|Fiona on a “COVEY” find at the end of her run this morning.
Right now I have the five puppies (Molly, Dot, and the 3 Bud Bros) plus 5 dogs that are 15 months old to just about a year. What is most amazing about all these young dogs is how fast they learn things. Both quail pens and the pigeon coop have electric fences around them and out of those 10 young dogs I thing only one or two has hit the fence more than once even though they can see the pigeons through the screened windows and in the aviary and can often see and always smell the quail. It’s not because any of them lack prey drive because when there are birds out on the course or in the bird field they are hunting and pointing (and chasing when they can) with intensity. They are all smart enough to quickly discern the difference between the place we keep the birds and the birds they are supposed to hunt.
Some like Fiona (pictured above) would really like the rules to be different and has taken to staunchly pointing the pigeon coop knowing the consequences of what will happen if she gets any closer. I was able to walk up to her and lift her up and away. Had the fence not been there she would have wanted to flush and chase the birds. Knowing that she is willing to respect the fence, which isn’t all that hot, means that properly applied pressure will get her to stand her birds when there’s no fence in front of her.
We all tend to get a little breed-centric and I’ll admit my preference for pointers but dogs like Fiona and Spiggy, a GSP, remind me that there are good dogs in all breeds. Fiona runs hard and is extremely light on her feet. Spiggy has a typical GSP gate that is more lope then hard run but she covers the ground well and is quite impressive when she hits bird scent and stacks up in a point. There is no doubt when she has a bird in front of her.
All the dogs are making progress on yard work, handling, hunting, and working birds in the bird field. I’m looking forward to getting them out on wild birds when we go back in the woods later this month.