| This article was first published in 1988 and was given to attendees at the Pointer and Setter Training Days held on Dartmoor. This training information is as useful and relevant today as it was then!
When training your dog, it is always good to have a trick or two up your sleeve and when everything goes well those early blushes will soon be forgotten. There is no mystical power about training a dog, it is:
Consistency, Work, Concentration, Work, Observation.
The dog's eyes and tail will tell you a lot about the progress one is making with a dog and often the sin to come.
It is our job to think like a dog, as dogs cannot think like a human. The process of training develops an invisible lead between handler and dog and that all important respect a dog has for his pack leader and so essential to a dog's well-being and contentment.
When you are starting the training of your first dog, corner an experienced handler, get them to explain the aims of training, then stage by stage progress to that aim, do not be in a hurry to play the more glamourous games of training. Your enjoyment of these depends on how well you have done the simple basic controls, the drop, the recall, and most important of all, your dog is willing to listen. He may not always obey, but he listens. This waywardness must not be shrugged off, but as I say, a little word in his ear is all that is needed.
An order given must be obeyed, for the young dog - keep the lessons short and simple, try to anticipate and prevent a misdemeanour.
I would suggest you take long drinks of my cocktail " Ambition" recipe:
2 stiff tots of optimism
1 large measure of hope
1 slice of reverie
A dash or two of reality
Shake well with work and frustration
Serve hot or chilled often in quick succession.