There are three thing's I saw in hunt test's that caused more down fall than any other. First was not reading the dog. If you learn to read your dog, it'll tell you pretty much what it's gonna do. Next was not trusting the dog, trust the dog. And the worst mistake was being a handler. You don't go out to impress the judge with your handling skill's, you go out to have him look at your dog. Most time's the best dog's don't seem to be handled at all. But then if you trust the dog and you understand what he's telling you, you find you don't have to handle it that much.
I am a man of a few thousand word's so if you'll bear with me I'd give you an example.
I was judging at a field trial once, an amature gun dog stake. A young lady in her first trial with the first dog she ever owned had her dog on point, very nice dog by the way. she went past her dog about 10 yds to the right and as she got another 10 or so yards in front, the dog glanced to the left. I looked over and there went the bird, running. The young lady was so busy looking for the bird that she didn't watch the dog. But, when the bird left, the dog went soft, just standing there and would now look at her. It was trying as hard as it could to tell her what had happened and she didn't get it.
Two thing's went wrong for her, first she didn't read her dog and second she made a bad approach on the bird. Had she looped around and come at the dog's nose, she would have had the bird between her and the dog and her eye on the dog. as soon as that dog glanced to the left, she should have gone left. Then if she didn't produce the bird and the dog went soft, she should have asked for a relocate.
Trust your dog, read your dog and don't be a handler. Your part of a team.
Never set your dog up to fail - Delmar smith
The greatest room in the world is the room for improvement - William F. Brown
Some people think to much like people and not enough like dogs!