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How Everyday Obedience Influences Pointing Dogs in the Field

How to handle dogs that are displaying everyday behaviors in the field where the behaviors aren't wanted.

How Everyday Obedience Influences Pointing Dogs in the Field
It's important that you build beneficial behaviors in your gun dog throughout the year—they will aid both in the home and in the field. (Photo courtesy of Susanna Love)

Much like their human counterparts, dogs develop habitual responses to circumstances or stresses. These ingrained responses, known as defaults, are behaviors that have been repeated so frequently that they are often done without thought and in the absence of specific cues. They are automatic behaviors that dogs often exhibit when they are struggling with impulse control, frustration, excitement, or uncertainty. Ideally, we would like to develop default behaviors that are beneficial to our dogs and their performance in the field, but the reality is that daily life may instill defaults that are not beneficial to the dog’s performance when hunting.

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