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Steady with Style

Steady with Style

In Martha Greenlee’s latest post at Steady With Style, she explains the difference between working you dog On Birds and Around Birds. It’s a slight difference, but it can make a big deal in how your dog learns and performs. Check it out now.

On Birds and Around Birds, by Martha Greenlee @ Steady With Style

“Good pointing dog trainers have an overview of the steadying process. They think less about specific training steps and more about training in broader terms. A good example is Bill West. If you ever spent time around Bill, you heard the terms on birds and around birds. When a dog was on birds, the dog had scent of a bird. When a dog was around birds, the dog knew birds were in the area or he saw birds fly, but no scent was involved. The difference between on birds and around birds may seem insignificant, but if you think about it, most training situations take place either on birds or around birds, and you may be surprised at how these two simple terms can help keep your dog happy and manage his level of excitement as you go through formal training.

One of the first rules in the Bill West method is to train a dog in a field where the dog is around birds. The dog thinks he can find birds so he is happy to be out there and in a good frame of mind to learn. When he does a good job, he is rewarded by being worked on birds. This bird contact increases his level of excitement, and he will look for birds in the next workout. Unfortunately, dogs that are worked in the backyard, where they haven’t found birds, rarely enjoy training and some lose interest altogether…

Read the entire piece now

2 Responses to “On Birds & Around Birds. Your gundog knows the difference. Do you?”

  1. flint says:

    “…Unfortunately, dogs that are worked in the backyard, where they haven’t found birds, rarely enjoy training and some lose interest altogether…”

    Couldn’t agree more, and have actually learned this the hard way. This can be a problem when one has a dog that functions as a ‘pet’ as well as a gundog (coupled with the generally dismal state of wild bird populations).

    It can be overcome, but the drive has to be there in the first place.

  2. Gregg says:

    Flint-

    Thanks for the comment. Great blog, too. Let me know if you ever make it up to New England.

    Gregg

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