Drills versus Skills [Back to Training Tips]
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A friend of mine's Retriever whom I am training recently asked, “When will you start doing drills with my pup?" I imagine this question springs to mind for many owners who entrust their new hunting buddy to a trainer, Whether it be a be it a novice or a pro. This question carries not only the owner’s expectations in terms of what the pup will do when the training is complete but also for the trainer, who may be looking at the training process through an entirely different lens.
For most of us, I think it is fair to say, that as we look to the future and visualize our pup becoming a dog that executes retrieves in both the field and the water with confidence and momentum! But the reality is, that to get to that idealistic future state, there must be a complete Training-Life-Cycle (TLC) as a part of the pup’s journey to become a working or Finished Gundog. It is a recipe that takes a lot of healthy ingredients and baked agonizingly slow. So what are those ingredients? Do we need all of them? Can we bake on higher heat and still achieve success? All great questions and ones that trainers and owners have wrestled with a lot longer than most of us have been around.
Dogs with and without great pedigrees have inherent attributes that either make them a natural or something less. But even dogs gifted with all the right components need highly developed skills that are established and ingrained through consistency, maturity and you guessed it, Drills. The variables are aptitude, quality of training, a variety of training and time.
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