We had such a blast this weekend when we went training wit Becca and Iza for Birger Knutsson and Tommy Andersson. Becca has had a tendency to
1) go back in the ground to spots where she has scented game.
2) when not scenting them she has gone wild when the birds fly.
3) She can be almost death, blind and unstoppable in periods, and our history in spaniels makes us very concerned about these issues.
But with two experienced men putting their heads together and giving us advice and sharing their experiences, we now know that she:
a) needs a lot of experience, but her enormous interest in game compensates a lot.
b) she actually both hear and see, but is too busy thinking some time. (She can be a bit "blonde" 😜)
c) We need to help her to not overthink and to let go of the picture she has in her head, by moving her to a new spot in the field.
d) always remember that pointing dogs learn for life and are not re educational as a spaniel... Things you would never allow a spaniel to do might be okay with a pointer, as you can never make it go back to the things you ban them from. Like it's okay to walk after a bird a bit, because if you use the hand break too hard, you will make it hesitate when it comes to rising the birds. You have to ignore a lot and praise the good action, we will have to use shades a lot more 😎
When we train spaniels in reviering, we work from the side lines and in. As they have a tendency to stretch the boundaries all the time, that makes them keep in contact and under the gun. These two vide men told us to let go, call for contact and as soon as you have eye contact push forward. So that eye contact means - keep hunting, a positive and uplifting command.
And they opened our minds to another possibility, working in a straight line forward with only three signals. Out, stop and come back. If you move in a line and turn to the left and then to the right, you will cover the ground in exactly the pace and width you like that way. Totally worth keeping in mind and making the retrieving much more simple...
Iza then? Well she showed us that she can keep the same pace as Becca! That little thing can run sooooo fast. That we need to keep up our obedience work and continue to work in longer and longer distances between the dog and the trainer. And that if there are no birds she hunt 🐭, and that I shall ignore that or move her forward in a leash as we will not shoot any mice she will give that part up naturally. The same thing with the swallows 🐦
The plan now is to go back as many times we can before the partridge season is over 🤓🤓🤓
Well all of us write here, both humans and dogs ;) At least that was the plan but it seems it´s mostly me Robyn who´s attached to the keyboard...