Escapees returned

The guys were raising a royal fuss this morning and upon going outside, I found a Mastiff and Chessie-cross exploring the neighbor’s yard. The Chessie was as friendly as can be and came right up to me however the Mastiff, although friendly, didn’t trust me enough to catch her.

 

The two escapees.

The two escapees.

Since the Chessie and Mastiff were obviously buddies, my first tactic was to leash the Chessie and hope she would draw the Mastiff in close enough to leash. That didn’t work so I locked the stray Chessie in our garage and grabbed a handful of dog food to hopefully bait the Mastiff in close enough to catch.

She was still too smart for me and while she’d eat out of my outstretched hand, wouldn’t come close enough for me to grab her collar. Choco, our neighbor’s Chessie cross, and the Mastiff became instant playmates and I was able to influence them into our yard to play. While playing with Choco, the Mastiff rolled over on her back which gave me a chance to leash her and lead her into the garage.

 

The Mastiff and Chessie cross waiting for their owner.

The Mastiff and Chessie cross waiting for their owner.

Luckily the stray Chessie was wearing tags so I was able to call the owner who came and picked them up. It turns out that the Chessie was his pup and the Mastiff was their neighbor’s dog, and they lived nearly 3 miles away. All of which took about 1 ½ hours and they were on their way back home.

A couple of unrelated items, I spent most of yesterday with Sophie and Elvis doing our therapy visits and they did very well. Also, Doc appeared in the April issue of Sentieri di Caccia and I’d like to thank my blog followers for being so engaged in not only bringing issues to my attention, but opportunities such as this.

Water!

The water came down the ditch on Friday, so Saturday I let the guys have some free time in the pasture for several hours while I dug out the ditch. Squirt spent most of the time playing with Choco, the neighbor’s dog. Sophie, Dakota and Doc all hit the pond for a swim, and other than Sophie who took advantage of her selective hearing to visit the neighbors, all were content to stay in the pasture and play in the water. Afterwards, it was bath time on the back deck.

Dakota races to the pond.

Dakota races to the pond.

Doc kicks up a spray of water, with Mia in the background.

Doc kicks up a spray of water, with Mia in the background.

Squirt and Choco, the neighbor's dog, race through the water.

Squirt and Choco, the neighbor’s dog, race through the water.

Sophie swims across the pond.

Sophie swims across the pond.

Casting in the wind

Saturday afternoon was warm with a stiff wind for our casting sessions, and my goal was to put some distance in their retrieves. Sophie and Dakota have had a fair amount of training in this area over the years but nothing consistent. For the Spinone, it’s new especially for Doc.

Sophie strolls back with her last couple of retrieves, 4-11-14

Sophie strolls back with her last couple of retrieves, 4-11-14

For Sophie, I lined out three bumpers about 100 feet apart and sent her out. She didn’t take a straight line to the bumpers but insisted on drifting downwind and then working her way back to them. I only ran her for two sets because she was beginning to wear down perhaps due largely to the heat, however she did well with retrieving each bumper in order.

Mia retrieving nicely, 4-11-14

Mia retrieving nicely, 4-11-14

Mia followed Sophie and as with Sophie, she insisted on drifting downwind and then working her way back. I set the first bumper out about 50 feet and each additional one about 30 feet past the first, so they were set at about 50, 80, and 110 feet. Mia took the first bumper, carried it out to the second where she exchanged bumpers. I ran her on four sets and she improved with each one.

Doc delivers the bumper, 4-11-14

Doc delivers the bumper, 4-11-14

Doc was third to train and I only ran him on one set of bumpers; as with Mia, I set them about 50, 80 and 110 feet out and he likewise didn’t take a line, but drifted downwind and worked his way back to the bumpers. He had a lot of trouble with the third bumper and then decided that he didn’t want to retrieve it so I used a version of force-fetching I’d learned. I gave him the bumper and then with a couple of fingers, pushed up on his chin which prevented him from dropping it; holding his chin up in that manner, we ran back to our starting point. I decided to give him a break and let him run the pasture before resuming, but he found a pair of hen Pheasants that had sneaked into the pasture and after that, bumpers were the last thing he wanted.

Doc on a nice point where two hen Pheasants flushed, while working on casting drills, 4-11-14

Doc on a nice point where two hen Pheasants flushed, while working on casting drills, 4-11-14

Dakota was next and I only ran her on a single bumper; more than a single bumper and she becomes completely confused. After each retrieve, I’d walk the bumper out an additional 100 feet or so then send her out. I ran her on four sets of bumpers, and she continues impressing me by taking a perfect line out and back. With just that little amount of exercising, both her and Sophie needed half a Rimadyl.

