5 Month old Scout owned by Jim Given
I had mentioned in yesterday's blog post that Jim was unable to be with Cleo while she trained this entire weekend due to work events. Instead of having Cleo miss out on training I took her to New Jersey solo so that she would still be on track for her AKC Senior Hunt Test at the end of this month. I just want to take a moment and thank Bob Corsaro for all he did for us this weekend. He could have easily taken the reins with Cleo in Jim's absence but instead he took the time to cultivate my handling skills. For that I am extraordinarily grateful. I love tagging along but having the chance to fire the cap gun, screw up tying a pigeons wing and having Cleo retrieve to hand to me was paramount. I am very grateful.
Again, because I was handling Cleo I have very little footage of her training. We started her off first thing with a duck drag. Our friend Jim Given who owns Scout the handsome 5 month old GSP pictured at the top of this blog post was nice enough to drag a duck for us and hide in the bushes to let us know how she did. Cleo tracked the duck and brought it back to hand without playing with it at all. If you have read earlier training day blog posts you know this was a huge deal for us to accomplish this. What a great way to start the day.
Overall Cleo had a great weekend. In fact I felt like it was a break through weekend. Over the past two days she has stayed steady to the shot multiple times, honored on a regular basis and retrieved to hand. Bob said today that Cleo was on the brink of greatness. Regardless if that is true it was so good to hear. I know that I am clearly bias but I think she has the ability to be an outstanding hunting dog. When I look back at our journey as a whole I'm amazed at how far we have come. We still have a ways to go but the adventure of it is by far the best part.
As always, I love to photograph the other dogs that Bob trains. Today he had two 9 month old Llewellyn Setters there owned by a gentleman named Raphael. Until Bob had told me about them coming to train earlier this week I had not heard of the breed. Since then I have done my research and I have to say from what I have read on the Internet that these dogs do not get a fair shake. These pups had desire and prey drive off the charts. They would turn on a dime and point hard. They were very nice pups. Below are pictures of Cooper in the field.
I also got to tag along with Scout who happens to be Cleo's full blood brother but is from a later litter. I have been watching Scout in the field for the last several weeks and its easy to see that he is a very special dog. He has an outstanding nose and even though he is so young he has the ability to hang with the older dogs. As I had mentioned before Scout is owned by Jim Given. Below are some pics of Scout in the field today.
Jim keeping Scout steady. The bird is in the lower left hand side of the pic.
Scout is a pointing machine
Some of Scouts litter mates were there today as well. Two of his sisters Maggie and Fern were there to point some pigeons. All of the pups have yet to be introduced to water so Bob had me and Steve bring Cleo and Bruin down to the pond to entice the younger pups to join in. Below are some pics from their fun in the water!
Cleo ready for take off being chased by Maggie and Scout
Scout playing kissy face with his big sis Cleo (Can you blame him?? I can't.)
Cleo, Scout and Fern...looking like gators
Below is a quick video of the pups in the water. Most notably the first time Maggie is swimming. Yay Maggie!!
Another young pup there today was Chase. Chase is a DK German Shorthaired Pointer and he is also 5 months old. Chase has exceptional prey drive. Below are some pics of the ever handsome Chase!
Also out to get some field work today was Bob's female DK GSP. Sadie is an amazing dog. When she works a field its easy to see she was born to hunt. There is no other place that this dog would rather be. Below are some pics of Sadie in the field.
And at the end of the day I got to see Cleo's favorite brothers Griz and Bruin. Bob worked with them on backing and staying steady to the flush. Below are some pics of them pointing and honoring.
The super handsome Bruin on point!
Bold Grizmont honoring Bruin's point
Griz on point!
Bruin honoring Griz's point as Ed prepares to throw a pigeon
When the boys were finished in the field we walked them down to the pond and threw a dead duck into the water for them to retrieve. Cleo did a pretty good job and she brought the duck back to hand every time except one time she brought it back to Steve instead of me. I thought maybe that she would have done a better job had Jim been there but Bob pointed out that a finished gun dog would bring the duck back to whoever told her to and that it shouldn't matter if Jim was there or not. He's right and I'm glad he said that. Cleo and all the pups have good days and bad days. They do things right and then sometimes they make mistakes....just like we do. If it was easy it wouldn't be this much fun. Below is a video of Bruin on one of his retrieves. He brought the duck back but in the end didn't want to give up his prize.
It was a long day of training today. There were several more pups present that I didn't get to photograph or walk with. But each pup moved forward in their journey. I know that I learned so much in the past two days and am grateful to have had the opportunity. As soon as we got in the truck to head home Cleo curled up in a ball on the front seat and fell sound asleep. With in seconds I realized she smelled awful from the pond and as soon as we got home Ms. Swamp thing got a bath. So lots of homework this week and back to training next weekend. Gotta love this stuff.