Joe Sears with Beechnut and Chaser Joe Sears of Adventure Game Calls with Beechnut and Chaser

My Method for Training Boykin Spaniel pups for Turkey Hunting

by Chuck Warner

When your pup is about 3 months old take him/her out for about 15 minute walks 4 -5 times a week. Start with about 15 minute sessions and by the time they are 6-7 months old the walks are five or six days a week for thirty to forty-five minutes at a time.

If I find any turkey feathers while walking I pick them up, call the dog to me, and let them smell it and eat it if they like.

When the pup is about six months I try to take them where turkeys are likely to be and with a little luck they will smell the birds and start chasing and barking at them. It's just bred into 'em. The guy who originally bred Boykins did a great job!

Once the birds have all been flushed and pup comes back put a leash on him and get him to sit quietly while you call the birds back in. You may want to practice at home making the pup sit still for a half and hour. Work your way up to it by starting with 5 minutes and add a little more each time. It will be much harder when you are actually out in the field, but if the pup knows what is expected of him, it makes correction much easier.

You may want to take a large burlap bag into the woods with you. When the pup comes back to you put him into the bag. This will help quiet him. Then try putting the bag over the pup and giving the stay command. Eventually he will get the idea that he has to stay quiet until you shoot or give the release command.

When you first take a puppy out for walks and there are deer in the area - watch out and call them off of deer scent. This will take a few times or more for the pup to learn not to chase deer. Don't be too harsh on them about it until you are sure they can distinguish between deer and turkey scent.

Good luck and happy hunting!
Note: Be sure to check your state regulations to make sure it is okay to hunt turkeys with dogs. It is NOT legal in South Carolina or Florida.

To be a part of the Boykin Spaniel pages, contact Pam Kadlec:

Pam's Boykin Home Page
History of the Boykin Spaniel
Boykin Spaniel Standard

page design by Pamela O. Kadlec
copyright 1996 Web Designs by P.K.
Last Updated: 5/12/99