Using Training Scents in Developing your Bird Dog
A bird dog’s nose is a crucial tool in the field. It allows them to point out a single quail or retrieve a downed duck in the thickest of cattails. Regardless of the type of bird dog, their genetic inclination to use their sniffer provides a serious advantage in the field. However, developing confidence in difficult scenting conditions comes from training and experience.
When choosing a bird dog, the most important feature to consider is their nose. With hundreds of millions of scent receptors in their snout and secondary organs to process scents, a dog’s nose is a powerful tool. While breeding and instincts can play a role, it takes time and experience for a playful puppy to learn to follow their nose and become scent wise.
Dog training scents can aid in the early stages of bird training or keep experienced gun dogs in top-performing function in between hunting seasons. These scents are a useful tool for training and can provide an additional advantage in the field.
Common Scent Types
Scent products are available to aid in dog training programs. Gun dogs typically use oil-based and rub-on wax scents that come in various bird scents. Other scent training products are available for deer antlers, furbearers, and blood trailing for versatile dogs. Oils can be applied to training dummies and life-like Dokken DeadFowl Trainers. Wax stick scents, such as the Bird Down Series from ConQuest Scents and Dokken Dog Supply, are a no-mess, water- and slobber-proof option that work well with all training bumpers and DFTs. Scents can also be applied to grass and brush to enhance bird aroma or simulate a running or crippled bird. These scent products offer a gentle way to introduce puppies to bird scent prior to live birds and provide a viable option for those without access to live birds.
Developing Your Dogs Nose for Birds
Gun dogs are highly skilled animals that are trained to locate bird scent through their nose. Although their eyes may occasionally provide support, their primary objective in the field is to use their sense of smell to track down birds. These dogs are often expected to perform multiple tasks, such as pointing or flushing birds for the hunter, as well as retrieving downed birds to hand. To be successful in all stages of the game, a gun dog must be able to use their nose effectively.
One of the most important skills that a gun dog must possess is the ability to locate bird scent. This is achieved through their highly developed sense of smell, which allows them to pick up even the faintest traces of bird scent in the air. Once they have located the scent, they will use their nose to track down the bird, often working tirelessly for hours on end until they have found their quarry.
In addition to locating birds, gun dogs are also expected to perform other tasks in the field. Depending on the type of hunting being done, they may be required to point or flush birds for the hunter, or retrieve downed birds to hand. Regardless of the task at hand, a gun dog must be able to use their nose effectively in order to be successful. By relying on their sense of smell, these highly skilled animals are able to perform their duties with precision and accuracy.
Bull Valley Retrievers, located in Woodstock, Illinois, is a training facility that specializes in teaching dogs how to become scent wise bird dogs. The trainers work with a variety of breeds, both puppies and older dogs, to ensure that they use their noses in the desired manner and environment. While dogs naturally use their noses, the objective of training is to ensure that they use their sense of smell to locate birds.
According to Joe Scarpy, one of the trainers at Bull Valley Retrievers, scent products are a valuable tool in training dogs to become more scent oriented. By using scent products in conjunction with regular training dummies, dogs are given the opportunity to follow their noses in thick cover or when tracking ground scent. Additionally, scent products can be useful in training bird-shy dogs that are having difficulty picking up birds. By using a training scent that smells similar to the desired bird, trainers can help the dog become more comfortable with the scent and ultimately pick up the bird.
Overall, Bull Valley Retrievers is a top-notch training facility that helps dogs of all breeds and ages become skilled scent wise bird dogs. By incorporating scent products into their training regimen, the trainers are able to ensure that the dogs use their sense of smell in the desired manner and environment.
When teaching a pointing dog to point, it is recommended by Mendez to avoid using certain training scents. The reason being that these scents may teach the dog to point at non-flying objects, which is not the desired outcome. While these scents can be useful as a training aid, they should only be used as a supplement to live or dead birds. It is important to note that these scent products may not smell exactly like live or dead birds, as they lack the additional scents of blood, guts, adrenaline, and stress hormones.
Live or dead birds are the preferred method for training pointing dogs to point. However, training scents can be used as a supplement to enhance the training experience. These scents should be used sparingly and only in conjunction with live or dead birds. While they may not smell exactly like live or dead birds, they can still be helpful in teaching the dog to recognize the scent of game. It is important to remember that these scents should not be used as a substitute for live or dead birds.
In conclusion, when training a pointing dog to point, it is important to use live or dead birds as the primary training aid. Training scents can be used as a supplement, but should be used sparingly and only in conjunction with live or dead birds. While these scents may not be a perfect substitute for live or dead birds, they can still be helpful in teaching the dog to recognize the scent of game. It is important to always prioritize live or dead birds when training a pointing dog to point.