John, I have done lots of water work with my dog. He has no trouble with live birds. Worst part is when they start diving on him. We try and prevent that situation.
Train now with the dockin and set out your decoys.
There are some great training videos out there. Check out uklabs.com, Wildrose kennels on Facebook, and YouTube training Ms. Mazie, and also 6 months to 6 ducks with Zeke and Greta. Great info!
Enjoy hunting with family and friends!
Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me.