I try not to over do anyone aspect of training — I think the smart dogs quickly get bored with too much of the same thing. They also get so they know the routine too well. Tony Bly and I used to do a lot of training with homing pigeons and we’d try to mix it up by going to different spots to train — this kept many of the the dogs fresh, but one of my setters — Stokely’s Mikey D — figured it out. It didn’t matter where we took him to work pigeons, as soon as you cut him loose he’d cast around the truck for our foot scent and track us to the first place we planted birds and then point them. After the flush and shot, he’d follow our tracks in a beeline to the next bird. Needless to say we gave up working him on planted birds. Today we took Deuce and the three derbies back to the bird field. Trey (whose picture is at the bottom of the page) went right to the spot I planted birds for him the last time he was in the bird field and went on point — the only problem was their wasn’t a bird there today.
I have been working the rope, and whoever I could get to help was flushing the birds. Today we switched roles with me flushing. Two of the derbies Trey and June were more staunch seeing me in front of them — Trip on the other hand figured if I wasn’t there to stop her she might as well follow me in and help flush her bird — she got set back twice before she stayed and let me flush. Trey, like his dam — Elhew Liebotschaner — really doesn’t care all that much about the birds once they flush and is content to watch them fly — a lot of people would not consider him a broke dog because it has taken very little in the way of correction to get him staunch which he pretty much did on his own last summer before he turned a full year old (he was an August whelp) and then he started to steady himself on woodcock last fall. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s still going to mess up once in a while but you really don’t need a lot of harsh methods to break a dog when they’re ready to do it on their own. Had I tried to force his littermate June to progress at the same rate it would have taken a lot of pressure as all she wanted to do last summer and fall was run around like she was possessed and knock and chase birds. This winter she started pointing on her own in Texas and is know ready to begin the breaking process because she wants to point birds.