More honoring

 

Mia on point

Mia on point

 

 

Doc in the bird's scent cone honoring Mia

Doc in the bird’s scent cone honoring Mia

 

Our Saturday morning training session was cancelled due to the heavy rains that we’ve been getting over the past couple of weeks, which turned the access road and fields into a muddy mess. But that hasn’t stopped my training altogether and I’ve spent a couple of evenings this past week working on tips and suggestions that my trainer has given me.

 

Doc stretched out on point

Doc stretched out on point

 

Mia honoring Doc on point

Mia honoring Doc on point

We oftentimes receive refresher training and the dogs are no different, and at the advice of my trainer, I’ve taken the guys back a couple of steps to the waist cord and e-collar as a refresher to firm up their steadiness. It’s not much more than refining their steadiness, as Mia has a tendency to initially honor and then break off after a minute or so; Doc has started creeping while on point, so that’s where his work is.

Elvis on point as I work him on a pigeon

Elvis on point as I work him on a pigeon

I’ve also been working with Elvis, who hunts well but has never been interested in training. He enjoys tracking and hunting over pointing and retrieving, and has been complimented on how well he runs the field so that’s what I emphasize. In doing so, I’ve found his motivation and he’s beginning to steady up while on point.

Sophie and Dakota's hunting days are about over so they get free time rather than training

Sophie and Dakota’s hunting days are about over so they get free time rather than training

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Sophie’s hematoma

Last week I noticed that Sophie had a swollen spot on her ear that  was about an inch thick. We attributed the swelling to a hornet or yellowjacket sting, and have since found and eradicated the nest.

We gave her a Benadryl daily for the past week but when it became apparent that it wasn’t doing anything for her, we took her in to the vet where she was diagnosed with aural hematoma. The swelling was due to fluid buildup in her ear rather than allergic reaction, and the fluid had separated the skin from the cartilage.

We believe the hematoma was caused by a hornet sting.

We believe the hematoma was caused by a hornet sting.

This meant that the vet would need to open her ear to drain the fluid, then suture the skin back to the cartilage; a drain hole was left in her ear to allow fluid to continue draining. While she was under anesthesia, the vet also removed a small growth from her eyelid and trimmed her nails.

Since it will be four weeks before her stitched are taken out, it’s doubtful that she’ll be able to go on therapy visits next month so Elvis will be doing double-duty.

Abbreviated training session

I worked on some of the things that my trainer suggested, all the while keeping an eye on an  approaching thunderstorm. Judging from the rate that the storm was approaching, I figured that I had about an hour before it hit, which was right on.

mia on point (2)

I spent most of the time with Doc and Mia, steadying them up on both point and honor.

 

Working with Mia on honoring Doc

Working with Mia on honoring Doc

I’d liked to have had more time to work with Elvis, but as the photo shows, the wind was becoming strong and a few drops were falling.

 

The wind whipping Elvis

The wind whipping Elvis

I still had time to let the Labs out for a brief run before the storm really hit, but unlike those north of us who really got hammered with the rain, we got mostly wind along with a light rain.

The storm moves in

The storm moves in

Sophie and Dakota as the front passes over.

Sophie and Dakota as the front passes over.

Training refinements

My trainer working with an English Setter pup, 8-16-14

Doc and Mia got some more quality time in the field Saturday morning and I received some good instructions on how to take them forward with their training. The thought of whether or not we could even reach our training area crossed my mind, considering the recent thunderstorms, but the road had been reworked with a bulldozer and still rough but in good shape.

Mia on point, 8-16-14

Mia on point, 8-16-14

My trainer began with an English Setter pup and worked him for a bit, then we braced Mia with a Brittany Spaniel pup. Both Doc and Mia are rock solid on point and will hold as long as you ask, so it’s honoring that I am focusing on.

Mia does a nice job of honoring Brittany pup, 8-16-14

Mia does a nice job of honoring Brittany pup, 8-16-14

Mia honoring Brittany 4

The setup for honoring can be a little challenging. First, the bird must cooperate and sometimes pigeons will flush for no good reason. Then the point dog must be steady and positioned so that you can work the honor dog the way you want.

Mia initially begins retrieving the bird to my trainer.

Mia initially begins retrieving the bird to my trainer.

Mia retrieving a pigeon, 8-16-14.

Mia retrieving a pigeon, 8-16-14.

Our setups were to have the Mia come on to the point dog fairly close, rather than seeing the point dog from a distance. All of which depends on the wind direction and working the point dog so she comes on point just where you want her to.

Doc on a nice point, 8-16-14

Doc on a nice point, 8-16-14

Mia did a very nice job of pointing, honoring and retrieving, and I received some good instructions on how to steady her up. Mia has a tendency to do a nice job of honoring the point dog, but then loses interest after a minute or so; she still has an issue with being steady-to-wing-and-shot as well.

Doc honors a Brittany pup on point

Doc honors a Brittany pup on point

Doc was braced with another Brittany and then a German Shorthair, and we had a little more difficulty with our setups. As with Mia, he is rock solid on point but needs some refining when it comes to honoring and steady-to-wing-and-shot. Both are near perfect when bracing for each other in our pasture, but in a different area and with different dogs, their flaws are exposed.

Therapy visits and birthday parties

Today was Doc’s birthday as well as therapy visiting day so when it came to treats, Elvis and Sophie are the ones who made out like bandits.

