Blinking: A Man Made Problem in a Bird Dog

The term, “blinker,” is not something one wants to be true of their hunting dog because it refers to a dog who points a bird, then leaves it, or upon finding it, avoids making a definite point.

A dog might avoid birds because he or she has come to hate or fear them. While this may be due to a lack of natural instinct, by and large, blinking is usually a man-made problem. Unconscionably poor training methods that are harsh or intimidating,  or misuse of training aids during puppyhood or adolescence are often the root cause. In the dog’s mind, he thinks that birds can hurt him. His instincts drives him to hunt, but when the bird is found, he remembers something unpleasant and associates it with the bird.  Not wanting to have anything to do with the bird until it is dispatched and picked up is a fairly certain indicator of the blinking syndrome.

The cure is patience, positive reinforcement, and kindness. And then for a hunter to be trained in how to train a dog.

Image: Sporting Dog Traditions Art Print by JQ Licensing is available as a print, pillow and phone case here.

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