new owner ( to be ) field trials

John is an extremely experienced member and trainer of Gun Dogs. Hints, tips and general advice can be found in here which will build into an extremely useful souce of informatation

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cummins
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new owner ( to be ) field trials

Post by cummins » 02 Sep 2011, 12:39

Hi John
I am looking to get a labrador for myself (and hubby) as a friend,companion and look after me when hubby is on nights. I think not sure though an older dog is what i would like not a puppy .I would like to do some field trials with her/him but not to the gun .
my questions are :-
Are field trials to the gun or can i do without ?
Can you suggest any items to buy to get me started?
As I would like an older dog can you suggest an age ? I do not want to be cruel and get one to old.
I have a horse so it would also come out with me on a ride and I have access to many acres of fields and water that the farmer owns and he has said i can use them any time .

many thanks from a hopeful labrador in the future owner
kay

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Re: new owner ( to be ) field trials

Post by Glenys » 02 Sep 2011, 13:24

John is aware of this enquiry he will answer later..................

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John
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Re: new owner ( to be ) field trials

Post by John » 02 Sep 2011, 23:06

Hi Kay,

First of all, we will clear up a few things. There are two separate forms of competition involving Retrievers.

1/ Working Tests, which are designed to simulate a shooting day, except the dog retrieves canvas dummies rather than birds or rabbits.

2/ Field Trials, are more like a shoot, a team of guns shoot Pheasants, Partridges, Hares and the like which the dogs retrieve when instructed.

Not in either Working Tests or Field Trials would you actually be called upon to actually shoot a gun. In working tests the gun would either be an ordinary starting pistol or a shotgun modified to fire blanks. But in Field Trials the guns are for real! The first photo is my Amy retrieving a canvas dummy and the second is her retrieving a Pheasant.

Most people start out in gundog work competing in Working Tests, because generally speaking the starting level is a little lower, and work up to Field Trials. To compete in Field Trials both you and your dog really need experience on a shoot, but many people take part in Working Tests on equal terms without any shoot experience whatsoever.

When it comes to the age of the dog, obviously within reason the younger the better because you have a chance to meld it in the way you want. It has to pre learned bad habits. But again obviously things have to fit in with what you want, and I’ve known some very good dogs who did not start gundog work until 4 years old. But if you think, training is ongoing, a younger dog has the option to go further in training simply because you have more time to train before old age sets in. The third photo is Amy learning to retrieve at 13 weeks old.

Equipment. Initially about all you will need is a gundog whistle and Lanyard to hang it around your neck, a rope slip lead and a canvas dummy. (Although you will soon progress to needing a minimum of 3 dummies.

Regards, John

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cummins
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Re: new owner ( to be ) field trials

Post by cummins » 03 Sep 2011, 13:06

Hi John
many thanks for that .
My friend takes his springers shooting so I will tag along with them for now.
I have purchased your book gundog training which I am in the process of reading .
all the best and many thanks for your time.
kay
ps stunning pictures of your dog

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Re: new owner ( to be ) field trials

Post by John » 03 Sep 2011, 15:36

Believe me, gundog work is very addictive once you get started! And I believe the working together as a team brings owner and dog closer together. This is where my winters are spent, leaning on my walking stick picking up behind the guns.

Regards, John

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