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.


    Spotlight:  Northwoods Chalcedony

    Northwoods Chalcedony (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016)

    Callie did a stellar job for her first season on the prairies, under some very tough conditions. All birds were pointed and retrieved to hand. She blew me away. I love this dog and cannot get enough of her.
    ~Tom Massaro, hunting in Montana

    Good stuff about puppies

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    A pointing dog’s first hunting season
    Bird and gun introduction
    Early development of puppies
    How to correct a dog
    How to pet a dog
    How to pick a puppy
    Patience and puppies
    Picking puppies: the unimportance of picking order
    Puppies and fireworks
    Puppy buying mistakes
    Raising puppies at Northwoods Bird Dogs
    The pointing instinct
    Training puppies on a stakeout chain

    Good stuff from previous posts

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    Finer points on...

    A brace of bird dogs
    Accuracy of location
    Bird finding
    How to flush grouse and woodcock
    Hunting pattern
    Running grouse
    Scenting ability
    Speed and scenting
    To point a bird, first a dog has to find it
    Using grouse dogs on pheasants


    A bump or a knock
    Backing point
    Bird dog basics:  hunt, handle, point birds
    Bumping grouse
    Electronic training collars...a little perspective
    How to correct a dog
    How to pet a dog
    Patience and puppies
    The pointing instinct
    Transition to wild birds
    Unproductive points
    WHOA and NO


    Dogs, not averages, matter in breeding
    Evaluating litters
    Pointers of Northwoods Bird Dogs
    Proper conformation
    The tail of a bird dog


    Bird dogs and hidden traps
    Feeding bird dogs
    Feeding for ideal body condition
    First aid kit for bird dogs
    Get your dog ready for the season
    Hazards in the grouse woods
    How to maintain a good weight for your dog
    Quick lesson on poisoning and how to induce vomiting
    Tick-borne diseases in dogs


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