A few months ago I was having problems with steadiness in my two "broke" dogs at field trials. Both Jane and Abbi were almost flawless in training, but when it came time to pull off the collar and compete they were ripping and tearing; they had both become collar-wise and disrespectful. In Abbi this was to be expected; she's a young dog and needed to test me. Jane, on the other hand, just needs to "keep" testing me. It is quite possible that in training, on occasion, I had given them an inch, but at field trials they were taking a mile. In a trial, Abbi would generally bust birds at great distances, or out of sight, and then keep hunting as if nothing had happened. Jane would, and still will, take out birds whenever she feels like it. Part of this problem I associated with a lack of obedience around the kennel, and me not asserting myself as the pack leader. An example is, when I would let them out of their kennel to put in harness for a roading session they would run amok, not coming to my call until they were ready. I realized I needed to gain their respect but do it through different means than I had in the past; basically, the e-collar was not going to be the number-one means of correction, either around the kennel or in the field, and I was not going to ask twice for a response. For a month, when I took dogs out of the kennel it was individually. The e-collar was worn but the instrument of correction was the pinch collar or a flushing whip, sometimes a combination of both. At times I used a buggy whip, as an extension of my arm, to keep them at heel, just to change-things-up; to keep them thinking, "what's he have in store for me next if I don't behave". I wanted to get it into their brain that I had many different tools to get them where they needed to be, and any of them could be used at any time. The basics were instilled again: here, heel, and whoa. Board- and bench-work were revisited. Corrections were made for very minor offenses, letting them know that disobedience would not be tolerated. Once I was confident that the girls understood the program, and I had made several corrections with each tool, I started using my methods of correction in their bird-work. First at the very fundamental level with pigeons, then in actual horseback situations with game birds. The foundations of their training were taken apart and put back together brick-by-brick. Basically, I re-broke them both. It appears as though I have regained Abbi's full respect and control, as she has handled very well in the last few stakes I have run her. Jane on the other-hand was good for three trials and has reverted to her hard-headed ways so, more and continuous training.....
Life is short Quit your job. Turn off the TV. Go outside and play.
The photo behind the title header was made by Clair Kofoed in NE Oregon several years ago - Jesse pointing, Huns flushing, and me thinking about the camera and shooting behind.
This century's quotes
"Over the long haul of life on this planet, it is the ecologists, and not the bookkeepers of business, who are the ultimate accountants."
- Stewart Udall, 1970
"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"
Ted is a from Crockett/Sunrise lines, with some Cover Dog blood from his dam's side. Ted has earned eight shooting dog placements in his career, and has a lot of wild birds shot over his points.
Cody - Wenaha Code Red
Cody is from Jetsetter X Johnny's Jewel. He has derby wins at the Western Open Derby Classic and the Oregon Shooting Dog CH. He is a coming AA prospect.
'Tommy' Wenaha Tomahawk
Tommy is son of Ted's half brother, CH Jetsetter - double bred See Johnny Run - and was whelped in August, 2007. He qualified with a HB Open Derby placement in Nov., 2008. As he develops, I expect that he will be a nice bird dog.
'Jesse' Wenaha Jesse James
Jesse was a good bird dog - staunch on point, broke STWS, and a good retriever. He passed on early this year at 13 years of age. Thanks, Jesse.