Posted By jonnyp1423 on 08/26/2007 2:07 PM
Is this traing the same? I want my dog first and foremost to work for me in the field, but may also want to run him in some field trials. I am a newbee and trying to find the best training for my dog.
No, the training is somewhat different. Most hunters teach a dog to stay closer & check back often, for trials you encourage run(range). Field trials want a very forward big running dog, especially in All-Age. A Gun Dog should also be forward, but not as much as an AA dog, in horseback trials you really need a dog that moves out well. You want a dog that handles well. He shouldn't be just running, but actively seeking objectives/likely cover w/o much handler guidance except for when you need to turn him. When training for FT, I try to keep the dog ahead & not let it yo-yo(repeatedly return to me). I always send it off (release it) to a certain whistle.
You need to teach it to turn at 300 or better yds out w/o coming back to you, I start the turn commands very young, so as their confidence & range grows, they know the commands & will handle well w/o having to call them in to me. I basically just change my direction to the left or right while giving a command....puppy most always follow your change & move to the front of you. When training an older dog a cc helps a lot with this. A FT dog needs to be conditioned well & be able to run 30 min (or 60 min if you run AF) w/o slowing down or tiring/pacing itself at all. It's best to be able to train off quads or horses, so you can keep the dog forward but you can train off foot also. I rarely have access to either & do pretty well in trials.
You can run trials & hunt, a good dog that handles well can do both, I hunt all my FT dogs.
Upper level hunt test dogs and field trial dogs do need to be steady to wing and shot, many hunters don't require their dogs steady as Justin pointed out, but many do. My retired & non-comp dogs are steady......I prefer them that way for safety reasons (no dogs getting in the way of a shot) as I hunt public land a lot and usually take several people out with me. There's a lot more to it, I will try to answer any question! Try contacting a local FT club and going to an event to watch, they can be quite fun & exciting. Good luck!!