In my next few posts, I will be discussing Gaddy’s training, using what I call the three”P’s” Practice, Patience and Persistence and what worked and what didn’t.
Practice: I started practicing / training Gaddy twice a day, right from the day I brought her home. At first it was only a few minutes each time, gradually increasing the practice time as she grew older and showed more interested in what we were working on. Today at a year old we still practice twice a day combining play, conditioning and training. For the first few weeks her training was strictly obedience, sit, stay, come, down, kennel and her house skills including housebreaking. After she started to really understand and complete these commands we started on heel, both at my side and walking. The key here is to pay attention to what your dog is telling you, if she/he seems bored with todays training stop, if it seems she/he is really be enjoying the activity, do it a few more times but don’t over do it. I use this logic even today with Gaddy, just the other day all of a sudden she would chase her ball but wouldn’t bring it back and after a few tries, we stopped and went home. The next morning she was back to normal completing all her tasks without any issues.
Gaddy’s current training schedule:
Daily we go to the local park once in the morning and afternoon. We combine play and work while she chases her ball.
The rules are, she must mind when I give her a command. Sometimes I throw the ball with no commands and she can go get it and run around with it until she wants me throw it again, she’ll actually come to me and want me to take it from her. Randomly I will make her follow her commands when retrieving, she must heel and stay until I release her and she must bring it back which includes sit and hold to me when I give her the command to come.
Twice a week again on random days and times, we practice her retrieving skills with her field blind and training dummies. Currently she stays in her blind while I hide two of the dummies. Then I will come back to the blind and throw her a few retrieves with another. Then I will bring her back to heel, give her a line and sent her out to get each of the dummies I hid earlier, during her hunt sometimes I will blow the whistle and give her a directions to the dummy, which also is part of her training. During the opposite training session we work on her keeping a strait line when sent. We do this two ways, #1 – I bring her to heel, give her the stay command, then I lay out four or five bumpers in a strait line, then I sent her to get each one. #2 again while she’s at heel, I’ll put out four bumpers out in a large circle, then I give her a line to retrieve each after brining her to heel facing in that direction.
The key to all of this is to find what works for your dog and practice, practice and practice some more.