Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Season

A common thing that I have noticed among female dog owners is that they don't train when their dog is in season.  We made that mistake last year.  Emma came into season just when the field trial season began here last year.  Being a new trainer we had no idea what to do other than keep her away from other dogs until it was over.  By doing so, we lost precious training time and practically started from scratch when it was over.

This year I was fortunate that she came into season in the middle of summer when no one trains except for the hard core.  We still worked at a minimum of three days a week and this is where being able to read your dog comes into play yet again.  On days that she really didn't feel like herself, we just ran.  On other days when she was more like herself, we worked birds.  I'm not saying that she was able to be trained like usual but she was able to stay conditioned so that when it was over we didn't have to start all over again.

In any competition you are going to find people that object to everything that is not traditional but you will also find those people that understand that in order to achieve the best you have to train during the good, top performance times as well as the not so good times.  Those are the people that you want to surround yourself with because they will help you accomplish everything that you set out to do and be behind you 100% cheering you on.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is There Such a Thing as Over Training???


The one thing about a good dog trainer is to be able to recognize how hard they can push a dog and when to stop and call it a day.

I think one of the most important things I have learned is to watch your dog.  They aren't new to this stuff after all.  We aren't teaching them anything that they really didn't already know.  We are just there to fine tune those skills and to be there to guide them in the right direction.  The only way to have a great hunting dog is to start with one that has the drive to do what you want them to do, hunt!  If a dog doesn't want to hunt, guess what?? It's not going to.  Even if you force it.

I believe I have found the point of working too much for Emma.  Today will mark our 5th day in the field in the past 7 days.  Yesterday was the point for her when I ran her in the field for 45 minutes with a 20 minute water retrieve.  Later in the day, my two boys and I were swimming and she got in with us and swam.  Then at 6 pm I took her back in the field to work her with birds.  After the second bird she was panting like crazy.  Needless to say, she got to ride in the nice air conditioned truck on the way home.

Please keep in mind that Emma is a very well conditioned dog.  We didn't just start training her this week.  It is just a combination of my drive to have a conditioned, field ready dog for an upcoming hunt and her wanting to do what she loves the most, be in the field.  What I saw in her today is wanting to do it but just not having the energy.  It is because I always have an eye on my dog that I am able to see when she has had enough before it drives the desire out of her.

In training remember these two things.  A dog will not always want or be ready to work as hard as you want them to and if a dog does nothing but work and not have fun, they won't want to do it.  Learn how to read your dog.  They may teach YOU a thing or two!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Well, Hello There........

So glad you could stop by!  I decided to start this because while many of us think we know what we are doing, sometimes dogs have another idea.  As a Girl, sometimes knowing that there are others like me is comforting when sometimes you feel more like a Boy because you have been in the field for so long you forget that you clean up real nice!

More posts will be coming very soon!  If there is anything that you would like to share, talk, or have questions about, please let me know.  Until then, hope your having fun in the field!
-The Girl