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One last note: Each pup is different. If your pup is a reluctant retriever, you don't want to steady him too soon. This is often the case with dogs that mature slower. Keep these pups' enthusiasm up rather than tamping it down. If you find your pup loses interest in fetching then back off the steady process but continue to use the check cord for walking and coming when called.

A Few Words of Caution...

  • Don't tie the check cord to your belt loop or you could lose your pants.
  • Be careful if you stand on the check cord that the dog doesn't send you flying when he yanks the cord out from under your feet!
  • And last, but not least, watch out for the check cord whipping around your ankles, tripping you up.

    Been there, done that... except for losing my pants - but I've heard of someone who did!

  • Pamela O. Kadlec is a professional trainer who specializes in training Boykin spaniels for both retriever and upland work. For more on spaniel training, check out her new book, Retriever Training for Spaniels, available through the Spaniel Journal Bookstore.

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