how to catch pigeons for dog training

How to catch pigeons for dog training

The best way to catch a pigeon for dog training is with a trap, either home made or bought.

If you want to use a bird launcher or be consistent with steadiness training for your spaniel, then there’s no option, you need to learn how to catch pigeons for dog training to make sure that your training sessions are as productive as you want them to be.

If you choose to use a bird launcher then you are going to need a source of birds to use in the launcher ( unless you use dummies of course ). 

Training dummies will work for a young dog for a while, but, after a period of time, and to progress with your spaniel’s training, you will need to progress onto more exciting and live birds, and, you’ll need a source of birds for your launcher to keep your training on track.

At a glance our top 4 humane pigeon traps

Best Pigeon Trap
Bird B Gone Pigeon Trap with Shade, Food and Water Containers
Does the Job
OKIl 20cm Heavy Duty Sparrow Pigeon Starling Humane Live Hunting Trap Bird Net
Pied Piper Pigeon Trap Model 603
Best Value Trap
Bird Trap, 17-1/4 in. L, 12-1/4 in. W
Bird B Gone Pigeon Trap with Shade, Food and Water Containers
OKIl 20cm Heavy Duty Sparrow Pigeon Starling Humane Live Hunting Trap Bird Net
Pied Piper Pigeon Trap Model 603
Bird Trap, 17-1/4 in. L, 12-1/4 in. W
Best Pigeon Trap
Bird B Gone Pigeon Trap with Shade, Food and Water Containers
Bird B Gone Pigeon Trap with Shade, Food and Water Containers
Does the Job
OKIl 20cm Heavy Duty Sparrow Pigeon Starling Humane Live Hunting Trap Bird Net
OKIl 20cm Heavy Duty Sparrow Pigeon Starling Humane Live Hunting Trap Bird Net
Pied Piper Pigeon Trap Model 603
Pied Piper Pigeon Trap Model 603
Best Value Trap
Bird Trap, 17-1/4 in. L, 12-1/4 in. W
Bird Trap, 17-1/4 in. L, 12-1/4 in. W

Why are pigeons good for dog training?

Pigeons are ideal birds for all manner of dog training exercises and work really well when spaniel training for hunting, flushing and steadiness.Best remote bird launcher for gun dog training

Firstly, pigeons are plentiful and, in most countries are classed as vermin, so there is generally no real issue or problem faced when catching them and using them for training. As long as they are not mistreated most areas appreciate pigeon control.

Pigeons are relatively easy to keep and look after, a simple pigeon coop ( house ) can be made from a shed to keep your birds in. If your birds are really clever then they’ll return after being released during training, otherwise you’ll have to catch more.

They are also hardy and tough birds. Just look around, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, there will be pigeons, more than any other bird.

Are pigeons good birds for launchers?

Pigeons are good birds to use in a launcher as they will generally stay quiet and calm when settled. Before the invention of bird launchers, many dog trainers would catch pigeons and ‘dizzy’ them. This essentially meant that the trainer would spin the bird around carefully in his hands, until the bird went dizzy. The pigeon could then be placed into deep grass where it would remain until the dog found it, and it would then fly away.

This is the same scenario that we are looking to re-create when we use a bird launcher, only now we have more control.

Also, when pigeons are released, they flush well, flap and make a noise, which is always good for a young dog, and they have a game scent which helps the dog to develop his scenting and hunting ability.

How do you trap pigeons easily?

Pigeons are greedy birds and will eat almost anything. The easiest way to trap pigeons is with bait and some sort of trap or net.

Birds. however, are generally very cautious creatures and wary of any changes in their environment, so you can’t just set a trap and hope to catch a pigeon. You’ll need to take your time.

Firstly, you will need some form of bait. bread is pretty good as is cooked rice that you might have left over from the kitchen.

You can also use a purpose produced grain to catch pigeons such as this Green Split Peas Grain on Amazon.

Taking your ‘bait’ sprinkle it onto the ground in the area where you are going to put a trap and do this for about 4 days before you get your trap out.

The pigeons will come and eat the grain and, if you are observant, you’ll get a good idea of the time that they visit to feed.

After a few days, take your pigeon trap and place it in the area where the pigeons have been feeding, BUT, don’t set it yet. The pigeons won’t come back for a day or two after the appearance of the trap ( as they won’t like it ).

Just keep putting the bait out until they ignore the trap.

