Doc and Mia got some more quality time in the field Saturday morning and I received some good instructions on how to take them forward with their training. The thought of whether or not we could even reach our training area crossed my mind, considering the recent thunderstorms, but the road had been reworked with a bulldozer and still rough but in good shape.
My trainer began with an English Setter pup and worked him for a bit, then we braced Mia with a Brittany Spaniel pup. Both Doc and Mia are rock solid on point and will hold as long as you ask, so it’s honoring that I am focusing on.
The setup for honoring can be a little challenging. First, the bird must cooperate and sometimes pigeons will flush for no good reason. Then the point dog must be steady and positioned so that you can work the honor dog the way you want.
Our setups were to have the Mia come on to the point dog fairly close, rather than seeing the point dog from a distance. All of which depends on the wind direction and working the point dog so she comes on point just where you want her to.
Mia did a very nice job of pointing, honoring and retrieving, and I received some good instructions on how to steady her up. Mia has a tendency to do a nice job of honoring the point dog, but then loses interest after a minute or so; she still has an issue with being steady-to-wing-and-shot as well.
Doc was braced with another Brittany and then a German Shorthair, and we had a little more difficulty with our setups. As with Mia, he is rock solid on point but needs some refining when it comes to honoring and steady-to-wing-and-shot. Both are near perfect when bracing for each other in our pasture, but in a different area and with different dogs, their flaws are exposed.