Reluctant to retrieve pigeon

gundog experts

gundog experts - Credit: Archant

QI have been roost shooting with my young dog but he is very reluctant to pick up the freshly-shot pigeons. What can I do to encourage him?

ANICK RIDLEY replies: Wood pigeons have soft feathers and a young, inexperienced dog can find it very off-putting when picking them up as they normally end up with a mouthful. If your training has been sound and the dog picks feathered game without any problems, plenty of encouragement will normally ensure the dog makes a clean retrieve.

It is also a good idea to remove as many feathers as possible from the dog’s mouth once you have taken the bird from him.