Dakota kicks up the dust with her retrieves, 4-11-14

Dakota kicks up the dust with her retrieves, 4-11-14

Elvis was last to train and as with Dakota, he took a perfect line out to the bumpers and back. I ran him on about four sets of bumpers and he did a very nice job with his retrieves.

Elvis did a nice job of taking a straight line on his retrieves, 4-11-14

Elvis did a nice job of taking a straight line on his retrieves, 4-11-14

Scottish tail docking study has been published

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/bmj-uwd040314.php

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE: 4-Apr-2014 Contact: Stephanie Burns sburns@bmj.com 44-020-738-36920 BMJ-British Medical Journal

Undocked working dogs at greatest risk of tail injuries in Scotland Sufficient evidence to lift current docking ban on certain breeds, say authors Undocked working dogs in Scotland are at greatest risk of tail injuries, indicates a survey of their owners, published in this week’s Veterinary Record. Of 2860 working dogs, 13.5% sustained at least one tail injury during the 2010/11 shooting season. But undocked spaniels (56.6%) and hunt point retrievers (38.5%) were at greatest risk.

To ward off one tail injury during one shooting season would require between two and 18 spaniels or hunt point retrievers to be docked as puppies, say the authors, who conclude that docking the tails of these breeds by one-third would significantly decrease the risk of tail injuries. In a second study, the same authors assessed the prevalence of tail injuries in different breeds of dog seen in 16 veterinary practices across Scotland between 2002 and early 2012. The overall prevalence of tail injuries was 0.59%. But the prevalence of tail injuries in dogs of working breeds was estimated to be 0.90%.

Working dog breeds were at a significantly greater risk of sustaining a tail injury than non-working breeds. To prevent one such tail injury in these working breeds around 232 dogs would need to be docked as puppies, calculate the authors. And to prevent one tail amputation in spaniels, 320 spaniel puppies would need to be docked. Spaniels taken to vets after January 2009 were more than twice as likely to have a tail injury as those taken to a vet before April 29 2007 – the date when legislation banning tail docking came into force in Scotland. “Given the results of this and the accompanying paper it may be appropriate to consider changes to the current legislation for specific breeds of working dogs,” conclude the authors. ###

[Survey of tail injuries sustained by working gundogs and terriers in Scotland Online First doi 10.1136/vr.102041] [The prevalence of tail injuries in working and non-working breed dogs visiting veterinary practices in Scotland doi 10.1136/vr.102042]

Training Sophie 4-4-14

 

Sophie waits for me to cast her, 4-4-14.

Sophie waits for me to cast her, 4-4-14.

Sophie followed Doc’s training session and I ran mostly doubles with her, which she handled with no problem. Age is really catching up with her and she’s losing strength in her back end. She fell over several times while stopping to pick up the bumper, but climbed back onto her feet and finished the retrieve as though she planned it that way.

Sophie gets the second bumper while running doubles, 4-4-14

Sophie gets the second bumper while running doubles, 4-4-14

She was happy to keep going but I figured about 15 minutes was enough for now. Perhaps with a little more consistency, she can build up to longer sessions but I’m leaving that up to her.

Sophie returns with a bumper while running doubles, 4-4-14

Sophie returns with a bumper while running doubles, 4-4-14

Training Dakota 4-4-14

 

Working with Dakota, 4-4-14

Working with Dakota, 4-4-14

Dakota was last to train and I just limited her to a series of single marks, Deciding long ago that she’d never be able to run doubles. Having serious attention deficit issues, a single mark is all she can handle.

Dakota still has the energy but no longer the endurance she once had.

Dakota still has the energy but no longer the endurance she once had.

Surprisingly, she did a terrific job of taking a straight line to the bumpers which was a big improvement in something she’s always had trouble doing.

Dakota takes a straight line to the bumper, 4-4-14

Dakota takes a straight line to the bumper, 4-4-14

Training Doc 4-4-14

Doc retrieves the bumper while the neighbor's dog checks things out, 4/4/14

Doc retrieves the bumper while the neighbor’s dog checks things out, 4/4/14

 

I attached bird wings to the bumpers and began working with Doc on retrieving, and he did an excellent job particularly with searching. He had trouble taking a line on the bumpers but did a very nice job of working his way to them when he caught their scent.

Doc missed his mark but did a nice job of working back to the bumper, 4/4/14

Doc missed his mark but did a nice job of working back to the bumper, 4/4/14

They were simple, single retrieves of a couple hundred feet but as smart as the kid is, it’s not going to take him long to work up to more complex patterns.

Doc retrieving a bumper, 4/4/14

Doc retrieving a bumper, 4/4/14