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10 Pitfalls in Retriever Training

Top pitfalls trainers face and how to correct them
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6. No Transitional Training

This error commonly occurs in one or two forms when individuals eagerly press their dogs into hunting situations too quickly. For example:

a. They rush through skills and exercises without sufficient repetition to make a skill a habit. When pressed on the hunt, the pup becomes confused or merely disregards the commands and spins out of control.

b. Individuals do not sufficiently transfer training skills introduced in drills to practical hunting situations.

A proper training sequence for a gundog includes:

Yard work - introduction to skills in a controlled environment

Field training sessions - training exercises and drills usually conducted on familiar training grounds to entrench skills

Transitional training - practical exercises in simulated hunting situations including varied terrain, locations and natural environmental factors that will likely be confronted on the hunt, such as birds, gunfire, boats, etc.

Training on the hunt - The first hunts with a young gundog must be dedicated to training, not taking game. Early hunting experiences are extensions of training. The settings, circumstances and conditions of the hunt must be controlled to the highest extent possible. Focus remains on specific goals. Attention is placed on the dog and his particular needs. Young prospects should not be rushed into hunting situations until all basic gundog skills are understood and thorough transitional experiences have been afforded the handler and the dog.

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Related:  retrievers

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