2019 Sporting Dog Instinct Clinics

You can still register for Instinct Clinics!

MSDA will hold Sporting Dog Instinct Clinics on  Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd during the MSDA Spring Weekend at the Howard County Fairgrounds (2210 Fairgrounds Rd, West Friendship, MD 21794). For a bird dog with little or no field experience, this is a great way to get started.

This is a fun, relaxed, and encouraging activity. The clinic includes a brief introductory discussion followed by individual work with each dog and handler. Trainers get the dogs excited about the birds, and then the dogs are able to scent a bird and find a bird, triggering their basic hunting instincts. Clinics are run by AKC hunt test judges and experienced handlers for flushing, pointing, and retrieving breeds. There is lots of fun, and great information, too!

Instinct Clinic also is a wonderful stepping stone for you and your dog to get involved with training for your parent club’s WD or WC program or the AKC Hunt Test programs, or to simply see how much fun you can have when your dog gets turned on to birds!!

There will be a total of four identical clinics, at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm on both Friday 3/1 and Saturday 3/2. A simple online registration form is available below. You also can sign up at the MSDA Field Activities info desk in the main building at the Spring Weekend. Your dog does not have to be entered in any other dog show events to participate in the Instinct Clinic. The clinic fee is $20 per dog  – cash or check, payable the day of the clinic. The number of registrations for each session is limited to ensure that each dog gets plenty of attention.

Look who’s coming! Registrations are running ahead of last year’s pace and we have more than 30 dogs signed up already, including the following breeds: Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

Event parking is free on Friday, but $5 on Saturday.

The Instinct Clinic is the only MSDA Spring Weekend event to be held outside, so please dress for outdoor fun! Your dog only needs a collar (not just a slip lead) and your leash. We’ll provide a very long lead and all other supplies. Dogs are never off-leash during these sessions.

Live birds are used. There is no gunfire. (Flushed birds fly away.)

For more information, photos, and videos, see our Instinct Clinic pages for 2018 and 2017. Questions? Please contact Steve Roth.

And, if you and your dog have fun at the Instinct Clinic, mark your calendar for our May 4, 2019 Field Day for an introduction to field training your bird dog.


The fee for Instinct Clinic is $20 per dog. Please check in (and pay, by cash or check) at the MSDA Field Activities info desk in the Main (Conformation) Building at the Spring Event, at least 15 minutes before your clinic's starting time.
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We will e-mail you confirmation of your registration. If you don't receive it within a few hours (please check your spam folder), contact Steve Roth.