Background is; we were given a 4 year old Deutsch-Drahthaar (Amy). Previous owner had done quite a bit of training when she was young and then stopped to focus on her brother (she struggled to point and chased birds). Brother is an excellent hunt dog.
We have had her a couple of months now and she is simply an amazing family dog. Super soft and perfect with our 2 year old. Easy to train in terms of obedience and excelled at the initial blood trails I set up for up. My thinking was I would use her for a blood tracking dog, but, I wanted to see what she was like on birds (really wanted a bird dog).
First bird (on a pigeon pole) she found well but did not point and chased bird. But clear she could hunt and wanted to (used wind, stayed relatively close, good pattern, etc.). We then let her go on a couple of birds that were not attached. She hunted well but busted the birds. We then used pinch collar and check cord. It took no time before she realized how to hold. After checking for no 'gun shyness', we proceeded to shoot a couple of birds and let her retrieved (she did with no issues).
Final bird was the best. We mistook where we placed the bird and were chatting away whilst Amy hunted in front. With no pressure on the collar (we were not actually holding the check cord), she locked up on a bird. She held really well, so we went ahead and shot the bird. She duly retrieved.
Her ability to learn and adapt was incredible. For a 1st training session, a complete success. Not to say perfect (e.g. dropped the bird a few yards in front etc.), but far exceeded my expectations. I was happy I did my bit and shot the two birds that she pointed!
Plan on continuing training over the coming months with an ambition of hunting with her this season.
Seeing a bird dog hunt, find a bird and then retrieve the bird is simply awesome!