Goes with knowing.
We’ve been around long enough to know that both handler and dog will have their moments – right!
Supportive coaching and encouragement can help build confidence and trust in your bird dog. As the handler you need to read the situation and make adjustments. you will only improve your control and ‘correction anticipation’ over time. Tip: talking too much to your dog can cause problems like bootlicking. BTW I’ve never heard of a dog talking back, so stop talking to your dog! Limit your voice and allow your bird dog to work independently.
As the handler you must remain calm and controlled, your dog is reading you and needs your support. Evaluate the situation and determine how to overcome, your handling skills should be kicking-in, take charge of the situation. Assessing situations, working as a team and making tactical decisions (training & hunting) is the responsibility of the handler/owner.
A little extra motivation and praise with some controlled guidance can help energize and correct some situations. Especially with young bird dogs, praise, encouragement and happiness during the hunt really helps enforce teamwork and having a good time no matter what happens during the day. Any dog can have different hair days, on any given day, learn how to adjust, be patient and remain positive.
If you continue putting your bird dog on the ground and are not finding birds, you could be setting yourself up for “Every day is a Bad Hair Day!” Setting your dog up for success is important when you are hunting, get your dog onto birds quickly.
Picking dogs off the ground when things are not improving, and commands are ignored is an option the handler must assess. If you are working other dogs, you really need to determine if the ‘Bad hair day’ is bad enough that its effecting other hunters & dog’s performance.