To the OP: I sent you a PM with a video that may help. I don't know if the PM function is working right now though.
Thanks for all the info, I did get the video thanks Evan
Originally Posted by fishduck
I use frozen birds all the time with new puppies. To me it's not when or if but how. Right now I have an 8 week old puppy that gets a frozen teal daily for 2 or 3 retrieves. I encourage good habits right from the start. You certainly don't want a puppy to eat a bird.
It depends on the puppy. The one I have now gets it and brings it right back so unless he starts showing a problem he is going to continue getting real birds. I don't let them play with a bird or get possessive.
I am a firm believer that ALL habits both good and bad start early. If introduced early properly I find it much easier to deal with the dog when he is older and going into FF. I have trained a few that had no bird intro when young and it was much tougher to teach them good habits with birds. I prefer to start a 7 week old puppy with a solid frozen teal, cant do much chewing or eating on that. I do try and avoid a live fresh warm bird like a pigeon, now there is where some bad habits can start. Not that I don't do it cuz it is really fun to watch a little pup go nuts chasing a live pigeon but depending on the pup it is once or twice and done. If a pup is a little shy about a live bird then I will expose it till it gets over that. You certainly don't want a fresh dead one with an open wound or blood on it. Pretty simple really. Introduce them early and encourage good habits and discourage bad ones. So again don't ask if or when but how.
As for the original question and older dogs I pretty much do as Wayne mentioned. I have birds in the freezer that I have used many many times. With one dog you could make 6 or 7 birds last all year just don't throw them in the water.