Dad taught me to get your work done before you play and Saturday that meant mowing the lawn and filling a gopher hole in the ditch. After that, it was afternoon training with Doc and Mia. However it was one of those training sessions that kinda left me wondering what we accomplished.
Thanks to a full stream of water for the past couple of weeks, our pasture has become somewhat of a temporary marshland attracting ducks. When several dropped in this afternoon, I sent Doc and Mia out after them. Mia established point about 150 feet from the ducks before Doc caught their scent and went on point. He must have had retrieving on his mind because when one of the ducks flew to the other end of the pasture and landed, Doc broke and went after it.
After letting everyone run in the pasture for a bit, I planted a couple of carded pigeons and put two more in my bag to test Doc and Mia’s steadiness. With Mia on point and Doc honoring, I moved a ways behind Mia and then threw a pigeon past her. The bird buzzed her and she took a couple of steps to chase before stopping and returning on point. I did the same with Doc and remained on a rock solid honor, even though the bird flew about 20 feet landing between him and Mia.
I looked for and couldn’t find the carded bird that Mia was point so I gave the “track” command. It turns out that both carded birds had moved and were about 150 feet upwind. After tracking, both Doc and Mia went on point, but were pointing different birds.
I flushed Doc’s bird and sent him to retrieve. While Doc and Mia do well honoring bumper retrieves, they are, shall we say, less than honorable when it comes to honoring live birds retrieves. In any case, Doc made a nice retrieve.
I then flushed Mia’s bird which flew through the fence and halfway across the neighbor’s alfalfa field. I sent her on a long retrieve but the pigeon flushed before she reached it and the neighbor’s Malamute got it. Doc and Mia converged on the Malamute with bird, who dropped it on his owner’s command, and Mia retrieved it, but it was a confusing and not a clean retrieve.
After visiting with the neighbor and letting the dogs do some running and socializing, I planted the dead bird and sent Mia who made a nice retrieve.