2023 Bird Dog Instinct Clinics

MSDA held Bird Instinct Clinics on Saturday March 4th and Sunday March 5th during the MSDA “Spring Event” at the Howard County Fairgrounds. For a bird dog with little or no field experience, this is a great way to get just have some fun or to get started with training for your parent club’s WD or WC program or for the AKC Hunt Test programs.

Next step? If you and your dog had fun at the Instinct Clinic, or if you weren’t able to attend but are interested in an introduction to field training your bird dog, consider attending MSDA’s annual Field Day on Saturday, April 15th.

Bryan Sirotkin of BSPhotography photographed the dogs in the flushing/ retrieving breeds’ Instinct Clinic field on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Hundreds of his photos are posted at https://bsphotography.zenfolio.com/f178694610 (You’ll need to enter an email address to gain access to the actual photo galleries.) A small sample of his work is below:

Also, here are some of our own snapshots from the Clinics. Click on any photo to enlarge it and move through the slide show.

Instinct Clinics are a fun, relaxed, and encouraging activity. The clinic consists of individual work with each dog and handler. Each dog gets 10-15 minutes in the field, ending with a bird contact (e.g., flush, point, retrieve). Trainers get the dogs excited about the birds, and then the dogs are able to scent and find a bird, triggering their basic hunting instincts. Live birds are used. There is no gunfire; flushed birds fly away. Clinics are run by AKC hunt test judges and experienced handlers for flushing, pointing, and retrieving breeds.

Questions? Please contact Steve Roth at huntingchair@mdsportingdog.org.