IN THE FIELD
By Lori Jolly
Happy New Year to all! While itís the New Year it is time to take a short break and reassess our field skills. Time to look back at what we did well and what needs further work and what skills got loose during hunting season.
If you kept a training log over the past year, which I recommend everyone do, then it is easy to see where improvements need to be made. Once you have your list then you can start preparing your training lessons to get you back on track for the upcoming field season. Even when the weather is not conducive to big set ups or longer sessions there is a lot that can be done inside or outside with shorter sessions.
While sitting in the den you can clean up any mouth issues or pivot problems. Having your dog move with you doing "heel" and "here" can be done in the middle of the room. Reviewing your obedience skills can be done easily in a large room or garage out of the elements and revisiting your honoring can be done with two dogs using tossed cookies instead of bumpers. Use your imagination and get creative. You can also use the cookie toss game to sharpen your dogís sit whistle response.
A fun and short drill during a break in the weather that doesnít require much room is to toss out a bumper; send your dog and as he is half way there stop him and cast to a hidden bumper elsewhere. Then send him for the tossed bumper or you can establish a sight blind and send to the sight blind and stop enroute and cast to a hidden bumper. You donít want to do this drill too many times or he may begin to anticipate and either lose momentum or "pop" but it does keep them on their toes and is good to do now and then to work on control. It makes the dog really pay attention to your cues.
Or, send him for a blind retrieve and as he is half way there stop him and toss out a mark to either side of him. Send him for the mark and then line him to the blind. Never get into a pattern but keep him paying attention and focused on his task. Then let him line a couple of blinds and toss out a mark and do a poison bird. There are lots of concepts that can be done in the back yard for the educated dog. I would not do the above with a green dog as it may undermine his confidence.
For a green dog; choose a skill to work on repeating a concept and building the dogís confidence in that skill. It could be as simple as a casting drill or lining drill that can be done in a small space in a short period of time. Winter is a great time of year for drills as you are repeating a concept and the dog is less likely to overheat.
When you have inclement weather is also a great time to review the training DVDs and books you have on hand. Catch up on material you meant to get to during the summer but didnít find the time to do so. Now is the time to think about your goals for 2014 as goals will help you stay on track.
Remember you need to know your dog is prepared before you enter a trial. Donít enter a trial and then try to get your dog ready as that only puts pressure on you and your dog and hardly ever has the desired outcome. Know what skills your dog needs to review and isolate those skills in a drill before you test them in the field. This will help your dogís confidence performing those skills. So, review, make a plan and get to work but donít forget to make it fun and enjoy the journey! Best of luck to everyone in 2014 no matter what goals you hope to accomplish!
Lorie C Jolly
FOR PAM FORD:
Observations Gleaned from Goose Hunting
Strider's First Pheasant Hunt
What A Way To End A Day
Derby Dog Days
Drive: Speed or Anatomy
For More Great Articles by Glenda Brown click the link below:
HUNT TESTS - JUNIOR
HUNT TESTS - SENIOR & MASTER
HELPFUL HINTS FOR POTENTIAL MARSHALS
FURTHER NOTES ON TRAINING ALONE
IS BEING TOO EASY A DISSERVICE
DIVERSION WORK WITH YOUR DOG I
DIVERSION WORK WITH YOUR DOG II
DIVERSION WORK WITH YOUR DOG III
Bill Totten's Poison Bird Drill
Some thoughts on WC/WCX
How to be a welcome member of a training Group
Baby Dogs Part 2
Things You Were Afraid To Ask
Quotes from Gail Burnham
Some Random Thoughts
More Random Thoughts - Less Great Wisdom
Choosing A Field Handler
Urban Training or Urban Welfare
Using an Urban Environment
Success In All It's Guises
Faith & Belief Drills
Keep Your Rear On The Ground
Swim To Me Drill
Swim to me Transition
Advanced Swim To Me Drill
To Handle Or Not To Handle That Is The Question
The Great Divide
The Balance Beam
Bits And Pieces
Your Cheatin' Heart
Pop Goes The Weasel
Attitude is Everything
Hey Diddle Diddle
Judge Not But Ye Be Judged
How Strong An Influence
Brick Walls, Sweat And Tears
Field Factors 2
Further Factors 3
Do's and Don'ts when training with a Pro
The AHA Moment
1992 Master National
ARTICLES BY LORI JOLLY
Sit On The Whistle
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