He had a great time on the hike but was still sticking pretty close to me and didn't venture off into the woods too much. But he is definitely gaining confidence every day. We're making a trip to the cabin this weekend so he'll have a great time exploring there. Plenty of spruce grouse to look for. If the ice is out we'll see if he will venture in the water. I took him on a walk a few days ago on our Coastal Trail, which is just two blocks from our house and he went down to the beach and got his first taste of salt water. He was a little surprised.

As he begins to venture off further and longer during walks, you will want to instill cooperation and a "checkback" in him. In his NA Test, he will be scored on Cooperation, which is how well he sticks with the hunting party as they move about the field. Frequently change directions on him (saying nothing), so he learns to pay attention to where you are so he doesn't get left behind. To train a checkback, every few minutes on a schedule, call him to you and reward him with a treat or praise (alternate so he doesn't know which he'll get). This will get him systematically checking in with you, which is necessary when hunting in heavy cover.