Lining is one of the most crucial skill sets a retriever can possess. Whether you are hunting marshes or dry fields, you're more than likely going to need a dog that can take lines very well.
There are many lining drills that you can do, but there are three simple drills that you can do right now that will improve your dog's lining, which will result in faster, more efficient retrieves in the duck blind.
One of the most straightforward that you can run is a lining memory. Lining memories are simple and can easily adapt to whatever terrain you would like to work in. If you want to do a lining memory retrieve, then it's straight forward and simple.
All you have to do is pick a start point and endpoint and then walk in a straight line with your dog at heel. Once you reach your endpoint, stop, throw out a bumper, and then with your dog at heel, return to your start point. Ensure your dog is lined properly, as outlined in our online courses, and...
If you've been around retriever training for a short time, odds are you've probably heard someone talk about a blind retrieve. Have you ever wondered what a blind retrieve is?
What is a blind retrieve?
A blind retrieve is a retrieve that your dog has never seen before. Meaning, if a bird is shot, but the dog didn't "mark" or see the bird fall, it is considered a blind retrieve.
In other words, the dog is blind to where the bird or bumper fell and will need to trust you to line it up properly and handle it to the downed bird or bumper.
The foundation for a blind retrieve is trust. Trust isn't built overnight and ultimately it is developed through building a bond over months as you train and mold your dog into all that it can be.
There are three core foundations for being successful on blind retrieves.
- Trust between you and your dog
- Confidence in taking the right line
- A strong relationship developed between you and your dog
If you want to develop these qualities in...
On the journey of training your dog, there is one inevitable thing- corrections.
Corrections are vitally important to mold and shape your dog into all that you want it to be. Corrections help you communicate with your dog when it does the wrong thing. Communication is everything.
How do I correct my dog the right way?
It all starts with understanding the value and importance of a well-done correction. A correction that is poorly applied can set you back and even be detrimental to your dog's development. A correction that is appropriately applied will help propel your dog forward in training and can enhance your dog's overall development.
How to correct your dog in a way that propels it forward in training
If you want your corrections to be productive then you need to understand a few things. Things like...
Why correct your dog?
Simply put, we correct our dogs because the course of action that the dog is...
At this time of the year, we all start shifting our thinking to hunting season. We start thinking about the cold and crisp mornings we will be spending in the blind.
A second thought quickly passes by realizing that hunting season is nearly here! For many, the early season starts and for others, the main hunting season begins in just a few weeks!
What about the dog? It's crunch time now! You've got to get it prepared so that it will be ready for opening day.
This is the general thought process that many go through every year around this time. The pressures on and now there's only a very short time remaining to prepare the dog for the upcoming season. What's left to do? Go to work of course!
Every year, many people go out and start pounding in the sessions while missing one important detail: the HEAT.
This time of year Heat Stroke is a constant lurking threat to your dog and it's safety. If you're not careful your dog can overheat in a flash, and it can even...
Two of the most frequent questions we get asked here at Cornerstone are...
The answers to these questions are crucial because they can have a significant impact on how your retriever turns out!
First, when should I introduce my dog to birds?
Many people are understandably eager to introduce their young puppies to birds. If that's you, have you stopped to consider the possible ramifications? After all, the goal is to take your pup and turn it into the best hunting retriever that it can be.
With that in mind, here are a few things to consider. You could introduce your dog to birds early on when it is a puppy; however, you aren’t going to get the full benefit of bird intro.
This is especially the case if you give a little puppy a bird to hold. It will probably end up just dragging the heavy bird around or worse. It could even chew it up like a toy.
Once you have your retriever puppy, you are probably wondering what type of toys you should give to it. If you are planning on only having a family companion, you can pretty much give it whatever toys you would like.
If you are planning on turning your pup into a duck hunting dog, then there are a few things to consider.
Should I give my pup toys or not?
You may or may not be aware yet, but a young pup is like a piranha. They like to bite nearly everything that they can- including you. Your first instinct will likely be to divert your pups attention away from biting people and furniture.
The easiest way to divert your pups attention is to give it something that it is interested in. Toys will undoubtedly do the trick here, but...
If you have plans to train your hunting dog to be an excellent retriever, you will want to avoid giving your pup toys to play with at free will. Toys aren't necessarily a bad thing, but if you have toys and you don't handle them right, you are...
Training a young puppy into an incredible hunting retriever is something that many aspire to and achieve, but along the way, simple mistakes can slow the progress.
Before we dive in, if you haven't had a chance to check out the other posts that are available in this series, then you can check them out here.
Top Three Retrieving Mistakes (Avoid them at all cost)
All three of these mistakes are extremely common and usually end up in frustration later on in training. Read carefully, and be sure to follow the recommended advice below so that you can end up with the best success.
Too Much Too Soon
What's one of the first things we all do when we get our new retriever puppies? Retrieve, of course!
Some puppies come ready to retrieve, and others are late bloomers. Nonetheless, as soon as a pup shows promise with retrieving, the temptation to start retrieving as much as possible arrives....
There are three main issues that you may face with your puppy. It's important to work on these issues as soon as possible.
All three of those can be extremely frustrating to deal with if you aren't sure how to handle them properly. The good news is that there are solutions.
A puppy's bark is sharp and powerful. It can certainly hinder the tranquility in your home. If you handle it right, it will only last for a short period, but if you make a few common mistakes, it can be hard to stop your pup from barking.
When you get a chance, you will want to read over our blog post on what to do when your pup is barking.
For now, just know the number one rule: don't reinforce or reward your pup for barking.
Biting/nipping is the next main issue that people face with their puppies. It's important to understand that up until this point in your pup's life, it has been surrounded by littermates that love biting all over each other. This is one way...
Once you have prepared for puppy pick up day, you also need to be prepared for when you arrive at home from puppy pick up day.
Introducing your puppy to the home is one of your best opportunities to start things off on the right foot. If you do everything right, you can really set yourself up for success. Training a puppy starts on your puppy's first night in your home.
Three Important Topics Can Make All The Difference
Expectations That Set the Tone
Expectations can either help you or hurt you when it comes to your new pup. If you have expectations that aren't met, then you probably will have a pretty tough time as you incorporate your pup into the home. On the contrary, if your expectations are met, you will have an incredible time as your pup becomes a part of the family.
So what should you be expecting?
Well, you have a puppy, and it's going to be doing things that a...
One of the very first things that you will want to do with your new pup is crate train and housebreak it. This is all part of bringing your pup into the home successfully. These new puppy principles are essential for your gundog's success.
The crate training process can turn into a nightmare if it isn't done properly. Fortunately, we've created a step by step Crate Training & House Breaking Guide that you can download here and follow.
This guide will show you exactly how to crate train your puppy and beginning housebreaking. I highly recommend downloading it along with reading this blog post.
With that said, there are a few key focus points that you need to know so that the process will go as smoothly as possible.