OUR TRAINING GOAL IS EXCELLENCE, WHAT'S YOURS?
VIDEOS - Dog Training
For pictures of some of the dogs who either come for one to ones or for residential training, both long and short term, please visit our 'Going On Holiday' page.
INFORMATION - All dogs are different! Every dogs training should take into account their nature, ability and what they will be doing in the future. You need to read every dog from its body language to its actions to ensure you train your dog, the way your dog needs to be trained. However, the basics are pretty much the same with some dogs needing more visual or verbal stimulation than others and some needing a softer voice while others need a firmer tone. If the basics are not there the rest will never come, except maybe stress, headaches and worry.
If you have any questions about anything you see in any of the videos, please just ask. Most are short videos done for clients to show how their dog is getting on in training and so they can refer back to the video for reminders of commands, etc..
These and more short videos are available on Craigelachie Gundogs channel on 'YOU TUBE'
(There are lots of different ways to teach any 1 thing, and below, are some of them)
Most of the tasks in these short videos are things that all dog owners can do with their dog as part of their training to help take their dogs behaviour and training to another level. Most of these videos are about the basics with different dogs. Why? Why do I continually emphasize 'the basics'? Because they are the parts of dog training that many many people neglect. They think they are boring and are desperate to progress onto bigger and better things without every truly realising just HOW IMPORTANT the basics are. Your dog needs to know the basics in auto-pilot in many situations before you can even begin to think they have mastered them.
David & one of his Springers, Willow, doing a little water training to cool off after a very hard 1 hour session on some steep hills.
Springer Spaniel - Sending Dog for One Retrieve then Change to a Second Dummy - 3 Videos
Changing Dummies. Sending dog for dummy 1, then stopping the dog half way and then sending for dummy 2.
Once dummy 2 is delivered, sending the dog back out for dummy 1, the original dummy.
Jack The Labrador - Sit & Stay
Jack is a fully grown Labrador that had previously had no training of any kind. He is a timid lad who is hugely clingy. Here he is starting with those very basics of sit, stay and basic recall. He has a wonderful nature and now that he is with his new family, I'm sure will come on leaps and bounds.
We do this with various numbers of dummies but here we start with 5. This Lab has done 8 dummies in the past in both straight horizontal and vertical line-ups. Sending for the 1st dummy in the line-up. Stopping her. Send her past other dummy (dummy number 2) and then direct her to only pick the dummy we indicate is the correct dummy (here it is dummy number 3).
When you first start this exercise you teach this in horizontal line-up (with a slight arc to make it easier for the dog to get it right (but you don't start on a dog on this exercise until it is ready in it's training to do this)). In time, you progress onto a vertical line up so the dog runs directly past all the dummies until the handler indicates when it is about to reach the chosen dummy.
This is really good to help teach a dog that no matter how many dummies there are and no matter how interesting some of them may be, the dog can only retrieve the dummy you choose. Hence, the dog must understand the handlers commands and be very obedient and focus.
Springer DOESN'T Run Off & Chase Pheasants, Sheep, etc.
A Working Springer showing that if you teach your dog from day 1 that outside space is time for you and him 'to play / train' together and interact with each other, you won't end up with a dog that runs off and chases everything in sight. This dog chose working with me instead of chasing the pheasants. Even though the dummy was always being thrown in amongst the pheasants, he still chose me. He could have gone off at any time to 'play' with the pheasants if he wanted. So here he was retrieving a dummy. If we were out with the gun and I shot a pheasant and it landed in amongst living, flapping and flying pheasants, he would still chose to pick up the shot bird and deliver it to me and not chose to chase the very alive pheasants.
Don't ever think that you can't get your dog to choose you over the distractions. Gundog training works really well from young pups to dogs with problems. If your dog is a chaser or runner, you can change that but you have to really want to because it takes time, patience, commitment and work. If you wish to come to us for lessons, or elsewhere, don't expect to only have one or two sessions and your dog will be fixed. Don't expect the 'stop' whistle to be a magic wand or trick, it isn't.
At this time of year, October, we get a lot of dog owners from both the agility, obedience and pet dog sector. Why? Because this is the time of year when lots of pheasants, partridge, etc are around, ready for the shooting season. Most dog owners from these sectors request lessons because when they are outside, taking the dog for a walk, the dog ends up running off and chasing e.g pheasants, etc.. This problem has arisen for them because the owners view 'outside space' as the place for dogs to be off the lead and running around, sniffing, and looking for and finding their own stimulation. This is a huge mistake.
