him and quit. You always want to peak their interest and quit while they are still excited about the birds.
Using live birds, you can put the bird on a line or dizzy the bird and plant it in some grass. Always keep the puppy on a line so you have complete control. Bring the setter downwind of the bird and work up to it. Let the setter establish point. Do not let the dog get the bird or flush the bird. You or your helper have to flush the bird. Heel off and go work with another bird.
Do not shoot over your setter for several months. Only do bird work.
Once your dog is pointing birds and has a high intensity about birds then introduce a blank gun. Only use the gun after the bird goes into the air and only shoot once. Refrain from shooting in the dogs ear.
More information: Hunting dogs at Setter Ridge