Chasing plastic bags…. or not

So we finally did it. One of my goals this year was to finally give Luna a go at Lure coursing.  When I saw there was a practice day and CAT test within a half hour from me I jumped at the chance.  I sent entries in monday hoping they would get there in time.

For those wondering what Lure coursing is, it’s a sport designed for sighthounds.  It usually takes place in a field and involves a pulley system strung across a field on a course, the pulley drags several plastic bags on a string which mimic wild game’s path.  So basically it’s like plastic bag bunnies to sighthounds.  Well the sport has grown in popularity, AKC now has a lure coursing title for non sighthounds,  and  more clubs are beginning to offer CAT (Coursing ability tests) tests open to all AKC (or AKC partner) dogs.  It’s a pass or fail test, basically they have to show interest the entire course and finish in under a set time frame.

With Luna’s love for chasing critters (and a flirt pole) I thought she would take to Lure coursing like a fish to water.  So saturday I got an early start, hoping to beat any lines for the practice day.  I arrived and was one of the first ones there, my friend was nice enough to humor me by bringing one of her pups by too.

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This is Banjo, isn’t he cute?  Also a very good dog as are all of my friend’s dogs.   It was a tuff long morning of waiting and waiting s’more as they got the course set up and the machines working.   We knew he LOVED the flirt pole he plays with at home, and I have been trying to convince her to give this a shot with him too.

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He was one of the first dogs to have a go and he took off like a rocket. Yay Banjo!

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He did really well till he was about 50 feet away and realized mom wasn’t there and snapped out of his chase.  Told you he was a good dog, I was worried he wouldn’t want to leave her.  When we go hiking we keep the dogs in pretty close so hers aren’t too used to being allowed to just go go go.  Can’t blame a good dog, maybe she will be able to build him up so he knows it’s okay to run further.  It was fun while it lasted at least.

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More of our friends showed up and added themselves to the list, well they added their dogs.  On the left is a recent addition to the family, a sweet rescue named Vivi.  One of the cutest German Shorthairs around named Gus and their spitfire vizsla girl Ez. And about that time the pulley broke (again) so we all waited s’more.  It was quite frustrating but at least the weather didn’t get hot as quick as it was supposed to.

Finally it was Luna’s turn, I managed to snap these on her return.

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She looks zoned in to the bags here, but I think she was still wondering quite a bit about what she was supposed to do with these bags.  She took off quite well and then she reached the top of the hill and stopped.  The lure kind of dipped out of sight some and she was standing there watching the and trying to think it all out.  At least that’s what I think.

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She is far too stinking smart and is a huge observer by nature.  I really do think she was trying to pattern it out a bit, especially since you can see the string and repair knots too in the string.  The string caught her at one point so then she didn’t know if she was allowed to cross it, she kinda treated it like a barrier.  Sometimes I felt like she didn’t know what she was actually supposed to be chasing. But chase she did

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After our practice run I signed her up for a second run, to see if she would put it together a bit more the second time.  After more pulley breaks and waiting it was finally time for my friend’s dogs to run.

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Gus was up first, and he also Loves to chase critters so we thought he might might like it.  He took off like a champ running…

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Everywhere….

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Not really sure what he was chasing but he was running and seemed to be having fun anyway.  Oh well, I don’t blame him they’re just bags after all.

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Next was Ez, she too took off pretty well and seemed to lock into the bags a bit… but then she had to poop… and it was a long complicated one lol, poor girl.

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After her biz was done Ez had mom come help her figure things out, and at the end she was beginning to get the hang of chasing those bags.  I do think she might take to it with some more practice.

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After some disappointing runs with our dogs, watching as lure coursing loving dogs got loose and chased the lure while their owners chased them…. and yet more waiting.  It was finally Vivi’s turn.  I made a joke that maybe the old girl would shock us all and take to it the best.

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Guess what???? She was a natural and locked into those bags the second she took off, and followed them the entire course.

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Come the end of the course she really had the hang of it and looked like she was having a ton of fun.

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How amazing is it that this old girl, who recently got rescued by this family did so well?  These dogs are amazing, you really can never count them out.

I did a second run with Luna, and sadly it was worse than the first.  She didn’t want to chase it at all. I really don’t have any concrete idea why, but I have some ideas.

