A very very quick field update is due, and today will be busy so I figured I should knock it out now. Luna did awesome the past 2 times I had her out. We have been working with pigeons almost daily to help her steadiness. The creeping has stopped, and she has not been releasing herself anymore when I approach her after the flush and cap off. I have worked her with the e-collar on and also with it off and she has done well either way so I know she is really starting to get the fact that I mean “whoa” when I say it. (Note the previous post about e-collars(sorry wordpress is not letting me link today)… and when I run her in actual AKC hunt tests I can not use them, so I must have that respectful relationship with her that she will mind despite there being no e-collar (which she does on a regular basis anyhow) ) A day or so ago I planted 3 pigeons out in the field, and then sent her out to find them. She pointed the first one a ways off and I went in and flushed it no problems. She stood rock solid. Then I heeled her away to hunt the rest. The second pigeon ended up flushing itself before she even found it, and she stopped to flush with my verbal “whoa” about .5 seconds behind her. So that was a nice bonus. I will not be telling her to whoa at a hunt test upon flushing, this is something she should know by then, so as of now I am still using the word so she can associate the flush with stopping/Whoa. She found the next bird and pointed while I flushed and capped off, no movement again. I took the e-collar off just for kicks for the next 3 birds and she performed just the same as before. I kept one pigeon in my pocket to surprise her with a flush again, and she stopped for that as well. So all in all she is SO ready to get back on some shot birds, or something close. As having to wait to retrieve a downed bird is much harder for her. And then eventually we need to get her running with another dog and have her honor them which will be a challenge, but at least we know she is understanding the whole “whoa” concept better. And I do realize she is probably wise on the fact that they are pigeons and she will not be able to get them, but she has still shown progress with pigeons as well (ie: no more creeping or self releasing after flush)
We finally bought our own bumper launcher, so both pups got a marathon session of that last night. And both did great. Luna retrieved the bumpers the best she has yet, and was steady (until I tapped her to fetch it up) for all but one… she had no excuse for that one but I was dragging it out, throwing my hands all around her enticing her to break, and she did.. but only by about 4 inches and I put her back in position then let her fetch it. I will have to get video of them with that thing. They love it, and that’s a huge understatement. Luna even points when I put her in a whoa before I shoot.
Anyway there is an update for those that care.
Pardon the poor pic quality, shot it with my phone, which also is in huge need of an upgrade, but that won’t be happening probably due to the car needing hundreds of dollars of work done to it today.
Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.