Field Training Group Etiquette

  1. Stay positive.  Every dog has an off day.  So does every human.
  2. Have a plan for what you would like to accomplish on that training day.
  3. In general, work 1 or 2 dogs only.  This does not apply if it is the landowner.
  4. Be prepared to throw again and again for your hunting partners.  They should be prepared to do the same for you.
  5. Offer to chip in for poppers, birds, primers, etc., if you are unable to provide your own.
  6. Be on time.
  7. Ask questions but don’t argue.  Nobody will deliberately give advice that will mess up your dog.  If you are not comfortable with what the lead trainer is telling you, don’t do it.  It’s your dog – just don’t argue with someone who is trying to help.
  8. Don’t hog the line time.  Work a couple of things and move on.
  9. Give directions to your gunners before you run.  Use landmarks if possible and have them point out the angle of the throw before they throw.
  10. Know your dog and his limits.  Just because your training group is doing a triple, that doesn’t meant you can’t do singles.  Train your dog at his level, not the level of the group.
  11. Be ready to throw and not run if your training buddy has an upcoming test and you don’t.
  12. Don’t get mad about poor throws.  Everyone makes them and nobody does it on purpose.
  13. Do your homework.  Work on recalls at home and other basics alone.  Save group training time for things you can’t do by yourself.
  14. If you can’t stay and throw for everyone: don’t come.  Running and leaving is the ultimate in rudeness!
  15. Pick up after yourselves.
Reprinted with permission from Carol F. Cassity ~ Building A Retriever: Drills & More.