Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
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|Picture Perfect 3-Peats with Teaching Bonus|
Here is the formula:
1. Consider advantages of doing as the first set-up of day –
- dogs are fresh and in good frame of mind for blinds and for learning
- easy to set up and get started before all training partners arrive
- doesn’t require as much help as multiple marks
- fits with ending training session later with marks
2. Determine skill that you want to emphasize. Examples are:
lining through scent
running tight past chairs/gunners
lining over brush piles, fences, across ditches, channel, etc.
3. Identify (or create) 2 or 3 long (250-400 yds) picture blinds. Ideally, they repeat a concept such as illustrated in Figure 1 or perhaps a crosswind.
4. Set-up 2 or 3 blinds to address your skill in #2. For example, let’s suppose you want to work on overs. You might start placing a dog in a remote sit and casting him over to a bumper (previously shown or not). After running a long blind, you might send your dog towards a slot, but at some pre-determined distance, you stop him and cast over to a bumper (perhaps 50-100 yards over). This may be repeated to another over. We often mark our overs with a semi-visible stake that the dog will identify at some point and “the lights will come on”.
5. Run the sequence of 4-6 blinds in a beneficial order for the stage of each dog. For example, with a more advanced dog, you might run a long blind second so that when you require a big over on the third send, you are more likely to get a dog that wants to just dig back. With a group of dogs the young dogs may have to be moved up to simplify the blinds.
Whether you correct or not, use attrition, simplify or help depends on whether this is Day 1 or 4 or 10 and the stage of the dog. Is the dog paying attention and trying, does he just not understand or is he being willful? As always, try to be precise in both your lining up and in your casting.
An illustration of the Favourite Set-Up is shown in the figure above:
1. Start with remote over
2. Get blind #2
3. Send to 3A and give over to 3B
4. Get blind #4
5. Get blind #5
Reprinted by permission of Retrievers Online Magazine, for information regarding obtaining a subscription please visit - http://www.retrieversonline.com/subscribe.htm
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