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Just thought I'd start this topic as we might be able to share ideas or tips on getting the dogs ready for the 'real deal' season. For some it's just around the corner but for other's there is still time to work on bits.

As I'll be working several dogs at the time, I've been taking the whole bunch (8 labs and 1 cocker) for a walk around the big wood every morning, all at heel but with a lead in the pocket just in case one of them needed a bit of extra heelwork. In the afternoon, I've been having them out for a bit of training and are now starting to split them into teams trying to find out which dogs would be the best to work at the individual teams.

Team 1: Grouse, Adder, Baci, Chili with Pocket rocket Stan as reserve :lol:
Team 2: Guinness, Uno, Casper with Pocket rocket Stan as reserve together with oldie Flatus.

As I have lots and lots of Sugar beet available, I took team 1 (minus reserve) for a bit of walked up training - all at heal (that is not easy in a beet field :lol: ) and all off the lead. First stop was sending the dogs over the rabbit fence one at the time, making them sit and wait on the other side. Next up was the actual walked up bit, using the rows to send a dog back for a blind in a nice, straight line with a distraction thrown in front. I like to try and 'overlap' the retrieves in that sense that I will send one dog for one retrieve and then when it's off, I will then straight away send another dog for another retrieve. I also threw 'distraction' dummies when the dog was running out to get an already thrown dummy or on it's way back with a dummy.

Another good exorcize is to throw two dummies (one direction left and one direction right) send one dog for one of the dummies, then stop and re-direct it to the other one - just have to be careful if it's a young dog as you don't want them to get into stopping whenever they're sent for a dummy. A variation of this one is to send a dog for one retrieve, stop it half way and then send another dog for the other dummy while the first one remains sitting and waiting. When dog number 2 has found the dummy, dog 1 is then allowed to go and fetch the dummy it was sent for in the first place.

The beet field is great to try and improve a dog's marking skills and to get a dog to run across the rows...

I was really pleased with the dogs today as every single one handle really, really well (with Baci and Adder shining through) and no one running in. Tomorrow, I might just add the remote controlled launcher and see how that would work.

Natasha
 

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wow... i envy your control over that many at once 8O

We were doing an exercise very similar to the last one you mentioned in training last weekend. Not only did coal stop on the way out, he sat rock steady whilst another dog went whizzing by for the retrieve :D

must be amazing to watch that many dogs working together like that. esp if they are your own and the training is all down to you :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
_Sam_ said:
wow... i envy your control over that many at once 8O
This is where the team thing comes in: if two of the dogs starts to get jealous of each other then the control quickly goes down the drain :lol: That's why I try this team thing out now - come mid-December, I may have to split the teams even further up as they might start to get really keen by then :lol:

Natasha
 

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Wow that sounds very impressive Natasha. Remember photos always welcome although how you're supposed to do that whilst throwing dummies and controlling 9 dogs at a time I'm not sure!

You've just reminded me to be a little more creative with my dummies. It's a while since I've done the old birds dropping from the sky recreation as the dog retrieves and making sure they run over dummies without swopping etc. Also need to do some clever placement of dummies with where a bird might awkwardly land etc.

I need to really knuckle down on the young ones heelwork before the birds shortly arrive. He's been round all the pens and we've been heeling and doind sit/stays round them with my other two dogs but I dare say when there's something inside them that'll shortly go to pot, likewise when we're wandering round the shoot ground.

I'm going to see how the young one goes between now and the start of the season in terms of steadiness around game and also his training in general before I make a decision about what I do with him when we actually start shooting. Likewise with dogging in etc beforehand. Barney and Bert should be fine with all of this, they're old hands now, but just need the rough edges knocked off when the birds arrive I'm guessing.

Oh happy days :D
 

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Natasha - It's steadiness, steadiness, steadiness for my Peg dog in waiting. I’m using my remote launcher for added steadiness, although I have to admit that you have the ultimate steadiness weapon – A Cocker. 8O

:D John
 

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sounds fab - might have to invite myself along to throw some dummies (inaccurately) or take some photos for you!
 
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