Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Sunday, April 3, 2011


We had another great day training today. We worked on quite a few things but we really focused on retrieving. The last few weeks we have been working on the force fetch with Cleo so we could get to this point. She has greatly improved with her issue of holding birds in her mouth. She's not completely there but she's made great progress. Two weeks ago while working with Bob he was trying to determine exactly what her disconnect was. After Cleo had successfully retrieved some chukars he decided to do a pheasant drag. Cleo did a nice job of tracking the pheasant but she did not bring it back. It suddenly became apparent that she understood that she needed to find the bird but she did not understand that once she finds it she needs to bring it back to Jim. Today we basically worked on getting her to understand any bird she finds she needs to bring back. Bob implemented this in more than way.

First he started off with a dummy launcher. Depending on the charge he used he could shoot the dummy closer or further away. The launcher serves more than one purpose. When its fired it makes a noise similar to a gun discharging, then it shoots the dummy into the air and it shoots the dummy a farther distance than you could throw it.

Bob with the dummy launcher
Cleo retrieving the dummy
   Cleo bringing the dummy to hand

We also worked Cleo on some live planted birds today. We've been working on keeping her steady to the shot meaning she can not break when the gun is fired. Remaining steady to the shot is a requirement for her to pass her AKC Senior hunt tests and her NAVDHA Utility test.

Rocking the intensity
  Another good point
Jim keeping Cleo steady while Bob fires a cap gun
A highlight of the day was introducing Cleo to the duck drag for the first time. In short, a dead duck is drug through a field and hidden by a hedgerow. Then Cleo has to track the duck and bring it back to hand. It was very similar to what Bob did a few weeks back with the pheasant. Two weeks ago Cleo did not make the connection and failed to bring the pheasant back. Today she found the duck and brought it right back to Jim. We were elated. Not just because she brought the duck back but because she understood what was expected of her. Were moving in the right direction!
We brought home some chukars and Steve was kind enough to give us his dead duck so we will work with Cleo this week and hopefully be ready for the next step next week. Cleo's litter mate and brother Bruin was also doing duck drags today. Bruin will be testing for his utility test this fall with Cleo. Bruin also did a great job and brought his duck back to his dad and owner Steve Fiasco.

We also experienced the DK invasion today. DK is short for Deustch Kurzhaar and is basically a pure breed German bloodline GSP. Cleo is not a DK dog. She is an American bloodline GSP although she does have some DK in her bloodline.  We got to see Jasmine and her owner Vinny again today.

We also got to see two 17 week old DK brothers in action. The first one was Boss. This handsome little fellow is full of desire!!
Boss on point!
Bob working boss
I'm pretty sure that Boss will make his owner Rich very proud this coming fall. Boss's brother and litter mate Chase had a great day of training too. I got a chance to spend a little more time with him and his owner Anthony and it was great to witness Chase's instincts come alive.

Chase on point!
No bird Chase!

So once again it was a great Sunday spent with wonderful people improving our bird dogs. I look forward to us working with Cleo this week in anticipation of having her ready for next weekends training. Cleo has come so far in the last 19 months. She has really come into her own and I also feel Jim has grown immensely with her as a handler.

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