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First pheasant hunt - V successful

2413 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DragonTheRevolutionary
On Thursday I took Rio out for his first pheasant hunt and I was so proud. Rio turned 1 year in September and up to now he's been a typical V family dog. With only 2 weeks of intense field training ( I was a bit nervous - but mostly excited to get him out in the field. I am happy to report that true to his breed - he's a bird dog. Rio pointed, was focused, listened to my commands and the whistle, teamed well with a GLP, flushed 2 of the 4 pheasant we saw and 1 that we bagged, wasn't gun shy, and had his nose in the air.

This hunting thing is new for both of us and we're all happy that he knows what what his job is now. The field training has definitely helped calm him down as a family pet.

He is a versatile dog dog that can now go from field to bed ;D


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I took Oscar yesterday for the same thing, only he is 7 months old, he loved his day out. I was going to keep him on leash butin the end i just let him off, he followed a spaniel and really enjoyed himself. He started chasing a hare and came back when called, also turned on a whistle. I just tried to get him to quarter the field which he didquite well, i let the spaniels get on with it and just tried to concentrate on controlloing oscar. All in all he had a great morning and was whacked out all for the rest of the day. Do you think i maybe took him a bit early, whats the general opinion?
good question jas ... I'm not sure. the lady that trained rio was of the opinion that the younger the better. for example, rio was use to running and playing at dog parks before we sent him to liz - so his mind / behaviour was that of a family pet only focused on having fun. liz spent quite a bite of time getting him to concentrate on working and not playing. she would say that "rio needs to be more business-like" ... b/c he now has a job to do. so i can assume that if we got him out before 12 months - he (and us) would be better suited to have him in the field.

fyi - since we got him back - he hasn't been going to the dog parks. it's a bit more work - but we take him to open fields and walk him more in the neighbourhood. the way i look at it - not going to dog parks will save us $$$ on vet bills - he's picked up ear / eye infections from the parks.

isn't it amazing to see them out in the field doing what the breed does best (aside from sleeping on the couch). even cooler is seeing them work with other dogs. we didn't see any rabbits - just birds, would to see how a V gets on one. how is oscar's recall when he's not in the field?
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His recall had a little setback but I've gone back to basics with him and also changed his treats for things like garlic sausage, liver cake and cheese. Heres the post.,376.0.html
He seemed to enjoy himself and stayed pretty much under my control but i just worry it may all be a little early.

It's definitely cool seeing your dog working in the field. I'm sure Rio enjoyed himself tremendously. Keep him on them as much as you can. It sounds like you guys had a heckuva day together
Unless you really like rabbit, I'd try to keep him off of them. V'z love to potter on rabbit scent, and eat rabbit poops :p, and it can be difficult to get them back on birds after they've been chasing after rabbit.


7 months is definitely not too young to be on birds. Keep the pressure low, and let him have fun this season.
Will do Gunnr. As he was with spaniels, they were just flushing birds and he was following them around with me trying to keep some sort of control when he got a bit wayward which was very rare. Do I just let him follow them around flushing and not worry about anything like pointing. Will that be just something that will come naturally. He had fun all right, he loved it. I was very worried that it my all be a bit too early so thanks for the advice
Whether or not to let him chase them around is a debatable topic.
I personally have never had a problem with letting a pup just go "bird crazy", but I have always used pen raised birds in training sessions to steady the point and develop the whoa command in parallel with letting them go nuts in the field.
Eventually he will leave the spaniels,and hunt on his own. Then his natural pointer tendancies will develop. At first he'll only point for a few seconds, and once the pheasant runs he'll definitely break and run it down, so you'll have to be ready to start helping him develop the point. Keep it fun.
At 7 months he may not be able to run that bird down yet, but he will eventually,a nd that's why you'll want to begin to steady him on point so that he doesn't break.

If the pheasants you are hunting are pen raised,their flight abilities will be severly limited, if not non-existent. They'll run first and fly as a last result, they also won't fly far. Use this as an opportunity to develop Oscar's foot scent and tracking abilities. A dog that can handle cripples is an asset( Not all dogs do it, and some are very poor at it). The pheasant running will simulate a cripple.
If the bird flies, use it as an opportunity to keep getting Oscar on birds, even if it is the same bird. keep pushing that bird all over the place to give Oscar more time on it.
The more opportunity Oscar has to handle birds the better, and next year you'll have a hunting machine.

A full grown pheasant can be a little intimidating to a young dog. As long as Oscar is willing to go with it and get after them, let him.
Watch for that first encounter with a live pheasant when he tries to pick up a live, or crippled pheasant. Make sure it ends on a positve for him, even if you have to step in and dispatch the bird for him. Toss it for him to retrieve and let him carry around the dead birds for a few moments. Vizsla's like to "Display" their success. They're big showoffs in my experience. ;)
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