If you want to teach your pointer to flush on command, start by teaching the command sounds for come, heel and whoa at eight weeks, using a food bowl or bits of hot dog to elicit the desired response. [See "Painless Puppy Training," April 2001.] Bird introduction follows at no later than 12 weeks. I use a pole launcher for this phase. [See "Training With Pigeons," June/July 2000.] This system gives the puppy an entire hunting experience in very controlled circumstances to avoid errors that require time to correct. Instead of flying low after a release and encouraging puppies to chase, as pigeons will, the pigeons from the pole launcher go straight up. The pup stands and watches them soar high, knowing he can't chase and catch them and getting his first lesson in becoming steady to wing.