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Fred believes a well behaved dog is a pleasure to hunt over and to live with. The hunting dogs have been trained to flush for the guns, and occasionally, release a pick-up bird so it will fly. The idea here is to have all birds fly for the guns. Out here, since it is a very birdie area they have created, the hunting dogs must be very obedient to retrieving because more than one bird will be flushed and shot at one time. Fred and his dogs are "partners" and his dogs must depend on him for the order in which they are to retrieve the birds. Sometimes, another dog may be sent to gather the game. It is of most importance that all shot game should be retrieved out of respect for the shot game. Fred trains his dogs to hunt all game and be steady to "shot and wing" including quail, woodcock, grouse, and rabbits.
Fred Bradley, Cricket, and Tug with collected Game Birds

In accordance with maintaining his goal of having Ken, Jerry, and wife, Alex, proud of him as a professional, Fred has established personal goals in his dog training:

"To get the best from each dog (they are all a bit different), bring them along in their training, keep their style and pace, and throughout, of most importance, keep the dogs respect. I believe that a truly good spaniel or lab wants to be trained and wants your approval. By being consistent in your training, you gain their respect. Once a young dog shows it has its confidence and is truly showing its desire to hunt, I will stop "play training" and start asking more from them."

"You have to sort them out and decide where to start, if a dog is independent, I would start with just heel, sit, and stay until the dog looks to me as a "Leader". If they just want to be with me, ground work would come first, not much, 5Ė10 minutes, ten feet either side of me, into the wind turning to a whistle (soft) so they are listening for me. Itís important in the beginning not to bore them, every so often finding a tennis ball or dummy in cover will keep them right for this beginning part. All my work with young dogs will be with just me until foundation is in. I need to know the dog like the back of my hand before adding distractions, plus, I want the finished dog to work for just me. Even when trained, 75% of all the dogs work will be with just me."

"I will not shoot over a dog until it is TRAINED examples: covers ground and can be quietly handled, steady to shot, steady to flush, is hunting itís ground for me, can "stay" while I pick up shot game, if I choose, or I can send it for a blind retrieve even though I just shot game over it."

Finished Dog

Fred also runs spaniel and retriever upland hunting seminars at the kennel, and has formed group training for those who want to come out for the day. As a special feature, an English trainer and trial judge will be coming over from England to conduct a two day seminar at Hawthorne Kennels. People have been enlightened by attending both

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