Gundog Training Forum
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Training for steadiness
I have heard varying views on 'training' your dog in preparation for steadiness in the field, with the view to competing in field trials. Various suggestions I have heard are training the dog on a line, therefore preventing any chasing, but risking the problem of the dog 'bolting' the second the training line is removed! To 'rugby tackling' the dog as it heads out of the starting blocks, so to speak - I would have to be bionic to catch mine! Some trainers have the view that chasing is good in a young dog as this promotes 'drive'. Then of course there's 'shaping the absence' of chasing and 'systematic desensitization' to fast moving creatures, but in using the latter methods am I likely to be caught in the trap of creating an 'intermittent schedule of reinforcement' which could prove impossible to eradicate! If my dog occasionally flushes and chases a bolting hare, am I creating an impossible training problem to solve? Or will my dog still learn to ignore bolting hares/rabbits and 'runners' until otherwise told. If so which is the best method to use, avoiding crushing the dog's drive?