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Heidi

Waiting 12 months until training

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I have a new brittany that is 5 months old. The guy that trained my first one said yesterday that he could take him

next March and do his bird hunting skill training then if I didn't want to take him down in Oct or Nov. It don't matter to me, but is there any harm in waiting for the upland bird training in a year old dog?? He trained my first Brittany fine. I think he has alot on his plat this fall so he wants to push my dog back. Appreciate the input on the time line issue.

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It was common practice until the last 20 years or so, to wait until a dog is 1 year old to begin formal field work. It's still common practice in the UK. If it's been bred into the dog, the molding of field ability will not be hampered when beginning at one year of age. Spend as much time as possible training and re-inforcing obedience commands between now and then. Hunting is 75% obedience as it is. Definitley expose him to birds, gunshots(very important at a young age) and hunting this fall, but make sure you do not let bad habits develop! That will increase your training time as you will need to undo those 1st and then teach them what you expect them to do.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Sounds like that gives you plenty of time to work with the dog yourself. General obedience and interacting with the dog in the woods. You can do a lot of easy "whoa" training too. No reason to wait IMO.

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I got my dog when she was 8 weeks old. She was at the preserve and hunting when she was 6 months old. She was born on Oct. 14th so when the pheasant opener rolled around we didn't only celebrate the opener but we celebrated her birthday.

She will be 3 this year and her birtday falls on the opener!

I wouldn't wait. But don't rush her.

I let the dog train at her own speed. She was picking things up fast and I she needed to be challenged.

I think working with your dog on this is the most important part but start right away and hit the breaks if you need to.

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Britts are not timid, but are soft natured. My two bark loudly and protect the home and house, but when the person comes close they are ready to greet.

Britts under two years will often submit to a stranger - even pee a little.

When you train Britts you need to use a softer approach. If you use lab techniques - the results can be poor. Keep your cool and realize young dogs make mistakes (just like we do). That over enthusiasm is not bad - just needs to be relaxed over time ... through experience.

Loud yelling, hitting, over use of electronic collars, etc... do not work well with Britts - sometimes hard to control your cool, but you must...

One last tip. Britts being pointers work best when hunting with 1 - 3 hunters. Hunt alone or with a partner until the dog is seasoned.

Larger groups are often loud - wild birds hold less. People in large groups like to have the dog in front on them. Thus more than one handler in the field will confuse the dog too.

Rambling a little... good luck.

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You shouldn't need to train your dog to hunt, that is instinct. What needs to be enforced is appropriate behavior and obedience. I wouldn't be worried about not getting your dog to this trainer until 1 year of age, but don't let that hold you back from obedience training. This, IMO, is far and away the most important thing for a young dog. I don't care if the dog finds birds its first year, just so it stays close and obeys. usually the staying close is not an issue since they are new to it and don't have enough courage to venture too far away, but a 40 foot leash, whistle are all nice things to work with. Start out in your yard and work to open fields.

I started my pup on wild birds when he was 10 weeks old. He was phenomenal by the end of the year last year. I am very excited for this year and the many years to come.

Get the obedience thing down first, the hunting will come and can be enforced at 1 year without any issue.

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There's no harm in waiting but your not benefitting your dog by waiting either. Get him on birds. If he is not accustomed to gunfire then work on that first. After that start hunting him. Take him hunting this fall both on wild and preserve birds. Work on the obedience (come, heel, whoa, and bending) at home and in the field. Then take what you have built to the trainer.

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CaptainMusky, gspman as well,

Amen, couldn't have said it better myself.

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