If you decide that you would like to train your retriever as a working gundog so that you can then take part in working tests and field trials, and also retrieve shot game, you will need to learn to encourage your dog’s natural working abilities. The first step might be to join a Field Trial Society or Gundog Club (like ours), where you can take advantage of the training facilities and eventually take part in working test competitions. These are designed to develop your dog’s hunting and retrieving skills and your own training technique, and also give you and your dog the opportunity to train and compete in the company of other dogs and handlers. This aspect is particularly important as your dog must also learn steadiness while other dogs are working nearby (as would be the case in a working shoot environment).
You are welcome to attend a training session prior to joining our club so that you can appreciate the work involved, the standards required for dogs and handlers working both in the field and in competition, and also to decide whether or not you feel that gundog training might suit you and your dog. Obedience, walking to heel, and sitting and staying are the basics of all dog training and these are very important for gundogs too, though please bear in mind that, compared to pet obedience classes, training and handling a dog to retrieve dummies in test situations or shot game ‘in the field’ is quite diverse and involves much more practice, effort, and dedication. Training sessions can provide you with some of the tools that you’ll need but these alone will not be sufficient – you will need to set aside time for you and your dog to practice, practice, and practice.
Owning and training a working gundog will involve lots of hard work – though building and developing a rapport and an understanding of your dog, and perfecting your technique and your dog’s ability to retrieve can be extremely rewarding. It’s very much a partnership.
Please contact us for more details or click here.