“I have a 15-month-old Labrador and I want to teach him to go left and right, but my friends tell me it is a waste of time and unnecessary unless I plan to field trial with the dog. Although I have no plans to compete with the dog, I will use him for both driven and some walked-up shooting. So, is it a skill I need to train him in, and if so how is the best way to go about it?”
As with all gundog commands, directional hand signals should be clear and precise. If you think about it, out in the shooting field you could be handling your dog at a considerable distance and therefore you need to make sure the dog can see you. When you are ready to send your dog take a step in the direction and put out your arm, it is important that you do not pull your hand back too quickly.