Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
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|You can save time during this drill if you receive the dog between the two over piles and have it sit so that it delivers facing you. Step up between the piles of dog training bumpers as the dog returns to you and tell it "Sit" before it can return to the heel position. Now it will be in position for the next repetition. |
If the dog takes the wrong "Over," stop it with "NO- Here." Then move the dog half way to the correct bumper pile and repeat the cast.
If the dog refuses to go, move it to within ten feet of the pile. Command "Over!" as you give the cast, and release the button as soon as the dog moves toward the bumpers. Then move back half way to your original starting point and send the dog to the same pile again, using "Over" without stimulation. If the dog refuses to go again, move it back to within ten feet of the pile and repeat the previous sequence.
Left and Right-Hand "Back" Drills
Set up a four-bumper wagon wheel pattern, with the dog sitting in the center facing you. Cast the dog "Back" to each bumper, alternating left- and right-hand "Back" as you proceed around the pattern. See Illustration 5-Four Bumper Left- and Right-Hand "Back" Drill.
When the dog returns with the bumper, receive it so that its back is toward the next bumper to be retrieved. Take the bumper and throw it back to its original location. Then send the dog "Back" for the next bumper. The dog must learn to ignore the attraction of the bumper it saw thrown and take your cast.
Your dog will soon learn to overcome the distraction of the last bumper you threw and concentrate on the direction you indicate with your hand signal. If the dog goes toward the wrong bumper, command "NO-Here." Then move the dog half way to the correct bumper and try again.
After the dog has perfected this drill, increase the difficulty by repeating it with eight bumpers. Follow the sequence shown in Illustration 6-Eight-Bumper Left- and Right-Hand "Back" Drill. If the dog has too much difficulty with eight bumpers, teach the following drill first.
Left and Right-Hand "Back" with Diversions
After the dog is proficient at turning "Back" in the direction you indicate, the following drill will help teach it to comply with your cast, regardless of other influences. This drill will also help the dog learn to turn 180 degrees and go straight back.
Place a pile of orange bumpers on the ground 40 feet behind the dog, and a pile of white bumpers about 20 feet on either side of the dog. Then cast the dog "Back" to retrieve an orange bumper. See Illustration 7-Left- and Right-Hand "Back" with Diversions, Step 1.
Next, start the dog ten feet farther from the orange pile. Now as it turns to go back, it must run between the two white bumper piles (Illustration 7, Step 2). Gradually move the dog's starting point farther away until it is running about 70 feet to the orange pile. With each success, the dog in- creases its understanding that it must continue to go straight back without veering off line.
If the dog goes for a white bumper, tell it "NO-Here" to call it back for a restart and move the dog's starting position closer to the orange pile so that it will be successful on the next repetition. Then back up again and repeat the drill from the more difficult position.
As you move back from the orange pile, increase the level of distraction by throwing a white bumper to one of the side piles and then sending the dog "Back" to the orange pile. First cast the dog "Back" turning it away from the diversion throw (Illustration 7, Step 2). Then, when the dog is proficient, increase the difficulty further by casting it "Back" in the direction of the diversion throw, as shown in Illustration 7, Step 3.
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