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I am getting doves in a couple of weeks and I was wondering how to train them right because I heard if you don't train them right it's hard to train them again. Does disciplining them work, like smack them a couple times just across the back of the head? Sorry I just wanted to make a joke. But please help.
Dave Scribner
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calgarian: You'll find there is very little smacking of heads in the dove world. Surprising to most, there is very little involved in training a dove if all you mean is to get it to sit on your finger.

In any event, train them while they are young. You didn't mention if your new doves are babies, or adults or where you are getting them from, so I'll assume they are young birds.

When you first bring them home, leave them alone in the cage. They'll be traumatized at first and need to get used to their surroundings. Take your time with them.
After a few days, start introducing your hand to them "hand, this is dove, dove this is hand". Just kidding, but you need to put your hand in the cage and gently touch them until they get used to you.

Next gently remove them from the cage and hold them, cupped in one hand with the other hand over their back. If they start to fly away, don't grab at them but wait until they perch and try again. It really only takes a few times and they'll stay.

Next step is to let them perch on your finger. Same process. Be gentle and let them do what they want at first. The training is now actually getting them to fly from one hand to another. Gently toss them about 2 or 3 inches from hand to hand. Gradually, over a period of a few days, widen the gap up to about 3 or 4 feet. I've always found it takes about a week of daily practice at each distance for them to learn what to do. Don't over do it either. The birds get tired quickly so I limit each session to only 10 or 15 minutes each and then let them rest. I do this several times a day. One incentive is to not feed them all day and practice at night. Put some seed in the receiving hand. They'll fly to it and learn at the same time.

After all that, begin working with them with the tricks you want to perform and always use the same bird for the same trick.
Gee, maybe I should have titled this post, it's turning into a book. That's a lot to absorb at first. You might want to invest in the Tony Clark Dove series videos. These will go over in more detail then what I've described here but hopefully this will get you started.

If you have any questions or need help, feel free to ask. I'm glad to help.
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DJ Trix
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you should never hit your doves my friend, it seems to be sooooo bad to me ... imagine someone like 30 times your size hitting you. Tony Clark has videos out on training your doves but never hit those tiny little creatures. Smile
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