Using Bird Feathers in Dog Training
Part of producing a great game dog involves fine tuning your dog’s nose for scent discrimination. Your retriever should be able to find and locate game, as well as discriminate between your bird of choice and another animal. One way to achieve this goal is to use bird feathers in your dog’s training.
Game bird feathers are better for training than liquid bird scent because they more closely simulate a real hunting situation. Simply take a frozen bird from last year’s hunt and remove 1 – 2 large feathers. Allow the feather to fully dry and then tape it directly to a bumper. Bumpers made from fire hose material that are filled with cork are preferable for training, but any type of bumper will do. Take a single strand of tape and wrap it around the feather multiple times to secure it to the bumper.
Next, toss the feather-covered bumper into dense cover and send your dog for the retrieve. Now your dog is hunting an authentic bird, which will help refine your retriever’s nose.