Question #2 Training upland dogs for retriever tests.
I contacted a few owners with some of the new breeds being added to retriever hunt tests to get some info and photos and I wonder what kind of adjustments they may have to make to change their quartering, pointing, independent thinking dogs into obedient steady retrievers. I havenít had too much trouble getting Lucy (Lab) to extend out and begin quartering independently. It seemed easier to release her to hunt rather than holding her back to wait. Likewise, it seems it would be contrary for the pointers remain steady and to run to a mark or a blind without pointing it. It seems they will have an entirely new set of commands and cues. How would you suggest people begin to train their upland dogs to know the difference for retriever tests?
Alaska Dog News.
It's no different than training for a NAHRA test. There is trailing, quartering and sit to flush as the upland part. Then you have the
land and water marks.
The dogs quickly learn the difference from having to remain steady for marks then being able to hunt using there nose for the upland portion. My training would remain the same. Sit means sit for retrievers and whoa means practically the same for upland dogs.
With proper training an upland dog will understand the difference. What upland dogs I have trained I never had a problem with them going on point while retrieving a mark. There again consistent training establishing your standard pays off.
There are contradictions that can cause issues if you are going to do other tests or styles of hunting. If you are going to do only the retriever test there should not be any issues, just adjust a retriever program to your dog's personality. If you want the dog to succeed in some of the searching portions of the versatile hunting dog tests I suggest you wait until after the versatile hunting tests to teach handling commands and quartering commands. The versatile tests expect the dog to search for upland birds and ducks without much input from a handler, so a dog that waits for you to tell it where to go will not fare well. Force fetch (trained retrieve) will cure the pointing of dead birds.