Training your French Brittany can be a rewarding experience, both for you and your dog. These intelligent and energetic dogs thrive on structured activities that challenge their minds and bodies. Whether you’re prepping for hunting season or just want to keep your furry friend sharp, setting aside a dedicated training day each week can make all the difference. Here’s a detailed guide to some effective Saturday training day drills for your French Brittany.

1. Start with Basic Obedience Warm-Ups

Before diving into more complex drills, it’s essential to warm up with basic obedience exercises. These not only reinforce foundational commands but also help your dog get into the right mindset for training.

  • Sit and Stay: Begin with simple commands like “sit” and “stay.” Reward with treats and praise for compliance.
  • Heel: Practice walking at heel using a leash. This ensures your dog remains focused and under control.
  • Recall: Use a long lead to practice recall commands. Start with short distances and gradually increase as your dog improves. The recall is going to be the single most important obedience command you teach your friend.

2. Indoor Retrieving Drills

Once warmed up, move on to indoor retrieving drills. These are perfect for honing your dog’s retrieval skills in a controlled environment.

  • Hallway Retrieves: Using your dog’s favorite toy or a small bumper, practice retrieving in a hallway1. The confined space helps limit distractions and keeps your dog focused.
  • Quail Wing Bumpers: Attach quail wings to the bumper to simulate the scent and feel of game birds. This is particularly useful for young puppies getting accustomed to bird hunting.

3. Outdoor Tracking and Hunting Simulations

Next, take the training outdoors where your French Brittany can stretch its legs and engage its natural hunting instincts.

  • Scent Trails: Lay down scent trails using bird feathers or scent markers. Encourage your dog to follow the trail to find a hidden reward. This simulates tracking down game in the field2.
  • Retrieving with a Check Cord: Use a check cord to practice retrieving in more open spaces. This allows your dog to run further while still being under your control1.

4. Bird Introduction and Steadiness

Introducing your French Brittany to live birds is crucial for hunting training. Ensure this is done methodically to avoid overwhelming your dog.

  • Pigeon Drills: Start with pigeons placed in brush piles or a bird launcher. Allow your dog to point and hold until you flush the bird3.
  • Steadiness to Wing and Shot: Practice maintaining steadiness when a bird takes flight and during a shot. Use a blank gun initially to acclimate your dog to the sound without the pressure of an actual hunt4.

5. Advanced Training Techniques

For more seasoned dogs, incorporate advanced techniques to refine their skills.

  • Blind Retrieves: Hide objects out of sight and use directional commands to guide your dog to the target. This enhances their listening skills and ability to follow non-visual cues5.
  • Water Work: If you have access to a pond or stream, practice water retrieves. This is excellent for building confidence and strength in varying environments[^6].

6. Incorporate Play and Breaks

Training should be enjoyable for both you and your dog. Incorporate playtime and regular breaks to keep the sessions fun and engaging.

  • Fetch: Simple games of fetch during breaks can serve as both exercise and a bonding activity.
  • Interactive Toys: Use puzzle toys or chew items to give your dog a mental break while still keeping them engaged.


A well-structured training day can provide immense benefits for your French Brittany, from improved obedience to enhanced hunting skills. Remember to be patient and consistent, and always end training sessions on a positive note. With these drills, your Saturday training days will be productive and enjoyable for both you and your canine companion.

Ready to transform your French Brittany into the ultimate hunting partner? Start planning your next training day now!