May Training Day –

We’ve been delighted by the turnout at our first two training days, but it has challenged us IMG_2287to make sure each handler and dog have productive days. With that in mind, Craig has planned a full schedule of training stations for NA and for UT with an eye toward maximum activity and minimum standing around. But for everything to run smoothly, we need handlers to be familiar with the plan, to know where they need to be and to be ready to pitch in when needed.

AS ALWAYS, PLEASE RSVP TO WITH YOUR BIRD ORDER AND YOUR TRAINING LEVEL, NA OR UT – BY MAY 4.  Make sure you pack a lunch and sufficient water for you and your dog if you plan to work into the afternoon.We will need a few handlers to help us keep things moving.

Utility Dogs
For Utility Dogs, time to get serious. we’ll be running four stations during the morning session.

  1. Training Table (set up in the parking lot)
    • Dogs at the start of the Utility training regime will begin on the training table for a review of obedience, including whoa, heeling,; steadiness in the presence of a bird and discussion (only) of force fetch process. Multiple reps per dog, emphasizing incremental approach to training each aspect. Handlers will then move to the back field for work on planted birds.
  2.  Field
    • More advanced dogs will go directly to the field for work on search & range control/handling; steadiness; pointing/creeping; delayed chase; stop-to-shot; retrieve to hand; handling multiple birds; handling running birds. Plan on ordering 3 birds for the morning, more if you want to continue in the afternoon. Orange must be worn in the field during any exercise involving shooting. Break-action shotguns only.
  3. Drag
    • Introduction to the drag, with an emphasis on successful track and successful retrieve.
  4. Remain by blind/Steady by blind.
    • Drill one: line up all dogs-handler pairs, have dogs sit at heel, and then start short marked retrieves with each dog going in turn while the rest honor.
    • Drill two: Begin training remain by blind, then steady by blind, Note – we will emphasize an incremental approach for this test element: these can be trained at home/other locations on hard ground; adding gunfire and water entry after dog has mastered the obedience required.Remain by blind and steady by blind – Tests obedience and cooperation.
  5. Duck work –  Introduction to ducks for UT dogs will occur after lunch on Cobb Lake. More advanced duck search practice will happen after lunch on the 2nd pond. Duck work will be supported, but plan to find a training partner during the morning session.

Natural Ability Dogs
This weekend we will run 3 stations for Natural Ability dogs, in preparation for the spring test.

  • FieldWe will be planting birds in the field to simulate the field portion of your NA test. This session will expose your dogs to birds and allow handlers to work on your dog’s search and range and observe your dog’s exposure to gunfire ( a blank shotgun round). NA Handlers, plan to purchase at least 2 chukar each to evaluate your dog’s point (more if you plan to work into the afternoon).  Remember, the ability to recall your dog on command is important.
  • Track – We will be laying down more challenging tracks with pheasants that the chapter will provide.
  • Puppy Water – finally: We’ll help you introduce your puppy to water.
  • Training table: After the UT group is finished with the training table, NA handlers are encouraged to use it on their own for heeling, whoa training,& steadiness in the presence of birds.

Handlers of NA dogs are requested to plan to stay for the entire morning, to help staff the stations and assist in running other members’ dogs.  This help will allow us to efficiently move a large number of dogs through the NA testing environment. New members, and those needing experience in handling their dogs, working with birds, and general help in understanding NAVHDA testing and training, will benefit greatly by volunteering to help with their fellow members’ dogs.

Help needed: Bird field: 3 bird planters, 1 field marshall to oversee training runs; water: 2 volunteers, including 1 with pickup dog; track: 2 bird stewards to supply pheasants and assist with running tracks.
Please RSVP to by__Weds. May 4_ to reserve birds. Indicate the number of chukar and or ducks you’d like us to purchase.