Copper State Hunting Retriever Club

Dedicated to preserving the hunting instincts of retrievers

Introduction to Field Work

On training days there is a diverse group of members training at varying levels, including;

• new pups,

• introducing an older retriever to field work,

• dogs that are training for AKC Junior Hunt (JH), Senior Hunt (SH), and Master Hunt (MH) titles, as well NAHRA and HRC titles.

There are also individuals who may not own a dog at the present time. We are all here for the same reason; THE LOVE OF DOGS.

CSHRC has some very experienced trainers and handlers and wants your training day to be a rewarding experience. In order to give you the best experience possible, one or more members have volunteered to assist by answering questions you may have or by demonstrating a training technique. While we may not know everything, we will do whatever we can to help. We would like to make it clear that the advice given or the technique demonstrated are not the only way to train your dog, You are urged to read retriever training books, watch videos, and talk with other people who have trained dogs for FIELD, OBEDIENCE, or TRACKING in order to develop a program that is right for you and your dog,. Remember not all dogs respond to training techniques in exactly the same way.
BE PATIENT; IT TAKES TIME TO HAVE A WELL TRAINED DOG. Don’t get in a hurry and most of all enjoy the experience of training your dog to do what he was meant to do.

Members who are training for JR, SR, or MH may set up a test in an area separate from where you are training. This is because their dog(s) require a more difficult challenge.(They are not trying to ignore you – they really are nice people , just limited on time the same as you are.) You are more then welcome to watch them work their dog(s) or participate in these advanced training set-ups if your dog is trained to that degree. When a dog is working we ask that you keep noise and activity to a minimum, as we want to give the dog every chance to succeed at their given task.

Training Principles Checklist

• Keep sessions short.

• Give your dog a break; treat failures as lack of understanding especially in retrieving.

• Be consistent in and outside of training sessions. Use the same command every time and be careful never to encourage behavior (bad habits) you are trying to eliminate.

• Pay attention to timing, especially of correction

• Use a release command to give a definite end to commands such as “heel” and “stay”.

• Be definite. Act confident and authoritative, never tentative. Planning training sessions to minimize the unexpected will help.

• Don’t train when you are angry or upset, and don’t take it personally when your dog does not perform as intended.

• Keep progressing. When your dog is competent at one level move on.

• No mater how much effort you put into setting up a test for your dog, if he/she demonstrates that he/she is inadequately prepared in some way forget the test and work on whatever fundamentals the dog needs.

• Do not use more force/correction than the minimum needed to get the job done.

(taken from The 10-Minute Retriever)

You may decide that training your dog yourself is not for you. John Abramson 623 853 0672 and Roger May 928 536 2460 are club members and also professional dog trainers that you may contact for additional information.


This is one of those things that is not a lot of fun for most people, but if your dog is not trained to come back to you when give the “come” command after being sent to retrieve a tasty (or not so tasty) bird and decides to run back home with his new found prize; your day in the field is not going to be much fun either. In order to progress with field training it is a must that your dog knows basic obedience; come-heel-sit-stay-down-kennel. These commands can be taught in the backyard, local park or your driveway. Read, watch a video or take an obedience class; whatever it takes this is one of those things that is a must in order to experience success in the field.

Please keep dogs that are not trained on a leash. When uncontrolled dogs are running loose it can trigger a confrontation with another dog, or interfere with a dog that is working and can set the working dogs training back several weeks.

Viper Avoidance

Another important thing to remember is since we live in Arizona your dog can encounter a rattlesnake during training session or field test. In order to ensure your dog is prepared for this encounter, you can do one or both of the following:

Viper Avoidance Training

A shock is given to the dog from an electric collar when he approaches a caged rattlesnake. The cage is doubled walled so the dog cannot be struck even if he puts his nose right up against the outside wall. Another method uses a loose snake that has been defanged.

Rattlesnake Vaccine

This is a two dose vaccine administered by a veterinarian. If your vet doesn’t offer it they can probably recommend one that does. There are also several club members that can refer you to a veterinarian that administers the vaccine.

You are always encouraged to help. Our goal is to have you involved in the activities of the Club and not be just a bystander. We all need help and by working together we can all succeed. Remember this is great for the whole family and young handlers are always welcome.



• Leash - (6 ft.)
• Long Line - (25 ft. min.)
• Pinch Collar - (medium link)
• Choke Collar - (medium to heavy link)
• 1" wide buckle collar
• Retrieving Dummies - (size depends on dog)

These can be purchased locally at Sportsman’s Warehouse and
Cabelas or online at


The 10 Minute Retriever
John and Amy Dahl
(Comprehensive and easy to follow)

Retriever Trouble – Shooting
John and Amy Dahl)
(Good follow up if you run into a problem)

The Retriever Journal Magazine

Retrievers ONLINE
(The Magazine of Field Trail And Hunting Retrievers)