Training a Bird Dog to Stay Staunch

After founding and leading NIC, Inc., as CEO, Jeffery Scott Fraser began investing in start-up enterprises and focusing his efforts on reopening the historic Tsaina Lodge in Valdez, Alaska. Jeffery S. Fraser also finds time to engage in his many hobbies, such as bird dog field trialing.

According to a recent article in Outdoor Life magazine, bird dog handlers should train their dogs to obey commands to stay still, or staunch. The article explains that it can be difficult to train dogs to resist their instinct to break point, give chase, and pounce on their prey. For a truly “finished” bird dog, there must be a division between instinct and cooperative obedience, meaning that the dog points instinctively after smelling a bird and holds that point upon command.

Bird dog trainers explain that dogs can learn to maintain point through consistent use of verbal and nonverbal commands. To start, trainers can repetitively issue verbal commands, such as “whoa,” to express the desire for a hold, and later transition to a hand signal after the dog understands the desired behavior. The dog should eventually know not to move after pointing without needing direction from the handler.

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