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The Most Important Command: “Here”

Start teaching your dog to recall now, and avoid frustration later.

The Most Important Command: “Here”

By nature of the game, bird dogs are going to spend a lot of time off-leash, making a solid recall crucial. (Photo courtesy of Jordan Horak)

If we were to sit down and make a list of the most important commands for a bird dog to understand and reliably respond to, “here” would have to be at the top of that list. By nature of the sport, bird dogs are going to spend a lot of time off-leash; because of this, the ability to recall them on command, in any situation, is crucial. I learned this lesson a long time ago, in a somewhat comical situation.

It was a beautiful fall day, and I’d just spent several hours hunting pheasants in some likely-looking Iowa public land that had coughed up a couple of roosters. It was the first hunting experience for my 10-month-old Cocker “Macy,” and she’d...

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