Spaniel Training Articles
Last issue we spent time talking with David Lauber in regards to beginning the Steady to Wing and Shot process. This issue we will continue our talk and move on to the second phase of steadying a young spaniel.
It is usually necessary to resort to artificial means to give a young dog experience on bird work. Property licensed as a "Shooting Preserve" affords the trainer the opportunity (in many states) to shoot game birds over dogs for seven months of the year (September through March), which is of course a considerable advantage. The amateur trainer however probably has no access to such facilities other than as a paying customer, and the professional finds that the time of year when game birds may not be shot is the very time when his training schedule is at its busiest.
Last issue we spent time talking with David Lauber in regards to establishing a solid quartering pattern. This issue we will continue our talk and move on to steadying a young spaniel.
Last issue we talked briefly about introducing the electronic collar to your young dog. This issue we take that topic a little further and review techniques on how to condition your dog to sit, how to enforce the sit command, and how to teach the recall or come in command.
Last issue we spent time talking with David Lauber, regarding the introduction of young dogs to gunfire during fieldwork. This issue we will continue our talk, but step back a bit and talk about establishing a strong quartering pattern before shooting over the dog and eventually steadying a young spaniel.
Ten years ago, if someone had told me that the only way to train a gundog was with the aid of an electronic training device, I would have laughed and bet the farm against it. Good thing I didn’t bet! Not that one needs an e-collar to do this, it just speeds things up a bit. What used to take three to four months now takes six to eight weeks depending on the dog. Technology has advanced tremendously in the last few years. The once barbaric shock collar is now a finesse-training tool. There are several collar manufacturers, as well as many dealers. One of the most frequently asked questions is “What collar should I buy?” The old line you get what you pay for still holds true. Although most novice trainers don’t require the advanced collars that most pros use, a good quality collar is going to run around $200.00 to $250.00. A collar in this price range should have multiple stimulation levels as well as continuous and momentary stimulation modes. After you have made a choice and purchased the collar of your choice please read the manual that comes with it. Read it twice and familiarize yourself with the operation of the collar.
Well, in past columns I examined the different types of breeding that goes on in today’s world of breeding world-class gundogs. Hopefully, I have shed some light on the somewhat confusing world of dog breeding! Now you should have a good understanding as to the different varieties of dog breeding that take place when you speak to the breeder of your choice.
Last month we spent time talking with David Lauber, regarding the proper way to introduce dogs to birds. This month we will continue that discussion as he explains moving from yard work to fieldwork with birds and introducing gunfire to young dogs.
It’s that time of year again, spring time is here, so I thought it would be fitting to write an article on a topic that many of us face, whether we are competing in field events or just tuning up your gundog. Discipline on running birds is a problem that seems to plague everyone at some time or another. If you’re saying to yourself, "My dog never flushes game out of gun-range", then consider yourself fortunate.
Ed Whitaker died in Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, January 23, 2003, with his son John by his bedside. It is the end of an era in the English springer spaniel world, certainly in the East.