I have been wanting to write a post on carded pigeons because I think some people try it and give up on the method before they see the benefits.
One thing that works really good for dogs that are fairly staunch and pointing their birds good is to work them by taking them in close to a carded bird but so they can’t scent it. When the bird flushes wild, stop the dog and make it stand. This will really get the dog steady on birds because the dog learns to stop at the flight.
Another thing is working the dog to stand still in the field around birds, stop and stand the dog close to a bird that it cannot scent, then flush it, stay in control with the checkcord at this point in training.
Here is another thing that works real well for dogs that have had the ecollar overlayed in the program and understand it. Stop the dog and stand it close to a bird but with no scent invovled, flush the bird and stop the dog with the collar if you have too, dog must understand the collar if you do this if the dogs does not understand the collar you will get into trouble.
So much of the training happens around birds but not on the scent of the bird, and almost all of the training takes place in the field and the dogs attitude stays good.
To me the perfect set up for carded birds is strips of cover and clumps of cover, most of the field can be short cover as long as you have strips and clumps of cover to block the dogs view of the bird. This set up keeps the bird from getting tangled up so it can’t flush. The pigeons will get up wild a lot of times and you are getting work on stop to flush, even before the dog is steady to wing and shot, all of this dovetails together after a couple weeks of training.
What you will find out is all of sudden the dog is pointing rock hard and not moving at the flight and the shot and is green broke and ready to move on to more training. I normally go through the whole training program on carded pigeons before I use any game birds to polish and finish the dogs.