Bird Dog & Retriever News

June / July 2003 issue Page 12

By Robert Milner
Obedience is heeling, sitting, staying, and coming to you. Obedience is an extremely important behavior in a hunting dog. Obedience must be trained, while the retrieving is something pup is born with. A disobedient dog makes hunting unpleasant even though he retrieves all the birds. Conversely, an obedient dog is a pleasure to hunt with even if he is not the world's greatest retriever. Proficiency in obedience is measured by the level of distraction and temptation the dog can handle and still maintain his self control. Your dog is truly obedient when you can walk through a corn field flushing pheasants every 5 or 10 yards and your dog stays within 15 yards, sits whenever a bird flushes, and comes promptly to heel when called.
The true test of greatness in a pheasant dog occurs when you wound a bird that hits the ground running 50 yards out in the field. The test comes when you send your dog for the runner and pup gets on the scent trail and starts inadvertently flushing fresh birds. The great dog simply looks up to watch the fresh birds fly off as he diligently sticks to the track of the wounded bird to the point of capture.
Please visit, Robert Milner's retriever training site

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