What All Dogs Will Receive While Training
Very early in the program your dog will be exposed to birds (both dead and alive). This is to make an assessment of your dog’s interaction:
- Is the dog gamey?
- Is the dog afraid?
- Is the dog unsure of him/her-self and the bird?
- Does the dog pick up the bird?
- Does the dog eat the bird?
- Is the dog uninterested?
The foundation of the training program will be designed based upon the answers to the above questions. The dog’s capabilities will also be aligned to the owner’s desires; in most cases this can be accomplished. However, if the dog is incapable of meeting the owner’s desires, I will consult with the owner for further planning.
Once a program has been established, your dog will begin with basic obedience: come, heel, sit (stay), down (lay down), and the meaning of ‘no’. All dogs are expected to perform these basic obedience commands off-leash at any time with any distraction. Although obedience is continuously reinforced through field applications, it is considered done when the dog’s performance is excellent in any situation.
Introduction to Birds
The dog’s personality will determine when and how field work begins. If a strong, bold personality is demonstrated then obedience to the handler must be impeccable prior to field work. Dogs must know and understand that the handler is in charge at all times because field work may excite a strong-willed dog into disobedience.
If the dog’s personality is soft then mixing obedience training with field work will help build confidence in the dog. Mixing the field work offers additional positive reinforcement.
Field Training Only
Daily work in the field is to recreate and teach the dog how to do its fundamental tasks: point, retrieve, flush. Overtime, distractions are added to simulate the hunting experience until the dog is ready to be hunted.