Dog Breeds

Bullmastiff Training

If this seems hopelessly technical and involved, stop and think a minute. To begin with, the tracking test is conducted at a spot where there is plenty of grass and soil to receive and retain scent, where a dog would nose about naturally and at a time when wind conditions are favorable. Then, too, the dog is worked on a leash or cord and so is always under control. Now consider what Jock has already learned in his retrieving lessons and you will realize the problems are by no means as difficult as they may appear.

In the last three tests scent discrimination, seeking back and tracking you will find an ounce of observation worth a pound of rule reading. In fact, once you have seen any of the U.D. requirements competed for, you will probably be surprised at the simplicity rather than the intricacy of the routines. You will realize, as we have already said, that it is merely a case of adapting knowledge already acquired to certain specific conditions, no one of which is really difficult to meet.

As for standing for examination, all you need do is read the requirements and follow directions. Thousands of show dogs stand for examination every week of the year and do it perfectly; yet a goodly percentage of them have had no intensive training for it and many have never been handled by anyone making the slightest claim to ability as a trainer. The tracking test, which you conduct with your dog on leash, is not so simple.

But any dog with a halfdecent nose will be able to fulfill the conditions after a few weeks of training. If he hasn’t a halfdecent nose he’ll never be able to qualify anyway, and there’s nothing his owner can do about it. The details of what training is required you are now in a position to learn from observation, talks with other handlers and fellow exhibitors.

As said in a previous chapter, the treatment of training for obedience tests in this book must be, of necessity, comparatively sketchy. If you use it to give Jock a good drilling in the fundamentals he should at least win the C.D. title. From that point on your contacts with men and women in the obediencetest game will save you trouble.


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