Since you can't tell a book from its cover we offer
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Training your Pointing Dog
Your pup is now obedience trained,
By Richard Weaver
the field, it comes and quarters to the whis
tle, is staunch on point, and accepts the gun. You are now ready
to start reaping some of the rewards of your labor. This does
not mean that your pup is finished or ready to handle everything
it encounters in the field. Have fun, but proceed with caution.
You have only one chance to experience your pup's first season,
and it is better to go slowly than to push too hard.
Try to limit the pup's first trips afield to ones with a high
likelihood of success. Keep the hunts relatively short-an hour
and a half to two hours is plenty for a developing pup. You could
still do structural damage by running the pup into the ground.
Hunt alone or with one trustworthy companion who knows you have
a young pup and is willing to sacrifice shooting, if necessary.
Pick your spots carefully, choosing ones where you can handle
the pup with a high degree of success. A lost pup is no fun!
Try at first to avoid roads, deer, hunters, and other distractions
as much as possible. Your goal is a short trip with a point,
kill, and positive reinforcement. Shoot points but not bumped
birds, taking the time to use corrective action the same as in
your training sessions. Shooting random flushes is a decision
to make based on your pup's temperament and level of sophistication.
The first season really is advanced training on the real thing.
ADVANCED GUN WORK
Your pup has already been properly introduced to the gun, but
it is relatively inexperienced and encounters new situations
on each outing. A bad experience with the gun could still create
a gun-shy dog. Shooting only pointed birds will protect against
this happening, since your pup sees the entire picture and makes
the positive association of bird and gun. If you choose to shoot
random flushes, be careful. I have already suggested taking no
more than one other hunter on your pup's first outings. The more
commotion and excitement, the higher the likelihood of a negative
Thanks to Stackpole Books we offer you an excerpt from
Training Your Pointing Dog By Richard Weaver
ence. A line of five hunters and a barrage
of a dozen shots could ruin your young pup. Be careful - hunt
alone or with a reliable partner. Stay close so that your pup
is aware of your presence and can quarter in front of both hunters.
Even on random flushes, the pup will likely see or hear birds
and not be bothered by the gun. Again, never shoot a bump, bird.
To guarantee success, it is best to limit your pup's first exposures
to real hunting and the gun. Understand that every new experience
brings with it a chance of failure as well as success. The more
you can stack the deck on the side of success, the better for
your pup. You may sacrifice some chances to kill birds now, but
the reward will be future successful seasons. There is only one
first season and one chance to do it right the first time around.