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back have your helper run to the pup (or block his return), take the bumper out of his mouth without making him sit and without fanfare. The helper tosses the bumper back in the water towards you. You constantly call pup to you. Try again and when pup 'gets it' and comes to you, praise the heck out of him like he'd won the lottery. Move back to the wider part of the pond and work on spinning and returning straight back. Work your way back to the narrow end and try throwing right at the edge of the water.

As pup understands the game, keep moving to the end of the pond until pup will maintain the straight line even when the bumper or bird is on land. Gradually have the throws further away on the opposite shore. As long as pup is keeping his line, keep adding elements.

Once pup has straight land - water - land understood, incorporate angles. Then back up your starting line. Pup will learn to start from 40 yards from the water's edge, take a 45 degree angle into the water, swim across, touch land and go another 40 yards to the bird, turn around and come straight back to you maintaining that same 45 degree angle.



Some judges like to test your dog by setting up good, fair scenarios that allows a dog to get his birds without trickery. Other judges like to be 'cute' and feel it's necessary to push pup past points and islands that will suck your dog into trouble. This is where spaniels definitely have the disadvantage over most Labradors at hunt tests. Most Labs are automatons who, when told to take a straight line, take a straight line. They don't think, "Hmmmm, there might be a bird in that cover over there." A spaniel, on the other hand, is a thinking dog. He will be swimming a nice straight line and then BAM, his nose goes into hyper drive and his brain says, "Hmmmm, the bird must be in that cover on that island." So it's your job to teach pup that he doesn't go on the island and he goes past the point unless you cast him directly to the island or that point. How much patience do you have?

It's show and tell time again. The ideal area is one where you can start pup far enough away from the temptation (island or point of land) and gradually move closer. The same as when you were teaching the angles you start off about 30 yards away from the point. Keep your throws straight for now and move the line down the bank as you progress closer to the point. Have a helper nearby but not visible. If pup tries to go to the point, signal your help to rush out and scream like a banshee to scare the pup enough to keep him from the point. Be careful here if you have a

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