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I have a friend who has a 20month V and just recently received his FDjr certificate.
We would like to get Kian into this sort of activity. My buddy gave me his dogs pheasant feathers that he used to use on him when he was about 6 months old. Well, Kian has no interest in them other than wanting to eat them.
Is there a proper way to introduce him to birds? Should I get a pheasant wing and plant it?

Thanks.
 

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Puppies can be introduced to birds at just about any age. It's just a matter fo controlling the introduction.

I prefer to use live quail. I put them in a small wire cage that I make out of 1/2" harware cloth (Wire Mesh). I'll plant the bird in an area where the pup( 8 weeks to maybe 14months in my opinion) can see it, but have it slightly concealed, so that they are encouraged to follow their nose too. I'll usually plant a 1/2 dozen or so around the yard so that pup has no problems finding a bunch of them, sort of like a child at an easter egg hunt.
I keep them planted in the wire cages for awhile, a time period that could be a few months in duration, for a couple of reasons. It keeps the pup from roughing up the quail and killing them, and a young puppy isn't ready for bird to take to wing. It could possibly scare the puppy and then you have a little problem on your hands. Having them in the cage also helps you to begin the staunching sequence, and encouraging the point.

Quail also "recall" so when you are ready to move on to the steadying to wing training, you basically let a few go, and when the training session is done they come back. The puppy will find the birds and they will take to flight. In the beginning the puppy chases them like a mad man, but soon learn that it doesn't work. The pup then learns to point and slowly "creep" up on them, and this is where you staunch them even further, which by now the "Whoa" and "Stay" commands should be pretty well established.

The wing on a string is kinda fun, but can only be used for very short durations. Vizsla's are incredibly quick to learn thatit is the string and the rod that are controlling the wing, and they'll go for those to get the wing. Vizsla's are great little problem solvers. As for the using hidden wings and such; it works well in the beginning, but a Vizsla will get bored finding the same wing over and over again. Watch their eyes the first time they can get on live birds, and you'll see a whole new dog.

I have about 6 dozen quail in my coop right now for training, and I'll add a few pheasants in the next few weeks to train my new girls. If you would like me to detail keeping and managing the quail let me know. They can be kept and managed on pretty small acerage for training.
 

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A trick I learned from "Gun Dog" was to put a Phesant Wing on a fishing pole and drag it around the yard making sure to never let Max catch it. It was a fun game for him and helped him burn some energy off in the process.
 
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