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very soft dog. Use your judgement as to how much pressure your pup can take. Some spaniels only need the threat of someone running out and standing on the point, saying NO, along with you calling pup with lots of encouragement. Others will try and charge around your helper and ignore any threats of bodily harm.

As pup learns to maintain the straight line, move to where pup swims within ten yards of the point or island. Make your throws longer across the pond and now move your starting line back so that pup runs to the water, jumps in, retrieves the bumper and swims straight back. Make this as complicated as you wish but keep doing it in steps and don't do too much in one session. Stop after a maximum of ten retrieves, less if pup gets fatigued. If he gets tired he will definitely want to find dry land!

If you are going to teach your pup to go over points rather than past them, find a new area to teach this concept. If you teach pup to go past the point without touching it and then ask him to go over the same point he might get confused. As pup matures and gets hunt test experience he will learn that sometimes he goes over the point and other times he goes past it. Some scenarios may incorporate both concepts in one test - pup has to pick up a mark over a point then cast past a point on a blind retrieve. And, as with anything you teach pup, when you go to a new area, start from scratch. It will take several areas until pup fully grasps the idea and transfers the information to any point or island.

Have fun!

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 Just Ducky Publishing.

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