For many, goose season has already started and duck season will soon be underway! Before you get too far into your season, take the opportunity to get in the field and practice mock hunting setups with your retriever! Any time we plan on hunting in a new style, we always run our dogs in a mock hunt before and do our best to mimic the hunt in a controlled training environment.
In this setup, we practice a typical hunt for us, where we are hunting a cut corn field in layout blinds with our dogs at our side.
This style of hunting can often be difficult for dogs since we have birds finishing up close in our faces, with a lot of commotion as people flip open their blinds to sit up and shoot.
When running this drill, we typically will use the help of an assistant to shoot poppers/blanks and use remote launchers with dummies or real birds to simulate marks. We recommend using an assistant so you are able to focus on the dog(s) and ensure that they are steady.
The dogs that are demonstrated in this video do not have slip collars and check cords on them because we have done other sessions of this training. If we were introducing this to the retriever for the first time, we would use a slip collar and check cord to prevent them from creeping and/or breaking.
During your season, if you notice that your retriever is starting to creep out of its blind or show other bad habits on the hunt, this is a great drill to come back to and run!
P.S. Any other training tips you would like us to cover?