The ability to take directions, or hand signals, promptly and correctly is a valuable accomplishment in any dog hunted in front of the gun. in the blind or heel as a non-slip retriever. Particularly valuable is it in a Spaniel or Retriever that has not seen the kill or properly marked the fall. These dogs should be taught to pause or look for directions immediately upon hearing several short blasts of the whistle.
When you have gained his attention in this manner, wave your hand in the direction you desire him to move and move yourself in that same direction. If you want him to “Go Back” wave your hand in a forward direction and move forward a little. If you want him to go to the right, wave your hand to the right and move to the right. The same applies to the left. If you want him to come closer to you, keep repeating the short blasts on the whistle and indicate your desire. By moving him in the direction desired, he will cross the line of scent and make the retrieve. The dog should be allowed to use his own head as much as possible, and directions given only when necessary.
SOME NEVERS OF TRAINING
Never nag at a dog. When you speak to him. mean it. The dog constantly nagged at will never amount to much and can’t.
Never tease a dog. Respect him and earn his respect.
Don’t accept partial or slovenly performance. Insist that the dog completely perform any task as he has been taught he should.
Never vary commands. Always make them the same. Thus you preclude any confusion or uncertainty.
Never work or hunt your dog except with his equals or peers.
If you go with men whose dogs will spoil yours, leave them and hunt alone or if you go with them, don’t take your dog.
Never lend your dog to anyone, not even a best friend any more than you would your child. If you lend your dog to a friend the chances are you won’t be friends for long.
Never ask anything unreasonable of a dog.
Never give him freedom to roam and find bad company. Dogs can get into bad habits the same as people.
Never let companions who hunt with you spoil the dog by breaking shot or otherwise. If a man breaks shot you can’t blame a dog for doing so.