RETRIEVER TRAINING TIP: BALANCE AND LEAVING SOMETHING IN IT FOR THE DOG BY PRO TRAINER MATT DUNCAN
In this weeks article I will discuss finding the right balance in training. This is one thing that many trainers struggle with while moving their dogs through a training program. As we make our daily training plans it’s easy to get tunnel vision especially while moving a dog through basics. First I will define how I view balance in training. For example if I have a dog that is going through pile work in the yard learning how to handle I still want that dog progressing in the field and improving his marking skills. By having balance we are going to accomplish a couple different things such as maintaining the dogs attitude and we can progress the dog in both phases of training, yard work and field work. In yard work your retriever can easily develop attitude issues by simply getting repetitions to the point where at the end of the day there is nothing in it for the dog where training becomes boring and monotonous. Training can become something your retriever just “gets through” or something he looks forward to. Finding that right balance between the yard and field is going to keep your retriever wanting to keep coming back for more every time you load up to go training. A good working attitude is what is going to carry your retriever through training successfully from beginning to end. Balance is also going to get your retriever through training in a timely manner allowing us as trainers to improve a dogs skills in the field while moving through basics. As a dog moves through basics we can accomplish a lot in the field such as steadying, introducing multiple marks and many other marking concepts. By doing this when the dog has finished basics we move to the field with a dog that is already a confident retriever ready to transition all the skills he learned in the yard into a field type environment. Balance is one of the most, if not the most, important thing we strive to maintain as trainers. Not only balance between yard work and field work for the young dogs but balance between land work and water work, balance between single marks and multiple marks, balance between drills and field set ups or even just balance between momentum and precision. There are many different types of balance in training and all are important so as you move through training with your retriever often question yourself on how well you are maintaining balance. Until next week, happy training!
Don’t forget that when it comes to training gear Retriever Training Gear is the place to be!!
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