Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Indian Head Intrigue - Jill
Jill is about 18-months old and coming along nicely. She has a great nose, style, amazing ground-speed, an edgy demeanor, and isn't afraid to get out front and run; she handles, and wants to come and go with me.  She was run in a few field trials last season and was placed as a derby, then we hunted her and got her into some wild birds. Now I'm working on getting her broke; steady to wing and shot. In the picture above she's anticipating being cast-off into the bird field. All her contacts in the field have been positive, her point is stylish and intense, her chase has been shortened-up,

Monday, May 27, 2019

Initial Training II

Sammi and Ella staked-out

At 16-weeks Sammi and Ella are coming along nicely. Most recently, both pups have been introduced to the stakeout. Initially they didn't care too much for the stake and chain, and its restraint; they pulled at it, bit it, flopped-around trying to get away from it, whimpered, cried, and made a big fuss. After they settled-down a bit, I fed them, and their view of the stakeout changed a bit. I've had them on stakeout four times, each time with six to eight other dogs; the two pups in the middle, with the older dogs on each side. I think the company of other dogs is good when making this transition from "puppy freedom" to a world of more obedience.
Both are still outfitted with their fixed checkcords and have been introduced to the full-size version with which I've begun their initial work on the "here" command. Both pups new what "here" means before their introduction to the checkcord, but now I'm starting to enforce the command, making sure that they come to me whenever I call them.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Broke on Pigeons

Indian Head Whiski (Jim) standing his birds
Both Jim and Pete are pointing their birds (pigeons) and holding at the flush and shot. In the bird field both dogs are still dragging a check cord and are equipped with an e-collar as they have been throughout the entire training process. As noted in an earlier blog, I do not work my dogs into birds with the cord, I use it to stop them, at some point in their bird-work, when they decide to chase. I believe that check cording dogs into birds can create a number of problems which stem from the handler "whoaing a dog up" when they think the dog is in the scent cone; I like the dog to tell me it's got the bird. The next step in the process is to introduce them to liberated birds.....

Friday, May 17, 2019

Initial Training

Ella and Sammi at 14-weeks with checkcords
Both Ella and Sammi have been outfitted with checkcords; a piece of 3-foot long,1/4-inch, heavy-duty nylon cord, fixed to their collars.  At about 13-weeks, I fix a checkcord to the collar of my puppy. This is the pups initial introduction to yard work. The pup will drag this little checkcord around for the next month; eating, sleeping, running, walking and tripping over it; breaking itself to the lead. After a month of living with that cord, there is no reaction from the pup when I clip it to a lead to start it's initial yard work. The pup just goes about business; no attacking the lead, no rolling around in the dirt to escape, no biting, no pulling, no whining, no whimpering; the pup doesn't focus on the lead, the pup is ready to go to work.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

More Prospects

Sammi and Ella
These two pups were recently acquired from Robertson Kennels in Payette, Idaho. The Sire is Ch. Riverton's Funseek'N Scooter; and the Dam, Spectre Express. Scooter was sired by  Nat. Ch. Funseeker's Rebel and out of Ch. Riverton's Blackeye Pea; Express was sired by Ch. Utah's Red Rock Express and out of Spectre Lucy, which goes back to a Nat. Ch. Whippoorwill Wild Agin X Spectre Ella breeding. Ella was a littermate to Ch. Spectre Pete. Both pups are cleanly marked, bold, and stylish running around the yard.

Spring Training

Indian Head Pistol - Pete

Going into bird season my three pups, Jim, Pete, and Jill, had been collar conditioned, had been through a lot of yard work, and worked in the bird field quite a bit.They all had a good here, whoa, and heel in them, and all were running to the front, pointing their birds, and holding for the flush. All three had been run in horseback field trials and had qualifying placements in derby stakes. None were steady to wing and shot, none were finished. Now that spring seems to have sprung, all are going back to the fundamentals; all will start from the beginning by reinforcing yard work, transition work, and work in the bird field. Having a good foundation, then falling back on it to reinforce training, and then moving forward, will save a lot of headaches and produce a dog that will show style and intensity when around game. In the picture above Pete is stacked-up waiting to be cast-off in the bird field. He's dragging a check cord and wearing his e-collar in the same fashion he did prior to bird season. By the end of summer he should be a finished bird dog; running to the front, finding and pointing birds, backing other dogs, and steady to wing and shot.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Check Cords

Check Cords
I made these four check cords in about fifteen minutes out of some old, frayed, climbing rope; unsafe for it's original purpose, but perfect for yard-work with a dog. A 20-foot length of rope, a brass clip, and a bowline knot and you have a functional piece of equipment. I don't check-cord my dogs into birds, however I do let them a drag a rope around the bird-field. I use check-cords for teaching my pups to bend and stay to the front, to put a "here" in them, in heeling and whoaing and backing drills, and other yard work.