Staunchness and steadiness on point is paramount in having a completely trained pointing dog in the field. That being said, there is a lot that goes into developing that stellar performer in the field. Plenty of bird contact is a large part of that process.
This month we want to show you a couple of techniques to help you develop a staunch and steady pointing dog. The first is with a check cord as shown below:
Light pressure is applied to encourage the dog to stop and point the bird. Also, this method works well in keeping the dog from creeping in after point. Often referred to as “roading” the bird.
By having the correction point on the flank we are reducing the chance for you dog becoming a “blinker”. That is a dog that avoids birds. This can happen, especially with softer dogs, with the sole point of contact around the neck. When flank contact is used, the dog interprets that something other than the bird caused the discomfort. “Blinking” is a fault that is very difficult to correct. By using the flank hookup method, we avoid that problem. Dogs are very sensitive in the flank area, so a mild or slight correction pressure is advisable.
The next step in the process is to develop “off lead” performance. This is where the proper use of the E-Collar comes in. We substitute the check cord with the collar receiver around the flank as shown in the photo below. This gives us the ability to correct our dog at a distance. Remembering flank sensitivity, be sure to use a lower level of stimulation when administering flank correction.
Frequent bird contact develops the staunch and steady dog. However, it is numerous training sessions and not fewer long sessions that will “do the trick” for you. Three to four points per session is max. If the dog has great staunchness and steadiness on the second point, stop and praise the dog lavishly. It is always good to end a session on a great note.
Stop by again next month for another training tip. See you then.
CJ, Shawnee,& Duchess