If your pup has no problem with loud noises and .22 gunfire while eating, let’s step it up a notch during our short retrieving sessions. We view the next 5 to 7 weeks as some of the most critical for our pups. This is where we find out just how much drive they have, and if they will be candidates for our advanced Finish Dog Training. Keep in mind our motto has always been, if I wouldn’t take a dog that I have trained hunting with paying clients, I wouldn’t sale the dog to a customer.
In these next several weeks, we will learn a lot about the pup running these drills. Not only do we do a lot of .22 gunfire, but we also shoot a lot of .12 gauge shells over them. We throw bumpers and real birds, change up the retrieve from short grass to tall grass, holding the pup until the bird hits the ground, and throw birds from different angles. Meaning, we start getting away from hand thrown birds which come from our right hip. We start using the Versa Launcher or have somebody stand 40-50 yards out in the field throwing birds across the dog’s line of sight. Holding the pup until the bird hits the ground, teaches them to mark what they see falling from the sky, as well as starting to trust their nose to get them to the downed bird. Holding the dog until the bird falls, we command “BACK” as we release the dog. This will come into play later in training when we are teaching steadiness on gunfire. At this time, they start to associate that the shotgun blast, and the “BACK” command means there is something to be retrieved. During a retrieve where we know the dog is going to have to put it’s head down to hunt the downed bird, we use a command “FIND IT”, to encourage them to hunt.
Now there is a lot to unpack during these weeks, but keep in mind to take your time and go slow. These are short 10-15 minute sessions, and you cannot rush it. Let the pup learn at its own pace, rushing drills here can spell disaster later in training. If the pup has a good drive and is excited about retrieving, they will not quit you. So take the time using however many days each drill takes to show the pup the correct way. Always end on a good note each session and give lots of praise to the pup when it is done correctly. Every few days with the correct pup, you will see the light bulb moments they have where all of a sudden it clicks with them.
Allow me to explain these next few videos.
Video one is, Blue with simple .22 gunfire over his head, a real bird and the FIND IT drill. There is so much happening during this simple drill, and it took about 2-3 days for him to put it all together. It was the first time he had been introduced to real birds.
Video two is Bud’s intro to .12 gauge fire, intro to real birds, and a thrown bird from a different angle(across his field of view). The grass wasn’t super tall, but because of the distance, we encouraged him with FIND IT.
Video three is Bear, our AKC registered 5 month old black male we currently have for sale. Today was his first day of off leash work with basic obedience. In about a month he will complete his basic obedience training and will be ready for his new home. If you are looking for a loyal, very kid friendly pet, Bear is what you’re looking for. Give us a call for more information on how to make Bear your family’s new buddy.
Capt. Nathan Beabout
N&M Sportsman’s Adventures
AB Kennels/M2 Breeding