A reader writes: I am having a few issues in getting my 10 month old springer to mark the fall of a training dummy. He has very good eye focus and is reluctant to take his eyes off me, but as a result he does not watch the dummy's flight when I throw it. Have you any suggestions?
If your dog is reluctant to watch a dummy being thrown, noise can be a good attracter. To start with, find an area with one or two trees, the idea is that you sit the dog and throw the dummy into the tree (preferably the trunk). The dog should look in the direction of the noise and then see the dummy fall and consequently get a mark. Use a dummy with the throwing toggle cut off just in case it gets tangled up in the tree branches. The tree not only creates the noise, but it also gives the dog a point to aim for when making the retrieve, which helps to build the dog’s confidence.