Southern Skies Flat-Coated Retriever Club

Field Training Tips From
Alison Schultz

 First time tips
If it’s your first time to a training session don’t worry about your dog going out to do a bunch of retrieving. Use it as a time to get your dog used to all the sights and sounds. There will be shotguns, whistles, duck calls, dogs barking. Introduce your dog to birds if there are some at the training session. You can always go home and throw a bumper for a dog, but most of us can’t go home and shoot guns in our back yard !

Remember you want to create good habits from the beginning. Line manners are very important. So work on having the dog sit quietly by your side while watching other dogs run. (sounds easy – huh?! Its not …) Practice having the dog sit behind a blind. Work on recalls on a long line with all the excitement going on around you. Never grab for the bumper, praise your dog first, Hey he did all the work – don’t snatch his prize away so fast!

Watch the advanced dogs run. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Things to bring
LOTS of water for you and the dogs, drinks for you too.
Change of clothes (it’s nice to ride home in clean dry clothes after getting sweaty, wet and muddy !
Hand wipes
Bug spray
Sun screen
Dog Crates
Anything to create shade for your car (I use old bed sheets) There is usually shade/trees to park under – but you know how the sun keeps moving !

If you have them bring (but if you don’t have them don’t use it as an excuse to not come!) The club has tons of bumpers and usually people have the other stuff you can borrow.

Duck call
Long line
Flexi lead

I also bring
Treats (hotdog, cheese, etc)


Field Training Etiquette

If you go thru a gate that is closed- always close it behind you. Many places we train are working cattle ranches.

Throw before you run your dog (or inquire about what the throwing rotation is) I will be happy to show people how to use the wingers, they are actually pretty easy once your shown how to use them!

Toilet your dog in designated area – or away from the parking and running area. At most field training sites you don’t have to clean up after your dog (no place to put it unless your taking it all the way home – yuck!) But check with the land owner and if in doubt, please clean up.

Set your dog up for success. Let the throwers know what you need. If you have a young dog and there is a double set up – do it as 2 singles and move up close. It is especially dangerous in the summer with the heat to have a dog out running around in the field, confused, and the dogs waiting to run are overheating while they wait their turn to run. So keep it simple and build on success. This should be fun for you and your dog – not frustrating!

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