Posted by Jim Michaletz on 4/18/2012, 12:48 pm, in reply to "Re: Breaking"
I have taught dogs to pose like that without there even being a bird around. I could whoa them at a place where there were always birds put out then stomp around til I found it and come up with a find. Have done that more than once. That was back in the 80's when I went to a lot of one course throw down trials. Don't have any use for winning that way now. I want the dog to get it done.
We typically start on pigeons after yard work. Then libbies. This training takes place with puppies in the spring before the derby year. Then comes the real finishing when we go to the prairie and finish them on wild birds. For many it's starting all over. They can't crowd wild birds like they do libbies. When that bird fly's on it's own, without the handler being in front flushing, it's a new ball game. They learn how to hunt and how to handle birds better. Sorry but there is no substitute. Also, the more places you go in the country the better the bird dog develops to hunt and handle birds.
I do agree if your going to play the throw down trial game you better break them on throw downs as well.
Many East coast trainers go to the Prairie and finish their dogs on wild birds. A few you may know are Roger Boser, JC Turner, Aubrey Morgan, John Ray Kimbrel when he was training big, Larry Moon, Gary Christianson, Rick Furney, Robin Gates, Harold Ray, Doug Ray, Many, many of the plantation trainers from the South. In fact I would say you could probably count the pro trainers who do not work on wild birds on your fingers. You may need to use a Toe or Two but I wouldn't need to.