It seems to me that experience also counts in the training stakes. The SBD came with me yesterday for her first outing this season. She works these days as a peg dog but has more experience in general picking up duties. To be quite frank about things she is nowhere near adequately trained but the only shoot she works on is a farm shoot where we all know each other, it's quite informal, and she's not the only dog in her situation. She gets by, but to do things half properly requires me to be fully on the case and not shooting at the same time. This is Lady's 5th season on the shoot. Yesterday I started her off tethered but then gave up on that idea when she found that she could pull the screw out of the soft ground. She didn't run-in but I was worried that if she did she might get injured dragging the tether around. I found she seemed to know the form without me worrying about it. I got on my peg and just let Lady off the lead (but keeping an eye on the situation), She took up station about 5 yards to my left and lay down. I got ready and looked in the direction of where the drive would be coming from. Lady did the same! Some early shots and Lady sat up. There was a sudden flush of pheasants but not in my direction, then a pheasant came over but I rushed the shot and missed behind. Lady stayed put. I thought I'd done the same with the next bird as it glided over behind me but Lady gave chase. She wasn't going anywhere where she would get into trouble so I let her go. A little while later I looked behind to see where the SBD had got to and she was lying down about 50 yds behind me watching and that's where she stayed until the horn went to signal the end of the drive. I unloaded and turned to put the gun back in it's slip in time to see the SBD stand, pick a bird up out of the long grass in front of her and back she trotted with it and handed it over very nicely. Now none of this is in anyway indicative of any acceptable level of training, but here was a 7 year old small black Labrador who seems to know just what's going on and when the drive is over. She also seems to be able to pick out a hit bird from a miss, and I'm impressed that there is a lot more going on in her mind than I would have otherwise given her credit for. Thought I would just pass that on as a bit of "experience" training and nothing to do with anything I've taught her to do.