Background: this is my first dog she's just over 1yr (this will be my second season hunting, she hasn't been hunting yet). She's great w/ basic commands like sit/stay/and retrieve (w/tennis ball). I can get her to do these commands off leash upto 30yards. I haven't had a lot of time to train her, and I know i need to teach her woah. But I want to do it right and get her to point on birds. I've read about not putting scent on the T-balls because she'll be pointing on an object that won't fly away. I haven't had any luck finding pen-raised birds (just searched online) in Boise, Id.
What should I teach her and in what order to get her ready for the season. I just want her to woah on birds as a basic start. Any help or advice is appreciated.
Ideally I'd strongly suggest trying to find a pointing breed dog club or a local pro to either send the dog to or to work with you on getting the dog started. Trying to wing it on your own with your first dog and no real prior experience with pointing dogs there are a host of mistakes you can make to screw a dog up that can be difficult to fix later.
You really don't teach a dog to point. The ideal situation is to get the pup out as often as possible on wild birds. In your area there's hundreds of thousands of acres of public land with huns, chukar, and valley quail.
Take the pup out, carry a kid's cap gun at first, when the dog is out running around finds game birds, busts and chases them fire a shot. When that shows to have no negative impact on the dog move up and buy a blank gun (preferably a primer pistol) and do the same thing.
If the dog has any decent breeding and enough opportunity pretty soon it will start pointing on it's own well enough so that you can at least get close before he breaks and puts them in the air.
By this point you've taught the dog that it's his job to find the birds and point them and it's fun because when he does it right you'll fire the gun. Now the gun indicates approval, so ask the dog to hold longer on subsequent points till he's allowing you consistently to do the flushing while he stays staunch.
I can't read your dog without seeing his reactions but at this point if I felt he was showing no sensitivity to the gun I'd strongly consider moving up to the shotgun with some light loads as soon as the season opens. Again let him be chasing a good ways out the first time you fire and advance to firing closer and closer as you see no negative reaction. If it works, next good point you get, kill a bird. If that goes well, kill several but keep it one point, one shot, one bird for a while. Don't throw in multiple shots or multiple guns until you are sure it's not going to create a problem.