First rainout that I’ve had in awhile so I’m trying to get caught up on a few things this morning. Prediction is the rain will stop around midday and I’ll load up the truck then.
All the dogs are making progress in the woods, yard, and in the birdfield. Scenting conditions yesterday were terrible. The air was heavy and dead calm. It wasn’t until we were back at the house late morning that we moved a couple grouse here at the house. We did see a brood of grouse on the side of the road as we were driving out to our first cover this morning.
A common expression in training articles and books is that you have to let the dog tell you when it’s ready to move on to the next step in training. The problem is writers find it hard to explain what those markers are as many trainers know intuitively when to progress with a dog or puppy. The puppies here at the house provide a good contrast in levels of readiness for training. Brandy is already collar conditioned and can be corrected for her handling while she’s being run. The Jack X Belle puppies Sam and Peanut have gotten to the point they will be gone for awhile when they flush a grouse. Sam longest absence was well over 5 minutes. I don’t go and try and find them nor do I stop and wait for them. Sam came running up my back trail the other day yipping like a . . . well. lost puppy. She stayed relatively close for the rest of the run. Sam and Peanut are definitely ready for a little more advance form of the yardwork I’ve been doing with all the puppies. It’s time to start asserting control over these pups. Up until now they’ve been going with me solely because they want to. Now they have to learn that handling is something they have to do. A lot of people give puppies their freedom until they are a year or so, but I think you are just making life harder for yourself. My goal is to have puppies born in the winter ready to hunt the following fall. Not that they’ll point every bird they come across but that they’ll point and hold some birds long enough for us to get to them and get a shot. To do that they have to be somewhat under control and going with you. The Moon puppies Ruby and the one I’m calling Glo for now, are still showing that 3 weeks difference in age and are no problem to run together. That will change soon.
|Jagger giving me the “what do you mean I can’t chase that bird look.”|
|Maggie is going to make a top notch hunting dog lots of style and very sensible when it comes to handling. She has also demonstrated in the birdfield that she has a very good nose.|
|Planted birds are old hat for Lucy but since she’s just arrived it’s part of she and I getting acquainted.|