After about 3 days, add your bait, bread, grain, to the trap and put less outside. The idea now is to get the pigeons into the trap so we can catch them for dog training.

The only step now is to be patient. The key rule from this point one is to check the trap at least twice a day as you do not want to have a bird stuck in there for longer than necessary, you should also leave the trap in the same spot for at least a week before considering moving it to another area.

What is the best bait to trap pigeons?

Pigeons tend to be scavengers but whole grain is considered to be the best bait as smaller birds cannot eat the large grains.

You have several choices for pigeon bait which include whole grains, figs, popcorn, sunflower seeds, peanuts and bread.

How to catch a pigeon with a box?

To catch a pigeon with a box you will need:

A box, a heavy cardboard box will do the job.

A stick

Some string or cord

Some of your bait ( that the pigeons have got used to eating ).

Taking your box, place it in the area that you have been baiting with your grain/bread etc. Get your stick and tie one end of the cord around it. The cord will need to be about 20 to 30 feet long.

Then, get your stick and prop one side of the box up with it, reel out the cord, and go and hide behind a bush/tree..somewhere where you can see the box easily.

You’ll then need to be patient and wait. When the pigeons arrive, wait until one goes under the box to eat the grains, and then, pull then cord to release the stick – the box will fall and hopefully catch the pigeon!

How to make an automatic pigeon trap with a cardboard box

Cardboard boxes are ideal for catching pigeons with, they are strong, light and, in most cases, free.

We can use the stick aand string method above, but it would be much better if there was a way to make an automatic pigeon trap from a cardboard box.

See how you can make your own automatic pigeon trap from a cardboard box and few other easy to find things.

How do you catch a pigeon by hand?

It’s not easy. Birds have great eyesight and often even better reactions.

Keeping your eye on the pigeon that you want to catch, get down low and slowly approach the bird from the rear.

The hand that you plan to capture the bird with will need to ‘hover’ above the bird and, once ready, in a fast downward motion, you grab the bird carefully but firmly.

Good luck with that.

Can you pick up a pigeon?

can you pick up a pigeonYes, unless you have some sort of allergy then it is perfectly safe to pick up a pigeon.

The best way to pick a pigeon up is two handed, one hand will need to go underneath the pigeon’s chest while the other hand goes across the bird’s back to hold it’s wings down so that it doesn’t flap around.

You’ll need to be firm but gentle so that you do not injure the bird. Do not let  it flap or it will hurt itself.

Pigeon Traps For Dog Training

Catching pigeons manually isn’t the easiest of activities and chances are that if you need to catch pigeons for dog training then you’ll spend more time pigeon catching than you will training your spaniels.

If you don’t fancy using a box, your hands or hiding behind bushes to catch a pigeon for your dog training then you’ll be pleased to know that there is a range of pigeon traps available that will do the job for you.

Best Pigeon Traps For Dog Training

If you are going to use pigeons for your spaniel training and are thinking of using a bird launcher then you’ll need a supply of pigeons.

It’s possible to buy homing pigeons that you can use, but these can be expensive both to buy, house and feed.

Apart from catching pigeons manually ( which is often a challenge ) the best option is to use a humane bird trap and we’ve reviewed some of the most effective traps that can be used for catching pigeons quickly and easily to help you with your dog training sessions.

Top 5 Best Pigeon Traps Review

Bird B Gone Pigeon Trap with Shade, Food and Water Containers

Bird B Gone is the world’s leading manufacturer of bird control products.

Based In California, US, the business specialise in the development and production of humane bird control products which include traps, spikes, netting, deterrents and a whole range of products to control pigeons and other birds.

The business was formed in 1992 and has grown to become a world leader in humane bird control solutions.

Product Introduction

This pigeon trap is a rectangular wire cage that has a trap door. The cage has a shade to protect the bird and also comes with a water container and food dispenser.


This pigeon trap is an ideal way to catch pigeons for use with your dog training and your bird launcher.

The trap will catch and hold a maximum of 12 pigeons and the attached feeder and water containers make sure that the birds are safe until the trap is emptied.

The trap has a total of 3 doors for trapping, all of which are one way to prevent captured birds from escaping.

A center door on the top allows for easy access to take the birds out.

The trap also has a sunshade to protect the pigeons while they are in the cage.

This trap weighs 10 pounds.

Bird B Gone Pigeon Trap with Shade, Food and Water Containers

What we like

An easy to use trap that is lightweight and holds several birds.

