What’s gone wrong, and how can I get him back up to speed?

GUNDOG TRAINING

Peter Blatch

This can prove a problem during early training if you start to introduce the stop whistle into the retrieving process too soon and too often.

If this is the case then the dog will begin to anticipate you blowing it and, as a result, he will set off on the out run in half-hearted fashion to start with.

Personally I don’t mind handling a thoughtful dog of this kind in the early days of training because speed is not a major concern when retrieving dummies.

However, yours is a little older so to put some pace back into proceedings you should now put the stop whistle away for a time and let him retrieve dummies unchecked.

If this doesn’t speed him up then I would introduce an older more experienced dog and let the younger one watch.

This ploy invariably gees ‘em up.