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Weimaraner – Training 2018-08-09T10:11:57+00:00

Fieldwork

TRAINING

Sweat

TRAINING

Hunting

TRAINING

Fieldwork

TRAINING

Fieldwork, the seemingly simple game with the wind. Field work concerns the work of the dog before the shot. Where the sweat and the fetch work are always work after the shot, field work is thus work for the shot. Fieldwork is the work that is typically meant for standing dogs, and as our dog’s name says it (Weimaraner Standing Dog), this work is very suitable for the Weimaraner. So to summarize the previous sentences you can say about fieldwork: for the shot and seemingly simple. Given that the space here is too limited to discuss the fieldwork as a whole, we limit ourselves to the two bold points.

The task of the standing dog is to detect and designate the wild game in the field. If the dog has found the wild game and it indicates it, it will remain standing until the hunter is with the dog. If the hunter is with the dog (and not earlier), the game can be shot out of the field, the game goes on the wings and can be shot. After that, the dog may fetch the shot of the game and thus show another piece of work after the shot.

If you have read the previous passage, the impression may be that fieldwork cannot be really difficult. However, looks can be deceiving, there is a lot to look at and a lot of the dog and the hunter are required. Below are some qualities that the dog needs to possess to be able to do well in the field.

A (standing) dog will always be in search against the wind. The dog does this by revamping or flanking. In fact, the dog runs a zigzag pattern over the field, with the dog actually working 90 degrees on the wind and tackling the field against the wind. The dog works against the wind because the dog can smell the best in the field (spray drift). You may imagine that the odors of the game go easily with the wind and that the dog, when working against the wind, has the most chance of a good spray drift. The dog should also do this with a high head posture.

Imagine putting the dog in a beet field or a potato field. If the head posture is low, in other words the dog runs with its nose on the ground, the dog’s head will be out of the wind below the vegetation and can therefore not get a spray drift. All that the dog can smell now can be traces of the wildlife present in the field (foot spray drift).

The hunter will have to ensure that the head posture is as high as possible so that no spray drift is missed and the game-birds will be locked. (More about that later) A very difficult task for the forerunner.

The advance is how a standing dog points to the wild. Usually, the characteristic pose in which the dog is completely stretched with a foreleg up high. Yes, that’s an advance, but it’s not the case that the foreleg should always be up. What actually happens is when the dog gets a spray drift in the middle of a step.

With a fast dog the game will often be surprised by the dog and lay down on the ground as flat as possible (press). In the meantime, a dog must radiate such an authority that the wildness does not dare to move and stays where it is. (One sometimes claims that the dog is hypnotizing the game).

A young and/or inexperienced dog will initially also advance on walking trails and hot spots (place where the game has just been). However, it is desirable that the dog is in places where 100% sure game-birds are present. Although advance by itself should always be present (advance is almost impossible or not possible at all to teach), the hunter will have to make the dog clear that it is not desirable that the dog advance, in for example, hot spots. This is to be done by placing the young dog under the game and praising him until he falls down. This does not seem to be difficult, but this is not a simple task for the hunter, even though it is often necessary to drive from field to field and the fact that many kilometers are often worn to train the dog.

Of course, there must be some appeal on the dog, the dog may not go after its game, when the dog has found a game-birds, and advance he will have to wait for the hunter before the dog is able to go after the game. Also, the dog will have to return to the hunter on a whistle signal, however exciting it may be in the field, this has to do with a particular piece of safety in the field.

If too much obedience is required from the dog, this can result in a dog who does not want to do more searching. Too little obedience, on the other hand, will result in premature push out of the game or the chasing of hares. Here the hunter will have to find a golden middle way. Again no simple task for the hunter.

When training a dog in the fieldwork, it is very valuable if not it is necessary to know something about the wild game that one is actually hunting and its natural biotope. Examples of this are: How does a pheasant behave in the beets, where can I find the pheasants in the field and why. If you think of hares, it’s very useful if you can, for example, reason where, for example, a group of hares could be. What problems can I expect in winter wheat or in greenery?

How does the flora and fauna behave in relation to different wind directions etc. etc. Although this is often a matter of experience, it can help if you look into this. Talk to experienced people, talk to an agricultural worker, these people have to live from their land and, as such, are often a walking source of information. Tell us about local uses, the DO’s and DON’Ts as you please. This prevents someone from stepping on their toes and it is more likely to help you if you comply with the locally valid, often unwritten, habits.

Sweat

TRAINING

To avoid misunderstandings and to get some understanding of sweat work, you should first of all know that “sweat” hunters are jargon for blood. The dog follows a scent of blood with his nose, which will ultimately lead to death or wounded coarse wildlife. You can think of wildlife like ravens or boars. This game may have been shot incorrectly during the hunt for any reason. However, it is also possible that the wildlife in our busy occupied country has become victim of the raging traffic. It is the duty of every hunter to ensure that the wounded game is found. It does not testify to good hunter qualities and certainly not of clarity as injured animals are left in the field. Hunting coarse game must therefore have a good sweat and our Weimaraner standing dog is very suitable for this.