A lot of the dog owners truly can't see how teaching the 'stop' whistle to the dog, will actually stop the dog from chasing. The stop whistle isn't a magic trick, it is a taught and learned command for the dog, like any other. The stop whistle is also only one part.
Depending on the breed, the dog should also be taught how to hunt in a methodical manner. They run off looking for smells anyway when out, they want to use their nose, so teach them how to use it properly.
Remove the dogs 'free-time' when you take him out and train / play with him instead. How? You need to become the centre of your dogs world, especially when outside. By playing (training) your dog outside with everything from retrieving, stays, hunting, heel, etc., you teach your dog how to change his view of outside space. If you could see a dog that goes out for a walk (training) and it is done well, you would see that the dog loves getting the stimulation from their owner instead of having to go looking for it themselves. They absolutely love it and are desperate to get started when they get out.
By training your dog when you go out, instead of letting it 'self stimulate', you end up with a dog that sees all the distractions outside e.g. pheasants, people, dogs, sheep, etc. and they choose to stay with you instead of running off and stressing you out.
Sometimes it's hard for some people to visualise how training your dog outside everytime you take him out, can create a dog that doesn't run off chasing pheasants and prefers to stay with you but I assure you that if you do it really well, this is what you will end up with. So from day 1 of getting your pup home. Find ways of 'play training' with it, firstly in the house, then into the garden and then when you go out for what is a walk for some people and training sessions for others.
If you take your dog out for a walk and every single time let them run around all over the place, sniffing and self stimulating then you end up with a dog that doesn't come back when you call on it, a dog that chases everything that moves, etc.
Wouldn't you much rather have a dog that you can go anywhere with and he is completely happy to have his freedom (of which well trained dogs get a lot more of than untrained dogs) or to stay close to you, basically, whichever you give him?
Not Dog Training, half a ton of horse, but the principles are the same (something a little bit different)
GSP Long Retrieve Down Hills, Over Water, Up Hills, Through Cover, Over Field & Back Again (not bad for a dog that wouldn't retrieve at all when he first came for training)
Springer Spaniel Retrieves in Gully - Seen & Blinds
Cocker (not Sprocker as vid says) 9 Months Old Long Retrieves Through Cover & Hills
Springer Spaniel Stress Problems & Gundog Training
This is when the puppy training starts....
Pups Being Pups
ESS Blind & Seen Retrieve Training
ESS - Teaching the 'Stop' During a Retrieve
Here we do a series of short retrieves but adding a 'stop' whistle to the dog on the way out to some of the retrieves. This is excellent training for fast keen retrievers who can sometimes need a little training in how to use their head and not be totally controlled by their own speed and desire to follow their instinct. Note that there is a different tone for our retrieve whistle to the 'normal' stop whistle. The 'stop' is a longer tone and the 'retrieve' is a very short quick pip (like the very first part of the recall whistle). We like to use a retrieve whistle as part of training as there are times when out in the field that you want to be as quiet as possible in handling your dog and using the directional signals alongwith a single short sharp pip often means you don't need to shout the 'get out' command.
However, you should not teach this to any dog who you are trying to encourage to retrieve. This can make a sticky dog or one who is not keen on retrieving into an even worse retriever. You must develop and strengthen the natural instinct first before you can progress onto this kind of training.
Barley - GSP Who Wouldn't Retrieve
Ozzy Cocker Spaniel - Starting from Scratch at 10 months old
10 month old Cocker Spaniel. On arrival he would not sit and/or stay on command. He would barge through a door as soon as it opened. He had already learned the thrill of the chase. He had no retrieve training. The early retrieve training in particular is very important, especially for Spaniels.
He has a long way to go and daily training from his owner is not only needed but is hugely important. His retrieve training is having to start with the tennis ball, which will in time, be progressed onto canvas dummies, dokken, etc. Because his basic training has been neglected and he has learned so many wrong things and had very soft handling with no leadership or control shown in his 10 months of life, it means that now, you have to be quite firm with him at times for him to understand you mean what you say.
He now needs to learn to differentiate between chatter/waffle and commands. As long as he has daily lessons in every corner of his life, there is no reason why his training can't progress onto a much higher level, but progress must always be the goal. A few short lessons in a pen with things that fly will not stop him chasing game. The best way forward is prevention and being proactive, rather than dealing with the chase and being reactive. Always setting him up with the best possible chance to learn the right things and not keep learning the wrong things.
