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Teaching dog to range out

I have a 2 yr. old Brittany that has never been worked with much. I have her trained on heel, whoa, and come. When I work with her on the ground whoaing her she will not run far from me or work out in front of me. It's almost like she's scared to get to far away. Any help would be appreciated.

Hello Ben,

I do not know if you have had this dog since it was a puppy or if you just got it and are working now. The only difference would be how long you have instilled your style of training into the dog and how long it will take to fix. Either way I don't think you will have too much of a problem.

Many times I see trainers get too serious about obedience and drill the dog too hard. This is due to the fact that the trainer is just trying "too hard" to have a good dog. Your dog does not go too far away from you. This shows me she needs very little practice on whoa and more confidence in her ability to hunt. The times comes, like all with all children, that you have to put the training you have instilled into practical use.

My advice is to take the dog to a field somewhere, whether there are birds or not and let her explore. You can keep her under control by using a 100 foot check cord. A $1.59 piece of cotton clothes line works well for this. You should also be in a field with a lot of open area and very few objects for the line to catch. If it does catch the dog may take it as a correction. Don't worry. Calmly untie the line and continue to stroll with your dog. She will eventually find that it is a lot of fun to explore new areas. We call this hunting.

I train different than many in that I take my pups into the field on a long line for a lot of hunting before I do obedience. I will then add the obedience later but even after I am working dog in novice level I still use a check cord for the first 6-10 times we hunt. Birds will come and go but a dog needs to be taught the right way the beginning.

I think with this method you will find your dog getting bolder each time you go out. Eventually you will discontinue the long line and use obed. to control her in the field. You still have lots of time. Good luck!

Terry Germany
JC&T Shooting Sports

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