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Reasons to Use Your Hand in Sending

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Training Tip #42
Reasons to use your hand in sending
From: Training with Mike Lardy Volume I

Part of the steadying process is to get your dog accustomed to being released with your hand held over her head. I generally start using my hand on marks about the time she is quite steady with a taut lead. The hand is used when sending for marks and blinds in various situations. The hand is NOT used to line the dog up- it is merely a cue that says, "That's correct." By using the hand on most sends, you set up an expectation for the dog that she will not be released until after your hand goes down. I try to pause between the time I put my hand down and the time I say her name to release her. Used consistently, this systematic release will encourage steadiness. Later in training, there are situations where the dog can be sent without a hand. However, the hand is always used for the last bird down.