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5. Advanced Training or “Breaking”

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

It is time to get your dog “Broke”. What does this mean? This also has a lot of variables. The training it takes to teach your dog that it must hold point so that you can flush the birds and shoot them is the process we call "breaking". There are different levels of this training depending on what the goals and expectations are of the owner, handler and trainer. I prefer that all our Bird Dogs and Shoot to Retriever Dogs be Broke to the Flush. What that means is that the dog will hold point through the flush and until I shoot the gun. I like our dogs broke this way because it insures they are out of the way of the gun fire and then in pursuit of the down bird as quickly as possible. If a dog is to be trained for American Field or AKC horse back field trials then the dog must be broke to Wing and Shot. In that case the dog can never move again after establishing point. We train our dogs with very little pressure and very few gimmicks and equipment in as natural of an environment as possible to retain the highest level of style and confidence in every breed and ability of dog that we train. We use a silent method of breaking with real birds, a checkline, and a flusher/shooter. This insures that our dogs know how to handle birds and understand the rules without being told. Pretty tough to tell your field trial dog or big running Chukar dog to WHOA when you don’t see him go on point. Through time and attrition and necessary pressure, when your dog is broke, then and only then, is when we finish their whoa training in the field around birds after doing some light whoa training in the yard. This process of attrition also develops a dog that stops to whoa with style and in turn we can use this to later teach the backing of another dog on point. All the while retaining style and confidence in every dog no matter the breed or ability.

- Ryan Fortier

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