By Jeremy Hunt
Wednesday, 02 December 2009
I think my bitch is too well-bred for my capabilities.
JEREMY HUNT SAYS: You must end any situation where a gun dog is getting the better of you.
All that’s happening is the gun dog is steadily learning that it has the upper hand, and that is a route to disaster.
Don’t beat yourself up because you went out and bought a well-bred bitch.
As we all know, a lot of the very best breeding is the result of the efforts of generations of experienced breeders and handlers.
When these ‘super’ genetics are put into the hands of amateur trainers it’s no surprise to see that things can go badly wrong.
This is not intended to deter anyone from buying from the breed’s most successful kennels or tapping into their gene pool.
If you are looking to breed a litter in the future you should have her hips and eyes tested now.
If there are any problems then your decision is made for you, because you shouldn’t breed from a bitch with health issues.
Even if all is well with hips and eyes you have to realise that if you sell her at this stage, around 18 months old, she is going to have limited appeal.
She will have to be bought by someone prepared to take her on after several months of being allowed to get away with things that might not easily be rectified by another amateur.
If the bitch is healthy and has a good temperament and it’s just a case of her getting the better of you, I would suggest you investigate sending her away for a spell with a professional trainer.
The timing may not be ideal for you and you may have to go into the beating line for part of this season instead of joining the picking-up team - but it will be a small price to pay.
In the long term you will have a bitch whose ability has been harnessed by an experienced trainer.
It’s far from an ideal age for anyone to take on a young tearaway but how long it takes to get her back on track will depend on the bitch and her attitude.
In my book it’s a project worth seeing through.
Just be prepared to meet the bitch’s high standards when she comes home.
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