Welcome to the Field ready course
This is meant to take your dog to a level where he or she is now ready to hunt in the field. This course covers many obedience practices and will walk the hander through much of the control that is needed to take a bird dog into the field. Remember not all dogs are made the same or fall into the same bucket. So if you are having issues do not hesitate to reach out.
Step 1: Collar Conditioning
We typically say this is the beginning of when training is meant to get serious. You will now have control of your dog at a distance and the dog has no choice but to respect your commands. This typically happens at around 6-8 months of age. It is important before this you are developing a good base but do not want to put the collar on too early as it can have negative effects. If you think your pup may be ready early then reach out and we can help shed some light!
Part 1 is understanding the collar
Now that you understand how the collar works its time to get the dog ready to use it!
Now let's take it into the field where we will begin an actual drill to help your pup understand the collar.
This is the second part of being in the field, once this is complete you will have a dog ready to use a collar on.
Remember the collar is all about using it to get the desired response.
We are going to use the collar and continue to increase the stimulation until the dog reacts in a manner we desire. This is the basis of positive and negative reinforcement. Do something wrong and get stimulated, do something right and get all the praise in the world.
Step 2: Obedience with a collar
Now that you have established you have control over your pup no matter where it is you can go into enforcing commands and obedience.
Although every command is important, probably the single most important command when it comes to pointing dogs is the whoa command. This should be hard wired and full proofed because trust us when we say you will want this control in the field. Although you should have started working this prior to the collar conditioning. You now have a tool that you can layer into whoa. If you need a refresher on this command go back to the previous course. Layer in whoa little by little and us the collar to get the desired response as we start stretching out the distance.
Welcome to the Here Command
Now lets look at a version of this in the field
Here is the right way
To do the command but after compare it to the wrong way. Both are meant to be examples:
Here is the right way
This is the wrong way
Although you should have been working on this with your pup since the beginning if it is a flusher let's move onto sit.
Please note- do not teach a pointer to sit unless you have almost finished your dog. Pointers are meant to stand on point, not sit, whoa is still the most important command in the arsenal.
Here is a good example in the field using a collar.
Once you feel like sit is going well lets move onto here. A Lot of times this can happen simultaneously as you probably have been using this command as well since the dog was a pup but follow the steps below to develop the here command.
Here is an added tip from the pros on a drill you can use to really tie the knott all together.
Take your dog out to an open field near your house or really any location in order to do obedience training. Start by just a nice leisurely stroll through the field when you say “whoa” your dog should stop and if it doesn’t you can apply pressure. (If you can’t get the dog to stop at all you probably need to go back to just the whoa drill with the check chord.) Now that the dog is at a pause you can begin to walk away. The dog should never move on whoa, or sit, until it is released so the dog should stay behind. Walk a good distance and say “here” make sure the dog comes all the way to you properly and say “ whoa” again. If the dog breaks before commanded, take them back physically to the original spot and restate the command. You can test the dog by gradually stretching out the distance you walk away from the dog. This will help you tie everything together at once all while using stimulation.
Step 3: Gun Introduction
The moment of truth and one of the biggest training steps so far. The Gun intro, a lot of people like to think that a gun intro is taking them to the local shooting range and letting them get closer and closer until they are ready to go in the field. Please do not do this. The absolute worst thing you can do for your dog. This is where the importance of developing drive early comes into play, if you did a good job early on with bird introductions and building retrieving drive this section will be a breeze.
Now that you understand the ground rules it's time to get into the drill in the field.
By the time you are done
Here your dog has the skills to get into the field and begin hunting. As always if you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out and figure out what to do next as not all dogs are made equal.