Yesterday was in 80s as will today, it seems amazing that we had frost warnings twice last week. Both times we escaped with temperatures in the mid to low 30s but no frost. This is really important for the mast crop for this year. The choke cherries and other cherries have already bloomed and are setting fruit. The apple trees here at the kennel and elsewhere were in full bloom last week. These soft mast crops are preferred by grouse when they can get them and the birds will concentrate in areas with good apple production as well cherries and high-bush cranberries. the cherries don’t really play a part in the hunting season as they have ripened and gone by by October first but can concentrate birds during the late summer training season. Apples in October and cranberries in November are sure fire places to find grouse in this part of the country. Unfortunately our old farm covers are few and far between and most are well known to locals. But one of the best ones is right here at the kennel and as I’ve said before we often save it for a puppy at the end of the day.
Training for the summer has already started with Dillie and Mollie continuing through from the spring. Gregg Elliott’s dog Lexi arrived Friday and is already adjusting to the program and making progress
Some of the other dogs will be arriving Friday and Saturday. They’ll be pictures here of the other summer campers next week.
Yesterday I dug Woody out of the garage to put him back to work for the early summer yard work. Woody is an Innotek pop-up backing dummy that had been used with many bird dogs over the years. In conjunction with the two Innotek launchers I have it is an effective way to teach a dog to back. Most well breed pointing dogs back naturally and it only needs to be reinforced in a controlled environment — Woody is the perfect tool for this. This was Spot’s first encounter with Woody and as you can see in the picture he stopped and backed on his own and got a good look at the pigeon that popped up in front of Woody. You can do the same thing with just a cut out, but it is nice to be able to pop Woody up when we get relatively close and back down when it’s time to take the backing dog away.
In the past I’ve had a few dogs that hated to back and had to be force broke to back but that’s the exception.