PRHRC Hunt Test June 18th & 19th, 2016
PRHRC Working Certificate Tests
Pre - Season Prep - Weeks 4 - 6
Submitted by Rick Roberts
This routine is spread over 6 weeks hoping you can train at least 3 times a week. Once competitions start you will probably move into a maintenance type pattern training from event to event. Using a band aid approach to patch problems between events.
Previously we published weeks 1 through 3. Here is the continuation.
Week 4: The dog should be getting in shape. More running for the dog. Start including tougher secondary selection birds with out of order sequences. Run multiple blinds (2-3) through strong factors (terrain, cover, wind, water in-route, diversions) insist on higher standards. Add more diversions to blinds (poison birds, dry guns, cold honours). Review NO-NO drill in the yard and then add obstacles to the front end of your blinds. Review test concepts such as remote sits/honours and casting, Eraser birds, etc. Train on new or less used grounds, get your dogs used to seeing unfamiliar sites and different/difficult terrain. Run mostly multiple marks and test the progress of your training. Use different species of birds that you may encounter. END week sit down, review and make a checklist of weaknesses.
Week 5: Work on the weaknesses. Start to balance the training, use variety. Concentrate on fundamentals, relaxing in the holding blind, relaxing, sit stay watch the bird down, get in and stay in the water. Take a cast and change direction, gain on/improve the line not scallop. Work on sharpening marking with singles and ABC drills or similar ideas. If the dog is stale give it a day off or a fun day.
Week 6: Prepare for your test/trial. Who are the judges? What type of test might you get? What are the grounds like? Start to train for the tests on similar grounds but keep a balance of concepts. Run lots of singles, concentrate on good marking with a few tougher secondary selection set-ups. Try and run at least one tough water blind including a poison or diversion bird in-route, maybe a scented point. Use little direct pressure but strive for success.
I have to admit that this copulation of ideas and is compiled from experience, notes, reading and mentoring from other experienced trainer but it will help get you on track after the winter lay-off and maybe lay the groundwork for advancing our dogs through the early season. I don’t believe you can advance your dog by just running test set-ups. Dissect it, break it down, deconstruct and simplify to the individual skills. Hone those individual skills and the fundamentals. Find the drills and concepts to achieve your end goals and reconstruct, put it together.
HAVE A GREAT SEASON!
The Pacific Rim Hunting Retriever Club is a volunteer organization that hosts two Canadian Kennel Club Hunt Tests and one Working Certificate Test for Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniels and Standard Poodles in a calendar year on Vancouver Island.
We also organize training days where everybody works together to share best practices and training tips while having lots of fun with our dogs, friends and family.
By hosting training days, Hunt Tests and Working Certificate tests The Pacific Rim Hunting Retriever Club shares the Canadian Kennel Club vision regarding the purpose of these events.
According to the CKC “the purpose Hunt Test for Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniels and Standard Poodles is to test the merits of, and evaluate the abilities of these dogs in the field in order to determine their suitability and ability as hunting companions”.
Pacific Rim Hunting Retriever Club works to support the conservations efforts of Ducks Unlimited by acting as land stewards of the Ducks Unlimited Swallowfield Farm in Chemainus, Vancouver Island, BC.
We also acknowledge our responsibility as dog owners to provide a long healthy life to our best friends by supporting the efforts of The Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund.