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Andrew has been running small spaniel training classes for some of the younger and more local Lowforge Spaniels for a number of weeks.

Mark & Charlie, Jo & Luna and Caro & Clegg were this mornings dogs and handlers.

Luna (Lowforge Oklahoma)

Cleggy (Lowforge Nebraska) & Charlie (Lowforge Kahuna)

The theme of todays excercises was "Marking Forward".

We started with some nice straight retrieves, using a grass track and making sure the wind direction was favourable. A straightforward exercise is always a good starting place, allowing the dogs and handlers to settle into a working pattern.

After each set of retrieves the distance was increased, allowing each handler to assess what their dogs maximum distance was. This provides a good benchmark for future training.

All the dogs in the group are under the age of 3, so still very much youngsters. Luna is the youngest at 15 months and for her the aim was slightly different in that we were looking at building her confidence and marking ability, so whilst the two older boys moved onto a set of blinds, Jo and Luna concentrated on achieving a nice clean marked retrieve.

As Luna continued to grow in confidence and started heading straight for her marks, Charlie and Clegg moved onto a hunting exercise.

The video shows Mark and Charlie hunting through the longer grass, with a "stop to shot" a "mark forward" and a "retrieve". All three elements of this exercise were successfully completed.

The final exercise bought all of the mornings elements together in a picking up scenario.

9 Dummies were placed into an area. All three were hunted up in a line, and then in turn each handler sent it's dog for a blind. A nice amount of cover with a stiffening breeze afforded great conditions for the dogs to work in and each acheived 3/3.

Homework set for each dog and handler, and looking forward to the next session.

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