He is not happy about having to do the sit and stay work because he has never been made to do it before, and to add to that, his favourite things are only feet away (things that fly), he is not happy about not being allowed to run over and bark at them and chase them around the fence. Only time and consistency in training will ensure that he will reach the standard that he is more than capable of reaching.
Alfie - ESS Learning Not to Chase Things That Fly!
Alfie is your typical young Springer who had no real training when he was younger so walking well on a lead and not running off and chasing things off the lead were real problems. In the above video he is learning about NOT chasing things that fly and in the video below he is learning about being calm, not running off and coming back in with the retrieve rather than running around with it (which is what he was doing).
In the video below you can see how a firm voice was used when he did the wrong thing, but it wasn't dwelled on, just firm voice, fix the situation and get on with it and get back into the praise part as soon as you can. The last thing you want is to be nagging the dog and being 'on his case' all the time, if you do that, they just switch off!
Bell - ESS Basic Retrieving Work
Smartie - Cocker Learning 'Stay' (Again!)
Young Cocker Spaniel learning how to do 'stay'. Through the ill thought out actions of another trainer, the young Cocker became too frightened to do the 'stay' anymore. If her owner tried to step away from her, she was so worried about what might happen that she was compelled to follow. 10 month old Cocker Spaniel.
She had lost all trust and was worried that if she did the 'stay', something bad was going to happen, as had already happened by the wreckless actions of another trainer. With time and patience and building up her trust again, she is now well on the way to be able to work with her again and take the rest of her training foward.
Daisy - Labrador - First Steps in Gundog Training
Daisy is a dog that lacks confidence and can worry about the simplest things and yet isn't at all worried about things you would expect her to worry about.
As you will see in this video, Daisy needs a balance of a soft and firm voice in any one session e.g. when she thinks about running around with the dummy rather than come in with it, I need to use a slightly firmer tone to bring her back in, but once she's coming in again, going back to a softer and more rewarding voice.
Angel - Poodle - Recall Problems & Running Away Worries
He lives almost 200 miles away so we were honoured to have him stay with us for training. Angel is a very laid back dog, very immature and also very honest. His owner often had problems getting him into the house when she called on him (this is not an uncommon problem we hear about). Often she would have to actually go outside before the requested task was done (again, this is the solution most people resort to). He also caused his owner concern when taking him out for a walk. He was always on a lead. She didn't feel confident that if she let him off the lead she would be able to get him back again (another regular complaint). Consequently, this meant the only real free time he got when out for a walk was when she could find a very securely fenced area. I am hoping that his owner can watch this video at times when she feels she can't let him have his run, and remember, that as long as she keeps working with him, there should never be any problems again with his recall.
ESS - Long Distance Retrieve of Dokken Dummy by ESS (Off the cuff, short mobile phone video so not great quality, sorry)
Fern - Springer Spaniel - Assessment at Start of Training October 2010
Fern, one of our previous 'trainees', came in for training, sadly, already with some retrieving issues. As you can see, she came on great guns. Her retrieving problems improved dramatically. When she first arrived, she spent the first couple of weeks settling in, finding her place and bonding. She is such a confident little dog she took no time at all to settle in. Fern managed to get her own little video made because she is such a cheeky, mischievous little rascal. She is going to grow into quite a headstrong little cracker that her dad is going to have his hands full keeping on top of her training. She is one of those dogs that if you miss a days training, you're going to regret it. I adored her as if she was one of my own. She is going to be some gundog in the months to come. Once her assessment was over the real training began. This is a short video of part of Ferns assessment time, settling in time, bonding time and basic retrieving where she brings the retrieve in and not allowed to run around with it or stopping short with it, which is what she was doing before she came.
Fern - Springer Spaniel - December 2010
Fern in training but is always plauged by something or another. First she came in with retrieving problems, then we had all that snow that put pay to a lot of her training for a while, and then she was in season, then she was lame......oh Lord.....give her a break please!
Dogs - It's not all work and no play!!
In between training most dogs enjoy socialising with other dogs who are staying with us, and just having time to 'be dogs' and not spending all their 'non-training' time in isolation in kennels.
Remember, the basics in any dog training is the solid foundation to build the more advanced training on. Without solid foundations and the dog truly understanding those basics and does them in autopilot in any situation, he is doomed to get many things wrong in the future and you are making the training not only very hard for him, but also for yourself. This is the golden rule to follow!
OUR TRAINING GOAL IS EXCELLENCE, WHAT'S YOURS?