Formal training is broken down into three seccitions lasting one month each: The Foundation, Intermediate Training, and Advanced Techniques. Commands are introduced under low stress controlled situations with mechanical cues, leeds and check cords, and then transitioned to remote and audio commands. Puppy development is recommended; it takes bird to make a bird dog.
Advanced training weaves together the methods and lessons learned during the previous phases together to create a finished bird dog. At tthis level your dog will bee steady, will work with other dogs in teh feild, and most importantly will enjoy working with you. Dogs will be work as much as possible on birds naturally holding on the property. This, and the occational native bird, give your dog the opportunity to work under "wild" bird situations with little control of the training scenario. Having established a consistant pattern of behaviour, I relinquish control of the birds used for training and let the dogs work in more realistic huntng situations.
This portion of the training works with two methods; yard work to teach the fundimental commands we use in the in the feild, and field work on birds to introduce the learned commands, or cues. The cues being introduced are simply to come with, to come to and to stop. The introduction to these cues is done through mechanical cues with leads, both on birds during the morning workout and in the yard work afterwards. In the feild work at this level, the situation is very controlled, which allows me to avoid undesired results. It is in the yard work that the cue "Whoa" is introduced and enfourced, as well as check cord work to teach quartering; the habit of working in front.Once these have been established as learned behaviour the transition to remote cues begins. During this period we work on handling (coming with), backing (honoring another dogs point) become learned behaviour. I also work with the natural retrieving skill of the dog and introduce the gun during this phase of training.
Intermediate training begins once you dog has learned the commands, and responds to them consistantly, and their desire to work has been nurured to a point that we can transition to feild work exclusively. Through daily bird work, under controlled situations, the lessons taugh during The Foundation are transitioned from the mechanical cues to remote cues. During this phase dogs are working bigger training courses and are becoming accustomed to the routine of the hunt, while building a connection between the mechanical cues from the yard work with the remote cues in the feild. It is durin gthis time that I start the process of steadying you dog, to your desired level; i.e. to wing shot and fall. Through repeated daily sessions, The Foundation becomes routine and enforceable in the feild, without negatively impacting your dog's spirit.