First Days In The Field

Shooting Times & Country|November 6, 2019

First Days In The Field
Taking a young dog on its first shoot is a big step and if it’s not handled correctly you could end up with a gun-shy wreck, warns Ellena Swift
Ellena Swift
First days out in the field are vitally important for a dog and its handler. It is a big step and can be make or break for a dog.

For Sika, this is her first season after her training over the summer. She has proven she is steady around shot using a starting pistol and dummy launcher. Her heel and recall are solid and she has picked cold game.

I decided to take her out for one drive on a local shoot that I pick-up on every week. Being so early in the season they were only shooting partridges, which are a good size for her. Obviously, she will eventually pick pheasants and ducks but as she is smaller and a novice dog, partridge are the perfect-size quarry.

A shoot environment is a big deal for a dog and it is important to set the animal up to achieve. The excitement from my older dogs is palpable and Sika could tell something was happening. I took two older dogs out with her as they set a good example. Also I do not have to watch them and can focus entirely on Sika.

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November 6, 2019