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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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First Training Day

I will be attending my first training day held by the hunting retriever club I am a part of this Saturday. I was wondering if anyone could clue me in on what normally happens at these? Its an upland training day as our upland hunt test is coming up in March. However, I don't really intend to do upland with my dog, just waterfowl. They said everyone should come out regardless as they will help you assess where your dog is at.

So my question is, what can I expect at this training day on Saturday? Anything I should bring with me? Any common mistakes that you regularly see newbies make that I can hopefully avoid? Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 12:33 PM
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Ellie is my first hunt test dog, so I'm still a new person. Just remember that most people are very welcoming of new people to the sport and if you smile and are friendly and introduce yourself you'll do great. Be clear that you're there to learn and watch everything that goes on so you can start learning to step up and help with the work there. Throwing birds can be one of the best things you can do to learn because you're out there in the field and can see what the dogs are doing out there when they do well and when they don't do so well.

Be observant, it won't take you long to figure out which people out there know what they're doing. Those are the people to stand near and ask them to explain things that are going on to you. Always be clear that you are asking for direction and tips, otherwise most people will be reluctant to tell you what to do with your dog. (I'm guessing most people have been burnt at some point so are usually pretty careful about giving unsolicited advice.)

Ask what training videos the club members tend to use most. If you are following the format that the seasoned folks there use it can make it easier for them to help you - example my group follows Mike Lardy's flow chart so even though I might watch other trainers' videos to get ideas, I have Lardy's flowchart and notebook as my main plan so that the main people who I ask for help and I are on the same page when I hit a bump.

Don't forget to stick around and help with clean up, you probably can't help a lot with set up , but everyone can help take down blinds etc. afterward. Be sure to thank the people in charge and let the people doing the work know you're grateful for the opportunity to be there. There is no substitute for experienced people who are willing to slow down and show new people the ropes, we owe them a lot that they take time to help us.

The things you don't want to forget:

A notebook and a pen to make notes on what you learn or want to look up when you get home. Keeping a training journal is key for continuity.

A long line if you are at all unsure of your dog's recall or obedience.

A crate to keep your dog safe when it's not his turn.

Bring kleenex, be sure that you take a potty break before you get there, ask if there might be a porta potty somewhere but don't count on it.

Bring plenty of water for your dog and make sure that you have everything necessary to keep him comfortable depending on the temps. Towel or chamois cloth to dry him off, a tarp for shade when it's hot,

Don't forget your own water and snacks and even a chair, and be sure you're prepared for the elements as well. Even in SC I often underestimate how crazy the wind is in an open field compared to my house in a close in neighborhood.

Have fun You will LOVE it Don't be shy to ask someone to take a couple of photos of you working with your dog, it's nice to have them.


SHR Richwood Work Hard Play Harder CD JH WC
Ellie

http://www.k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=536873
Mack the collie boy

Last edited by nolefan; 02-19-2018 at 12:41 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 12:34 PM
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Sounds like you will be having fun!

I recommend you contact the training group for advice. I always bring a whistle, boots, long line, rain parka, water.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myluckypenny View Post
I will be attending my first training day held by the hunting retriever club I am a part of this Saturday. I was wondering if anyone could clue me in on what normally happens at these? Its an upland training day as our upland hunt test is coming up in March. However, I don't really intend to do upland with my dog, just waterfowl. They said everyone should come out regardless as they will help you assess where your dog is at.

So my question is, what can I expect at this training day on Saturday? Anything I should bring with me? Any common mistakes that you regularly see newbies make that I can hopefully avoid? Thanks!

I don't do upland, just waterfowl. Here is a list of things I have learned and have with me for field training. I am a city dweller, so lots of trial and error! Around here, to be prepared, you should have/remember the following:


- A vehicle that is AWD because training locations are in fields -- when I had a VW wagon I had to park and hoof it in while everyone else drove
- Folding chair
- Proper footwear; this time of year, maybe waders!
- Layers, including rain gear if rain is expected
- Wool socks, gloves, hat
- A basic first aid kit for people and dogs (including Benadryl for bee stings)
- Towels
- Sunglasses
- A whistle
- Leash that you can find if you drop it in the field
- Lunch/food -- those field days last a long time!
- Water for your dog and snacks
- Ability to crate dog safely in car (and keep him warm or cool)
- Bug spray for you and your dog
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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This is wonderful advice thank you so much!

I'm in South Dakota and its very much still winter here so I definitely don't have to worry about bugs or the heat. The current forecast for Saturday is around 30 degrees, which my dog will love. I have a CRV that is outfitted with two Ruff Tough Crates so I think I'm set there.

I would not have thought to bring stuff for myself, I'm always way over prepared for anything pertaining to the dogs but myself not so much lol!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 02:04 PM
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Bring a long line, since most upland people are all about whistle sits or sitting on the flush. They use long lines to enforce whistle sits or sit on the flush. E-collar if you have one. Prong collars are also popular here in training. A good leather leash. A slip lead is nice too. Whistle.


~ Stacey with Lucy and Riot, missing Hunter, Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
Wiseman Wildfire Grayling Fish On CD RA JH SHU WC "Lucy"
Thistle Rock Kicking Up a Fuss CD RA WCX ** "Riot"
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great tips! The training day got rescheduled to this last Saturday, which was nice as we had some great weather! Since I don't want to train in upland they had some kill pigeons for those that haven't had much exposure to birds. So I really concentrated on building that drive and getting Fisher to pick up the clipped pigeon. The first time he chased it but wasn't sure he should pick it up, he did eventually but he would drop it again. So I took a dead pigeon and placed it in his mouth and told him to hold (he knows the hold command), then praised him a bunch. The next go around he ran right after the bird, picked it up and brought it right back to me. He hasn't been on a live bird since August, but we have worked on dead birds quite a bit so I think he just needed a little reminder. We are in the middle of force fetch, so I kept it short.

I brought my camera to take some photos of others working their dogs and got some really great shots so I posted those to the facebook page so the owners could have those photos. People seemed to really appreciate that.

Overall the day was a lot of fun, I'm more anxious than ever now for the weather to warm up and the snow to melt so we can get back to training regularly!

-Jamie
Penny (08/05/2015)
Fisher (03/18/2017)
Rio (04/11/2019)
https://www.instagram.com/fishingforpennies/?hl=en

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