Our pasture has been mostly under water for the past month, but with all the rain we’ve been getting, the water’s been shut off. It’s been good for the grass which is now about 2 feet tall and provides a lot of cover in which to train the guys.
I decided to formalize their training a little and began some obedience, heeling Doc and Mia until we reached the pasture where I released them to hunt.
Mia went on point about 50 feet from where I’d planted the pigeon. Doc came into the scent cone a few seconds later and went on point as well; both remained perfectly steady when I flushed the bird.
I changed things up a little with the second bird. Rather than releasing them when I entered the pasture, I heeled them to the opposite end before releasing them to hunt. This time Doc established point and Mia did a nice job of honoring.
The pigeon only flew about 30 feet when I released it and Doc began running after it but stopped and remained steady when “Whoa’d” him. I flushed the bird again, and this time it flew back by Mia where it landed. Both Mia and Doc remained perfectly steady in spite of the temptation the bird gave them.
I flushed the bird once again and this time it flew over the fence and into the ditch. I wanted to work on searching, so I called them off the bird and had them hunt the pasture for another 15 minutes or so. While letting them hunt the pasture, I moved the bird launcher to another location for Elvis.
After a few minutes Doc went on a solid point with Mia honoring. At first I thought that the pigeon had flown back into the pasture but after searching through the grass, I discovered that doc was pointing the bird launcher.
I let the guys satisfy themselves that there wasn’t a bird in the launcher, then called them over to search for the pigeon. The fence presented an obstacle when I cast them; but Mia “thought outside the fence line”, crawled under it and then into the ditch she went.
I don’t know why the pigeon decided not to flush but it didn’t which was a fatal mistake that provided Mia a nice retrieve.
After working with Doc and Mia, I planted another bird for Elvis which gave him the opportunity to find and point his own bird. Unlike my last training session in which I questioned whether or not anything was accomplished, this session went much smoother for me and the guys were solid throughout.