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How useful is pigeon shooting when training a gun dog?

Pigeon shooting
What you have to realise is that Peter is a mad keen pigeon shooter whose main aim is crop protection, not dog work.

What he doesn’t want to do is spend time out of his hide picking birds with a dog because that could interrupt the flow of birds coming to the decoys.

And to be fair he has a point when he says that with certain crops the last thing a farmer wants is a dog crashing about and laying crop down.

However, from a dog trainer’s point of view pigeon shooting is perfect when it comes to schooling a gundog.

Flighting, roost shooting and even decoying are great for teaching a dog steadiness.

Equally, you can pick and choose which birds you want the dog to retrieve and this helps with directional training.

It’s important of course that you don’t send the dog for every bird you shoot because to do so will merely encourage him to run in when he hears the gun go bang, or sees a bird fall.