Do not be put off by sweat it is certainly not so that the forest is full of puddles of sweat, it’s more likely that you, certainly in the beginning, do not see a drop of sweat. When explaining an exercise track, only a few drops of sweat are placed around every couple of meters. Generally, only 250 ml of sweat is used on a track of 500 meter (maximum). Depending on the degree of difficulty, traces of varying lengths and miscellaneous time period are walked. The length of the sweat track can range from 500 meters to a few kilometers. As for the time period of the tracks, you can think of a range of between a few hours and 40 hours old, although a 40-hour track is reserved for the highly experienced sweat dogs and hunters. Older traces have lost a large part of the odor and in addition, it is likely that there has been a lot of wildlife in the meantime, resulting in a lot of temptation for the dog.

You always catch a track to be traced at a so-called “shot place”. This is where the game is shot and where the track starts. The shot spot tells you a lot about the place on the body where the animal was hit and about the direction in which the animal fled. For example, you can find some stomach content, lung sweat or bone fragments. Also here you do not have to be afraid there are no kilos of tissue, scraps is a better example. From the shot place you have to put the dog to work after which you track down together the wounded (coarse) game.

During working out of the sweat track, the dog is pre hunts on a sweat line. A sweat line consists of a very wide necklace with swivel and a flexible leather line of about 10 meters length. The belt should be leather, leather never stays stuck on, for example, blackberries or other present vegetation. The necklace is globally 3x as wide as a normal necklace. The collar is so wide to spare the airways, it goes without saying that the dog must be able to use the airways optimally to make the most of his natural ability to smell. The swivel at the collar should be able to rotate 360 degrees, to ensure that the line does not “loop” and obstructs. If you want to try the Sweat work, it’s wise to first borrow a good line, a good line can be quite pricey (around 100 € for a quality line).

Hunting

TRAINING

Well-trained hunting dogs are indispensable for hunting. The Royal Dutch Hunters Association (KNJV) therefore organizes trainings in various parts in the country. In this course, “self-training hunting dogs” one teaches the dog to fetch. The training starts in spring (around April) and in autumn (around August) the KNJV organizes hunting dogs tests. That is very fun and exciting! Throughout the country KNJV is tests are conducted, and you can register anywhere, it is always very busy and the KNJV members have priority; you need to be there soon. Nowadays, the registration is only digital via the Orweja website.

The training consists of several parts. The obedience tests: as follows, come to order and stay on the designated place. That’s always easy if your dog is in good control. In addition, there is the fetch section, for example, the dog has to search for a dead duck in the woods, or to swim over a ditch and search for a dead duck to fetch. And also the short fetch where the dog has to fetch a rabbit on a relatively short distance. The mark fetch which is difficult for many dogs is also part of the tests.

Here the dog has to wait quietly when a duck is thrown up at +/- 30 meters with a shot, he may only fetch if the boss gives a command and must walk straight to the fetch (so remember exactly where it has fallen, immediately picking up the game, and returning in a straight line. Then in order to obtain the highest grade there’s the drag, the dog is searching for a duck that has been dragged through the land for about five hundred meters, and of course the conducting test. Being able to steer your dog by means of hand and whistle signals and that at hundreds of meters distance.)

Even more fun are the MAPs; multiple fetch trials. Graduated hunting dogs (with at least 2 KNJV-B diplomas, with one at least having 68 points) may participate in it. These trials are much more practice-oriented, and even more challenging for the dogs. In these matches the hunting practice is imitated. The match season will be concluded with the NIMROD in November. For this reason, the best dogs of any breed are invited and a dog may only participate one time in its life in this prestigious match.

But you’re starting out with your puppy as soon as he’s with you in your house with puppy-hunting training, then you’re swimming with your young dog in a C group, where they need to learn to listen and to fetch well, because do not be mistaken, even a Labrador must learn how to fetch. First with a toy, then with a dummy and again later with cold wildlife. Only if they can do that and they have obtained a B diploma, only then would I advise to bring a dog on the hunt. In that first year, the dog learns that he must hold everything he brings to the boss, until the boss says “loose”. This requires more practice than you would think.

The next year, you will be promoted to a B group if everything goes well, where your dog gets tougher assignments, and learns to follow and stay as needed. After a year or three to four, you will be in the field of high school work in the KNJV, the A group. The dog learns to go forward; about 100 to 500 meters, to then sit on the signal of a vibrating whistle and hand gesture. You teach him to go to the right or left in a hook movement, very difficult, especially because we are dealing with standing dogs. Also, a trail is drawn with a duck, and it can also be hundreds of meters away. Gradually one learns! The dogs find that searching super exciting, and finding the dummy or wildlife is a reward in itself for them. After a course evening they are completely physically and mentally exhausted! We can highly recommend this branch of dog sport to a Weimaraner.

A general rule in the training is: KEEP IT SIMPLE. The smaller and the simpler the steps in the structure, the faster your dog will learn and the greater the pleasure for you. After all, every skill that your dog develops is a reward for you.