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This might be one of them… She has been trained to hunt, which involves lots of NOT chasing and holding point.  So maybe she was a little conflicted.  But I don’t think that was really it as I have seen how much she will chase critters when we are out running the woods.  Some even advised me against this sport due to her hunting too, but I have not had her in the field in a while now in any formal way so I figured I would throw caution to the wind and give it a try anyway.

I really think she just could care less about plastic bags, she knows they are plastic bags not rabbits or anything remotely alive so why chase them???   As far as I know they don’t put any scent on them, if they had she would most likely have chased simply out of curiosity.  If they had hooked up some rabbit fur to that pulley system they probably couldn’t have run that machine fast enough.  I also think the type of field didn’t lend itself to newbie dogs.  The fact that the lure dipped and was lost from sight kinda defeated the purpose in my opinion.  But who knows if that really would make a difference.  Also Luna is quite a well behaved dog most days in public, the most she does is a bunch of fussing and whining about having to sit still.  I think if I had let her be crazy and not controlled she may have been a little more amped up about the lure coursing as there wouldn’t have been rules attached.  Sounds silly I know but that’s my over thinking girl, or it’s just me being crazy.  But it’s kinda like hunt tests, you let them be crazy so they are amped up in the beginning and when they are young and new to the sport, so you don’t dampen any enthusiasm so it has time to set in.  Problem with that is when you spend 5-7 hours waiting around I don’t like letting my dog act the fool.

Oh well, can’t say we didn’t try. I ended up not going to the actual CAT test the next day since she didn’t do well at practice and I thought it would be pointless, maybe I should have gone but I also didn’t want to be waiting half the day to run either.  I may give this a go again at another venue with a more flat field, we will see.  I was quite bummed that she didn’t take to it, as I was sure she would. But she likes to keep me on my toes for sure.

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Catching snow and setting goals

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So while Luna was busy catching snow balls….

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I was busy trying to come up with our training goal for February… I am glad I came up with one that involves working inside mostly as it looks like another stinking snow storm is scheduled for wednesday evening.

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Since she has already mastered catching snow, I thought we would take a total left turn and work on some perch work. I have a great photo of her standing on a mile marker but heck if I can manage to dig it up out of the archives tonight.  I know it’s on my instagram feed though, probably several hundred photos back by now.  In any case you are probably wondering what turns have to do with perching on a mile marker… I would love to advance her perch work (okay really there is no  real existing perch work) and from what I have read about perching it involves some rear end awareness.    Having seen how athletic and agile my girl is when she is moving about on her own, and the brief venture into agility obstacles I know she is pretty darn aware of her rear… BUT she seems to forget about it sometimes when perching on small objects.  And since I figure we might do rally one day it will help us with some of those moves too.

I have worked on this in the past but have never stuck with it enough to get her to move around/pivot in a circle so that is our goal.  Then maybe we will work on her doing it with her rear perched on an object. I can only imagine how entertaining that will be.  I am excited to add some movement to our goals too, I think she is tired of being stationary.  I will also continue to work on her mat work too.
Saturday would have been a perfect day as we spent 5 hours running around the woods (well she ran I walked) while we looked for deer antlers.  She came home dog tired and slept the entire remainder of the day, going outside to pee in the evening simply cuz I insisted.  But I decided to take advantage of the quiet and tackle some organizing and cleaning projects.  Maybe we will get out this weekend and we can come home and work the mat afterward.

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So that’s what we have to look forward to this month, hopefully she will be this excited and focused ;)

 

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Train Your Dog Challenge, Month #1

Well I am a day late in posting this  but I am not letting that stop me.  It has been a busy week, and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon as we are now up to 6 training dogs in the kennel.   Some of you may have read a bit about the train your dog monthly challenge I joined, if not you can find info here. I still need to figure out how to link up with the other blogs, and add a badge to my site. Anyone want to explain all this to me in simple terms?

But on to the challenge.  This month I decided to take the first steps in climbing a mountain, metaphorically.  The mountain is called “get Luna to relax on a mat.”  Sounds simple to some of you probably but how many of you live with a vizsla?  Being patient and sitting still is not usually in the breed description, especially if it is not their idea in the first place.  It is one thing to lay nicely on an soft surface like a crate mat, it’s another thing to be content and relax while doing so… again those two adjectives are not usually used by a Vizsla.

