Posts Tagged ‘sto to flush’

When the training fun begins

“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” While not originally coined for dog trainers, it is a worthy axiom, especially in the area of steadiness to wing, shot, and fall. Every step, every cracked twig or ruffling wing feather is an invitation to Manny. As if a bird were saying “C’mon, pup, I dare you to flush me.”

In getting him ready for a fall NAVHDA Utility Test this may be the ultimate bugaboo. See, he’s had two television seasons of solid points and backs, then olley-olley-oxen free once the bird flies.

I’m liking the general idea of centering his steadiness training on stop-to-flush. It seems to be the method of choice for my online friends who train a lot of dogs. But more importantly, it embodies the entire best-worst philosophy. Ultimately, every bird flies. If that act is the “command” for whoa, how can you go wrong? (You tell me!)

Several trainers I respect start with the concluding portion of any command (“hold” then the rest of the retrieve, for example). The flush corresponds nicely to this. Then, everything leading up to the whoa-to-flush becomes natural.

Manny is already a staunch pointer. It’s the next steps that will need diligence on both our parts. What say you?

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