This is ZZ as a pup, play bowing at a chukar on a tether. We were working toward increasing her interest and confidence with birds.
Blanche's super high drive was obvious from the get-go. She pointed the bird, and to prevent her from rushing forward and "busting" the bird, Rick picked her up.
Even when playing fetch with tiny baby puppies, we encourage them to retrieve properly to hand. When the pup voluntarily brings a toy, it's rewarded with a treat.
Jett was nervous about entering the icy cold water at first. We just let her work it out. When she decided to go in, it built her confidence because she conquered her concerns herself!
The first thing a diving dog has to know is how to get out of the pool. So we start by going down the ramp. Then the fun of diving off the dock begins.
There are many things about testing, hunting, and showing dogs that are beyond our control. Conditioning your dog at home is absolutely within your control. Make sure your dog (and you!) never fail because you weren't fit and ready to go!
Be intentional when you're working with your dog. Make sure you aren't teaching bad habits. A well-bred hunting pup comes to you with talent and instinct, but the pup needs someone to develop that talent and give him the confidence he needs to be successful as a hunter and a companion. Be patient. Enjoy the journey. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the pup's light come on!