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But just like this girl likes to break the vizsla mold of typical-ness, I like a good challenge especially if it will make our lives more pleasant.  There have been many times I wish to have her lay calmly at a restaurant, or take a break from working a trick to calm down… and if we ever get around to taking an official class laying on a mat will really come in handy.

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We prepared a variety of treats, my girl isn’t picky but I figured I would mix it up.  There are cheese bits, Kix cereal, hot dog pieces, carrot pieces, and some kibbles.  If I was really high tech I may have picked a bowl with dividers for treats or something but Luna doesn’t mind if they touch each other, and I have yet to invest in a treat pouch (I am frugal, and still am convinced I can make a better one than most on shelves).  She also rarely actually chews them so I doubt she can even tell the difference between pieces.
So on to the first mini goal, get her to lay on a mat when presented with it.  I began by placing it on the kitchen floor and just waiting and seeing if she would offer the behavior.  She got pretty good at going to the mat, touching it with her paws.  But eventually she started getting frustrated and going to her default behaviors, pawing and talking. I then asked her to sit on it, but thought too much help would only add another hurdle we had to get over. So instead I asked around to see if someone could give some ideas on how to get her to lay on the mat.

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A fellow blogger Tena said I should work on the “down” right before I plan to bring out the mat.  Jackpot for some nice “downs” and then add the mat.  Sure enough that did the trick. She was happily offering downs and jumped right to doing it on the mat no problem without me asking.  So that mini goal can successfully be checked off the list.  Now we just have to tackle the beast of being calm on the mat.  So far it’s not going the greatest, I am still trying to think outside the box for ways to get quiet from her.  As I mentioned she likes to talk when being impatient or frustrated, and if you want to know how good she is at talking feel free to go watch this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMvC29EZbNI

I figure the plan of action as of now is to slowly stretch the time between treats. That’s the only plan I have come up with so far anyway. 

Here is a video of us working on this goal.

This is probably the most boring video you will ever watch, maybe a tiny step above watching paint dry but hey I have to prove we worked on it somehow.   For this video we worked for 3 minutes and 20 seconds straight, I could have gone longer but I didn’t want to bore you.  Session lengths with her varied but usually lasted until the prepared treats ran out or the barking became too much for my sanity.  After this session I released her with a “free” and I went to put the camera away. When I came back into the kitchen I found Luna laying on the mat looking relaxed and expectant.  I was so tickled to see her make that connection all on her own, of course I praised her and threw a couple treats.  It really gave me hope that this might actually be a possibility if we keep working on it.   This has been an idea and goal in my head for a long time, I am glad I finally bit the bullet and have finally tried, and will continue to.

Now on to February.   A goal has not come to me yet but I am sure I will think of something.

PS. if you have trouble with the video please let me know so I can fix it. It has been a long time since I posted any videos.

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Winter walks

Well I don’t know about you, but I am kinda ready for winter to roll on out of here.  MD has had quite a bit of brutal cold, snow, ice and wind.  It makes it really hard to get out with the pups to burn off the winter crazies… not to mention snow means shoveling kennel runs and horse stalls.  While shoveling is a great workout, I could think of quite a few other ways to get my exercise.
But in anycase, when the temps managed to rise into the 20′s this weekend I decided we would brave the snow (and roads) and get these hooligans outside.

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We had the trails all to ourselves too.  I went as far as we could before it got too dark.

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This shows how cold it has been lately, only the fastest running water was still free of ice.

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I should have brought my real camera so I could better capture these two hams in the snow.  Had to settle for my phone.

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Practicing their wait and recall is a great way to condense the outing exercise wise.  Plus it’s fun to see them book it in the snow.

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We found a great fallen tree to explore, sadly there were no squirrels for my red girl to catch.

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I finally got around to making Wyatt a new collar, I kinda love it. Not his usual colors but I think it turned out pretty cool. They call this yellow zombie hunter, wonder if Wyatt is up for that challenge.

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Well despite the fact that we were out for over an hour exploring in the snow my little red dog was still quite restless that evening.  Looks like we will be working on more brain games in the house, and her challenge for the month.

