I have what I think could be or may be a potential problem. Today I introduced my 11 week old female pointing lab to live birds for the first time, with the help of a friend. We had two pigeons in a small cage placed in the yard and just kind of let my pup do her thing. For a few minutes she sniffed around the cage, dug at it, climbed on top… pretty normal first encounter I think.
We then (regrettably) let my friend’s 3 year old pointing lab come check out the pigeons in the cage. The 3 year old rushed over to the cage, then almost immediately attacked the pup! It was only a matter of seconds, but by the time I pulled the older dog off she had drawn blood from the top of the pup’s nose and the pup was squealing like a stuck hog. The older dog was immediately put away and I got the pup cleaned up and calmed down after a few minutes. She went back to wagging her tail and she appeared to be just fine. We then took the caged pigeons to the back yard to see how the pup would react. She didn’t want anything to do with that cage… of course. I took a pigeon out of the cage and walked away from it, coaxing the pup to follow me. I kneeled on the ground with the bird and the pup acted very uninterested in the bird. I took her home and she’s pretty much been acting normal all night.
My question is this… What do I do now? My first thought (and my buddy’s thought too) was to give her a few days or a week without any contact with birds, then try again with a shackled or dead bird… no cage. But now I’m wondering if I should get her back on a bird as soon as possible… to try to get her to realize birds are a good thing right away. I’m a new trainer so I could really use some advice here. Do I wait, or do I put her on birds right away???