 

Doc, Elvis and Mia on couch, Sophie and Dakota on floor

Doc, Elvis and Mia on couch, Sophie and Dakota on floor

A full day of therapy visiting is asking too much from one dog so I split them up, with one doing the morning visits and the other, afternoon visits. As a reward for their work, they usually get an Arby’s Jr. sandwich.

 

Mia, Elvis, Doc, Dakota and Sophie wait to eat their cheese burgers, in celebration of Doc's 2nd birthday.

Mia, Elvis, Doc, Dakota and Sophie wait to eat their cheese burgers, in celebration of Doc’s 2nd birthday.

Now when it comes to their birthday, it’s usually celebrated with burgers, hotdogs or Arby’s, so in celebrating Doc’s birthday with cheese burgers, Sophie and Elvis ended the day with two sandwiches.

Have gun, will travel

If you’re a hunter, you’re probably starting to think about the upcoming season: where to hunt, re-checking hunt regulations, finding your hunt gear, sighting in your rifles or shooting clays, you name it. But with all the things you are thinking of, the gun control laws on another state is probably not one of them.

However if you plan to travel out-of-state this year, it would probably be a good idea to check the gun control laws for both your destination and the states through which you may be traveling. Even if you are not a hunter but carry a blank pistol to hunt tests, it might be a good idea to look into other states’ gun laws.

Take for example, Shaneen Allen, a single 27 year-old mother of two and having no prior criminal record. Shaneen legally purchased a handgun in Pennsylvania and a week later drove to New Jersey to prepare for her son’s birthday party. In New Jersey, she was stopped for a traffic violation, subsequently arrested for unlawful gun possession – although she legally purchased the gun in Pennsylvania – and now faces three years in prison.

The problem is not only guns, but even ammo in the form of spent cartridges or balls and conicals. Consider the case of Mark Witaschek, a resident of Washington D.C. Police raided his home and arrested him when they found a: 12-gauge shotgun shell that years before had misfired; a .270 shell casing, and a box of muzzle loader conicals with plastic sabots. He was found guilty of “attempted possession of unlawful ammunition.”

According to the Deseret News, the top 10 states with the strictest gun control laws are: California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Conversely, the states with the most lenient gun control laws are: Utah, Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Montana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Idaho, and Wisconsin.

If you consider yourself a conservative, you’ll probably see these examples as an infringement (to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another) and violation of the Second Amendment. If you consider yourself a liberal or progressive, you probably view gun control as a means of curbing violent crime. However this reasoning appears to be counter-intuitive since most of the top liberal cities also top the list for gun violence. In descending order, these cities include: Detroit, Mi., Baltimore, Md., Newark, N.J., Washington D.C., Cleveland, Oh., Buffalo, N.Y., Chicago, IL., Boston, Ma., and New York, N.Y.

But regardless of which side of the argument you’re on, it’s clear that the laws and rights within one state does not extend to other states, and what is legal in one state can land you in prison in another state. Even gun-related items may lead to an arrest and conviction, as illustrated by Mark Witaschek. So if you’re traveling out of state to hunt or even test your dogs, it may behoove you to check out the gun control laws of other states.

Sunrise training session

Dogs ready for training, 8-2-14

Dogs ready for training, 8-2-14

We began training just after 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, but with 14 dogs and 3 hours of training, I’m just going to post a few of the pictures. We had quite a variety of dogs: Labs, Brittanys, GSP, English Setter and Weimaraner. I wanted to focus on Doc and Mia’s honoring, and my trainer’s assessment was that they did very well, both pointing and retrieve, as well as honoring.

 

Letting 9 of our 14 dogs stretch their legs, 8-2-14

Letting 9 of our 14 dogs stretch their legs, 8-2-14

 

English Setter pup retrieves a pigeon, 8-2-14

English Setter pup retrieves a pigeon, 8-2-14

 

Mia on point, 8-2-14

Mia on point, 8-2-14

 

Mia honors a Brittany on point, 8-2-14

Mia honors a Brittany on point, 8-2-14

 

Doc moves in to honor a Brittany, 8-2-14

Doc moves in to honor a Brittany, 8-2-14

 

Doc on point, 8-2-14, although he was supposed to be the honor dog.

Doc on point, 8-2-14, although he was supposed to be the honor dog.

Brittany honors Doc's point, 8-2-14

Brittany honors Doc’s point, 8-2-14

A Brittany does a nice job of honoring Doc's point, 8-2-14

A Brittany does a nice job of honoring Doc’s point, 8-2-14

 

Working a Brittany pup, 8-2-14

Working a Brittany pup, 8-2-14

 

Mia's reward is retrieving a pigeon, 8-2-14

Mia’s reward is retrieving a pigeon, 8-2-14

For her reward, Mia retrieves a pigeon. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of Doc retrieving his pigeon.

 

Mia honors a Brittany in pointing and retrieving, 8-2-14.

Mia honors a Brittany in pointing and retrieving, 8-2-14.

 

Working the Weimaraner, 8-2-14

Working the Weimaraner, 8-2-14

 

Working a Black Lab pup, 8-2-14

Working a Black Lab pup, 8-2-14

 

After the morning training, Doc is nearly asleep on his feet.

After the morning training, Doc is nearly asleep on his feet.