Posts Tagged ‘dog training; obedience training’

Well, it worked for us!

Well, it worked for us!

At a recent training day, I had an epiphany. Don’t know if my partners thought so, but it hit me like a gulp of cold coffee.

I’d already put up Buddy … two, three good executions of a command and we’re done (why tempt fate?). But the other guys all wanted to steady their dogs on thrown pigeons. I volunteered to throw. We had a young setter, older wire, and relatively mature shorthair all in the field on the same bird held by yours truly.

I hit on something while choreographing the three-dog rodeo and think it has a lot of relevance to training of all types: After a couple less successful attempts, we set up the dogs in a line, most advanced in front to youngest farthest away from me and the bird. So, the greatest temptation was nearest to the mature dog while the young setter was way off, where the sound, sight and smell of a fluttering, flying pigeon was less likely to induce unsteadiness.

It worked. And I’ve been employing the technique since on our own steadiness drills with guns and birds. We’re concentrating on the whole steady to wing-shot-fall thing, and it really makes sense. Day to day, and over the course of a session too, I’m starting off in the distance, then working closer to Buddy … Have you noticed that your dog has a “zone” where he will not freak out when pressured by fluttering wings and loud bangs?

Are there other training scenarios where distance helps a dog cope with new challenges? I’m thinking first encounters with  other dogs, and meeting other people. How about his first exposure to a  decoy rig? Honoring another dog’s point? Got any other ideas?

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