Speaking of the challenge, maybe some of you have some ideas for me.  The goal for this month is to get her to relax on a mat.  She has figured out she is to lay on the mat, and will offer that quite readily, the problem we have now is that important relax part.  She likes to whine and bark while on the mat.  Any ideas on how to get her to be more calm on the mat?  She gets easily frustrated when we work on something repeatedly so I mix it up with her to keep her interest. I have tried to wait her out for that silent moment but that doesn’t seem to work either. Maybe i should put the mat on the couch as she sleeps there all day long lol.  Maybe I just have to stuff her face so she doesn’t have time to whine.
Ideas??

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A new year, a new goal

Hello 2014! Another year gone, where does the time go.?.. Luna is also another year older.  She hit 6 yo on the 19th of December, not that she acts more mature or anything.

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Nor does she look her age, apparently she has some great color genes and has held the gray at bay.  There are rumors that there might be some grays hiding under her chin, but they are not confirmed.

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Say what??? She apparently doesn’t believe the rumors.  But moving on, we have more important matters to talk about… things like resolutions.

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All ears.  I find dog related resolutions much easier to come up with. There always seem to be so much pressure to come up with resolutions and goals. I mean it’s not a bad thing but still.  Maybe it feels like there is less pressure involved as the dog really won’t care if you slip a little in your journey through the years, unless it involves less hot dogs.  In anycase, a resolution, or rather a goal has basically fallen in my lap today after reading a blog from Kristine … side note, if you haven’t read about her pup Shiva you should… great honest blog.  Well Kristine’s blog lead me to a new blog called Something Wagging this way comes which looks like it’s going to be a great resource.  She has a Train your Dog Challenge up for 2014 which sounds like a great idea.
So that’s where we will start, we will train something new each month,  kinda broad goal but it’s something.  It may be as simple as a new trick or maybe delving into some new outlets like scent detection stuff or rally stuff you just never know where this crazy girl will take me.

Wonder where on earth should we start???
Maybe I should teach her how to cover herself with blankets so I don’t always have to… that would be nice. Bottom line whatever we get into it should only enhance our relationship.

Oh and I think I will advance Wyatt’s retriever training some too, even if it never gets used.  And I think we will sure up the whole idea of “leave it” as he has been slacking in that lately. Probably should refresh Luna a little bit too.

Do you have any goals with your dog for this year??

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Gone to the dogs

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this with you yet… I am always looking for ways to further challenge my pups and make use of some of their hunt training outside the field. So when a friend took us to a local hot dog shop called Haute Dogs I came home with a challenge for my pups… pose them with a hot dog, preferably ask them to hold it for me while I took a picture. I know there were some skeptics out there who didn’t think they could do it, we will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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No problem :) outside of being slightly unimpressed by my request.

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That’s a little better Luna, this one makes it look like she is smiling.

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And a further challenge, balance a hot dog on your head… DONE

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Wyatt of course couldn’t be left out of the action

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Boy was this a challenge for him…

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I had one slobbery bun when it was all said and done.

They both did great in the end, as I expected they would. And don’t worry they got to taste the delicious (or so they said) gourmet hot dog in the end. Actually they got some bun and dog, so they were quite pleased.

PS. on a photography side note, I am beginning to love Light Room for simple edits, makes short work of series like this.

Have you tried a hot dog challenge with your pup?  If you are in the Alexandria or Purcellville VA area you should check Haute Dogs out. They have SO many types of hot dogs it’s not even funny.

 

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Paracord Madness

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This blaze collar started it all… the paracord madness.
Now I have a whole box full of paracord colors, more on the way too… and have even made a non-facebook Paracord album for customers to browse.

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It was a neon sort of month for a while. These two went to Luna relatives Daphne and Whiskey.

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And these two are some double wide versions of the ones you saw before on my other blog. Also going to vizsla relatives down in texas.

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Loki broke up the neon trend with this camo and blaze collar. Can’t wait to see it on him.
Once again Luna inspires a new hobby, cuz I needed another one ;) and after making so many for others I probably should make her another one.

If you are wondering what the heck I am talking about maybe you missed this post.

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Bring on the Doves

So who else is having amazing weather this weekend? Well we had two nearly perfect days which were breezy, sunny, and reached into the 70′s… can’t get much more perfect than that.  I spent all day saturday out in it, and this morning Luna and I went for a hike too and now I am officially wiped out.

This past thursday I got a text message from a friend asking if we wanted to go dove hunting , needless to say we were all about it.  Chris  of course went with and we invited our friend Ed out with us too. The plan was to have the boys shooting and I would handle the dogs.  I knew Wyatt was a dead ringer to bring, and on a whim I thought I would bring Luna too. I knew we could let her run around a bit beforehand and then see how she was going to act.  Most of you have never met Luna, but if you know anything about the breed you know that they don’t typically like to sit still while outdoors. Luna is no exception, she likes to be on the move and hunt around and will often whine while waiting on me (this was the case while posing for pictures today on our hike)… so I didn’t know how she would do sitting still while Wyatt retrieved, especially with guns going off. If worse came to worse I would take her back to the friend’s house to be kenneled.  But she shocked me with how calm she was.

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This is where Wyatt and Luna hung out for the first quarter. I managed to find a pretty good spot in the shade to accommodate the pups and I.  I thought they would be pretty well hidden from oncoming doves and maybe some that would come from behind due to the tree cover.   I tried to leave as much brush up as I could but since it was riddled with prickers I did have to tamp some of them down so I wouldn’t end up cutting my hand every 10 seconds (which I basically did anyway, but at least I did not come home with any of the poison ivy).

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I used a bit of the burlap to cover the dogs up and any contrast heavy items we brought, like the cooler, as usually contrast changes are a big deal to animals.  The dogs also got a bit of covering but that didn’t last long. After some doves were in the cooler I figured we were doing a good enough job being hidden so I didn’t worry as much about the burlap.

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Of course Luna being a Vizsla, she got some lap time too.  Again I was amazed at how quiet she was being and how content she was to watch things after we settled in. I would give them breaks nearly every hour but that was more for Wyatt’s sake than Luna’s.

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Wyatt amped himself allll kinds of up.  I thought he would settle down a bit after he got a bird or two but that only made him stare out at Chris even more intently.  If he saw the boys walking around with their guns he wouldn’t go to the bathroom like I wanted him to, and upon returning with birds it was a task to get him to drink.  I had to laugh at the pup though because sometimes all it took was me putting some water on his tongue and you could see the lightbulb go off and he would drink for me.  One track mind this one.

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Chris stationed himself out by the telephone pole and apparently picked an amazing location.  It was really hard for Wyatt to see Chris walk off with a gun in his hands and be required to stay with me calmly.  Sure he loves me and normally would be worried about where I was at, but when a gun is involved he kinda loses his common sense a bit.  He LOVES to hunt and retrieve and the shaking, panting, whining just made that all the more apparent. It also will push us to find more ways to get him out hunting so he has a better chance at calming down. But hey at  least we know he loves it and the set up we had worked out really well for keeping things safe and non chaotic.  It worked out really well that we sort of had first pick on locations for the day. Everyone seemed to want our spot too as they asked as we were leaving if anyone else was down there.DoveWEB-3770

Our friend Ed stationed himself off to the left of me under a bit of a tree branch.  It provided him with a bit of shade and a good view of the field.

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He did come out a time or two to see about the doves that decided to land on the power line BEHIND us… but we decided to leave them be since they always seemed to catch a whiff of his sneaking and flew off.

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There were  a few quiet lulls, which tempted me with thoughts of a nap but I didn’t want to be woken by shotgun fire.  I decided to play around with taking pictures of the dogs and keeping an eye on the sky.

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Luna kept an eye on the sky too… when you are watching for small birds like doves zipping across the sky over time your eyes start to play tricks on you.  You start thinking dragon flies, butterflies and other small birds like swallows are actually doves.  It does keep you on your toes though.

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It didn’t take a whole lot of time before Wyatt was sent to bring back Chris’ first dove.  Chris marked where the bird fell and called Wyatt over to find it.  Wyatt took off in typical fashion, like a rocket, and was more than happy to help.  He was sent back to me with the dove so i could place it in the cooler. He is used to doing this sort of item relay with us at home so applying it to birds worked really well.

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He delivered them quite gently and did a great job all around.  Luna got her first whiff of our game (notice the nose photo bomb), and I continued to get whiffs as I opened the cooler as Chris got closer and closer to reaching his limit.

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After Wyatt delivered the birds it was back to waiting, his least favorite part. I tried my best to keep him cool and calm, the latter of which never really happened till he reached the car.

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On a whim I decided to send Luna to Chris for a retrieve… I had no idea how she would do as in the past retrieving is her least favorite part of hunting.  I wanted to give Wyatt a bit of a break if possible as he was wearing himself out.  Well Luna did a rather lovely retrieve and gently took the bird from Chris and brought it all the way back to me in good fashion.  She dropped it when she got up to me but picked it back up for me.  I was ecstatic.  This is the first bird she has had in her mouth in nearly 2 years so I never dreamed it would go that well.

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After that she joined in the waiting and intense watching  game.

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Luna kept a keen eye on Ed the whole hunt, and I kept hoping she would get to help retrieve a dove for him.   Luna became a little more restless but still was very well behaved.  We forgot a stake out post (and ear plugs, and a chair), but it turns out we didn’t need it.  Both of our dogs were very steady with a simple verbal reminder of “stay”.  Having them contained or tied up would have been more of a hassle than a need, since I would have to work around ropes and end up getting up a lot more. This shocked me about the dogs too, normally they are crazy and intense (in a good ” I want to hunt” kind of way) when guns are going off  but overall they held their cool and remembered their training.  It wasn’t until the second half of the hunt that I went with the dogs to find the birds. The field was VERY ruff, and was riddled with ditches and trenches covered in tall grass and weeds.  It was not easy terrain for anyone to navigate and also made finding birds that more challenging.  Thankfull we were blessed with a light breeze to help carry scent. Since I have been the trainer of Luna and the main if not sole handler, especially in the field, I felt the need to go with her to help with the search and keep her in a good working pattern.

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The first time (and every time after that) we asked her to help find a bird she did amazing. By about halfway in Wyatt was panting too much to be able to smell like he needed to to locate these birds in the long grass.  It was not for lack of effort on his part at all, he rocked the first 8 birds or so all on his own and happily retrieved them.  So I decided to have Luna join the efforts, why not right? She surprised me on the retrieve part I figured maybe she would surprised me on searching for a dead bird.  She has never done this sort of hunting before so i had no idea how she would take to it. All of the hunting she has done in the past is of typical upland hunting style. I walk on foot, she points, someone shoots it, she is sent for the retrieve.   Well wouldn’t you know she went right to work hunting that bird out, when I noticed she was on point I told her to “take it” and she didn’t hesitate to pick it right up. I quickly took it from her and threw a party for her.  I was so thrilled, even with the competition of her brother (who is a tank about fetching so she kinda shies away from him) she let her natural instincts kick in.  After that I decided to bring her out to help find the remainder of the birds as the boys knocked them down.   She didn’t point any others that I saw (good thing as dogs shouldn’t point dead birds, just live), instead she would pick them up and look for someone to bring them to.


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There were birds that were long shots and sent us deep into the fields.  With the men helping mark the birds, the dogs and I did the rest.  Every time I began to lose hope about finding a bird Luna would come waltzing out of nowhere with it in her mouth.  There were one or two that decided to make a short fly after being hit, and the dogs managed to find those too.   I seriously loved seeing her pattern things out and use her nose to locate those downed birds.  Add to that the fact that she didn’t get mouthy with these tiny delicate birds either, she would hold them really light and give them with no hesitation.  It was only after you had it in your hand that she tried to get a little taste of it but that was fine with me as it was half hearted and never a big snatch.  She has gotten mouthy with birds in the past and overall would drop and pick up and fiddle with them.  Hardly any of that with these doves, despite how easily their feathers cluttered her mouth.   It all just worked out perfectly.


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Especially since Chris filled his limit, and thanks to the dogs we didn’t lose a single bird we set out for which I find amazing.

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I really can’t see us finding many birds in such thick cover without the help of the dogs. I am so happy we decided to do this hunt, and that things went so smoothly.  I wish i could have gotten more photos of Luna at work, but every time I went with her I forgot the camera or the find happened too fast.

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Luna didn’t want to leave the birds or the field for that matter.  She didn’t stop hoping for more till she was in the bed in the car.  She was only just starting apparently. I wish i could find more hunts for her to go on, anyone need a dog for dove season?  Seriously, we would be happy to help if you are local.

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Somehow I managed to also bring home one of my new favorite pictures of my girl. If you want to hear more about this day and see more pictures from Ed’s point of view hop on over to his blog and have a look.

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We Won! (kinda)

Did I ever mention the photo contest we (and by we I mean Luna… whether she wanted to share her pretty mug or not) entered to win some yummy Arrfscarf dog treats???? Probably not huh, due to our overall lack of blogging.  But hey while you all are out having fun during the summer, I am surviving the busiest time of year… who else would care for the dogs while humans go on vacation? (I manage a boarding kennel if you wondered)  In any case, I never turn down a chance to win something especially if it involves a photo contest.  Doesn’t mean I win often, actually it is very rare, but hey it’s worth a shot right?

In anycase, our friends over at Love & A Six Foot Leash had a photo contest giving away these lovely treats… it’s over now though by a long time (June, wow) but I thought I would share some extra frames from the photo shoots while attempting to get a good shot for this contest.   The theme was your pup enjoying their favorite treat.  Well since Luna enjoys anything that I give her, that opened up quite a few options for photos.  So we went to town.

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We will start with her least favorite request… I admit that pig nose may have been a tiny large but I couldn’t find a smaller option and I wanted to try it. You never know what will end up the winner… but after getting some of the other photos I passed on entering this one.

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Then we moved on to the stacks of treats…

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Met with some fails but she was a trooper.

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I am sad we are out of these treats, they were so cute.  I need to make some though, seeing as I have a cute heart cutter. Someone lend me more free time.    I wasn’t overly concerned about composition in the moment, seeing as I had to worry about her not tossing and catching them to eat, or them falling off too quickly… all while trying to get her attention for a photo.

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THIS has been an idea in the making for a while, yes those are various treats on her.  It didn’t work out as planned, due to her svelte physique and treats feeling the need to slide right off her.  I laid down as many as I could get to stay, her whining did not help as it moved her stomach. I kept her quiet by feeding her treat when she chose to be quiet.  I took a video of this maybe I will post sometime. In any case I can check it off our list, and she was a trooper yet again. She got to eat many of them when I released her too.

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She enjoys this one as it’s the beginning of her being released to toss and catch it.  This is probably the cutest shot i have of her doing this trick too. It’s rare to get eye contact from her and half ear perks.

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But then we moved on to my money shots. Here are some favorites from our attempts.  I am SO happy I tried this idea as it provided some very cute photos. I will have to try it again when it’s NOT raining outside.

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Do you see it entering her mouth??

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PS, I LOVE this one for some reason.

lunatreat-3951-2This was the one that brought home the bacon, or Arrfscarf treats I should say. And Luna was just as happy about that as I.  And I love this shot, and have no idea how I got so lucky :)  I hope to do a review of what she and I thought about the treats, I documented the reaction now let’s hope I can find some time.
Does your dog have a favorite treat?

 

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Testing out some gear

I have been playing with the idea of upgraded my Pentax Optio WG-2 waterproof camera from the Pentax to an Olympus Tough TG-2 , and my friend was kind enough to lend me his. I decided to do some test shooting with the pups, these were taken in the “pinhole” mode which I normally wouldn’t use but they turned out pretty fun.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Silly shots of the pups, Luna has so many “pretty” photos I thought this one needed to be shared. Her nose is always going, you would think she was a hound dog, not a bird dog.

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Playing around with some different angles.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SO glad I captured this expression, it’s a very typical “look” but it’s not easy to capture the expressions she gives as they are so fleeting when the camera is out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot bad with such strong backlit light.  Overall I was happy with this camera, I didn’t get a chance to test it out in the water as we had lots of rain so no paddling or swimming due to high water levels.  I like that it will offer me more manual control options as I take this camera out quite a bit when exploring with the dogs.  I went ahead and ordered it, now I just need to find an owners manual and sell my little pentax waterproof.

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