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  1. Saw this on the Retriever Training Forum, it was a response to a question regarding a Qualified All-Age dog who does exceptionally well in field trials but had difficulty during one of her hunts. Training sets the foundation but nothing can be substituted for a day in the duck blind:

    “A dog’s got to go out hunting to actually learn how to hunt. Doesn’t matter what they might have accomplished in the scenario world of trials or tests, hunting is different. She has the skill set just needs to learn how to utilize it while hunting. There’s a whole bunch of little items a dog needs to pick up on while hunting: birds come from the sky, not stations, guns bring down birds, all birds are flyers, we use decoys (sometimes lots of them), we’ve got to be hunkered down and be quiet, a downed bird won’t always be there when you get to it, you’ve got to use that thing on the end of your snout to find it, how to hunt a river, how to hunt a corn field, rice field, how to hunt out of a boat; all are different and all need to be learned. Take the dog hunting, she’ll pick it up just has to get out there and learn by doing.”

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