Teaching Your Dog to Run Straight Lines on Marks and Blinds - Part I
By Gary Breitbarth of G&D Kennels
0:31 Announcer: GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.
0:38 Hi I'm Gary Breitbarth from G&D Kennels and what we're going to try today is obstacle training which is to teach the dog to take a straight line and not veer from cover. So we have to start with our basics. These two stakes will give a visualization to the dog to go straight. If he goes around these stakes, we'll give him a correction with a collar, a slight one, not a hard one, but a slight one. So he'll learn he can't go that way but he can go through here. And these stakes will later on, we'll put into cover where a dog has a chance to veer the cover, he won't be able to. He'll have to go straight through. And that will teach the dog to take a straight line.
1:24 We're going to talk about how to set this up. We have posts here that are white. You have to make sure they're white so the dog visually sees it. They're like electric fence posts. You got a stick that you can put in the ground. My board is a two by twelve. It's four foot long. It doesn't have to be tall, just enough where the dog has an obstacle where he wants to go around it.
You want to make sure your ground is clear. You don't want to have cover and stuff where the dog doesn't understand it. You don't want to advance that yet. You want to wait until the dog understands it in the yard and go from the yard to the field.
2:15 Alright, what we're going to do is when we start this, we want to be as close as we can to the board. We don't want to give the dog an opportunity to go outside. If he does, he gets a correction But we want the dog to understand right away to go through. So we don't want to test the dog way back there. We want to test it up here close. And the reason we want to do that we want to make the dog understand the habit we're looking for.
2:54 Now if she goes around, we won't tell her anything bad. We'll just let her come.
2:58 Come. Good.
3:04 A lot of people, hup, a lot of people, hup, want to yell at the dog and stop it when it goes out here. Don't do that. Let it go. It will get the correction. It will start to understand, oh I don't want to be out here, I want to be in here.
3:22 Now what we want to do is to extend ourselves and make it harder for the dog so he understands. We're going to challenge the dog now. So I'll back up a little more.
3:37 Good dog.
Now, see I want to praise her reassuring because she just jumped on me and all that stuff. And I don't want her getting excited, with, oh what a good girl! See how she'll jump on me? Down.
3:52 Now the next step we'll go to is having her retrieve in a straight line through there. One thing I do recommend is you have the trained retrieve on this dog before you go and do this part. Because if you're nicking the dog when it goes around, it may not want to retrieve and your retrieving is going to get real sloppy. So I highly recommend you do the trained retrieve.
Okay, we're going to take this bird, throw it out real close.
4:25 Just like we started to come and slowly work our way back. Come.
4:37 Fetch. See how I'm taking two steps back? You don't want to take more than two or three steps at a time. Slowly work the dog back. And if the dog has a problem, move back up. And give the dog the comparisons until it learns.
4:57 Now that the dog has confidence in retrieving, thrown him retrieves that he visually sees and goes over the obstacle we will go to piles. We have a set of piles out here that we will send an older dog to. This dog is experienced, but we'll give you an idea of what we're going to go next with.
And the same way we keep backing up further and further. This is a good way to keep your dog in condition too.
5:51 If you notice there he's thought about it but then he comes inside the two poles. So his concept right now is pretty good. Those are the things you look for to see if the dog has the concept and understands.
6:15 On a younger dog you might want to have a marker out there or have the dummies visual for the dog so he can see them. That will make it easier for a younger dog.
One of the things I like to do at the end of a training session is give a dog a fun bumper. It's a way to relax the dog, release it and he's happy when he gets in the kennel. And it's a simple little thing. You just say, fun bumper! And throw it for him. Let him chase it. And it's his until you go back to the truck.
7:20 Announcer: GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.