Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Monday, May 21, 2012

Field and Water Work at Colliers Mills WMA

Gunner owned by Jackie Secan on point 

Yesterday Jimmy had a work event so I ventured down to the Colliers Mills WMA in New Jersey to get some work in with the pups. My girlfriend Jackie Secan also tagged along and brought her GSP Gunny to get some bird work in. He's that handsome guy on point in the picture above. I just love how expressive and intense his eyes are.

Luna on point at 13 weeks

13 week old Little Luna got to be the first dog out on birds. We planted two pigeons in traps and we cut Luna loose to let her work. I am not exaggerating when I say that Luna hit that bird from 15 feet away and then stayed steady through the flush. I was astounded. The group of people standing by watching were pretty impressed too. I think its a true testament to her breeding. I want to say that although Luna is just a young pup we are not by any means pushing her on birds. In fact she hasn't even seen a bird or any bird hunting related propaganda in two weeks. Before that she had seen two live birds and chewed on two dead ones. I think she has had just enough exposure to really open up her natural instincts. 

Cleo on point

Cleo had a so-so day in the field. She did well on her first two birds but then crept a bit on her last two and then wanted to keep dropping the bird right before she returned it to hand. We worked on anticipating her wanting to drop it and would yell fetch right before she dropped it so she would continue to hold it. It got harder as the training session went on as it started to get hot and she was clearly panting heavily. However, she ran nice and stayed steady without having to be whoaed or given any commands other then fetch when she would drop the bird. Below are some pics of Cleo and other dogs working in the field.

Bonnie styling with that ear flapped back

Bonnie retrieving to hand

Ruby the Vizsla

Another Cleo point

We also did some duck drags for the older dogs. Cleo had a great track which is normal for her but she did drop and readjust the duck before returning it to hand. We also did a little mini track for Luna with a dead chukar. She did great with it and happily scooped up the chukar and trotted around with it in her mouth. It was really cute to watch. 

Luna with her chukar

Cleo on return from her duck drag

Bonnie on the return

And Ruby!

We also got quite a bit of water work in after the field training which was great. Last year we didn't get Cleo in enough water so this has been a blessing having her exposed to so much of it. Cleo's crux last year in regards to the duck search was we couldn't get her to range out and search without a visual. When released she would go out about 12 feet into the water and then turn around and look at you like she wanted you to throw something for her. She wasn't making the connection to go out and search. Two weeks ago when we were at the Del Val NAVHDA training clinics we worked on getting her to range out and then be successful. Yesterday we placed a trap with a live duck in it out on an island across from where he would send Cleo out for the search.  He took Cleo out to the waters edge and sent her out and I'll be dammed but off she went! I was super happy. She clearly was searching and she went without a visual. After she searched for about 8 minutes we popped the trap and Cleo was after the duck. She found it and brought it back. Cleo took a break and then got to do the entire exercise again. The repetition was awesome. 

I also got to photograph one of Cleo's sisters I had never met before.  Cleo and Luna's mother and father have been bred 4 times to each other resulting in A, B, C & D litters. Yesterday there was a sister from each litter there as well as their dad Maximus. Cleo's big sister Amazing Grace was there, and then of course Beautiful Cleopatra and then Cleo's younger sister Clementine's Maggie who I had never met before and then little Luna who is Dance's in the moonlight. Pretty cool huh? I wish I had the sense of getting them all in one picture but I would have felt like tool asking everyone to pose the dogs together. It's Jim I never feel bad forcing to help me do silly things like that. Maybe another time. I also need to get some pics of that Sassy Grace one of these days. But below are a couple pics of Maggie.

Go Maggie Go!

I've really got to stop breaking the golden rule of blogging which is don't make your blog post so flippin long BUT so much happened its hard not too. I did leave out two important things...Number 1: Luna swam for the first time. It warmed my heart. Number 2: I need to bring suntan lotion with me moving forward as I have the worst sunburn farmers tan ever. It's going to take me the rest of the entire summer to even this out. Ugh. But it was a great training day. I left so impressed with little Lulu and I felt Cleo made progress. What could be better than that?

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