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Dave's Commentary, May 24, 2000
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Well we've been real busy lately working hard to develop this years training bird field.
We want the trainee to feel like it's hunting.
With the drought and all, it's been hard for us to get anything to grow well but we are making good progress. We have strips of Haygrazer and Milo planted along with native bunch grasses. Some is coming up well; some is just getting started. It's a lot of fun and very rewarding to see it all come together. This year we're trying the new covey base camp (r) system for native and released quail and will report to you later in the year on how that is coming along.
With all that professionals do to develop good training grounds, folks sometimes feel overwhelmed and can't see how they could possibly train without such facilities. I'm frequently asked, How and Where do I train?
How: To learn to train is doing. I firmly believe that you can't be a good handler of a gun dog if you've never trained one yourself or at least been formally trained along with your dog.
A lot of folks are worried about ruining their puppy so are reluctant to get started without professional assistance. That's O.K. but if you're a do it yourself type, We recommend Wolters Gun Dog Training Book. It's easy to understand and is easy to follow.
Where: Many of my Brittany families live in the city and some of them have found really creative ways to accomplish training there. Several people bought pigeon traps and set them out in hidden locations in the city such as old buildings, their back yard, etc. They then got themselves a launcher and found a city park. They hide their pigeons is shrubbery and such and use cheap 99-cent toy cap pistols to simulate the gunfire. Gun dogs can only improve by coming in to contact with lots of birds and this is a neat way to keep your dog sharp.
Of course if you do the above, make sure you're not breaking any laws or ordinances.
That's it for this week. Until next week, keep your lessons short and fun.