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Thread: training a working springer to be deer dog

  1. #1

    Question training a working springer to be deer dog

    hi,I have a 4year old springer bitch which hunts, retrieves,to the whistle and hand signals,SHE IS FANTASTIC at all types of bird n ground game,but can I train her as a deer dog? can anyone help cheersken

  2. #2
    Well I have an 11 year old springer that had to start being a deer dog when he was about 8. No real problems. Once he found the first one he was on the ball thereafter. He's probably a bit better now as he's quite deaf and so keeps his eye on me most of the time. He's a bu&&@r for running in after the shot, but he always was, which is entirely my fault. One thing I do see is that when he appears after the shot and cavorts around, the remaining deer often stop and look at him, giving the opportunity to get some more. It works for me. Given the attitude of many on this site, I now have my tin hat on and await the incoming fire!
    Im sure you and your wee dog will be fine.

  3. #3
    I have a 8yr old springer who had no deer training when I bought her aged 2.She is great with deer.
    She has got me more deer than I can count wind scenting them well out (woodland).
    As already said she will pick it up fine,she just needs to be a patient dog as sitting still is not on a
    lot of springers to do list.
    I also have a cocker that also started on deer aged 6.She is also great but as I said you need a dog
    with a lot of patience ,good luck.

  4. #4
    My old spring is sadly past his sell by date but the young usurper is moving up to take his place.
    they may not be a BMH but mine have located plenty for meClick image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    well its good news, now how,s the best way to start her deer training? ken

  6. #6
    Shoot one. Let the hound find it. They soon get the idea. Soon they'll tell you even when they are around and you have no chance of seeing them. When you gralloch it give them a bit. Yummy reward! Hmm. Right oh dad. One lad I knew always gave them something from the windpipe so that they would go for the throat when they found them!
    Dont over complicate things. They are hunting dogs.

  7. #7
    I,ll second what goathunter1 has written. Essentially my dogs are bird dogs. Tracking deer is a bonus. A fallow buck disappeared into high bracken early in the season and I had the springer in the Landie. Put a leash on him and let him at it.
    After that I took him out on what I call a German lead which goes over my shoulder and leaves the hands free. Walking up into or across the wind it's easy to see the change in the dogs body language when he scents a deer.
    Mind you I have since seen a BMH point at deer 670 yds upwind on the hill.

  8. #8
    Have an 18month old Springer bitch who will happily sit with me in a hedge or under a high seat. Trained her to stay on the report of the rifle by taking her out when I was zeroing and sitting her next to the bench. She perks up as soon as the shot goes off but stays until allowed to find follow.
    Agree with Goathunter. Shoot one close(ish) where you can see where it dropped, let her find it and then liver/heart/kidney or a bit of muscle from the gralloch as a reward.
    Had a great "Mexican Stand Off" last Summer as a sika surprised us by a high up on her back legs eyeballing the deer, the deer looking at me and me looking at the dog to keep her steady......The deer blinked first and pronked off squeaking....the dog stayed put! The hunting/retrieving instinct is in the DNA.
    Keep it simple but as long as they are steady and good peg dogs then you shouldn't have any issues!

  9. #9
    I'm currently training my 5 year old springer as a deer dog but I am not sure about what to do with him if I am going to use a high seat. If the dog is sat underneath the seat might the deer scent him and spook as a result?

    atb Tim

  10. #10

    Getting him steady is the main challenge as Springers cant sit on their backsides usually for more than 5 minutes! Don't worry about scenting...If they can scent the dog they are likely to have already scented you! I've had deer come within 30m with the dog below me and also had them sit tight in gorse with the dog sniffing around close to them!

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