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Quartering

   Quartering The Field - Diagram
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A dog that's "quartering" a field is not dividing it up into fourths, despite how the term sounds. Recall that a circle is 360 degrees around, and that a quarter of a turn around that circle is thus 90 degrees -- the arc, for example, from twelve o'clock to three o'clock. A dog that's running, and makes roughly 90-degree turns, zigging and zagging its way out ahead and around objectives, is quartering the field.

The "out ahead" part is important, here. Ideally, the dog is not looping around in large circles, or passing back behind the handler/hunter as she works. She's staying out in front (where we hope she'll come across a bird), and allowing the hunter to see what she's up to.

Many handlers will use a toot on a whistle or a loud, musical-sounding (and always upbeat and happy) vocal "woop!" call, to get the dog to turn its head and see what the handler is up to. With good timing, the handler will do this in a way that allows the dog to see that the direction through the field has changed, and the dog will move to head out ahead of the hunter in the general direction that hunter is going. Of course, the dog's nose knows, so if she's clearly engaged in a cast towards or around an objective, then the handler will wait until the dog is done with the work in that area. The last thing one wants to do is call the dog away from a productive-looking cast, which can convey to the dog that the hunter dissaproves of that all important hunting urge.


 
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