Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Force Fetch and then some...

What a great day of training today! We started the older dogs (Cleo, Bruin, Brandy and Jasmine) off working on force fetch. Each pup started off on the whoa table working with bumpers and then eventually progressing to frozen chukars and then some to actual retrieves off of the table and on the ground.

Cleo's brother and littermate Bruin retrieving a pheasant

Cleo really struggled last week with the force fetch. Jim worked with Cleo almost everyday this week for about 5 to 10 minutes a day and she made real improvements and it showed today. But Cleo is still having some disconnect between fetching a bumper/frozen bird and fetching a live or freshly killed bird. For some reason she doesn't like having the feathers in her mouth.

Cleo and Jim on the table

Cleo fetching the bumper on the table

Making the progression to a frozen chukar

Moving from the table to the ground. Cleo retrieving to hand a frozen chukar. 

Cleo's sister and litter mate Brandy also spent some time on the table today. She missed last weeks training due to all the flooding we had in the area last week but you could almost see her light bulb moment on the table when she started to realize what she needed to do.

We also got to meet Jasmine a DK German shorthaired pointer. Jasmine is a year old and has to be one of the most sweetest dogs I have ever met in my life. What an absolute lover. Below are some pics of her and her owner/dad Vinny.

When we were done working with the dogs we took Cleo and Brandy out on some birds. Steve was nice enough to tag along to shoot so both Mike and Jim could work the pups. Normally Steve would have brought Bruin along but both Cleo and Brandy are in heat. I'll be blogging more about that this week. Anyway both dogs did a great job and had a blast. Below are two nice pics of Brandy on point.

I was so happy to finally get some goods pics of Brandy in the field. She also made her first water retrieve today but I totally missed it!!  What a bummer! I had bailed out on them hunting to get some pics of Maggie training. Maggie is a full blood sister of Cleo and Brandy but she is only 4 months old. What a cute pup. It was so nice to see her in the field. It was great for me to witness watching such a young pup's natural instincts coming out. Maggie has lots of desire and is quite a cute pup. But it was also nice to see her work because it makes me realize just how far Cleo has come in the last 14 months since she was Maggie's age. Below are some pics of Maggie!

Maggie's litter mate Scout was also there. Was a handsome little fellow. Both Scout and Maggie are training to test in the NAVDHA Natural Ability Test this coming fall. You'll see in the pics below that Scout's senses are really coming alive. I have the feeling that Scout's owner/dad Jim Givens will end up shooting lots of birds over his head this coming fall! Besides I'm pretty sure he is the cutest puppy just look at those eyes!

We also had a few visitors at the end of training today that made things quite interesting

So we spent about 3 or so hours in the field today. It was a gorgeous day and the company was great. I was also very happy with Cleo's performance. I felt she had a good day and good days make it so exciting. Sometimes you learn the most from not so good days like last Sunday for Cleo but its the good ones that keep you coming back. I feel the same way about my fighting. I have always learned more from my losses than my wins but its getting my hand raised at the end of the fight that always lights my fire. I'm looking forward to next weekend already.

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