American Hunter - December 2020 - 35

kh

H

unting season is backsliding season. For you and your dog.
But it shouldn't be.
"The problem with hunting a young dog is backsliding," said pro trainer Ethan Pippitt of Standing Stone Kennels in
Kansas. "You trained all summer, but once the points are real and
you're in the grips of hunting fever, it's all too easy to focus on the
shooting and forget about your dog."
And a forgotten dog is a backsliding dog.
That isn't a big deal with an older, experienced dog, but a 1- to
2-year-old? "Big problem. The excitement of the hunt, a strange
location, the rush of wild birds and sometimes lots of them ... it's
all too easy for a young dog-and his owner-to forget all that
training."
The dog breaks, the bird flies, you shoot and you've just
rewarded pup for doing the wrong thing.

PROPERTY
INFORMATION

OFFLINE
MAPPING

TAH Proof ❑ Rough ❑ Revised

❑ #_____

DISTANCE
PREDICTIVE
MEASUREMENT HUNTZONE™

❑ Olmsted ❑ Bier

By Ron Spomer, Field Editor

❑ Final ❑ Radielovic ❑ Draper ❑ Mehall

Photo: Author

DON'T LET
THEM GET
SLOPPY

"But you can prevent all that. It just takes dedication and
attention. You've got to play the long game here. The reward for
maintaining proper performance that first year or two is eight or
10 more years of trouble-free field performance."
So, first decide the level of performance you want. "I like a dog
rock steady until the bird flushes. Then I don't mind if the dog
breaks to get a jump on the retrieve. If you insist on steady to wing
and shot, you'll need to pay a lot more attention and pass up a lot
more shots that first year or two."
"It doesn't matter the breed or type," says Pippitt, "Whatever
your dog was bred and trained to do must be carefully nurtured
and maintained during the first season or two. So don't reward
him by shooting a bird he's busted. Don't let a Lab cough up a
bird at your feet. Don't let him whine and pace around the blind
because you're too focused on incoming ducks to bother with dog
control. Only shoot birds to reward the level of performance you
want for the life of that dog."
An easy way to stay atop your dog without missing shooting
opportunities is to work with a partner. You run the dog, he concentrates on the bird. Then trade places. "Takes some discipline
and dedication, but it's truly worth it," Pippitt insisted. "A good
hunting dog is a major investment, a long-term investment, and
too valuable to compromise on a few moments of inattentiveness.
Make your dog's compliance 'job one' those first two seasons and
you'll reap rewards for the next decade. But get sloppy, let him
backslide, and you'll fight it for the next decade."

❑ Herman

GUNDOGS

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American Hunter - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2020

Contents
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover1
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover2
American Hunter - December 2020 - 1
American Hunter - December 2020 - Contents
American Hunter - December 2020 - 3
American Hunter - December 2020 - 4
American Hunter - December 2020 - 5
American Hunter - December 2020 - 6
American Hunter - December 2020 - 7
American Hunter - December 2020 - 8
American Hunter - December 2020 - 9
American Hunter - December 2020 - 10
American Hunter - December 2020 - 11
American Hunter - December 2020 - 12
American Hunter - December 2020 - 13
American Hunter - December 2020 - 14
American Hunter - December 2020 - 15
American Hunter - December 2020 - 16
American Hunter - December 2020 - 17
American Hunter - December 2020 - 18
American Hunter - December 2020 - 19
American Hunter - December 2020 - 20
American Hunter - December 2020 - 21
American Hunter - December 2020 - 22
American Hunter - December 2020 - 23
American Hunter - December 2020 - 24
American Hunter - December 2020 - 25
American Hunter - December 2020 - 26
American Hunter - December 2020 - 27
American Hunter - December 2020 - 28
American Hunter - December 2020 - 29
American Hunter - December 2020 - 30
American Hunter - December 2020 - 31
American Hunter - December 2020 - 32
American Hunter - December 2020 - 33
American Hunter - December 2020 - 34
American Hunter - December 2020 - 35
American Hunter - December 2020 - 36
American Hunter - December 2020 - 37
American Hunter - December 2020 - 38
American Hunter - December 2020 - 39
American Hunter - December 2020 - 40
American Hunter - December 2020 - 41
American Hunter - December 2020 - 42
American Hunter - December 2020 - 43
American Hunter - December 2020 - 44
American Hunter - December 2020 - 45
American Hunter - December 2020 - 46
American Hunter - December 2020 - 47
American Hunter - December 2020 - 48
American Hunter - December 2020 - 49
American Hunter - December 2020 - 50
American Hunter - December 2020 - 51
American Hunter - December 2020 - 52
American Hunter - December 2020 - 53
American Hunter - December 2020 - 54
American Hunter - December 2020 - 55
American Hunter - December 2020 - 56
American Hunter - December 2020 - 57
American Hunter - December 2020 - 58
American Hunter - December 2020 - 59
American Hunter - December 2020 - 60
American Hunter - December 2020 - 61
American Hunter - December 2020 - 62
American Hunter - December 2020 - 63
American Hunter - December 2020 - 64
American Hunter - December 2020 - 65
American Hunter - December 2020 - 66
American Hunter - December 2020 - 67
American Hunter - December 2020 - 68
American Hunter - December 2020 - 69
American Hunter - December 2020 - 70
American Hunter - December 2020 - 71
American Hunter - December 2020 - 72
American Hunter - December 2020 - 73
American Hunter - December 2020 - 74
American Hunter - December 2020 - 75
American Hunter - December 2020 - 76
American Hunter - December 2020 - 77
American Hunter - December 2020 - 78
American Hunter - December 2020 - State_1
American Hunter - December 2020 - State_2
American Hunter - December 2020 - 79
American Hunter - December 2020 - 80
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover3
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover4
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