top of page

Intermediate Training Day 17th Feb 2024

It was wet and muddy for everyone, the ground was saturated everywhere. We were set for a muddy day, however the day was not so bad for the weather.

First of all as always we needed to get the dogs head into gear for training. We went up into the top paddock for this. Very wet getting up through the path in the wood but it was fine and we all made it without landing on our bums.

All handlers were welcomed and told how the day would run. We all threw a dummy down for a later retrieve then continued as always with basics ,whilst we walked away from the dummies we had just laid down. This was giving a memory retrieve with quite a bit of time from when they were placed. We had spaniels, HPR, a cross breed and Labradors in the mix. Its lovely to have all type of breeds in the class. Regardless of breed they all have to do the basics along with their own hunting requirements. Sit stays, walking at heel and then the memory retrieve were completed. All went very well without too much of issues shown. We did have a sticky spaniel that shut down virtually straight away but with a few fun run in retrieves she was back on track.

We also did obstacles, one was to get out dogs through a hedge line that has dummies were threw over. This does sound easy however the hedge is dense and backed with a 4 bar wooden fence. Most dogs negotiated this but not all found it so easy. Some just tried to smash through it but this was not to work as the dogs soon found out. This could happen on a shoot day where a bird lands in the next field and this type of obstacle could be in the way. I find it always beneficial to train for every situation you may come across on a shoot day. We then moved onto the lime stone wall, this wall is around 4 foot and easy to negotiate for the smallest of dogs. We did several retrieves over the wall then we moved onto memory retrieves over the wall. All dogs did great on this. Afterall it was just a memory with a wall in the middle. We moved it up a level where we did the same retrieve but before sending the dog Paul, one of our trainers threw a distraction. This is where we ask the dog to collect the dummy we require and not the one just landed. This again can happen in the shooting field. There could be a runner down and you need to collect that bird but just before you send the dog another bird is shot and lands dead. The dog will be focused on the last one down , this is where training directions and leave that command comes in . All dogs were successful in this then we were able to move on. The distraction dummies were thrown to our left and behind a fallen tree. This then gave us an opportunity to move positions further down the field from a different angle. That said some of the dogs did forget the distraction and when directed and sent they were heading to the wall where the previous retrieve was collected. With some handling everyone eventually picked up one of their dummies. One of the dogs was getting to the area of the fall but failing to collect a dummy. This highlighted that the handler spends most of her time on her own training. The dog wanted its own dummy and no other. Later in the day this issue was forgotten as the dog had no other option to collect a dummy she has never collected before.

We then had lunch and all had a catch up and discussing all sorts of things, the biscuits came out and we soon sorted a box of them. Sausage rolls and pork pies too. Once lunch was over it was time to get the dummy launchers out. We walked over to our 30 acre stubble field that has a wood strip down the middle. this also has a small river for the dogs to cross at the bottom. All handlers were asked if their dog was ok in water. No issues were raised so we continued. We started by a simple marked retrieve over the river. Some of the dummy throwing was in question and not all made it to the other side. This was ok and it made us laugh. Each dog had to be sent over the river. Then the truth came out, not all dogs were able to do this. One handler actually pushed his dog into the flowing river before I could say anything. I would never advise anyone to do this. This dog just needed some water work and able to enjoy it rather than forced. This dog eventually went over collected the dummy but would not come back over the water. With a lot of encouragement for over ten mins saw the dog on our side of the river. We did this several times to make sure all dogs were confident in this task. We then moved onto a small memory retrieve over the river. This task went well.

Moving it up again to the use of the dummy launchers. The first few were with the dogs sat down and fired straight out. Most dogs were ok with an odd run in, the dog was stopped swiftly before getting to the dummy. This is a great test of steadiness training as the dogs go on fire as its so exciting with a bang with something flying out in the air.

We then moved onto a walk up with Paul on one side of the line and Mark on the other side. The dummies were fired sometimes forward sometimes backward. This was interesting and showed how important it was to have a dog walking at heel regardless of what happened. The dog was swiftly turned around when the launcher was shot behind. I did notice that some doge and handlers were not so good at turning 180 especially when they did not know the direction of the dummy falling. I told the handlers that the next line of dummies were all going to be behind. This was to get the dogs and handlers working on the turn to view the dummy. In the main this was great. We then moved it up with dummies getting fired in the opposite direction whilst another dog was out for the retrieve. We had dummies flinging all directions. The dogs however had to continue with the dummy selected by the handler. We had some brilliant success with this and dogs were soon nailing all retrieves with ease. We walked up and down the field several times with dogs at heel and launchers going all over. The fishermen watched on as we did this. It appeared they too enjoyed the display of dog work and handling. We then ended up by the river once again with launchers placed over the river onto our 40 acre filed that has yet to be worked buy the farmer. Once this was completed, we ended the day with some heel work then sit and stays. We did a lot more than this throughout the day but this is the day in brief. Thank you to Mark and Paul for assisting in the days training.

To cap the day off a few of us stayed back with the guns and did some pigeon shooting. Anyone wanting to stay with their dog on the day were welcome to join in.

The day ended with rain and a cold wind and a few birds in the bag. We will be holding another of these intermediate days in April along with a spaniel day.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
bottom of page