Saturday morning, Charles and I took BB out to the local dog training wildlife management area to plant some juvenile pheasant, in order to break her to the gun and get her used to quartering in the field.

In place of my usual still camera, I opted for shooting some video this day.  The first video I put together is Charles explaining the equipment that we use for planting birds for dog training purposes and the actual technique of planting the birds:

The second video is Charles and BB actually hunting down the birds.  Over two sessions, there were six birds planted, but only four of them are documented on video.  One of them was a lame flier and didn’t get up high enough for Charles to shoot it.  Another of them must have ran off, as we never located it.  The midday sun was beginning to make things a little uncomfortable, so we opted for heading home instead of pushing BB too hard.

What I enjoyed about watching this process was that in the beginning BB stuck close to Charles and exhibited a lot of puppy play behavior, but by the end of the adventure, she was more concerned about getting out and searching for birds.  She also displayed her natural pointing instinct.   It was also important to keep it fun, so that birds and guns mean dog party.  If someone were to make it a frightening disciplinary training session, it would do more harm than good.

We will need to continue to work on the retrieve piece.  She “marked” the birds, meaning that she went to the bird and sort of sat down with it in front of her, so she’s able to scent/sight track the downed bird, but she wasn’t quite ready to pick them up just yet.  BB will fetch dummies and toys in the yard all day long, so I don’t think it will take too much to get through that next step, but that will be the next thing we will focus on.

Here’s the video of BB’s first hunt, enjoy!