Yesterday the temperature in Central Kentucky reached the mid-50s and today was another bright sunny day with the high in the upper-40s. Great weather to get out with the dogs. Today Sam had covey of quail on the farm and Spot had a good run with no birds. The fields are a little muddy so I stayed on the few graveled roads which didn’t let me get to all the spots I’ve found coveys but things should dry out pretty fast with the weather looking good for the 10-day forecast. Next Saturday, I’ve been asked to judge an NBHA trial at the WMA I’ve been training at. I attended a different club’s trial last winter and met a a lot of really nice people so I’m looking forward to helping them out. I’m also going to run my puppies Dottie and Spot. They’re both starting to get the hang running an edge so it will be interesting to see how they do. A few puppy stakes are always a good learning experience for young dogs as they have to travel and be staked out during the day as they wait their turns. It will also be the first time that they will be run with horses and a gallery wagon behind them. Lots of new things to get used to.
Dillie, the dog that escaped last weekend, is really progressing nicely. She’s been spending a lot of time on a check cord and really likes the individual attention and face time. Some people suggest that you should never let a dog jump up on you as it is a position of dominance. I disagree, as I think it really helps built the bond between dog and handler. They only get to do it when I tell them they can and they always receive my undivided attention when they do it. Dillie likes it so much that she shuts her eyes and moans a little when I’m rubbing her between the ears.
Today, was a big step forward for her as I dropped the check cord and let her run around a bit on her own. She was really good about coming right back to me and I never came close to having to use the collar as a reminder. She did get distracted once when she discovered some old deer bones in the field we were working in but I didn’t punish her for that as she is just a puppy and needs some latitude to explore her world. Most of the time she came right back to me when I called her in. She was a little startled the first time she stepped on the check cord she was dragging and turned around to see who was pulling on her collar. After a little bit she got used to dragging the rope as well. At this point every time I call her I want her to come all the way back to me for an attention-reward.
Dottie came off injured reserve today and had a short workout in the same field I worked Dillie. She didn’t find any birds but seemed to find something along the “lick” very interesting.