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When does it all end ?

I know that the shooting season is nearly over and this gives us the chance to reflect on our dogs that we have more than likely spent lots of time and money getting them ready for the field. I see the handler turn up with a young dog in the novice class with a goal to achieve great things. They turn up to training and we try to cover all aspects of training and guide them to having a successful dog in the shooting filed. We do our upmost to explain what each task is and how it is related to the shooting field. Some listen and some don’t. But we are there to assist each handler the best we can. There will always be the one who knows it all and spends most of their time using training as a social event and sometimes spoiling it for others. We do our upmost to ensure the information we give is put into practice and it shows up clear when the ones that are listening are soon moving up from novice class to the intermediate and then the advance class. We also have to understand that the dog they are training is their dog and we cannot do much about the one who decided the dog is trained enough to go sit on a peg or go beating in their opinion. After all it’s down to the handler to decide if they want to take that chance or not. I always advice people to take it steady as there is no rush. It’s harder to train a spoiled dog than one that knows no difference. I see it time and time again where young dogs are taken on a shoot because the Keeper or a friend says it will be ok it can’t do any harm. It is correct it cannot do any harm to the shoot if it goes a little wrong, however, that said the harm is shown in a dog that has to be re-trained or a worse sat on a lead with a ground spike stuck in the ground and every time a bird Is shot it half chokes itself. The first time out with its owner the dog actually does really well and the owner comes home with a smile saying the dog did not put a foot wrong. This is a normal story line, the following time out the dog was good but not quite as good as last time but it may have just been having an off day. Next time out the dog was ok but the handler had to give it a telling off for chasing a bird or a hare. Next time out the little shit of a dog was being a total twit and the handler says the bloody thing does not deserve feeding. So why did the dog do so well at the start of the season? The reason being, the dog knew no difference and it was just another walk in the park and play fetch. Once it worked out the game it did not need the owner to assist it in its daily life occurrence. “IT SWITCHED OFF” We now have a problem where the only answer for some handlers is to start to increase the telling off to hide the lack of training. We never stop training I know that we just alter the amount required for each dog. For example a dog that has a few well trained seasons under its belt would or should require less training than a 12 month old dog. I cannot tell people enough to miss this season and you will enjoy next season better. Like I previously said the dogs belong to their owners and we can only give advice and not insist.

When does the training actually truly stop? Well I feel it never does you just slow it down a little with the older dogs and spend more time with the younger ones. Reflecting on our season should give us time to think what we can improve on and where we felt we did well. We can then put our own training plan together and ensure that we cover off any issues we may have come across. Some will be saying it all went fine, maybe it did and well done to you. It’s still good to keep training and improving all areas. Have you made any plans or set any goals for 2022 and your dogs. I have and it is to do the best I can with my dogs and not stand out on a shoot day for the wrong reasons. All the best from us at Kirkbourne and good luck.

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