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First season with your new pup?

The Ryman Setters Forum Forums Training First season with your new pup?

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    • #4826

      Are you anxiously waiting to take a new pup out for its first hunting season? Well… lucky you!  Looking back at my own experiences, I believe our most important objectives at this time are  maintenance of a positive relationship with our dogs, and prevention of bad experiences.

      Case in point. There I am, pictured below, with a 9 month old pup and the grouse she pointed and retrieved just 2 minutes away from the truck at the very first cover of the very first fall of her career.  I’m  beaming. My pup is anxious and tense. You can see it in her posture. Why? After the dog did an excellent job of what she was bred to do, I rushed to collect her into a photograph while she was still trying to learn what a grouse is.  It did not finish as the reward I would much better enjoy remembering today.

      There are a lot of other “most important” things, but once you are underway in the cover, you get what you get as the saying goes. Our composure, and its influence on our dogs, is totally up to us though. With that in mind, here are some things that may help.

      -Plan on having fun. When you are relaxed but present in your thoughts, so is your dog.

      -Think in advance of how you will respond to various circumstances. If your dog keeps running off with shot birds it recovers, what can you do that is positive? How will you not react negatively?

      -Use sparse direct commands you are sure your dog already knows and only when you can reasonably expect compliance.

      -Read Cliff Weisse’s excellent blog post elsewhere on,  “Don’t Teach Your Dog To “Hold Point”.  The mindset behind Cliff’s blog post transfers well into the points I want to make here.

      -Get all your housekeeping at the truck done with your dog loaded and secure. Do it before you let young pup loose to hunt, and after you secure young pup on your return.

      -Be judicious in when and how you bring a hunting partner into these new important experiences for young pup.

      These are just a few ideas on a pretty big issue. I hope this connects with someone, especially a first time puppy owner looking forward to their first best ever fall afield with their pup. I close by asking for your input on this post. I want to take some of the best ideas and “edits” to incorporate into a post on the blog on my own website, so please fire away! Be safe and have fun.


    • #4827
      Rum Creek Setters

        I am anxious to get Cedar out next week for her first hunts on wild grouse and woodcock.  First expectation is that she will have fun and enjoy her jaunts in the woods. If she points the birds, that will be a plus.  It sounds like there is a good crop of birds this year and with a mid week opener, the pressure from hunters should not be too heavy.  Hopefully I will have stories and pictures to follow next week.

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