MSDA will hold Bird Instinct Clinics on Friday February 28th, Saturday February 29th, and Sunday March 1st during the MSDA Spring Event 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 six identical clinics, at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm on Friday 2/28, Saturday 2/29, and Sunday 3/1. A simple online registration form is available below. You also can sign up at the MSDA Field Activities info table in the main building at the Spring Event.
All potential bird dogs are welcome. 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. It is likely that some sessions will fill up, so register early to reserve your place. (Once conformation, obedience, and rally judging schedules are posted, in case of conflicts, we will do our best to accommodate those who are pre-registered if you need to switch to a different session.)
** Update: As of 1/23, about half of available instinct clinic slots have been taken. The Friday afternoon session is full and no longer accepting entries. **
Look who’s coming! We have one or more of the following breeds signed up so far: Clumber Spaniel, Curly-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Standard Poodle, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Spring Event parking at the Fairgrounds is $5 per day.
The Instinct Clinic is 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.
And, if you and your dog have fun at the Instinct Clinic, check back for more information about MSDA’s late-spring Field Day for an introduction to field training your bird dog.
REGISTER NOW FOR A 2020 INSTINCT CLINIC: