A bump or a knock

During a training session, Tana pointed the pigeon but then moved in and caused it to flush. This is a knock. (Photo by Brad Gudenkauf.)

During a training session, young Tana pointed the pigeon but then moved in and caused it to flush. This is a knock. (Photo by Brad Gudenkauf.)

Proper work around game by a pointing dog involves accurate location of the bird before it points. Sometimes, though, things go awry. There are two possible explanations:  a bump or a knock.

When a dog accidentally causes a bird to flush, that’s a bump. It usually happens when the dog is in motion and, as long as the dog stops at the flush, no violation has taken place. In my opinion, the occasional bump is similar to the occasional unproductive—not preferable but also not a serious problem.

On the other hand, when a dog is fully aware of the location of the bird and intentionally causes the bird to flush, that’s a knock. This is a not acceptable and the dog should be corrected.

How does a handler tell a bump from a knock?

If the dog is on point, jumps in and causes the bird to flush, that is definitely a knock.

A knock is when a dog speeds up towards the source of bird scent and puts the bird in the air.

Even if a dog slowly creeps in on the bird and puts the bird in the air, it’s still a knock.

If birds are put in the air more frequently than they’re pointed, those are probably knocks.

Knowledge also comes from experience. A handler who knows his/her dog, understands subtle body language and remembers previous bird encounters should soon be able to discern the difference.

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