Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: East of the Mississippi
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When pre-National training, we set up multiple holding blinds, put the dogs through the routine of waiting a long time, listening to sets of guns go off multiple times, and even train on multiple no-birds. In addition, multiple flyers per set-up, mixed bag of birds, cold honors, distractions in the gallery, are all on the checklist when leading up to running a National. Because I live in a non-mountainous area, when I was running the NARC in a mountainous region, I made sure that my dog learned to look up ... many dogs don't want to look up at a severe angle if they aren't used to doing so. One year the judges gave a double pop at a dead bird station and that seemed to mess up some dogs' rhythm, so we trained on that the following year. The checklist is extensive, but you try to cover all your bases, not wanting your dog to see something for the first time in its life when on the mat at a National.