|dog's training. There is no absolute
correct range. Correct range for a pointing dog is highly variable,
depending on a number of factors. Pointing dogs should range
beyond the gun. They should cover more ground than you would
cover alone or with a flushing dog. Range is dictated by the
cover, the amount of birds, the age and condition of the hunter,
and any number of other factors. A good dog will adjust its range
to the conditions. In summary, the correct range is far enough
to encounter birds and point them before they are alarmed and
on the move from hunter noise, yet close enough that the shooter
can get to them on point to kill the bird. After all, these are
A properly trained pointing dog will hold point until you arrive
on the scene to flush it. Bumping a bird at ten yards is the
same fault as bumping one at seventy-five yards and should be
dealt with in the same manner. If range and handling become a
major problem, deal with this in separate training sessions after
the season. If they interfere with your
hunting too much, stop hunting the pup and go back to repetitive
drill on handling.
Genetics and training play a role in determining your pup's range.
In the field, the thickness of the cover and the number of birds
also affect range. Thicker cover and more birds will cause the
pup to hunt closer; sparse cover and a lack of birds will encourage
the pup to reach out. Everyone is comfortable with different
distances in a pointing dog. At this point, if you cannot get
your pup to hunt at a comfortable range for you, you need to
decide whether advanced training will solve the problem or you
have to replace your pup. Consult a pro, and if you have not
tried an e-collar, it may help.
With luck, if you have chosen from gun-dog stock, the problem
may only be one of puppy enthusiasm that can be corrected with
training and maturity. I am often confronted by owners who are
new to handling pointing dogs and do not understand how a pointing
dog should range. Also, control is control, whether the pup is
thirty yards out or one hundred. Range and handling problems
are probably the most frequent ones I encounter as a trainer.
Most often they are not the problem that the owner thinks. On
the occasion that they are a real problem, breeding is often
In summary, field handling involves two commands properly taught:
"come" and quartering. Anything else is unnecessary
and extra baggage that will confuse your pup.
Training Your Pointing Dog By Richard Weaver.
Reprinted with permission: Copyrights Stackpole Books 2008