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Aye Mates,

I thought this might be a good time to update the progress o' wee pup ALLIE MAE, now a 6 month old yellow female British Labrador  out of a HR UH TTF CRAIGHORN KIFFIN TRAD SH x TTF BIRCH BRANCH MAGGIE breeding.  We recently started e-collar conditioning and HOLD conditioning with ALLIE MAE.  Overall, ALLIE MAE has demonstrated a good acceptance of training  pressure and the same has held true for both of these facets (e-collar and HOLD conditioning) of her training as a gun dog recruit.  Progress has been steady since the early commencement o' basic obedience training and that has moved onward to formalized obedience now coupled with e-collar conditioning to the basic commands.


HOLD conditioning has been quite readily accepted by ALLIE MAE and she is highly responsive to the verbal and physical reward we give her for positive execution of the HOLD - DELAY - GIVE chain of behaviors that we are instilling in her at this point in time.  ALLIE will be very much ready to move onward to the "WALKING HOLD" drills that I continually put a pup through prior to the start of the FORCE FETCH conditioning process.


The exchange of "HOLD" and "GIVE" with ALLIE MAE started with a small paint roller and she has demonstrated a firm hold with overall soft mouth characteristics, (no extraneous shaking, chewing, or needless mouthing of the item(s) being commanded to HOLD).  We have moved on to generalizing  the HOLD pf a dowel, a training buck, Avery Hex bumpers, and Dokken bird bumpers and ALLIE has begun acceptance of all of those items.



ALLIE MAE with hold of a paint roller.  Durations of time being held are continually being elongated and the firmness of HOLD is continually checked to keep pressures exerted in check with no extraneous mouthing being tolerated.  Any dysfunctional  mouthing of bumpers or birds identified are always confronted and corrected immediately at this phase of training, thus eliminating potential problems down the road.



ALLIE MAE with HOLD on a training buck, this designed to promote proper carriage in the middle.   I like to use these during HOLD conditioning and find that overall they seem to help in preventing the "cigar" carry of bumpers by the gun dog trainee.



ALLIE MAE with a HOLD on a Dokken bird bumper.  I find that this progression helps to keep in check any dysfunctional mouthing of frozen and fresh killed birds that I will use later in the training of ALLIE MAE.  Good habits formed from the beginning will minimize the potential for dysfunctional mouthing and carriage of birds as training continues and eventually whilst hunting afield.


We will capitalize on ALLIE'S current momentum and keep the process moving forward.  God how I wish all pups were this easy to train.  Enjoy every precious moment spent with ye gun dogs




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