GUNDOGS

Q: I bought a three year-old Springer six months ago. She works well to voice commands but as soon as she’s in cover she goes running off in front of the beating line and I do not see her again until the end of the drive. I want to keep the dog and would like to know how I can cure the problem?

Peter says: The first thing to do is get the dog trained to the whistle. Even though your Springer is three years old it doesn’t mean she can’t be trained.

The first step is to train the dog to stop to one blast on the whistle, then progress to two pips to turn, using a hand signal at the same time to show which way.

Once you have maintained control with this new approach then put it to the test. You can do this by holding the dog back each time it tries to pull away with either a sharp blast on the whistle to stop, or a double pip to turn. This should be followed with words of encouragement for the dog to return to you.

The use of a dog in the field that has been trained to the whistle is far less disturbing to game than a dog that has to be shouted at all the time.

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