There are currently a few constraints when it comes to training that necessitate workarounds for what you might consider standard training techniques. But then if you follow my blog, you probably realize that a lot of what I do is not really considered “standard”.
First, with three pigeons nesting and a fourth sitting on a pair of newborns, I want to be careful not to harm any of them in training. Second, I need to keep the dogs out of the pasture for the time being since it is now home to the neighbor’s horse and cow; with the grass about 5 feet tall, things could get ugly if the guys startle them while running through the grass. And third, honor training without an assistant almost always requires some kind of workaround as opposed to the real thing.
My solution was to leash Doc and Mia to the ends of a long rope that served as my check cord. Using my homemade bird launcher, I would plant a bird and then bring the dogs into the scent cone; this way I could work with both dogs on pointing and honoring at the same time.
Both Doc and Mia were a little prone to creeping and needed a little steadiness, but overall I was happy with their work. I was particularly happy with them being steady-to-flush, which at times they have a tendency to break on. I’m sure that being tethered with the rope had something to do with it but if so, the rope served as a reminder to remain steady, which is what training sessions are about.