No matter what kind of bird dog you have, it is smart that your dog likes to hunt in bushes and thickets. The spaniel must be able to force himself through shrubberies both with and without thorns – the game that the dog should flush is often in those places – but even a retriever needs to love to force bushes. As you know, a dummy or a shot bird can land anywhere.

I want my dogs to like to run under twigs and force themselves through shrubberies and hunt under bushes and low trees, so I do a fun game with them. I want them to understand that they will be rewarded. Therefore, I let them search for treats and balls in places where the terrain is difficult. 

Already from the beginning I started to teach my puppy Flippa to search under bushes and low trees and I hid balls and sprinkled treats in the thickets. I have given her, step by step, more and more difficult challenges. Here you can see her searching among twigs:

Next time when you are outside, either doing training or walking, try and find the nearest thicket or shrubbery, and then throw some treats or hide a ball there. That is a fun and good activation that makes your dog a little better at searching in more difficult terrain.


Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training
Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training

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