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Over the weekend our provincial Vizsla society held it's fall field trials open to all pointing breeds.
We took Kian out there on Sunday to see if it was something we would be interested in doing with him.
As soon as we arrived I met with one of the more respected gun dog trainers in the area and she was kind enough to give us a quick run down of how things are done.
She was even kind enough to give Kian a quick review. She gave him a little test to see how he would react to the scent and sight of chukar partridge.
We took him for a bit of a walk and she asked me to just let him be a Vizsla.... "let him follow his nose."
Sure enough there were four birds about 30 feet away from us. Kian caught a wiff of something and his head immediately popped up, you could see his nostrils working away........he was determined. She told me to just let him do his thing and not to hold him back.
As we got closer to them the birds went for cover in some low thick bushes. Kian jolted when we got close and three of them took off in flight and he was just loving it. His tail was up high and we just wanted to chase them. But there was one more left and it had run off in another direction. Would you know it, Kian locked on his scent again and had me follow him the other way. This time the bird got cover in another bush near water. Sure enough Kian stopped put his head down low and just stood there, frozen. His body was almost shaking and he was fixed. We walked over and I said "get it" and he lunged for it and the bird took off.....WOW! Even I was uber excited for him so I could imagine how he felt.
So after that little event the trainer and I discussed the fact that not all V's have a decent enough nose or sometimes no interest in birds. She was was very positive about him and mentioned that he could be a good gun dog with the proper training. Now, was that the sales pitch, who knows, probably. I will tell you though, when I saw my dog react the way he did I knew it was something he was meant to do.
Now, I am not a hunter by any means so is there a way to get him trained with me being his handler or do I let someone else take him? Where do I go to get birds for training? So many questions.
One thing I did notice was that all the dogs that were there yesterday were all over the age of 12 months. So, I guess I have some time seeing as how Kian is only 6 months old.
If anyone ever has the chance to watch these sort of events I highly recommend going. It gives you a good idea of the potential of what these dogs can do. And just to see other dogs and meet the people who share a love for this dog and other dogs.
There were approximately a dozen V's, 5 Weim's, 8 GSP's and 2 English Setters all trying to get graded in hopes to be one step closer to receiving their FDJ (Field Dog Junior) title.... I hope I got that right :-\

It was an interesting day....who knows, maybe Kian and I will be out there next year...wish us luck.

Oh and talk about Vizsla overload.
There was one V we met (sorry I did not get a picture of him) he was 13 months old and 68lbs, this guy was a monster. It was as big as a GSP....a little too big for me, but none the less he was a big softy.

Thanks for reading.
 

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I went out to this same event last year when I was trying to decide if I wanted to purchase a V. Met a few owners and got to chat about field training. The whole thing was very interesting.

I had Catan out at a Gun Dog trainers farm back in July and did a similar test with him. Not sure if to pursue this or not but Catan did well and held his point the first time out. Soon after he hurt his paw so we've been waiting for him to be 100% before trying again.
 

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My opinion is that you should be his handler and trainer. Seek help when you feel confused, but you should be his partner.
The relationship between an owner/ handler/trainer and a Vizsla in the field becomes almost telepathic after a season a two. It's not a feeling I would ever want to miss out on, or let someone else enjoy. I realize that is selfish maybe, but we as owners pay a lot of $$$ for a Vizlsa. It's an experience that really should be ours. You can hire the women you met to train both you and Kian. Just be clear and honest upfront with her,that you want to be an integral part of the training.
The one advantage you have right now training him yourself is that you have no bad habits yet and will be more inclined to follow through with a program without attempting shortcuts.Somehting to consider.

From what you described Kian finally "found his job".From here it becomes a matter of getting him on birds. Working him at the whoa, and steady him to wing and shot.
One word of advice, and possibly an admonishment, is to not let Kian flush the birds as a general rule. The reason for this is that Kian is a pointer. He should point, you should flush, and then he should mark the retrieve to be sent to fetch. This keeps Kian behind the shotgun muzzle and gives him a clearer picture of the shot and drop. In the case of a running bird,and a dog as fast as a Vizsla is, there is the potential for Kian to get shot if an inexperienced gunner is in the group. You may never own or fire a shotgun, but that doesn't mean Kian can't hunt for friends or family, being handled by you. You'll get real popular. Trust me! ;)

There is a wealth of information out there to train your dog to hunt with you. Dozens upon dozens of books and videos. There has to be at least a hundred You Tube videos available.

Training Kian can actually be done on some fairly small property. If you have a good sized backyard that would be perfect for starting him out. It's a little late now, but start researching where to obtain Quail or Chukar in your area. Quail are usually inexpensive and can be purchased as day olds for < $1.00 each in quanity, and you'll want at least one hundred of them. Brood them yourself and build a large "Johnny House". With this setup you can flush a bunch of them out of the Johnny House, Kian can work them, and the ones left in the Johnny house will call back the ones you flushed out.

Ask away your questions, and I'll try to give you some various methods to try.
 
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