Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scolopax minor

As I've said in the past, it's amazing what dogs can do to elevate your mood.

At approximately this same time last year we had a single flush on the same property. One woodcock-brilliantly silhouetted against the sky. I honestly thought about writing some poetry when it happened again this year, two weeks ago.

That single flush inspired poetry. I have yet to really internalize what the 8 flushes we had yesterday evening is causing.

(excuses to follow): All I had with me was my iPhone, and the vid is sooo bad I hesitate to show it; but if you look closely at the 10 second mark you will see (and hear) the flush of woodcock #8 from R to L.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Some tech play and an example of bad behavior

An example of bad behavior and it is completely my fault. 

Working two dogs at the same time can be done but it's not easy. In the above vid Emmie was not supposed to be walking at heel so she's not really disobeying. The simple fact is that I should have placed her at heel and then given the retrieve for Carson. Then if she ran-in to try and "steal" the bumper I could have rightfully corrected her, and she would probably expect it.

The difficulty here is that the retrieve is so important to her that it might be worth it to her to be corrected if she were able to get the retrieve. It's something I am working on, and actually in the previous vid of Carson doing the unseen retrieve Emmie is actually behind me at "hup".

At first blush it seems that if I had all day to do it, and the training grounds were my backyard, I could work them each independently to the level I would be happy and then bring them together. This is something we do, in terms of yard-work. I do place-board training with them independently. But eventually in the real world, day-to-day they will need to both be with me at the same time. One will work, while the other is at heel and then they should switch out.

So on training walks like this one where I'm working them together I'm going on the theory:
"it's better to set off as you mean to go on". 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Learning to use your nose on unseen retrieves

I'm often asked why I hunt and particularly why do so with my dogs. The simple truth is that I am in perpetual awe of them; of their ability to use all their senses in such an all-comsuming way. When I see the light come on in their eyes; when the tail becomes a blur; the dog back-and-forth on the forest floor becoming frenetic–that anticipation of an impending flush peaks.  This is the thing that I live for.

One of the 'selling points' for Carson was the description of him being very confident with his nose, even as a six-seven week old pup. This is very very true and it's up to me to shape this innate talent.

It's hopefully helped with situations like this: