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By ESutter - 9/11/2012 4:23:32 PM
Our little 4.5 month golden has been teething recently so we've pulled WAY back on retrieves for a few weeks.  Her mouth has seemed pretty steady over the last few days so I decided to strap a chukar wing on her bumper and give it a shot...I think it's safe to say that the little girl likes her feathers!  That said, its a good thing she was on her check cord for those first few!
I'm very excited for what the next several months hold!
By flannel - 9/11/2012 7:56:12 PM
Cool! I've been in the same boat with my 5 mo. old yellow lab, brought home some freshly killed grouse the other day and she was all sorts of happy to retrieve them for me in the yard, it's great to see that spark in their eye when they get to handle a real bird! I think she's finally through teething now, thank goodness!
By Swamper - 9/13/2012 4:42:17 PM
hi e,

sounds like an adirondac swamp collie to me!!

the check cord comment...............does Oakley want to tear at the feathers?  if so, i would stop with the birds and feathers.  concentrate on close, on check cord retrieves with canvas bumpers for now.  tearing up birds is a bad habit to start. once she gets all her adult teeth..  6 months or so, get her through force fetch.  those adirondac's need very little instruction for them to catch on.  do it every day, twice a day, along with some obedience walks,  until she fetches and holds that bumper under any circumstance (plan on at least 4 weeks).  then go back to real birds on a close lease. 

i just went through it and Sage has really become a stellar field dog already. (9 months tomorrow.)

btw...i'm going up to Carol's training grounds tomorrow for a morning of "FUN" training.  only 3 weeks till season here!!

good luck!

swamper
By ESutter - 9/13/2012 9:12:30 PM
Hey Swamp,
 A few months back I gave Oakley a bumper with some feathers on it and she got to picking them off like it was the only thing she ever wanted to do...so that was the first and only time she touched those feathers until these last few days. This time with the wing strapped to the bumper she hesitated at first and I thought for sure she would get to picking again, but she picked it right up at carried it very comfortably. I needed the check cord to pull in some of her newfound pride...I think she would have been happy to carry that winged bumper for the rest of the day.  
 I did a handful of backyard retrieves with the wing/bumper this afternoon and only needed to apply pressure to the cord once, so it seems like she's starting to get pretty comfortable with how things are going to work out.

 Glad to hear that Sage is doing well, it's exciting to see these pups grow! I'd love to see some fresh pics. Please pass along the message to Carol that Oakley is doing fantastically in all endeavors!
By Swamper - 9/13/2012 9:59:04 PM
i'll post up some pixs!

and i will relay your message to Carol.

sounds like oakley is right on target.  might even get her to make a bonafide retrieve towards the end of your season!!  i wouldn't bet against it..  :)
By blizzardhunter - 9/14/2012 8:47:17 PM
I'm glad your pup's are doing great.  Deuce is almost 11 months and doing great.  Early woodduck and teal opens next wednesday so I'm getting really excited.  Were working on steady and he is doing okay.  I think a couple more field sessions this weekend and he will be ready for it.  We will keep working on it more but I can't wait to get him some experience on a real hunt.  I'll try to post some pics next week hopefully.  That is if everything goes according to plan.
By Swamper - 9/14/2012 8:58:52 PM
blizzardhunter (9/14/2012)
I'm glad your pup's are doing great.  Deuce is almost 11 months and doing great.  Early woodduck and teal opens next wednesday so I'm getting really excited.  Were working on steady and he is doing okay.  I think a couple more field sessions this weekend and he will be ready for it.  We will keep working on it more but I can't wait to get him some experience on a real hunt.  I'll try to post some pics next week hopefully.  That is if everything goes according to plan.


plan on nothing going as planned.  nothing that you (we) have done for the past several months with your (our) pups will have prepared him (them) for the "real thing".   even today, after several weeks of "retooling" after a failed first try at a Junior leg, we were all discombobulated when we traveled to a new training ground, with other dogs, peeps, etc.  out back of the house he is flawless.  but put him (them) in a new environment and    POOf... out the window it goes.

but it's fun and i also am looking forward to the opener.  that's when we start honing the edges and start seeing the rewards we have been working towards.    one duck at a time!!  good luck!
By blizzardhunter - 9/15/2012 11:30:58 PM
My everything going as planned has more to do with ducks being there than him being ready.  But I know what you mean.  I have done my best to introduce any senerio or distraction I could come up with before season.  I know there will always be obsticles and suprises but hopeful he wont make me too frustrated.  I'm eager to see how he does.  Were running our first junior Oct. 28.
By ESutter - 9/16/2012 6:42:13 PM
We got Oakley on her first freshly killed pigeon yesterday. A little hesitation on the first 2 pick-ups, but she caught on quickly and she holds birds and carries them very comfortably.  She'll have to stay on a check cord for a while though...I don't get the impression that she would bolt with birds as she will come back within 5-10 feet of me with no pressure, and releases the bird easily, but struggles a bit with the idea of coming to hand on the first try. I'm not too concerned about any of that just yet, just super excited to see her carrying a fresh bird!
By Swamper - 9/16/2012 8:49:44 PM
keep up the work with real birds as much as you can.  totally different reactions between dummies and real.  good idea staying on a check cord. reel her in the second she hesitates to complete the retrieve.

something about real birds, they tend to realize that in just a few feet they have to give up this neat little trophy so they stop short.

Sage made his first hunting retrieve today.  didn't plan on any resident hunting but went this morning.  shot a honker that folded up about 35 yards into the uncorn.  let Sage go and son of a gun if after a couple minutes, he came back with it!!!  totally awesome.

let the games begin!
By ESutter - 9/17/2012 2:14:12 PM
Great work, Swamp! That's got to be an absolutely killer feeling!
By Swamper - 9/17/2012 9:22:21 PM
ESutter (9/17/2012)
Great work, Swamp! That's got to be an absolutely killer feeling!


indeed.  put in A LOT of hours (weeks, months) to try and have the little sucker ready.  looks like we made it! by the way, that was uncut corn, not "uncorn".    ??  must have been tired..  :)