Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Not so much 'heel work' but pulling on the lead is probably one of my hardest challenges with Chester because there's no quick fix.

I would love him to walk on a loose lead ALL of the time - no matter the distraction. Also, I don't expect any sniffing (stopping to sniff) or peeing up things while he is on the lead. That is reserved for off lead only.

I find it really difficult to teach when we walk twice a day - on the lead, about 20 mins to get to the field where he is off lead. To teach it properly there should be no pulling in this walk each time we do it. Hopefully someone is having the same problem as me and realises this is pretty much impossible without the walk taking at least twice a long and me getting very frustrated!

I needed to find a method where I could teach heel but still go on our normal walks.

Easy solution - make his lead into a figure of 8 and he walks beautifully but I don't want this to become a permanent thing. I only use in really exciting situations.

So instead, we start our walks using figure of 8 lead and once we are in our stride I can slip it off his nose and he'll continue with a loose lead. If I feel him getting ahead of himself again, I can correct (I usually just stop). It also helps if my hand is in my pocket so there's no tension going down the lead (very Dog Whisperer!).

I can now get about half way round the walk with no pulling at all. Surely some time in the future I will be able to get all the way round?!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

More training needed!

I haven't been doing as much training lately as we're tight on time in the mornings and it's so dark after work. The problem is ... it shows!!

Chester is no problem as a pet, he does everything I ask of him (oh, he did pee up a friend's Xmas tree ... that was not cool!). He's just a bit hit and miss on the gundog work.

His enthusiasm is always 110% but his patience is ZERO. Really noticed it at group training recently when there's been a lot of waiting around. Chester likes to bark/moan lots. I get frustrated and this definitely makes it worse. He did really well in the more advanced group but he needs to pass a test to get into that group permenantly. We attempted it on Sunday but his sit stays weren't brilliant and he kept getting up. FAIL!

I think a stint back at obedience should help with this and the patience. Chester won't know what's hit him!

Also at the top of the list is getting his heel work up to standard. Off lead it's pretty much there but there's a little creeping forward. I can address this fairly easily. On the lead it's quite poor! Again, handler error, really need to work on this. It's amazing how much more you enjoy the walk if your dog isn't yanking your arm off.

I'm looking forward to the Spring/Summer when there's a lot more training days/weekends we can attend and learn new skills. Have signed up to the Kennel Club hunting and pointing weekend in March but not have to wait and see if we get a place. Fingers crossed!

Until then, aim is to see an improvement in his general obedience at gundog class when his excitement level is up and there's so much happening.