Once again we ventured to New Jersey this morning to train with Bob Corsaro in preparation of Cleo's NAVHDA Utility Test. The test is coming up quick! There is about 6 more weeks to train until it's showtime and the deadline is fast approaching. Jim and I arrived a little early this morning and we got the chance to watch two 8 month old DK brothers train for their NAVHDA Natural ability test. We first saw the pair when they were only four months old so it was a blast seeing their progress.
The first pup up was Chase who is pictured above with his owner Anthony and his daughter. When we showed up he was in the process of working on a pheasant drag so I didn't get the opportunity to photograph him in action. But I will say that he did a real nice job. For an NA test it always seems to be the track that gets people in trouble. Bob started these pups off weeks ago tracking dead pheasants and today they graduated to live ones. They are well on the way to their big test day which is the same weekend as Cleo's UT test in September. I did however get to tag along and watch Chase on some planted quail. See the pics below.
Chase's brother and litter mate Boss had a good day of training as well. I was at least lucky to see Boss complete several tracks before heading out to find some quail.
In the picture above Jim and Frank Hulsman use two leads attached to a live pheasant to drag it out into the field for Boss. The leads ensure that Jim and Frank's scent stay off the area where the bird has been drug.
Above is Richard Rojo, Boss's owner giving him praise after successfully tracking the pheasant. Once Boss did well with the pheasant being drug on the lead Bob had Frank and Jim release the bird without any leads. Working together they straddled the pheasant as it ran along just like they will do in the actual NAVHDA NA test. Boss had no issues and found the pheasant rather quickly. I also got a chance to watch Boss work the field, see below.
Cleo also worked the field today with mixed results but before any of that occurred Frank helped us out with a duck drag.
Jim instructing Cleo to "track".
Cleo on the return
Cleo had a flawless duck drag today which has been consistent for her. However the wheels came off the cart in the field. We've had issues getting Cleo fully steady. As my father would say it's been an albatross around our necks. As soon as Jim released Cleo and instructed her to hunt em up she took off like she was fired out of a canon. She found her first bird, pointed, and then crept when she should have been steady. Agh! So aggravating.
On the second bird it only went more down hill. She found the bird, pointed, crept and then when the bird flushed she ran halfway across the field after it. The word that comes to mind is frustrating.
Her last bird she did better. She pointed and held and when the bird flushed and flew Bob and Jim were close enough and she didn't run.
It's almost like she regressed over the past couple of weeks. Today is without a doubt the worst she has done in the field in a really long time. Bob called Jim on the way home and Jim is going to take her back up tomorrow along with some pigeons. I guess its time to start reinforcing her whoa command. I will say that when we came home Jim put her on the table and worked whoa with her. She did great. We put a pigeon on a string and she did phenomenal. All I can say is what the heck Cleo?! I know you can't have a good day everyday so we will be back at it tomorrow! Stayed tuned for updates and be sure to check out Cleo's facebook page called Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer.