Ruff Dog Work
If you’ve got a flushing dog that likes to run out of sight, you’ve got a dog that won’t be very beneficial in the grouse woods. Training them to hunt close is a lot of work, but well worth it. This type of training involves constantly reining the dog in, letting him know he should be close and checking in regularly.
While the root of this is going to involve obedience work, the whole thing will come together after several hunts. I do this process alone, including the hunting, until my dog understands that 25 yards is too far when we hunt the woods. This is also one of the reasons why I hunt woodcock religiously when they migrate through. They are tight-sitters, leave plenty of scent and allow for as close to a grouse-hunt situation as you’re going to find in the wild. For pups, practice makes perfect, and it takes lots of it to mold a great grouse dog.