Bells and Bellybands

Early in the morning (starting at 5:30) I got a few dogs run before I had to take Jack to the vets for the removal of a cyst on his leg.  By the time I got back it was already heating up and I spent time on yardwork.  I like to introduce new things to the dogs in the yard.  For the puppies that’s checkcords and bells.  For the older dogs, I want to get them all use to wearing a bellyband as this can be an invaluable tool when working dogs on wild birds.  Before I use the bellyband I want to be sure that a dog is staunch on quail in the birdfield and is close to 100% whoa broke in the yard.  The bellyband becomes an overlay of what has been done with whoa on the ground and up on the barrel.  Today they just wore it around the yard without it even being turned on.  I only had one that spun around and rolled in an attempt to get it off, but even she was accepting it within a few minute.  Both Maggie (the pointer) and Pete (below) seemed to take it in stride and even let me style them up on the barrel for a picture.  After a few sessions like this where I use the strap like a handle to set them up when I whoa them, I’ll use very low stimulation instead.  No doubt it will take more when we’re in the woods when grouse and woodcock are getting up in front of them.
As you can see in both pictures, I’m trying out a heavy duty retractable 26′ lead instead of a traditional checkcord.  Ed Nicholson, the owner of the Moon puppy Ruby, was up last week and he let me try his.  It has a lot of advantages especially since your not always trying to play in or play out the checkcord.  You can also lock it at any length you want if you switch to heel and whoa.  The one I got is made by Flexi w/ a 26′ tape (not cord) and is rated for dogs up to 110 pounds.

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