Good training day, great point out of the ‘new’ dog. She is playing with the birds, not quite picking them up. Not even a flinch with the blank pistol!
Tonight, at the last, let ’em out to pee, break they both take off immediately. I call, Nim returns, Shelby doesn’t. Then, I smell a bad odor coming from the back yard. Despite my limited olfactory powers, I recognize this scent cone. Skunk.
Tonight we got to try out the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, shampoo mix. 11 o’clock at night. Really?
Here is what I used…seems to work…
Must I now bathe in hydrogen peroxide and baking soda?
Apparently, we have the stupidest cottontail rabbit on the planet living in our neighborhood. She ‘nested’ in a small flower bed next to our back door. So every time we go out, they both have to investigate. “feathers!” I say, “not fur!”
My ‘project’ dog, Shelby, a 4 year old rescue, continues to progress. Last weekend I took a frozen chukkar and did a little drag and track exercise with her. She did ok, eventually finding the bird. Once we found it, (she’s still not picking it up) I threw it for her several times. She got really excited, a d pulled some feathers, but still hasn’t picked it up. She continues to learn, is having fun, and that’s what it is about!
Today’s training time was focused on the new ‘old’ dog. She is still on the ‘puppy’ program of yard obedience and intro to birds. Today, while she was chasing quail, we first tried a cap gun at 30 yards, then, when she paid no never mind we introduced the blank pistol. She gleefully chased the flushing quail and did not respond to the shot – not at all. So, now she’ll get to play with birds for a month or so, continuing the blank pistol, and late summer, once she is carrying the birds, we’ll shoot some for her. As my trainer says, it’s easier to go slowly forward than to start over.
The ‘young’ old dog trialed a duck retrieve event the trainer was holding this afternoon. I was skeptical because a year ago last April at his NAVHDA NA test he wasn’t too keen on swimming. Never seemed interested. To my suprise, (the older dog likes water) the younger dog swam like a champ and retrieved 4 ducks!
Over all, it was a fantastic morning, as all are, with gun dogs in the field!
Although the weather is not quite as hot, all we can muster today is a short (20 minute) run in the wheat stubble. It isn’t without benefit. It is good to remember we are looking for birds, not rabbits. I do not think that basic reinforcement of ‘here’, ‘back’, and ‘leave it can be over emphasized.
It is also pleasing to see both dogs work, more or less together. After only 2 weeks, our 4 year old rescue female, Shelby is settling in.
What I’ve learned so far: Shelby has a MUCH softer temperament than Nim. Caution with correction is important. Less is more. Praise, even more than with Nim usually does the trick. She is interested in Birds, moreso in rabbits…so there is hope. She’s not actually picked up any of the quail, Nor is her ‘chase’ all that passionate. She is curious and interested, and for now that’s fine. Tonight, Nim got ‘creepy’ and surprisingly so did she. She even pointed briefly, on some scent I suppose as no critters were visible.
I am learning just how exceptional Nim’s genetics are. And am even more appreciative of his abilities at less than 2 years old.
After a very hot, late morning run, the dog’s and I choose to relax a bit in the air conditioning.
Ok, this is a riot.
I am laying on my bed, chillin. I pick up my iPad and begin watching some dog training videos on YouTube.
Dogs are on the bed, also cooling off after our late morning run.
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