From Training Director Craig McLaughlin – here’s a plan of action for the upcoming training day Saturday April 2.
As always, participants and volunteers GWP on table table work w Craigplease rsvp to rmc.navhda@gmail.com – and plan to be in the north lot at Cobb Lake SWA  at 07:30 so we can begin promptly.
Natural Ability Dogs – We’ll concentrate on continuing to lay a firm foundation of obedience using the training table and yard work exercises. We’ll also have a station set up to demonstrate and introduce dogs to working out in front of the handler, developing their search and 20121222_110441range.  We still have a few pheasants to use in developing the young dogs’ tracking abilities, but will not be working with pointing this session.
Equipment required for NA dogs: flat collar, lead, check cord.
Utility/Invitational Dogs – Many dogs in this group are just past the NA level, and they will need to build steadiness on birds, sharpen recall and range, and develop the needed discipline for retrieving.  We’ll work on steadiness in group exercises before going into the field with individual dogs.  Dogs that have not been force-fetched (that is, dogs that are not reliably retrieving to hand with a minimum of commands) should not have birds shot for retrieving – we can evaluate and make calls on each dog prior to taking the field.
As with the NA dogs, we will return to focus on basic obedience to build on: we’ll set up a heeling course to work on heeling, remain by blind, and steady by blind.
We can also work on drags. However, young UT-level dogs that are not retrieving reliably should not be practicing drags.
If we have time, and the capacity to run another station, we may provide an introductory discussion on force fetch – as reliable retrieving is foundational to preparing a dog for UT.
Equipment/materials required for UT dogs: flat collar, lead, check cord/e-collar (if dog is collar-conditioned), live birds.
We’ll work through the above set of exercises from 8-noon.
As always, if any member has particular training questions or issues they wish to discuss, please email or call me, evenings are best.
Craig McLaughlin