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Posted by on 12/1/2019 to Training Tips

We all love to see a dog that retrieves right to hand. This puts the finishing touch on a fine retrieve.

However, many of us have dogs that do a great job finding downed birds, pick them up and then bring them part of the way to us. This is known as a partial retrieve. I have seen hunters in the field and handlers in field trials nearly “stand on their heads” to get their dog to retrieve to hand. There are a couple of reasons dogs do not complete the retrieve to hand. One, they are anxious to find more birds. Two, and the most probable one, is that we present a wall standing in front of them as they approach. Here are a couple of tips that may be of help to you.

First, during training sessions, turn sideways when the dog approaches. This gives the dog a path past you and it encourages them to continue coming. When they arrive, command WHOA (pointers) or SIT (retrievers/flushers) and let them maintain possession of the dummy/bird for a few seconds. One of the biggest problems is hunter/handlers grabbing the bird from the dog. This creates hard mouth problems as the dog wants to maintain possession. By waiting a few seconds, you allow the dog “ownership” and eventually they will give it up willingly.

The second approach is to move backwards as the dog approaches you. You have trained your dog to come to you and it will continue coming as you are moving away. The trick is for you to move back slower than the dog is approaching. He will catch up to you and you can reach down and praise the dog lavishly while letting your dog maintain possession of the dummy/bird. Again, your dog eventually will release the bird willingly. Patience and repetition are key.

Stop by again next month for another training tip!

C J , Shawnee,  &  Duchess         


Posted by on 11/1/2019 to Training Tips

This month we are going to add retrieving to the Staunchness on Point training drill. It will be used as a reward when your dog executes staunchness on point without breaking point or creeping on point.

Set up the scenario as described in the last few months tips. Once the dog establishes point, release the bird, fire the starter pistol and keep the dog from chasing (on check cord). Then lead the dog 180 degrees away about 20 yards. Command WHOA and MARK, toss a frozen bird and then command the dog to fetch. I use the dog’s name as a release command. You can also use a whistle command as a release to retrieve.

Remember, do not give the retrieve reward if the dog falters in any way on staunchness. Soon your dogs will learn that in order to get their mouths on birds, they must be staunch on point.

This is a great drill to start training your dog to be steady to wing and shot. Please stop by again next month for another training tip. The upland bird hunting season is now underway. May it be a rewarding one for both you and your dog!


C J, Shawnee, &   Duchess


Posted by on 8/1/2019 to Training Tips

This month we will start our series on field training pointing dogs. . .


Posted by on 7/1/2019 to Training Tips

We have come to the fifth and last lesson of the five lesson program featured in Paul Long’s book, “Training Pointing Dogs”. . .


Posted by on 6/1/2019 to Training Tips

This month we continue with Lesson #4 in WHOA training utilizing Paul Long’s system as described in his book, “Training Pointing Dogs”. . .