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TRAINING TIPS ON YOUNG DOGS

One of the greatest things to watch is a young, happy, flashy, accurate marking dog. The first step in training a young dog is gaining his confidence and being able to keep it. When the young dog does the work right, give him a “happy time” so that the next time he jumps out of the crate, he ...

TRAINING TIPS ON YOUNG DOGS

One of the greatest things to watch is a young, happy, flashy, accurate marking dog. The first step in training a young dog is gaining his confidence and being able to keep it. When the young dog does the work right, give him a “happy time” so that the next time he jumps out of the crate, he will be raring to retrieve.

As I start with a young dog, I like to give him a few birds, but I would prefer to thoroughly force break him to retrieve before I make birds a regular occurrence. In most cases, this stops many problems from occurring, such as sloppy pick-up, poor bird handling, hardmouth, and besides, it frequently assures a clean delivery.

In my opinion, trainers of young dogs frequently put too much emphasis on doubles. I have had more success in always starting with a single and adding birds, up to triple, as the dog is successful on each test. Triples for a derby dog do not serve much purpose. The main objective with the young dog is to help him learn how to find that key bird, the memory bird, and if you can concentrate on this, you will survive more trials in good shape.

When you start the water work, remember that you want to have the dog charging out into the water. This is best accomplished on easy singles. When you start on the tougher water marks and when a bank is available for the dog to run, be sure to have enough help to prevent bank running. If you can block him the first time, he is less apt to try it again.

Here are a few handling tips that might be helpful. In training, don’t make a habit of waiting too long to call for a bird. After you think the dog has spotted the gun, call for a bird quickly. You are hoping that the dog will form the habit of paying attention as soon as you sit him down on the line, whether it be in training or a field trial. On the other hand, handlers should give a young dog time to think after he delivers the fist bird and before sending him for a second bird. Take the time to line the dog in the right direction before sending him on a retrieve, particularly the second bird.

Young dogs are great to work with, but always remember, whether your objective is field trial work or hunting, keep the young retriever happy so that he will do his best to please you.


Taken from “The Retriever”, Volume 1, Number 3, November 1969
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