Putting oomph back into re­trieves

Sporting Gun - - SHOOTING ANSWERS -

My two year-old cocker spaniel has been re­triev­ing well. He sits and waits and when I point and re­lease him on hear­ing his name he goes and re­trieves. How­ever, in the past week or two he’s started to hes­i­tate and now just sits and waits as if he doesn’t know what to do when I say his name. How do I get him back on track?

Gra­ham says: Have you re­cently been stop­ping him on the way out to a re­trieve, or as he comes back to you? Or, have you been mix­ing things up by giv­ing him a cou­ple of re­trieves in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions?

If so, ad­vance­ments of this kind can make a sen­si­tive dog hes­i­tant be­cause they re­ally want to get it right.

What you need to do now is en­cour­age him to go out in the right di­rec­tion by mak­ing your in­struc­tions and body lan­guage re­ally clear. Heap the dog with praise and see if that helps.

Then again, do not be afraid to lay off all re­triev­ing lessons for a while – cock­ers can get bored very quickly es­pe­cially if they are asked to con­tin­u­ally do the same thing over and over again.

Cock­ers can get bored eas­ily if they keep be­ing asked to do the same things

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