Sorry Jan, I meant to come back to this thread sooner, but hubby is keeping me busy.
I wanted to touch on the 'hound/bird dog' part of your new dog. Training my Lacy has been as new experience for me. I've had all sorts of dogs, but this Lacy has been different from all of them. Not a bad breed, they just think differently. My job has been to try to get inside his head and find out how I can use his drive to my advantage. Onxygirl (sorry if I spelled it wrong) has been a great help with that.
With out a doubt 24/7 NILIF for this dog. I am the human pez dispenser for him. I never go anywhere without a pocket full of treats. He doesn't get a morsel without doing something for me first. The first thing I taught him was to 'look'. That way I can get his attention before he focuses on something that he is going to react to. Now (a year old) 'Look' & 'Sit' are 100% solid.
Because he is trained to track on a long lead, I am still working on not pulling on the leash. I won't punish him for natural drive. So, what I do is make sure his working lead & collar are different than his walking lead & collar. He knows the difference. When we are walking and he starts pulling (nose to the ground), I'll play the 'look' game. After 3 or 4 times, he is walking at my side watching me. No amount of correction (for this dog) could have worked better. When I have requested for him to follow a scent, I never use the 'look' word. In fact, because he is handler sensitive, when he is on a scent, the only word I use is the command to find it.
For this dog, I only use positive training methods. It is taking me longer to get a solid dog, but he is a thinking dog with a lot of self confidence. I rejoice over little things and never expect perfection.
I play a lot of mind games with him. And at least once a week, I'll lay out his evening meal making a track through the house or out in the yard. I utilize the flirt pole a lot. A lot. We play a lot of fetch. We play a lot of tug. He is 100% on his release command. I still reward for wanted behaviors, but using a lot more vocal and physical rewards.
Using positive training and NILIF really works for this dog.
Hondo Von Dopplet L Bauernhof "Hondo"- GSD
Lilie's Tug McGraw "Tug" - Golden Retriever
Maggie - Mini Dachshund (Rescue)
Lonestar Pivo - Texas Blue Lacy
Ashe - Barn Cat
Katie / APHA