Steady to Wing and Shot
Had a fun time this week training my English Setter Jess. She is doing really well and stands her birds nicely. She has a great nose and runs a nice gun dog pattern. She opens up at times to the edge of All Age. We are to the point where we need to switch to bobwhites and no more pigeons. She is ready to go to the next level.
In the video you will see that she marks the bird, goes to and picks it up. Then she proceeds to take her bird and run off with it. Some would think this is a big problem. I think it will be pretty easy to get her turned back to bring the bird in. The main thing is she likes to carry the bird. A little encouragement and a few retrieving drills will get her coming in. One thing at a time.
In regards to pointing dogs, I asked my training buddy the other day. “Would you rather have a dog that points and doesn’t retrieve well, or a good retriever that does not point well?” He answered wisely that if the breeding is sound, both pointing and retrieving will come quite naturally. But if he had to choose, he would take the pointer that doesn’t retrieve well. The thinking that you can always force fetch or teach the trained retrieve.
Brings up a great point in selecting a bird dog. When you see the dog that performs all the tasks with precision. You don’t really know if it is natural or if there was a lot of time and training put into the dog. As a breeder I want the dog that has all the tools genetically present. The more natural the easier the training will be.