Water, food and shade all considered and provided for.

What we don't like

Need to be careful over placement and disguise cage to get the best results.

Bird B Gone Pigeon Trap with Shade, Food and Water Containers
  • Three one-way entry doors with door guard
  • Centered top access doors for easy removal of birds
  • Includes water container and feeder pan
  • Pigeon capacity is approximately 12 birds
  • Lightweight trap - 10 pounds

OKII provide a wide range of industrial tools and accessories for a wide variety of sectors and needs.

Among their equipment range is the area of pest control and humane bird traps. Although not specialists within the sector the business offer a wide range of bird control measures and traps that work effectively and will help you to capture live pigeons, humanely, for your spaniel training sessions.

Product Introduction

This trap is made from a net which is spring loaded and, when set, operates by flipping closed.

The trap has green netting with the surround and mechanism being made from metal.


This trap is a 20cm net that is made from heavy duty materials and is suitable for catching single pigeons.

The netting is made from polyurethane and the frame is manufactured from steel.

The trap is easy to use and is lightweight making it easy to carry around and set up.

OKIl 20cm Heavy Duty Sparrow Pigeon Starling Humane Live Hunting Trap Bird Net

What we like

A cheap, lightweight and easy to use trap.

Portable and can be easily re-located.

What we don't like

Only holds one bird and bird can get trapped in the netting.

Steel frame is prone to rusting.

Smaller than it looks.

Pied Piper Pigeon Trap Model 603

Pied Piper are based in Texas, US and manufacture around 200 to 300 humane bird traps daily.

They have been supplying humane birds traps since 1986 and now ship their products all across the United States of America.

In addition to traps the business also manufacture a wide range of agricultural equipment and parts.

Product Introduction

This trap is a wire trap that is for the humane capture of birds. There is a one way door on the top of the trap which is used for the safe removal of birds, and two spring doors on the sides for the capture of birds.

Product Features

This automatic humane bird trap is constructed from 14 gauge galvanized 1 x 1 steel mesh.

The trap has two one way sprung steel rod gates and a top hatch for easy removal of birds.

It comes pre-assembled and will hold 15 pigeons maximum.

This is an ideal trap to use for capturing pigeons if you are able to place it in a sheltered area and inspect regularly. 

Pied Piper Pigeon Trap Model 603

What we like

Well made trap from a trap specialist

Galavanized steel will mean long life

What we don't like

Heavy – 47 pounds

Kness Bird Trap, 17-1/4 in. L, 12-1/4 in. W

Kness are a leading business in the field of humane pest control and bird capture. 

Their Kage All Bird Traps are humane traps designed to capture a range of birds, including pigeons which can then be later released or relocated, or, in the case of a dog trainer, used in a bird launcher and then released safely.

Each Kness product is hand tested before being shipped and the company pride itself on only using the highest quality materials for construction.

Kness was founded in 1924 and the business is based in the mid western USA.

Product Introduction

This Kness Bird Trap is a mesh cage type trap that can be used to catch a range of birds including pigeons.


The trap is made from heavy duty, powder coated and galvanized steel mesh which is rust and corrosion resistant for years of use.

The trap is colored green which means that it will blend in well when in use.

This trap will hold a maximum of 12 pigeons making it ideal as a set and leave trap to collect a quantity of birds for your training and later release.

Bird Trap, 17-1/4 in. L, 12-1/4 in. W

What we like

Well made, powder coated and galvanized construction for long life and useability

Made by industry experts

Colored green for disguise 

What we don't like

Not as many features as some of the competition

Bird Trap, 17-1/4 in. L, 12-1/4 in. W
  • Overall Length: 36-1/4"
  • Overall Width: 18-1/4"
  • Color: natural
  • Overall Height: 8-1/4"
  • Material: 16 Gauge Wire

Conclusion Best Pigeon Trap Review

We’ve looked at and considered a few of the pigeon traps that are available. All of these traps are humane traps, safely capturing pigeons without injuring them.

They will all provide you with the opportunity to catch pigeons which you can then quickly use for your dog training sessions, either in a bird launcher or by ‘dizzying’ the pigeon.

Our top bird pigeon trap is the Bird B Gone Trap – the provision of food, water and shade, helps the birds to be comfortable after they have been captured, and, in our view this was a great addition to an already great trap. 

