The Basic Pattern of Work
Nowadays, there’s a lot of information out there on training retrievers. To the new student, a lot of this information can seem confusing. So here’s my simplified explanation. All animals are trained to do work in some sort of pattern – take the roping horse as an example. For a cowboy to rope a calf, his horse has to go forward to chase the calf; then when the cowboy throws the rope, the horse stops and starts backing up to take slack out the rope. Then the cowboy jumps off the horse and runs down the taut rope to flip the calf and tie it. The horse is trained to go forward, stop, and back up – three distinctly different motions and the control of these motions is what caused the work of roping a calf to be accomplished.
Here is the basic pattern of retriever work. As you can see by the illustration, again there are three distinctly different movements – sit, go, and here. These are the movements that we gain control of and by gaining control of these movements, we have control of the work.
You’ll also see that the pattern is drawn in a straight line between the dog and x, the retrieving object. This straight-line pattern is the one that’s always presented to the dog. It’s the reason that you train, to always go straight.
Deep Fork Retrievers