Yesterday´s motto was „back to basics“! When training a field dogs it´s indispensable that you can relay on him at any time and therefore it´s quite important to strengthen the basics command like „stop“ and heekwork.
My boys heel quite well at my side, so there was just little need to correct them, but from time to time they´ve tend to ignore my stop whistle… When taking a walk with them, they usually respond well to the stop commend, but as soon as it comes to driection work, it´s hard to stop them immediately. Usually Joker is the one who likes to ignore me at the first command. However, this time it was Joker who did a much better job. 😉 Sadiki is really hard to stop if he´s close to the dummy. Once he thinks he´s one the right track, I have to use the whistle twice and quite often I also have to use my voice to make him stop and watch at me. Therefore I concentrated on short blinds, because it allowed me to correct his behavior immediately. I´m sure we´ll need to repeat this exercise over and over again, but I can at least say, in the end he stopped at the first whistle and that´s what I wanted! 🙂
In addition to this I also trained with a 2kg dummy. Recently I´ve noticed that Joker & Sadiki have got problems carrying bigger game (e.g. a big rabbit or a bigger duck), so I decided to slowly increase the dummy´s weight. Most of the times Joker has got a good grip, but I need to improve the picking up. He has to learn to be more spontanious, because he usually needs two or three attempts until he´s got the right grip. Sadiki picks the dummy up immediately, but he has a VERY soft mouth and loses it several times and everytime he picks it up again he shows the same soft grip. To make him hold the dummy with the corrects grip, I started having him pick the dummy out of my hand and then had him jump over a fallen tree. I was told by a gundog trainer that dogs tighten the grip when they jump over objects. Well, at least Sadiki didn´t lose the dummy when jumping over the tree, but he didn´t really tighten the grip either… Haha But I´ll keep training it, Rome wasn´t built in a day! 😉