The other traps, although perfectly suitable and functional did not provide this level of features.

Best Selling Humane Pigeon Traps

If you are still looking for a humane pigeon trap to help you with your dog training then the best seller list below may help you.

These are the Top 10 Best Selling Pigeon Traps that other people are buying now from Amazon.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Alemon 12“ Bird, Pigeon, Quail Humane Live Trap Hunting Bird Trap, with Trap Installation Instruction
  • Diameter is 12 inch, Bird, Pigeon, Quail Humane Live Trap Accessories, Cage Traps
  • Bird hunting to protect your crops vegetables,fruit
  • For small bird such as pigeon, Quail
  • Good quality for science purpose and won't cause harm
  • Package with Trap installation instruction
Bestseller No. 3
Rugged Ranch Products 100063928 Squirrelinator Trap
  • Catch up to 25 Squirrels in just hours
  • Multi-Catch Live Trap
  • No more spreading costly baits
  • Basin not included
  • Dimensions: 23.25" x 23.25" x 4"
Bestseller No. 4
CHENGYIDA 1pc Effective Bird Pigeon Live Trap Sensitive Quail Humane Trapping Hunting 40cm
  • It's effective sensitive and reusable. It's designed to capture the birds, pigeons, and quail etc and won't cause harm . It's easy to use. Just need to place the baited trap on the ground.
  • Diameter:about 40cm
Bestseller No. 6
Kness Kage-All Pigeon Live Animal Trap
  • The Kage-all Pigeon live animal trap is the safe and humane way to catch and keep chipmunks, rats
  • Pigeon live animal trap is reusable for years of pest control and comes fully assembled.
  • This trap has a safe, simple and convenient design for transporting trapped animals.
  • Trap - Pigeon trap.
  • Dimension - 36.25 x 18.25 x 8.25 in.
Bestseller No. 7
Amagabeli Humane Live Animal Trap 31"X10.5"X11.5" Catch Release Cage for Nuisance Rodents Control Mole Gopher Opossum Skunk Groundhog Squirrel Spay Feral Stray Cats Rescue Wild Rabbits
  • DIMENSIONS & DURABLE: 31" X 10.5"X 11.5" inches. Trapping Cage is constructed of sturdy rust-resistant wire mesh with heavy duty steel reinforcements for long life and galvanized for maximum resistance corrosion. NOTE: Place the bait behind the trigger plate so that the animal can trigger the plate when taking the food.
  • SAFE & HUMANE: Keep the animal protected with smooth internal edges and a wire mesh exterior, which will result in the safe capture of unwanted animals. Trigger rod is located outside of the trap so animal cannot damage it while in the trap.
  • COLLAPSIBLE & EASY TO STORE: This live animal trap is delivered in a flat, collapsed state. So you need to do is pull it open, and you’ll be ready to trap stray animals in no time. When you don't need to use it like winter, you can get it to fold again.
  • CATCH & RELEASE: Pressure plate design - this humane animal cage trap is super easy to attract neighborhood cats, flying squirrels, feral mother cat, pigeon, bobcat, moles, stray cat, ground rats, wary or streetwise animals wild cat cottontail rabbits; reusable humane capture, catches, eliminates or exterminates rodents or nuisance animals like groundhogs, coyote, opossum, possum, skunk, creek, voles, rats weasels, groundhogs, armadillo.
  • CUSTOMER CARE: We are dedicated to provide premium products for you and offer impeccable customer care to you. Don’t wait any longer and just enjoy your ideal products today!
SaleBestseller No. 10
Bird Blinder Stainless Steel Bird Spikes for Pigeons and Other Small Birds – Industrial 4" Wide Design Contains no Plastic - (11 Foot Coverage)
  • Ultra Wide - Industry leading 4 inch wide spike strips for maximum coverage. Don't be fooled by smaller 2.25 inch spike kits
  • No plastic – unique design constructed of only 304 stainless steel to be corrosion and weather resistant
  • Stop birds – bird repellent spike kit devices repel all species of birds from landing, perching, building nests, and making a mess of your property. Also an effective barrier to guard against squirrels, cats, rodents, and a variety of animals
  • Multiple uses – bird deterrent product can be secured to ledges, gutters, fences, chimneys, mailbox, and any surface thanks to the flexible yet durable base
  • Kit contains 10 metal strips of 13 inches to be placed half inch apart covering over 11 feet

Last update on 2020-07-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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