Retrieving is likely to be the most important thing you want your gundog to do, here are simple tips for successful retrieving.
BASIC BLUNDERS WHEN RETRIEVING
Working your gundog successfully is a matter of straightforward common sense. Keep it simple, avoid these common errors and you will have a wonderful shooting season ahead.
- Not using a proper whistle For precise commands in all weathers and situations, without disturbing game, use a suitable whistle.
- Inconsistency The single biggest cause of training failure is not enforcing commands. Let the dog get away with something just once or twice and he will quickly learn that it is OK to disobey commands.
- Wrong commands Check carefully that you don’t blow “stop” when you mean to blow “come”. It’s surprising how frequently it happens, especially with verbal commands such as “get on” and “get out”.
- Dog too far away Don’t allow your dog go galloping off far beyond your ability to do something about it if things go wrong.
- Disorganisation Forgotten equipment, lateness, lack of concentration are all symptomatic of a failure to engage fully with what you and your dog are meant to be doing.
- Poor planning Know what you want to achieve, and how you are going to do it, every time you work the dog.
- Handling away from the retrieve Don’t take the dog away from one place and make it hunt another when, in fact, you have no proof the retrieve is there.
- Confusing hunting and searching Hunting for unshot game needs a close, tight pattern within gunshot range; searching for lost, wounded game needs a wider scope.
- Ignoring wind direction Game sense is really important; devote time to understanding wind and scent.
- Mixed messages A continual stream of commands is confusing for both dog and handler.